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Must Haves for Our 5th Baby: Our Must Have List

Here are our must haves for our 5th baby. We are planning on our third home birth for our 5th child this October 2023.

man holding newborn baby foot

Obviously, this isn’t our first rodeo with baby preparations for a home birth. The list of must haves seems to change with each child. I’m going to share with you the top 7 items we feel are absolutely necessary for this baby. With each baby I’ve noticed that we tend to downsize our stuff and this time around is no different. What we thought was an essential before, may not be the same this time around.

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The Must Have List

If you are a first-time mom to be, you’ve probably been searching all over the internet for what everyone says you need to be prepared. I promise you that you really do not need that much stuff. Things can become overwhelming if you have too many things at your fingertips. I remember over a decade ago when I was expecting my first baby, my list was a mile long and I didn’t even use half of it. I lugged it all around with me even though I would never reach for it as well.

Do yourself a favor and consider buying less at the beginning until you know who your baby is and what type of mother you will in fact be. You may think that you will be one way with your child, but your child will have none of it. This is true for every child to come as well. Our preconceived notions may not always be what is best and as mothers, we are expected to pivot.

Below I will show you our must haves this time around with baby #5. Along with a few things we now go without and why. All of our must haves are from a natural living and functional perspective. We do not use disposable items where possible and we try and consider a products longevity when making our decisions to cut down on waste.

Car Seat

First you will most definitely need a car seat. This may go without saying, but it is a must have. With my first two babies I had an infant car seat. I quickly found I did not enjoy lugging that heavy thing around with me. I much preferred taking the baby out and wearing them. For the last babies we used a convertible car seat, and we are still using them years later. With use of the same car seat, you’re getting a better bang for your buck so to speak. For us, the infant car seat lasted a few months at best. We also tend to have larger babies, however.

We have been very blessed this pregnancy to be gifted an infant car seat however, and who can turn that gift down! So, this time around we are using Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat.

graco snugrude 35 lite lx infant car seat

The other car seats we currently have in the minivan (which let me tell you, since switching from an Expedition to the Carnival, was a complete game changer!) are the Diono and the Graco 4Ever. I personally like both of them but for different reasons. If you have a smaller width vehicle, definitely go with the Diono in order to get three across. The Graco is definitely a lot wider and would not fit 3 across in a sedan or other small width vehicle.

Help with car seats

If you need help in deciding what car seat will fit easily and safest in your vehicle, I highly recommend The Car Seat Lady online. You can search by year and model of your car. I’ve utilized her website for years when picking out a car seat for each child.


Most moms tend to choose to use disposable diapers, because that is the norm today and they may not even know about cloth diapers. However, cloth diapers are not like what they were 30, 40 or more years ago. Back then they used prefolds and plastic pants (which I’ve seen with family photos). Cloth diapers have now evolved into a “fluffy butt” of cuteness.

There are many different types of cloth diapers today:

  • Flats and prefolds (old fashioned)
  • Fitted
  • All-in-ones (AIO)
  • All-in-twos (Hybrids)
  • Pocket
  • WAHMs (work at home moms made)

Check out my post Cloth Diapers for Beginners Ultimate Guide: How to start for more information on cloth diapers.

What we have used

I have tried all of the above types of diapers over the many years of diapers in this house. I can tell you that no one type is better than the other really because your child will fit each type differently and you will want different things than others. When I first started, I was in love with the pocket diapers because they let me customize the absorbency. However, my first child was such a chunky monkey that the AIO bumGenius and WAHM (found on Etsy and other places) fit better for her chunky thighs.

For my next child, he fit pretty much anything, and I found I gravitated towards the WAHM for the different themes available. This is the most expensive route in my opinion. But also, probably the cutest. I never wanted to put pants on him.

For my third, we started with the workhorse fitted diapers, but I quickly changed to disposables with two in diapers, working fulltime and homeschooling my oldest child. I had to let something go for my sanity and washing diapers everyday was it. We have only used disposables for our fourth child for the same reasons.

wahm princess cloth diaper
WAHM cloth diaper

What we will use this time

Thankfully, we have kept all the cloth diapers from before and will be using the workhorse fitted diapers to start this time around. I personally found that they were just much easier to customize the fit and were a great organic cotton feel. You do however have to buy them in sizes as baby grows and they need covers and a snappi or diaper pin to close. Once baby is out of the mediums, I may resume AIO or WAHM depending on fit since we have those already.

Cloth diapering is an upfront investment but tons of savings down the road. Even when you consider the extra loads of washing and after 6 months of age, the diaper spraying, you’re not adding to the landfills and you’re not spending $50+/month on diapers for the long haul.

With cloth diapers we are also using cloth wipes. When you use a wipe, you’re prone to putting it into the diaper, folding it up and tossing it into the appropriate bin. If you use cloth diapers and disposable wipes, you’re going to have a very messy washing machine or 2 separate bins instead of just one. I highly recommend you either buy a couple dozen wipes (and a spray bottle) or make your own from old wash cloths or terry cloth material you have lying around the house.


