The world of baby gear buying can feel like a trip to a different planet for first time parents. There are so many things, and everyone is trying to tell you that not only do you need all of them, you also need to research extensively and buy the one that’s American Academy of Pediatrics-approved, World Health Organization-recommended, and BPA free. After a few quick Google searches on all of those acronyms, you might be more confused and overwhelmed than ever.
Even after you’ve filled the nursery with the big items, like a crib, changing table, and a baby dresser, and you’ve finally settled on the perfect stroller and car seat, you still have to fill those dresser drawers. So what items do you really need on that baby shopping list in order to be prepared for the first few months?
Start smart, and take some tips from experienced moms about baby must-buy items for your beginning baby shopping list.
Cute Clothing For Your Cuddler
A new baby needs enough newborn sized (0-3 months) clothing to get through the first month. You don’t want to buy more than that until you see how fast your baby grows, or you’ll find yourself with outgrown newborn clothes that were never worn.
A basic baby layette includes:
- 8 onesie-style undershirts, with both long and short sleeves
- 5 baby nightgowns (Even for boys—they make midnight diaper changes easy and don’t rub the healing cord stump)
- 8 footed baby sleepers
- 5 pants
- 2 sweaters
- 3 hats
- 3 pairs of no-scratch mittens
- 8 pairs of socks or booties
- 4 rompers, (one-piece outfits with crotch snaps)
- An adorable outfit for hospital homecoming
- 2 other dress-up outfits, and 2 weather-appropriate baby swaddling bags for sleeping.
You will also need lots of receiving blankets for the first weeks—the more the better. These are handy for swaddling, for use as burp cloths, sunshades, and many other uses. Trust me—you’ll want these everywhere. Some warmer blankets for baby wrapping will also be needed.
If you live in a cold climate, you should also have an infant snowsuit.
What You’ll be Needing for Infant Feeding
If you plan to bottle feed, you will need at least 8 four ounce bottles with nipples, 6 eight ounce bottles with nipples, a bottle brush, thermal bottle carrier, and a baby formula recommended by your doctor, or the pediatrician who will be seeing your newborn.
If you plan to breastfeed, you will need a great breast pump, either manual or electric, nursing bras, nursing pillows, milk storage bags, and disposable or washable breast pads. Some nipple cream for sore nipples is also a must-have.
For both types of feeding you will also need lots of burp cloths and bibs.
Diapering Your Little Dude or Doll
Even fledgling, first-time parents know that babies eat and poop. So diapers are high on the must-have list before bringing home your baby. You will need 2 boxes of disposable diapers if you’ve chosen disposables. Don’t stock up on ten boxes in the newborn size because babies grow quickly! If you are using cloth diapers, you’ll need about 3 dozen cloth diapers for newborns and 8 diaper covers.
Regardless of which type of diaper you choose, you’ll need a diaper pail. Keep in mind that these are different for disposables and cloth diapers and be sure to get one that’s right for the diapers you choose.
You will also need a box of baby wipes, and changing pads. Diaper cream is also good to have on hand right from the beginning so you don’t have to run out for it at the sight of a red bottom and a crying baby.
You will need an infant bathtub for your baby. You will also need a gentle, baby cleanser and shampoo. Often you’ll find an all-in-one soap for washing babies from head to toe. You should also have eight infant washcloths. You’ll find it’s worthwhile to buy the infant ones, because during those first weeks, an adult-sized washcloth is too large to easily maneuver on your tiny baby. One great tip is to place one warm, wet washcloth over your baby’s chest and tummy, while you use a second one to wash her. This keeps your baby warm and the weight on her tummy will help to make her feel secure and reduce the startle reflex.
You’ll also need 3 hooded baby towels to wrap your wet baby in after his bath and a soft-bristled brush for his hair.
More Baby Must-Haves
For your baby’s bassinet or crib, you should have four tightly fitted sheets. An infant sleep sack or swaddle should be used for newborns rather than blankets or quilts.
Your baby’s changing table should have vaseline or aquaphor, baby lotion, diaper rash ointment, infant nail clippers or file, a nasal bulb syringe, and a thermometer. You will need pacifiers and teething toys.
Your medicine cabinet should be stalked with Infant Tylenol and Ibuprofen drops, as well as gas drops. You don’t want to have to run to the drugstore in the middle of the night to treat a fever or bad gas pains. You may also want to be ready with some infant teething tablets.
New Mom Must-Haves
Don’t forget that you are important too! You will need a great diaper bag for when you take your baby out, and keep it stocked with necessities.
You should also have a basket ready in your living room with healthy snacks such as nuts, trail mix, dried fruit and granola bars, a bottle of water, that novel you’ve been wanting to read, a few magazines, and TV remotes. You can also throw your phone in there when you are ready to use it. Include a few burp cloths. Having these items in a basket will easily allow you to move it from the couch to the recliner and into the bedroom as needed, so that you will have everything you need to settle in with your baby. This is especially important for breastfeeding moms because newborns will cluster feed during those early weeks, meaning you will be sitting with your baby and your nursing pillow for long periods of time. Having a basket of essentials nearby is a new mom sanity-saver!