My Newborn Essentials…

When you receive the news you’re about to become a first-time mom, I think it’s your right of passage to go nuts and order/register anything and everything you think you might need. You think you need a swing, get it. You think you need that special space age bathtub, get it. You think your baby will look so cute in that 3 piece outfit, you get it! I did it and had so much fun doing so. It’s truly a special time.

Now I’m not here to burst anyone’s bubble but if I can help you save a buck or two it would please me. So when I discovered the stuff I thought I really needed compared to the stuff my baby really needed was a huge difference. Mabel hated the swing. Mabel hated her cool space age bath-tub and she hated being put in a complicated 3 piece outfit. Not to mention me fidgeting nervously trying to get it on her.

Second time round I downsized, big time. Actually, to a fault. The night we brought Evelyn home my Mom looked around and said “Em, where is all the baby’s things?” I took it down to the bare bones.

Here were my newborn essentials, baby number two style:

Baby Bjorn bassinet

I loved this bassinet. It was light and easy to move around. When my husband and I could actually sit and have a meal together we would move the bassinet with Evelyn next to the table. When we traveled it came apart and folded easily. I didn’t have a nursery set up for Evelyn when she came home as she slept in our room. So this was her crib for her first 3 months.


I know there’s other breastfeeding pillows on the market but this was the only one I used and really liked. I found it comfortable for my body type and it really helped me to get my babies in the right position to nurse.


I didn’t really swaddle Mabel all that much but Evelyn loved it. And these swaddles have been washed again and again and they only get better with age. Even though we don’t swaddle Evelyn anymore we still have use for them.

Bibs/Burp cloths

Both my kids were happy spitters . Evelyn still is to a certain degree. They have both lived in bibs for the first six months of their lives. And we needed a bit of protection from those happy spitters so those burp cloths came in handy. I couldn’t go anywhere without them. They are great quality and still going strong wash after wash.

Its your right of passage to go nuts and order/register anything and everything you think you might need...
Little Ev's in the K'tan

Baby K’tan Carrier

The Baby K’tan is like a sling/wrap/carrier all in one. But without loads of annoying fabric to wrap around you. It was my life saver. I started using it with Evelyn within the first few weeks. It was especially useful when I needed my hands free to take care of Mabel. For a moment this worked as a great way to ease Evelyn’s witching hour too. I’d get her all snug on me, stroll around and it really calmed her.

KicKee Pants

These are just soft and yummy. I used the all-in-one PJ’s for Mabel the first year and Evelyn is following suit. It’s easy to get on and off, very comfy and great quality. My babies did not have the patience to play dress-up so they (and I) love the low maintenance of it all.

Bath Thermometer 

I always needed to check the temperature of the bath water. I like my bath hot (when I used to take them) so I’m not a good gage. For a baby I was told 99 Farenheight/37 Celsius. So this gadget came in handy and soothed any doubt I might have had in my mind of the water being too hot.

Sound Machine

I know the sound machine is controversial but I’ve used it with both my kids. We travel a lot so new sounds in unfamiliar settings will wake them. I think when I turn it on for them at naps and bedtime it’s just another helpful cue that’s its time to sleep. But let’s be real, it’s a cue, doesn’t mean they are falling straight to sleep when they hear it. I wish! That’s another blog entry to come. But once they are asleep I think it helps keep them asleep. And that’s my goal.

Maybe you’re wondering what I might have done with all those so-called must-haves that I wasn’t able to use first-time-round? Luckily, there’s  Baby 2 Baby  . Take a look at their site. They are a great organization and I really like what they do. And if you’re on the east coast Room to Grow is a great organization that you can donate your lightly used items to.

What were your baby essentials? What did you think you really needed but ended up not using because your baby wasn’t fond of it?

Looking forward to hearing from you again.


From my home to yours,

Emma xx

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There are 15 comments
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slats says:

I liked your blog even though I’m not a mother. I’m keeping in mind to re-read your blog once again, if I ever become one. Keep up the good work.


Emma Heming Willis says:

Thank you! That’s a high compliment!

