Baby Essentials for the First 3 Months You Can’t Forget About

What are the baby essentials for the first 3 months?

The first three months are both exhilarating and exhausting.

You’re excited to finally care for your little one, but there’s a huge learning curve. You want to arm yourself with all of the best newborn baby gear and necessities.


Newborn baby shopping is expensive! You don’t want to break the bank with your baby checklist.

With so much selection, deciding what to buy can be overwhelming.

What do babies actually use in the first 3 months?

When I was pregnant, I looked through many baby essentials lists and spoke to a lot of parents. There seemed to be two opposite schools of thought:

  • Babies only need diapers and clothes
  • Babies need every product available on the planet

I knew I was somewhere in the middle of both camps. While I aspire to be a minimalist (although I’m nowhere near devout), I’m more so in the frugal category.

Not cheap, but frugal in the sense that I prioritize value over price. I will buy a more expensive item if it’s better quality and I will get more longevity for it.

Related Baby Essential Must Haves Articles:

Baby Essentials First 3 Months

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What should I buy for the first baby?

Below is a baby shopping list for first time moms. It includes all the infant essentials to survive the first three months – all the things I would have regretted not getting.

It includes all of the baby essentials, but not just the basics!

I tried to make this baby gear guide comprehensive so it’s long. It includes:

  • What products my baby actually used AND
  • What products I bought but never used

I’ve also included what I as a mom used.


Moms have just gone through a major shock to their system with pregnancy, labor and birth. The first 3 months postpartum are an especially delicate time as your body is still recovering.

Every baby is different and will have unique preferences. Every family has different priorities and lifestyles.

Do what’s best for you and your family.

Before I get into my experience for the essentials for babies, here’s an important tip…

Save money on your baby essentials for the first 3 months by using:

1) Amazon Baby Registry

Amazon provides you with a one-time 10% discount on select items for babies from your registry, 60 days before your child’s arrival date.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, the one-time discount is 15%! Amazon Prime also comes with 20% off diapers and baby food when you have more than 5 subscriptions. The best part about this membership: 2 day FREE shipping and FREE access to movies, TV shows, music and books. You can cancel your other subscriptions!

There are also FREE 90 day returns on baby store purchases. Get the FREE 30 day Amazon Prime trial here, which you can cancel at anytime.

You can also get a welcome gift box if you’re an Amazon Prime member and meet certain requirements like a minimum spend. Here are the specific eligibility requirements in the US. Here are the eligibility requirements in Canada.

2) Rakuten (formerly Ebates)

Before purchasing items on Amazon, go through Rakuten first!

Companies pay a commission to Rakuten for advertising on their site. Rakuten then shares that commission with you. Depending on the rates, you could get up to 40% of your purchase price back!

Rakuten is FREE to sign up.

For U.S. residents, Rakuten will give you a welcome bonus of $10 after making your first online purchase of $25 or more.

For Canadians, it’s a $5 welcome bonus for signing up. You can read more about how to use Rakuten here!

3) A Baby Registry List

To save money, it’s important to keep track of your baby products on a list so you don’t double-purchase and only get what you need.

It’s even better if you have a goal cost in mind for each baby product so you’re spending less overall.

This is my baby checklist spreadsheet available on Etsy. It has space for 100+ baby products, a summary and charts so you can quickly see the big picture as well as the details. You can click here to get a 15% off coupon.

Now onto the best baby essentials…

Baby Must-Haves for the First 3 Months

There’s also a section on mom must-haves for the first 3 months at the bottom.

Newborn Feeding Essentials List

We only breastfed so I can’t speak to formula feeding.

We chose breastfeeding due to the nutritional benefits, the convenience of mostly not using bottles, and money saved from not purchasing formula.

If breastfeeding didn’t work out, we would have gladly embraced formula feeding.

Related: Breastfeeding Necessities

1. Nursing Pillow

One thing I wasn’t expecting was how difficult breastfeeding would be!

It can be painful in the earlier weeks when you and your baby are learning about the proper latch technique.

In the meantime, your back, neck and shoulders are hurting because you’re getting used to holding a baby who’s only getting bigger.

In the first 3 months of baby’s birth, I used this nursing pillow with EVERY feeding. It was a baby essential!

It helped me attain and maintain the ideal latch and comfortably supported my upper body and my baby.

It even has a small pocket that I used for spit-up cloths and to store the vitamin D supplement. I have a boppy pillow as well, but it just didn’t provide the support necessary for nursing.

2. Breast Pump

This was something we bought last minute because I had difficulties breastfeeding.

Within the first few days of her birth, my daughter got close to losing 10% of her original weight.

I had to purchase a breast pump to determine the amount of milk I was getting and to increase milk supply.

Initially, we were thinking of renting a pump, but the costs didn’t justify the amount of use we were projecting.

