While we all have our budgets (or lack thereof) here is a list of baby things you need to get before the baby comes! You can get all things listed here or choose only what suits your need (and your budget).
If I learned anything from a month-long college trip to Switzerland was:
Life Lesson: Always Be Prepared.
It was obviously cold November and I didn’t have even things to keep me warm; it was a lesson learned the hardest way.
For the second baby, my Survival Guide for a Happy Pregnancy came in handy! It also got me about essential baby items.
I’ve got the list ready for you so you don’t have to waste your time fishing on the internet or worse, miss out on any essential baby items while you’re at it.
While I explain why each of these is an essential baby item, you can always skip the blah-blah and scroll straight down to download the free printable to take it with you. Although, I do wish you’d read everything because there’s some interesting insight in there that you won’t find it online or anywhere else, otherwise.
Disclaimer: Since I don’t have a clue about bottle/formula feeding, I hope you won’t be disappointed to not find any useful information about it here. We exclusively breastfed the first 6 months – right from the first hour of my c-section surgery; extended breastfed well after 1 year and we also continued to successfully breastfeed during my pregnancy.
So let’s get with it!
Essential Baby Newborn Clothes
- Half sleeve onsies (5)
- Full sleeved onsies (5)
- Socks (10)
- Buttoned-down sweater or jacket
- Hat (1-3)
Buying newborn clothes are the most exciting part of the newborn checklist! There are just so many cute designs and they are so tiny you’d be amazed that they make these things in their size! Shopping for baby clothes (or just clothes) always gets me excited!
While many would suggest you buy newborn sized clothes, I would recommend you wait for your last sonography (around 38 weeks) to get a rough idea of your baby’s weight and then buy the clothes.
Just that the newborn sized clothes won’t last your baby even 2 weeks while some other babies may need 3-6month sizes right from the start.
Baby clothes are expensive and so, unless you know your baby is going to be less than 3.5kg, go for the 0-3 months sizes.
Buy different sizes to see what fits best and return the unused ones (or keep it for later!)
It’s a general notion that babies like to be warm all the time. That is not true. See how you are feeling – are you feeling hot? Or you are so cold that you need your socks and sweater on?
Depending on how you feel, add a layer to your baby – that’s it.
The only way babies communicate is by crying and being uncomfortable in stuffy clothes is one of the primary reasons for babies to cry for help – apart from feeling hungry or being in a soiled diaper, of course. So exercise caution while you dress your baby – don’t go overboard! Babies like to be comfortable, just like you and me.
Enjoy your time dressing the baby, sing a special song or explain what you are doing.
Slowly, this becomes a tradition/special time that your baby would look forward to. Besides, as your baby grows older, it would be more cooperative to dressing since the association is with good memories.
Yep, you definitely need a dedicated bag for your baby, especially when you travel or are invited for dinner or when you go for checkups or simply out shopping!
While there are really cute sling bags displayed in your face when you enter a baby store or you look up “baby bag” or “diaper bag” in a google search, these are not very practical.
Sling diaper bags can get heavy and lugging around the heavy sling bag with a baby in your arms is just not comfortable (or safe).
You will need a backpack and one that is accepted by your partner as well – trust me on this. Some men are weird about carrying anything “un-manly”.
So get a backpack instead. You can easily use it to store other things while you shop and refuse those plastic bags and save our planet!
Essential Baby Sleep Items
- Fitted bed sheets
- Protective bed cover
- Sleeping bag
To be honest, I was heavily influenced by the Babycentre Community, and other American groups on Facebook in my first pregnancy. I completely misjudged the concept and ended up buying 2 cots in the span of just 1 year after my first baby arrived. Cots are expensive!
If you are planning to co-sleep then I recommend you get a cot that attaches to your bed – with a three sided frame to protect the baby from falling off the bed. We got this Cherry-Aspen 3-in-1 bed the second time and it’s a great investment for us.
With a co-sleeping crib, breastfeeding at night has never been so easy!
You don’t have to get up! You’ll be so close to your baby that as soon as it stirs, you know it’s ready for a feed – no more disturbing wailing sounds for your neighbors and you!