Summer says:

Great post! These were right in with our favorite essentials too. You don’t really need much. 😉

Emma Heming Willis says:

You need very little. Miss those days Summmer? 🙂

Julia-Selina says:

A great contribution.

The Baby K’tan Carrier’s great. I had to tell my sister in law, but as soon as my niece is growing, it is probably too late. A sweet picture of you two. ^_^

The bibs are also totally sweet. My niece had one though, but then it spat me. But the smile makes it all away again.

Um … the KicKee Pants are also very great. Hopefully I get it in Deuschland.

And the creeper. So sweet … ^_^

Kiss and Hugs Julia

Julia-Selina says:

A great contribution.

The Baby K’tan Carrier’s great. I had to tell my sister in law, but as soon as my niece is growing, it is probably too late. A sweet picture of you two. ^_^

The bibs are also totally sweet. My niece had one though, but then it spat me. But the smile makes it all away again.

Um … the KicKee Pants are also very great. I hope I get something in Germany.

And the Bath Thermometer. So sweet … ^_^

Kiss and Hugs Julia

Sorry, I only now found the error. What happens when you only substance and Christmas in the head.

Emma Heming Willis says:

Happy you like the suggestions! xxx

barbara says:

Hi Emma!
When my first girl was born I bought two things that I thought indispensable and instead I used very little, not only with her but also with the second girl t
hat is the box for childten and the child walker to help them to walk! My two girls are very dinamic and they hated box because they love freedom! With regard the child walker here in Italy the pediatricians against it and me too, because in my opinion it is better to see the children crawl and than to walk according to the course of nature. I bought the child walker only because my mom insiste thai it was very useful! Instead the things that have been essencial for me and my girls have been the mobile changing table with the baby bath, the bouncer with the melodies and of course the high chair for the baby food. My two girls have used a lot of the plastic bibs but i haven’t used a bit of protection for the happy spitters because I have not thought about it! It would have been a great idea!
This blog is very interesting and I’d like to thank you for sharing your life like mom, even if you’re a famous woman!!
Kiss and hugs,

Emma Heming Willis says:

Thank you Barbara for sharing xo

Rebekah says:

These are all great suggestions!
For myself, it wasn’t so much what I thought I needed after my daughter was born, but more what I thought I needed in the hospital for labor. I had a whole bag, ready to go, a few outfits for myself and for her. I was so wrong. After an emergency c-section, and realizing you don’t care who see’s your bare bottom, I never left the hospital gown until we were discharged on the third day.

Looking back to when we had her home, the only thing that sticks out in my mind for something I wish I had was a wipe warmer. I had the essentials that we needed, had no space for anything else! haha.

Emma Heming Willis says:

We had major bags packed for the hospital too! Didn’t use a thing except for my toothbrush. Thanks for sharing x

Audrey says:

Hello fellow moms and future moms. Given my son is 16 I am not up on the latest baby items. I loved reading about your list Emma… makes me miss those baby days but then Im just happy that I was blessed with them. I would say that being organized was just as important as the items. My sanity schedule kept me sane… well, lol closer to it. This was a spread sheet that I made used to count ounces, times, diapers, new foods, medicines, firsts, and naps. As a new mom who was scared to death this binder was peace of mind that also contained highlighters, pens, chapstick, tissues, watch… I also invested in a portable heater for after his daily bath that would make his lotion massage and getting dressed more enjoyable. I had a collection of books that I read to him and I talked to him all the time….explaining things. Turns out he was reading at 4 and hyperlexic…. all that reading paid off and his voabulary was tested at 13th grade level at 5. Education or an intrest in learning starts SO young. Sing the alphabet song daily and count those finger foods while your little ones are in their kickee pants (not sure what those are) :).

Emma Heming Willis says:

ha great advice! If you had a little one I bet you’d like kicked pants 🙂

Rosetta Patafie says:

This so so true. Live your blog. Thank you.

Karina L says:

I am not a mom… Just got engaged. Came across your blog and cant stop reading all your awesome advice! I appreciate you taking finances into perspective so that everyone can relate to the blog! As said by Slats below I deff need to remember to re-read this once we decide to have babies. Thanks!

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