Baby Items list: Practical Baby Shower Gifts & Third Trimester Buys
What do you need for a baby? Like, what do you really need for a baby? Well, Mama, I’m right in the thick of it, with a 4-month-old and a toddler, so I thought I’d share my baby items list of baby things to buy before birth. These are items you need for a baby from day one (or soon after) and they are seriously life-savers.
Quick note on your baby shower gift list:
Baby showers are awesome (and let’s face it, one of the few upsides to being miserably pregnant,) but people tend to get caught up buying the cute onesies or the fun accessories, right?
Some wise mother might be thoughtful enough to make you a new mom gift basket of the practical items you need for a baby, but more often than not nobody’s got time for that.
When you’re seriously in need of baby items take all you can get, but sometimes if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. The practical baby items aren’t as fun to buy as gifts, but they’re going to meet baby’s basic needs so you want to cover your bases.
(Sidenote: I realize and HOPE that there are some truly awesome friends reading this in search of practical baby shower gifts for your pregnant bestie. Please prove me wrong here! This list is full of perfect baby items and, in my opinion, some of the best baby shower gifts you could give.)
Generally, it’s best for mamas-to-be to be safe and stock up on some of these simple and cheap necessities now, because girl, when you need these baby items, you need them RIGHT then.
Babies don’t tend to wait patiently for you to run to the store and grab what they need real quick…and they’ll TELL you about it if you’re not prepared.
Luckily, we are spoiled with the ability to stock up on what we need with a few clicks. You can avoid waddling through a store in your third trimester trying to get the last minute items you need for a newborn baby.
So here’s my checklist of less flashy, but super-needed baby items for you to stock your home with as you prepare for baby.
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure for details.
Baby Checklist: List of Things You Need for a New Baby
Nail Scissors – Nail clippers may be one of the most essential things a newborn baby needs. Again, I know those little kits come with nail clippers…but Mama, those things are cheap-o. Plus, good luck using actual clippers on a newborn’s tiny nails.
These scissors are fantastic. They are tiny, but so precise. You get so much more control over where you’re clipping. That’s important when you’re trying not to cut that sweet little babe’s itty bitty fingers.
And best of all, they’re crazy inexpensive! I’ve been using my pair for over 3 years. Love ‘em. These might be my number one recommendation for what new moms need for Baby.
Sassy Sacks – I lovvve these. Grab several packs. Babies poop. A lot. And it stinks. A lot. These little bags are great for tossing diapers in when you can’t get to a trash can, like in the car.
We use them at our Pack-n-Play changing station in our bedroom, so we can load up several loads without making a thousand trips to the trash can or stinking up our room.
Boogie Wipes – These are AMAZING. You want these wipes in your diaper bag. Messes are inevitable with babies. These wipes are super soft and gentle and won’t leave a disgusting chemical taste in Baby’s mouth.
Plus, they have saline to help keep Baby’s nose clean when wiping away dry boogies and snot. Definitely add these to your essential baby stuff list.
Water Wipes – Speaking of wipes, you’ve got to try these. They are fantastic. Water wipes are made with 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. They are hypoallergenic, free of fragrances, parabens, and sulphates, and are perfect for a newborn’s sensitive skin.
I love these for wiping down sticky hands, dirty bottoms, and even surfaces before and after Baby plays or eats. These a MUCH better than popular name brand wipes.
Nasal Aspirator– Speaking of boogies, this nasal syringe is the best. I know, you’re thinking, “I got one in my Baby Grooming Kit at my last baby shower.” Let me tell you, those kits are cheap because they are CHEAPly made.
Those booger suckers just don’t work. Even the one we got from the hospital was sub-par. But this thing works like a charm for grabbing stray boogies that are clogging baby’s nose.
It’s one of those must-have baby items when feeding a sick baby who can’t breathe through their nose. It’s also great in case baby starts gagging on spit-up. The best part is it comes apart at the top so you can actually clean it.
