Baby Essentials | The Complete List For New And Expecting Parents
Getting ready to welcome a baby into your home can be exciting, overwhelming, and everything in-between. One of your biggest tasks is to fill your house with the things you’ll need to take care of your little one. But it can be hard to know which items are baby essentials and which ones you can live without.
To help you figure out what to buy, the experts at Newton Baby have organized the baby essentials into seven categories: nursery, clothing, diapering, bath time, feeding, health and safety, and playtime and carrying. We’ll tell you the must-haves for each category, and you can let your family’s preferences dictate the rest.
At the end of the article, we’ll leave you with a few other tips to get your family ready for your baby’s arrival. Preparing your family is, after all, just as much of a “baby essential” as diapers and burp cloths!
That said, let’s start with baby essentials for the nursery.
Baby Essentials: The Nursery
Designing your little one’s nursery can be one of the most enjoyable parts of expecting a baby! Take your pick from plenty of colors and themes to create an attractive and safe space for your baby, where they will play, grow, and sleep the night away.
The first nursery necessity is a place for your little one to snooze.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you share your room (but not your bed!) with your baby for at least the first six months of life. If your baby is going to sleep in your room before moving to their nursery, you may want to consider a cradle or bassinet to save space.
That said, your baby can immediately start sleeping in a crib if you prefer. This can be a bonus because your little one won’t outgrow a crib as fast as they will a bassinet or cradle — in fact, a convertible crib can even see your child through their toddler years.
Our beautiful 3-in-1 Convertible Cribs are made by dadada in Italy and crafted from soft, sustainable wood. Safe and durable, these cribs offer timeless style and an included toddler rail for easy conversion and years of longevity.
With three settings from infant to toddler, pair this crib with a standard-sized crib mattress, and your baby’s bed will grow with them. Speaking of a crib mattress, that’s the next baby essential on the list.
If you’ll be putting your newborn to sleep in a bassinet, you probably won’t have to choose a mattress because most bassinets come with one. That said, read our bassinet mattress buyer’s guide here so you are prepared.
If your baby is sleeping in a mini-crib or standard-sized crib, opt for a crib mattress that’s safe and easy to clean. After all, your baby will spend lots of time in their crib, whether they’re sleeping or quietly entertaining themselves. You want it to be a secure place for them to be.
Newton’s Crib Mattress is 100% breathable and 100% washable from cover to core. This means your baby can breathe straight through the mattress and you can easily keep it clean. Say goodbye to mold, bacteria, and allergens!
The mattress itself is made with 90% air. The other 10% is the same material used to make yogurt cartons. And it’s completely free of foam, glue, and latex.
Our innovative Breathe-Thru Technology allows your baby to breathe right through if they roll over onto their tummy in the middle of the night.
Like all Newton Baby products, this mattress is GREENGUARD Gold Certified. This means that it’s independently tested and certified for low chemical emissions, exceeding the highest industry emissions safety standards to help improve indoor air quality.
To protect your Newton Baby mattress without affecting its breathability, cover it with our waterproof, breathable mattress pad.
Fitted Crib Sheets
A fitted sheet is next on our baby essentials list.
What about other baby items that go in the crib like crib bumpers, top sheets, blankets, and baby pillows? They are all non-necessities. In fact, they’re not only unnecessary — they’re unsafe.
For the safest sleep possible, put your baby to sleep in a bare crib. All that should be found in the crib is a fitted sheet on the mattress, your little one, and a pacifier (if they use one).
Our Organic Cotton Sheets come in mini as well as standard size and feature all-around elastic to guarantee a snug fit for any crib mattress.
Global Organic Textile Standards and washable to help you maintain a hygienic sleep surface.
Other Nursery Necessities
First, a baby monitor. Having one will give you peace of mind, allowing you to listen to and see your baby without having to pop into the nursery.
You’ll also need somewhere to store clothes and change diapers. Use a traditional changing table, or simplify by using a dresser or chest as a changing table as well (if the space and height are right).
- Rocking chair or glider
- Nightlight or lamp
- Clothes hamper
Baby Essentials: Clothing
Between spit up, blowouts, and other inevitable messes, your new baby will go through a lot of clothes! How many of each item you should buy depends largely on how often you plan to do laundry.
Here are the essentials you’ll need (based on doing laundry once or twice per week):
- Onesies (5-7)
- Sleep sack or swaddle (2-3)
- One-piece footed pajamas (4-5)
- Sweaters or jackets (1-2)
- Dress-up outfits (1-2)
- Pairs of socks or booties (5-7)
- Newborn hat (2)
- Winter hat (2)
- Summer hat for the sun (1)
- Pants (5)
- Shirts (5)
- Scratch mittens (3-4)
- Winter mittens (1)
- Swimsuit (1)Pre-shrunk, 100% organic muslin cotton is machine washable for easy care and use.
