What are the newborn essentials you should be ready with by the time your baby arrives?
How to decide what are the must haves for your newborn?
Which items are essential for a newborn to start his journey outside his mom’s womb?
“We welcome you, with open arms
Our Sweet Baby, So many charms.
We’ve longed for you, for ages it seems
Now you are here fulfilling our dreams. “
The arrival of a newborn in our lives is such a great occasion. It is the start of an eventful journey filled with lots of laughter and happiness, which the words cannot describe. But preparing for this journey is a headache for the parents to be. What to buy and what not for the baby? How to make sure that the products you buy for the baby are safe, efficient and useful?
In today’s post, I share a list of top 31 newborn essentials that are necessary for your little angel. This list is based on my experience and can serve as a shopping guide for new parents. Print this newborn essentials checklist and take it with you on your next shopping trip.
31 Newborn Essentials: Your Baby’s First Shopping List
A lot of parents buy toys, shoes, fluffy blankets and even a bigger house before or soon after the arrival of their baby, which are definitely not needed. The list shared in today’s post is the real simple list for what you really need. The number of each item can be changed based on personal preference.
Clothes are the top baby essentials, the first thing you should buy for your baby.
Your baby’s clothing should be comfortable. It should be cotton based and should have safe motifs.
Try for soft fabrics and avoid heavily embellished dresses as they may harm the baby. Avoid sequence, glitters, and buttons, as they can be a choking hazard or cause skin irritation. Also, ribbons and ties can tangle to newborn’s fingers or hands, so avoid that too.
Buy comfortable materials and you don’t have to go for branded clothes. Baby will grow pretty fast and so buy only the essential number of clothes.
Do buy the following items and consider the weather conditions while planning the items.One should also buy woolen clothes if the baby is due in winter months.
Buy sleep suits or full body suits that are designed for easy dressing and changing. A full body suit with the press up buttons at the front from neck to the crotch or ankle is a good option.
#2. Singlets or tops
It is little tricky and difficult to dress or undress a newborn considering that she is so small and delicate. Avoid dresses that get over the head or that has buttons at the back. So when choosing tops go for envelope necks or front open ones. Buy 5 or 6 sets of singlets or tops.
#3. Cotton socks
A newborn’s feet tend to get cold easily and wearing a sock will help keep them warm. But it is not necessary to make your newborn wear socks all the time unless the weather is too cold. But do make them wear socks when going outside. Two or three pairs is enough.
#4. Cotton caps or topis
You must have noticed that when the nurses hand over your newborn to you, they usually cover the baby’s head with a cap or the hood of the receiving blanket. This is to help the baby keep himself warm just as inside the womb and minimize the heat loss through the head. But a cap is not always necessary. A full term baby can avoid caps once he is home from the hospital. But make your baby wears a hat when it is winter or too cold.
Cotton caps that can cover the ears are the best. 1 or 2 cotton caps are enough.
#5. Wrap around cotton cloths/swaddle cloths
Wrap around cotton cloths or blankets are a must. Buy soft cotton cloths, which is breathable yet warm. Swaddling a baby using a soft light blanket helps the baby to feel safe and warm.
The wrap around clothes can also be made at home using old cotton sarees or even cotton dupattas and trust me they are super useful and soft. Homemade blankets are cheap, lightweight and breathable.
#6. Cotton gloves / mittens
You don’t have to make your baby wear mittens all the time. Leave his hands free so that he can touch and sense things and feel secure or start learning. But when the weather is cold it is good to keep your little one’s palms warm. Buy only one or two mittens if you are in India, but buy 4 or 5 pairs if the region you live is very cold.
#7. Cotton napkin or handkerchief
Keep a set of soft cotton napkin or handkerchief handy to wipe the baby’s lips and face when the baby drools.
Note : Do include 2 -3 sweaters and woolen caps if you are going to have a winter baby.
One thinks of small babies and one gets reminded of diapers also. This is one reason why diapers have a top position in the things you need for a baby.
