We had Shep's nursery set up months before he was born, not realizing that he wouldn't actually sleep in there for probably 6 months after he was born. What did we actually need when he came home? Diapers, wipes (we use Pampers), milk, and a handful of basic things. We'll use the toys, the baby monitor, crib, and other things we registered for when he's older, but here's what we really use now:
My mother-in-law bought us this bassinet really early in my pregnancy. We're super thankful that she sent this to us because this is where he sleeps every night (in our room). He won't move into his room for a while, so this bassinet is essential. I love that this specific one has a little shelf beneath it where I can store fresh linens (for when he pees on or spits up on his swaddle or outfit in the middle of the night).
Zip-Up Footie Sleepers
There are tons of cute baby clothes out there, but for newborns, I'd highly recommend using zip-up sleepers like these. They're so much easier to take on/off than something with a bunch of snaps or something that has to go over their head. And the footie aspect allows you to not have to deal with socks in the middle of the night. I usually try to dress Shepherd in one of these at night (at set a fresh one next to his changing pad for when I inevitably have to change his outfit), but I also use them often in the middle of the day. Honestly, if you only had these, you'd be totally fine.
Babies can't regulate their temperature as well as we can, so stocking up on a few hats of various thicknesses is wise. Shepherd wears a hat most of the day.
Car Seat, Stroller, & Car Seat Adaptor
These are pretty obvious. They won't let you leave the hospital without a car seat, so that's a definite must. And then your baby won't be able to sit directly in the stroller until their neck firms up, so you'll need an adaptor to connect your car seat to your stroller.
Muslin Swaddle Blankets
These are awesome. I use them for swaddling at night, for keeping spit up off my bed/pillows when I bottle feed him, covering myself when breastfeeding, for covering his car seat from sunlight or germy people, and for burping.
Washcloths & Hooded Towel
We are glad we stocked up on washcloths. We use them for bathtime, but we also tuck one under his chin every time we bottle feed him (to keep spit up off his shirt). And then all day long, I keep a washcloth in my pocket for cleaning up spit up.
The hooded towel is great because it keeps them warmer after bathtime. When they're so little, they don't like being wet and cold.
Baby Bathtub, Diaper Pail, & Soap
I bathe Shep in his little tub inside our tub. That keeps everything pretty tidy, and I can have warm running water to wipe him down with. I don't feel like it's super clean to use the bath water that he sits in to wash him, so I like having the fresh water to wet/rinse the washcloths.
We keep our diaper pail next to his bassinet in our bedroom. It does an awesome job of keeping that trash smell free and compact.
Laundry Detergent & Hamper
If you didn't know already, you can't wash baby clothes with regular detergent. Their new skin is too sensitive. So you'll want to keep their laundry separate from yours and use a special newborn detergent.
We have this Solly wrap as well as an Ergo 360, but are using the Solly exclusively for this newborn phase. I like how it keeps him close to me in the same position he would be in if he were sleeping on my chest on the couch while I watched TV. Also, it's easy to transport because it's just a long piece of fabric -- fits nicely in the diaper bag.
My insurance covered the Freestyle Medela pump w/ the icepack lunchbox and the pumping bustier. I bought the sanitizing bags and use them once a day. My hospital gave me nipples that I can use with the pump bottles. We also bought storage bags and cleaning wipes for whenever I have to pump on the go.
Is there anything you use(d) with your newborn that you think is a must have? Let me know in the comments below.