Preparing for the arrival of a baby is certainly a great deal of work, but it doesn't have to be completely overwhelming. As you set out to prepare for the arrival of your baby, the following baby item checklist can serve as a guide. The first series of items in each list can be considered absolute essentials. The second part of the checklist features popular items that the you and your partner may or may not find to be necessary depending on your personal preferences.
Keep in mind that the amount of clothing you have will determine how often you need to do laundry. (Hint: A set of infant clothing is often referred to as layette).
- 6 onesies
- 4 - 6 sleepers
- 2 Sleep sacks or blanket sleepers (considered a much safer alternative to using blankets and comforters)
- 4 - 6 pairs of baby socks
- 1 - 2 newborn hats
- 1 sweater
- 1 snowsuit (Depending on your climate and season. However, be cautious about dressing your baby in heavy clothing while in a car seat. This can compromise the safety of the seat. See Baby Coats and Car Seat Safety)
Diapers and Hygiene Items
- 2 packs of disposable diapers or at least 18-24 cloth diapers (See: How Many Cloth Diapers?) Newborns may need to be changed as often as every two to three hours per day.
- 1 pack of disposable wipes or 2 dozen cloth wipes
- Diaper Pail
- 6 drool bibs
- 10 Burp cloths
- Baby nail clippers
- 3-5 baby washcloths
- Baby wash
- Baby shampoo
- Baby rectal thermometer
- Nasal aspirator
- Brush and comb set
Additional Hygiene Items to Consider
- 2-3 Hooded towels (You can always use adult towels)
- A baby bath tub (the sink also works well)
- 2 - 4 Pacifiers (Keep in mind that some babies may not take a pacifier while others may be picky as to the particular shape and size of the nipple)
- Speak to your pediatrician about what medical supplies to have on hand.
- A place for baby to sleep (crib, bassinet, cosleeper bassinet, etc)
- 3-4 fitted sheets to fit the mattress where baby will sleep
- 5 light weight blankets
- 1 heavy blanket
- 2 Waterproof mattress protector pads
- 6 - 8 Receiving blankets
- A soft bulb nightlight
Your feeding supply needs will vary depending on whether you plan on bottle feeding, breastfeeding, or a combination of the two. The following list is merely a guide. Tailor your feeding list to meet your family's needs.
- 5 - 8 bottles
- Enough formula for 2-3 days, but no more than that. Estimate roughly 24 ounces per day. The reason why you should not stock up on formula is that your baby may have a poor reaction to a certain brand. See: Choosing a Baby Formula
- A bottle brush
Additional Feeding Items to Consider
- Bottle warmer
- Drying rack
Honestly, there really are no "necessary" breastfeeding supplies. The absolute basics, you need the mom and the baby. However, depending on your lifestyle, some of these breastfeeding supplies may come in handy.
- Breast pump
- Breast milk storage bags
- Nursing bras
- Breastfeeding support pillow
- Lanolin cream, See: Breastfeeding Pain Treatments
- Breast pads
- A few bottles (Breastfed babies may be a bit choosier about what bottle and artificial nipple they will accept. Because of that, it is wise not to invest in too many of the same type of bottle).
Gear and Furniture
- Infant car seat
- Infant car seat cover and warm blanket to be tucked over top the harness, See Keeping Baby Warm in Winter
- Sling or front carrier
- Changing table
- Glider or rocking chair
Other Advice for Preparing for Baby