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Top 20 Baby Necessities for New Moms

Sarah Walker Caron is an award winning journalist, freelance writer and editor. She lives a happy life in Maine with her two children, where they love to hike, visit the beaches and have lots of silly fun. Check out her food blog at Sara...

If you're having your first baby, you don't want to be caught without these must-haves

Becoming a mother for the first time can be really overwhelming. You want everything to be perfect, but how are you supposed to know exactly what baby products are necessities?

The market is flooded with all kinds of stuff that advertisers will tell you every new mom needs, but not all of it is life-changing. Check out this list — it will help you separate the "needs" from the "wants" and get down to the essentials.

1. A good stash of diapers

Whether you are planning on using disposable or cloth diapers, you need a good stash tucked away. Running out of diapers can be disastrous, particularly at 3 a.m. Do yourself a favorite and stock up on diapers in various sizes.

2. Baby bodysuits galore

The top clothing item for a newborn is the bodysuit (onesie) — a shirt that snaps together between the legs. It stays in place, it's comfy and it keeps a diaper on. Keep loads of them around. Go for Carter's bodysuits, which are thick and cozy.

3. A swaddle blanket (actually, two)

Swaddling mimics what babies feel like in the womb, so it can be super comforting, especially to newborns. Be sure to have two swaddle blankets, so that when one is in the wash, you have another ready to go. Check out the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets (aden + anais, $55), which are generously sized — perfect for easy swaddling.

More: 7 Tips for New Moms to Get Some Sleep

4. Wipes

Like diapers, you may choose disposable or reusable wipes. Whatever you choose, be sure to have plenty on hand. You will use them dozens of times a day for wiping hands, changing diapers and more.

5. A changing pad for outings

Sure, many public bathrooms have changing stations, but do you really want your baby touching that surface — which could very well be dirty? That's why you need a portable changing pad like the Pronto! Changing Station from Skip Hop (Skip Hop, $30). Wherever you are, you can change Baby without worrying about germs. And the Pronto! has room for extra diapers and wipes.

6. A great diaper bag

Face it, diapers and wipes aren't all you need. You'll have to tote bottles, blankets, outfit changes and toys along too. A fabulous bag, such as this one from the Petunia Pickle Bottom (Petunia Pickle Bottom, $189) line, will keep you organized and ready for anything that being on the go brings.

7. A fabulous (comfy) carrier

Much like swaddling, a good baby carrier keeps Baby tucked in as if in the womb. Furthermore, it keeps your baby close to your heart, which can be so comforting for her. Check out the popular Maya Wrap which you can wear in a variety of ways.

8. A great stroller

All strollers are not created equal. Some have ultra-smooth handling but are large when folded. Some are fabulously compact but sheer drudgery to push. Go to the store and test several to see how they work for you. And be sure to try folding them — both to see if the stroller will fit in your car and to see if it's easy enough to put away.

9. A mobile

When babies are ultra-small, getting away for even a simple bathroom break can be tough. A mobile can help. Not only can it lull Baby to sleep, but it also can buy you a few much needed minutes of quiet so you can use the facilities. The Sweet Island Dreams Mobile (Baby Earth, $50) is a very cute option.

10. Nipple cream

Breastfeeding? You need nipple cream. Should your nipples get sore, cracked, chapped or any of the other possible results of breastfeeding, you will be thankful to have this. Try Lansinoh (Target, $7) brand.

Up next: More baby necessities for new moms

Originally published August 2012. Updated February 2017.

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