It’s totally worth the extra few bucks to upgrade, trust me. I really consider this a necessity in my baby gear. This kind (the kind you actually suck through a straw thingy) is also super popular, if you’re into that kind of thing. Hand Sanitizer – During the newborn months, I like to have sanitizer at each diaper changing station and in the kitchen and living room. My son was born at the start of flu season and people lovvve to come visit.
Having hand sanitizer on the table is a great reminder for them to wash up before asking to hold your baby. And it takes the awkwardness out of asking them to wash their hands.
Look for a great alcohol and dye-free option like this kind to protect Baby’s sensitive skin.Teething Relief– Did you know babies can start teething as early as 3 months?! Yeah…neither did I. Thankfully, I still had this amazing stuff from my toddler’s baby days when my new baby started cutting teeth out of nowhere.
I recommend all mamas buy this before birth because those 3 months FLY by! I was SO glad I had it already. It’s natural and reallllly soothing for baby.
This is a really great alternative to the unsafe teething gel options that have recently been proven dangerous for babies. This contains NO benzocaine and is belladonna-free. The company who makes it is my favorite (especially for sleep products,) so I highly recommend them.
I just couldn’t believe it when I felt that tooth coming through at 3-months-old. Poor baby! Be ready just in case, Mama. Here’s my full review of the teething gel, if you want to know more.Toothbrush – Speaking of tiny teeth, did you know you’re supposed to start brushing Baby’s teeth as soon as the sprout up? I definitely didn’t know this and my first got his teeth in pretty early and almost all at once.
Thankfully, a sweet dentist’s wife gave me an infant toothbrush as a gift. I thought it was more of a little joke and cutesy thing, but I ended up being so glad I had it already!
We later got this one as a teether/toothbrush and I really like it. I feel like it’s brushing away plaque while my baby is gnawing on it for fun. This is a relief when you start solids.
And of course, it’s great to have a teether ready for babies like my second who puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. Oh, this is the toothpaste we use, if you’re curious.
I also have a whole post that has more info on natural relief for teething.Thermometer – Don’t skimp on this one. You want to KNOW if Baby has a temp. Get a thermometer you can trust. Splurge the few extra bucks, because using a kind like this is a lot more pleasant than taking a Baby’s temperature from the other end while they are screaming.Baby Tylenol – Baby fevers are scary and unpredictable. You do not want to be unprepared for this one. Babies get fevers. Thankfully, most of the time it’s nothing too concerning, but when Baby is cranky and hurting, you want to have meds ready to dig out of the cabinet if needed.
Always talk to your baby’s pediatrician when they are sick. They will advise you on what action to take.
Gas Drops – Another thing you do NOT want to NOT have. Even in the first few weeks, babies get gassy and may need a quick middle-of-the-night dose to settle their poor tummies. Don’t wait until your first stressful event of not having these drops to buy them. Get them now, you won’t regret it.Gripe Water – Same idea. Gripe water is great for when you have NO IDEA why baby is crying. Which can happen…often. A lot of babies love this stuff. It’s gentle on their tummies and the taste really helps them reset when they are inconsolable.
It’s also pretty effective for those obnoxious, sleep-interrupting hiccups. Go ahead and have it ready to grab in the middle of the night when nothing is working to soothe your little one.Natural Bath Wash – Ok, I realize that everybody gets baby bath wash and shampoo as baby shower gifts, but have you ever read the labels on those popular name brands??? Those chemicals are NOT something we want soaking into our babies’ sensitive skin. (Not sure why they are “the” thing to buy.)
Instead, use something natural and safe. We lovvve this foaming bath oil. It’s natural, smells amazing, and even works as a bubble bath!
And it comes in a pretty big bottle which lasts foreverrr, so we get a ton of bang for our buck. It’s a no-brainer for us. (This will get you a pretty great discount: Ashley20)
Hangers – These are some of those often-forgotten, but always needed items off the list of baby things you need. You can never have enough baby hangers. Even if you get a couple packs at as a practical baby shower gift, I’m willing to bet you’ll get like 5 times as many clothes.
