Shopping for baby essentials can be time-consuming, especially for new parents. There are so many baby products on the market that you can be overwhelmed with choice.
Baby essentials include everything you need to cater to your baby within the first year. Some of the baby essentials are must-haves, while others are not as critical. This article focuses on the baby essentials to add to your shopping list for your baby’s arrival and their first year.
Table of Contents
Baby Essentials For Your Infant
Your baby needs lots of clothes, some of which are must-haves while others are nice-to-haves. Since babies grow fast, you can have a few clothes for the next size before your baby reaches there. Opt for soft and comfortable clothes on your baby and durable to stand frequent washing. Organic baby clothing is the best for your baby’s skin as it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or harsh dyes. Clothing essentials include:
- Onesies/bodysuits: Baby onesies snap at the crotch and convenient for nappy changes. They come in both short and long sleeves. You can choose full-body ones or those that leave the legs uncovered.
- Sleepsuits: Babies sleep pretty often, and sleepers are the perfect gear for your baby’s nap time. They cover your child’s feet, and you can opt for the ones with front zippers for easier diaper changes.
- Socks or booties: Baby socks or booties help to keep your baby’s feet warm. But be warned: within a few months, those little hands will make a habit of removing socks and booties! Make sure you have plenty of replacements for when they go missing!
- Leggings or stretchy pants: Leggings or pants help keep your child’s legs warm. Opt for flexible elastic material for your baby’s comfort, rather than stiffer material.
- T-shirts/tops: T-shirts or tops are to go with leggings or pants. Select ones that snap at the shoulders for ease of wearing and removing.
- Sweaters or jackets: These clothing items are essential to keep your baby warm. However, front buttoned ones are more convenient as you can take them off and put them on quickly.
- Hats: A broad-brimmed sun hat will shield your baby against the sun during summer and a cold-weather hat will cover the ears for winter. Soft hats can be worn from birth to keep your baby’s head warm.
- Mittens: Soft mittens prevent your baby from scratching their face and also keep your child’s hands warm in cold weather.
- Swaddle blankets: You can use either baby swaddle blankets or baby receiving blankets to swaddle your newborn in the first few weeks after birth.
- Bunting bag or snowsuit: A baby bunting bag is crucial gear to keep your baby warm during winter in their stroller, whilst a snowsuit can be worn for playtime.
- Special outfits: You can have a few outfits for special occasions such as weddings, holidays, or photo sessions.
- Hair accessories: You may use hair bands or bows to emphasize your baby girl’s looks.
You can choose to cloth diaper or use disposables, or a mixture of both of them according to your personal needs and lifestyle. A newborn baby requires about eight to ten diapers per day, so it’s a good idea to stock up. Top tip: Buy smaller packs of different sizes, as a newborn outgrows the first-size diapers within a few weeks.
The diapering must-haves for cloth or disposable diapers are:
- A changing table and changing pad.
- A dozen washcloths or disposable wipes to clean your baby’s bottom.
- Petroleum jelly or baby ointment to prevent rashes.
- A diaper pail for soiled diapers.
If you are using cloth diapers you will also need:
- At least fifteen cloth diapers in the appropriate size for your baby.
- Velcro, safety pins, or snaps to keep the nappy in place.
- Diaper covers: Waterproof diaper covers are worn over the cloth diaper to prevent leakage.
- Baby-friendly detergent for washing the cloth diapers.
Infant Car Seat And Other Travel Gear
Traveling with your baby needs adequate preparation. Below is a checklist of necessities and nice-to-haves for your journey.
- Infant car seat: You’ll need car seat for the first time you travel with your new baby home from the hospital. Choose a suitable rear-facing car seat that is suitable for a newborn baby. The car seat should meet current safety standards and fit appropriately in your car. Ensure it is installed before your baby’s arrival.
- Baby carrier: A baby carrier keeps your new baby snuggled close to you and leaves your hands free. Baby carriers come in the form of slings, wraps, backpacks, and front packs. Some of them need newborn inserts for safe use, so you should check the guidelines given.
- Stroller: A stroller is one of the must-haves when you are out with your baby. There are many strollers, such as double strollers, jogging strollers, and lightweight strollers, so that you can choose according to your needs. Always ensure that your stroller meets the current safety standards.
- Diaper bag: You need a diaper bag to carry everything you need for your baby’s care every time you are away from home. It should fit all your baby items including diapers, wipes, a portable changing pad, and an extra change of clothes.
- Sunshades for Your Car Windows: The shades cover your car windows to prevent the sunlight that may harm your newborn’s skin and eyes.
- Playpen: A folding portable playpen provides a safe place for your child to play at home or away. Some playpens are multipurpose and have a bassinet, a built-in changing table, and a mobile.
- Portable crib: A portable folding crib is essential for overnights spent at grandma’s house as it provides a comfortable and safe place for your baby to sleep.
- Stroller sack: Sacks are similar to sleeping bags and keep your little one warm in a car seat or in their stroller.
- Rain-cover: the rain cover shields and protects your baby against the wind and rain.
Bath time necessities
- Baby bathtub: Most bathtubs can be used from newborn to twelve months old. You can use newborn inserts when your baby is small.
- Washcloths: Washcloths have many uses and are gentle as you wash or wipe your little one.
- Baby soap and baby shampoo: When selecting these baby items, opt for mild, tear-free, and fragrance-free formulas as they are gentle on your little one’s skin and eyes.
- Bath towels: Buy at least two soft, hooded towels as they are easier to wrap around your baby.
- Bath Thermometer: You can use a bath thermometer to test your little one’s bathwater. If you don’t have one, you can also use your wrist.
