Baby Essentials Shopping List: The Must-Haves

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With the overload of cuteness and opinions on what you should use for your baby, it can be difficult to narrow down what is nice to have and what is an absolute necessity. I’m here to share my list of must-have items for your new baby.

Now, keep in mind, this is based on my personal opinion and what worked best for me and my children. You may find that you need more or less, depending on your lifestyle and baby’s personality.

1. Co-sleeper or Bassinet

There is so much to get used to when you first bring your baby home from the hospital. With no set schedule and you trying to figure out what your baby wants and when it is often best to just co-sleep with them in your room at first.

The best way to accomplish this is to use an in-bed co-sleeper (essentially a little bed in a bed) or a bassinet in your room. There is another write-up on the site where I review several of the best co-sleepers and bassinets. Click here >> to check them out.

2. Travel System

No one wants to wake a sleeping baby, especially when they are so difficult to appease at times. So, you want to avoid it at all costs, and this includes when you take your baby out of the car.

Travel systems are very convenient. They come with a car seat carrier and compatible stroller frame so you can move the whole seat without having to take your baby out and wake them. There are some great travel systems available; click here >> to visit my review on 5 best baby car seats and strollers

3. Baby Clothing

As cute as baby clothes are, a lot of those little outfits just aren’t practical. You are going to be changing a lot of diapers, dealing with a wiggly baby all the time, and dealing with countless diaper blowouts that just about ruin whatever your baby is wearing.

So, what clothes should you get for your baby?

Make sure to buy different sizes and not too many in one size.  To start out if the baby is not a preemie, you can skip newborn or 0-3 months sizes. You can start with a few 3 month or 3-6 month sizes clothes.

  • 2-4 pairs of Baby Hats & Mitten are necessary for newborns. 
  • 3-5 pairs of leggings, sweat pants or skirts,...
  • 4-6 pairs of shirts
  • 3-8 pairs of Bodysuits are the number one thing you will need. Make sure to buy different sizes.

This includes onesies and footed pajamas (3-4 pairs in each size) These one-piece outfits have snaps that make it easy to change diapers and only have one piece connected over the body keeps it in place better. 

Depending on the time of year your baby is born or the climate you live in, you will need to be prepared for cold weather. Jackets and or jumpsuit coat  (1-2) are a must as babies don’t have much in their bodies that can keep them warm.

You will also need a lot of socks, I mean a lot!  

They will get lost over and over again between the laundry and your little one rubbing them off.  And of course, a few of those cute little outfit sets are good too when you get dressed up to go out.

4. Changing Pad

Changing tables are not a necessity but you will need a changing pad. This gives you a safe, clean, and comfortable place to lay your baby to change their diaper at home without worrying about them making a mess on the carpet or your sheets.

Another good investment is a portable changing pad. These are very thin and portable (they usually fold up nice and compact to fit in the diaper bag), acting more as a liner between your baby and the dirty surface of a public changing table.

5. Blanket for Swaddling

Most newborn babies like to be swaddled; it mimics how they felt in the womb, all tight and cozy. It can help them to feel safe as well as stifle their startle reflex to they get better sleep.

You can’t just use any old blanket to swaddle your baby. You will want to find something specific for swaddling as they are usually square shaped and thinner to allow them to be wrapped easier. You can also find swaddle sacks and blankets that make it easy for you with Velcro and snaps.

6. Crib and a Mattress

Obviously, your baby needs somewhere to sleep. They may start out in a co-sleeper or bassinet, but they will quickly outgrow that and need to move out of your room and into their own crib.

You want to find something safe and reliable. Only purchase from a reputable company so you don’t have any accidents or injuries with faulty parts.

7. Diapers and Wipes

This may be a big “duh,” but you are going to want to buy a lot of diapers for your baby. They may be little, but you will be surprised by how many diapers the little stinker can go through in a day. Start out with one box of size one and one box of size 2.

Wipes are also a big must have. They will ultimately be your best friends since you will use them for a lot more than wiping your baby’s bottom. There are plenty of messes along the way that you will need them for. Just be careful not to use them on your baby’s face unless they are for sensitive skin and alcohol-free.

8. Baby Monitor

As cute and cuddly as your baby may be, you don’t want to be attached to them all day, especially when they are sleeping. But, leaving them alone in their room may leave you feeling a bit nervous if you can’t see or hear them.

That’s where baby monitors come in handy. You can go for one of the old fashioned audio-only versions, or you can choose something a bit more modern that has video surveillance (I have reviewed some of the best out there click here >>  to check them out) as well so you can monitor your baby at all times while you get things done around the house.

