Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
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Baby registry newborn essentials - for the first 4 weeks! (Most of which I didn't realize I'd need!)

Otto is 4 weeks old this week! Seeing as I now have alllll this baby-raising experience (kidding, I'm still a newbie, though at least it's fresh), I wanted to share the items that have been most valuable for us so far. I read a ton of registry guides when I was pregnant (read about our registry experience here) but honestly, the most important stuff is the stuff you need right away--not the high chairs, baby books, sippy cups, etc.

So here is my list of newborn essentials to add to your baby registry--stuff you will really need for the first month! Most of these are WAY more important than I had expected!

I also threw in some tips on some unexpected items or varieties... like why I suggest these blankets instead of muslin swaddle blankets right now.

And one common theme/lesson I learned is you really need two of a lot of things. I'm kind of a minimalist (or just frugal) so I only put one nursing pillow cover, for example, on my registry. Nope, the baby will get poop, pee, and spit up on that. Even if you do laundry every day, you'll want a back-up! And other things, too--you'll see where I suggested you get multiples of something because you'll use it so much!

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Newborn Baby Registry Essentials - For the First Four Weeks

  1. Changing pad. Duh, I knew I'd need one of these, but I thought it'd be sort of optional. I babysat a lot and always changed babies on the floor on a changing pad liner thing. Nope, we use our changing pad on this DIY/makeshift changing table every single time! I like this one since it's waterproof, lightweight, and can be screwed down to the back of the dresser. 
  2. TWO changing pad covers. What was I thinking, only getting one??! I got this white one but suggest also getting something like this black/white set or same in grey/white.
  3. Changing pad liners (probably two sets of these!). We use these everywhere--on top of the changing pad/cover, folded in half to line the seat part of the Rock n Play, laid flat on top of the bassinet mattress... because there are often leaks overnight or during long naps. They are also great to bring in the diaper bag just in case!
  4. Newborn size diapers. I know this is obvious, but we actually didn't buy ANY size N diapers before Otto was born--we had a bunch of size 1 which say they fit 8-14 lbs, but the hospital gave us a pack of Newborn ones and they are so much better on our little guy right now. We also didn't realize how fast we would go through them!! They tell you newborns have 6 or 7 wet diapers a day... we use at least 10 diapers per day. He poops all the time. Change him, feed, him, he poops. Repeat. These are all natural/for sensitive skin and have a cute animal print, and are a great deal at like $0.30/diaper--and you will DEF use all 144 before baby outgrows them!!
  5. My Brest Friend nursing pillow. You can buy it in lots of prints, or the organic cotton solid color. I did research on which brand of nursing pillow was best and heard a variety of opinions, and some people don't use them at all. I was planning on going minimal and not using one but a friend gave me her old one. Thank goodness because this thing is amazing. The lactation consultants at the hospital use/teach on the My Brest Friend brand for good reason. It's versatile and I can lift baby up slightly with it or put pillows under it, plus it clips on so I can wear it like a tutu if I have to get up and get something before feeding him. Also--big plus--Otto often falls asleep nursing in the living room so I can (very carefully) use it like a tray and carry him without moving him into the bedroom, then transfer him quickly to his nap spot. Lifesaver.
  6. TWO nursing pillow covers. This one comes in a few non-offensive colors, and of course my favorite, grey. You can also buy just the organic cover like I did.
  7. Burp cloths. I researched and found everyone says plain prefold diapers are the best for this. Here's the 10-pack that we have--and sometimes we've used all of them before doing laundry! We actually don't use them for burp cloths as much as any spill-wipers or liners when we run out of changing pad liners, or on top of the nursing pilllow. So versatile and useful.
  8. Small blankets. The big muslin swaddle blankets that come in a million adorable prints are cute, but we've found they are too big and loose for a newborn baby. We still use them for some things, but for blankets (like over his legs when breastfeeding or going somewhere in the car seat) we use these little knit ones.
  9. Diaper bag. A lot of people don't use them, or go the cute/unisex diaper backpack route, but man, I have loved this diaper bag this past month!! I love being able to see everything when I open it (i.e. no deep digging), and it has plenty of pockets and compartments plus the main central area which holds everything in place. Also it's pretty darn stylish.
  10. Wrap. This simple thing is amazing. Besides feeding him, wearing him while I walk around in this is my magic trick to getting him to go to sleep. (We still have some sleep stuff to work out but when they're this tiny, you just have to help them get to sleep a lot of the time!) I follow this tutorial for the newborn hold.
  11. Bra/cami tank tops. Like 4-6 of them. I live in these. (Black/white, or colors.) I have some nursing bras, too, for when I go out, which is only... once per week? :P So I just wear bra tank tops around the house and pull a strap down for breastfeeding. (They do make breastfeeding versions of these tanks with clips at the straps, but I find it's so easy to just pull a strap or two down and wear as a partial tube top, plus then you can wear them before and after baby, too.)
  12. Rock n Play. I would never have thought to get one of these but a friend gave me her old one and it has been a LIFESAVER! We're still working out Otto's sleep situation but he sleeps and naps in this so much better than in his bassinet. (There are warnings against using these as baby's only sleep apparatus, but also parents who swear by them as the only way they got any sleep the first few months--so I am not advocating either, just sharing what has worked for us.) Even if you don't use it for sleep, it's great as a safe place to set baby when you're cooking, folding laundry, washing your hands after a diaper change, whatever. We have the plain one that just vibrates ($50!) but I recommend spending just a little more and getting the one that rocks on its own.
  13. Simple sound machine. I got one of these not really knowing why/when/how to use it, but have since spent hours and hours reading books and websites about baby sleep (usually while feeding a fussy baby at 2am) and they all say white noise is so helpful for newborns to get to sleep. The womb is as loud as a vacuum cleaner, apparently, so they're comforted by shhhhhing and whooshing. This little white noise thing clips on to the bassinet or Rock n Play, is super easy to use, and is less than $10. No need to buy anything fancier, in my book.
  14. Pacifiers. (Get two of these 2-packs.) They say not to introduce pacis until the breastfeeding relationship is well-established, but our lactation consultant suggested we try adding them on day 4 or 5, and recommended this one since it's a more accurate nipple shape than others. We've found it's really useful in calming Otto when he's fussy but just ate for a long time. He sometimes falls asleep with it in his mouth, which is okay since pacifier use is linked to a reduction in SIDS (I heard that's cause it keeps them from sleeping as deeply, same as sleeping on the back).
  15. Swaddles--various kinds, but actual swaddle technology, not just swaddle blankets. The swaddles we have been using on him the most are the Swaddle Me velcro ones (they come in a million prints) and...
  16. the zipper pea pod ones for warmer days. (He has been sleeping longer when really securely swaddled with a blanket underneath to secure his arms - we've tried this technique and it's helped him stay asleep longer!)

Please pin this for later and/or share with a friend who's expecting! I wish I'd read this before building our registry and bringing our little guy home!

You can also shop these items and some variations here:

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