Baby Essentials for first 3 months – Newborn baby items that you actually need

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Baby essentials for first 3 months covering all the actual newborn baby requirements and recommending those that can be avoided!

You are not going to like what I am about to say – newborn babies don’t need much.

I know as a mom-to-be, you are super excited about the arrival of your baby. You are probably just too eager to make a list of things you need for a new baby.

In fact, when I was pregnant, I had also gone out looking for a baby shopping list for first time moms. I had also planned on shopping for a lot of items from that list before the arrival of the baby.

However, my baby-girl arrived three weeks before her due date and I could barely shop for anything from that baby products list.

In hindsight, I am super thankful that I didn’t spend all that money because NEWBORN BABIES DON’T NEED MUCH.

Baby Essentials for first 3 months

What should you expect from this article?

I am about to get super honest with you in this article. I am going to list out all of the newborn baby essentials that I actually used. Of course, you should bear in mind that –

  • I am a mom from Mumbai. So it means that our flats are smaller than the flats in bigger cities. Therefore, if an item takes up too much space and offers little value, I prefer to not buy it altogether.
  • I now strongly advocate ‘essentialism’. Therefore, I do not recommend anyone, especially new moms who are soft targets of promotion campaigns, to buy something unless absolutely necessary. You will come across plenty of articles online (especially from American authors) that will provide a list that is double or triple the size of the list I am about to provide. But, we need to bear in mind that those lists may not always work for Indian or Asian parenting styles.

That being said, I am also going to list down newborn baby products that I did not use. However, if you plan on using these products, please go ahead and check those out.

Let me reiterate – every mom has her own unique style of parenting. What worked for me, may not work for you. There is no harm in checking out different types of baby products available in the market and then make a choice.

However, as someone who has gone through the journey of new mom-hood, I know that babies don’t need as much as their enthusiastic parents think they do!

When should you start making a list of things to buy for newborn baby?

In India, some cultures frown upon the concept of shopping for a newborn baby before its arrival. I personally did not abide by that cultural practice. I did shop for some newborn baby essentials in my last trimester.

However, I recommend you to wait it out till your baby shower. You will end up receiving a lot of stuff for babies as gifts at your baby shower. You could take stock of that stuff and then figure out what to buy for your newborn baby.

If you are not going to have a traditional baby shower, I suggest that you don’t start shopping for baby at least till you enter the 8th month of pregnancy. Go through my list containing the most essential things a newborn baby needs. Check out all the products that I recommend and mention therein.

Only buy necessary baby items from that list before the birth of the baby. The rest of the items can be bought later once you are sure that you absolutely need them.

The most awesome and realistic list of all the baby essentials for first 3 months

Yes, time to dive into the new born baby shopping list!

Clothing 

Of all the newborn baby things to buy, parents are usually the most excited about clothes.

But in all honesty, the newborn baby clothes list is super basic.

Of course, what clothes to buy for newborns depends entirely on whether you plan on using cloth nappies or disposable diapers. The use of disposable diapers will allow you to use fancier clothing.

(Personal experience – during the first month, my baby used to poop around 8-10 times a day and therefore using disposable diapers did not make sense. However, in the second month, the poop frequency reduced and I could make a move to disposable diapers. Therefore, I bought all of my fancy clothing items during the second month.)

So here are the baby clothing items that you need –

Loose fitted t-shirts/shirts /jhablas

I bought about 2 sets of these adorable yet simple Cool Baby Cotton Shirt Sets. Thank God, I bought the smallest size. They fit my baby (born at 37 weeks) perfectly even though she was born 3 weeks before her due date.

Bottoms 

The Cool Baby Cotton Shirt Sets came with cute soft bottoms too! But to be honest, in the first month when babies can pee even up to 20 times a day, I used to only put on nappies. I only started making better use of bottoms when my baby was about 2 months old.