The pump also came in handy when we introduced her to solids and put breast milk in cereal and other foods.

We purchased this Ameda Purely Yours pump directly from the hospital. The nurse who delivered our prenatal classes said it would be the cheapest way to get a high quality pump and she was right!

We ended up paying 40% off most listed prices.

When I spoke to other moms, they mentioned that they received the exact same breast pump from their insurance provider so you might want to look into that first before checking your local hospital for prices.

3. Nursing Bra

For breastfeeding mothers, a nursing bra is a baby essential for the first 3 months. It facilitates easy breastfeeding, offers comfort and support during breast changes, and helps manage leakage.

This nursing bra is comfortable and inexpensive. It has easy-to-use nursing clips.

I’ve tried similar nursing bras without underwires from other retailers. This one is the cheapest for relatively good quality.

4. Vitamin D Drops

As my baby was exclusively breastfed, my doctor mentioned that we need to give her Vitamin D drops.

Baby Ddrops was the brand my doctor recommended.

I almost purchased the wrong type – there are different dosages for babies and adults so make sure you’re purchasing the one meant for babies.

5. Nursing Cover

These large muslin blankets are a baby essential in the first 3 months.

What I love about them is their versatility; you can use them as a

  • swaddle
  • burping cloth
  • nursing cover
  • tummy time mat
  • changing pad cover
  • car seat/stroller cover
  • general blanket

I still use these to this day!

They get softer with each wash! They’re breathable, which was reassuring as a first-time mom as I was constantly checking my baby’s breathing. A definite baby essential!

Baby Diapering Essentials Checklist

6. Diaper pail

A diaper pail is a baby essential!

They make diaper changing more efficient, reduce odor, and provide a cleaner and more conveneint solution for disposing of diapers, which is especially beneficial in the first 3 months when there are frequent diaper changes.

The Ubbi Diaper Pail was one of the most expensive diaper pails on the market.

After a lot of consideration, we got it and we are so glad we did.

There are NO EXPENSIVE REFILL BAGS like the Diaper Genie; we just use regular garbage bags.

If you do have a leak in your bag, I highly recommend cleaning the pail immediately because otherwise you might get rust.

It’s been over a year and it still traps in the odor. The odor hasn’t been absorbed like what I’ve heard can happen with the plastic pails.

You can open it using just one hand.

With its tall and thin frame, it’s a space saver and is large enough to hold at least a week’s worth of newborn diapers. There is a child safety lock feature but we haven’t had to use it yet.

As it has a classic steel design, we might just keep it after our diaper days are over and use it as a regular trash can in the house.

7. Diapers

Especially in the early stages of a baby’s life, diapers are essential for maintaining a baby’s health and comfort, and keeping a baby clean and dry.

While we were considering cloth diapers, we ended up using disposable diapers.

We loved how cloth diapers would be more environmentally friendly.

The decision ultimately came down to cost vs. time. There would be initial savings for cloth diapers.

The cost and time to wash (water, electricity, laundry detergent) and dry made the savings too small to justify the family time that would be sacrificed.

We tried a few different brands of diapers when she was born.

We had heard that some brands are better for certain shapes of babies.

We were surprised that every brand worked fine as long as the size matched her weight and we did frequent changes.

Overall, we seemed to find that Pampers diapers resulted in fewer blowouts.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get 20% off diapers in a subscription. Get the Amazon Prime 30 day FREE trial here, which you can cancel at anytime. No questions asked.

If your baby is sensitive, the Honest Company Diapers or these Pampers Pure Diapers are made from hypoallergenic and sustainable materials and would be a better fit.

8. Wipes

Wipes are an integral baby product in maintaining a baby’s cleanliness, particularly in the more frequent diaper change days in the first 3 months.

Wipes are also handy for general mess management. I use them often to clean unexpected messes, spills, or spit-ups.

The exact wipes we use are the Kirkland Signature Tencel Baby Wipes as they’re cheap, durable and don’t irritate my baby’s skin.

If your baby has a sensitivity, these are the purest wipes available. They’re 99.9% pure water and 0.1% fruit extract.

9. Diaper rash cream

Diaper rash cream is a baby essential for preventing and treating diaper rashes.

The hospital we delivered at recommended Vaseline to help with cleaning the meconium and treating diaper rash.

It worked for a while until she had major diarrhea and we realized the Vaseline was not enough.

We did the research and came across this organic diaper balm, which works fast!

I’ve heard if you’re a cloth diapering family, it works with cloth diapers too!

10. Diaper bag

A diaper bag is an essential baby item.

One thing to consider is whether you’re planning on taking a trip or flight with the baby and will need a certain amount of capacity.

I didn’t think about this before I bought my first diaper bag, which was more of a hand bag.

