Your Ultimate Essentials Baby Checklist: 28 Things You Need & What to Ignore

Your Ultimate Essentials Baby Checklist: 28 Things You Need & What to Ignore

This article was written in partnership with Babylist, Coterie, and, supporters of Peanut and women alike.
This article also contains affiliate links, so we earn a small commission if you choose to buy ‒ at no extra cost to you. Happy shopping!

Panicking about which baby essentials you should have ready for when you bring your babe home?

Look no further. Our checklist has you covered.

Pre-baby shopping trips are an important part of preparing for your new family member.

After all, who wants to build a crib while also holding a newborn?

But you may have noticed that there’s a big difference between the many so-called baby essentials people tell you you need to buy and the few things you actually need.

The baby items you can’t live without will be unique to your family, but there are a few key essentials that we think you really will find necessary.

And if you’re worried about the cost of all these essential baby bits, why not add them to your baby registry for your baby shower?

Start your baby registry on Babylist – it’s quick, easy, and you can add anything you want!

So what you choose to add to your registry is totally up to you, but here’s our baby essentials checklist.

In this article: 📝

  • What essentials are needed for a newborn baby?
  • Nursery essentials
  • Essentials for keeping cozy
  • Baby essentials for feeding
  • Baby essentials for bathtime
  • Baby essentials for leaving the house
  • Postpartum must-haves for you
  • When should I start buying baby stuff?
  • Full baby essentials checklist

What essentials are needed for a newborn baby?

What baby items will you need in the first month?

And then in the first three months?

What are the most essential items you can have ready?

When you first bring home a newborn, everything is about keeping them cozy, keeping them clean, and finding your groove as a new family.

We think that the top of every baby checklist should be a safe place to put the baby down so you can get some rest too.

So, let’s begin with:

Nursery essentials

As you prepare for your babe’s arrival, you’re likely starting to think about all the things you’ll need to create a cozy and functional nursery.

From a crib to a changing table, there are a lot of essentials to consider.

In this next paragraph, we’ll take a look at some of the must-have items for your baby’s nursery.

Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, this list will help you create a space that both you and your baby will love.

1. Crib

You might prefer to use a smaller bassinet or go straight to a larger crib.

Whatever you choose, you’ll also need:

  • A new, firm mattress that fits the frame
  • Two or three waterproof mattress covers
  • Four fitted crib sheets
  • Some light blankets or a sleeping bag (use whichever your baby prefers, but not both. There’s such a thing as too cozy).

2. Changing table

Having a changing table with a wipe-clean mat will protect your back and let you keep all your diapering supplies exactly where you want them.

And speaking of diapers

3. Diaper pail

Especially if you live in an apartment and it’s harder to take out the trash, a designated diaper pail, (which can be any trash can with a tight-fitting lid) is an essential baby item.

We’re all about the new-baby head smell, but the whiff of dirty diapers wafting down the hall?

Not so much.

4. Baby monitor

Tiny babies should sleep in the same room as their parents, but when you can’t sit there and watch them nap, a baby monitor does give you some extra peace of mind.

5. Comfortable chair

A rocking chair or a glider is “nice to have”, but any chair with some extra cushions or a nursing pillow to help you find a good feeding position will be just fine.

6. Baby jumpers, rocker, or play mat

Because new baby or not, there are still some things that need two hands (washing your hair, for instance).

Need some ideas for baby jumpers?

We’ve tallied up the best of the best here.

👶 Read more: When to Start Tummy Time for Your Baby

Essentials for keeping cozy

Now you’ve got your new furniture, let’s look at what’s going to be filling the drawers.

7. Baby-safe laundry products

As you gear up for your babe’s arrival, it’s crucial to consider what touches their delicate skin, especially in those early days.

So before you think about stocking up on those cute onesies and adorable teeny-tiny baby socks, you need to think about how you’re going to keep them clean.

But choosing the right baby-safe laundry products goes beyond just cleanliness ‒ traditional detergents might contain harsh chemicals and synthetic additives that can cause skin irritations and allergies.