Onesies 

I love onesies. Babies look super cute in onesies. Although most of the onesies I used were gifted to me, I also bought a few onesies like these super adorable newborn sized onesies from Kiddeo. The print on these is suitable for both a baby-boy as well as a baby-girl. The fit was great and they were super soft for the baby’s skin.

Night suits / Rompers

Yup! I am also a fan of rompers being used as night suits, especially ones with feet. Babies look absolutely cute in them. Plus a romper is perfect for a 2 month or a 3 month old baby born in colder regions or during Indian winters, especially, if they learn to untie themselves from the swaddle. My favourite newborn rompers are the EIO 0-3 Month Rompers.

Frocks for baby girls

There is nothing like the joy of holding a super tiny baby frock. Go ahead and splurge on a few of these. The bigger ones do not look as cute as these ultra-tiny ones.

However, remember that you will find a lot of variety of fancy frocks that come in synthetic materials and with beads and sequins on it. But please don’t buy those during the newborn phase. Instead, buy frocks like these cotton ones from BabyBlossom

I have used these and they look and feel great on the baby!

Sweaters

If your baby is born in winters or if you stay in colder regions, buying a good baby sweater like this one is non-negotiable.

Accessories

Now let’s move on to the newborn baby accessories department.

This is one area where parents can seem to completely lose perspective. We are talking about a real newborn baby here. Yes, it looks like the cutest squishy soft toy but it is still a real person. Let’s not drown the baby in ‘cute’ accessories. You can indulge in those as the baby grows a bit older. During the first 3 months, it is important to only buy basic newborn baby stuff.

So here is my super short new born baby accessories list –

Caps

Yes, we have all heard the importance of putting a cap on the baby’s soft head. Therefore it is important to buy plenty of caps. The only rule to bear in mind is that the cap should be made of cotton or wool based on the weather conditions in your town.

I particularly liked these caps by Boo Boo mainly because their fit was perfect. Most newborn baby caps available in the market are usually a bit too big for the first couple of months. However, these ones were an exception!

Socks

Babies do not need shoes in the first three months. But socks are important in order to keep the baby feeling warm enough, especially when it is not swaddled. I love these soft and warm newborn baby socks. However, for outings with the baby, I prefered to use these booties type socks with cute animals on it! Alternatively, you could also buy this set together with caps, socks and mittens.

Diapering

This is the real deal people! This is the one department that you need to focus on primarily when looking for new born baby products.

Make sure that you have all the required diapering products in your new born baby items list. These products include –

Disposable diapers

There is a wide variety of high-quality disposable diapers available online. My favourite diapers are the Pampers Premium Care Pant Diapers in the newborn size. The quality of these diapers is exceptional and they are hands down the best diapers available in the Indian market at the moment. 

However, if your baby is born chubby or becomes chubby around 2 months of age, opt for Mamy Poko Extra Absorb Diapers in the new baby or small size.

If you prefer regular diapers and not the pant styled ones, the best diapers in the market are the Pampers Active Baby Diapers in the New Born or small size.

Also, you wouldn’t know which diapers you prefer until you actually start using them. You will have to try out different options and see what works best for your baby. So don’t fret if you feel lost at the moment.

Also, another point to note is that even if you intend to use cloth nappies, it always makes sense to purchase a few disposable diapers. They prove to be particularly useful when travelling with a baby or when taking the baby for routine doctor’s visits.

2. Cloth Nappies / Cloth Diapers

A cloth nappy is the cheaper and more environment-friendly option for the first few months of your baby’s life.

Some babies poop around 8-10 times a day in their first couple of months, while some babies poop once every 4-5 days. If your baby belongs to the former category, using disposable diapers will not make any sense.

In such a case, the most important baby thing to buy on your list should be cloth nappies. Also since you can’t determine how often your baby is likely to poop until your baby actually arrives, it makes sense to buy a few before the birth of your baby.

These are the best cloth nappies available online. Not only are they made out of soft cotton but they come with an animal design on the back!