I recommend this kind or this kind. Go ahead and have hangers ready so you can wash and hang all those cute outfits now and get them out of the nursery floor. One less thing to do while waiting to go into labor.Pocket Bibs – Y’all. This is the ONLY kind of bib I like to use now. When the 2 we have are dirty, we kind of sigh about having to use a regular cloth bib. I know everyone loves buying cutesie bibs, but you know what? They STAIN instantly and are no longer adorable. And most of them are too tiny to do much good.
These bibs are amazing. They rinse off so easily and CATCH the little bits of food that would fall in the floor or Baby’s lap. Sooo much better.
Car Mirror – This is one of the BEST investments new parents can make. Some babies HATE the car, and even the ones who don’t have their moments. A baby car mirror is an excellent way to check on Baby safely.
It’s also super handy when you’re trying to see if your little one fell asleep in the car. Sometimes it’s worth cruising a little longer to make sure they get some extra Z’s.Sound Machine – This is something we had to buy for ourselves with both babies. I guess it’s not a fun gift to give, but when you’re a new parent there’s nothing more fun than getting SLEEP.
Unless your house is somehow silent (no pets, no cars driving by, no creaky floors or loud flushing toilets) you will NOT regret buying a sound machine.
Don’t crank it up, just play some soft noise near Baby’s bed to help them sleep through background noise. This would actually be a really good practical baby shower gift if ya ask me.
Practical Household Items to Buy Before Birth:
Let’s talk about non baby things to buy before birth.
You also want to stock up on a few household essentials and basic need items before baby arrives. These are some non-baby items I highly recommend grabbing real quick while you’re prepping.Laundry Detergent – Some people will tell you that you need special “baby” laundry detergent, like Dreft, but I disagree. You really just want something safe and free of chemicals.
I actually like using the same detergent for my whole family. This way, we are all using less chemicals and if Baby’s sock gets mixed in with our laundry, it’s no biggie.
Plus, your little one will be all snuggled up against your clothes. Definitely buy this before baby is born. Use a good free and clear brand like this one.
Grocery Pick Up – Girl, do this. Seriously, this is probably one of the best mom decisions I’ve ever made. No more rushing through the aisles at the store to get home to breastfeed or abandoning the cart to go change a poopy diaper.
This is also AMAZING during the first few weeks when you don’t want to get out of the house unless you HAVE to. Find a store on your man’s route home from work so he can just pick groceries up real quick on the way.
It also saves me money, believe it or not. It’s awesome. I did a full review here. Safe Cleaning Spray – Once baby arrives (or really while you’re preparing,) you want to switch to all natural cleaning products as much as possible. All those yucky chemicals are no no’s for tiny humans.
Find a simple cleaning all purpose cleaning spray for all those messes babies can cause, plus just general clean up. This is a good pre-made option, but I really like to use essential oils to make my own.
You can also use this great essential oil cleaning solution.
Paper Plates – This is a MUST do if you ask this mama. After bringing baby home, you don’t want ANY thing else added to your to-do list. Especially dishes. Friends and family will probably bring some meals by, so have some plates on hand that you can toss when you’re done.
Glass Food Storage – After you have a baby, your appetite may be unpredictable. Not to mention the fact that just because dinner is ready, doesn’t mean Baby thinks it’s time for you to eat.
Get some glass storage containers (microwaving in plastic puts lots of bad chemicals into your food…then your breastmilk) in different sizes to put away all the extra food people may bring you.
You can grab it and warm it up whenever you have a spare 2 seconds to eat. These are also great for quickly loading up hubby’s lunch for the next day.
Condoms – Or whatever form of birth control you intend to use once you resume intimacy. I know, last thing you want to think about late in pregnancy and definitely not after having a baby…but eventually it’ll happen…and you want to be ready.
Relying on postpartum and breastfeeding hormones to prevent pregnancy is risky. Talk to your OB/GYN, but mine recommended using protection from day 1 after starting up again.