Opting for gentle, additive-free options ensures that your baby’s clothes are not only clean but also kind to their delicate skin.

Look for laundry products designed specifically for baby clothes, free from fabric softeners and artificial fragrances.

These formulations are often milder, helping to maintain the softness of baby clothes without compromising on cleanliness.

Our favorite is the Laundry Soap ‒ no synthetic additives, just an all-natural blend that’s gentle on your hands and baby’s sensitive skin, infused with lavender and spearmint for a subtle but divine fragrance.

It also dissolves and rinses cleanly, leaving only the scent of natural herbs and fruit extracts, so no more residue!

The best bit? You can tick several things off your baby shopping list with their Complete Set ‒ their unbeatable Laundry Soap, Foam Body Soap, and Foam Bottle Wash.

What more could you want?

8. Clothes

Unless you want to wash and dry your laundry every day, you’ll probably get through at least:

  • 5-8 onesies, pajamas, trousers, and tops
  • 2-3 hats and cardigans (depending on the season)
  • An outfit for special occasions (although your little one will look just as cute in a t-shirt as they do in something with lots of fiddly buttons)
  • A snowsuit if you’re having a winter baby
  • Socks (even if baby does keep pulling them off – it’s a good exercise for their motor skills!)

9. Blankets

To keep your baby warm at night or in their stroller, to use as an emergency burp cloth, or an improvised play mat.

Blankets are versatile, so make sure you add at least one to your list.

10. Burp cloths

You’ll need between 8 and 14 burp cloths to deal with any messes after your little one has a feed.

And, of course:

11. Diapers

No surprises here ‒ you’re gonna need a lot of diapers for the next couple of years.

As for which diapers? That’s totally your choice, mama, but one of the favorites of our Peanut Community is The Diaper by Coterie.

Why? It absorbs up to 4 times faster than other brands, with up to 70% more liquid capacity.

So fewer leaks and blowouts for a better night’s sleep for your babe.

Plus, it’s made from 25% FSC-certified plant-based materials, so it’s one of the more sustainable disposable diapers.

And it’s super-soft, too, so diaper rash is a thing of the past.

And with diapers, you’re also going to need…

12. Wipes

Just as you’ll get through lots of diapers, you can be sure wipes won’t be far behind.

Stock up, because you’ll always want to have these to hand.

As for which wipes are the best, we love The Wipe ‒ another top pick by Coterie ‒ made with 99% water and other super gentle skincare ingredients like vitamin E and glycerin, they’re great for baby’s sensitive skin, extra-large, made from biodegradable and 100% plant-based fibers, and so soft.

Wins all round.

Baby essentials for feeding

Feeding baby is one of the most important and rewarding experiences of parenthood.

But as a new parent, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the different feeding options and accessories on the market.

Whether you choose to breastfeed, bottle-feed, or a combination of both, there are some essential items you’ll need to make the feeding process a little smoother for both you and babe.

13. Bottles

And something to sterilize them with, if you plan on formula feeding, mixed feeding, or pumping.

14. Breastfeeding supplies

If you choose to breastfeed, nursing bras, nipple ointment, warm and cold compresses, and breast pads are essential baby items.

15. A breast pump

Even if you don’t need to express milk regularly, a hand pump can be useful for easing clogged ducts or mastitis.

These problems can come on suddenly and, if they do, you probably won’t want to wait to get a pump from the store.

🍼 Read more: Breast Milk Storage Tips & Guidelines

Baby essentials for bathtime

From slippery babies to water temperature concerns, it’s important to have the right essentials to make bath time safe and enjoyable for both you and your baby.

16. Bath thermometer

To make sure your little one is comfortable when they’re in the water.

17. A soft hairbrush

Even if your baby doesn’t have a lot of hair, brushing can be soothing and can help to reduce cradle cap.

18. Nail scissors

Because newborn nails grow surprisingly quickly.

19. Something to clear their nose

Stuffy noses can be frustrating for babies and can make it difficult for them to feed.

Traditional bulb syringes work fine, but you can also get electric suction pumps.

20. A thermometer

For when you’re not sure if your baby has a fever or not.