See: Ten Reasons to Sleep Next to Your Child at Night by Jan Hunt
If you decide to buy a cot, then you need the bumper to go with it. Why? Because as the baby turns 3 months, it will start wiggling around and you don’t want it to bump its tiny head on the wooden walls of the crib or the cot.
Because your baby is snug inside the zipped bag, you don’t have to wake up every few minutes to check if it has a blanket on or not.
A baby sleeping bag as this one is not only very useful at bedtimes but it’s very handy when you need to carry your baby to the hospital for checkups, visiting your friends or are at church gatherings…
Essential Baby Changing Items
- Diaper changing table
- Baby Wipes
- Diaper Rash cream
- Cotton balls
- Hand sanitizer
- Diaper pail
- Muslin cloth
While it’s always convenient to put your baby on your bed to change its diaper or change the baby’s clothes that it spat-up in or changing after bath time… You need to keep a soft muslin cloth handy while you burp your baby – to clean the spit-ups if any.
Your bed may not be as convenient, hygienic or even safe for the baby. I recommend you get a separate changing table (or turn your baby’s cot into a changing station, by day).
Keep all the essential baby changing items ready nearby, so you don’t have to leave the baby alone and run into another room to get your things.
Never leave your baby unattended; either on your bed or on the changing table. Just Don’t.
I found having this right next to the changing station very useful.
Of course, you may have a wooden cabinet or a cupboard ready for your baby, but a small cabinet like this is very convenient to get clothes right away when you need it – without leaving your baby unattended to run to the other room!
AGAIN. Never leave your baby unattended; either on your bed or on the changing table. Just Don’t.
Diaper Rash Cream
So the commercial diaper rash creams are mostly perfume-based and I, for whatever reasons did not find them as useful as the medicated rash creams prescribed by our Paediatrician.
I would encourage you to check with your doctor and buy the prescribed diaper rash creams instead of the commercial diaper rash creams.
Essential Baby First-Aid Items
- Cotton Balls
- Nail Clippers
- Nasal Cleaner
- Nail File
- Hand Sanitizer
- Antibacterial Dusting Powder
Verify item compatibility with your baby’s doctor.
If you don’t get anything else, get this Nasal Cleaner for sure! This is indeed an essential baby item for all the days when your newborn has a cold and is unable to breathe or nurse because of a blocked nose. Be sure to wash and clean it with a sterilizer after every use.
Remember to replace it every couple of months to avoid nastiness as demonstrated in this article below ⇓
Essential Baby Bath Items
- Bath Bather/Tub
- Soft-bristled Baby Brush
- Waterproof soft absorbent mats
Forget the baby bath tub. You need this for at least the first 6 months or until your baby starts to sit up on their own. And while we are on the subject, I would also recommend that you – or the primary caregiver of the baby be the one who gives your baby a bath – not your maid or your mother.
Bathing your baby is your opportunity to bond with your baby, don’t let a stranger or anyone else take that away from you.
Besides being very useful to dry your baby’s head and wrapping it around the baby as soon as the bath is done, hooded baby towels are really cute!
You need these soft absorbent mats while you change your baby’s diaper (even on the go!), or when you massage your baby with oil or cream or to place your baby on a soft warm base right after a bath.
Although some also use these while the baby sleeps or naps without a diaper, I wasn’t satisfied with how much urine it actually absorbed. But useful as a diaper changing mat, for sure.
Essential Baby Feeding Items
- Breast Pump
- Steel Cup and Spoon (instead of a bottle)
While some of my friends went without it (and struggled), I would recommend you get one. There are many varieties; I used this Pigeon manual pump; it’s affordable and handy.
Mostly, you need to use the pump to help your engorged breasts.
Breast engorgement happens within the week of delivery, as soon as your milk starts (over)flowing and your breasts get so hard they’d resemble Pamela Anderson’s fake ones.
While some people manage to soften their breasts in a hot shower, I would hate for all that liquid gold to be wasted. You could always pump it out and let your husband feed your baby with a spoon. That’s right. I said spoon – not bottle – spoon.
