The Only 12 Things You Really Need to Care for a Newborn

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Hooray! You’re . Congratulations . I was in your situation just one year ago, so I know first-hand all of the feels you’re currently experiencing. You're likely overwhelmed—not just with the changes happening to your body, but the sheer thought of everything you’ll need to buy as well.

I’ll let you in on a little secret—you really don’t need that much. Your brand-new baby won’t be able to focus their little eyes on play gyms, mobiles, rattles, or the like for the first couple of months, nor will they be able to sit up, grasp toys, or crawl for even longer than that. So don’t stress over stocking up on the latest Etsy finds or the newest toys on the block.

Babies also don’t get properly dirty until they’re on solids (we’re three months in, and my washing pile isn’t much bigger than it was when it was just the two of us), so you don’t need 200 pairs of tights or 200 tops just in case. Also, when it comes to clothes, you don’t know how big or small your baby will be until they’re here. And they grow really fast, so my advice is not to spend hundreds of dollars stocking up on newborn clothes—it’s easier to roll up the sleeves if something’s too big than it is to squeeze a floppy baby into something that’s too small.

Also, it’s good to remember that stores will still be selling baby things after your new arrival makes his or her entrance, so send your mother, in-laws, aunt, uncle, or friend to pick up that soother or nail clippers or hairbrush that you absolutely need to have, right now. Or jump online—genius.

My fiancé and I made no secret of wanting to parent our daughter by instinct, so we bought the bare minimum. We chose to add to our baby booty if and when we need to. You don’t have to take my advice, as it’s your journey after all. Read on to find out how we did it and what things we considered essentials when it came to our baby.