Note: While it’s important to have fever medicine to hand when your little one is older, any fever over 100.4 in a baby of under three months is an emergency, and you should get in contact with your doctor rather than giving your baby medicine and waiting to see if they improve.

Baby essentials for leaving the house

Leaving the house with a baby can feel like a daunting task.

With so many things to remember and prepare for, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

But don’t worry, with the right essentials, you can make leaving the house with your babe a breeze.

21. Stroller

Considerations usually include how much storage you need underneath, what terrain you’re going to be pushing it over, and how big the trunk of your car is.

22. Baby carrier

Whether you choose a fabric wrap or a structured carrier, it’ll let you skip the wait for the elevator.

A carrier is also one of our baby must-haves because it can do double duty at home when your little one just doesn’t want to be put down.

Not sure which carriers are best for you? We’ve broken down the best here.

23. Diaper bag

If you’re out and about, you’ll need something to put baby’s essentials into, especially diapers!

Luckily, we’ve got all you need to know about diaper bags (and what to put in them) right here.

24. Car seat

Even if you only ever use it for the trip home from the hospital.

It seems like it might be a luxury, but a car seat is an absolute essential for when your baby arrives.

Once you’ve taken care of this list, you’re pretty much set for baby essentials for the first three months.

You’ll have to source a few more things as your baby learns to sit up and move around – a highchair for them to join you at the table, baby-proofing supplies for when they start to explore, and all the things you’ll need when they start to eat solid food.

But you can relax for now.

Some things that do get forgotten that we think of as essential are the things you’ll need as a new parent.

Being comfortable and feeling prepared (as prepared as possible) will go a long way toward helping you enjoy these first few months.

Postpartum must-haves for you

Now that your little one is here, it’s time to focus on taking care of yourself.

The postpartum period can be tough, both physically and emotionally.

From sore nipples to sleepless nights, your body and mind are going through a lot of changes.

But fear not!

There are plenty of must-have items that will make the postpartum journey a little bit easier and more comfortable.

  1. A few sets of comfy clothes for your recovery and duvet days

  2. An eye mask to help you catch a few precious moments of sleep if you get the chance in the day

  3. A water bottle to make it easy to stay hydrated

  4. A TV or audiobook subscription to keep you company while you’re snuggled up

Check out our full list of 25 Postpartum Essentials to Know About

When should I start buying baby stuff?

The short answer is: whenever you feel ready!

Some parents start buying baby items as soon as they find out they’re expecting, while others prefer to wait until the second or third trimester.

It really depends on your personal preference and comfort level.

That being said, there are a few things you might want to consider when deciding when to start buying baby stuff.

For example, if you’re planning on having a baby shower, you might want to wait until after the shower to see what items you still need to purchase.

On the other hand, if you’re planning on buying everything yourself, you might want to start earlier to spread out the expenses.

Full baby essentials checklist

After something quicker and easier to jot down your baby essentials?

Here you go, mama:

  • Crib
  • Changing table
  • Baby crib mattress
  • 2-3 waterproof mattress covers
  • 4 fitted crib sheets
  • Light blankets or a sleeping bag
  • Diaper pail
  • Baby monitor
  • Comfy chair (for you)
  • Baby jumper, rocker, or play mat
  • Baby clothes (5-8 onesies, pajamas, trousers, and tops; 2-3 hats and cardigans; an outfit for special occasions; socks; and a snowsuit if baby’s due in the winter)
  • 8-14 burp cloths
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Bottles
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Nursing bras (for you, if you’re planning to breastfeed)
  • Nipple cream (if you’re planning to breastfeed)
  • Breast pads (if you’re planning to breastfeed)
  • Breast pump
  • Bath thermometer
  • Soft hairbrush
  • Nail scissors or a baby nail file
  • Bulb syringe
  • Baby thermometer
  • Stroller
  • Baby carrier
  • Diaper bag
  • Car seat
  • Diaper rash cream
  • High chair
  • Baby-proofing supplies

There you have it: all the baby essentials you’ll need for your little one’s arrival!

Happy shopping, mama!

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