Just that, using a bottle while you’re breastfeeding would only confuse your baby. The milk flow from the bottle is much faster than what comes out of you, so the baby may easily give up the effort of nursing from your breast and prefer the bottle instead.
While you can use boiling water to dump the many things like the breast pump, the medicine feeding droppers or chewable rattles which you’d want to clean (regularly) for the safety and well-being of your baby, buying a sterilizer as this one which you can just pop into the oven for a minute or two, can save you a lot of effort and time! Wouldn’t you rather rest than just stand there waiting on the kettle to boil?
While many find feeding pillows very helpful, it wasn’t much of a use for me — just that I had a c-section and strapping a pillow on me wasn’t very comfortable.
I suggest you wait at least a couple days before you get a feeding pillow.
If you do get a feeding pillow, make sure you get one that has a front pocket zipper (to store your phone) and a safety belt to keep it hooked onto you while you nurse or bottle-feed your baby.
Essential Baby Carrier
While the first thing that comes to anyone first-time parent’s mind is a stroller, I would ask you to hold off on it, as much as you can.
Strollers are rather useful when your baby gets bigger and is too heavy to carry around. Besides, strollers don’t come cheap and the benefits of holding your baby close to you trump any benefit that a stroller may appeal.
In the first 6 months, we used our stroller to store our shopping bags! My baby loved being attached to me or hubs instead of being discarded inside the cold stroller.
There are a number of baby carriers in the market that distribute your baby’s weight evenly on your shoulders and so you don’t’ really get any aches or pains + your baby is safe and secure, literally close to your heart!
I started my Babywearing journey with a cotton sari.
Just make sure you use a brand new cotton sari for Babywearing.
New saris and those made with cotton are way obedient and comfortable than any other sari material. Here is a great tutorial, in case you want to try to babywear with a sari first!
When the sari got too long and cumbersome to tie around in a public place, I used the Baby K’tan until my baby started crawling – that’s when they start wiggling around too much in the carrier as well – putting a strain on our back. But, all those months that I did use this carrier, it was a savior! It was awesome to go for long walks with my baby safely tucked on me, and the rhythm of the movement and the sound of my heartbeat would put my baby to sleep within minutes!
So, when my baby turned about 8months, I then switched to a Tula AND I use it still! In fact, I am 36weeks today and I back-carried my 22month-old for a short walk to the store just yesterday – it’s that comfortable!
Essential Baby Items for Mother
- Breast Pads
- Nursing Bras (3)
- Nursing Nightgowns
- Sanitary Napkins
- Nursing cover
- Nursing Tops
- Tummy Tucker
It is advisable that you clean your nipples just once a day – during your daily bath, but trying to clean it more often will leave it dry – causing nipple rash.
You may find it very difficult to nurse in the first week after delivery, but trust me, keep going! Don’t stop. That’s the key to getting over the difficulty of breastfeeding in the first days – keep going and it will all get so much better!
Keep your eye on the prize — which are the many benefits of breastfeeding!!
Please avoid using chemical filled nipple rash creams (which they say is “safe” for baby, but I doubt it.) — unless your condition is really severe and your doctor insists on it.
Just smear some of your own breast milk – the liquid gold! – on your nipples, after you are done nursing, each time, and it will keep the nipple area moisturised — thus avoiding any nipple rash!
Yep, you need these things to use in a quiet luxury bath. Get candles, or those nice smelling body bath soaps or creams. Go all out. After all those round-the-clock nippy and nappy duties, you deserve to be pampered and smelling something limey or floral, something good other than smelling like your own milk!
Putting it all together
If you feel overwhelmed with the amount of money you’d end up spending to buy all these essential baby items, you can always turn to the trusted groups of Facebook that have parents selling their pre-loved items at half the price or even less.
Just remember to only buy brand new things that are super intimate like the mattress for your baby or a breast pump for yourself.
Click to Download this FREE PRINTABLE of all the Essential Baby Items!
Disclaimer: All views are my own – by experience. I am not paid to review any of these products. However, there are affiliate links here.
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