There are hundreds of things you’ll end up buying over the course of the first year of your baby’s life. When you’re sleep-deprived, learning as you go, experiencing new things every day, and searching for even a moment to relax, you’ll basically purchase anything that might help you out. Every baby and experience is different, but these are the surefire 30 things that make life easier with a newborn (and beyond).
30 Things that Make Life Easier with a Newborn
- Postpartum Care Kit – Life is hard after giving birth. If you feel good, everything will be so much easier. Take care of baby but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Read about everything you need in my postpartum care essentials blog
- Breastfeeding Kit – Keep all the essentials together in a little tote or bucket. You’re not going to want to move to grab something you forgot once babes got a good latch. This is everything you need to build the perfect Breastfeeding Kit: A basket of essentials for mom and baby!
- Comfy Nursing Bras – Must-have so you don’t need to change or do ridiculous contortions to feed the baby. Read more about my favorite nursing bras for large breasts (they come in all sizes!).
- Breast Pump & Accessories – To me, fed is best. I personally breastfeed and pump because it makes life a lot easier for us. When our little guy was new, I was exclusively breastfeeding. As he got older (around 6 weeks) we started introducing a bottle once a week to make sure he would take one when I was not around. You never know what may happen so it’s best to be prepared. Plus, now I get a break from feeding the baby which, for me, is much needed. In addition to the pump, I have used this breast pump battery pack several times. You’ll also want pump bottles. I prefer pumping with the 5oz size because they don’t get in the way like the 8oz do and they fit in the cooler below. I have eight Medela 5oz bottles plus two Medela 8oz bottles that we use to store milk in the fridge. Also grab some breastmilk freezer bags so you can build a stash. For me, the breast pump is one of the main things that make life easier with a newborn.
- Hands-Free Pumping Bra (or a Nursing Bra) – I have both but tend to just use my nursing bras. Read more on that in my best nursing bras blog!
- Nursing Cover – Honestly I have yet to use this for nursing but I have used it often for pumping in public. Really convenient and I actually keep it in my pumping bag.
- Breastmilk Cooler – When you’re away from your little one for work, vacation, or you would just prefer to pump than nurse when you’re out (I do this at my parent’s house because it’s faster than nursing) these are must-haves. The Medela Breastmilk Cooler stays cold FAR longer than the other options on the market. We use this not only for pumping but to bring milk along for the day. We bring one 8oz bottle and fill it with these small bottles as needed. It keeps the milk you’re not using cold for longer.
- Baby Bottles – Early on we chose to use the Medela Calma Nipple to make sure the transition from bottle to boob went well. They worked great for the first couple of months and then we switched to regular bottles. The key to bottles is buying a variety. We ended up just buying 1 of a couple of different kinds (Avent Natural, Dr. Browns, and MAM) to try them out. Our baby took all of them, which is often not the case, however, he did spit up less with the Avent and Dr. Brown’s those were the 2 we stuck with. We have two 4oz Avent Naturals and six 8oz Dr. Browns and it’s plenty for us but if your little will be at daycare plan on needing a lot more or washing frequently (you have to bring everything pre-mixed and measured).
- Burp Cloths and Bibs – I preferred burp cloths early on but around 3 months we started feeding him with a bib on and it helped with the spitting up issue. The less soaked the clothes (theirs and yours!) get the less laundry you have to do. We have 12-16 burp cloths and probably the same number of bibs. We went through 4 burp cloths a day when we were getting the hang of feeding, burping, resting, then feeding some more.
- Boon Lawn Bottle Drying Rack – It’s the best and it’s cute. Get the Boon Lawn size, you’ll need a lot of room. I also recommend the tree attachments for hanging nipples and small pump parts. I think it’s more practical than the flower attachment.
- Bottle Scrubber – These bottle scrubbers are way better than regular dish scrubbers and I wish I knew that sooner. It sticks onto the drying rack and the green blends in so you don’t have color everywhere (which I hate about baby stuff)
- Pack ‘n’ Play with Full Bassinet Insert – Use it in your room to keep baby close by for those late-night feedings. Honestly one of the best purchases we made. We used it for 2.5 years with our first son and now we are using the same one for our second. We use it for Baby’s primary bed for the first 3-4 months and then for travel and visiting family until they outgrow it.
- White Noise Machine – You’re probably thinking this is one of the most common tips to make life easier with a newborn, but I’m not talking for baby, it’s for you. We had baby sleep in our room when he came home because it was easier to have him close by when you’re getting up all night. The only downside is babies are really loud sleepers. The white noise machine drowns out the little groans and squeaks they make but still allows you to hear the fussing and crying when it’s time to eat. Anything that helps you sleep is a must in my book! We have this one in our room and this one for the kiddos because it is also a night light and an okay to wake light.
