What You Actually Need for a Newborn- Budget Friendly


Preparing for a newborn is a daunting, and expensive, task. In the best of circumstances, you have nine months to shop and get things ready. I, on the other hand, had three WEEKS. My baby boy is now ten months old but we adopted him at birth; you can read his adoption story here. It was a complete miracle and we did not know we were adopting him until the day after he was born. He unfortunately came down with a staph infection in the hospital so we weren’t able to bring him home until he was almost a month old. Though I hated him having to stay in the hospital, those three weeks were a blessing in disguise. I had almost NOTHING for a baby so that time was spent frantically shopping and cleaning.

We have an amazing support system that helped us get what we needed and we honestly had more than we actually needed. I knew that once we were past those first few months, I wanted to do a blog post about what the true newborn necessities were. I think this could be helpful if you’re in a situation like mine, if you have the full nine months or if you’re just looking for baby shower gift ideas. Of course, this is just my opinion and what my son needed. You and your baby might be totally different. I did try to keep this list as budget friendly as possible because babies need a TON of things and it adds up fast. Also, I’m not going to really discuss clothes because that is completely dependent on when your baby is born and where you live. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

⭐️All prices are approximate and may vary by store. Most of these products can be found at WalMart but it’s important to shop around for the best deal.

🍼Bottle Feeding:

  • Parent’s Choice Glass Baby Bottles with Silicone Sleeves– I have absolutely loved using these bottles and I’m still using them to this day. I chose glass because I was concerned with plastic holding germs. You can get a three pack of five ounce bottles for $10.00.
  • Munchkin Bristle Bottle Brush– Trust me when I say, don’t skimp on the bottle brush. This one is only around $5.00 but they do make cheaper ones. However, the cheaper ones will fall apart.
  • Munchkin Formula Dispenser– If you’re bottle feeding and plan to leave the house, this is a must. I personally have two of them and use them all the time. They’re around $5.00.
  • Munchkin Bottle Sterilizer– This isn’t technically a must have because you can sterilize bottles and pacifiers in boiling water but this item saves SO much time. It’s $15.00.
  • Little Star Organic Cotton Burp Cloths– Burp cloths are a necessity in general, the brand isn’t important, but I own these exact ones and love them. They’re not too thick, they wash well and they’re incredibly soft. You can get a three pack for $9.00. I would say a good amount of burp cloths is between ten and fifteen; unless you want to constantly be doing laundry.
  • Boppy Pillow– This pillow is perfect for bottle or breast feeding and when baby starts learning to sit up. This particular one is from WalMart and is $40.00. I believe I got mine from Ross for like $20.00 so check around different places.

🧼Diapering & Bathing:

  • Parent’s Choice Dry & Gentle Diapers– We were gifted so many diapers from Huggies to Pampers to Hello Bello but my absolute favorites were these… and they’re the cheapest! They’re soft and the only time I’ve had an issue with them leaking is when my son started sleeping on his side. Of course, this won’t be a problem with newborns. You can get 42 diapers for $4.00.
  • Equate Baby Powder– In my opinion, this powder works much better than the more expensive brands I’ve tried and it’s not as fragranced. You get 15 ounces for $1.68.
  • Parent’s Choice Fragrance Free Baby Wipes– Just like with the diapers, these wipes are the best I’ve tried and what I still use today. They’re thick and moist. We have a wipe warmer and all wipes but these dry out in it. You can get 800 wipes for $13.00.
  • Baby Magic Calming Bath & Lotion– My son uses all kinds of bath products because we were gifted so many. My personal favorites for scent, lather and moisturization though, are from Baby Magic; specifically the lavender and chamomile. You can get huge 30 ounce bottles for $4.68. However, if you prefer something less/unscented, I recommend the Aveeno Soothing Relief Wash and their Fragrance Free Lotion.
  • Skidaddle Sink Bather– This sink bather was perfect for my son and I used it until he was around six months old. My only issue with it is it does mold, even if hung up after every use. We went through two of these. I do still think it’s worth buying, however. It’s $20.00.
  • Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment– If you buy one tub of this, you’ll have no need for any other kind of ointment. You can use it anywhere on your baby’s body. It really helped the dry skin on my baby’s face during the winter and he’s never had diaper rash because I use this stuff on him religiously. It’s also clear which makes it SO much better than the white, messy diaper creams. It’s $14.00 for 14 ounces.

*You also need baby wash cloths and towels. I didn’t link to any because I couldn’t find ones that I thought were a good buy and good quality. Ross is a great place to shop for these. You can also just use receiving blankets as towels.

🧴Grooming & Medications:

  • Safety 1st Nursery Care Health & Grooming Kit– This is a great starter kit for newborns. It’s not the highest quality but everything in it works. It’s $20.00.
  • Little Remedies Infant Fever & Pain Reliever– Your baby will need this at some point but of course, a doctor will have to tell you how much is safe to give them. This particular brand is $7.70 for 2 ounces.
  • Parent’s Choice Gas Relief Simethicone Drops– We used these literally all the time. I did buy the more expensive brands occasionally but they didn’t seem to work any better than this one. This brand is $3.62 for 1 ounce.
  • Parent’s Choice Gripe Water– I’m not sure if gripe water actually does anything but my son loves the taste. We still dip his pacifier in it when he’s crying and it always soothes him. This brand is $6.42 for 4 ounces.

