I wrote about the 32 must-have items for your baby registry but 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
23 things not included in my baby registry checklist, but are very nice to have:
- 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!
- 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 – Everyone has their opinion on breastfeeding, vs. pumping, vs. formula. I personally breastfeed and pump because, for me, it makes life a lot easier. 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 (I read too many horror stories about babies only eating from mom). Unfortunately, shortly after introducing the bottle, my dad went into the hospital and I was there almost every day for 4-9 hours. I was so thankful we had introduced the bottle early so my husband could watch the baby and get him to eat. You never know what may happen so it’s best to be prepared. Not only that but now I get a break from feeding the baby which, for me, is much needed. We still nurse at least every morning and every night for the mommy-baby bonding time. I also had to use this breast pump battery pack twice in the first 3 months which surprised me. 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!
- Breastmilk Cooler – When you’re away from you 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 – The key to bottles is buying a variety. We ended up just buying 1 of a couple different kinds (Avent Natural, Dr. Browns, and MAM). 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 four 8oz Dr. Browns and it’s plenty for us. You’ll also want ones that work with your pump. I prefer 4-5oz size because they don’t get in the way like the 8oz do and they fit in the cooler. I have four Medela 5oz bottles for the cooler and two Medela 8oz bottles that we use to store milk in the fridge.
- Slow Flow Nipples – 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 months and then we switched to regular bottles (as mentioned above). No matter which brand you choose under a couple months you’ll probably want preemie or size 1 nipples to start.
- Burp Cloths and Bibs – I preferred burp cloths alone 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 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)
- 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.
- 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
- 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 babies 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 Bag – I registered for this Skip Hop Diaper Bag because it was cute and semi-genderneutral for the hubs. Thus far I really like it and my husband doesn’t hate carrying it. Technically, you don’t need a “diaper bag”. Any tote or backpack will serve the purpose as long as it has a lot of compartments. This makes traveling with a little one so much easier because everything you need is right there.
- Boppy/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.
- 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!
- Playmat (Activty Gym) – He LOVES his Skip Hop Playmat. 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 the Sassy Suction Cup Toys and his Sophie La Girafe FanFan the Fawn.
- Carrier – This ones for my husband. He loves the baby carrier, especially after 3 months old. We have both the ErgoBaby Original Carrier and the Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier. I prefer the Ergo and he likes the Infantino because he thinks it’s easier to get one (it is) but I feel the Ergo will be better when he’s bigger because it seems like it will disperse the weight better. Either way, 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Lavender Oil and an Essential Oil Diffuser – I’m not completely sold on essential oils yet. I’m new to them but I do think diffusing lavender at night in our room helps everyone sleep better. Our baby has been sleeping through the night since about 7-8 weeks old and my insomniac husband has been doing better as well. I also find it easier to fall back asleep when I randomly wake up at night. It’s not terribly expensive if you get a diffuser on Amazon, though I do recommend ordering the oils through a DoTerra Consultant because the ones on Amazon are watered down versions that don’t work as well.
- Easy / Premade Meals – Another one of the well-known tips to make life easier with a newborn and while I don’t think this was as big of a deal as people make it out to be, it is nice to have some things ready to go. That way you don’t have to think about what to eat or actually put it together you can just grab it, warm it, and eat. MINDLESSLY. Oh, those few moments are amazing. You don’t need 45 freezer meals ready but 10 or so might be nice. 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. Sometimes you just don’t want company and that is perfectly fine!
7 things that make life easier with a newborn that I also included in my Must-Have Baby Registry Checklist blog:
- Pack ‘n’ Play with Bassinet Insert + Soothe and Vibe – Use it in your room to keep baby close by for those late night feedings. You can also use the toy arch attachment for my Genius Mom Hack.
- Rock ‘n’ Play – Lifesaver! Read why over on my must-have baby items checklist.
- Swing or Bouncer – Babies will have a preference. Buy both and keep the boxes so you can return what doesn’t work.
- Diaper Genie – Saves time and your nose.
- 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.
- Sleep ‘n’ Play Zipper Pajamas – At the 3am diaper change, these are just so much easier.
- 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 all of these are things you HAVE to have but they do save time or make your down time 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!