Ultimate Checklist of Newborn Essentials
When you’re expecting a baby, you’re inundated with advice from family and friends. A lot of that advice surrounds baby products you need to buy, things you should have and things you shouldn’t waste your money on. If you’re a first-time parent, all of this advice can seem overwhelming, no matter how well-intentioned it may be. This guide serves as your go-to checklist for all the newborn essentials and baby must have for first-time moms. From clothes to health products, breastfeeding must-haves to pregnancy pillows, this guide covers all the basics that you’ll need.
When you’re prepared, it will make your life-changing transition go as smooth as possible. By making sure you purchase the essentials, you’ll be prepared for bringing your baby home, and you won’t have to run out to the store to purchase an important product that got forgotten. Moreover, by only purchasing the essentials, you’ll be able to save yourself as much money as possible. While you can’t put a price on taking care of your baby, saving money any way you can never hurt.
Read on to learn more about the newborn essentials and other advice for expecting families.
Why You Need to Prepare Early
When it comes to babies and due dates, you need to be prepared earlier than your due date just in case your baby decides they want to make their entrance in the world sooner than expected. There’s no real way to tell when you’ll go into labor, which makes the reality of being prepared at least two weeks before your set due date all the more important. An estimated 82% of moms go into labor between 37-42 weeks pregnant.
In addition to being prepared for an early arrival of your little bundle of joy, shopping early ensures that you’ll be able to find all the newborn essentials you need. When you wait until the last minute to shop for your newborn essentials, you run the risk of not being able to find those products. By shopping early, you can keep your stress low and ensure that you get all of the products you’re looking for.
For these two reasons, and many more, shopping and getting prepared for your baby’s arrival ahead of your due date is a great idea.
The 8 Essential Baby Products You Need
When it comes to the world of baby products, there isn’t a shortage of products available online and in stores. While some of these items are convenient and would be nice to have, they’re not really essential products. The following nine products are newborn essentials that you should absolutely have on-hand for when your baby arrives.
1./ Baby Clothes
Even though they’re little, babies make many messes. This means that they’ll most likely go through multiple outfits in just one day. To accommodate for these many changes, you’ll need to have a built-out wardrobe for your little love. You’ll for sure want at least 10 different newborn-sized outfits. However, because babies grow fast, it’s likely that yours will grow out of these newborn sizes and need larger sizes.
That’s why it’s so important to purchase different sizes of clothing to save yourself a hurried trip to the store down the road. If you’re looking to save money, consider asking relatives or friends whose children are older if they’d be willing to part with their well-loved baby clothing.
Creating a space that’s just for your baby and their belongings is not only good for your baby, but it can also be good for your own health. Not only will you have a space to retreat with your child when they need to be fed, but you’ll also have designated space for them to sleep and store their clothes, diapers and toys. A nursery doesn’t need to be fancy but must have items include a safe crib and a changing table. If you’re able to swing it with your budget, investing in a rocker will be a great way that you can relax while you feed your baby, and the rocking of the chair can help soothe your child back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night.
3./ Baby Bedding
Sleep is essential for any human—especially for newborns and young infants. When completing your nursery, selecting a crib for your baby is essential. When it comes to dressing that bed, though, that decision becomes even more complex and important. You want your baby to be comfortable, but you also want to minimize the items placed in their crib to deter SIDS. These three layers are baby bedding must have: crib mattress encasement, crib mattress pad and a fitted crib sheet. These three layers will provide the proper protection for your baby’s crib and mattress, while keeping them safe and cozy while they sleep.
This newborn and baby essential item shouldn’t come as a surprise. Babies obviously aren’t potty-trained, so you’ll need to dress them in a diaper to keep them as mess-free as possible. When it comes to choosing disposable diapers versus cloth diapers, that choice is up to you. You’ll find parents who are supporters of one specific type, but ultimately you need to read up on the pros and cons of each type of diaper and make the decision that’s right for you.
5./ Bath time products
Your baby will definitely need regular baths, there’s no way around that. Unlike when you take a bath, bathing an infant can be stressful as your baby may not like the water or they might like it so much that they’re rolling around in the water. To appease your fears, you should shop for a few essentials to make bath time you’re your baby a breeze. Here are just a few must have products that you should have ready for your bath time routine:
- Baby bathtub
- Bathtub spout cover
- Bath thermometer
- Baby soap
- Baby shampoo
- Rinsing cup
- Bath toys
- Soft hooded baby towels
- Soft washcloths
6./ Feeding products
When it comes to feeding a newborn, you’ll need more feeding products than you may initially think. Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, you’ll need to stock up on the following supplies. Even if you’re planning on exclusively breastfeeding, you’ll want to still stock up on these essentials to plan for pumping and giving yourself a break.
- Bottles and nipples: purchase between 10 and 16 bottles and nipples in four- and eight-ounce varieties
- Bottle warmer: this purchase will help you effortlessly warm your baby’s food, cutting down on nighttime trips into the kitchen and shortening the time it takes to feed your baby (Cuts down on nighttime trips to and from the kitchen)
- Bottle brush: even if you use a dishwasher, you’ll want to use a bottle brush to clean your bottles before you put them in the washer to sanitize them
- Dishwasher basket: you’ll want to purchase a dishwasher basket to clean your small feeding items in the dishwasher
- Bibs: you’ll want to purchase 4-8 bibs to use when you’re feeding your baby to help them stay as clean as possible
- Burp cloths: you’ll want to purchase a handful of burp cloths to keep your shoulder free from spit up when you go to burp your baby
- High Chair: From baby’s first taste of honey or a smoothie to conversations about his first bike, most of the best family memories (also photos) happen around the kitchen table and living room. Your child is finally about to eat the first avocado of his life means he needs to join you all at the dining table.
Nursing moms will also want to purchase the following items:
7./ Health products
Just like you’ve stocked your own cabinets with health products for you, you’ll need to stock your cabinets with health products for your tiny human. Here’s a list of the newborn essentials for health products for:
- Digital thermometer: using one of these digital thermometers can help you quickly determine your baby’s temperature
- Nasal aspirator: these “snot suckers” are essential for you to help clear and collect mucus from your baby’s nostrils
- Heating pad: purchase a baby-friendly heating pad to help soothe an ache or an upset stomach
- Liquid acetaminophen: once your baby is over two months old, you can use infant acetaminophen to reduce a fever and soothe aches and pains
- First-aid supplies: buy a variety of bandages, gauze and tape to ensure that you’re prepared for anything
- Skincare ointments: from diaper rash cream to petroleum jelly, having these products on hand can help keep your baby happy and healthy
8./ Baby gear
In addition to all the items mentioned above, there are a few other baby gear essentials that you’ll need to purchase as well, including the following:
a./ Babyproofing essentials
You’ll want to purchase some household essentials to protect your baby from potential dangers around the house. Here are the ones you really need:
b./ Going out essentials
You’ll want a few essentials on hand for when you need to take baby with you out on activities like going to the zoo or even to the grocery store:
- Safe car seat
- Stroller safe for a newborn (consider a travel system stroller)
- Diaper bag that’s packed with diapers, medicine, spare outfit and wipes
- Front carrier
These eight baby essentials are the very beginning of what you’ll need to properly prepare for your baby’s arrival. After you purchase all the items, you can go back and re-evaluate your budget to see what else you might have room in your budget to purchase.
This is when you can heed the advice of your friends and family and purchase specific or name-brand “essentials” that they tell you about. Remember, your baby doesn’t always need what’s trendy—they just need the basic essentials to take care of them. Start shopping for these new baby must-haves today and get ready for your baby’s arrival.
Last updated: 12/2021