10 Newborn Must-Haves We Didn’t Have

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I had the luxury of ample time to prepare for our baby’s arrival when I was pregnant. The nursery was painted, the diapers were stacked, and the crib was assembled. Despite my best efforts, there were a few items we wished we had during H’s first week in the world. I sent my adoring husband and marvelous mom out to nab these things in the first few days home from the hospital. Save your family from frantic Target runs, and gather these items ahead of time.

1. Breastmilk Storage System

You certainly don’t have to have your whole system figured out; that’ll come with time. But, I wished I at least had plenty of breastmilk storage bags, bins to keep them in, and freezer storage space. I suggest starting to store milk right away. Read more about my storage methods at How I Stored 300 Ounces of Breastmilk in 3 Months.

2. Giant Drying Rack

Sure, we had the cute little bottle drying rack, but that thing couldn’t handle the big breastmilk pump pieces we washed daily. I told Andy to find the biggest drying rack he could find, and it was fabulous.

3. Nightlights

I purchased one ahead of time and promptly lost it somewhere in our basement. Get a bunch of nightlights and illuminate the way to and from the kitchen. You’ll certainly make a few midnight runs to the kitchen for bottles, breastpump pieces, and who knows what else. I like the nightlights that turn on automatically when it becomes dark — one less thing to think about.

4. Burp Cloths

When I was pregnant and asked my friends for their must-haves list, I most often heard, “burp cloths and onsies, burp cloths and onsies.” My favorite burp cloths are Aden + Anais Burpy Bibs. Those are pretty pricey, though. It’s nice to have a couple of packages of Gerber Prefold Cloth Diapers to use as burp cloths. We keep one of them permanently on the changing table, among other places, to catch spit up.

5. Clocks

Especially if you’re a first-time breastfeeder, you’ll want to track what time and for how long you feed. We purchased digital clocks for the living room and bedroom for this purpose. I still use them multiple times a day.

6. Washing Bin

It may seem obvious, but it wasn’t to us. You’ll start washing breastpump and bottle materials from day one, so get yourself a washing bin. I’m still so glad I have this.

7. Sanitary Pads

C-Section and vaginal deliveries both leave you wanting plenty of these. C-sections, in particular, require overnight strength to really get the job done.

8. Proper Clothing

For me, proper clothing meant giant sweatpants from Walmart and nursing tops. I love these nursing tank tops from Destination Maternity. They’re comfortable, functional, and you can throw layers over them. Be sure to buy your tops a couple sizes larger than you typically wear. Have at least five of these “outfits” on hand so you don’t have to scrounge for clothes every morning.

9. Space Heater

Exclamation point! A space heater is great for managing the nightime temperature (remember SIDS prevention experts recommend between 68°-72° F for sleeping). It’s also a lifesaver for warming the room before bathtime or baby-massages.

10. Onsies

H’s closet was filled with baby clothes, but we still could have used more onsies. Our little guy was on the small side, and I didn’t have many newborn-sized clothes. Thank goodness my mom went to Buy Buy Baby and bought a dozen newborn onsies. Crises averted.

Don’t be overwhelmed. One run to Target is all you need to gather these items. If you don’t have time to pick all this stuff up before your baby decides to be born, fret not. I’m sure your mom or husband can pick them up for you. God bless them. 

Experienced mom, what items did you wish you had that first week home?

You might also like Top 10 Newborn Must-Haves and Product Recalls: Stay Informed.


  1. I’ll second the burp cloths, clocks and the nightlights. I had to place an order on Amazon to get more of all of those items within the first week home. I also wish I would have had more water bottles (to have placed everywhere in the house) because I was so incredibly thirsty all the time.

  2. Thank you, thank you! As we prepare for our first due in July I always love seeing what people recommend!!

  3. PS> Why was I thinking the one blessing of a C-section would be I wouldn’t need pads on all that like a natural birth??? I must be missing something…LOL

  4. We would like to add to the list. A good thermometer that is capable of measuring the babies temperature as well as the room , bottles and bathing water.

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