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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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Shopping for a new baby is incredibly over whelming.  If you’re a new parent you have no clue how to bathe a baby much less what you need to do it, and stores aren’t there to help either.  Many stores will give you a long list of things you must register for “to be helpful”.  Really they want all the money from folks buying you all those things and don’t care if you never use them once.

Last week I shared a list of 11 things you don’t need for baby, today I thought we should cover exactly what you do need.  Some of these things are specific items we’ve grown to love others are general categories.  This isn’t a full list honestly, there are other things you want to grab.  I made a printable Realistic Baby Registry Check List to give you a big list of everything you need.

Think of this list more as the top 11 things we used the most…

Top 11 Things To Get For Baby

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1.  Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

Yeah I’m starting with Butt Paste.  Your whole life is going to revolve around what goes in and out of this little person for a few months and this is some important stuff!  I first learned of Boudreaux’s in my hospital nursing days.  This was the brand we gave to parents and I now understand why.  This is the best of all the diaper creams out there.  I’m pretty sure you could use it to water seal the shower if you needed to.  It will solve any diaper rash very quickly or keep anything new from happening.  It’s not the cheapest so always look for a coupon first.

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2.  Miracle Swaddling Blanket

Think of this as a straight jacket for babies.  It is truly a miracle for helping them stay swaddled and sleeping longer.  More sleep is an amazing thing for everyone in the house!  Miracle swaddling blankets weren’t around for my older girls, but we were introduced to them for my now 2 year old.  After she slept for 6 hours straight the first night I immediately hopped online and bought 2 more.  They also around as cheap as a basic blanket but think of this like buying a bottle of sleep (which any new mom would pay top dollar for).  There are other brands like Halo that are also great, but this one was better than most.

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3.  Bouncy Seat

If money is tight I would recommend a bouncy seat over a swing.  Bouncy seats are much easier to move from room to room and do a great job of soothing little ones.  We got ours from a consignment sale for $7 so this isn’t a big ticket if you shop frugally.  You can use this for sponge baths for baby, for feeding time, and even to keep them strapped in and happy while you take a shower.  If you have multiples this is such an easy way to keep them happy I would recommend two!  We also had a swing but that is only helpful when you are in the room that swing lives in, you won’t find yourself wanting to drag that all over the house.

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4.  Pouch Spoons

Yet another thing that didn’t exist 10 years ago… Now that baby food mostly comes in pouches, skip real spoons and go straight for the ones that attach to the pouch.  You squeeze and they are fed!  Eventually they will learn how to suck through a straw and you can skip the spoon all together and let them drink from the pouch.  Coming in at $3-$8 for 2-4 of them they aren’t that pricey but truly make eating on the go a breeze.  We only do store baby food went when are out and about, so these live in the diaper bag mostly.

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5.  Baby Monitor

I have a feeling you won’t forget this item, but let me add in a little advice.  To save money a video monitor is not required.  It is nice, but if you are a hovering first parent you’ll still hover and worry just as much even though you can see them.  You can’t see them breathing, you’ll wonder why they lay so still… get my point.  If money is super tight get a $20 audio monitor and you’ll still know when they need you.  I will confess though I never use a monitor at night.  Babies are noisy when they sleep, they grunt and squeak and keep me up all night if there is a monitor next to my head.  I just sleep with my door open and they wake me up when they need me.

Now that I’ve shared the truth, what monitor should you get cause you’re still going to get one.  If you go video get one that has the best reviews and best night vision.  If you see reviews that it has battery issues on the handheld device take them seriously!

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6.  Car Seat Stroller Combos

Going for the travel system is best with infant carseats and strollers.  Not only do you normally get a discount grabbing both, but you also know that they go together perfectly.  The last thing you want to do is wake up a sleeping baby just because you need to run into the store.  Now the carseat comes out of the car and into the stroller with two clicks they never knew that they went all over town with you.  Britax  is one of the top brands in carseats for safety so this is the system we have.  It’s also on sale right now $130 off!

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7.  Baby Nail Clippers

This is a tiny expense and well worth it.  Such tiny little people come with even tinier fingers and finger nails.  Holding onto those tiny little fingers is tricky too!  Go ahead and splurge the $3 for a pair of nail clippers that are more their size to make this easier.  Also, if you think this is something you can wait and get after a few weeks you’re wrong.  These need to be in the bag to come with you to the hospital because they are born with long nails that hurt!

