12 Essential Newborn Items – Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Blog

12 Essential Newborn Items – Pittsburgh Newborn Photographer Blog

12 Essential Newborn Items

Over the years I realized that for a simpler lifestyle it is helpful to keep our positions simple too! It’s not always easy trying to keep our positions to minimum, but I try to be intensional on what we bring into our home. Below I have included the 12 essentials we needed for our three children from when they first came home from the hospital and through at least the first year. I should mention that at the hospital we were given basic newborn items that we also needed, such as a thermometer, nail cutter, and bathtub.

1. Baby Carrier

There are different camps when it comes to transporting babies. I always enjoyed keeping them close in baby carriers. My favorite is Ergo. I find it so simple to have my newborn with me. I used this item basically every day I went out with one of my babies. This varied from the Zoo, local library, or even just the grocery store! I found the Ergo baby carrier to be a life saver, preventing back pain from carrying around a little one all day. My husband would put it on from time to time and I think he loved carrying around our babies as much as I did when we traveled together. 

2. Umbrella Stroller

As far as I know, umbrella strollers are for babies 6 months old and older. We found them to be so much easier for traveling around. We used several strollers over the years but couldn’t live without our Chico umbrella stroller. This stroller has lasted through our three children for 14 years of regular use by our family! It is the one item that has lasted through all of my children. It has been the perfect stroller for us, traveling everywhere we go from around Pittsburgh to the beach and even throughout Europe. I definitely recommend this for your family too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if your family falls in love with it as much as my family has!

3. Swaddle Blankets

Swaddle blankets are multi purpose! I love how useful swaddle blankets can be, and how easily they will become a large part of you and your newborn’s lifestyle. One example would be as a burp cloth. They are always such a blessing to have on hand to clean up spills and spit ups. With their generous size, swaddle blankets are perfect for a tummy time blanket. These blankets are large enough to accommodate your newborn’s exploratory rolls and are also soft enough so as not to irritate their young skin. I also used my swaddle blanket as a nursing cover, carrier cover, and stroller cover. Due to the open weave, the blanket protects against overheating! 

4. White Noise Machine

My favorite is the Baby Shusher. Now this ingenious invention is a must-have! I have used this on countless occasions, and it has proved to work wonderfully! I have even used this during my newborn studio and lifestyle sessions to help lure a newborn baby to sleep.

5. Diaper Cream

Our pediatrician recommended bag balm to prevent and heal diaper rash for our newborn in 2007. We bought it from the pharmacy at Target. This product has prevented and healed an innumerable amount of rashes on our children. It is a natural remedy that soothes and cures, and I 100% recommend to all young families to include in their lifestyle.

6. Moses Basket

We sold our first Moses Basket after our first two children outgrew it. Once we had our third baby we decided to buy a Moses basket with a stand from Pottery Barn Kids. I found it so useful to have a moveable bed for our newborn babies. We could even take them outside with us on nice days. I often used it as a changing table. I enjoy buying quality, multi-purpose items that can last a family a lifetime! Our second Moses basket is still in our house, but now it’s in the studio to provide a safe place for babies to rest when not being photographed.

7. Stokke Highchair

I really like the beautiful simple design of these wooden highchairs. We also loved having our babies sit with us at our table. I believe that it is important to include your children in family activities from an early stage so that the relationship between you and your child begins at day 1. This German designed highchair will last for decades. If you have the space, it could become a heirloom item.

8. Silicone Bibs

I found them so easy to rinse and dry! This item is sure to save a lot of your precious time, and will prove to be hassle-free. A quick rinse in the sink, and the bib looks as good as new. 

9. Leather Slippers

All three of our kids always wiggled off their socks and shoes! However, their Robeez always stayed on! To this day, I am impressed by how well-made and wiggle-proof these little shoes are. These slippers lasted through several of our children. I wish I had bought more gender neutral ones earlier.

10. Medela Pump and Lansinoh (if nursing)

Our insurance paid for one with our third baby.

11. Simple Notebook or Calendar

I love looking back at all the little and big memories, and even comparing the times of milestones between my children. I recommend documenting all those cute and little moments, even if you swear that you will always remember your newborn’s actions! My mom recored memories of her newborn babies on a simple calendar when my brother and I were young. Once I had my own children, I thought I needed a beautiful baby book to record all of my newborn baby memories. Unfortunately, I was often too tired to think about writing in it. I wish I had just jotted down everything interested in my moleskin daily calendar that record all of our daily activities in!

12. Newborn diapers and wipes.

I guess no list is complete without the absolute newborn essentials! Many of my friends were able to successfully use cloth diapers but I was never able to succeed with them, although I was glad I gave them a try! I found cloth diapers difficult because we were always on the move going to playgroups, library story times, and Bible Studies.

I’m curious what you would add to this list of essentials. Please comment what items you’d add to the list in the comments below.


Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.