Baby Essentials Checklist
There’s a lot to do as the birth of your baby nears, and assembling all those necessities for your newborn can be a daunting task. Use this essential newborn baby checklist to discover what you’ll need during your first three months with your baby, plus some other “nice-to-haves” to consider.
Our list includes items your baby will need in the nursery, plus clothing, feeding, changing, and bath time essentials, and helpful gear for when you’re out and about. Once you have these necessities, you’ll feel more prepared for the day you get to bring your baby home.
Cot. When it comes to newborn baby necessities, somewhere for baby to sleep tops our checklist. Your baby will need a safe place to sleep in, as they’ll be snoozing at least 16 hours a day, or more, in the early days and weeks! A cot can be expensive, but you can get many years of use out of it if you choose a style that converts into a toddler bed and then a daybed. Some models can even convert into a full-sized bed later on! With cots, it’s safest to buy new; that way, you’ll know that your baby’s cot meets all the latest safety standards.
Cot mattress. One of the most important newborn baby essentials is a firm mattress that fits the crib you’ve bought perfectly. This is the safest surface for sleep.
Bedding. You won’t need much bedding—just a waterproof mattress cover and several fitted sheets that fit your cot mattress perfectly. Keeping your baby’s cot bare (free of any other type of bedding, including blankets, top sheets, pillows, and bumper pads, as well as toys) helps reduce the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Night light. You’ll be thanking us for adding this newborn baby essential to our checklist! When you’re making your way to the nursery in the middle of the night for feedings, a night light is a true newborn necessity. It lets you see where you’re going and what you’re doing without having to turn on any bright lights. As your little one gets older, a night light may also provide reassurance when they wake up in the middle of the night.
White-noise machine. White noise may help comfort your newborn or even help them fall asleep.
Clothes storage. You’ll need a place to put your newborn’s clothing, even if you’ve assembled just the essentials. In some cases, the drawers or shelves that come with the changing table may offer enough storage. Alternatively, you can use baskets or tubs to organize clothes; chests of drawers or wardrobes are also good options.
Nursery Glider or Rocking Chair. A comfy chair in the nursery is the perfect spot for breastfeeding, a bedtime story or lullaby, and a last cuddle before sleep. It may help make nighttime feedings less disruptive for your baby, and the rocking motion may help calm you and your newborn.
Our newborn baby checklist would not be complete without a few items for playtime. Here are some things you could buy for your baby, or include on your registry, for playtime:
- Baby bouncer. Bouncers are similar to baby swings, but your baby’s leg movements cause it to bounce. A bouncer could very well be an essential item for you, as it makes it easy for you get things done nearby while knowing your baby is safe and entertained. Bouncers have minimum and maximum weight limits, so take a look at the manufacturer’s guidelines before buying one.
- Play mat. Newborns benefit from a little tummy time each day. You can place a thin, soft play mat on the floor to give your little one somewhere to enjoy a few minutes of tummy time a couple of times a day. Always closely supervise tummy time.
Feeding your baby is an essential part of parenting, and there are many items on our newborn checklist that can help make the process go more smoothly. Consider the following necessities for baby feeding time:
- Nursing pillow. For some extra comfort for both you and your little one, consider getting one of these U-shaped cushy pillows. These firm pillows give your newborn somewhere to rest other than your arms, which can also take some of the weight off your body, too.
- Bottles and nipples. Whether you plan to breastfeed or formula feed, baby bottles are must-haves for your newborn checklist. You can choose from glass and plastic options; some of the plastic varieties come with a bottle liner insert to reduce the amount of air your newborn swallows. When choosing a bottle, consider the nipple shape and size. You may need to try a few different nipples before finding one your newborn likes.
- Breast pump. You can use a manual pump or one that's electric or battery-powered to express breast milk when needed, such as if you return to work or if you’ll be away from your newborn for longer stretches. Some models pump both breasts at the same time.
- Bottle warmer. It can be tricky to safely heat your baby’s stored breast milk or formula. A bottle warmer can be a true time-saver, and therefore, a baby essential, as it helps ensure the milk is evenly warmed.
- Milk storage bags. These little bags help you compactly store breast milk. They’re usually single-use products and may allow you to store milk without having to use bottles for storage purposes.
- Bottle brush. This will help you thoroughly clean the inside of the bottle.
- Bottle steriliser. You may like the convenience of a steriliser to keep things like bottles and nipples hygienic, though washing them thoroughly by hand or in the dishwasher works just as well. Some sterilisers come combined with a bottle warmer.
Changing time Checklist
Get ready for lots of nappy changes! It may not be the most glamorous part of parenting, but it’s an essential routine for your baby. Here is a comprehensive list of the items you’ll need (or might like to have) for changing your baby:
- Changing table. You’ll need a safe space to change your little one’s nappy. Changing tables usually have drawers or shelves so you can reach things like nappies, wipes, and fresh clothes without taking your hand off your baby. Just make sure these items aren’t within your newborn’s reach.
