Top 5 Baby Must Haves for 0-3 Months
We found that the top 5 things a newborn needs are somewhere to sleep, something to keep them safe in the car, clothes and diapers, a feeding system and a way to keep track of everything. I’ve worked in Early Childhood for 11 years, but that didn’t mean that I was an expert on what to expect when we finally came home with our first baby. Half of me felt like instinct would kick in and I would know exactly what to do, and the other half of me had a bewildered sense of disbelief that they were sending us home with this itty bitty little human.
Throughout my pregnancy we received advice on what we would need from all kinds of resources. Friends, family, co-workers, strangers…emails, websites, blogs, phone apps. It was hard to know where to turn and what advice to take with a grain of salt. When it was time to register for items we spent a lot of time researching brands and reading reviews. As we did our research we found thenightlight.com to be a huge help for us. This is not sponsored by any means, but it was a resource that did the research for us, made recommendations, collected reviews and compared prices. If you are looking for a step up or something comparable they also make those recommendations. Each product was clearly well researched and gave us a basis for what products should be on our radar.
Once our baby was here we learned pretty quickly that what works for one baby and family is not what will work for everyone. Through trial and error I have established my list of what I would consider “Must Haves” and what I would consider items that are “Nice to Have”. As well as a list of items that we found to be a waste of money and space! This is what worked for our first few months, but is not what will work for everyone! This post does contain affiliate links to many of our favorite products.
Our Top 5 Must Haves:
Somewhere to Sleep –
We had a crib set up in the nursery, but I knew that for the first few months I wanted our baby in the same room as us. I wasn’t leaning towards co-sleeping so we had a small bassinet. However, what ended up working the best for us was the pack ‘n’ play. We didn’t use a fancy newborn insert or anything, just as is.
Something to keep them safe in the car –
A necessary item if you plan on traveling anywhere with your baby. We went will well known Chicco. We did the whole shebang and went for the full travel system. The base was easy to install in our car, it came with a newborn insert and the carseat itself snapped easily into the stroller. We’ve gotten plenty of use out of it, and I’ve been happy with our choice.
Clothes and Diapers –
If you have a 9+ lb. baby like me, you won’t use newborn sized diapers or clothes. It made me sad to pack away a number of cute outfits that were never touched. The only Newborn diapers we had came from a diaper cake at our shower, which we later ended up donating. It’s good to have a few on hand, if you have a small baby you’ll be glad that you do. If people are looking to buy you items, suggest bigger sizes. Once the baby is out of newborn and infant size you’ll be glad you have a stash of bigger clothes and diapers.
We chose to go with disposable diapers, and use Amazon Subscribe and Save. It’s nice to get the discount each month and not have to worry about running out. Each month a delivery arrives, if we don’t need it right away we can cancel until the next month, or adjust to the next size as needed. Otherwise it takes the guess work out and avoids late night runs to the store.
A feeding system –
Since our little guy spent two weeks in the NICU we did a combination of nursing and bottle feeding. The hospital used Dr. Brown’s bottles, so I stuck with that for a while. The pump I used was Medela, so I switched over to Medela bottles out of convenience. Eventually we ended up using a combination of both, usually whatever was clean! Not a necessity, but I found it immensely helpful to have a drying rack like the one below. Bottle parts can get scattered, knowing that they were clean and sanitary in their own space helped.
If you’re pumping I can’t recommend a hands free pump enough. Especially as I returned to work, knowing that I didn’t have to sit completely useless but was able to have hands free made a huge difference. If you’re nursing I do recommend investing in a few staple pieces of clothing that are comfortable, flexible and hold up well in the wash. Breast feeding does not come naturally, despite what some people tell you! It’s a learned skill, for you and baby, being patient and continuing to try is the only thing that made it successful for us.
A way to keep track of everything –
Before our baby arrived a friend recommended to me the BabyConnect App. I used it from day 1 and continue to now, 8 months later. You can track more things than I ever imagined you would want data on. The main things I used were meals, diapers, sleep, and pumping. The summary will tell you where they compare to this time the day before as well as the 7 day average. You can see in bar graph form daily totals of each type of data you are tracking. You can add photos, milestones, weight and height, when you give medication. Anything you can think of!
In our sleep deprived state those first few weeks it was helpful to have a system for recalling when a diaper was, when a last feed was, how long (or short!) sleep cycles were, etc. It was overwhelming looking for an app to use, this time the advice of a friend was well received. It was not a free app, but I don’t remember it being terribly expensive.
I’ll be back another day with some of the items that weren’t necessities, but I was glad we had on hand!