When preparing for a baby, there are a lot of things to consider. Buying all the basic necessities they need will go a long way in helping you feel a little more prepared. So, what exactly do you need to buy?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to shop for your bundle of joy’s basic necessities. You can also print out this detailed checklist of things you need for your little one to help you get started.
You might be looking forward to decorating your baby’s nursery, but you’ll also need baby bedding and furniture to make infant care safer and easier. Here is a list of essential items you may need to prepare your baby’s room:
Your baby will need a safe crib to sleep in. You might not use a full-sized crib right away, but you’ll probably want to transition your little one into a crib after he/she outgrows the bassinet, so consider buying a quality one ahead of time and set it up.
2. Crib mattress
Look for a firm mattress for your baby. Make sure it’s clean and waterproof, and it must also fit the cot with no spaces around the edge to eliminate the risk of your child’s head getting accidentally trapped.
You won’t need much bedding – 2-4 fitted crib sheets and 2 waterproof mattress pads should be fine. Depending on the weather and the temperature of the nursery, you can add a light blanket or baby sleeping bag for warmth. Keep your baby’s cot free of cot bumpers, toys, duvets, and pillows to reduce the risk of suffocation and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
4. Changing table
You’ll want to have a surface on which you can change your baby’s diapers. A changing table is a good option, as many of them come with shelves or drawers which you can use to store things like wipes, diapers, and clean clothes for easy access.
A bassinet or carrycot can be useful to have in the first couple of months. Look for a small and portable model that you can easily fit in your room and move from one area to another.
6. Baby monitor
A baby monitor is a handy device that allows you to keep tabs on your baby even when you’re not in the same room. You can go for a basic listening device or a more sophisticated video or wearable monitor.
7. Rocking chair
Look for a comfortable rocking chair that you can use for all those night wakings and feedings – the gentle swaying motion could be quite effective at calming your little one.
8. Swaddling blankets
Many newborns love the comfort of being swaddled, and having a few secure baby swaddles (about 5-6) handy can make your life much easier. Some swaddling blankets can also serve as all-purpose blankets.
Babies need all sorts of essentials for a day out with you. Here’s a checklist of items you might need to pack on an outing:
1. Baby car seat
A car seat is a must-have for taking your baby home from the hospital as well as for subsequent drives. Remember, your newborn is only allowed to travel in a rear-facing baby car seat for safety purposes. When choosing a baby car seat, consider factors such as your baby’s age, weight, size, and the car seat’s compatibility with your car.
There are all sorts of strollers available on the market, from jogging strollers to ultra-lightweight and all-terrain models. Regardless of what you go for, make sure it meets the latest safety standards.
Tummy time is an important part of your newborn’s daily routine – it encourages the development of the trunk and neck muscles, and also prevents skull deformations. Place a soft mat on an even surface to allow your child to enjoy tummy time.
This is a safe enclosed space that your little one can play in while you go about your daily activities. Look for a portable play yard that you can easily move around in your home depending on which room you’re in.
5. Diaper bag
You’ll need a diaper bag that will fit all the essentials you need when you go out with your baby. Consider how many compartments and pockets you want, as well as the overall size and design when deciding which diaper bag to buy.
Whether you plan to bottle feed or breastfeed (or a little bit of both), here are the essentials you will need:
1. Burp cloths
It’s not uncommon for a baby to bring up a little milk during or after feeding. This is known as reflux and is usually harmless. Make sure you have a few burp cloths (about 6-12) handy to catch spit-up, drool, and other baby fluids.
2. Nursing pillow
For added comfort during feedings, consider investing in a nursing pillow. These are designed to support your baby while freeing up your hands and can help you avoid straining your neck or shoulders.
3. Breast pump
A breast pump comes in handy when you want to pump breast milk to feed your little one or to relieve engorgement. Depending on your needs, you can use an electric pump (mains or battery-powered or a manual one.