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8.  Travel/Compact Baby High Chair

I would recommend this route over a normal high chair.  Grabbing a chair that you can attach to any dining room chair or even better the new-fangled versions that attach straight to a table makes for an easy on-the-go seat plus takes up so much less room at home.  High chairs have a huge foot space and you’ll wonder what happened to your kitchen once you put one together.  If you get the type that attached straight to a chair many of them recline so they are good for all ages.

9.  Feeding Necessities

This section differs slightly based on how you plan to feed.  If you are breast feeding you need a few more things upfront to make things more comfortable.  No matter what your plans are you’ll still need some bottles.  You’ll also all need some disposable nursing pads for at least a week or longer if you do nurse.

Breast Feeding
A simple breast pump is incredibly helpful to your sanity.  You’ll feel free to get out at least every now and then and Dad will enjoy getting to help feed occasionally as well.  You’ll also need breast milk storage bags or containers.  Another must have even for mom’s that have nursed before is some nipple cream.  My personal favorite is Lansinoh.  If you are new, please take advantage of the lactation consultant in the hospital.  However if anyone tells you that it shouldn’t hurt… most mama’s will tell you those folks have long forgotten.  It does hurt at first (not forever).  As a mama who nursed twins I felt like hitting anyone that told me that during the first week!

If by chance you are having multiples, I highly recommend getting a twin nursing pillow.  I couldn’t have succeeded without this as it makes it possible to nurse them both without your arms falling off.

Formula Feeding
You’ll need bottles, and lots of them.  For your own sanity think of 6-8 bottles a day and then ponder how often you want to wash them…  The only other thing you need is formula.  Sounds simple enough.  Go ahead and start with a housebrand as they are all the same and most doctor’s will advise you against switching brands often once you start.

10. Camera

I know we live in the era of smart phones but you will probably want something with lots of memory that takes good pictures.  These days seem long and tiring but they all only happen once.  Put this item your birthday list, or save up for it.  You won’t regret having a way to remember all these sweet moments.

11. Clothes, Diapers & Wipes

These are the no-brainers on the list.  Before you go out and spend a ton (or even register for a ton) you don’t need a lot.  Little ones grow super fast and you’ll be growing out of outfits before you have a chance to wear them if you get too much.  Also plan for side snap shirts, or sleep and play front snapping outfits, until they are a few weeks old – pulling an outfit over an infants head is very tricky and this will make it a lot easier.  I would say 3-5 of each type of outfit is plenty: onesies, sleep and play footie outfits, side snap shirts and pull on pants.  As for diapers and wipes start stocking up now!  Here’s a breakdown of how many you need of each size.

Is there anything that would be on your must have list?

    • Elizabeth

      One tip we were given on saving money on a good camera, get one that has been used and refurbished by the manufacture (we got a Nikon D3100 that had been refurbished by Nikon – it’s fantastic, takes much faster pictures than the cannons, we had a cannon before this one). Also, read professional blog reviews, we have one site we follow for helpful comparisons. More pixels isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes an older model is perfect for parents who just want to take fast pictures to capture moments. The newer updates are often times geared towards professionals.

    • Rebecca

      Totally agree about the swaddling blanket…they are wonderful. One of my kids hated to have his hands in, but it still worked to help him sleep.

      I have 4 children and am currently still breastfeeding my youngest (10 months). Honestly I’ve found that I can’t do the pump and bottle thing. I won’t bore you with all the details and reasons why it didn’t work for me. Since I stay home with my kids (and they are scheduled, not demand-fed….that’s another debate I won’t get into), I knew when they’d need to eat again and could schedule my outings around their feedings. Once they get to 6 months and I introduce solids, whoever I leave them with has something they can give the baby to eat….if mama’s not around, they don’t think about nursing; watch out if it’s time to eat when I walk in the door though: suddenly there’s a melt down. :) (My 10 month old actually bit me yesterday because I wasn’t getting him fed quickly enough after I had been out. That’s pretty rare for a reaction…and I told him “no,” it made him cry and I felt sorry for him; I fed him and all was well.) Also, a “boppy” (nursing pillow) is a must, even for a single baby.

      • Rebecca

        just to clarify, when mama’s not around the baby still gets hungry and wants to eat, he just doesn’t think about nursing (except maybe at bedtime). as long as there’s a snack (and maybe a sippy cup with water) baby will be fine if you’re a little late getting back.