If I were to pick it now, I would instead select this diaper backpack because it:

  • Has 18 pockets to keep things secure, separate and easy to locate
  • Is a backpack configuration so I can be completely hands-free
  • Is gender neutral in color so her dad could comfortably use it
  • Has a back pocket so I don’t have to worry about guarding my personal valuables
  • Has an area you can store your laptop or tablet in

11. Portable dirty clothes bag in the diaper bag

For soiled clothes and cloth items, I previously used plastic bags.

I’ve since bought this Skip Hop Wet/Dry Bag because it can be washed and is more environmentally friendly.

It has 2 pouches – one for wet/dirty and another for new/replacement clothes.

It’s worked well. I’ve heard it doesn’t hold dirty diapers well so I wouldn’t use it for this purpose.

12. Portable changing pad for the diaper bag

A portable changing pad is usually included in your diaper bag. The Ferlin travel diaper bag comes with one.

I love this change pad. It’s better than most changing pads because it’s eco-friendly. It’s also soft and easily washable.

Baby Bathing Essentials

13. Bathtub

I love having a baby bathtub.

It’s specifically designed with your baby’s safety and parent’s convenience in mind – with non-slip surfaces and secure support so you don’t have to strain your back.

They also require less water than filling an entire adult bathtub, making it more eco-friendly and cost-effective.

The baby bathtub essential we use is the Fisher-Price bath tub.

It grows with the baby. We’ve only used it for the first 3 stages. I could see how each stage has provided just the right amount of comfort and security for my baby.

The 3rd stage (that provides a seat) is particularly great because while she could sit up unaided.

She was still unsteady so the seat helped her not slip when she would get excited and start splashing around.

One thing I would caution against using is the hook to hang on your shower pole. We have a tension rod and the weight from the bath tub brought the tension rod down and broke it!

We just placed our bath tub on the counter top in the bathroom.

If you don’t have a counter top and have to place it in the bathtub, I’ve heard excellent reviews about this bath kneeler and elbow pad rest set.

With postpartum weakness, it’ll provide you comfort for your knees and elbows. There’s also storage if you have any bath supplies.

Baby Clothes Checklist 0-3 Months

You might be wondering “What baby clothes do I need for the first 3 months?”

Here is a complete list of my baby clothing essentials for the first year.

This article includes a checklist broken down by sizes for newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months. You’ll also find a list of baby clothes that are NOT recommended.

For the first 0-3 months, here’s my baby clothes checklist:

14. Pajamas

My baby just wore sleepers for the first 3 months.

I got inseam zipper pajamas, which are convenient for getting the baby quickly in and out of their clothes.

You don’t have to fiddle with buttons AND you don’t have to zip from the top down to do diaper changes in the middle of the night and potentially wake a sleeping baby!

I like that these ones have footed feet and fold-over mittens for smaller sizes (to prevent scratching). These are pricey, but they are made with organic cotton!

Here are other cheaper jammies we also like:

15. Sweater

When we went outside, we added a sweater.

We found it’s also handy to have in your diaper bag in case it gets unexpectedly cold like in air-conditioned rooms.

I like how these sweaters are zip-up so you don’t have to fiddle around with putting it on top of your baby’s head.

Related: Here are other necessities for the diaper bag.

16. Toque

Our baby was born in the winter so a toque was baby necessity when we were out and about.

We actually just got one from the hospital. It didn’t quite fit her, but it did the job. If I was handy, I would just knit her one.

If I didn’t get one from the hospital, I was considering this toque which I heard great things about:

17. Sunglasses and Sun Hat

When the baby’s under 6 months, he/she shouldn’t wear sunscreen. When you’re going for walks or lounging at the beach or outdoor pool, a good hat, sunglasses or combination are essential for protecting baby’s skin.

We used both a hat and sunglasses. Her grandma gifted her cute sunglasses.

Before she was 6 months, she didn’t bother trying to remove the sunglasses.

After 6 months, it became a bit tricky to get her to keep them on.

Like everything, you just have to be persistent about it. It took quite a few days, but eventually she knew that when mom puts on her sunglasses, she has to keep them on.

Along with sunglasses, it’s a good idea to get a baby hat that protects your baby’s face and neck for those sunny days at the park or beach.

Newborn Baby’s Traveling Necessities

18. Everyday Stroller

A stroller is essential for parents because it makes life with a baby much easier.

It helps parents get around town or go for walks without having to carry your little one the whole time.

Strollers are comfy, have storage space, and protect your baby from the sun or bad weather.

Plus, they’re safe and let your baby nap while you’re out.

I got the Uppababy Cruz stroller as a gift. We love it because it’s light and has a large lower basket.

I was initially considering the Uppababy Vista stroller. It’s much more expensive and larger. I wasn’t sure if the short lifespan of the bassinet would justify the additional cost.

The Uppababy Cruz is a nice stroller, but in hindsight, I should have gotten the Uppababy Vista.

I had assumed that the strollers were identical except for that the Vista was larger to accommodate the bassinet and other configurations.

