Minimalist Newborn Baby Essentials (From a Mom of 7)

My checklist of minimalist newborn baby essentials, things I’ve actually needed and used as a mom of 7. Must have items for the first 3 months.

minimalist baby essentials for the first 3 months

When you’re shopping for your first baby or making out a registry for your baby shower, it can be hard to know what you really need. There are so many different types of items, and advertisers like to make you think you won’t be able to raise your baby well without their products.

So what does your newborn baby actually need?

Not as much as you might think. I know when I was expecting my first baby almost 12 years ago, I thought she needed so many more things than she actually did! All of the little outfits she never wore, blankets she never used, toys she didn’t play with…

I don’t really like the word minimalist since it sounds trendy. But I guess I’d fall into that category since I don’t like to hold onto stuff we don’t use. I mean, I don’t think that’s a trendy idea, it just makes sense!

Now that I’ve had 7 babies, I thought I’d share with you what I actually feel are baby essentials for the first 3 months. Over the years I’ve realized we don’t need a lot of things! The baby bathtub, hooded towels, wipes warmer, diaper pail and changing table to name a few.

This checklist might not be for everyone, but I included everything I’m using for my 2 month old. I only linked things I’ve actually used with him. I hope you find it helpful!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Get my full disclosure here.

Why make a minimalist essentials checklist when shopping for your newborn baby:

  • to keep from accumulating too many things you won’t use
  • to save space in your home
  • because it can lead to stress having to figure out what to do with excess gear
  • to be able to put your budget toward quality items that will last
  • some baby items are multipurpose, so you don’t need as many different types of items
  • babies grow so quickly and their needs change. By saving money by not buying things you don’t really need, you can better afford things they will need as they grow.

A few things about this minimalist newborn baby essentials checklist:

  • this list covers baby needs from the newborn stage to 3 months old.
  • every newborn experience is different in ways, and every parenting style is unique.
  • these are things that I am using for my 7th baby. I used more and different things with my first babies, but I left out anything I don’t use anymore.
  • I’ve only linked products I really and truly love using. Things I would recommend or buy again.
  • I’m a big fan of looking for second hand furniture and gear to save money
  • I exclusively breastfeed, so this list doesn’t contain what you would need if you plan to bottle feed. The reason being, I can’t recommend products or supplies I haven’t had experience with.

Minimalist newborn Baby Essentials: Diapering and Bathing


Lets just start with the most obvious one: diapers. Can’t do without them! Now, I just want to say, I cannot imagine doing cloth diapers, so I don’t know what to suggest if you want to go that route. I think its amazing if you do though!

But I can tell you that these are my favorite type of diapers for the first 3 months since they’re the most absorbent and I’ve found my babies mess out of them a lot less than other brands.

After the first 3 months, I switch to Luvs brand since they’re cheaper and work really well as baby gets bigger.


Wipes are one of those things that you can never stock up on too much. They come in handy for so many things, not just diaper changes. Sticky hands, messy faces, spit up on the floor…you name it!

I like to get a subscription to this giant box of wipes so that we always have plenty on hand. They don’t expire (at least I think they don’t) and the big box is the best bang for your buck.

changing pads

You might notice I don’t have a changing table on this list. And that’s because I had one for my first baby and never used it! You quickly find that you’re changing the baby all over the house and its just not always practical to go back to the bedroom for diaper changes.

After my first baby, I bought a pack of these washable changing pads to keep in my diaper bag, in my diaper caddy, dish towel drawer, car…I love them! And I’ve had the same pack for my last 6 kids, so definitely a good buy.

white changing pads for baby

diaper cream

My sister introduced me to this brand of diaper cream for sore bottoms and its literally the best. I’ve never gone back to any other kind since she told me about it all those years ago. Its also great for chapped cheeks or small scrapes your baby might get too.


I used to get this type of baby lotion for years till I started making my own easy and inexpensive homemade version. Either way, a natural lotion is something you’re bound to need for your baby, especially during the winter months when their skin gets dry and peels.

baby wash

When you choose a baby wash, its best to start with one that’s fragrance free since a lot of the time babies can have a reaction to scented soaps and lotions.

