Newborn Essentials Checklist of Baby Must-Haves

nov. 23, 2021

There are so many things to think of when having a new baby. What will you name him or her? How will you decorate the nursery? There’s also so much preparation needed so that your baby has everything they need when they come home from the hospital. A good newborn baby checklist can help you make sure there’s nothing you’re forgetting. Here’s a comprehensive checklist–including quantities—of everything you might need for your new baby.

Nursery newborn checklist

One of the biggest projects you’ll tackle during your pregnancy is preparing the nursery. There are quite a few things considered essential, but many that are also optional, depending on your preparation style. And yes, arguing with your partner about how to put together the crib is definitely a rite of passage!
  • Crib: Your baby will need a safe place to sleep when they come home. Make sure the new and up to safety standards.
  • Bassinet (optional): Depending on your choice, you might want your baby to sleep in a bassinet before transitioning to a crib. This is a smaller crib, also called a cradle, that can be put next to your bed. It rocks so you can soothe baby while he or she is laying down.
  • Bassinet sheets (optional): If you use a bassinet, you’ll need several sheets to ensure you always have fresh ones.
  • Crib mattress: A good crib mattress is firm for infants. Many also have a toddler side that you can flip to when it’s age-appropriate.
  • Crib mattress protectors (2): You’ll want to protect your mattress with mattress protectors for any accidents (although proper diaper sizes can help with leaks and blowouts!).
  • Fitted crib sheets (2):Keep at least 2 fitted crib sheets on hand so you always have a clean one ready.
  • Changing table: Some parents prefer a separate changing table; others use the top of a dresser. You just need a safe designated space to change your baby’s diapers.
  • Changing pad: A changing pad will be a place you visit many times a day during the newborn phase for changing diapers. There are two types: fabric-covered and silicone.
  • Changing pad covers (optional): A changing pad cover is essential for cleaning up messes quickly. You just toss it in the washing machine when it’s soiled. Silicone changing pads don’t need covers.
  • Nursery chair: Pick a good rocker or glider that you find comfortable. You’ll be spending a lot of time in it.
  • Hamper: A hamper will keep your baby’s dirty clothes organized.
  • Diaper removal system, such as diaper sacks or a diaper pail: There are diaper pails that you keep in the baby’s room and use like a diaper trash can, and there are diaper bags that you can throw in the regular garbage with each diaper change. Do your research into what makes the most sense for you and your lifestyle.
  • Wipes: You’ll need wipes, of course! Buy more than you need. Your child will never “grow out” of them, so there’s no such thing as too many wipes.
  • Diapers: You will need more diapers than you think in those first few months. Get both newborn and size 1 to see which fits your baby best. If your baby outgrows a diaper size quickly, you can visit the retailer you bought the diapers from to see if they’ll exchange an unopened box for a larger size. (Most will!). You can also donate the excess to a diaper bank.
  • Diaper cream: Despite every parent’s best efforts, sometimes diaper rash is inevitable. Keep a good diaper cream on hand. Sensitive or fragrance-free wipes can also help if your baby has sensitive skin..
  • Baby Lotion: Newborn babies have delicate, soft skin. Resist the urge to buy fragranced lotion until you know how your baby’s skin will react. Any unscented baby lotion will work.
  • Sound machine: Did you know that newborns actually like white noise? It reminds them of the womb. Get a good sound machine to help soothe your baby to sleep.
  • Dresser: If you have space for it, a dresser is a good place for storing clothing.
  • Mobile (optional): Some babies love to look at mobiles; some don’t.
  • Baby monitor: A baby monitor will give you peace of mind if your baby is not sleeping in the same room as you.
  • Pacifiers (3): Pacifiers, binkies, dummies—whatever you call them, they’re an essential part of helping your newborn learn to self-soothe.

