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The Real Baby Essentials List - Natural Atlanta Mama
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Before I give you my baby essentials list, I want to say: you have to do this your own way. In other words, there is no magic list.

There is no magic list.

I can give you my suggestions and tell you what saved me or what didn’t work, but ultimately you are your own person and the dynamics of you and your household will lead you to your own conclusions about what you need. For example, I had a lot of people tell me to get a boppy pillow, which some people swear by. I felt like I wouldn’t use it. Plus, I didn’t want to bring in a whole bunch of things we didn’t need. I ended up just using an extra pillow we had laying around for breastfeeding. I had one upstairs in his room and one in the living room, which worked perfectly for me.

Know yourself and remember that Amazon Prime is only 2 days away, and Target is just down the street if you figure out that you really need something.

Babies don’t need much

Babies don’t NEED that much. There are certainly lots of things that make YOUR life easier, but your baby is not going to upset if you use a regular towel or change her on the floor instead of a changing table or wash her in the sink instead of a special baby tub. So, don’t feel like you have to have all the things on any baby essentials list, including the one listed here.

Remember that babies are just tiny humans. Sometimes that means they need tiny versions of things and sometimes the things you already have will work just fine. Use your head, and relax.

Baby Essentials List


When Jackson first came home, I kept looking online for baby toys for newborns. But the honest thing is they don’t need them. Their job as a newborn is to eat, sleep and grow. Most of their play in the beginning is just looking at the world around them and listening to you.
  • Teething toys
  • Play mat or quilt
    • Basically something to put on the floor to pad it a little and keep spit-up off the floor
    • Or skip it, because as soon as they can crawl, they will be off it anyway
  • Baby docker
    • This will come down to personal preference, but basically you will want a safe, contained place to set baby down, especially if you have pets. I think you only NEED one, although there were times that I wished that I had a baby-docker for upstairs too.
    • Rock and Play (my favorite, folds flat, light weight and easy to move around)
    • Bouncer
    • Swing


  • Lanisoh breast milk storage bags (if you plan on breast-feeding)
  • Baby bottles (I would buy ones that are compatible with your pump)
  • Bibs (the larger the better)(won’t use until 4 months, unless you have a baby with acid reflux)
  • burp cloths/prefolds (if you are doing cloth diapers, you don’t need burp cloths, just get extra prefolds and use them for both)
  • baby food freezer tray (if you plan on making your own baby food, or just use the ice cube trays you already have)


Seriously, don’t register for clothes. Pick a few outfits that suit your taste to let people know what you like. But people will buy you clothes because they are cheap and fun. If you register for clothes people will buy them, and what you really need is all the other stuff.

Used baby clothes are cheap, just as cute, and have probably only been worn a handful of times. I buy most of Jackson’s clothes from Kid-to-Kid or Once Upon a Child. Also, baby clothing sizes lie, so just because it says 6mo on the label doesn’t mean that they will wear it at 6mo.

Newborn & 0-3 (sizes newborn, 0-3)

  • 2 hats
  • 10+ onesies
  • socks
  • 4 sleepers/pjs
  • mittens or get the sleepers that have the fold over sleeves
  • velcro swaddlers (and/or large muslin/flannel baby blankets)

3+ (size: 3-6 or 6 mo)

  • 4 pjs
  • 8+ onesies
  • 4 pants
  • 4 outfits/rompers
  • 1 jacket
  • socks
  • 2 hats
  • 1 sleep sack

Diapers & Changing

  • Changing Foam Pad
  • 2-3 Changing Pad Covers
  • 8 Washable changing pad liners
    • These are a life saver. Newborns make a lot of mess, and poop gets everywhere. I don’t use them that much anymore, but I used to put them under Jackson when I changed him to save me from washing the changing pad cover 10 times a day. I’ve also used them under his head when I used to spit up a lot, and in the crib under his booty to in case of a leaky diaper.

Cloth diapers

This is my recommended list for what we actually use on a daily basis for cloth diapers. This list will be slightly different if you use pocket diapers or All-in-One diapers or go old school and use Flour Sack Towels. The quantities of items on this list are just to get you started in the beginning. You might find that you need more or less.