One thing I should have inspected more carefully were the stroller wheels.

I live in the suburbs in an area that has extreme winters. The Cruz wheels are plastic whereas the Vista wheels are made of rubber.

When you’re using it regularly on uneven terrain – even sidewalks in the suburbs that have larger gaps between concrete slabs – rubber wheels make for a smoother ride and last longer.

19. Infant Car Seat

A car seat is a baby essential when it comes to safety in the car.

It’s not just a legal requirement in many places, but it’s the best way to protect your baby during rides if there’s a sudden stop or an accident.

We got this Graco infant car seat because it’s lighter and cheaper than most. We debated for a while about whether we needed to get an infant car seat or if we could just use a convertible car seat.

Ultimately we decided to get an infant car seat because we live in the suburbs and mostly commute by car. The infant car seat made it easy for us to bring her in and out of the car without waking her.

If you live in the city and won’t be using your car frequently to transport your little one, you might want to get a convertible car seat instead. We have the Graco Convertible Car Seat.

We used this as our primary car seat when my daughter was around 1.5 years old and grew out of the infant car seat.

Technically, you can use this convertible car seat from 4 pounds to 120 pounds – it can be the only car seat you ever use.

It’s more expensive, but if you consider all of the different car seats you have to get at each stage, it might end up saving you money in the long run.

20. Carrier

A baby carrier is like a lifesaver for parents.

It lets you carry your baby close while keeping your hands free. It’s a game-changer for doing things around the house or going for a walk.

Plus, babies love the cozy feeling of being close to you. It’s a win-win: convenience for you, comfort for your little one, and lots of bonding time together.

After doing research and trying many different types, we picked this ergonomic carrier!

I’m not a doctor. After reading about hip dysplasia and the importance of using a baby carrier that has a supported seated position, this carrier became my #1 choice. Of course, you should always do your own research on the topic before making a decision.

What I like particularly about this carrier is that it can be used with a newborn right away at 7 lbs (no additional infant insert required) up until the baby is 45 lbs.

It can be adapted for all carry positions including facing the baby inwards and outwards, carrying on the hip or back.

You can even breastfeed your baby in it.

Sometimes I found the carrier easier to use than a stroller when I was out of the house, especially in the first 3 months.

For example, when I was going to a restaurant with tight spacing or on a plane with a baby.

Related: If you’re looking to save money on a baby carrier, here are baby wearing on a budget tips.

21. Bunting bag

If your baby is born in the winter, a bunting bag is a baby essential because it keeps the baby toasty and snug in their stroller.

There’s no need to bundle up your baby with tons of blankets and layers – the bunting bag does the job.

We used this bunting bag for the stroller.

I liked how it was like a sleeping bag for my baby. I didn’t have to worry about her being cold and blankets falling off the stroller.

22. Car seat canopy

A car seat canopy is a baby essential because it’s like a protective shield for your little one.

It shields your baby from the elements like sun, wind, or even rain.

This was especially useful when my baby would often fall asleep in the car. You could just put the canopy on so she would have the darkness to stay asleep for longer periods.

23. Blanket

In the spring or fall, I often use these large muslin blankets to keep the baby warm.

In the winter time, a baby blanket was baby essential, especially for when she was in the car seat and being transported from the house to the car.

Playtime, Development and Napping Necessities for Babies

24. Activity mat

An activity mat is a fantastic baby essential that’s like a magical world for your little one.

This activity mat has all of the essential components at a great price. It has bright colors, a machine washable mat and a few interesting toys.

Some of these activity mats contain a tummy time pillow.

This isn’t necessary as you can always use a small rolled up blanket to achieve the same purpose.

The toys are easily removable for tummy time use. You can always add extra toys up top as there are loops for this.

I like how the mat is not too bulky so it’s easy to move around.

As it’s on the thinner side, if you’re not using it on carpet, you might want to add a blanket or towel underneath.

As there are both black and white and color patterns, the baby’s senses can be stimulated right away. If your baby’s like mine, she’ll love kicking the poles and making the toys on top move!

25. Sensory Toys

Having a toys that you can clip into a stroller or a car seat when you’re out of the house is essential when your baby is fussy.

There are so many toys that you could bring out with you.

I love the Lamaze toys. They’re soft toy animals with appealing features for a baby including a crinkly part, a teether, vibrant colors and different textures.

They’re also non-electronic so they’re less obnoxious for public places when you don’t want to make too much noise.

I have three Lamaze toys that I put on her stroller, car seat and activity mat. The one she likes the most is this one. Lamaze has so many different animals if you have an animal theme or preference for your baby.

26. Bouncer chair

A bouncer chair is like a mini-fun park for your baby. It’s a baby essential because it keeps your little one entertained and gives you a break too.

This Fisher-Price chair is good value for its lifespan.