- Soothe and Vibe – This helped us in the pack n play and in the car seat when Baby was fussy and just wouldn’t sleep.
- Halo Swaddles – A top 5 must-have item and so much better than other brands. Read more about them on my Halo Sleepsack Swaddle blog.
- Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit – Sanity and sleep saver! Read my full Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit Reviews.
- Sleep ‘n’ Play Zipper Pajamas – At the 3am diaper change, these are just so much easier.
- Swing – Both our boys LOVED the swing. Ours is also a rocker which can be carried around the house (nice fo moving a sleeping babe). We keep it upstairs where we spend most of our day. Some babies don’t love the swing but I highly recommend trying one. Keep the box and return it if it doesn’t work for you!
- Bouncer – We love having a bouncer in our downstairs (since the swing is upstairs) and to take with us when visiting family. Read more on my baby items checklist.
- Boppy Lounger – We have both. I don’t use the Boppy for feeding because it’s too thick for me but we did start using it to prop the baby once he got older. What I have loved having is the Boppy Lounger. It’s great to put it on the couch between you to lay the baby down. He’s close by, comfortable, and safe. We use it all the time, it makes relaxing, feeding, etc. easier because you don’t have to hold them but they are right there.
- Carrier – We tried the ErgoBaby Original Carrier and the Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier. I didn’t love either of them. Then I found the LILLEbaby and it was love. Read my full LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons Review. Whatever you go with, the carrier allows you to hold baby when they are fussy and still be able to do things. it’s great when you don’t have a lot of free time away from the baby in the beginning.
- Changing Station Kit – The obvious, diapers and wipes, but one of my tips to make life easier with a newborn is to also keep hand sanitizer at the changing table so you don’t have to wash in the middle of the night. You’ll also want body wipes which are better for the baby’s arms, face, tummy, legs, etc., preventative butt cream, diaper rash cream, and body lotion. It’s the little things that make life easier with a newborn.
- Diaper Pail – Tried the Diaper Genie but this one is way better! Saves time and your nose. Because babies poop a lot. Like tons. You also need the liners.
- Diaper Bag – I registered for this Skip Hop Diaper Bag because it was cute and semi-genderneutral for the hubs. I prefer the non-backpack style because it’s more like an organizer for your car and stroller. You can easily reach in and grab what you need without opening the bag or worrying about things falling out. I rarely carry it around with me for extended periods where I would need it to be a backpack style. It’s just for getting everything from point A to point B.
- Mesh Laundry Bag – Another one of the unknown tips to make life easier with a newborn. Use these mesh laundry bags for baby socks and mittens. You’ll lose the little stuff in the washer and dryer otherwise. We just leave one next to the hamper and all little stuff goes in there before washing. Seriously makes laundry time so much easier!
- Play mat (Activty Gym) – He LOVES his Play mat. Took a little while for him to be able to see the toys but once he could he was hooked. You’ll probably want one by month 2. It gives you the opportunity to put him down and get some things done (or just relax).
- Toys – They couldn’t care less early on but you’ll need these around 2-3 months and it helps keep them entertained while you grab food, do some chores, or dare I say SHOWER!! Get the Oball, they love them. He also loves crunchy books and his Sophie La Girafe FanFan the Fawn.
- Exersaucer – You’ll eventually need this. Our baby started playing in the Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center around 3.5 months and he loves it. It gives him time off his back and it’s helping him learn to control is upper body. We never left him in it unattended at that young of an age since they’re still gaining neck strength.
- Wubbanub – This may seem silly but the stuffed animal helps to keep the pacifier in place so the baby is less likely to spit it out and if they do its easier to find. Plus they just love the little stuffies. These are one of our son’s favorite things just to hang onto. *not for sleeping
- Easy Meals – No matter what anyone tells you, you do not need 45 freezer meals ready to go. Do, however, do some easy meal prep like pre-cooked hamburger ready for hotdishes and crockpot meal bags. I also highly recommend a meal delivery service. We have been doing one for several months and love it. Ours even has express options and oven-ready meals which are basically no work. Read more here: Our Home Chef Reviews. Also, always take people up on the offer to bring food over. Most people want to hang out with the babe so keep that in mind when you accept their offer. Sometimes you just don’t want company and that is perfectly fine!
- Healthy Snacks – You’ll get sick of snacking. Have a pre-made veggie tray and other “real food” options in addition to your granola bars and crackers. Get some groceries delivered or do a quick pick up. Your body will be thanking you later.
Not all of these are things you HAVE to have but they do save time or make your downtime a bit more enjoyable. Most are fairly affordable and when you think about what you gain in return, they are totally worth it.
What are your tips to make life easier with a newborn?
Share your list of things that make life easier with a newborn in the comments below!
Until next time,