Your Baby Essentials Checklist

In this article:
  • Our top baby wardrobe essential items list.
  • Important items when changing your baby’s diaper.
  • The best products when feeding your baby.
  • Recommendations for taking baby on-the-go!

If you are a mom-to-be, you’re probably overwhelmed trying to figure out what to get your little angel before she gets here. It is no secret that babies need a lot of stuff! So where do you even start? Well, you have come to the right place. Here is our ultimate baby essentials checklist.

Baby Wardrobe Essentials

Baby clothes are among the most basic things you’re going to have to buy. A good rule of thumb is to prioritize buying clothes that are sized by age (newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months) over those using height or weight guidelines. This will allow you to get a general range that your little one will fall into.

Buying your little angel’s first clothes is exciting. This is both a good and a bad thing because it makes it so easy to overshop. Do not overbuy cute and tiny little outfits. Your baby will outgrow almost all of them within a few weeks. Instead, consider stocking up on a few newborn sizes and more 3-month sizes. Your little one will quickly grow into them.

Also, do not turn down hand-me-downs. They are a great way to save a pretty penny. You can also buy second-hand outfits as long as you wash them well. This will give you a wider range of size options to choose from.

Here is our list of baby wardrobe essentials and how many of each item to get as you prepare for your little one’s arrival:

  • A mix of short and long sleeve onesies: 4-8
  • Stretchy pants or leggings: 4-8
  • Sleepers: 4-8
  • Outer layers such as fleece jackets, zip-up sweaters, and sweatshirts: 6
  • Hats: 3-6
  • Booties and socks: 6-8
  • No-scratch mittens: 3

Get the higher end of these ranges if you are planning to do laundry fewer times each week. The fewer outfits your little one has, the more times you will have to do her laundry. You might also want to get a few of these extras:

  • 1-3 special outfits: plan for these if your little one is born around holidays, weddings, or some other special occasion. If any of these occasions are more than a few weeks after your little one will be born, there is no need to buy the special outfits early.
  • Accessories like adorable bows and headbands
  • Little shoes for newborns: their only purpose is to look cute in photos

Essentials for Diapering

Next, you need to think about diapering. Your little one is going to spend the first several months of her life in diapers, so prepare appropriately. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Diapers: Only buy a few packs in the newborn size and more in slightly larger sizes. Your little one will outgrow her newborn diapers within a few weeks.
  • Diaper bag: get one that is big enough for multiple diapers, wipes, outfits, and a few of your own essentials.
  • Wipes: ensure they are alcohol-free and water-based
  • Changing table or pad
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Baby wipe warmer: not necessary, but warm wipes are just nicer than cold ones
  • Non-talc powder to dry the diaper area faster

Essentials for Feeding

Whether you are planning to breastfeed exclusively, pump exclusively, or formula-feed, there are a few feeding essentials that you might want to invest in. Here is what you will need:

  • A nursing pillow: to make your little one’s feeding sessions more comfortable for both of you
  • Burp clothes: get at least 8 of them
  • Bibs: 6-10
  • Nursing cover: to cover up when nursing in public
  • Nursing bras: at least 3
  • Breast pads: to help with leaks and painful nipples
  • Nipple cream: to soothe sore or cracked nipples
  • Breast pump: get one even if you are planning to breastfeed exclusively
  • Breast milk bags
  • Formula: if you are planning to formula feed
  • 6-12 bottles
  • 1-2 bottle brushes

How Will Baby Sleep?

Here is a list of some of the most important sleeping essentials:

  • Blankets/swaddles: 4-6
  • Wearable blankets: 2-4
  • Crib and crib mattress
  • Bedding
  • Baby monitor

Bathing Baby Essentials

Bathtime is the perfect opportunity to bond with your little one. Here are some of the things that will make this super easy for you and your baby:

  • A baby bathtub
  • Washcloths: at least half a dozen
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Baby bath towels: at least 3

Baby Gear

This is a largely subjective category. What you get will depend on your lifestyle. However, here are the most important things you might want to invest in:

  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • Baby carrier
  • A play-yard
  • Baby swing or bouncer

Baby Health Essentials

This category includes both grooming and basic health essentials. Here is what you need:

  • A first-aid kit that has a thermometer, antiseptic ointment, and bandages
  • Soft-bristled baby hairbrush
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Nail clippers

Entertaining Baby

Here are some of the things that will help you soothe and entertain your little one:

  • Toys
  • Books
  • Playmat
  • Activity center
  • 4-6 pacifiers

Other things you may not think about buying as a new parent

There are a few other things that most first-time parents don’t even think about getting until it’s too late. Here are some of them:

  1. Something for Constipation
    If your baby is formula fed, you can expect her to experience a bit of constipation especially when you are starting out. For breastfed babies, constipation is rare. All babies will however have to deal with constipation at some point, especially once you start introducing solids.Do not medicate your child for constipation unless your doctor tells you to. Instead, use a small amount of water, or 100% apple, pear, or prune juice. As you administer this, keep feeding her as you normally would. These juices have natural laxative properties.
  2. Something for Dry Skin
    Your baby’s skin will start getting progressively drier over the first few weeks. It will eventually start to peel or flake off. This is completely normal. You can however use a hypoallergenic fragrance-free baby lotion to reduce the effect.
  3. Trimming Baby's Nails
    When your baby is born, her nails will be soft, flexible, and fast-growing. She can hurt herself when she claws at her own face. This is why you need to trim those nails. Do it when she is calm and not fussy. Use an S-shaped nail file or a snipper clipper.
  4. Something for Snot
    When your baby gets a stuffy nose, she will struggle to breathe. This can make her irritable and fussy. She may even refuse to eat or sleep as a result. To help her deal with her stuffy nose, use a baby snot sucker to suck the snot out. You can also use a saline kit to clear the airways naturally.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to get overwhelmed when you think of all the things you have to buy for your little one. A lot of people often end up overshopping as a result. However, when you know exactly what you need to get plus their exact quantities, you will never end up getting too much stuff that you will never get any use out of. Hopefully, this guide will help you achieve this goal.

Finally, just to make sure everything is ready before your little one gets here, be sure to check out our podcast on what to pack in your hospital bag. Good luck!