During the second trimester, you will probably be belly-deep in decisions, from birth plan choices to nursery designs to what to buy.

Even if the weeks are flying by, you'll be ready for baby's arrival by focusing on the only seven things you really need.

Car seat

This is top on the list because you really won't be able to leave a hospital without it — a staffer will probably even check to make sure it's properly installed.

Research is key

Start doing your homework early to wade through safety reviews and the various types of seats available. Then install the seat well in advance of 40 weeks, preferably with the help of a certified car seat technician.

Compatible stroller

From there, you might consider investing in a compatible stroller adapter, which is basically the best thing in the world when you're running an errand and don't want to disrupt baby by moving the little one from the comfy car seat.

Baby food


If you decide to breastfeed, you may benefit from using a breast pump to stimulate supply or to store milk if you plan to go back to work while baby is still nursing.

Many insurance providers cover the full cost, but be sure to check with them before purchasing a pump in case there is fine print about how to go about it.

Formula feeding

If you plan to formula feed, you will also need to stock up on some good bottles with varying capacities for your growing baby.

Make your life a little bit easier by getting some bottle-specific cleaning brushes, too!


Whether you opt to go with disposable or cloth diapers, you will want to keep that baby's bum covered!


For disposables, stock up ahead of time by keeping in mind that newborns can easily go through 10 diapers in a day.


If you're considering reusable cloth diapers, there are a number of different types, so do some homework before deciding what might work best for your family.

The up-front investment is a bit greater, but should pay off if you stick with cloth.


In either case, you will also want plenty of wipes, a good surface for diaper changes and probably a stink-containing trash can.

Sweet little baby clothes

As cute as a nakey baby may be, a baby in clothes is even more adorable. Besides that, clothes are essential for regulating the little one's temperature.


You'll definitely want a supply of onesies (long sleeve or short sleeve, depending on the season), pants and sleepers.

Hats and socks

Regardless of where you live, you'll also want a couple of hats and socks to keep baby from losing too much body heat.

Sensitive detergent

To clean it all—which you'll be doing a lot!—you want some unscented or baby-specific detergent, depending on how sensitive mini's skin is.

Baby blankets

For many babies, “security blanket" has a very literal meaning.

Swaddle blankets

Swaddling babies replicates the way they felt in the womb and helps prevent the so-called Moro reflex, which can be triggered by his or her own sudden, involuntary movement.

However, you might hold off on stockpiling too many types of swaddlers because babies can be picky about what they like or may refuse them all together.

Receiving blankets

Even in that case, you'll want a few receiving blankets to help keep the babe warm, clean up some little messes in a pinch and even serve as burp cloths.

Burp cloths

Warmer blankets and actual burp clothes can come in handy, too.

A place to sleep

Although you may want to get a crib to complete the look of baby's nursery before the due date, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend putting the baby in a separate sleep area in your bedroom for the first few months to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Bassinets are a good go-to, but explore your options and be prepared to go with a safe Plan B if baby is picky.

Safety gear

This one is pretty broad, but we're grouping these items together because you can find some super-helpful baby kits out there.

Baby kits

Look for something that includes a good thermometer, a nasal bulb syringe, a medication spoon and baby nail clippers.


Figure out who you'd like to use as a pediatrician so that's one less thing to worry about about after baby's arrival.

Phew. That wasn't so bad, was it?

We know there area lot more products that many mamas love, but we also love remembering to keep it simple when it comes to baby.

Share with Motherly: What are your baby essentials?