Preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming. You have onesies and blankets to buy, diapers and baby wipes to stock up on, and an entire nursery to put together. How do you know which baby items you will need and which ones just aren't necessary? This list will help moms and dads-to-be narrow down all the essential baby items that will make your (and your baby's) life easier during those first few months.
The amount of each item will vary by family and by how often you do laundry.
- 6-12 onesies
- 3-5 pairs of soft, cozy pants
- 5-7 pairs of pajamas or gowns
- An adorable take home outfit, optional
- Hand mittens to prevent baby from scratching her face
- 5-7 pairs of socks
- 3 warm, knit hats
- Warm outerwear, depending on the season
For the Nursery
- Crib and crib mattress
- Bassinet or co-sleeper- This is optional, but many new parents enjoy the convenience of having the baby close by during the early months.
- 3-5 crib sheets
- Crib bedding- The only essential bedding items are sheets and light blankets for swaddling. Entire bedding sets are completely optional.
- Crib mobile- Another optional item, but mobiles can work wonders when trying to soothe a fussy newborn.
- Soothing noise maker
- Dresser or drawers to keep baby's clothes in
- Changing table- This isn't 100% necessary, especially if you are short on space. You can easily get a changing pad and change the baby's diaper on the bed or the floor.
- Changing pad and covers
- A storage container or bin for all of the baby toys- They will start to pile up before you know it.
- Rocking chair- Many parents would easily call this one a necessity.
- About 10 receiving blankets- These can be used as swaddling blankets during the newborn period, and burp cloths later on.
- 2-4 soft, warm blankets
- 4-6 pacifiers, if you are using them
- Baby wrap or carrier- This will give you the freedom to use both hands to get things done while having your baby right there with you.
- Infant bouncy seat- Many are available that vibrate and play music.
- Baby swing- You could choose to buy either the swing or the bouncy seat, you don't really need both, but it's nice to have both of them for those particularly bad days, or if you want to keep one in one area of the house and the other in a different area. Your beautifully decorated house will soon resemble a Babies R Us!
- Playpen or Pack N Play, optional depending on your family's needs
- Car seat and stroller- They have great Travel System combos that are very convenient, but you will have to buy a convertible car seat when the baby is around 7-10 months old and has outgrown the infant car seat.
- Car sunshade and mirror for baby to see you in the car, also optional
- Highchair- Baby will probably not be able to sit comfortably in the highchair until he or she is at about 4-5 months old, so this purchase can wait a couple of months.
- Bumbo chair or infant seat, optional
- Baby spoons and bowls- Keep in mind that babies don't even start solids until at least 4 months of age so this purchase can also wait.
- Baby laundry detergent- You can buy many detergents that are free of chemicals and fragrances to wash your baby's clothing and bedding. It doesn't have to be a specific detergent just for babies.
- Infant bathtub
- 2-4 hooded baby towels
- Soft washcloths
- Baby soap and shampoo- Johnson's makes a baby hair and body wash that's really good.
- Cotton swabs and alcohol for umbilical stump care
- Hair rinser- This is something that many new parents don't think of and it makes bath time so much easier.
- Diapers- Obviously this is a necessity. However, if you are planning on using disposable diapers it's a good idea to stock up on a variety of sizes. Many babies will fit into the newborn size diapers but some larger babies may need a size 1 or even a size 2 when they are born.
- Wipes- Lots and lots of baby wipes.
- Desitin, Butt Paste, or any brand of diaper rash cream
- Diaper bag
- Changing pad for when you are out- You can buy a bassinet size waterproof pad and it works really well for that purpose.
- Travel wipe container, optional
- Diaper Genie- Not necessary, but someone will probably give you one, and they are kind of cool...if you find plastic containers that smash poopy diapers and keep the smell out cool.
- Wipe warmer, optional
- Disposable nursing pads- These will keep people from noticing that your boobs are leaking everywhere.
- Nursing bras/tops- Not 100% necessary, but they do come in handy.
- Nipple cream- Lansinoh is wonderful.
- Boppy or nursing pillow
- Breast pump- This may be an optional item depending on your needs.
- Bottles- This may also be optional if you decide to exclusively breastfeed.
- Nipple shield, optional
- Nursing cover- A must have item if you are going to leave the house and you will need to nurse, especially handy if you ever fly with the baby.
- Burp cloths
- 3-5 bottles or more depending on how often you will be washing them.
- Bottle brush
- Bottle sterilizer set, optional- You can easily sterilize bottles without this special device, but many new parents find this helpful.
- Burp cloths
- Childproofing items- You will need to childproof your home once baby is mobile.
- Baby monitor
- First aid kit
- Infant tylenol
- Thermometer- You don't need a special baby one. A regular, digital thermometer is fine.
- Baby nail clippers
- Soft bristle hair brush
- Teething rings/toys- These you won't need for a couple of months, but you will be extremely glad you have them when the time comes.
- Soft newborn toys
- Car seat toys that snap onto the handle for entertainment
- Bulb syringe
- Infant sunscreen, if baby will be in the sun for long periods of time
New baby checklists are going to vary from family to family and from baby to baby. You will find the things that work for your baby, and you will also find what items just weren't useful for you.
Please leave your suggestions for new moms and dads in the comments section. What baby item did your family love the most?