5 Must Have Newborn Items + All The Things You Don't Need

OK, so clearly there are going to be more than 5 items on your newborn shopping list! There are all the obvious items like a car seat, cot and/or bassinet, pram and/or carrier, bottles if you plan to pump or formula feed…. for such little people, babies sure seem to accumulate a lot in a short space of time!

However, these top 5 things on my must-have newborn items are things that you may be tempted to replace with fancier, more complicated purchases.

I often see parents-to-be who are overwhelmed with the amount of ‘stuff’ that they think they need to buy and that more expensive always equals better. Just search must-have newborn items and you’ll see endless recommendations that will likely leave you more confused than before you started.

New parents are a marketer’s dream, which is why there are literally 100’s of new products on the market each year for babies and parents. Some of these items really are fantastic and I’m sure they make life a lot easier for some mums and dads. But I think it’s important to remember that when it comes to newborns, simple really is best and you don’t need to feel pressure to buy into the hype for the latest gadget.

Newborn babies don’t need much in the way of material goods. They don’t care if you’ve got the fanciest pram on the block or the high-tech baby rocker with 436 sound effects. They don’t need all the on-trend baby clothes that you see plastered all over Instagram and they certainly don’t care if you’ve got a designer nappy bag! They want to feel safe, secure, fed and loved. Yes, they can be needy little beings but not in a way that can be solved with more ‘stuff’.

When it comes to making purchases for your newborn bubba just think high quality, safe and simple.

Here are my top 5 must-have newborn items – the newborn essentials:

Oversize, quality muslin wraps

There are so many wraps on the market these days. They come in different sizes, shapes, fabrics, thicknesses… it’s endless! One of my top recommendations for all new parents is to stock up on oversized, high-quality muslin wraps.

What you’re looking for here is a nice big, square wrap that’s at least 120cm wide. You don’t want to skimp on a smaller wrap because it just won’t do the job as well.

A great wrap is essential for swaddling bub properly (there’s an awesome video in our Ultimate Online Birth Course that shows you how to do this). If done well, bub will feel safe, secure and will be more likely to settle quickly and for longer.

It’s worth investing in a few great quality wraps before baby arrives, you’ll soon see why it’s best to have multiple on-hand!

There are plenty on the market so shop around, but I love the great range and quality of wraps available from Snuggle Hunny Kids.

Old-fashion cloth baby nappies

Not necessarily for the reasons you’re thinking! Although, if you do decide to opt for cloth nappies over disposable ones, there are plenty of user-friendly (i.e. less likely to leak) options on the market these days. Some parents swear by them!

However, in this instance, I’m recommending a good old-fashioned cloth nappy as the must-have bath item. Curious? We have a bath demo that explains exactly how to use a cloth nappy for calmer, easier baths. It’s my never-fail trick and so many Birth Beat Mummas and Daddas swear by it! The pop-up for our free video mini-course will likely show up while you’re reading this… well worth a watch if you want to learn my secret for crying-free bath times.

Cloth nappies also make great burping cloths. They’re a perfect size and trust me, you’ll end up with one draped over your shoulder after every feed, so stock up from the start!

Olive Oil

Another bath time essential for fuss-free bath times. Again, the marketers have set to work when it comes to bath products for babies, making parents feel like they need to purchase their superior baby wash for the softest, smoothest baby skin.

Well, baby skin is already super soft and smooth and the best thing you can do to keep it that way is minimise the use of anything with fragrance and artificial ingredients. Newborn babies don’t really get dirty – OK perhaps their bottom half! But when it comes to bathing them, you don’t need a harsh soap or anything that foams up.

Pure, organic olive oil is the perfect addition to a newborn bath and is all you need to gently cleanse their delicate skin. It’s also naturally moisturising so it won’t strip their skin’s natural protective barrier. Just a few drops in your baby bath or laundry sink is all you need. Simple yet effective.

Onesies with a zip

You’ll thank me for this one when you’re trying to get your squirming little one into a clean outfit after a 2.30am feed! Bleary eyed and sleep deprived (or simply trying to get the job done with a minimum of fuss wherever you are), the last thing you’ll want to be doing is fiddling with button-up clips.

Onsies are great for newborns because they are all-in-one which makes change time as quick and easy as possible. Onesies with zips are even better. If you’ve never dressed a newborn before just take my word on this one… you’ll be amazed at how many times you can button up a onesie unevenly!

There are plenty on the market depending on your preference. A classic Bonds Wondersuit is always a winner and they have a great selection of colours and prints. In those first few weeks, ease, comfort and practicality will win-out over the Insta-worthy ensembles every time. Not to mention they’ll grow out of them so quickly! Stock up on plenty of onesies and be prepared to go through several a day.


This must-have feels super obvious, but I’ll say it anyway. Once you’ve had a baby, you’re going to want wipes everywhere! In the car, bathroom, bedroom, in the nappy bag, kitchen….you’ll find yourself using them for years to come I promise #speakingfromexperience

Whether it’s wiping bottoms, snotty noses or grubby hands when they start eating solids, baby wipes are a must-have.

Again, like most baby products there are plenty of options on the market so do your research to see which ones are best for you, your bub and your budget.

I can’t recommend Water Wipes highly enough though. They really are the purest, most gentle wipes on the market containing only water and a tiny bit of fruit extract. There aren’t any harsh preservatives or artificial colours, so there’s nothing to irritate baby’s delicate skin.

You’ll be using them from day one, so stock up on a few packs and keep at least one pack at the change station and an extra on in your nappy bag when you’re out and about.

That’s it! Simple yet effective baby products without all the bells and whistles that you’ll use. When it comes to buying baby products, don’t mistake novelty factor, newness or gadgetry for quality. Minimise the pressure on yourself as a new parent by feeling the need to keep up with all the latest hype and trends in parenting; you’ve got enough to worry about without stressing whether you’ve got the best cot-mobile of 2020. And remember, what bub really needs most is your love, patience and time.

Big Love, Edwina