What do you need for your baby’s first three months?
In the first few months, babies essentially do four things all day (and night) — they sleep, they eat, they cry, and they poop.
I mean, they do other things. They snuggle, they start to smile, they begin to coo at you.
But in the beginning, these tiny little humans will mostly sleep, cry, and eat.
There are a lot of things that are nice to have and that make life with a newborn easier.
However, this is your list of baby essentials for the first three months.
These are products you can’t (or shouldn’t) live without once you bring your baby home.
If you’re working on building your baby registry, make sure you have these items on your checklist!
You might also like: The Best Father’s Day Gifts For Expecting Dads
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Haven’t started your registry yet? Create a new baby registry on Amazon and start adding these essential newborn items to your list so you don’t forget anything.
Baby Sleep Essentials For The First Three Months
When you’re about to become a parent, everyone tells you that you’ll never sleep again.
It’s true. But in the first few months of life, your newborn baby will sleep quite a lot. From birth to three months, it’s normal for a baby to sleep up to 17 hours a day.
Here are the most essential things a newborn baby needs for all that sleeping.
1. Bassinet or Crib
The most important thing to help your baby get the sleep they need is to have a safe place for your baby to sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises using a crib, bassinet, or play yard that meets safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
There are many options out there!
This bassinet frequently appears on “best baby bassinet” lists.
I love the simple design and mesh windows to easily check in on your sleeping baby. The price is very reasonable and it’s marketed as a travel bassinet so also easily movable to different rooms of the house for naps versus bedtime sleeping.
Read more about safe sleep from the AAP here.
Swaddling can help keep your baby calm and prevent startling.
I love muslin swaddle blankets, which can also have many other uses. You can use them as car seat covers or nursing covers while breastfeeding. I throw them on the rug before putting my baby down for tummy time.
I was always worried about the swaddle coming undone during the night while I was sleeping so I used velcro swaddles for my babies overnight. Plus if you have trouble figuring out how to wrap a traditional swaddle (like my husband), these are so convenient and easy to put on your little one.
Keep in mind that babies should only be placed in swaddles that compress their chest until the first signs of rolling, which is usually around two months old. After that, wearable blankets or sleep sacks like this one are a safe choice.
You also want to make sure your baby’s legs can bend up and out while in the swaddle. Tightly wrapping their legs can cause hip dislocation or hip dysplasia.
Baby Feeding Essentials For The First Three Months
Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, exclusively pump or do a combination of everything, here’s what you absolutely need in order to feed your newborn during the first three months.
3. Bottles and Nipples
When registering for bottles, I highly recommend opting for a variety pack instead of investing in one particular brand. That way you can test out different bottles.
Your baby may have a preference for certain bottles over others or you may need to use a certain brand for other reasons.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I researched the perfect bottle and finally decided on Avent bottles. I registered for and received an awesome gift set. Then, my baby was born four weeks early and needed preemie nipples. Of course, Avent doesn’t have these available for their otherwise awesome bottles. We ended up having to buy Dr. Brown’s bottles instead for the special nipples. I never ended up using the Avent bottles because my daughter did great with Dr. Brown’s.
Your baby may end up needing a special formula so I wouldn’t invest in anything until after they’re born.
What you can do though, is sign up for formula rewards programs to get free samples sent to your house.
That way you’ll be able to test out different formulas without spending money on one that may not work for your infant.
5. Bottle Cleaning Accessories
Of course, you have to clean your bottles after each use. This is my favorite soap for cleaning bottles and pump parts.
A good bottle brush is also important. I love this one that comes with its own stand and has a smaller brush attached for cleaning bottle nipples.
A drying rack is just as important since you’ll need somewhere to put your bottles when you’re done washing them.
For breastfeeding or pumping, you’ll need a place to dry your pump parts.
This affordable bottle drying rack holds a lot of items and it’s easy to clean. Plus, it won’t take up too much counter space in your kitchen.
Alternatively, if you want to throw all your bottles and parts in the dishwasher, make sure to get a bottle basket like this one.
6. Burp Cloths
In my opinion, you can never have too many burp cloths. I keep them all over the house, especially near where I usually feed the baby.
Ironically, my son just always happens to spit up whenever I don’t have a burp cloth nearby.
Even if you plan on breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to have supplies handy for bottle feeding, just in case.
My first was born four weeks early and I supplemented with formula for a few weeks to make sure she was getting enough calories.
With my second, I developed a horrible case of thrush and it was torture to breastfeed or pump. I made it through with my milk supply intact, but it was helpful to be able to give him a bottle when I needed a little break from the pain.
Breastfeeding moms will need a breast pump and supplies, which should be covered through your insurance.
7. Breastfeeding Pillow
While not a necessity, a breastfeeding pillow is really helpful especially when you’re not quite sure how to position your baby in the very beginning. The Boppy is a versatile option – it can be used as a nursing pillow, a prop during tummy time, and support for when your baby starts to sit up.
8. Breastmilk Storage Bags
In addition, if you are pumping, you’ll need breastmilk storage containers or freezer bags to store pumped milk. These ones work great.
Newborn Hygiene Essentials
Besides sleeping and eating, babies also need to be bathed, clothed, and changed often, of course!
Here are the essential things a newborn needs to stay clean and healthy.
You probably don’t need to register for clothes because people love to buy baby clothes. However, they usually want to gift you those adorable but impractical baby outfits that look cute in photos but your baby will probably only wear once.