Clothing is important for a couple different reasons. For babies born in the warmer months, you can definitely get away with less. When a baby is born in the cooler months, and especially in a cooler climate, they will need more clothing to stay warm. The type of clothing for newborns is important not to be too restrictive, however. The umbilical cord stump will need to be free as much as possible to prevent infections and opening.

newborn baby clothing
0-3 month clothing

We have chosen this time to use the little clothing sacks/dresses to make it easy to get the baby in and out of them and to help prevent as much rubbing on the umbilical cord stump as much as possible those first few weeks. Of course, I did buy one cute little newborn outfit for pictures (if my baby fits it anyways). We tend to have very large babies (last two were 11.14lbs and 11.12lbs, and the prior one was 10.2lbs. If you tend to have larger babies, buying newborn size clothing may not be for you either. We generally jump straight into the 0-3 months range.

Once we know babies’ gender and weight at birth, we will have an idea of what we truly need. By waiting we will be saving money by not buying clothing that is too small for our to be chunky monkey. If you are a first-time mom, try not to worry too much about how much clothing you have before baby is here. We only have 5 outfits to start. With family, friends and Amazon, we know we can get what we need very quickly once the time comes.

Wraps, ring slings & soft structured carriers

Babywearing is becoming much more popular I’ve noticed these past few years. When I first started 11 years ago there were very limited options on the market compared to now. Options are wraps (both handmade and machine made, a long list of different materials and sizes too!), ring slings in varying materials and soft structured carriers (SSC).

Wraps can come in many different materials and sizes. Moby wraps are marketed for newborn babies and are a very stretchy material. I have found that larger babies don’t have much support in these types of wraps, at least not for very long. Once they reach 20lbs they’ve outgrown the stretchy fabric. These are generally inexpensive wraps and great for beginners who are unsure if they would even like babywearing. If this is you, starting with a wrap like this may be best.

If you are ready to invest more into a wrap, SSC or RS, I would suggest considering your body size and the climate you’re living in to first determine the length and material you will be happiest with. I will be creating another blog post soon on how to choose a wrap that is right for you, but until then I would suggest that you join babywearing groups on places like Facebook.

Breastfeeding supplies

If you’re not planning to breastfeed, some of this may still apply. Truly however, all you really need for breastfeeding is support. If this is your first or even second or more child, each breastfeeding journey can have its own specific challenges. I encourage every single mother to know ahead of time who they can contact right away for support if the need arises. This could be another seasoned mom, but preferably a breastfeeding expert in your area with great reviews from other local moms.

Other items that I have used in the past when working as a RN were of course the breast pump, bottles and a pumping bag. Previously I used the Spectra 2, Avent bottles and the Sarah Wells pump bag.

Thankfully I am blessed this time around to be able to stay home and these are not necessarily my must haves anymore. The only true must have for me for the first few weeks/months is a nursing pillow. I have always used the Boppy nursing pillow. This pillow truly helps with postpartum care and starting your breastfeeding (or even bottle feeding!) journey. You’re able to buy covers for it so when spit up and other things happen, don’t worry. Just throw that cover in the wash. Easy peasy.

boppy pillow
Boppy pillow

Diaper bag

Oh, the diaper bag. There are just so many on the market so how can one mom choose? I made the mistake of buying a diaper bag kit all those years ago and regretted it. We did not end up liking the bag itself and the things inside were cheap plastic and not user friendly.

I finally found JUJUBE and have used the same 2 bags ever since my first baby 11 years ago. These bags last and are machine washable! We have the BFF because it’s so big and easily holds cloth diapers. We also have the Bestie backpack bag because it’s simple for when the kiddo is older and not needing so much stuff carted around with them. Also makes it easier for babywearing when you can have a bag on your back and a baby on the front. Balances you out some too if I’m honest.

ju ju be bff pink diaper bag


Blankets are especially important when baby is born in cooler months, and still in warmer months until they can acclimate their own body temperature. If you’re planning to babywear, this won’t be such a needed item as your child will get all of their warmth from you, except for those moments you have to put that cute baby down.

Our babies have never liked to be swaddles so we have shifted to very light and soft blankets that we can use for various seasons. Now we also live in a temperament climate in California. It does snow but it does not get much below 30 degrees F here. For those colder climates you may in fact need a thicker blanket. What we have found to work for us are the Tula blankets. I also have made many crochet blankets.

Do what works for you in the end

In the end you will need to do what works best for you and your baby. I hope I have given you some ideas when figuring this out based off of my experiences over the years. Try not to let others in your life tell you what you need to do or have in order to be a successful mother. It’s just not true.

Pregnancy & Home Birth Update

We are currently pregnant and expecting our 5th baby within the next few weeks, due early to mid-October. Our plan is to have our 3rd home birth here in Paradise, CA. I am hoping to share my birth story and maybe some snippets about the process along the way to help bring better understanding and awareness to this natural and beautiful event.

I plan on writing a blog post and doing a video about our home birth. God willing, it will go smoothly and without complications.

So far this has been the easiest and best pregnancy by far. Hands down. If all of my pregnancies had been like this, I may have had even more kiddos.

pregnant woman with pumpkin shirt

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Check out the About page for more information on who Serra and her family are.

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