It’s average price for bouncer chairs and you can use it immediately up until the baby is 40 lbs. This one is both a rocker and a stationary chair (immovable with a kickstand).

I like how the toys hang low enough for a baby to touch and that the toy bar is easily removable for naps.

There is a vibration feature, but our baby didn’t like that feature so we never used it.

The chair is portable. We kept this baby essential in the bathroom because we wanted to have a place in the bathroom where we could safely put the baby down.

I honestly don’t know how I would have been able to brush my teeth or take a shower without this chair!

Must Haves for the Baby Nursery

27. Baby Monitor

I’m not an expert on this topic, but I have heard that video/WIFImonitors give off more radiation than audio monitors.

With this reason coupled with the fact that video/WIFI monitors are usually more expensive, we decided on an audio monitor.

We were lucky enough to get gifted this VTech model. So far it’s done the job. When my daughter is napping, I can bring the monitor around the house with me while I do chores.

28. Crib sheets and Mattress cover protectors

Crib sheets are a baby essential because they keep your little one cozy, clean, and comfortable while they sleep.

Babies can be messy, and crib sheets are there to catch all the spills, spit-up, and other surprises.

These crib sheets are great value and have a bunch of cute designs!

We got a waterproof mattress cover protector for our crib mattress and so far it’s protected the mattress from accidents.

To save time, one tip I received is to put 2 of these protectors on the mattress all the time with crib sheets layered on top.

You would put the cover on first, then a sheet on top, then another cover on and then another sheet.

29. Change table pad

I love this contoured changing pad because it’s a comfy surface for your baby during diaper changes.

It’s waterproof so it’s easier to clean and there’s a strap to secure the baby in.

You can attach it to a dresser in your baby’s room so you don’t have to bend down to do diaper changes. Be sure to check the dimensions of your dresser to see that it will fit well.

You can also put it in a change table. My sister-in-law gifted us this Ikea Gulliver Change Table, which we love. We put clothes, diapers and other necessities in cloth bins and baskets within the open shelving area. It made things easy to access!

30. Change pad liners

With the changing pad, you’ll want to get covers. These changing pad covers are affordable, soft and easy to wash. They fit most changing pads including the one above.

31. Crib

If you’re planning on co-sleeping with your baby, you can skip this baby essential.

If you want your baby to sleep independently, a crib is a safe and comfy spot for your little one to sleep.

I bought the Sundvik crib from Ikea. It’s simple, easy to install, and sturdy.

I got this crib because we have a full size bed available for our daughter for when she grows up.

If I didn’t have this bed, I would have purchased a convertible crib like this 4 in 1 that has great reviews.

Convertible cribs are great because they grow with your child – converting from a crib to a toddler bed and eventually to a day bed that can be used well into your kid’s teens.

Buying the convertible crib will likely save you money in the long run!

One thing about convertible cribs is that you’ll want to get the conversion kit when you buy the crib. This is because if your crib gets discontinued, the conversion kit might not be available in the future.

Related: I know many rave about the DockATot as a sleeping essential for their baby.

If you look it up, you’ll notice how expensive it is! I just couldn’t stomach the price.

I just realized there are so many DockATot alternatives that are comparable, but cheaper!

I haven’t used these because I already have the crib. If you have your heart set on a DockATot, you might want to check these out.

32. Crib Mattress

I got this Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams mattress for the crib. It’s firm and fit perfectly.

Related Post: Nursery Ideas on a Budget

What you need for your Baby’s Health and Safety

33. Nasal Aspirator

As a first time mom who is always paranoid about my baby being able to breathe, this nasal aspirator was a baby essential. It gave me peace of mind as it worked great for the occasional cold!

I did occasionally have to use it in combination with a chopstick to pick out dry snot.

The nasal aspirator would move the snot to the edge of her nose and then I would use a dull chopstick to take it out.

I still have not needed the replacement filters so I don’t recommend getting those.

34. Thermometer

Within my baby’s first year, I’ve only used this thermometer a handful of times to check if my baby has had a fever.

It’s fast and easy to use.

It’s not invasive and I can even use it on my baby when she’s sleeping. I like how it can be used on adults as well. It’s helpful that the unit has replacement filters.

35. Nail clippers

I tried to use my own nail file, but noticed that she still continued to get scratches on her face and ears from her nails.

I bought an all-in-one nail clipper/scissors/file/tweezers set and I’m so glad I did.

The clippers are dull so there’s no possibility of cutting her. The baby nail file is the perfect size to be able to round out those small edges.

36. Humidifier

We had a winter baby. Having this filter free humidifier running every night for the first few months helped her not get sick once.

When she eventually got sick at seven months, we put on the humidifier that night and noticed that she could immediately breathe easier.

37. Second Car Mirror

With a rear facing car seat, I found it helpful to have a car mirror attached to the back seat’s head rest.