Bathroom newborn checklist

Bathing your baby might seem scary–but don’t worry! Newborns don’t need to be bathed every day and they only need a little bit of tub time to help get them nice and clean. Many parents opt into daily baths because it soothes their little ones. You can bathe babies in the bathtub or even in the sink to save your back the trouble and make it a less intimidating process.
  • Baby bathtub: A baby bathtub will help keep your baby secure during a bath.
  • Washcloths (6): You’ll need a lot of soft washcloths.
  • Towels (3): Stock up on a few infant-sized towels. Many parents love the hooded kind because they help dry hair.
  • Baby soap: Speak with your doctor about an appropriate baby soap.
  • Thermometer: You’ll need a health toolkit for the first few years, and a thermometer is a must. There are two kinds: head thermometers and rectal thermometers.
  • First aid kit: A first aid kit is always a good idea to have on hand for any family, but especially once your baby comes.
  • Infant medication: There are a lot of medications your newborn can’t have, but speak to your doctor about a few standard ones you might want to have ready to avoid late-night pharmacy runs.
  • Infant grooming kit: You’ll need to trim your baby’s nails and brush his or her hair (if they have any), so an infant grooming kit is good to have on hand.
  • Aspirator or bulb syringe: Babies can’t blow their own noses, so an aspirator or bulb syringe will help remove any blockage.

Clothing newborn checklist

There’s something so sweet about a tiny onesie and it’s exciting to think your baby will be home with you wearing one soon. It’s easy to go overboard with buying baby clothes, but there are a few key items you need to get yourself started.
  • Onesies, both long sleeve and short sleeve (8): You’ll want a lot of onesies for baby, both in short and long sleeve, depending on the season and the temperature in your house. Some babies spit up multiple times a day, so you’ll definitely want backups on hand. Get both newborn and 0-3 month sizes.
  • Jacket: Baby will need some sort of jacket if he or she is born during colder months. A lighter sweater or jacket is appropriate for warmer months.
  • Footie pajamas (4): Footie pajamas (also known as sleep-and-plays) are great for the baby to lounge in. They definitely can be worn out of the house, too.
  • Socks (optional): So long as you have a way to cover the baby’s feet, such as booties or footie pajamas, socks are optional.
  • Booties (optional): Booties are also optional.
  • Bibs (6): The more bibs the better. Some babies spit up many times a day, so you might end up needing quite a few for feeding.
  • Burp cloths (6): Burp cloths are the same as bibs—the more the better!
  • Hats: Newborns have poor circulation, so you’ll want hats to keep your baby’s head warm.
  • Coming home outfit: You’ll need an outfit for coming home from the hospital. It might be tempting to buy one that is a gown or dress, but keep in mind that you’ll have to buckle him or her into the car seat and maneuvering around a long piece of fabric can be difficult when you’re a first-time parent.
  • Swaddle (3):If you plan on swaddling your baby, get a few so you can rotate them.

Feeding newborn checklist

You’ll feed your newborn between 8 and 12 times a day, which means having enough feeding supplies for whichever feeding circumstance you find yourself in.

  • Nursing bras (3): Breastfeeding parents should have several nursing bras on hand to make nursing easier.
  • Nursing tops (3): The same goes for nursing tops. You don’t have to buy ones specifically for nursing, but look for tops that can pull down easily.
  • Nipple cream: Look for a nipple cream with lanolin to help soothe dry and cracked nipples.
  • Nipple shields: You’ll need something to insert into your nursing bra to keep you from leaking milk.
  • Nursing pillow (optional): A good nursing pillow can be your best friend during late nights, but not everyone needs or wants one. It helps prop your baby up to help you get into a better position. It can turn into a tummy time prop once your baby is ready for tummy time.
  • Nursing pillow cover (optional): Babies spit up and nipples leak, so get a few covers so you never have to wait for a load of laundry to finish.
Bottle feeding
  • Bottles (6): Depending on how many times a day you’re bottle-feeding, you might need even more bottles. Find a bottle style both you and your baby like and buy multiples.
  • Nipples (6): Sometimes the nipples for bottles are sold separately. They have different sizes for different flow speeds, so check the packaging to make sure you are getting the right one for your baby’s age.
  • Breast pump: They are often available through insurance.
  • Breastmilk storage bags: If you are pumping, you’ll need storage bags to refrigerate and or freeze your milk.
  • Formula: Talk with your doctor about what kind of formula you want to feed your baby if you are formula feeding.
  • Bottle warmer (optional): You don’t need a bottle warmer, but many parents find it helpful.
  • Bottle brush:You’ll want a bottle brush to get into all those bottle nooks and crannies to keep everything sanitary for your baby. If you are pumping, you can also use it to clean your pumping parts.
  • Bottle drying rack (optional): Many parents use a designated drying rack for bottles and bottle pieces.
  • Bottle dishwasher caddy (optional): If you plan on using the dishwasher to clean your bottles, you’ll want a dishwasher caddy to catch all those little bottle pieces so they don’t get lost in the dishwasher.

