Wondering what you really need to buy for your new baby?
Here’s the ultimate list of baby necessities, by category…
Baby Clothing & Bedding
All clothing you look for should feel soft and comfortable for your newborn.
Look for clothing items that have wide or stretchy openings; avoid outfits with lots of buttons and closures, as these will just add to the time and trouble spent dressing your baby.
Make sure you have on hand several outfits that are 100% cotton, in case your baby is irritated by synthetic fabrics.
Stocking up on simple outfits means you will have less laundry to do in those first weeks of motherhood.
Make sure to have outfits in bigger sizes so you won’t run out of clothes as your baby grows.
Remember to buy special laundry detergent for baby clothing.
Here is a list of the basics you will need:
- 5+ onesies, or one piece body suits (long-sleeve and short-sleeve depending on the time of year)
- 5+ pajamas (nightgowns make nighttime diaper changes especially easy)
- 4 to 5 outfits for play or trips out of the house (these are always adorable, but if you spend a lot of time at home, you’ll find yourself using basic pieces more often)
- 1 to 2 sweaters or jackets, plus a winter coat if you’ll be having a winter baby
- 7+ pairs of socks or booties (these are easy to misplace so have extra pairs handy)
- 3 to 4 hats (keep in mind the season when buying baby hats, as some are more suitable for winter or summer)
- 5+ bibs, which can come in handy whether bottle feeding or breastfeeding
If your baby will be sleeping in a crib, you will probably want to buy:
- 3 to 5 crib sheets
- 2+ waterproof mattress covers or pads
- a soft crib bumper
For co-sleeping, you might find it useful to buy a waterproof pad for the baby to sleep on top of, in case you have to deal with leaky nighttime diapers.
All babies will need several blankets on hand, with thicker, warmer blankets for winter babies.
Baby aisles are stocked full of all kinds of toys and gear for your new baby.
Everyone will find that different types of baby gear will suit different people (and babies), but here are a few timeless classics that many moms have found to be beneficial in the first months:
Car Seat: This is absolutely necessary gear for your newborn right from the start. You can choose an infant car seat or a convertible car seat, which is more expensive but will last longer. Many recommend choosing a seat with the new 5-point harness system.
Crib, Co-sleeper or Bassinet: None of these are necessary if you plan on co-sleeping full-time, though it might be handy to have one around for naps and for when your baby is older. A bassinet may be good for naps in the living room, but some moms find that a bassinet is not as useful as they thought it would be.
Stroller: Investing in a quality stroller is a good idea. For a newborn, you will need a stroller designed for young babies that has a secure seat that reclines. There are many strollers that will allow you to attach your infant car seat directly to them. Look for wheels of good size, handles that are comfortable to hold and at the appropriate height for you, and straps that are secure and easy to adjust.
Swing or Bouncer Seat: Many moms find both of these to be life-saver in the first months of motherhood. Swings and bouncer seats often soothe a young baby into slumber, and give mom a moment of hands-free time. Distracting mobiles and music aren’t necessary in those early months. Simple and sturdy is best.
Sling: A soft, comfortable sling can be essential for new moms who want to stay close to their new baby. Babies are often soothed and calm when being held close in a sling, and studies have shown that wearing your baby on a regular basis can help in their development. If possible, try on several slings at the store and pick the one you feel will put the least amount of strain on your back and shoulders.
Bathtub: There are many baby tubs and seats on the market. Most of them have advantages and disadvantages. It’s a good idea to shop around, read reviews, and buy what you feel will be most useful for you and your baby. Don’t forget to stock up on washcloths and hooded bath towels for your baby, too.
Feeding & Diapering
If you plan on bottle feeding or pumping while breastfeeding, you will need to have several bottles around. Extra nipples, a bottle warmer, and a bottle cleaner will also come in handy.
Decide whether you are using disposable diapers or cloth diapers, and stock up on as many as you can. (Plan on changing at least 8 to 10 diapers every day for the first few weeks.)
Don’t forget that your baby will grow quickly and may change diaper sizes on a regular basis at first.
Also, stock up on baby wipes, diaper rash ointment, and baby powder. A wipes warmer and a special diaper disposer can come in handy, too.
These are miscellaneous items that will be good to have around:
- 3 to 4 pacifiers
- first aid kit
- baby wash and baby shampoo
- baby nail clippers
- suction bulb
- baby monitor
- nursing pillow
- calendar or book to record baby’s first year