If seeing “swaddle” on this list raises all sorts of questions because you don’t know the first thing about swaddling a newborn, don’t worry. Read our article How To Swaddle A Baby, and we think you’ll feel at ease. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.
For an ultra-soft, hypoallergenic swaddle, opt for our Organic Swaddle Blankets. These blankets are completely breathe-through, which helps keep your baby at the perfect temperature to avoid overheating.
Just like our fitted crib sheets, this organic cotton muslin is certified to the Global Organic Textile Standards.
Last but not least, don’t forget to stock up on baby hangers and gentle laundry detergent to keep everything clean and tidy.
And if your mind is already swirling with how to organize all of the adorable baby clothes, click here for our tips and tricks. Depending on how you decide to do it, storage bins or some other organizing system may be on your baby essentials list.
Baby Essentials: Diapering
From day one, you’ll need to have the diapering essentials on hand. Your baby will go through a lot of diapers! Before purchasing supplies, decide if you want to use disposable or cloth diapers.
If you opt for disposable diapers, stock up! Babies typically go through fewer diapers as they get older, but in their first month or so, expect to use up to 10 diapers per day. That’s somewhere around 300 diapers!
If you’re using cloth diapers, buy at least 15 (more if you don’t plan on washing every other day). Don’t forget you’ll also need diaper covers and fasteners for cloth diapers.
General Diapering Necessities
No matter which diaper option is best for your family, you’ll also need these basics for diaper changing:
- Changing pad
- Diaper pail and liners
- Diaper rash cream
- Diaper wipes
- Diaper bag
Expert tip: While we’re on the subject of leaky diapers, blowouts, and the like, having an extra mattress cover and a waterproof mattress pad will make your life easier when your little angel leaves you with a mess in the crib.
Newton Baby’s mattress covers and mattress pads are machine washable to make cleanup quick and easy! Both can be washed on cold with a mild detergent and tumble-dried on low heat.
Keep in mind that our mattress pads are available in both standard crib size and twin bed size for waterproof protection at any age. Plus, the two layers of breathe-thru spacer material add a layer of breathability and comfort to any traditional mattress.
Baby Essentials: Bath Time
When it comes to bath time, there are several cute (but unnecessary) products and fun bath toys to choose from. For now, let’s stick to the basics that you’ll need to keep your baby squeaky clean.
To start with, you need a baby bathtub. Once you have a place to bathe your little one, the rest is pretty simple.
Before The Bath
Always test the water temperature before putting your little one in the bath. A bath thermometer will help you keep the water at the perfect temperature so your baby isn’t too chilly or too warm.
Additionally, put a faucet guard in place so your little one doesn’t bump their head on the hard bath or sink faucet.
During The Bath
To cleanse your little one, you’ll need several soft baby washcloths, a gentle baby soap or bath wash, and baby shampoo (to make things even simpler, consider getting a two-in-one baby body wash and shampoo).
Tip: Keep a plastic cup in the bathroom to easily rinse the soap off of your baby.
After The Bath
To finish up your bathtime routine, you’ll want to have a baby hairbrush and towel on hand (the hooded baby towels are especially adorable, but you can also use a regular towel).
Post-bathtime is also an ideal moment to moisturize your baby’s delicate skin with a gentle lotion. For gentle, safe moisture, choose a hypoallergenic moisturizer designed specifically for baby skin.
Baby Essentials: Feeding
When it comes to feeding your infant, the big decision you have to make is if you’re going to breastfeed or formula feed. Later, your baby will eat solid foods and will need a highchair and several baby spoons, but let’s focus on the essentials for those first few months.
Formula Feeding Essentials
If you’ve chosen to formula feed, here’s a list of must-haves:
- Bottles with nipples
- Dishwasher bottle basket
- Bottle-cleaning brush
- Baby formula
- Bibs (lots of them!)
- Burp cloths
- Insulated bottle carrier for traveling
If you plan on breastfeeding, you’ll need the items from the list above (except the formula) in order to bottle feed when you’re unable to nurse. In addition, you’ll need a breast pump and breast milk storage containers.
Nipple cream and nursing bras are also important for making things as easy and comfortable as possible for you. Breast pads will come in handy, too. They are placed inside your bra (a regular bra or nursing bra) to keep you from leaking through.
For a nursing cover, all you really need is a light blanket. Our Organic Swaddle Blankets will do the job. These multipurpose blankets serve not only as swaddles but also as nursing covers, changing pads, stroller covers, and burp cloths.
Baby Essentials: Health And Safety
Whether you’re giving medicine or buckling your little one in for a car ride, your baby’s health and safety is your top priority.
