Essential Newborn Baby Gear Worth Buying

Baby Gear buying guide @squishablebaby #newborn
If you are pregnant or soon to be pregnant with your first baby, you will quickly find out that there are a lot of options for your bundle of joy.  New parents will wonder, what is necessary, what should I buy, what should I leave – what do I need.  After 4 babies over the course of 11 years, I have a pretty good idea what works, what doesn’t work, what lasts – and what’s worth buying.

I know, baby needs are as personal as each individual family.  However, I have tried to be objective and give you an honest view – while keeping costs and space in mind.


Baby Furniture

This is where the biggest expense will come in.


Eh.  There are some important questions to ask.

  1. Are you planning to co-sleep?
  2. Will you be using a bassinet/co-sleeper in your room?

These questions are very important.  The crib is where we lost the most money.  All of our kids slept with us, so our crib not only went unused for many years, it took up a lot of much-needed space.  We started with the co-sleeper – which all but the last was willing to use.  Then, when they started sitting up, they moved to our bed.  We have only recently used the crib – and that was 11 years after purchase.

So, is a crib a necessity?  Not right away.  Wait and see.  But when you buy one, it’s prudent to buy one of nice quality.  If you do, it will last 11 years, and look brand new.  You will spend more money in the beginning, but it’s worth it in the end (after 4-7 kids).

Just keep in mind, that in some baby stores, it might take a few month for the crib to arrive.

Infant co-sleeper/bassinet

Sure.  If you want your baby sleeping in your room, but not in your bed – I think it’s worth a try.  Baby might or might not be willing to sleep in it, but I think it’s a gamble that’s worth taking.

Changing Table

This is where I disagree with most everyone else.  For us, this has been the best purchase!  I love my changing table.  I don’t have to change on the bed or the floor.  It’s might height – saving my back.  I have a changing station with everything there – the water, the diapers, the wipes, etc.

At first, I was ambivalent.  A few months in, I bought the table.  I have not regretted the $210 that I spent.  Seriously.  If I didn’t have anything else, I would have a changing table.

As many times as I have changed a diaper.  It gets used over and over.  I still have the same pad and cover that I bought 11 years ago.  Money well spent!

Nursing Chair

We brought one, a very good one.  We spent $500 on it.  Good quality.  We had the upholstery cleaned once during our 11 year journey.  It’s a nice chair.  It reclines and has held up through the years.  I used it a lot with the first 3 – then it got relegated to the porch because it took up too much room.  I liked it.  I paired it with a nursing stool, and that put my legs to the right height for nursing.  It was nice to rock and a comfortable place.

Now, most of the time I nurse in the bed or on the couch.  I don’t really need it.

Was the $500 worth it?  I guess.  We got our money out of it.  If someone where to ask me, I would leave it.  You can get an equal or better nursing experience with the existing furniture in your house.

Oh, don’t stretch for the ottoman.  Definitely not worth it.

If anything, opt for the $25 wooden nursing stool.


Baby Clothes

If you are like me, you don’t want to bunch of clothes you don’t need – and will eventually crowd your basement/attic.  It’s a pain.

The trick is to buy good quality baby clothes that will last.

Here is my list.

2 baby hats

Baby’s can’t regulate their temperature in the beginning.  2 warm knit hats is enough. for the week that he/she will wear them.  Most of the time, they will just be the accessory that falls off.

Baby socks

You need a lot of these (or at least I do).  I don’t know where they go.  I think the dryer eats them.  Buy very few newborn socks and more 3-6 months.

Baby shirts

buy a pack.  These will be your new best friend.  They are great to air out the cord and easy to put on and take off.  They are great for diaper changes!


I would have one for each day of the week.  This is especially true during the winter months.  You can warm them up by putting them in a pillow case and putting them on a heating pad.


A snowsuit is not necessary – and is more work than it’s worth.  A good quality coat or sweatshirt – depending upon the season is all that’s needed.  Keep in mind that baby’s grow quickly.

I spent $110 on a coat from Hana Anderson about 8 years ago.  It has lasted – and looks as good as new.  The initial cost was worth it.  I haven’t had to buy another coat!

Cloth Diapers

A great buy!  Figure out what you want and go for it!  Make sure to take care of them and they will last through all your kids years.  They save money and save the environment.  If you sew, make your own!  That’s what I do.

Personally, I would stay away from Velcro.  Eh.  Snaps last longer and don’t give you nearly as much grief.

Don’t forget the wool diaper covers for those diapers that don’t have a waterproof outer layer!

What to Leave

Leave the burp clothes and bibs.  What does a newborn need a bib for anyway?  Kitchen/bathroom towels (or like me – your shirt) can be used for burp clothes.  The baby shoes?  Eh.  They don’t need shoes.  Socks are sufficient.


Misc. Items


Necessary.  I just got a new Boppy as mine was flat and ragged.  I love my Boppy and use it multiple times a day.

Car seat

Goes without saying.  You can get infant or convertible.  Your choice.  Convertible is more bang for the buck, but you can easily transport a sleeping baby in an infant seat.  I have seen both used, and either way – it’s fine.

Baby Sling

Essential.  Get a good one.  I would rather have a good one or two.  A ring sling or Moby is very good for the newborn stage.  Any wrap works.  I would leave the Mei Tai style for an older baby.

I have two.  I have a cotton ring sling and a heavier canvas Mei Tai.  I use one in the beginning and one later.  It’s cost-effective and it works.

Breast Pump

Even exclusively breastfeeding moms should have good quality double electric pump on hand.  You will eventually want to go out without your baby.  Maybe Dad wants to feed, or for supply issues/problems.  Just have it on hand if you need it.  Because of the Affordable Health Care Act, most insurance companies will provide you one for free.  Just check.  Grandfathered plans do not apply.


As an Exclusive breastfeeding mom, I have 3 bottles.  Pumping moms and formula feeding moms will need more.


What has worked with you and your kids through the years?  I would love to know

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. It’s always fun to see what works for other people. I’ve always said that all you really need to welcome a baby is diapers and boobies, but there’s obviously a lot of things that make life much easier.

    Burp rags were a must for us, but I made my own, so that was more cost effective than buying them. I also love having a dedicated changing table (although with one of our kids, the piece of furniture we used wasn’t originally intended for that purpose).

    I didn’t have a dedicated nursing chair, but we’ve had various chairs through the years that worked for me. Honestly, many of my babies spent a lot of time nursing in the computer chair, lol.
    Shecki recently posted…2014-2015 Curriculum What We Used, and How That Worked Out For UsMy Profile

  2. Wow, great essential baby list! I love these all. All are so useful for a baby growing time. Really it such an informative post. I’ve read so many amazing things about your article! I like the baby clothes. It’s such a great way to be able to get things done and the baby enjoys the ride. Thanks for sharing.

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