If you’re looking for a homemade version, here’s my homemade baby wash recipe.

bath towel

Another thing I don’t think is necessary is a hooded baby bath towel. I just use some of our softest regular bath towels for the baby. I buy a couple brand new ones with each baby and they just end up replacing some of our older towels.


Same thing with washcloths. I just buy a couple of soft washcloths and add them to our towel collection to use for baby. Nothing baby specific or expensive.

first aid/grooming kit

A grooming kit that comes with a thermometer, nasal aspirator, nail clippers and brush is something that your baby will definitely need. This one has all of those things in it and doesn’t have too many extra things you won’t use.

Minimalist newborn Baby Essentials: Clothing


I like to buy a pack of 5-7 plain white onesies to go under sleepers, especially in the colder months, to keep the baby warmer.


My babies live in footie sleepers for several reasons:

  • they’re much comfier for the baby than “outfits”
  • I don’t have to worry about keeping socks on
  • no need to change into PJs at night

I’ve found the best sleepers at GAP, Carters, Kate Quinn Organics and Target.

a seafoam green footie baby sleeper


Hats don’t really get dirty, so I just bought this two pack of hats that match everything. For my winter baby, I also bought a wool hat that covered his ears for going out.


Having a neutral colored sweater that matches all of my babies’ sleepers, keeps him warmer when we go out and it also works for boys or girls.

For more wardrobe tips for babies, here’s my post on minimalist newborn clothing necessities

Minimalist newborn Baby Essentials: Gear

car seat

I’ve had this car seat brand for every one of my 7 babies! I love it. It holds up really well.


And this is the stroller that goes with the car seat. I honestly don’t have this stroller anymore because I always have two kids to push. I found a city mini brand double stroller on Craigslist 8 years ago, and that’s what I have in the back of my van for long outings. My favorite thing about it is that it fits through single doorways even though its a side by side!


A swing is basically the only entertainment type baby gear you need for the first 3 months. No need for a bouncer or play gym if you get a swing with toys and a mobile attached to it.

a baby swing with tows on it

baby carrier

And that brings me to my next essential baby item: a wrap carrier. Having toddlers who like to touch their baby sibling a bit too much, I don’t actually use the swing much anymore.

Instead, I cannot get by without a stretchy wrap to carry the baby around the house so that I can get things done while still snuggling my baby.

diaper bag

I’ve had several diaper bags through the years, but my favorite is a backpack diaper bag that matches everything. I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile now, but for now, my inexpensive faux leather one from Target works just fine.

a camel leather diaper bag backpack

baby lounger

Having something that cradles baby in their sleep is so helpful! I’ve been wanting a baby lounger because I’ve heard great things! For the last few babies I’ve used a Fisher Price rock n play for the same purpose, but they don’t make them anymore so I can’t link one for you.

boppy pillow

I’ve had a boppy pillow for every one of my babies and its something I can’t do without. Not only is it a great support for nursing. But its helpful for setting the baby in so that they’re upright, and for support when brothers and sisters want to hold their little sibling.

Minimalist Baby Essentials: Furniture

crib and mattress

If you’re really wanting to keep baby buys to a minimum, I would skip getting a co-sleeper or bassinet and just go with a quality crib and mattress that will last our baby until they transition to a big boy/girl bed.

This is just my two cents, but babies grow so quickly, so a bassinet or co-sleeper would be used for a really short amount of time and wouldn’t be worth it to me. But definitely go with what feels best for you and your baby!

I found my crib and mattress in excellent condition on Facebook Marketplace for about $50.

rocking chair

Another piece of furniture that you will get a lot of use out of is a comfortable rocking chair or glider. Some nights I’ve spent more time in the rocking chair than in bed! Its a good idea to go to a store where you can actually try out different types of rocking chairs to see what feels most comfortable.