However, if you do not want to keep washing 15-20 nappies every day, you could buy these fantastic cloth diapers by Bumpadum.

Cloth diapers are like regular diapers except that they come with replaceable inserts. So whenever the baby pees, the outside wrapper stays dry and you just have to change the inserts every couple of hours.

However, as I stated earlier, if your baby poops very often in the first couple of months, this option might not work well for you. In that case, stick to the classic cloth nappies.

Baby wipes

I do not know what life would have been without baby wipes. The first month of my life as mommy was spent breastfeeding and changing cloth nappies 24*7.

The one baby product that proved to be of utmost use was baby wipes. Mee Mee Baby Wipes are my absolute favourite. These wipes are paraben-free, anti-bacterial and enriched with aloe vera extract to soothe baby’s super sensitive skin.

But I recommend you to also try out other options such as the Himalaya baby wipes and Mother Sparsh Baby wipes. They are both really good in quality. Himalaya Baby Wipes are thinner and therefore softer on the baby skin. Whereas, Mother Sparsh Baby wipes, although a bit thicker, are water-based and therefore could suit your baby’s skin better.

However as with diapers, you will have to try out a couple of options and figure out what brand works best for your baby.

4. Diaper changing mat

In the first few months when you would be changing your baby’s diapers or nappies far too frequently, it makes sense for you to use simple waterproof nappy changing mats like these.

 You can easily carry these around with you anywhere in the house. When not in use, you could fold these away and store safely. They can also be washed easily.

If you read or watch content by moms based in western countries, you may feel be tempted to buy a fancier diaper changing pad with a safety belt together with a diaper changing station. But in my opinion, constantly getting your baby back to the diaper changing station to change his diaper becomes a laborious task.

I recommend you to start by using a simple nappy changing mat and buy a diaper changing pad with safety belt only if you feel you absolutely need it.

5. Diaper rash cream

If you use disposable diapers, you must at all costs, use a good diaper rash cream. Diaper rash looks terrible and makes your baby very uncomfortable.

The only way to beat it is by using a very good quality diaper rash cream. The only two ones that I recommend are –

  1. Sebamed Baby Rash Cream or
  2. Desitin Maximum Strength Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Paste

Both these variants are slightly expensive but they offer the best barrier protection for your baby’s skin. During the day you can use Sebamed Baby Rash Cream but once your baby starts sleeping properly at night, you should use the Desitin Maximum Strength Rash Paste at night. It provides the best barrier protection and can prevent wetness for up to 12 hours.

Diaper Bag

Okay, I am going to quickly slip in a product here that’s technically not for the baby. But I forgot to buy this product before the birth of my baby and when it was time to take my baby out for her first’s doctors appointment, I didn’t have a proper diaper bag to neatly store all the baby stuff in.

I, therefore, recommend you to buy this in advance.

I absolutely recommend using a diaper bag backpack. Carrying a traditional one-shouldered diaper bag is very inconvenient when you are carrying a newborn baby in your hand.

 A backpack type diaper bag is far more comfortable. It distributes weight evenly and all the items inside the bag are easily accessible.

The bag that I have used for almost 2 years now, that I have travelled with everywhere and that is my absolute favourite baby product is this Robustrion Diaper Bag Backpack. It is absolutely worth every penny you spend on it!

Bath

The most important baby care products for newborn babies are the ones required for the baby’s bath. Newborn baby skin is very delicate and you must ensure that you do not choose chemical-rich bath products.

The only three bath products that I used for my baby were –

Baby soap / Baby wash

There is a huge variety of baby soaps online. Initially, i used the Himalaya Extra Moisturising Baby Soap. While from the third month, I switched over to the Himalaya Gentle Baby Wash.

The reason why I chose Himalaya Baby Products is that their products are not harsh on the baby’s skin plus they are easily available at all local medical shops. Therefore you don’t have to depend heavily on online shopping for something as basic as baby soap or baby wash.

Now, you do not need to use both a baby soap and a baby wash. You could use either one of the two.