To care for your baby when they’re sick and to keep them in tip-top shape daily, stock up on these health and first-aid supplies:
- Nail clippers (or nail scissors or a file)
- Bulb syringe
- Baby thermometer
- Medicine spoon
- Medicine Syringe
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- Petroleum jelly and gauze (if you have a circumcised little boy)
- Baby medicine (talk to your pediatrician about what you should have)
As soon as your little one figures out how to roll over, you’ve got a baby on the move. Time to babyproof!
When it comes to purchasing babyproofing gear, at the very least you’ll need baby gates for the top and bottom of stairs, cabinet and drawer latches, outlet covers, and a fireplace bumper if your home has a fireplace.
Another note on safety for your rolling baby: It’s important to stop swaddling your baby when they show signs of starting to roll over. This is when you can transition them to a sleep sack instead. For more information about when and how to stop swaddling, click here.
A car seat should be at the top of your baby essentials list. You’ll need a car seat just to get your baby home from the hospital, so make sure you purchase one well before your due date!
Baby Essentials: Playtime And Carrying
Between reading books and enjoying tummy time on the floor, it’s important to have the right toys available for your little one. While there’s no one toy that’s a must-have, consider things like a baby swing or bouncer, baby books, rattles, soft blocks, or a bouncer seat.
You’ll also want to have the right baby equipment for the activities that your family enjoys. A stroller is a must-have for most families.
Think about your family’s hobbies — for example, if you and your family love hiking, a baby carrier will be a necessity for you while other parents will be content with a sling to use around the house.
Prepare Your Heart And Home
We’ve just covered the baby essentials, like diapers, bottles, a crib, and all the rest. However, welcoming a new baby into your home, heart, and family also includes preparing for the birth as well as preparing financially, medically, emotionally, and relationally.
This preparation will look different for each family, but before we bid you farewell, let’s discuss a few guidelines for getting ready.
Prepare For The Birth
In this article, we focused on the baby essentials you’ll need to take care of your little one day in and day out. But before they make their appearance, you’ll head to the hospital or birthing center to do the amazing work of bringing a child into the world.
Get ready by touring the hospital and creating a birth plan. Pack your hospital bag with essentials for delivery day, such as comfy clothes, your favorite drinks, toiletries, underwear and pads, your cell phone charger, and the like.
For more ideas on what to pack, look at our complete Hospital Bag Checklist here.
As you might imagine, acquiring all of the items we mentioned in this article isn’t free. Pregnancy, childbirth, and raising a little one involve quite a bit of money, so it’s worth making a plan and setting aside some cash now.
Keep in mind that second-hand or hand-me-down baby items are a great way to pinch pennies, but, for health and safety reasons, it’s best to buy these items brand new:
- Crib mattress
- Car seat
- Breast pump
- Baby carrier or sling
- Nipples for bottles
In addition to saving money and making a budget, take a look at your health insurance to know what costs are covered and what will be out of pocket. Check in with work as well to be sure you understand your maternity or paternity leave.
With a baby on the way, there are three things to prepare medically: your prenatal care, where you’ll deliver your baby, and who your baby’s pediatrician will be.
At this point, you’ve probably already been to the doc for yourself and your growing baby bump. So, plan to continue taking care of yourself and your baby by continuing to go to the recommended appointments.
During this process, you’ll also decide exactly where you’ll give birth. Wherever you choose to deliver should be comfortable for you, provide excellent care, and suit your needs and preferences.
Lastly, when choosing a pediatrician, take into consideration the location of the office, their hours, the pediatrician’s credentials and training, and whether or not they accept your insurance.
Prepare Emotionally And Relationally
Bringing a new baby into the family is an exciting and wonderful change, but it’s still a change.
Prepare with your partner by sharing your expectations, fears, concerns, and joys. Discuss how you’ll support each other as your family grows. Strengthen your bond, and spend time enjoying each other’s company.
If this is not your first child, prepare your other kids for the arrival of their new sibling. Talk about what it will be like to have a new baby in the family, involve them in preparing the nursery, and explain who they’ll be with on the day that mom goes to deliver the baby.
As for you, give yourself plenty of grace and start learning now (if you haven’t already) how to take good care of yourself.
Before your baby comes is also a good time to connect with your friends, family, and support system. In addition to having fun together, you can use this time to have any necessary conversations regarding the baby’s arrival and who will be helping out with various tasks.
Prepare Your Home With The Baby Essentials
At the end of each day, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your little one is getting the sound, safe sleep they need on Newton Baby’s breathable, comfortable, and durable crib mattress.
Now all that’s left to do is eagerly await the arrival of your sweet baby!