- Changing pad. Having a changing pad helps keep your baby comfortable and the changing table clean. Some pads can be wiped clean, whereas others have removable covers you can machine wash. If you’re looking for convenience, this is certainly an essential baby item!
- Nappies. You’ll definitely need nappies, and lots of them! Your newborn may go through something like 70 nappies a week. It’s impossible to know ahead of time what size nappy your newborn will need, so it’s worth buying small packs of a few different sizes. We at Buy for Baby have a great selection of reusable nappies if you should choose this option.
- Wipes. Gently clean your newborn’s private area with wipes.
- Washcloths. Wet a washcloth with warm water and use it to wipe your baby’s private area. You can also use a washcloth for cleaning your baby at bath time.
- Nappy rash cream. It’s not uncommon for babies to get diaper rash from time to time. Ask your baby’s healthcare provider for advice on which cream or ointment is best.
- Nappy Disposal. Although optional, a nappy disposable system made it onto our newborn checklist because they help contain smells from dirty nappies.
In those first few months baby will sleep a lot (we hope!) Keep in mind that newborns grow out of smaller-sized clothes quickly—sometimes in a matter of days—so you might want to buy bigger sizes, too. Don’t forget to include layers (unless you live in a particularly warm climate). It’s usually best to dress your newborn in one more layer than you’re wearing yourself. The following are the most important things to buy for your baby’s for few months:
- Cocoon Swaddle or Sleep Bag. Your baby will spend much of their time snoozing, so sleepwear is certainly part of the newborn essentials.
- Undershirts and one-piece outfits. Some styles close with snaps between the legs, which offers easy access for nappy changes. Depending on what the weather will be, choose items with short or long sleeves, and choose between ones that keep your newborn’s legs entirely exposed or full-body options that cover the legs and feet.
Bath Time Checklist
During your baby’s first year, they may only need about three baths a week. However, even a minimal bathing schedule requires some newborn baby essentials! Our checklist includes everything you’ll need for your baby’s bath time in the first few months:
- Baby bath. Your newborn will have sponge baths at first, until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off. You may also need a support or seat for bathing.
- Hair rinser. A plastic scoop or cup helps you gently pour water over your baby’s hair or skin.
- Towels. You’ll want a soft towel—perhaps even one that comes with a hood for easier drying.
- Washcloths. These can help with gently wiping your baby.
You might be surprised by how much you need when you take your little one out and about. To make sure you have the essentials, our newborn checklist includes all the gear you might need when you’re out with your baby:
- Car seat or Capsule. A car seat is one of the most important essentials on our newborn baby checklist. Your baby will need one the moment you ride home from the hospital and for every car ride thereafter. Choose a rear-facing car seat that meets the latest safety standards and is suitable for your newborn’s size and weight. Or have the option to use a baby capsule for up to the first year. This gives you the advantage of taking the capsule out of the car without disturbing baby and putting it straight onto the pram. Ensure the car seat or capsule is properly fitted to your car, and installed facing the back, all before your due date.
- Pram. There are many pram styles on the market, including full-size, jogging, compact strollers, and double prams, all of which can work from the newborn stage.
- Baby carrier or wrap . This item can be super useful to keep your baby close as you move around, while also leaving you with your hands free. Baby carriers come in several styles, including wraps, slings, front packs, and backpacks. Keep in mind that some baby carriers need a newborn insert to be used safely for this age group.
- Nappy bag. As one of the most important baby essentials, you’ll be thankful you have a nappy bag that fits all the things you need when you’re away from home with your little one. Nappy bags come in designs that range from functional to fashionable.
- Sun shade for car windows. It’s important to keep your newborn out of direct sunlight to protect their delicate skin. You might like to cover the back-seat windows of your car with a shade cover to keep your newborn out of the sun.
Health and Safety Checklist
It’s helpful to have a good supply of newborn health essentials, as at some point you’ll need to take your baby’s temperature or put a bandage on a small scratch. These are some basic items to have at home:
- First-aid kit. Stock this with basic items like a baby thermometer, nasal aspirator, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, adhesive bandages, and petroleum jelly, all in one place. You may wish to have another first-aid kit in the car or the nappy bag so you have some of these essentials when you’re on the go as well.
- Nail clippers or file. Your little one’s nails will need trimming from time to time, which will also help prevent accidental scratching.
- Soft-bristled hairbrush. Even if your little one doesn’t have much hair, a brush can help loosen scales if your newborn ends up with cradle cap.
The Bottom Line
Preparing for the arrival of your newborn can be both fun and exhausting. By following this checklist, you’ll have all the essentail things you’ll need for your newborn baby. If you're still working on your baby shower registry, you might like to add some of these items so that your loved ones know what you actually need!
From your Buy for Baby Busselton family
Brad, Jo & Amiee