- Bath Toys: Bath toys float in the bathwater engaging your baby and making bath time enjoyable. Toys are a great investment, as they will keep bathtime fun for years to come!
Whether breastfeeding or formula-feeding your baby, you’ll need various necessities. Below is a checklist you’ll need to cover all your baby’s nutritional needs!
Breastfeeding and Bottle-feeding Gear
- Burp cloths: Catch baby spit-ups, and you can also use them to wipe breast milk or formula.
- Bibs: Protect your child’s clothes from breast milk, formula, or drool.
- Nursing pillow: This keeps your baby in position and gives support during breastfeeding.
- Nursing cover: A nursing cover wraps you and your baby when you are breastfeeding.
- Breast pump: You can use it to express milk for your baby.
- Nipple cream: You’ll need a nipple cream to soothe your sore nipples after feeding.
- Nursing pads: Breast pads help to keep your shirts clean and dry as they absorb milk leakages from your breasts.
- Nursing bras: You’ll about three of these since they are easier to nurse your little one with than ordinary bras.
- Breast milk bags: Freezing breast milk for later use by using milk bags is easy as they occupy a little space in the freezer and are easy to defrost.
- Bottles and nipples: When bottle-feeding, you’ll need about ten bottles and ten nipples.
- Formula: Numerous types and brands of formula are available. If you’re not sure which brand to choose, ask your baby’s pediatrician for recommendations.
- Insulated bottle carrier: A bottle carrier keeps stored milk or formula warm or cold when you’re on the move.
- Brushes: Bottle brushes are essential for thorough cleaning of the insides of bottles and nipples.
Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding extras
- Sterilizer: There are hundreds of sterilizers available, to make disinfecting bottles that much easier. If you don’t want to invest in a sterilizer, be prepared to sterilize your bottles in boiling water.
- Drying Rack: The rack is convenient for drying bottles, nipples, and other small baby items.
- Warmer: This is a milk storage device that keeps stored milk or formula evenly warm.
Necessities for eating solids
It may seem a long way off when you’re looking at your newborn baby, but before you know it your little one will be eating solid foods! Here’s a checklist of the items you’ll need to tackle the weaning process:
- Highchair: You can choose a freestanding highchair or one that hooks to a table or one with a tray You can also pick one with a removable seat cover for ease of cleaning.
- Sippy Cups: Lids and a spout for easy drinking and less mess. Your child can hold the handles themselves and drink independently.
- Waterproof Bibs: Protect your child’s clothing and your furnishings, many bibs have a crumb catcher to catch food and spills.
- Bowls: Some parents prefer bowls with suction cups to stick to the table or highchair tray. Whether you choose those with suction cups or without, ensure your baby bowls are not easily broken.
- Baby Spoons: Rubber-tipped or plastic spoons are a good choice since they are gentle on your child’s gums and fit into their mouths.
- Mess Mat: You can place a mat under the highchair to avoid messes on your floor.
Essential Nursery Gear
Apart from decorating your baby’s room, you’ll need furniture and other baby items. Here’s a checklist of first-year necessities for your baby’s room.
- Crib and Crib Mattress: A crib provides a safe and comfortable place for your little one to sleep. Therefore, it is vital to buy a crib that meets current safety standards and a mattress that perfectly fits the crib.
- Bedding: You’ll need at least three fitted sheets and some washable crib mattress pads. Do not use other bedding such as pillows, blankets, and bumpers to minimize the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation.
- Bassinet: A small and portable sleeping place for your newborn’s first few weeks. You can also place it next to your bed for easier night feedings.
- Baby Monitor: It allows you to check on your baby when you are away from their room. Most parents prefer a WIFI-enabled Smart Video Baby Monitor to both hear and see their babies.
- Nightlight: Enables you to see during night feedings and diaper changes. It has a dim light to avoid disturbing your baby.
- White-noise Machine: Most babies enjoy and fall asleep easily with some white noise in the background.
- Rocking Chair / Nursery Glider: A rocking chair is an ideal place for breastfeeding your newborn. Babies relax with the rocking motion, and nighttime feeds are more relaxed.
- Toy Basket: You can buy a toy basket to store your child’s toys when they aren’t in use.
- Books: Most babies love cuddling up with their parents reading board books, for relaxation, education, and as part of a bedtime sleep routine.
- Outlet Covers: As your baby begins to crawl or walk, it is crucial to acquire outlet covers and cover all electrical power outlets to prevent hazards.
Baby Health Necessities
- First-aid Kit: A kit may contain antibiotic ointments, tweezers, a baby thermometer, bandages, and other useful items.
- Baby Nail Clippers: Use nail clippers to keep your baby’s nails short and prevent face scratching. You can also use a soft emery board to trim the nails if you don’t have nail clippers.
- Nasal Aspirator: Uses saline drops to unblock your little one’s stuffy nose.
- Soft-bristled hairbrush: Helpful in taming newborn hair and if your baby has a cradle cap.
- Humidifier: Moisturizes the air in your baby’s room, creating a comfortable environment. The moisture is also helpful for babies with dry and chapped skin.
- Gentle Detergent: Use a gentle detergent to wash your newborn’s clothes and bedding.
A new baby brings joy and happiness to a family. Preparing the essentials can be exhausting, but this useful list will help you focus on the necessities for your baby’s first year. As well as buying new items for your baby, consider using hand-me-down items as budget-friendly and environmentally-conscious options too.
Whilst the first year with a baby will probably be tiring, organization and preparation will make life with a child that little bit easier – giving you more time to relax and enjoy your little one!