Around 6 months (but sometimes as soon as 4 months), your baby will start exploring solids along with formula or breastmilk. Here are some essentials.
  • High chair: A high chair is a great place to start feeding your baby once he or she can hold their head up.
  • Bibs (3): You’ll need solids-specific bibs to assist with feeding. There are a few on the market to help keep things tidy, such as silicone bibs with pockets to catch food, or apron-style bibs to cover the entire surface area. Starting solids can be super messy—but it’s also really fun to see your baby explore.
  • Bowls (3): You’ll need a few bowls for food.
  • Cutlery (3): Baby won’t be able to hold spoons and forks correctly yet, but having them available when feeding solids can help set them up for success.
  • Sippy cups (3): Once baby is eating solids, it’s appropriate to introduce sippy cups.
  • Teethers (2): A few silicone teethers can help relieve pain when your baby is cutting teeth.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Experts recommend brushing your baby’s teeth when the first tooth erupts or when they turn 1, whichever comes first. Talk to your doctor about which toothbrush and toothpaste are right for you.

Travel and safety new baby checklist

It’s inevitable that you’ll be taking your baby outside the house, so you’ll want to have a few simple pieces of baby gear to help make life for you both easier.

  • Stroller: A stroller will help you contain your baby while you’re out and about and need two hands. Some come with bassinet attachments that will allow your newborn to lay down and sleep while you’re on the go.
  • Car seat: A car seat is a must. Look for ones that have infant inserts and that are weight and age-appropriate.
  • Pack n’ play: A pack n’ play is a place you can lay baby safely. Think of it as a playpen meets a portable crib. You can use it at home or on vacation.
  • Pack n’ play sheets (2): If you use a pack n’ play, you’ll also need sheets to cover the mattress. Get a few so you always have one that’s clean.
  • Diaper bag: You will take a diaper bag with you when you are out of the home. Look for one that can help organize your creams, wipes, diapers and more.
  • Car window cling: Protect your baby’s sensitive skin from the sun while they are in their car seat with a car window cling that blocks out the sunlight.
  • Car and stroller toys (optional): Car and stroller toys will keep your baby occupied and engaged.
  • Rear-facing mirror (optional): A rear-facing mirror is optional for parents who want peace of mind and the ability to see their child in the car.
  • Car blanket (optional): Some parents have blankets for the car to keep their baby warm.
  • Baby carrier or wrap (optional): Some parents find it easier to manage tasks while their hands are free thanks to a baby carrier or wrap, and some babies prefer being snuggled up close to their parent in a baby carrier or wrap.
  • Bouncy seat or swing: A bouncy seat or swing will keep baby entertained, and free up your hands.
Diaper bag
  • Diapers: diapers are the most important thing to have in a diaper bag! For however many hours you’ll be out, you should take that many diapers with you. So if you’ll be out three hours, take at least three diapers.
  • Wipes: wipes can clean up all sorts of messes on the go, not just messy diapers.
  • Portable changing mat: You never know what the changing table situation is like at your location, so bringing a portable, foldable changing mat will help eliminate that uncertainty.
  • Spare pacifiers: Prevent meltdowns by having space pacifiers in your diaper bag.
  • Spare bib: Take spare bibs or spare burp cloths with you.
  • Change of clothes: Sometimes accidents happen. Take a change of clothes in your diaper bag just in case.
  • Hand sanitizer: If you don’t have access to a sink, hand sanitizer will be a lifesaver.
  • Extra breastfeeding or pumping pieces: If you are pumping, bring extra pumping parts and pieces just in case you need them. If you are breastfeeding, bring nipple cream and or nipple shields. It’s also a good idea to bring a fresh nursing bra just in case there’s a leak or a spit up situation and you need to change.
This is a very comprehensive checklist, but you won’t need absolutely everything on it. Pick and choose which items seem right for your lifestyle and your choices. And remember, a lot of this can go on your registry. Your friends and family can help you find the best items and might gift them to you. It truly takes a village.

Explore the Huggies® Baby Name Finder if you haven’t already to check that final item off your list.