👶🏻Bedding, Pacifiers & Swaddlers:

  • Delta Children Sweet Slumber Bassinet– I strictly believe in safe sleep so my son always slept in his bassinet. I wouldn’t say this bassinet was my favorite and if I had more time to research, I probably would have chosen something different. I would have liked something with full mesh sides and the music/vibrate feature stopped working after literally one week. However, other than that, this was a good option. It’s considered an extra large bassinet and my son was able to sleep in it a little past the five month recommendation; he wasn’t fully rolling over until six months. I also loved that this bassinet had wheels because I used it all over my house. This option is on the “cheaper” side for bassinets at $89.00.
  • TL Care Fitted Cotton Bassinet Sheets– These bassinet sheets were super soft and worked great while still being very affordable. A pack of three is $10.00 and you’ll want to have, at minimum, four or five sheets.
  • Parent’s Choice Receiving Blankets– Receiving blankets are so multi-functional. I used ours not just as blankets but as towels and burp cloths. These particular ones are $8.84 for four.
  • Parent’s Choice Royal Plush Blanket– This is my favorite thicker blanket that my son owns. It is unbelievably soft and warm. This is the kind of blanket that’s great for gifting, as well. It’s $11.24.
  • NUK Glow in the Dark Orthodontic Pacifiers– I almost didn’t include pacifiers because they’re so specific to each baby. When my son first came home, he would only take the Philips Avent Pacifiers but soon after we started using NUK. I personally love the glow in the dark options because they’re much easier to find at night when baby is screaming. A two pack is $7.37.
  • Parent’s Choice Pacifier Clip– A pacifier clip is a must, especially in the car. This one is $3.00.
  • SwaddleMe Swaddle– You can swaddle your baby with receiving blankets but it is so much easier to use one of these swaddlers. My son loved them. A three pack is $25.00.

🧽Cleaning, Car Seat, Baby Monitor & Diaper Bag:

  • Purex Free & Clear Laundry Detergent– It drives me kind of insane how everybody pushes Dreft Baby Detergent when that stuff is so unbelievably scented. I was worried it would irritate MY skin, much less my baby’s, so I wanted something unscented. Quite a few brands have sensitive options but I chose to go with Purex. I use this on all of our laundry and it works great. It’s $8.00 for 150 ounces, around 115 loads.
  • ECOS Hypoallergenic Dish Soap Free and Clear– This isn’t my favorite dish liquid because it doesn’t really suds up at all and I feel that you have to use more of it but it worked great for bottles. It’s $2.38 for 25 ounces.
  • Evenflo Embrace Car Seat– This was a good basic car seat. It works until baby is 35 pounds; though we moved my son out of it at around 25 pounds because we got him a larger seat. This car seat is $79.00. It’s not necessary but we also had a seat base and that made moving it from vehicle to vehicle much easier. We also had a car seat canopy. The canopy is pricey at $50.00 but I think it’s well worth it to keep the sun and rain off the baby. I actually lucked up and found the exact one I linked at a thrift store.
  • VTech Enhanced Range Baby Monitor– This is a very basic baby monitor but it’s served its purpose. Once my son moves to his big crib in his room, I want to get a more high tech one. This monitor is $19.00.
  • Bananafish Studio Morgan Convertible Diaper Bag– I own two diaper bags and I use this one 95% of the time. It is huge and has enough space for everything. It’s really high quality and still looks great after ten months. It is $40.00.

🧸Toys & Comfort Items:

  • Bright Starts Snuggle & Teethe Toys– My son doesn’t have these exact toys but he has some that are almost identical from Dollar General. He’s loved them since he was a newborn because of the crinkle sound they make. I almost always have one in his diaper bag. These are $7.00 for two.
  • Playskool Glo Worm– This creepy looking guy is still one of my son’s favorite toys. It lights up and plays ten minutes of lullabies. It’s $15.00.
  • Soft Baby Cloth Book– My son doesn’t have this book in particular but he does have a soft book that he still loves. He likes to chew the ribbons and cuddle with it. This one is $11.00 but I think you could find these cheaper elsewhere.
  • Baby Einstein Sea Dreams Soother Musical Crib Toy– This toy is my holy grail. Of course, you can’t use it in a bassinet but you could fasten it on to something else. My son watches/listens to this toy every night and it always helps him fall asleep. It is $40.00 but I was able to get mine half off at Buy Buy Baby.

*I didn’t picture a swing but my son’s swing was a LIFESAVER. His was an older model that is no longer available and I couldn’t find anything similar but if you can get a swing, do it.

📖Baby Book:

  • Smile of Life Woodland Baby Memory Book– A baby book isn’t a necessity but it was something I really wanted. I struggled to find one that was suitable for adoption, until this one. This baby book is stunning and perfect for any kind of family. It’s $30.00 and so very worth it.

Final Thoughts:

If you’ve made it to the end of this massive post, I hope you found it helpful! I’d love to know what your newborn necessities are or were. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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