The Only 6 Items You Really Need for a Newborn

Shopping for your first newborn can quickly become overwhelming with the ads or advice you get saying you must get “enter non-essential baby item here” or you won’t survive. This makes it easy to end up with hundreds of baby items in your shopping cart or on your registry that range from the basics like onesies to the not-so-important (we’re looking at you, wipe warmers).

You’ll soon come to realise that your baby really only sleeps and eats for their first few weeks, requiring only a few absolute necessities. So to help you save some money and baby clutter, we’ve put together this minimalist’s list of the only items you really need to get through the first few weeks with your newborn.

Transportation Gear

A car seat is the very first non-negotiable baby item you’ll need – the hospital won’t even let you leave unless you have a car seat properly installed in your vehicle. Whether you buy this new or used is up to you, just make sure it’s up to Australian safety standards.

The next transportation item you’ll need is either a stroller or a baby carrier. For going on a walk to get out of the house or going to doctor appointments, having at least one of these items available to transport your baby is a necessity.

Sleeping Space Items

Your baby’s sleep space is another collection of items that you’ll need to have prepared before baby arrives. This includes a cot, firm mattress, waterproof mattress pad, fitted sheets, and a baby monitor. We would recommend purchasing at least three fitted sheets: one that can be on the mattress, one that may be in laundry, and one in the wardrobe for emergencies.

Do not add any blanket, toys, or other soft items in your newborn’s crib as this can increase the risk for SIDS. For more information on creating a safe sleep space, visit


Clothing is something tons of mums get too many of, and with all the cute little outfits and fun accessories, we totally understand why. But if you’re going for a minimalist list of baby items, here’s what we recommend you purchase for your baby’s first few weeks:

  • Bodysuits/onesies (8-10)
  • Outfits (2-3)
  • Sleeping outfits/bags (3)
  • Socks (4-6 pairs)
  • Swaddles (2)
  • Hats (1 warm hat and 1 sunhat)

The amount of clothes you may need will vary based on the weather conditions where you live (i.e. if you live somewhere warmer, you can opt for more short-sleeve tops over long-sleeve tops) and the amount of times you think you’ll do laundry. Just keep in mind that babies grow fast, so you probably need less newborn items than you think for the first few weeks!

Nappies & Nappy Supplies

Your newborn baby will go through anywhere from 8-12 nappies per day, meaning you’ll need around 650 nappies for the first eight weeks. However, the tricky thing with nappies is that there are different sizes, and you won’t know which one your baby will need until they’re here (plus babies grow really fast).

We recommend buying 2 large packs of Stage 1 nappies and 1 large pack of Stage 2 nappies. This way, if your baby uses lots of newborn ones, you’ll have them on hand, and if they grow out of the newborn ones quickly, you have some Stage 2 on hand.

You’ll also need a few nappy supplies for your newborn including 1-2 large boxes of wipes, a waterproof pad or changing table, and nappy rash cream.

Feeding Supplies

Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding your newborn, you’ll need to purchase a few items ahead of time:

  • 8-10 burp cloths

If you’re breastfeeding:

  • A breast pump
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream

If you’re bottle feeding:

  • A formula (if formula feeding)
  • 5-10 bottles
  • A bottle brush
  • A few bottle teats in different sizes

Grooming/First Aid Items

You won’t need too many grooming or first aid items for your newborn, but there are a few that are good to have on hand from the get go.

For your baby’s medicine cabinet, include:

  • Baby thermometer
  • Medicine syringe
  • Nasal aspirator (for those stuffy noses)

For grooming needs, include:

  • Baby bath tub
  • Baby soap
  • Nail clippers (these grow surprisingly quick!)


And that’s it! By breaking down this list of newborn essentials into 6 categories, we hope you can continue with your baby item purchasing and registry building with confidence, knowing you’ll use all the items. And of course, if there are any items you really want for your baby, like a noise machine, play pen, fun outfits, etc., throw those in too! This is just a guide for the most basic, most essential items you’ll need in the first few weeks with your newborn.

Tags: Parent's Corner