    • Lisa G. Johnson

      Love the high chairs that attach to regular chairs. I have twins and it worked great to have them in these rather than having two big high chairs taking up unnecessary space. They are also less expensive.

    • Lisa G. Johnson

      I am also a big fan of the jumpers and bouncers when they are a bit bigger. You only need them for a few months but they are invaluable to buy you a few minutes to throw together dinner or take care of another task while keeping baby entertained. I bought mine used.

    • Samantha

      Nice list! I tried the Miracle Blanket, but then found out about the Woombie, and never looked back! Just zip them up the front and they can’t get their arms out but still have a little room to bend their arms. It’s awesome! Both babies started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks with those things!
      Great tip about a nice camera too! I waited til my oldest was 11 months to get a DSLR, and I wish I’d had it when she was born, now that I see what a difference it makes!

    • Alli

      Check with your ins company for maternity programs. I found out mine gives you FREE pump!! (Well if you pay premiums it’s not free but it beats buying one in addition to premiums! I got a double electric medela

    • Charity

      The Britax link takes you to Amazon but only to nursery monitors. How can I find out more about the Britax stroller system sale?

      • Nonigail

        couldn’t find either

    • Daryl Ann Guy

      Glass bottles I promise that is the way to go until they are holding their own or can throw it ………..if they can throw it they need to be on a sippy……:)

    • Shari

      I tried Bourdeax Butt Paste but found Flanders better. You have to ask the pharmacist for it, but a prescription is not needed. This stuff is great. A little pricy, but worth every penny. It lasts a long time too.

    • Katie

      We definitely differ on what is a need for a baby! :) I use my baby bathtub all the time. The pouch spoons seem like a waste of money. In my experience the jar food is cheaper than the pouches (and making baby food is way cheaper). With my third baby I didn’t use the car seat combo. The seats are really heavy to carry and do not free up your arms for holding other little hands. You can find car seats that are rear facing to forward facing. You can only use the car seat in the combo for a year and then they will need a bigger one which will be another added $100 or more expense. I wore my baby in a Moby wrap until he was big enough to go into a shopping cart or stroller. Not only were my arms free to shop and take care of my other kids, it didn’t take up space in my shopping cart and he would sleep because he was snuggled up to me the whole time. My best advice for a first time mom is not to go crazy buying all the gadgets and things until you find out what you really need. It is hard to wait but babies and moms are different. Some babies hate the motion of the bouncer or swing. My babies never like to be swaddled so they hated the swaddle blankets. There are some things you will need right away that can’t wait but until you know their likes and dislikes or things that will make your life easier I wouldn’t buy a bunch of stuff just because they sell it!

    • Tiffani

      I think the Halo Sleepsacks were the best thing that happened to me when I had kids. I even took them to the hospital. I was very paranoid about the baby blanket ending up over their faces, so the sleepsacks were calming for me. :) i loved the creamy Desitin for diaper rash and my kids had some doozies. As for the nail clippers, every health professional I have ever talked to has said not to cut infants’ nails for a while, so we didn’t get the baby clippers at first. I LOVED the long-sleeved baby tees with hand covers until we could cut their nails. As for pouch spoons, I just squeezed the food onto a regular baby spoon and done. Bouncers were wonderful. As for the baby monitor I would suggest getting a good one because the cheaper ones we found always had lots of static. I still use my monitor for my 3 year old because we have a split floor plan house. When buying clothes, we always went for consignment sales in our area and still do that for our now older kids. Saves a ton! With diapers i always started off with pricier brands with coupons that were hypoallergenic or sensitive just to be sure the baby wasn’t allergic to anything in the diapers and then switched to house brands or Luvs when others were not on sale. Certain house brands are better then others and I think you just need to try them out for yourself.

    • cher

      Not a mom but old OB/Home Health nurse. I would add in without checking the registry list that new moms should have safety on the brain. Time goes so quickly and they are into everything. Locks, latches, socket plugs etc should be on the the must haves. Not generally costly.

    • Leah

      A travel changing station is a wonderful thing to have. I hated having to drag around a huge diaper bag everywhere I went so I started keeping a small travel change station stocked. The diaper bag would stay in the car but if I was just going for a walk or a quick outing the small change station did the job (and it could fit in my purse). Here is a pretty one : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKUs_poV3wQ

    • Deanna

      Caldescene baby powder. Best ever. Period. And I don’t buy all this powder/cancer stuff either. 3 kids, 2 grands.