As a first time parent, putting together a baby registry can be overwhelming because it’s difficult to tell what is truly a necessity.  Sure hooded towels are cute, but they’re certainly not a necessity.

We’re going to post a 7 part Ultimate Baby Registry series in the coming days, and before you get overwhelmed, I thought we’d put together a list of the absolute newborn essentials first.    A newborn just needs you, a place to sleep, milk, diapers, and clothes those first couple of weeks.  And you don’t need to have absolutely everything you might possibly need prepared in advance — if you need something  after the baby is born, you can always go out and buy it!

This is what I think are the absolute newborn essentials you need when you bring your baby home:

Sleep – If you’re using a bassinet, pack n play or cosleeper, you can hold off on buying a crib for a couple of months.  There were a couple of items I debated adding like fragrance free laundry detergent, baby shampoo, and baby lotion, but ultimately I left them off the list because those were all things our parents lived without.

Feeding – In case breastfeeding doesn’t work out, you’ll want to have at least 2 bottles on hand.

Travel – You’ll need a car seat to get home from the hospital, and a stroller, baby carrier or sling to take the baby outside.

Changing – Diapers, wipes, and diaper cream are all you’ll need, although back in my mom’s day, they just did a lot of butt washing and didn’t use diaper cream!

First Aid – Infants under 2 months old shouldn’t be given pain medicine, so the only items you’ll need are clippers to trim those razor sharp claws that grow super fast, as well as a digital rectal thermometer so you can tell when your baby has a fever.

Layette – It’s easy to go overboard on the clothes, but newborns outgrow 0-3 month sizes so quickly.  I think some onesies and sleepers are all you need those first couple of weeks, and the basic brands like Carter’s are just fine.

What would you add/remove/change about this list?  What were the absolute newborn essentials for you?