Shopping for newborn essentials is likely high on your list of to-dos when preparing for a baby’s arrival. After all, you’re going to want all your gear the minute the baby arrives. Between setting up the nursery and making sure you have everything you need for sleeping, eating, and diapering, it’s easy to get caught up in buying baby necessities.
Furthermore, the number of baby supplies a newborn requires (or can have) may surprise any expecting parent.
Wondering how to determine which baby items to avoid and which baby items you absolutely must have? Don’t be concerned! Continue reading for a comprehensive list of newborn essentials.
1. Newborn Essentials for the Nursery
The nursery becomes the most important room in the house for many (if not most) expecting parents! If you’ve been nesting but aren’t sure if you have everything you need for your baby’s arrival, use our baby nursery checklist for a comprehensive list of what you might need:
The crib is at the top of our list of newborn baby necessities. Your baby will require a safe crib to sleep in because they will be sleeping for at least 16 hours per day, if not more, in the early days and weeks!
Also read; Baby Shower Etiquette, Dos and Don’ts
A crib can be costly, but if you choose a style that converts into a toddler bed and then a daybed, you can get many years of use out of it.
Some models can even be converted into full-sized beds in the future! It’s best to buy new cribs; that way, you’ll know that your baby’s crib meets all of the most recent safety standards.
ii. Mattress for a crib
A firm mattress that fits the crib you’ve purchased perfectly is one of the most important newborn baby essentials. This is the most secure sleeping surface.
You won’t need much bedding—just a waterproof mattress cover and a few fitted sheets that perfectly fit your crib mattress. Keeping your baby’s crib bare (free of any other type of bedding, including blankets, top sheets, pillows, bumper pads, and toys) reduces the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Although this is an optional item, we included it on our newborn checklist because some parents prefer to use a bassinet during the first few weeks of their baby’s life. Bassinets are small and portable, taking up less space than cribs and being easily moved from room to room. Of course, your child will eventually require a crib.
You’ll be grateful to us for including this newborn baby essential on our list! A nightlight is a true newborn necessity when you’re making your way to the nursery in the middle of the night for feedings.
It allows you to see where you’re going and what you’re doing without the need for bright lights. As your child grows older, a nightlight may provide comfort when they wake up in the middle of the night.
vi. Clothing Storage
Even if you’ve only gathered the necessities, you’ll need a place to store your newborn’s clothing. In some cases, the changing table’s drawers or shelves may be sufficient storage. To organize your clothes, you can also use baskets or tubs; chests of drawers or wardrobes are also good options.
vii. Rocking chair or glider for the nursery.
A comfortable chair in the nursery is ideal for breastfeeding, a bedtime story or lullaby, and a final cuddle before bed. It may make nighttime feedings less disruptive for your baby, and the rocking motion may help you and your newborn relax.
Because newborns may want to suck on a pacifier to soothe themselves, this item may be necessary for you. Keep in mind that pacifiers have a habit of disappearing, so keep a few on hand! Pacifiers come in a variety of sizes; double-check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you get one that is appropriate for the newborn stage.
ix. Toy container
Although a toy basket is probably not necessary, your newborn baby may acquire some toys and it’s useful to have somewhere to store them. Toys can be stored on shelves if you have them.
A colorful mobile (hung safely up high and out of reach of your baby) will keep your child entertained. A mobile with a variety of shapes and bright colors (especially red, which is the first color babies see) is an excellent choice.
2. Wardrobe Newborn Essentials
Tiny baby clothes are adorable, but you’ll want to choose practical baby items that will keep your newborn comfortable and cozy. These are the newborn essentials when it comes to clothing:
- 4-8 envelope folds at the shoulders and crotch snaps)
- 4 to 8 shirts (kimono-style with snaps or envelope folds at the shoulders)
- 4-8 pants (footies can be a great option)
- 4-8 single pajamas
- 1-3 rompers or other fancy dress outfits
- 1-3 jackets or sweaters (front buttoned)
- 4-7 pairs of socks or booties (shoes are unnecessary until baby starts walking)
- 1 to 3 newborn hats (broad-brimmed for a summer baby, soft cap that covers ears for a winter baby)
- Scratch-free mittens (optional)
- 2 to 3 swaddles
- Winter bunting bag or fleece suit
- Stroller blankets, both light and heavy
- Delicate laundry detergent
3. Newborn Essentials For Playtime
Toys and baby gear for playtime would be missing from our newborn baby checklist. Here are some playthings you could buy for your baby or include on your registry:
i. The baby swing.
