20 Newborn Essentials & Must-Haves for New Parents

Don't let your registry get out of control with every product ever designed for infants. We've narrowed it down to the 20 absolutes you need before bringing your little one home.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
August 23, 2022

Being a first-time parent can be super intimidating. From bottles to burp cloths to nasal aspirators to pacifiers to swaddles — there's an endless list of supplies to buy before baby arrives. Many parents quickly realize they don't need 10 different diaper rash creams or a closet full of clothes (that they'll spit-up on and grow out of in a few weeks). We narrow down the true essentials you'll need when you bring your little one home, from a travel system to a bathtub that fits right in your kitchen sink.

From $150

For those early days of babyhood, you want your newborn close by for nighttime feedings and, let's be honest, just to watch him breathe. Bassinets and bedside co-sleepers are great options, but we're loving the multifunctionality of the DockATot Deluxe+ for newborns to eight months and five to 22 pounds. Not only does it give baby a safe spot to sleep within your reach, but it also works for tummy time, diaper changes and is easy to carry around the house for your little one to lounge.

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Most new parents become swaddling experts, since wrapping babies up like burritos helps them sleep better, prevents their startle reflex from waking them up and gives them a greater sense of security. The Love to Dream Swaddle makes life even easier by allowing your baby to sleep in a more natural position with their arms up. Plus, it gets bonus points for a twin zipper that makes diaper changes a cinch.

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If you'd prefer a more traditional swaddle, this cotton/muslin version is a favorite buy. Even if you opt for the Love to Dream Swaddle, you won't regret having a pack of these multitaskers that are also handy as lightweight blankets, nursing covers, burp cloths, stroller covers and more.

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This jersey cotton crib sheet is 100 percent organic so not only will your baby feel like he's sleeping on the softest t-shirt, but you can also feel good about it being gentle on his skin. With elastic all the way around, the sheet ensures a snug fit that will stay in place.

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This classic-meets-modern crib has curved railings that make it easier for moms and dads to lay their kiddos down, and its simple white color scheme fits into any room seamlessly. Made from solid poplar wood, the crib is designed to last through all your children and also converts to a toddler bed when junior is ready for the rails to come off.

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Nothing gives new parents peace of mind like a video monitor. The iBaby Care M7 connects to your phone so you can always see what's going on with a high-def picture and infrared night vision. Plus, it keeps track of the room's temperature, humidity and air quality reports, as well as offering sound and motion sensors that alert you when baby is awake or crying.

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$49.99 $25.49

Anything that makes bedtime easier, we're all in. This natural white noise machine is soothing for your little one and also means you don't have to spend every nap or bedtime tip-toeing around and whispering. The volume is extensively adjustable so you can find what fits you and your baby's needs the best.

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Whether you're nursing or using formula, you'll want to have bottles on hand. Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottles mimic breastfeeding so you can combine both kinds of feedings. They're, of course, BPA-free and are also designed to help prevent colic.

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$249.99 $185

If you plan on nursing and will go back to work or just want a night off, a breast pump is a necessity. The Medela Pump in Style is a double pump with removable cooler bag and bottles, all in a handy backpack. Tip: Be sure to check with your health insurance company since they often cover this essential.

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$15.16 (Pack of 10)

You can never have enough burp cloths — really. Four layers of 100-percent cotton muslin combine with a large size and an ingenious shape to help with any messes your little bambino can throw at you.

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Prices Vary

One absolute that never goes away (at least until potty training!) is diapers. The Honest Company's eco-friendly diapers, plant-derived and made from sustainable materials, are comfy and super absorbent. Make your life easier by signing up for a subscription service that bundles the diapers and wipes so you never have to worry about running out of either. Plus, Honest's diapers are just simply adorable.

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From $57.99

Keep your nursery smelling like your precious newborn rather than stinky nappies with a diaper pail. This one from Ubbi adds a more sophisticated touch than most pails and is available in several colors so you can find the perfect shade for your baby's space.

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You don't have to sacrifice style when selecting a diaper bag. Functionality is key, so this Fawn Design bag holds everything you need for your kiddo, makes it simple to find things and can be carried as a backpack or on your shoulder. Most importantly, the faux leather is fully wipeable and the inside can be removed for easy cleaning.

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Whether you lean toward baby-wearing as a parenting style or just need to be hands-free sometimes, a carrier is a smart product to have from the get-go. The Lillebaby Complete All-Seasons Carrier has six carrying positions that comfortably cradle your little one while supporting your back and waist. Plus, it's designed to keep babies and parents warm in the winter and cool in the summer months with its adjustable temperature-control center panel that zips up for warmth and zips down to expose cool, breathable mesh fabric.

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Showing the nurse you can safely put your newborn in a car seat makes this one of your most vital purchases. A lot of travel systems, like this one from Britax, are designed to transition with your child as he or she gets older. The infant car seat clicks effortlessly into the stroller for the on-the-go parent, and once you're done with the car seat, you can use the stroller until your child is 65 pounds.

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Make bath time beautiful and safe with the Blooming Bath Lotus. Fitting easily in the sink, the plush flower is available in nine colors and has contoured petals that keep baby from sliding around.

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Combining a sweet plush animal with a Soothie pacifier, the WubbaNub is easy for babies to hold and a brilliant way to help them self-soothe. It's designed so that once you've weaned your baby off the pacifier, he still has his much-loved stuffed animal to cuddle.

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You don't need tons of clothes before your baby arrives, but build a small layette of sleepers, onesies, hats and mittens to have ready for your little one. MilkBarn Kids makes lovely printed rompers made from 100-percent rayon from bamboo, so they're unbelievably soft. Non-stop cuddles, here we come.

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For hands-free moments, you need a place for your little one to hang out. This ergonomic bouncer is a cozy spot for your sweet one to rest or play, and it naturally rocks with baby's movements. It's lightweight and easy to move throughout your home, as well as perfectly portable for traveling.

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Stimulate your child's curiosity with a playful activity mat. With four ways to play — overhead, tummy, seated or playmat — this gym provides plenty of fun.

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