Baby Essentials – The Ultimate Checklist for All Things “Baby”
First of all, congratulations! You have a little one on the way, and it’s time for you to buckle down and get your baby essentials ready for the big arrival day!
Now take a deep breath, and know that everything is going to be okay. People have been having babies since the dawn of time, and all it takes is a little preparation and a lot of love.
Don’t worry! The love comes naturally, and for the preparation, you have us!
Today we’re breaking down all the baby essentials that you need to pick up for your little bundle of joy.
So get ready to write up your shopping list, because we’re breaking down everything you need for the ultimate baby essentials checklist.
First on your list of baby essentials is 4-8 onesies with wide head openings and loose legs. Your baby’s skin will be very sensitive for the first few weeks, so anything that fits too tightly over the head or legs will cause irritation and, of course, crying.
Along with that, you’ll want 4-8 undershirts with snaps at the neck and bottom, so you can easily change your baby and redress them afterward. And 4-8 one-piece pajamas for bedtime.
If you’re having a baby in winter, you’ll want at least two blanket sleepers to keep them warm at night, as well as 1-3 sweaters or jackets for daytime.
Another item on your baby essentials list should be footwear, but while newborn shoes are cute, they’re not really necessary until the baby can walk.
What you should have is 4-7 pairs of socks or booties to keep their feet from getting cold.
Hats and Mittens
You might also want to pick up a few hats, broad-brimmed for summer babies or soft caps that cover their ears for winter babies. And some no-scratch mittens to keep their hands warm.
Even if the baby is sleeping with you in your room, a crib, cradle, or bassinet to sleep in is one of the absolute baby essentials, as well as a firm, flat mattress that fits snugly in the crib. You should only be able to fit two fingers or less between the mattress and the crib, or the baby could get tangled up in it and hurt itself.
Another thing that should be on your list of baby essentials is a rocking chair or armchair, so you can rock the baby back to sleep at night when it’s fussy.
If your baby is sleeping in its own room, you’ll need a baby monitor so you can wake up when they do.
Most babies don’t like to be left in the dark, so it’s also a good idea to keep a nightlight in the nursery.
You’ll be surprised at how fast your baby’s wardrobe grows, so you’re going to need a place to put it all, so a dresser for clothes is definitely one of your baby essentials. It’s also a good idea to have a toybox, so when your baby starts playing, you’ll have a place to put all their toys when they’re not using them.
For your baby’s crib, you’ll want 1-3 washable crib mattress pads, 2-4 fitted crib sheets, 4-6 soft, light receiving blankets, and 1 or 2 heavier blankets if your house gets cold at night.
The receiving blankets are also useful for nursing, or to clean up when your baby spits up.
Diapers are definitely on the list of newborn essentials, but you have the option of using disposable diapers or reusable cloth diapers. You can get 6-10 dozen cloth diapers and 6-8 diaper covers, or 2-3 large boxes of disposable newborn-size diapers.
Either way, you’ll want a diaper pail with liners to either throw away or re-wash the diapers when it’s full.
To change your baby’s diaper, you’ll need a changing table and a cushioned changing pad for low dresser or bureau, with a safety strap or railing.
Cleaning and Diaper Rash
To prevent diaper rash, you should keep baby powder and diaper cream on hand, and a diaper bag to store it all in.
For cleanup, you’ll want unscented baby wipes, which cause less irritation than scented ones, and soft washcloths for heavier cleanup.
For bath time, you should have baby soap and baby shampoo, so their eyes and skin doesn’t get irritated, as well as a small plastic baby bathtub.
Towels and Washcloths
Make sure you have 2-4 soft towels or hooded baby towels to dry them and keep them warm after the bath, and a soft washcloth for cleaning them. Make sure to use a different color or pattern than your diaper washcloths so you don’t get them mixed up!
One thing people sometimes don’t consider is to get a gentle laundry detergent, as the regular kind can cause rash and skin irritation.
For feeding time, you should have at least 10-16 bottles and nipples in both 4oz and 8oz size. That may seem like a lot, but your baby will go through around 10 4oz size bottles per day, so you should have at least that many so you’re not constantly trying to wash out fresh ones.
If you get disposable bottles, you’ll want a good supply of plastic liners that you can change out for each bottle of milk.
Pump and Storage
Another essential item is a breast pump and milk storage bags, so that you can save and store milk for when your baby gets hungry.
You should also have nursing pads and a nursing pillow to keep your baby comfortable and nipple cream for soreness.
For nighttime feedings, you’ll want a bottle warmer if you don’t want to be running to the kitchen to heat up the bottle in the middle of the night, and a bottle sterilizer to make sure it’s sanitary. Some dishwashers have these pre-installed, but if yours doesn’t, it’s a good idea to get one.
You’ll need a bottle brush to properly wash the bottles and prevent your baby from getting sick.
You should have 4-8 bibs and some burp cloths for when your baby spits up and so it doesn’t get food all over it’s nice clothes while it is eating.
Because babies are comforted by this natural habit, many parents like to have 2-4 pacifiers around to keep the baby from crying when it isn’t time for feeding.
Another optional purchase is baby formula for when your body just doesn’t want to produce milk and your baby is hungry. Some parents don’t like this option early on, but it’s entirely up to you.
You can find blunt baby nail clippers to keep your baby’s fingernails short. If you let them get too long, the baby can scratch itself, so it’s important to start fingernail grooming as soon as they start growing.
Babies often get fevers early on. Sometimes it will be nothing, but other times it could be an indicator of something more serious, so you should also have a rectal baby thermometer for if your newborn gets sick and you need to know if it’s an emergency or not.
Accidents and Injuries
Buy some petroleum jelly and sterile gauze for circumcision care or to take care of any minor boo-boo.
For more major accidents, keep a first aid kit around for quick care, and the doctor’s number by the phone for afterward.
Your baby will be crawling before you know it, so you should have baby gates to put in front of stairs and dangerous areas. You’ll also want furniture corner protectors because your baby will bump into things as it’s learning to move around.
You should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with or without a baby, but if you haven’t bought them yet, what are you waiting for? Get out there and buy some, and make sure to have batteries on hand to keep them working.
For playtime, you should have a playpen, so your baby doesn’t wander off to somewhere it could get hurt, and so you can keep an eye on it while it plays.
Pick up some cupboard and window catches too so they can’t get into the cupboards and hurt themselves or get ahold of something poisonous.
Wall outlet covers are also a good idea, as you don’t want your baby getting a nasty shock from putting slobber-covered hands somewhere dangerous.
If you want to drive your baby around anywhere, one thing on your list of newborn essentials will be a newborn-sized or convertible car seat for rides in the car, as a normal car seat will not hold them in place properly in the event of an accident.
You should get a stroller or infant carrier as well for trips outdoors or to the store, and a swing or bouncy chair, so they can play at home.
A swing or bouncy chair will also aid in helping them to learn how to walk later on, so this is an indispensable item for any newborn.
Finally, you should have a highchair for feeding times, so you can keep them in place while you’re feeding them.
Now that you have a list of all the newborn essentials, you have everything you need to get ready for the day your baby arrives.
Warm clothes, a comfortable nursery, diapers, and everything they’ll need for bathtime, playtime, bedtime and dinnertime.
So don’t save your baby shopping until after the baby arrives! Get out there and pick up your newborn essentials so you can baby-fy your house today!