First, you should decide as to what you will be mostly using for your baby- disposable diapers or reusable ones. Both has its own pros and cons and you can decide what to use depending on your lifestyle and concepts.
Read: Diaper Dilemma: How To Choose the Right Diaper for Your Baby
#8. Disposable diapers
Buying diapers in bulk at first is not wise. Try sample packs of 2-3 brands and buy in bulk only the brand that is comfortable for the baby.
#9. Cotton nappies
You can use reusable cotton nappies for your newborn, as it is the safest one on the sensitive baby skin. But cotton nappies need a change every time it is soiled and hence do stock up a good quantity of cotton nappies especially if it is rainy season and washing and getting nappies dried is difficult.
If you are planning to use cotton nappies, do get them made or buy them a little ahead of time. Your child may need around 12 per day.
Even if you plan to buy cotton nappies for the little one, do keep one packet of disposable diapers handy. Nappies do take a lot of effort to clean and maintain and are not as reliable as the disposable ones. Disposable diapers will come handy for any unplanned outdoor visit.
#10. Diaper rash cream
Diaper rash cream is a must buy. You can keep one handy and use it as and when needed or as suggested by your baby’s paediatrician.
#11. Diaper wipes/ wet wipes
Diaper wipes are useful to clean those dirty bums. You can also buy 2 or 3 small travel-friendly packets of wet wipes to use while traveling.
At home, one can use cotton balls and warm water to clean baby’s bum instead of baby wipes. My son’s pediatrician recommended this tip and I swear by it. One can also add a pinch of salt to water and use.
Two or three packets of disposable wipes are enough and you can buy more as and when you need them.
#12. Changing mats
Using changing mats are a good way to make sure that your bed linen or other things don’t get soiled with poop and pees while changing the diaper. It is easy to use and clean too.
While traveling a changing mat is of great help especially when you don’t find a clean and decent place to lay your baby and change clothes. Two or three changing mats are more than enough.
#13. Dustbins or plastic bags for dirty diapers
It is always good to put all the dirty diapers in a separate garbage bag, as it is much cleaner and safe. You can use normal polythene bags for this or buy a dustbin with lid.
Bath time is a special bonding time as well as a needed one. Whether you are planning to bath your baby yourself or keep a maalishwaali/maid you need certain must haves for the bathing time.
In case, you are planning to go the Indian way with a maalishwali / maid for giving a bath, you may not need bathtub immediately but it is good to have it as it makes you more independent.
A number of options are available in the market and you can select according to your comfort. While usual hard plastic tubs are easier to clean it can’t be used when the baby grows older.
You can go for convertible tubs that grow with your baby. Most convertible tubs have a sling or hammock perfect to keep the newborns higher in the water. These slings are detachable and can be removed ones the baby grows big enough to sit in the bathtub and bath.
And then there are foldable and inflatable tubs. They are easy to carry and great while traveling. But I wouldn’t recommend these for everyday use as most of them are not so solid and sturdy.
#15. Bath towels
Bath towels are a must and you can buy 2 or 3 of them so that you can circulate them.
It should be soft and made of a good absorbent material like super rich cotton and should only be big enough for the baby. White or light colors are preferred and should be of good quality materials that are lint free and not scratchy. Cotton towels are best.
#16. Gentle baby wash and shampoo
A mild tear-free fragrance-free baby wash and shampoo is a must buy. But don’t stock up so many bottles of it. Just buy one baby wash and shampoo and use it to see how the newborns skin and hair reacts to it. If you find any allergy, rash or skin becoming dry, you can change the baby soap.
#17. Massage and hair oil
You can use coconut oil, almond oil, or any other oil that you use traditionally to massage baby.
If buying bottled ones try to buy gentle and organic base oils. It may also be wise to check with your baby’s doctor regarding the same and then choose the brand as per their recommendation.
#18. Baby Cream
A good baby cream for moisturizing the baby’s skin is must. You can apply cream after giving your baby a bath. Do a patch test before you apply cream, oil or soap all over your baby’s body.