What you really need are comfortable clothes with easy access to your baby’s diaper.
My spring and summer babies lived in onesies and zip-up pajamas.
10. Diapers and Wipes
Speaking of diaper changes, diapers and wipes are definitely a necessity during the first three months.
Whether you use disposable or cloth diapers is a personal choice but you should definitely stock up on diapers and wipes.
You’ll go through a lot of these during the first three months with your newborn.
11. Changing Table
You don’t necessarily need a dedicated changing table, but it will make it a lot easier on your back, especially during the early postpartum period.
We have a changing table attachment for our baby’s dresser in the nursery.
We also have a changing table downstairs since we spend the majority of our time there.
If you’re looking for an affordable and convenient option, I highly recommend this foldable changing table.
You could also just use a changing pad and lie it on the bed or couch or floor whenever you need to change your little one.
12. Diaper Pail
A diaper pail is not necessarily a baby essential for the first three months; you can just toss dirty diapers into the regular garbage can or outside.
However, it definitely can make life easier, especially with the amount of diapers changes you’ll do while your baby is between 0 to 3 months. And, they help contain the smell!
I’ve tried a few different diaper pails and really like this one.
12. Diaper Cream
Baby’s have sensitive skin that is prone to diaper rashes. There are a ton of different diaper cream options available.
13. Rectal Thermometer
A rectal thermometer is the best way to check your newborn’s temperature.
A rectal temperature for a baby less than three months old is generally considered a fever if it is 100.4 or higher.
Fever may have a viral infection like RSV or the flu or a bacterial infection such as a urinary tract infection. Fevers can be dangerous in very young infants so make sure to contact your doctor if you do notice a fever of greater than 100.4 during the first three months.
14. Nail Clippers
Baby’s nails grow insanely fast so you’ll need to clip them often in order to prevent your little one from scratching themselves (and you).
I received a few different ‘grooming kits’ with clippers as gifts but this nail clipper was my favorite for easily getting those tiny nails.
15. Bathtub and Bathing Essentials
You only need to give your baby a full bath two to three times a week and you’ll want a safe place for bathing.
Infant tubs that can fit over a sink are a great and convenient option. We use this one for my son which fits right over our double sink and is easy to drain and clean.
What’s the best baby soap for a newborn? Here are some recommendations from dermatologists.
Towels And Washcloths
Don’t forget towels and washcloths to make sure your newborn is clean and cozy.
Baby Essentials for Traveling with Your Newborn In The First Three Months
You will need a few travel items if you plan on going anywhere with your little one during the first three months.
Here are the must-have items for taking your newborn out of the house.
16. Car seat
The two main types are infant carriers and convertible car seats.
An infant carrier is great if you want to be able to keep your infant in it when taking them in and out of the car. This works well if they fall asleep and you don’t want to disturb them!
Most carriers are also part of a travel system and can fit into a stroller as well. Infant carriers can get heavy and awkward to carry around. I always bring our stroller with me so I can just pop the car seat into the stroller. Pushing the stroller is much easier than lugging around a 15-pound carrier with a 10-pound baby.
The convertible car seat is a good investment if you only want to have to purchase one type of seat.
Your baby will outgrow their infant carrier around 30 pounds or 30 inches (check with the specific carrier’s recommendations). Convertible car seats can generally be used from 4 pounds all the way up to 120 pounds (as a booster seat).
You will want to make sure you have a stroller or baby wrap or carrier to carry your baby in when you go places if you just have a convertible car seat.
17. Diaper Bag
Murphy’s Law of New Moms is that if you forget to bring it, you’re going to need it.
I always keep a diaper bag fully stocked with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, burp cloths, a swaddle blanket, and pacifiers so I can just grab it and go if we have to be somewhere.
That way I don’t have to try to remember everything I need to bring and won’t forget anything.
I had a traditional diaper bag with my first baby but got this backpack bag for my second. It’s much easier to wear while also carrying a baby and chasing a toddler.
Playtime Baby Essentials For The First Three Months
Babies don’t need a lot to keep them entertained when they’re just 0 to 3 months old. However, here are some items that will help support your newborn’s development as they play.
18. Tummy Time Mat
As a former early intervention therapist, I am a big proponent of tummy time. I do recommend having a playmat for tummy time.
An activity gym is a great idea because you can start out just using the mat for tummy time.
Then, as babies get older and their vision becomes more developed plus their motor skills improve, they will love playing with the hanging toys under the arches.
Read Next: Tummy Time Tips for Newborns
19. Baby Seat
As much as you’ll love holding your little on, sometimes you’re going to need/want to put that baby down.
I love this seat which can be used from birth to toddlerhood.
My baby sits in this all the time and my three-year-old still loves to get in too!
20. Simple Baby Toys
A simple rattle like this one is a perfect toy for a newborn baby. It is easy to grasp, teethable and the beads make a gentle rattle noise when it shakes.
Find more developmentally appropriate toys for babies: The Best Developmental Toys for Babies
Baby Essentials for the First Three Months
Those are the baby essentials you’ll need to care for your newborn from birth to three months old.
There are many other great baby products, but make sure these ones are absolutely on your baby item checklist or on your registry.
If you haven’t started a registry yet, create a Baby Registry on Amazon right now! After adding some newborn essentials and making your first purchase, you’ll receive a welcome box full of awesome baby supplies and samples.