It’s large and durable. The car mirror is made out of shatterproof acrylic glass so you don’t have to worry about this hurting the baby in case there’s an accident.

With a back seat car mirror, not only do you have the peace of mind of seeing your baby, he or she can see you.

When my daughter was crying in the back seat, I could make eye contact with her through the mirror to help soothe and reassure her.

My baby also just generally liked looking at the mirror. It was like a toy for her.

With the mirror, it was also helpful to know if she fell asleep.

Additional Baby Essentials

Here are additional newborn baby essentials I heard about from readers.

38. Gripe Water

My baby often had discomfort from gas, but it was usually quickly fixed by rubbing upwards on her back, giving her some tummy time or pumping her legs while she was on her back.

I have heard from readers who have babies with colic or seriously uncomfortable gas that only gripe water works, particularly this gripe water.

They’ve said it’s been essential for getting their babies to sleep comfortably.

If I have a second one and have issues, I will certainly be giving this a try!

39. Hooded Towel

We used a soft towel we had around the house, but readers have mentioned how much they love this organic baby hooded towel.

I’ve heard it’s luxuriously soft! It has a premium, thick material and absorbs well. If my soft towel wears out, I will probably get this for my little one. I might even try to find an adult version for myself!

40. Short-sleeve bodysuits

Many readers have told me how much they love these 6 pack bodysuits. They’re comfortable for your little one and economical!

I highly recommend getting a size up. These shrink!

Since my daughter was born in the winter time, we didn’t use these for the first few months. When the late spring and summer rolled around, she was living in these!

Mom Must Haves for the First 3 Months

41. Postpartum underwear

With postpartum bleeding, I highly recommend not getting adult diapers with the sticky tabs in front.

Instead get the pull-on underwear.

You can easily slip it on while you’re on the toilet and it’s comfortable.

When you’re looking at the sizing, go with one size up from your pre-pregnancy size. For example, I’m usually a size S and I went with the size S/M.

Everyone will require different quantities. I ended up purchasing 3 packs of postpartum underwear. I thought one pack would be enough, but I ended up bleeding up until I was 2-3 months postpartum.

42. Water bottle

My water bottle is essential and with me 24/7.

Yes – you read that right. I have it with me everywhere…

In my purse. In my stroller organizer. On my bedside table.

Since I’ve started breastfeeding, I’ve felt extreme weakness and dehydration like I’ve never experienced before.

I have to drink water CONSTANTLY to not just feed my baby, but to think and feel like a functional human.

This Voss water bottle that I’ve been reusing for a few years has been a lifesaver! It’s extra large and made of glass so there’s no unwanted flavoring from the package.

If I didn’t have this bottle, I would probably get this water bottle. My friends swear by this! They have multiple!

This water bottle is also made of glass, but has this silicone sleeve for easier gripping. It has an opening that’s large enough to put ice cubes easily in if you overheat and just need to chomp on cubes.

43. Meals

When you’re breastfeeding, you are hungry. All. The. Time.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard from moms how they only have time to prepare a meal and not eat it.

This is something I highly recommend preparing for before you give birth. Have freezer meals and easy-to-access snacks ready. Or work out a system with your partner to cook meals for you.

energy bars and almonds. When I was starving after breastfeeding in between meals, these energy bars hit the spot!

You’re fragile in the first 3 months and healing. You need to conserve your strength so you can take care of the baby.

44. Household Chores

The same thing applies to chores.

It’s essential to ask family to help you with this in advance.

Lower your expectations for getting household chores done in the first few months. What’s most important is that you get better first so you can take care of your child.

45. Mineral sunscreen

If you’re breastfeeding and going outdoors, you should be using a mineral sunscreen.

Mineral sunscreens are the best for breastfeeding women, children, pregnant women, and people with sensitive skin.

Here are a host of benefits detailing why mineral sunscreen is best.

The big reason is because mineral sunscreens are made with natural minerals and not chemicals.

Another reason is that chemical sunscreens take 20 minutes to be absorbed into the skin before it starts working.

If you’re using this mineral sunscreen for your child in the future (sunscreens aren’t recommended until after 6 months), you can also use this on your little one.

Related: Postpartum Essentials you Need after Giving Birth

If you’re interested in a summary of these baby essentials so you can easily check off baby items as you attain them and know what’s remaining for the first 3 months:

Here’s an editable Baby Essentials printable PDF.

baby essentials first 3 months

Here’s what’s NOT on my baby products checklist.

Here’s a list of 12 baby stuff we got, but never used.

1. Baby bandana drool bibs

Whenever the baby spit up, I just used a muslin blanket or replaced her onesie with a new one.

I know some moms who want the convenience of not having to wipe down your baby’s drool or replace clothing. If you’re one of these moms, you might want to consider getting baby bandana drool bibs.

That way you can just change the drool bib and not the whole outfit!