You can also buy highly recommended Natural and organic baby bath essentials from bumpsnbaby.in at offer price.
Do plan for baby’s sleep area. In case you are planning to co-sleep, do ensure that baby’s area is safe and is firm. Buy a good crib if your baby sleeps in a separate place. You should also plan to buy a bed sheet and blanket suiting the weather conditions in your area.
#19. Baby Mattress/bed
Do not buy or use puffy mattresses / blankets as they may be hazardous. Select a firm mattress that fits tightly in the crib / bed.
Please do not buy soft pillows for the newborn as they are often associated with SIDS risk.
One can also try making or buying a mustard seed pillow for babies. These pillows are traditionally recommended for newborns. Do ensure that the pillow is double layered and is stitched properly so that the mustard seeds to not come out.
#20. Bed sheets and baby blanket
Buy good quality lint free bed sheets and baby blankets. Blankets shouldn’t be heavy and should be breathable. Light colors are preferred.
One can also invest in mattress protectors / quick dry sheets.
#21. Mosquito net/ mosquito repeller
A mosquito net is a must buy especially if your area is mosquito prone. You can also buy a ultrasonic mosquito repeller.
Avoid mosquito repellent creams on newborns.
If you are breastfeeding buying a nursing cover is a good option. Buy light materials that are breathable. In case you are bottle-feeding the baby, one may need to plan for feeding essentials as well.
#22. Formula powder
Buy the brand of formula powder as recommended by your baby’s paediatrician.
To start with you can buy one tin and feed your baby. Check for allergies, constipation or any other discomfort from the particular brand of formula milk. If the baby is fine you can stock up the same formula milk. Else do see your pediatrician and change the formula milk brand.
#23. Feeding bottle
Buy feeding bottles that have anti-colic nipples. This can reduce the amount of air swallowed by the baby during feeding.
Buy feeding bottles that have anti-colic nipples. This can reduce the amount of air swallowed by the baby during feeding.
You should buy feeding bottles with good quality material that are BPA free and that can withstand high temperatures.
#24. Bottle cleaning brush
Buy a bottle cleaning brush to clean the bottle after each feed.
A bottle sterilizer is completely optional. You can always clean the bottles with hot water.
#25. A flask or thermos
A flask to hold hot water is a good investment. You can boil water and keep it in flasks and use it as and when you mix the formula milk. It really saves time and energy.
Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you can use bibs on the baby to keep the feeding time less messy. Buy four or five bibs.
Health and hygiene
#27. Baby nail clippers or scissors
Use nail scissors with curved blades and rounded points to ensure complete safety.
You can also use nail clippers that are small and specially made for babies.
#28. Hand sanitizer
You can buy a hand sanitizer to clean your hands every time before you handle the baby.
A multi-use digital that can be used under the arm, rectally or orally is a good option. You can also go for a forehead thermometer or more expensive ones like ear thermometer or infrared thermometers when your baby has fever.
Be travel ready. First decide how you will be walking around with your baby while travelling. If you decide to carry him that is the best and the most economic option. If not be ready to invest in a baby stroller, car seat, baby carrier etc.
#30. Diaper bag
Buy a trendy fashionable diaper bag that has plenty of pockets and enough room to hold all your baby essentials while travelling.
#31. Baby stroller/car seat/baby carrier
Invest in these only if you plan to use them and the area you live has roads and paths with are stroller friendly. If you are a person who will not be travelling so often with your newborn, cut this expensive things from your list. It is not a must buy, but is good if you can use them to the maximum.
Look for quality, durability and security while buying strollers and car seats. Whatever you buy baby’s comfort is a must. It should be easy to carry and use.
Test drive before you buy a stroller. You can go for strollers that have car seat too.
So this is the complete list of baby items you will require for your newborn.
Hope I have covered all the newborn baby necessities.
What were the newborn essentials you bought? Have we missed any newborn baby essentials? Please do share your view in the comments.