The aaya who bathed my baby for the first two months preferred a regular soap over a baby wash. But after two months, when I took over the task for bathing the baby, I decided to try out the Himalaya baby wash and it worked just as fine as the Himalaya baby soap bar!

Baby shampoo

I am a Himalaya brand loyalist when it comes to baby bath products. Therefore, when it came to choosing a baby shampoo, I didn’t look beyond the Himalaya Baby Shampoo. Even today, I use the same shampoo and honestly, I have no complaints whatsoever.

Baby oil

It’s time to be frank with you all here! I used the regular Parachute Coconut Oil for my baby. Period. I had seen my grandmothers use it earlier on my nieces and nephews. It had worked just fine for them.

Even the aaya who used to massage my baby girl for the first two months suggested that I use the regular coconut oil by Parachute for the baby.

Therefore, I was in no mood to shuffle things up and try out new products.

That being said, thanks to the many gifts that I received from my relatives and friends,

I did eventually end up trying out a few other baby oils. And of course, the one that emerged as my favourite was….. well, of course, the Himalaya baby oil!

Ah well, what can I say other than reiterating that Himalaya really makes good baby products!

Baby towel

Unpopular opinion alert!

I did not use all those cutesy baby towels that come with a hood.

Why? Because all those cute baby towels do not do a good job with absorbing water. They are essentially baby-wraps and not baby towels. Plus their material is too thick for the hot humid conditions in Mumbai.

I used this Kassy Pop muslin cloth bath towel from day 1. This towel is so soft and gentle on the baby’s skin. I just had to wrap the baby in it and it would instantly absorb all the water.

Trust me, look no further – this is the literally the best baby towel available online!

Baby powder

If you have read this article so far, you would already know which baby powder I am about to recommend! Yes, you got it right – the Himalaya Baby Powder. I bought a large bottle of it and it easily last for the first three months.

(Now, I have heard that there are mixed opinions online on whether to use a baby powder for the baby. But, I used it and I continue to use it till date. My baby has not faced any issues till date. But if you are not sure if you want to use it, consult your doctor and then determine your way forward!)

Baby powder puff

Again! We will remember all the important things needed for a new born baby and forget the little ones that make all the difference. The easiest way of applying powder to a newborn is with a soft puff. Yet, I bet that you won’t find many lists of baby products online that include this item.

But, don’t worry! I have got you covered here. The baby puff that I have been using since the birth of my baby is this green puff by Mee Mee.

Baby Nail Cutter

The nails of a baby grow at a terrific speed and even though they are super tiny, they are razor sharp. Not only can a baby scratch you with its super sharp nails, but can also end up hurting herself when she touches her face. Babies do that a lot, by the way!

So the best way to keep the nails trimmed is –

  1. Skillfully peel them off immediately after a bath or
  2. Skillfully cut them using a nail cutter.

Our baby’s aaya who used to come to bathe her could beautifully peel off my baby’s nails without hurting her at all. However, I would feel nervous about it and preferred using a nail-cutter. I used the Nail clipper set by Gocart with G Logo. I found it really safe for the baby and extremely easy to use!

Sleep

A baby’ first month is all about peeing, pooping, nursing and sleeping! Newborn babies sleep for around 16-20 hours of the day. Therefore, you must ensure that the baby sleep products that you choose are soft, comfortable and cosy!

Swaddle Wraps

Typically, baby swaddles have always been handed down from one sibling to another. They are usually made from the soft old cotton sarees of grandmothers and great-grandmothers. In fact, nothing shouts comfort the way these swaddling wraps do.

So ideally, see if you can get yourself some of these hand-me-downs.

If you can’t and need to buy a few online, I will recommend you to buy the ones from Mom’s Home. The design on these is adorable and the feel is so soft you would want one for yourself too!

Blankets

If you live in warm areas, go for this soft single gauze muslin blanket by Rachna. The print on this is really cute. I also washed it every other day and it only kept getting softer!