2. Head huggers, plush straps

My baby was born in winter so we thought we had to have these to keep her warm. When I read the car seat manual, I realized these types of accessories are not recommended for my particular car seat.

3. Baby shampoo and soap

This might seem extreme, but we just used the water-only no poo method. This does the job. My baby’s hair is healthy and clean. It has no additives!

4. Bottles, sterilizer, warmer, nipples

I made the mistake of buying bottles too early.

I didn’t intend for our baby to be exclusively breastfed. I just found breastfeeding so convenient that I never needed bottles.

5. Breast milk storage bags

My baby always fed directly on the breast so I just didn’t need the storage bags.

If you want to have a break from breastfeeding or get out of the house without the baby for some “me time”, you’ll need storage bags so that someone else can feed the baby.

6. Lansinoh nursing pads

I never used these as the pads in the nursing bra were sufficient.

In hindsight, I could have easily used a few baby wash cloths and put them in place of the breast pads just to see if I leaked enough to require breast pads.

7. Nipple cream

When my nipples were sore and cracked, I just used saliva, which worked well.

I know this doesn’t work for all moms. If you need nipple cream, here are 2 options I know have worked for other postpartum moms. They’re both organic. There’s no petroleum, parabens or lanolin.

You don’t need to worry about washing it off before breastfeeding and your baby accidentally ingesting something he or she shouldn’t have.

I’ve included 2 because they’re made from different ingredients:

  • This nipple cream is made with beeswax. I actually heard about this from a reader who highly recommends it.
  • Another option is to use organic coconut oil. I have this coconut oil and I love that it has many other uses like cooking, as a moisturizer on your hair or skin etc.

8. Belly Bandit

I was all set to wear it. I had heard the benefits like it helps put all of your insides into place and slim down your belly quickly. It eases back pain and offers support while breastfeeding.

Then when I went to our baby’s first doctor’s appointment, my doctor said she doesn’t recommend it.

I didn’t use the belly bandit. I ended up getting severe diastasis recti (when your abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy so you still look pregnant many months after giving birth).

At some point, I started seeing a physiotherapist. It improved slightly, but never went back to the way it was.

Since the belly bandit is only effective in the first few months postpartum, I couldn’t even try it 1 year later to see if it would work.

I am pregnant with a second child. I might reconsider the belly bandit and get a second opinion. A nurse I spoke to used it and said it worked well.

Depending on your situation, you might want to check with your doctor before getting one.

9. Mamaroo

We bought this used and what a mistake that was. The “obstruction” warning came on. We googled this issue and found out that these technical issues are usually just the start of the wear down.

10. Books

I bought What to expect the first year and Baby 411. Whenever we had an issue, it was faster to just google the recommendation, ask my doctor or a friend.

11. Pacifiers

My baby never needed them. When she was teething, she just used her fingers.

I know that for some moms, pacifiers are a baby essential for the first 3 months.

12. Onesies specifically for the umbilical cord

I had heard that these might be necessary, but we never needed them.

What do I need to buy BEFORE my baby is born?

You might be wondering “When should you start buying newborn baby gear?”

A lot of moms mention that you should buy the bare basics and then add on as you see a need.

We actually bought almost all of the essential baby gear before the baby arrived. We did this to minimize the amount of times we would have to go to the store in the first few months for a few reasons:

  • I might not be the most clear-headed or strong enough to go shopping in the initial postpartum months.
  • We wanted to spend the time enjoying our baby. As first-time parents, there’s a massive learning curve in the first few months. We wanted to take our time with it. And not miss any of the special moments.
  • We wanted to get the best prices. If we bought last minute, we knew we would pay top dollar. At the same time, we bought some items fairly close to her birth because we wanted to be able to return things if we never used them. FYI there are a few items that are not easily refundable such as car seats.

What do I need to have READY for when baby comes home?

We had almost all of the essentials for baby ready to go and organized BEFORE she came home.

The crib was set up. The car seat was installed. All of the clothes were put away.

I highly recommend preparing as much as you can before the baby comes home. Once the baby comes home, you will have very little time to do anything other than take care of the baby.

Recap of the Baby Necessities for the First Three Months:

