In just 20 months time, Brett and I went from zero children to THREE. When we found out we were pregnant with twins in December of 2014 we knew we had our work cut out for us…but we had no clue how much we were about to learn. As I researched and began preparing for my twins arrival, I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by the shear volume of baby products available…and the all the options?! I was beyond lost.
One day (somewhere around 4 months preggo) I wobbled aimlessly into a Babies R’ Us. As I wondered up and down each isle, the anxiety sank deeper- I began feeling like the new kid at school. How could I know so little about being a new mom? Shouldn’t it come natural? And how was there this massive store dedicated to such a tiny human being? Would my babies really need all of these *things*!? So somewhere between the baby bottles and Boppy Pillows I decided- YES. If they made all of this, then I must need it. I loved those two little babies in my belly so much that I would get them anything and everything. So I spent the next several weeks picking out everything everyone said I needed. I read reviews, asked friends, and pinned every list from Pinterest, my registry was packed with every baby gadget you could imagine…TIMES TWO.
Then, at just 27.5 weeks pregnant the unthinkable happened. I went into labor and gave birth to our twins at 28 weeks. Everything I thought I had prepared for flew right out the window as we were faced with a brand new reality. Thankfully, by the grace of God, our happy & healthy twins, Grant & Hayden, came home three months later. This was when the real fun began, and I learned that I was SO wrong about everything I thought I knew. Our twins were followed by a variety of therapists who all confirmed my findings. All of the gadgets & equipment I had purchased were actually hindering the twins’ natural ability to learn and grow. Swings, rockers and Mamaroos were placeholders, replacing imperative tummy time and precious face time with mom & dad. They simply didn’t need them!
Fast forward to April, 2016, when I learned I was pregnant with baby #3! This meant that when he was born, we would have THREE children under the age of TWO. A shocking realty for the new mom who wondered aimlessly around Babies R’ Us just 15 months ago…but I was a changed woman. I was now beyond confident with the knowledge I’d gained over past year as a mom of premature twins. Sure, I was nervous about having three under two, but I knew it how UNCOMPLICATED having a new baby really could be. It may sound silly, because having children is the single most beautifully profound thing a person/couple can do, but babies really require much less than us, as consumers, are made to believe. So when Harrison Grey was born in January, 2017, this time I was prepared with everything I really needed, and NOTHING I didn’t.
The [UNComplicated] Minimal New Baby Checklist + Recommendations
I developed this list following the birth of my third baby. After a good amount of trial and error and LOTS of wasted money on useless baby products, I’ve found that this minimal new baby checklist contains all of the basics needed to prepare for a new baby’s birth. I should clarify that this is based on my personal experience and opinion, and there will of course be additional purchases made after a baby is born; especially on diapers and clothing if you have a quick grower! Having said that, if you, as a new mom, are prepared with these simple things before your baby is born–you will have everything you need.
Now for the baby checklist breakdown… I’ve included my own personal baby product recommendations and favorites! Note: I do not receive commissions on any of the links below, my opinions and recommendations are based on my own personal experience only.
- Onesies: 8-10
The single most important article of clothing your baby will own. Depending on the season you’ll have to choose between long and short sleeve onesies (or both), and your baby will LIVE in these. Carter’s has endless basic onesie options, and you really can’t go wrong.
- Sleep + Plays (with zipper): 5
The second most important article of clothing your baby will own. Babies are truly no-frill, and these practical one piece outfits are great for exactly what they say, sleeping and playing! You can find these everywhere, but Carter’s also has a great selection. They’re available with buttons and zippers, my advice-*get zippers whenever you can*! You’ll thank yourself at 3am when you’re changing your third blowout of the day.
- Seasonal Outfits: 3-4
These are more for mom than baby 😉 Start out with 3-4 cute tops and pants/shorts (depending on the season) to match. You can add more as baby grows and you begin to get a sense of their individual style (yes, that really happens!). We like to shop handmade for the most unique baby items, Etsy has the best options; and of course we’re partial to our own line of handmade baby harem pants & shorts 😉
- Socks: 5-10
Regardless of the season, baby will need socks. Start with 5-10 pair, and add more as you lose them (trust me, you will- infant socks are literally microscopic) and as baby grows.
- Beanie Hat: 2
Beanie hats are another must for new babies. Babies lose most of their heat from their heads, and they use a bit more energy to heat up than we do. H + G Co. offers these adorable handmade top knot beanie hats!
- Sleep Sack: 2
Babies can’t sleep with blankets and other items in their cribs, so the best things to use for warmth are sleep sacks. You’ll want to start with swaddle style sleep sacks. Most swaddle sleep sacks have the option of wrapping babies arms inside, or leaving them out. You won’t know what your baby prefers until she arrives. We love these Halo sleep swaddle sacks from Pottery Barn
- Diapers: 1 large box, size 1
Newborn size diaper are NOT necessary. Their per diaper price is actually higher than the size one diapers and most babies will only fit in them for a couple weeks, so moms often end up not even using half of the packages. If you start with size one diapers, they might be a bit roomier, but they will offer more protection against those notorious newborn poops, and you can always fold down the tops so they don’t ride up to high on babies belly. This will also enable you to save money by buying a large box of size ones to start with, since baby will wear them longer! I always used Pampers with the twins, and then by baby number three I’d had enough of the Pampers prices and switched to LUVS. Honest Co. also makes adorable printed diapers, and I love their quality, but they are of course a bit pricier.
