What Do You REALLY Need for a New Baby?

Congratulations! You’re having a baby!

All the emotions that come with finding out you are carrying a little one can be exciting, overwhelming, and a bit nerve-wracking. Especially as you begin to think, “What do I need to get for this new baby?”

Where to Start

The Registry

In my experience, two of the most popular baby registries are Target and Amazon. Target gives you a free welcome kit once you register and a 15% off registry coupon eight weeks before baby’s due date. Amazon also gives you a free welcome box and also a 10% off discount for items left on your registry (15% if you are an Amazon Prime member). 

Must-Haves and Non-Essentials 

Now, I am not claiming to be an expert mom by any means*, but I have three kiddos and another one on the way. So, I feel like I have gone through many products and have been able to determine things that are must-haves and others that I would consider to be non-essentials.

*Please note this is from my own personal experience. Everyone differs and something that I deem non-essential might be a must-have for some or vice-versa.

Must-Haves for New Baby


I am a HUGE fan of zip-up sleepers. Yes, I know some of the snap/button ones are cute, but I really only use them for during the day. Because when night time comes around and you’re already sleep-deprived, it is so easy to get the buttons wrong.

Also, they do make magnetic clasp sleepers now too! I haven’t used these yet, but I have heard many good things about them.


Pack n’ Plays are an essential for any new parents. Not only are they good for traveling, but they can also double as a bassinet for the first few months. And sleep sacks help for those cold winter nights once babies are big enough to be out of the swaddle (they even make swaddle sleep sacks if you are stil in the swaddle stage!). 


This inflatable duck tub is a life saver when baby is too big for their infant bathtub. It’s perfect for that period of time when they begin to sit up, but are not quite big enough for the full-sized tub (great for about six to 12 months old).


Diapers are an essential, whether you decide to do disposable or cloth. There are many different disposable brands out there from Huggies to Pampers to Luvs to Target’s Up & Up brand and even Costco’s Kirkland brand. And watch for sales – Target usually has a big baby sale a few times a year where you get a gift card when you spend so much on baby items! 

Most importantly, find one that works for your baby and your budget. Often the off-brand diapers work just as well as more expensive brands. 

I have never used cloth diapers before, so I don’t have any experience on that or any brand recommendations, but many moms do love that option! Check out THIS FACEBOOK GROUP to find local cloth-diapering moms!


Bottles can be overwhelming with all the different ones out there. I have used the ones that came with my breast pump, but have also tried out many different brands from Advent to Dr. Brown’s to Tommee Tippee. My personal favorite is the Tommee Tippee, because they had the least amount of leakage and felt like it was the closest latch to breastfeeding. Comotomo is another popular brand for breastfeeding moms. 

Other Essentials

A NoseFrida and saline spray is an absolute must for when baby becomes congested. As a new parent you may think, “Ew, I don’t want to suck my baby’s boogers!” Have no fear, their snot does not even come close to you as it stays in the bulb/tubing. And the saline spray helps loosen it up and is the only safe thing to use on little ones according to our pediatrician. 

There are more items such as burp cloths, a good baby video/audio monitor, a crib that converts to a toddler bed, and of course a safe and reliable car seat. Just remember to keep within your budget and buy as you need. 

Non-Essentials for Baby

A Diaper Genie isn’t something you need and many people have found that it stinks a lot more no matter how many baking soda packets you put in it. The best option is to just get a small garbage bin that you can take out the diapers daily. 

A wipe warmer isn’t really needed either. Yes, I know the coldness of the wipe may startle the baby, but babies do get use to it. Plus it is harder when you are traveling and can’t bring the wipe warmer with you. 

Tons of expensive cute baby outfits. Having a few for special occasions are definitely great, but you may realize that once baby arrives that they will wear sleepers for the first few months. Also, if your baby hasn’t gone to the bathroom in a while, slap on a cute outfit and more than likely they will go. And probably have a blowout and need a new outfit anyway.

Find What You Like

You can search the Internet high and low or even ask all friends and family on what you need.

But, more than likely everyone is going to have a different opinion. Get what you want and what you think baby will need. You don’t need to buy the most expensive or the best of the best item out there. Your baby will be just fine with what you find even if you found a good deal on it. 

And sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find out what works best for you and your baby.

Good luck, mama! You are about to embark on the most rewarding job you will ever have!

And for more information on those first few months of motherhood, check out our guide to  Postpartum Resources in Fargo-Moorhead.
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Danielle grew up in a small, rural North Dakota town before attending university in Fargo. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and has an associate's degree in Sign Language Interpreting. She and her husband, Andrew, have been married for six years and have three beautiful kids together. Danielle decided before she had her second child to be a stay-at-home mom. While life gets insane at times, she's happy to have other stay-at-home mom friends she can share the ups and downs of parenting with. She loves to find a good deal, bake, and spend time with her family.


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