  1. Nursing pillow
  2. Ameda Purely Yours pump
  3. Nursing bra
  4. Vitamin D drops
  5. Large muslin blankets
  6. Ubbi Diaper Pail
  7. Pampers diapers
  8. Wipes: Kirkland Signature Tencel Baby Wipes, Water wipes
  9. Diaper rash cream: Vaseline, Organic diaper balm
  10. Diaper backpack
  11. Portable dirty clothes bag in the diaper bag: Skip Hop Wet/Dry Bag
  12. Portable changing pad for the diaper bag: Kushies Change pad
  13. Bathtub: Fisher-Price bath tub
  14. Toque: Toque
  15. 2-way zipper sleepers: Inseam zipper pajamas
  16. Sweater
  17. Sunglasses and hat: Sunglasses, Baby hat
  18. Stroller: Uppababy Cruz stroller, Uppababy Vista stroller (rougher terrain)
  19. Infant Car Seat: Graco infant car seat
  20. Carrier: Ergonomic carrier
  21. Cuddle Bag: Bunting bag
  22. Car seat canopy: Car seat canopy
  23. Blanket: Large muslin blankets (spring, fall), Baby blanket (winter)
  24. Activity mat
  25. Sensory Toys: Lamaze toys
  26. Bouncer Chair: Fisher-Price chair
  27. Baby Monitor: VTech model
  28. Crib sheets and Mattress cover protectors: crib sheetswaterproof mattress cover protector
  29. Change table pad: contoured changing pad
  30. Change Pad Liners: Changing pad covers
  31. Crib: Sundvik crib
  32. Crib Mattress: Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams mattress
  33. Nasal aspirator
  34. Thermometer
  35. Nail clipper/scissors/file/tweezers set
  36. Filter free humidifier
  37. Car mirror
  38. Gripe water: Gripe water
  39. Organic baby hooded towel
  40. Short-sleeve bodysuits: 6 pack bodysuits
  41. Postpartum underwear: Pull-on underwear
  42. Water bottle
  43. Meals
  44. Household Chores
  45. Mineral sunscreen

Final Thoughts on the New Baby Checklist

In the end, it’s to each their own. Your “essentials for babies” list might look different from mine. Do what works best for your family and budget.

If you’re pregnant, congrats! You’re in for an amazing adventure.

Being a mom is so rewarding. Take care and all the best!

Related Note: I found this baby essentials list worked well for not just the first 3 months, but also 3-6 months.

However, when my baby turned 6 months, she had different needs with starting solids and being more mobile. Here are my must haves at 6-12 Months.

If you’re planning ahead, here are my 1 year old toddler essentials.

If this is your second child, here’s my second baby checklist, which includes recommendations from 18 second-time or third-time moms.

In case you missed it above, to help with managing costs, don’t forget to sign up for:

1) Amazon Baby Registry

Amazon provides you with a one-time 10% discount on select items from your registry, 60 days before your child’s arrival date.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, the one-time discount is 15%! Amazon Prime also comes with 20% off diapers and baby food when you have more than 5 subscriptions. The best part about this membership: 2 day FREE shipping and FREE access to movies, TV shows, music and books. You can cancel your other subscriptions!

There are also FREE 90 day returns on baby store purchases. Get the FREE 30 day Amazon Prime trial here, which you can cancel at anytime.

You can also get a welcome gift box if you’re an Amazon Prime member and meet certain requirements like a minimum spend. Here are the specific eligibility requirements in the US. Here are the eligibility requirements in Canada.

2) Rakuten (formerly Ebates)

Before purchasing items on Amazon, go through Rakuten first!

Companies pay a commission to Rakuten for advertising on their site. Rakuten then shares that commission with you. Depending on the rates, you could get up to 40% of your purchase price back!

Rakuten is FREE to sign up.

For U.S. residents, Rakuten will give you a welcome bonus of $10 after making your first online purchase of $25 or more.

For Canadians, it’s a $5 welcome bonus for signing up. You can read more about how to use Rakuten here!

Related Newborn Essentials Articles:

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Naiya! I’m so glad you found this list of baby essentials useful.

  1. Thank you so much for putting together this post! At 35, having my first baby, and being a researcher, I have gotten so overwhelmed lately at the HUGE lists of “things you need”. I keep asking my husband,”Yeah, but what is crucial those first 3 months and what can we put off buying until after that point (partly to not be overwhelming and partly to space out big purchases).” This post was exactly what I was looking for! So, thank you! You just gave this soon-to-be-first-time-mama a huge dose of peace!


    1. Thanks for stopping by the website and writing such a nice comment, Virginia! A big congrats on your little one!

  2. That is such an amazing and helpful article. I have started to read it and build our list too, and it was a great model. All the items are very well described and that helped a lot too, it is much easier to understand from a person that is a mother already than just reading a list of necessities. I have clicked the links also and they were all so very helpful.

    Thank you a lot, It was amazing and I enjoyed reading through the article. Very warm and helpful, boosted with information 😀

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Brigitta! All the best with your baby essentials list!

  3. What an amazing list! These items are absolutely essential for babies, and I have no doubt that many parents will find it incredibly helpful. Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive and informative guide to ensure that our little ones have everything they need to thrive.

  4. I absolutely love this blog post! It’s such a helpful resource for new parents. The list of baby essentials for the first 3 months is comprehensive and spot-on. It’s evident that you’ve put a lot of thought and experience into creating this valuable guide. Thank you for sharing these must-have items and ensuring that new parents are well-prepared. Well done!

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