- Wipes: 1 large box
Not much to say here, wipes are a baby necessity. I have tried many different types and I have a strong preference for Pampers sensitive wipes.
- Bath Tub Seat: 1
There’s really no need for a fancy baby bathtub. We tried several with the twins and found them to be bulky and difficult to work around. My favorite baby bath seat is the Baby Bather by Summer Infant. Since its mesh, its very lightweight and easy to clean. As baby grows and is able to sit, you can grab one of these to make your life easier!
- Diaper Rash Cream: 1 large
Almost every baby has had a diaper rash at one time. Pick up Boudreaux’s Diaper Rash Paste, available pretty much everywhere.
- Shampoo/Body Wash: 1
You’ll need a good shampoo/body wash combo for bath time. Grab something organic with simple ingredients, I always like California Baby.
- Baby lotion/Coconut Oil: 1
If your baby has dry skin like all of mine did, you’ll want to have a natural baby lotion or oil on hand. I always use organic coconut oil on my children, and absolutely love the results!
- Bulb Syringe: 1
These have been around since the dawn of time. Almost all hospitals will give you a bulb syringe to take home with your new baby. Take it, and maybe grab an extra before hand in case your hospital doesn’t send you home with one.
- Nail Clippers: 1
I wish my nails grew as fast as baby nails! They grow faster than a buttered bullet.
- Soft Hair Brush: 1
Baby hair is so soft and fine, so you’ll want to grab a super soft bristle baby brush.
- Crib: 1
Seriously you guys, there’s no need for those fancy, expensive furniture store cribs. Baby will probably use is no longer than 2 years, and it will likely be chewed on (yes, that happens) and destroyed by the end of its run anyway. Grab a crib for under $250, there are plenty of beautiful options available. For the twins we chose the Jenny Lind cribs in white and when Harrison was born we picked up an adorable navy blue crib for less than $200. Read about Harrison’s minimal baby nursery here. You’ll also need to decide if you’ll be co-sleeping, having baby sleep next to you in your room, or moving them straight into their crib when they’re born. Depending on what you choose, you may need to grab a simple bassinet for your bedside.
- Crib Mattress: 1
We went with a middle of the road crib mattresses. Usually, a good crib mattress will cost around 80-$100.
- Crib Flat Sheets: 2
Grab a couple flat sheets for your crib, and that really all you need. No, you don’t need crib bedding and bumpers. Crib bumpers are unsafe and extra blankets are not recommended as they are a suffocation hazard.
- Swaddle Blanket: 3
This swaddle blankets are great for everything. You’ll want to have few to wrap baby in throughout the day. My favorite swaddle blankets are by Aden and Anais
- Stroller Blanket: 1
This is a heavier weight blanket used for walks or chilly days. This blanket might become one that baby ends up attached to, so pick something cute and well made. I made stroller blankets for my children, but there are tons of adorable options on Etsy.
- Rocking Chair: 1
You will use your nursery rocking chair A LOT. So grab something comfy that you enjoy being in. For the twins, we chose the Harborside chair from Crate and Barrel, and I love it so much that I’m going to move it into our master bedroom when they’re done with it!
- Baby Monitor: 1
For the twins, we bought standard video baby monitors, but the battery died constantly and we always had to have them within a certain range to see the kids. So we grew tired of it and bought a Nest Cam- it was the best decision EVER. We can now see the twins on our phones from anywhere, so we can check on them when we have sitter, and while we sleep we just keep the app open on our phones. The best part about using a Nest Cam as a baby monitor is that you’ll still have a use for the Nest Cam even after the children no longer need it-simply set it up in your home or at your front door to monitor activity!
- Infant Carseat + Seat Mirror: 1
My advice is to always start with an infant seat. Yes, you’ll have to upgrade to a convertible later but its worth it. Babies almost always fall asleep on car rides, especially those younger than 6 months, so you’ll thank yourself for getting the infant seat when you can simply lift out the car seat and bring it wherever you’re going, convertible car seats can not be removed. Also, think shopping trips, walks, etc.-trust me, you’ll want the baby in the car seat more often than not. We choose Graco Snug Rides for all 3 of our children, they’re super light weight and versatile as they work well with most car seat adaptable strollers. You’ll also want to grab a mirror for the back of your car seat since baby will be facing backwards.