I’m taller so its really important to me that the headrest hits at the right spot on my neck. Actually, I’m still on the hunt for my dream rocking chair after 7 kids! My second hand glider is working fine for now.

a couple of bins or totes

A dresser isn’t on this list because for the first 3 months you definitely don’t need a whole lot of storage for your baby.

I keep all of Nicholas’s clothes and blankets in one wire storage bin set next to his crib.

I also think its a really good thing to have another lidded storage bin for all of your baby’s keepsakes, cards, and important papers from birth. As your baby grows up, you can add other little memorabilia for him to look at when he’s bigger. Each of my kids has their own “special box”.

have you read my post about the way we store and organize our kids’ clothes?

Minimalist newborn Baby Essentials: Bedding

crib sheets

Whether you decide to go with a full sized crib, bassinet, mini crib or co-sleeper, you’ll need to get 2-3 sheets. I like these crib sheets from Amazon the best out of any I’ve tried.

waterproof waterproof pads

You’ll also need to get 2-3 waterproof pads to go underneath the sheets to protect the mattress and make it more comfortable for baby. Here’s the mattress pad I have for Nicholas.

heavier blanket

I like to have one heavier blanket to lay over the baby’s lap in the car seat, and in his swing.

a mustard yellow knit blanket for baby

swaddle blankets

Whether you plan to swaddle your newborn baby or not, its a good idea to have 3-4 light blankets. For a minimalist baby essentials checklist, these blankets can be multi-purpose. They work as burp cloths on your shoulder, nursing blankets if you want more privacy during feedings, and for covering the car seat when you’re out and about.

I love these Solly baby swaddles so much! They’re huge, light, not too stretchy and come in so many beautiful colors.

Minimalist newborn Baby Essentials: For Nursing/Feeding

I just want to say, I don’t have much experience with bottle feeding, so I’m going to share more of what I feel are essential items to have if you plan to breastfeed.

nursing pads

After trying fabric nursing pads and the disposable kind, I’m a big fan of these nursing pads. Personally I don’t like the reusable ones since I’ve dealt with thrush with 3 of my babies and knowing I don’t have to sterilize nursing pads between uses is just one less thing to have to worry about.

There are a lot of options for quality reusable pads though, if you plan to go that route!

nipple cream

Nursing can be uncomfortable and down right painful in the beginning, so having some nipple cream on hand before hand is a good idea.

breast pump

Even if you plan to breast feed exclusively, you might need to pump occasionally in the beginning when your milk supply first comes in to help with engorgement.

Recently, I discovered this neat little handheld pump. I love that its only one piece of plastic so that its easy to clean between uses! I had a different kind with my other babies and let me tell you, its a pain to clean all those little parts over and over.


I like to have a couple little bottles on hand “just in case” because I’ve had to use them every once in awhile when my baby was having trouble latching or I had to go to a longer dental appointment or something.

bottle brush

For cleaning bottles. You might already have one for washing cups and glasses. Just a handy thing to have.

breastmilk storage bags

Like I said before, even if you plan to exclusively breastfeed, you never know how it will go. I’ve had to pump and store breastmilk with several of my babies, and its nice to know I have these breastmilk storage bags for when I need them.

healthy, easy snacks

When you’re nursing and caring for a newborn, it can be hard to find time to eat healthy. I like to have a box of these protein bars in my pantry for long nights, or outings. Keep a couple in your diaper bag for “emergencies”.

The Whole Checklist of Minimalist newborn Baby Essentials:

minimalist baby essentials for the first 3 months

That’s it for my minimalist newborn essentials!

If you’re researching for your first baby, congratulations! Having a new baby is the most wonderful thing in the whole world! Enjoy every minute of it!

And if you’re not a new mom, I hope this list gave you some new ideas of ways to get by with less for your babies!

And if you enjoyed this post, pin it for later or share it with a friend!

More Minimalist Posts You Might Enjoy:

If you found this minimalist newborn baby essentials checklist helpful, I think you might enjoy these other posts on the blog!

I hope you found this post helpful in making out your baby essentials checklist. Would you add anything to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

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