Button’s brand for anything with a *
  • Large Wet Bag (2) with elastic top
  • Diaper pail OR medium sized step trashcan OR hook to hang large wet bag
  • Small wet bag (2-3)*
  • 10-12 newborn diaper covers*
  • 24 diaper inserts, snap in*
  • 10-20 prefolds* – to use as back ups and doublers
  • 40+ cloth wipes (buy or make)
  • wipe container


  • Stroller – (city mini!!!!)
    • Jackson is 9 months old and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used the stroller. Really think about your own life and whether or not you will use it. We haven’t. I prefer to carry Jackson. I think it’s better for me and better for him. That being said there is nothing wrong with a stroller. They can definitely be useful at times #shoppingwhilethebabysleeps
  • Car Seat (find one that fits whatever stroller you pick)
    • I stressed out about picking the right car seat. Especially because all of them claim to be the safest. Am I a terrible parent if I buy the $80 one instead of the $400 one? The honest answer is if it is in a store it is going to be mostly safe. Car seats have to meet certain basic safety standards. If I had to pick one over again, I would pick one that rocks smoothly when you put it on the ground. Mine doesn’t rock well, which makes it hard to calm him down when he is worked up and we are out.
    • This is one of very few items I would NEVER buy used. You have no idea if that used car seat was in a previous car accident and no longer safe. It is also harder to tell if there has been a recall or no longer adheres to new safety standards. Save your money elsewhere and give yourself some peace of mind.
  • Window Shade – because babies don’t wear sunglasses, they take them off and chew on them.
  • Diaper bag – if you aren’t picky most hospitals send you home with a bag that could be used as your diaper bag
  • Baby carrying slings/wrap – if you think you’ll roll that way


  • Crib Mattress (dual sided for baby and toddler)
  • High chair
  • Crib
  • Rocker/Glider/Chair
  • Dresser and/or changing table
  • Bassinet
    • Let me just say that you can definitely drop your tiny 2 day old newborn in their crib. But they will sleep better if you put them in something that can craddle them. We used a Moses basket.


  • 2-3 mattress covers
  • 3-4 fitted crib sheets
  • Baby blankets – You will use these more when they are tiny and in the winter. I liked the muslin blankets because they are so versatile.


  • 2-3 Baby bath towels
    • Really, you don’t need these, you can just use a regular towel. But, I do love my baby towels, only because they are the right size for him and easy to wrap him up.
  • Don’t buy a baby bath tub, just bath them in the sink, then when they are too big in the tub. And they don’t need that many baths anyway.
  • Don’t buy baby wash cloths, you just don’t need them, their skin isn’t going to just fall off if you use a regular wash cloth you already have
  • Baby shampoo/body wash (I like babyganics)
    • I do buy special baby body products because their skin can be sensitive. Plus they smell so good.


  • Humidifier
  • Baby lotion (I like babyganics)
  • baby nail clippers
    • You probably could just get away with regular ones, but the baby ones can be easier to hold.
  • Suction Bulb (just take the one from the hospital)
  • Thermometer
  • diaper cream
  • Pacifiers, or not, you do you.


  • Lanolin (if you are breastfeeding)
  • Pump (if you are breastfeeding) Insurance will pay for this, just call and ask what the process is.
  • Boob cold packs
    • they make special ones that are easy to fit in your bra, but if you already have small gel cold packs, just use those. These really helped me get past that magical 2 week mark.
  • Pads for postpartum
    • I didn’t bleed too heavily after I got home, regular pads would have probably been fine. I fretted a lot over trying to find the best ones for postpartum. If you already have pads at home just use those. I would keep some of the crazy pads they give you at the hospital as a back up just in case.
    • Also, for my next baby, I’ll be using mama cloth instead of disposable pads.
  • Aloe vera gel for padsicles, look it up it’s worth it.
  • Heat pad/ microwavable heat pack
    • for your shoulders, boobs, back, everything.