I remember when I was pregnant, R and I got into an argument with my parents around how we didn’t want to buy that much baby stuff. Their side of the argument, “babies need a lot of stuff!!!!” I still disagree. This is a list of what we found to be the only essential items:
– a place for the baby to sleep. I would highly, highly recommend a baby box. We used the “SnuggleNest.” A box means you can have the baby fall asleep anywhere while still having the baby feel like it’s in a familiar place. Plus, later on you can put the box inside the crib and the adjustment goes super well.
– silicone bottles. We used comotomo brand which I liked a lot because the silicone and the wide mouth meant you don’t need a bottle brush to wash them out.
– diapers. Goes without saying.
– warm clothes. Babies run cold, or at least our baby did. It was not unusual for her to sleep in an inside onesie, a wool sweater vest (handknit by grandma), footed PJs, and a hat.
– blankets to swaddle with. We used regular receiving blankets and didn’t buy swaddlers.
– a baby bathtub. Our kiddo legit cried every time we bathed her, which we did every day! But in a few weeks, she started associating bath time with bed time which is still the case. The one time in her entire life we skipped the bath, she would. not. go. to. sleep.
– a white noise machine, though we used our phones for the first few months.
– burp cloths. Get more than you think you need. Once you are out, time to do laundry!
– a mode of transportation for the baby (wrap, car seat, etc.). This one is highly variable based on your situation. We did a mix of wraps (the ktan), car seat in car (the maxi cosi mico 30…insane name for a car seat if you ask me), and car seat attachment with stroller).
– and for mom: massages, post-partum pies (and really unlimited food), and at least a night bottle of formula administered by someone else so she can get some sleep).