The first few days and weeks with your new baby may feel like a whirlwind.

You may still be recovering from childbirth. You may have a mix of emotions that lasts throughout the newborn phase. The newborn phase lasts for the first two months of your baby’s life.

As you navigate through these early months, remember that having a newborn is a big adjustment for everyone.

You’ll want to introduce a baby into your family and home slowly. For the first few months, it’s better to go with the flow than try to keep a strict schedule.

Read on to learn everything you need to know to prepare for and manage life with a newborn.

What essentials do you need for your newborn?

Having a few essential items on hand for the hospital and when you bring your newborn home will help ease the transition.

Make sure you remove these items from their packaging. Familiarize yourself with the instructions and assemble them, if necessary. This will ensure they’re ready to use as soon as you need them.

Essentials for the hospital

The hospital may provide some items like:

  • a few newborn diapers
  • a hat
  • swaddle blanket
  • samples of formula if you’re bottle-feeding

You’ll also want to have the following:

  • extra newborn diapers
  • going-home outfit for baby
  • baby blanket
  • the formula, bottles, and sterilizing equipment, if you plan to bottle-feed

If the hospital wants you to pump breast milk, some hospitals will give you access to a hospital-grade pump during your stay.

Essentials for bringing baby home

Once you bring baby home, have the following on hand:

  • breast pump (if you plan to breastfeed but still want to give your baby a bottle occasionally or pump to build up your milk supply)
  • burp cloths
  • two boxes of newborn diapers (but don’t buy too many of the same brand or size in case your baby outgrows them or they irritate their skin)
  • wipes and diaper cream (get small tubes of a few different types of diaper cream so you can see which one you prefer; a soft cloth with just warm water works fine early on and maybe preferable)
  • newborn bottles with various nipples to see which kind baby will take
  • crib, bassinet, or bedside co-sleeper with a firm sleep surface where the baby will sleep
  • fitted crib sheet and mattress, if needed
  • basic outfits, onesies, and pajamas
  • newborn bathtub
  • soft towels and washcloths

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