I actually know someone who got pregnant 6 weeks after having her first baby. YES, REALLY. I also highly recommend using extra lubricant during your first time back in the sheets. It can be nerve wracking and possibly a little uncomfortable. This will help.Cheap Towels – Between postpartum messes and newborn messes and just hectic new baby life messes, you might want some extra towels that you don’t mind trashing later. This is great for after showers during the first few days of postpartum when things are extra heavy.
Get a dark color and don’t feel bad about throwing them away when things settle down. I like these because they are cheap, have dark color options, and different sizes for various needs.
Practical Items for New Moms:
So, I’ve decided to throw in a few more items that I personally LOVE using after having a baby. If everything is already checked off of Mama’s newborn baby shopping list, focus on buying these new mom necessities before birth.
These are things that would be GREAT baby shower gifts for MOM not baby. Even better, right?Nursing Bra – I remember being pregnant and awkwardly asking a new friend what nursing bra she used. This isn’t something to mess around with! You’re wearing this thing every day and you want something comfortable and functional. This bra is a great day-to-day option, especially for maternity leave and stay-at-home moms.Breast Pads – I also recommend getting some great breast pads to help with any unexpected leaks as your body adjusts to breastfeeding. This disposable kind as worked great for me. Or if you prefer something cloth, these washable breast pads are a good option. Water Bottle – Can’t stress this enough. The need to drink tons of water doesn’t stop after your pregnancy. In fact, I think it’s even more important when you’re breastfeeding.
Get a great water bottle that you can keep with you, grab easily with one finger while juggling your stuff, Baby’s stuff, and oh yeah, Baby. I love this one. It keeps my water cold and chemical-free, it’s cute, and I can just loop in around my finger as I’m heading out the door. This is a new mom must-have.
I wrote a whole post on the best water bottles for pregnant and new moms.
Extra Panties – This is a favorite tip of mine to share with mamas-to-be. Without going into detail, you’re gonna need great pads (like these) after you have your baby. To minimize feeling super gross and also ruining your favorite undies, I recommend grabbing some inexpensive, size-up, basic panties like these.
I like that these are super comfortable for a postpartum mama, they rinse easily and if things get really messy, you can just toss them because they were cheap. This makes things sooo much easier, trust me.
Oh, and if you have a C-section, try these extremely comfy mommy undies during the first few weeks.
More New Mom Tips:
I actually have a bunch more great tips on items that expecting mothers should stock up on and other last minute ways to prepare for Baby. Read my post here for tons of really clever tips on what to get done before birth.
ONE more genius tip…
I feel like I have to share this with you, because while prepping for Baby is important, prepping for HAVING Baby is super crucial.
Take a quality Prenatal Class.
Feeling informed about what’s going to happen when you go into labor takes SO much fear out of what’s about to go down.
I highly recommend this amazing class by my girl, Hilary at Pulling Curls. She’s a real life Labor and Delivery Nurse and she explains some must-know info in a really cool way. It’s a couples class, so your man can also get fully informed and better support you on the big day.
My husband and I had to spend an entire Saturday at a hospital class in my 3rd trimester. Ugh. BORING. Instead, Hilary’s class is interesting, helpful, and sooo much more convenient.
Use my code OY10 for 10% off when you join her class here.
Practical Baby Things to Buy Before Birth
There’s my baby checklist of practical baby shower gifts and what things you need for a newborn, as well as items you need for a baby as they get a bit older.
From my first-hand experience, it’s totally worth grabbing these cheap things things to stock up on before baby makes his or her way into the world. You’ll be glad you did!
Or if you’re just now starting your baby registry, go ahead and set one up on Amazon so your loved ones know exactly what kind of baby stuff you actually need.
More Tips for Pregnancy & New Mom Life
Things are about to get wonderfully crazy, Mama. If you’re looking for other ways to prepare for baby (including breastfeeding and postpartum recovery,) check out my post on How To Prepare for Newborn Life While You’re Still Pregnant.
(I also have a brand new post on EXACTLY what to pack in your hospital bag for labor. Read it here.)
Follow me on Pinterest for more helpful tips about pregnancy and life as a new mom!