For warmer areas, choose a baby blanket in fleece such as this one here. I love the fresh attractive colours of these blankets.

Receiving blankets or duptas

The piece of cloth that you put under a baby when you hold it or when it sleeps is known as the ‘receiving blanket’ or a ‘dupta’.

Elderly ladies from families often make these for the newborn babies and give it as a gift during the traditional baby shower ceremony. They make these from old and used cotton fabric and even embroider lovely designs on it! If you are lucky enough to get some of these, use these instead of choosing any product available online.

If not, you could either repurpose the Mom’s Home swaddle blankets as receiving blankets. Alternatively, you could even buy these ones in cute colourful prints – they are total value for money!

Quick-dry sheet

What would life be without these quick-dry sheets! I can’t even imagine! Given how often the baby pees in the first three months, a quick-dry sheet is an absolute must!

Instead of buying one made of rubber or plastic, I highly recommend you to buy these Bey Bee water-resistant quick dry sheets. They have an ultra-high absorbance and they keep the mattress underneath absolutely dry.

Plus, the material is comfortable and breathable. Unlike, plastic or rubber bed protectors, these ones do not absorb heat.

You just have to try these out to believe how incredibly awesome they are! I just can’t recommend them enough!

Feeding

Feeding bottle

I will be upfront and honest with you all. I exclusively breastfed my newborn baby for the first 4.5 months. Therefore, I did not use a feeding bottle for my baby in the first three months.

But if you need to bottle-feed your baby, I suggest you buy the super-popular Pigeon Perilastic Nursing bottle or the Philips Avent Nursing Bottle.

For babies suffering from colic, gas or other digestion problems, I recommend the Dr. Brown’s Options Narrow Neck Bottle. They control the flow of the formula and prevents the baby from taking in a lot of air while sucking.

Travel

Car Seat

If you are not going to be the ‘strictly indoors’ type mom and would like to take your baby out with you on car drives, you must absolutely invest in a good quality car-seat.

 A premium quality car-seat ideal for frequent travel is the Graco car seat. Graco products are usually made of high-quality material. They last long and most importantly they go through take their safety compliance very seriously.

That is also why their products are more expensive than other comparable products available in the market. If you find the Graco car seat too expensive for your travel frequency, choose the more popular one – the R for Rabbit car seat.

Now I have to make an important point here –

In India, for ages, we have had babies, including newborn babies, travel on the laps of their parents. While it has worked well for us for all these years, a car seat does provide a lot more safety. Therefore, I would definitely urge you to buy one if you will be travelling in a car with your baby quite frequently.

Miscellaneous

I admit that this heading makes no sense. For a baby who is just about learning to adjust to a whole new world, it can’t possibly have any ‘miscellaneous needs!’

But the reason why I am resorting to this title is that I did not know which other category to place ‘books’ under.

Now, I have spoken about the benefits of reading to a newborn here. My parents and close relatives found the idea ridiculous. But I persisted and today, as my baby-girl is growing older I definitely see the benefits yielding results.

Also, I am not talking about engaging in any heavy reading. I am just suggesting adding it to your bedtime ritual. It is a great way to bond with your newborn. This Hello Baby 4-page board book was what I started with!

What I will not add to my new born baby products list – But you could!

Now you all know, I practise essentialism and therefore do not indulge in unnecessary newborn baby shopping. But wants and needs are both relative. Therefore, what I consider unnecessary, may fall under the category of ‘essentials for newborn’ for you.

So here are products that I did not use/need but you could for your 0 -3 month old baby – 

Pacifier

This one is a huge one on my list of baby products that I did not use. The first time I tried it was when my baby was 7 months old. But by then my baby was used to living without it and she didn’t really need it.

If you or your doctor want your baby to use a pacifier, please go ahead and use one. Check out the market-leader Philips Avent BPA free Soothie Pacifier here.

Toys

Newborn babies don’t need real toys. They find the whole world pretty amusing. But if you want, you can check out some newborn rattles here.