9. Pacifier

Babies are born with the desire to suck; it’s absolutely essential for proper bottle and breastfeeding. Some will want to just pacify on mom’s breast while others may go for their thumbs. And while there’s nothing entirely wrong with either of these things, a pacifier is often a better option.

Pacifiers can be taken away when it is time to wean your baby whereas a thumb cannot. Until that time, give your baby one of the best pacifiers on the market to help soothe them and promote proper oral development.

10. Baby Bouncer or Swing

Sometimes you’re just going to need a few minutes to yourself during the day, but you don’t really want to just leave your baby on the floor, especially if they are starting to crawl.

When they are really little, a baby swing can be very helpful. It allows your baby to experience the rocking motion they love so much without you having to hold them. As they get a little older – from about the time they can fully support their own head – bouncers are also good so they can burn off a little bit of energy.

When my daughters were babies, they used Tiny Love 3 in 1 Rocker Napper and absolutely LOVED it. 

They enjoyed sleeping and playing in it during the day. What I like about this rocker is that you can easily change it from playing to napping (bassinet).

11. Baby Carrier

Those car seat carriers get heavier as your baby grows, and let’s be honest, your baby is likely going to hate them. They just want to be close to you all the time, feeling your skin and hearing your heartbeat.

Baby carriers are the perfect solution to your troubles. There are so many styles – from wraps to structured – you are sure to find something that works for you and your baby. Be sure to check out my review on some of the best baby carriers.

12. Diaper Bag

Babies need a lot of things when you take them on an outing: diapers, wipes, bottles, extra clothes, toys, pacifiers, blankets, burp towels, and the list goes on. It’s a good idea to go ahead and get a diaper bag so that you take everything with you much easier.

Now, you could just use any old bag, but diaper bags are great since they have organization space specifically catered to a baby’s needs. There are pockets for bottles and pouches for small items so you don’t have to dig through everything to find what you need.

This diaper bag by Pantheon is my favorite.  It’s a nice bag and comes with a changing pad, plenty of room for bottle holders and I love the stroller straps. 

13. Small Toys

Small babies don’t need a whole lot to play with. They won’t start gripping anything for at least a month, and they have so many other interesting things in the world around them to keep them entertained.

However, it is a good idea to have some small toys for your baby that they can use when they do start gripping things. It’s a great way for them to practice their motor skills and learn the concept of cause and effect. Meaning if they drop the toy, you pick it up; or if they squeeze or shake the toy, it crinkles or rattles.

When your baby is around 4 months old, they may start teething or testing everything with their mouth. It’s a good idea to have some teething toys or something made with tough rubber-like Teether Keys for them to chew on.

14. Baby Wash and Lotion

Babies have very sensitive skin; soaps that you may use can be too harsh on their skin or contain too much fragrance that your baby can’t really handle.

Baby wash is formulated for sensitive skin, ensuring it is clean but not dry or irritated. It minimizes the chances that your baby will have an allergic reaction to certain ingredients or dyes.

Baby lotion is also a good thing to keep on hand to keep your baby’s skin soft and moisturized after a bath or before bed. Using a lotion that has chamomile and/or lavender is great for helping prepare your baby for sleep too.

15. Baby Towel

Now, of course, you could just use any old towel you have lying around your house, but there are a few reasons why a towel specifically for babies is best for your little one.

These towels are usually hooded and made with microfiber, which means they dry faster, are softer against the skin, and keep your baby warm from head to toe. Since it is a towel specifically designated for your baby, you can also ensure that it is always cleaned with baby-friendly laundry detergent.

16. Breast pump or baby bottles

  • If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, you will need a breast pump to express both breasts and maintain your milk supply.   

Since I struggled with milk supply,   the manual pump didn’t really work for me. It took forever to get an ounce of milk out. The electric pump works better if you don’t have abundance supply but you will not know until your baby is born. 

If you are looking for to purchase one, I would recommend  Spectra breast pump  you can adjust the speed and suction strength and it’s also one of the best electric breast pumps out there.

Since electric breast pumps are quite expensive than manual ones, I heard that (I wish I knew this before) you might be able to get it for free through your insurance. I will suggest checking with your insurance first before you buy it.

  • If you are only planning to bottle feed your baby,  you can start out with 3-5 bottles (slow flow nipples).

Comotomo baby bottles are my favorite. These bottles are great for breastfed or bottle-fed babies.   Click here to check them out.  Make sure to choose 5 oz for newborn nipples (slow flow).

I hope you now know what items or products you will buy for your new baby.

If you are looking for a baby registry,  I will recommend Amazon baby registry. They have great prices and also give nice goodies for moms a Welcome Box for FREE!

Click here now to create your baby registry!

Other than that, wishing you good luck and happy shopping!!

Don’t forget to also check out: 10 things you don’t need to buy for your new baby!

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