4. Feeding bottles and teats
Whether you formula feed or breastfeed, baby bottles (about 6-12) are important to have. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, with different teat types to choose from.
5. Milk storage bags
If you pump, you’ll need some containers in which you can freeze or store your breast milk. These don’t take up too much space in the freezer, and they can be easily defrosted. The number of milk storage bags you’ll need depends on how frequently you plan to pump – it might be helpful to start with one box and buy more when necessary.
6. Nursing cover
A nursing cover helps to cover you and your little one – for privacy and warmth – while you’re breastfeeding.
If you plan to feed your baby with formula, you’ll want to stock up in advance.
8. Bottle brushes
You’ll need 2-3 bottle brushes for thoroughly cleaning bottle parts, bottles, and nipples.
Bibs are useful for protecting your child’s clothes from dribble, milk, and formula. Buy around 8-10 of these.
10. Nursing bras
Nursing bras (around 4-6 should be enough) are more comfortable than regular bras, and they also allow your baby easy access at nursing time.
11. Breast pads
Leaking is a common occurrence while you’re nursing, so make a point of investing in reusable or disposable pads to keep dry.
Health and safety
It’s important to have some health and safety essentials handy, in case you need to stick a band-aid on a small scratch or take your little one’s temperature. Here are basic items to have:
1. First-aid kit
A basic first-aid kit should contain items like a baby thermometer, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, bandages, band-aids, and baby-safe medicine.
2. Nasal aspirator
This is useful for removing mucus from your little one’s nose.
3. Baby grooming kit
Fill your baby grooming kit with tools like nail clippers, a soft-bristled hairbrush, and a fingernail file.
4. Baby proofing accessories
Although your newborn is immobile, you may want to tackle some babyproofing tasks like adding corner guards, installing childproof locks, and fitting baby gates ahead of time.
When shopping for clothes for your baby, always consider comfort and ease. Look for soft, well-made, durable items that fit. Baby clothes typically come organized by age – many brands organize them as newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months. Here are some of the clothing basics to add to your little one’s wardrobe:
- 4-8 onesies
- 4-8 footed pajamas
- 3-6 baby singlets
- 6-8 socks or booties
- 2-4 mittens
- 2-4 hats (a mix of warm hats for chilly days and sun hats for sunny days)
- 3-5 outer layers (sweaters, jackets, and cardigans)
- 1-2 optional special outfits (for special occasions like holidays and weddings)
Here is a detailed list of the must-have items you’ll need for changing your baby’s diaper:
Diapers should be on top of your diapering essentials checklist. You’ll go through dozens of diapers a week during those first couple of months, so make sure you stock up!
Wipes are useful for cleaning your baby’s bottom during diaper changes. Look for unscented, alcohol-free wipes that won’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.
3. Diaper rash cream
Babies often get diaper rash from time to time. Applying diaper cream can help protect your child’s skin and help clear up the rash. Ask your doctor to recommend the most suitable cream or ointment.
4. Diaper bin
A reliable diaper bin will help contain the odors and keep your home smelling fresh.
Newborns don’t need daily baths – for those first few months, you can simply top and tail your little one by washing his/her diaper area and face. Here is a checklist of essentials you will need for bathtime:
1. Baby bath
Many baby bathtubs are conveniently designed to grow with your child, allowing for use from the newborn period to age 1.
2. Cotton wool
Cotton wool is great for topping and tailing.
Buy 2-3 hooded infant bath towels for wrapping up your little one and drying him/her after bathing.
Use washcloths to gently wipe your baby.
5. Emollient cream
Apply emollient cream after a bath to treat dry patches of skin.
6. Bathing cup
A plastic bathing cup or scoop can be used to gently pour water over your little one’s skin or hair.
7. Baby-safe shampoo and soap
Go for no-tears baby soap and shampoo formulas that will be easier on your baby’s skin and eyes.
By working your way through this comprehensive checklist, you’ll be sure that you have all the basic items for your newborn baby. Good luck!