Leah Elizabeth Photography

Hey y’all

Welcome to Value Minded Mama. This is my creative space where I document motherhood moments, cool kiddo and family finds, my super simple casual mommy style, saving time and money tips, our travels/adventures and being a stay at home mom. I love that you're here! Please stop by one of my posts (or fill out the contact form) and let me know how you found me. I love making friends and connecting with new people. Feel free to check out my social media channels below for more from Value Minded Mama.

Essential Baby Items

Essential Baby Items

Being a second-time mom has helped me figure out which products are really necessary for babies and which products I’ve found to be the best. Some of these are just my personal preference, but the majority have definitely made my life easier as a mama and baby’s life more comfortable all around.

I do also want to put a little disclaimer in here that I did not breastfeed either of my children, so I can’t really offer up any nursing products. But I do list some great things for formula fed babies.

This list would actually work really great as a gift-giving guide too if you are going to a lot of baby showers or have someone in your family that’s expecting and you’re just not quite sure what to get them.



Essential Baby Gear

So, a first-time mom will definitely need, first and foremost, a car seat. It’s even easier when your car seat can just click into your stroller.

That way you don’t have to take your baby out every time you want to put them in. So I would recommend getting a car seat/ stroller set.

And I have two kiddos now, so I have a double stroller that fits the same car seat from my first.

Next thing you might want is a portable pack and play // play yard. This is great for traveling or setting up in your living room as a kind of “second crib”.

Another thing that we have grown to love is our Moses Basket with stand. It’s big enough for her to grow in a little, but doesn’t take up as much room as a pack and play or a full-size crib. We keep ours in our bedroom until she can sleep in her crib throughout the night.


Changing Station

We all know how stinky diapers can get, if you can contain that smell without having to run to your garbage can every day, wouldn’t you?

That’s with the diaper genie is for. I can’t say it’s always 100% effective, but it does beat wasting 1 million plastic bags to wrap your babies dirty diapers in and throwing them in a communal waste bin.  

Speaking of diapers, Pampers are my favorite for the newborn stage. This is because they have a mesh style absorption.

That means, when your babies poo is all gooey and runny, it will get caught in between the mesh and be less likely to run out. Sometimes blowouts just happen, but I would rather have the protection than not.

With that being said, I think Huggies has the best wipes. They are soft but still wipe everything completely clean without wasting 50 wipes per diaper change.

Desitin is the best diaper rash cream by far. This is the exact same brand they gave Genevieve when she was in the hospital. She just had the ultra-strength prescription one. 


Bath & Body

I recently fell in love with Dove Baby Body Wash. I love the scent and that it’s a good, affordable product.

I also use the Aveeno baby washes and lotions.

And of course, you have to have some soft washcloths for your newborn’s sensitive skin.  

Finally, you have to have somewhere to put your baby while you're bathing them. Some people like to just use the sink, but my sink isn’t always that clean.

Plus, I don’t want to hold my baby the entire time, because that limits me to only one hand. I like to have something to set them on for stability.

I personally do not have the flower insert for the sink, but I wish I did! I only have this huge plastic whale infant tub. It’s honestly too big for a newborn, so I wish I had something for when she was smaller. 


I know so many moms that get grossed out by the Nosefrida. The idea of sucking your child’s mucus through a straw sounds disgusting and it totally is, but its the only thing that gets the job done.

Plus, there’s a filter, so there’s no way you could actually ingest anything. I know those little suctions they give you at the hospital are supposed to be ‘the best on the market’, but they are crap compared to the Nosefrida.

Just suck it up and get one. They are seriously the best, I don’t know how people lived without them before... I guess kids just ran around with snotty noses.

Another great instrument has been the head thermometer. It’s so hard to get an accurate reading in any other position, so just go with a head thermometer. It’s good for all ages and so easy to use!

Finally, a Cool Mist Humidifier is really the only thing you can do, besides a steamed room, to help a stopped up baby. So you definitely need one… Your baby will get sick and you need a way to help safely clear their congestion.


I know what I have to do for feeding is different than what nursing moms have to do, so this is just what I’ve found to be the most helpful for us.

I like the Playtex bottles because they have a bent shape, so less air gets in, which means less spit up.

Speaking of spit up, you will definitely need burp cloths. I just use the long blankets the hospital gives you, but you’ll definitely need a few extra.

Another thing that’s been a game changer is a formula divider. They have three sections and you can put different amounts of formula in each section.

It keeps you from having to take a big bulky formula can with you everywhere and having to measure everything out on the spot. Lifesaver.  

And since I have so many bottles throughout the week, I need somewhere to dry them, where they won’t take up much space.

The plastic grass drying rack by Boon is great for that and comes with plenty little attachments for extra hanging/drying space.

Baby Comfort

After having two babies, it is safe to say that having a zip up onesie is a lot easier than fumbling around with button closures, especially at night.

I would also recommend not bothering with “receiving blankets”, because they tend to be too small and pretty useless. Instead, get the large or extra large muslin swaddling blankets.

They are great for any season because they are breathable, and you can swaddle your baby longer because they’re bigger. Our son still sleeps with them as his “blankie”.  

There are so many pacifiers on the market, but the ones they give you in the hospital, the Soothies are by far my kid's favorites.

And get a sound machine. They aren’t  expensive ($20-$35) and will save you many sleepless nights. They also come in cute clip-on travel sizes, so make sure you get one for travel too!


For Mama

You’ll definitely need a diaper bag to put all your baby stuff in. And babies have a ton of stuff! I’ve linked some really cute ones below (Target wins again).

I would highly recommend getting a postpartum wrap/corset. I didn’t wear one after my first pregnancy, but I wish I had.

If you haven’t seen my review of my Bellefit corset, you need to.  I’ve also linked some other styles below, but check out the Bellefit first.  

I would also suggest getting a baby wrap to wear your newborn, especially if you have more than one kiddo. It's so nice to be able to comfort your baby while also being hands free.


Below is a list of the stores I normally shop at, with a little description of why.

  • Buy Buy Baby: $5 off & 20% off coupons in mail

  • Target: in-store sales, cartwheel app, decent prices already, Target Red Card (5% off all purchases, always!)

  • Sam’s Club: bulk items (diapers, wipes, bath & body, baby food)

  • Walmart: affordable, convenient, free pick up

*Diapers and wipes: by buying “name brand”, like Pampers and Huggies, you will get rewards; which if you get enough, means money or free things. I’ve never gotten enough rewards for that, but it is something to consider.*


Keep in mind these items are really for the 0 to 3 months stage. There are just too many things that I could add for 6 to 12 month. So, I’m just not even going to go there.

I feel like if you were a first-time mom, you would struggle the most with what is really necessary for a newborn. You could easily figure out the rest as you go and have more children.

I really think this is a good list to start out with. And of course, you certainly don’t need everything on here, by any means. But it is a good place to start, and if people are asking you what you need, go through this list and see what you’re missing.

How does my list look? Did I miss anything? Please leave me a comment below if I did, I would love to have a complete list! Was this helpful? Please “pin” and share with your friends, if it was!

Babywearing with Beluga Baby

Babywearing with Beluga Baby

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Dressing Your Baby Bump