Swings sway or vibrate to help calm your child. A swing, unlike a bouncer, moves without your newborn having to move their legs; instead, you use the sway or vibration setting. Keep in mind that baby swings have a minimum and maximum weight limit, so choose one that is appropriate for your newborn’s size. Toys that hang above swings are common, and some even make sounds or play music.
ii. Baby bouncy seat
Bouncers are similar to baby swings, but they bounce due to your baby’s leg movements. A bouncer may be an essential item for you because it allows you to get things done around the house while knowing your baby is safe and entertained. Bouncers have minimum and maximum weight limits, so read the manufacturer’s instructions before purchasing one.
iii. Playground on wheels.
This can give your newborn a safe, enclosed place to sleep or play while you do other things nearby. A portable play yard is convenient because you can move it around your house depending on which room you’re in.
Other than simple rattles or books with high-contrast patterns, newborns and very young babies will not enjoy many toys at this time.
Soft toys with sounds, stacking toys, push-pull toys, and busy boxes with lots of exciting features will soon be good choices to entertain and support your older baby’s development. It’s critical to check all baby toys for small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
v. Mat for playing.
Every day, newborns benefit from some tummy time. You can lay a thin, soft play mat on the floor to give your child a few minutes of tummy time a couple of times a day. Tummy time should always be closely monitored.
4. Newborn Essentials For Feeding
Prepare to feed your newborn around the clock, which means you’ll need a slew of baby items for mealtime, whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Here are some newborn essential supplies to have on hand:
- 8-10 4- and 8-ounce bottles and nipples
- Brush for bottles
- Small item dishwasher basket
- Formula (if not nursing) (if not nursing)
- Breast pumping (if you plan to breastfeed)
- Bags for storing milk (if you plan to breastfeed)
- Pads for nursing mothers (if you plan to breastfeed)
- Nipple lotion (if you plan to breastfeed)
- High chair (for when the baby is older)
- 4-8 bibs
- 4 to 8 burp cloths
- Baby feeding cushion (optional)
- Warmer for bottles (optional)
- Sterilizer for bottles (optional)
5. Newborn Health Essentials
Don’t forget that babies require grooming as well. And if your child becomes ill, you’ll want to have the necessary baby supplies on hand. Here’s what you should get:
- Nail clippers or a file
- thermometer for infants
- sterile gauze and petroleum jelly
- First-aid supplies
- 4-6 pacifiers Cradle cap brush
- Baby toothbrush (for use when the baby’s first teeth appear)
6. Education and Training
Although the items listed below are not physical items to purchase for your baby, preparing to become a parent and educating yourself on childbirth and baby care should be on any newborn checklist. Before your baby arrives, soak up as much information as possible to best prepare you for the months ahead with your precious newborn.
Here are a few ideas that many parents find useful:
i. Childbirth education classes are available.
Gain practical knowledge and a hands-on understanding of the entire birth process. Classes typically cover relaxation techniques, labor stages, pain relief options, birth planning, and other topics.
ii. Classes on prenatal breastfeeding.
These can help you feel more confident when nursing your baby. Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world, but it is still a learned behavior.
Your baby may be born with all of the natural instincts to latch and nurse, but there may still be a learning curve for both you and your child. Investing time in a class now could pay off later.
7. Essentials for Baby Bath
Bathtime can be a lot of fun—once you get a hold of that slick baby. It’s best to be prepared with all of the necessary equipment. These are the baby bath essentials:
- Bathtub for a baby
- Body wash and baby shampoo
- 2-4 baby towels with hoods
- supple washcloths
- Lotion for babies
Frequently Asked Questions on Newborn Essentials
Essential newborn care is a comprehensive strategy for improving newborn health through interventions prior to conception, during pregnancy, at and shortly after birth, and in the postnatal period.
The following are examples of essential newborn care: immediate care at birth (delayed cord clamping, thorough drying, assessment of breathing, skin-to-skin contact, early initiation of breastfeeding) and Thermal protection. When resuscitation is required,
The interventions are as follows:
(1) immediate and thorough drying of the baby,
(2) early skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the newborn,
(3) appropriately timed cord clamping and
(4) non-separation of the mother and baby for early breastfeeding initiation.
Preparing for your newborn’s arrival can be both exciting and exhausting. You’ll have everything you need for your newborn baby if you stick to this newborn essentials checklist.