- Car Seat Adaptable Stroller: 1
Okay, there are SO many stroller options out there, and I was beyond confused when I had to select an option for my twins…I literally spent months researching every single stroller option available and finally decided that the best stroller option was the Baby Jogger City Select. I chose it because it was super simple to transport, could hold two car seats, and had the versatility to grow from one child to two, and little did I know, we’d soon figure out how to turn our Baby Jogger City Select into the best triple stroller! Bottom line, if you plan on having more than one child, get the City Select-I promise you won’t regret it.
- Sling Carrier: 1
A great baby carrier is essential. There are so many options available, so find one that feels comfortable for you. It will enable you to remain productive when baby wants to be held, and its a great way to connect to your new little bundle. I tried several different options and found that the Baby Bjorn was most comfortable for me.
- Rock n’ Play: 1
As I said above, I’m not an advocate for lots of baby equipment but if you’re going to own anything it should be this. New babies are used to being warm, cozy and held tightly inside their momma’s bellies (which is why they love being swaddled), and the Rock n’ Play holds baby in a cozy, upright position that almost always calms them. All three of my kids loved their Rock n’ Plays, and our twins both had acid reflux so they even slept in theirs at night (recommended by our pediatrician due to the upright positioning). I highly recommend purchasing the model that rocks itself, you’ll be glad you did!
* Most moms will purchase a diaper bag for their first baby, as i did for the twins….but I actually found it easier to carry a large tote purse and keep my baby items in there. Carrying two large bags around became a bit unnecessary and cumbersome.
- Breast Pump: 1
Since my twins were born 3 months premature I had to start by pumping (since they were too little to latch on) so I first used a rented hospital grade pump (which was amazing) but when they came home I switched to the Medela Pump in Style. I was moderatly satisfied with the Medela pump, but it didn’t extract nearly as much milk as the hospital grade pump I was used to. So when Harrison was born, I switched to the Spectra S2 Breast Pump and found it to be comparable to the hospital grade pump I used with the twins! It’s inexpensive, and I highly recommend it. Ps. Check with your insurance company, they may cover the entire purchase!
- Breast Milk Freezer Bags: 1
Once you start pumping a good amount of milk, you’ll want to store it, so grab these!
- Breast Feeding Bra: 3
As a breastfeeding momma, you’ll want to have a comfy breast feeding bra for easy access day & night. I always used soft cotton sports bras made specifically for breast feeding.
- Formula: 1 package
Of course, you won’t need this is you’re exclusively breast feeding. If you’re not breastfeeding, you’ll want to select a formula and have it on hand before baby arrives. Once my babies stopped breastfeeding, we chose Enfamil Infant formula, its a great simple start and you can always switch it up if you need to later.
- Bibs: 4
You have a baby. You need bibs. I highly recommend bandanna style bibs, as they hug baby’s chunky curves, and look adorable! We used H + G Co. bibdannas for our kids.
- Burp Cloths: 4
Again, just something you have to have. You can grab these anywhere. No need to get anything fancy as you’re literally using them as rags…
- Boppy Pillow: 1
These are amazing for breastfeeding, but even better for propping baby up when are aren’t able to hold them, and even for a bit of add support on tummy time. I love this Boppy from PB Kids.
- Baby Bottles: 1 complete set
Whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed, chances are that you will need bottles at some point. Most doctors recommend that breastfed babies be exclusively breastfed for at least the first few weeks so not to develop nipple confusion, but this is up to you. For Harrison, we waited 3 weeks before introducing the breast milk by bottle, he did perfectly fine with the transition. Our favorite bottles are the Phillips Avent Natural Bottles (this set includes the bottle brush too, which you will need if you don’t have one!). They are super easy to clean and are compatible with the Spectra breast pump, which is KEY. For the twins, we used Doctor Brown and didn’t care for them, as there were several parts which made cleaning a nightmare!
Toys & Books:
- Board Books: 10
Grab a few of your favorite hard board books to read with baby. One on one time and simple conversation with baby is SO important, and reading is a wonderful way to connect. I recommend hard board books so that the pages don’t get destroyed when baby starts reaching and grabbing at things 😉
- Rattles: 3-5
Most babies love simple plush rattles, so pick out a few of your faves. Bonus, find some that make the crinkly paper sound, most babies go nuts over it!
- Teething Toys: 3-5
You really won’t need these for a few months, but its fun to grab a few fun options before baby arrives. Sophie the Giraffe is a crowd favorite!
- Pacifier: 2-3
This is completely optional, but you may want to grab a few before baby arrives just in case. Some babies never have a need for one, and some find them very soothing. I will say that both of my twins loved the Wubanub Pacifiers, yet had no problem letting go of them around 10 months old (I recommend breaking the pacifier habit before a year as it only gets tougher). Harrison on the other hand, never-ever accepted a pacifier. We tried them to help sooth him to sleep but he’s always rejected them.
I hope you’ve found my minimal new baby checklist + recommendations helpful! I know I would have given just about anything to have this when I was new mom. Please don’t hesitate to comment with you’re own new baby suggestions and questions, we love to hear from you!