Baby monitor

Gee! This one is completely unessential for the small homes in Mumbai. If the baby cries, we can hear it no matter where in our 2-BHK flats we are!

But a good audio baby monitor that you could use is VTech Audio Baby Monitor.

Crib / Playpen

Again, let’s look at the fact that the standard master bedroom size in Mumbai is 10 ft * 12 ft. With a double bed and wardrobe, there is literally no place for a crib.

Secondly, if you breastfeed your child on demand, you will not have the patience to constantly pick up the child from the crib and put him down back again, particularly at night. We always co-slept with the baby and I am so glad we did it that way!

However, this LuvLap Baby Wooden Cot with Rocker is quite popular among parents that insist on buying a crib for their baby.

Playmats

We used to lay down the many receiving blankets that I received from my friends and family on the floor and my newborn baby would hang out there! A fancy play mat is definitely unnecessary during the newborn stage of the baby.

Nightlamp

These days, brands have modified every regular product to a ‘baby-version’ to lure new parents into buying it. We had a night lamp in place and therefore did not buy one of those star-shaped night lamps that play soft music!

Humidifier

Seriously? In Mumbai? No way! The western world will convince us of buying absolutely anything and we will blindly follow them without giving it a second thought!

You only need a humidifier if you live in seriously dry and cold weather conditions. If you live in one such area, check out this super popular good quality Allin Exporters Humidifier.

Burp Cloths

No burp cloths! I used a regular handkerchief instead! But if your baby is colic, you may need one! Decide on its purchase later!

Washcloths

We live in a country that has specialised aayas that bathe babies. Most continue to hire these for almost the entire first year of the baby’s life. In such circumstances, the concept of using a square-shaped washcloth while bathing just did not quite click with me and therefore I skipped this one completely.

If you find it useful, you could buy one! There is a great variety of washcloths available online!

Mittens

Hate me for this one! But I used to hate watching my baby bundled up into a swaddle blanket (especially once she started wriggling out of it during her third month), Now the thought of further tying her hands down in mittens would make really comfortable.

But yes, I had to keep her nails trimmed at all times so that she won’t scratch her face red with them. If you don’t agree with my approach here, you could very well check out these Mitten, Cap Booty sets here.

Photoshoot props and hair accessories

My baby girl barely tolerated the cap that we tied around her head. Using fancy hairbands and hair accessories was out of the question. Plus, I also do believe that newborns need food, sleep and love.

They don’t need the pressure of over-enthusiastic parents dressing them up in weird accessories and props for a photoshoot!

That being said, if you are still sure that you want to plan on a newborn baby photoshoot for your baby, there are plenty of props available online. (Just please don’t let the photographer wake up your sleeping newborn baby,okay?) :)

Shoes

For a baby who can’t even turn on her tummy, buying shoes is a complete waste of money! In most cases, buying fancy socks are enough even for those outings with your baby!

Bottle sterilisers

I did not use a bottle for my baby during the first three months as I was exclusively breastfeeding. So the question of using a steriliser did not arise. Even later on when I started using bottles, I preferred the old-school method of boiling bottles on the gas stove.

However, I did sometimes wish that I had used a bottle-steriliser that would run in the background and sterilise all the bottles.

It is particularly useful if you also use a breast pump and pacifiers. The Philips Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer is one of the leading baby bottle sterilisers in the market. Make sure you buy compatible feeding bottles with it.

Final Word 

The nervousness and anxiety of not being properly prepared before the arrival of the baby is always looming large on the minds of expecting parents. But trust me, parenting is one skill that you can only pick up on the job.

Don’t worry about not being prepared or about choosing the wrong products or choosing products in the wrong sizes! Every parent goes through it and learns from it.

The first three months with a baby are special and equally overwhelming. But you could read all about my 6 awesome ways in which you could stay sane as a new mom here.

Also, tell us what would you include in your must-have baby items list?