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Essential Newborn Checklist

Updated on September 1, 2012

No Clue what to do...

I'm sure there are a lot of books out there that help you with "what to expect" during pregnancy and maybe what to do when you bring your child home, but what else do you need? Your home needs to be prepared for this child to enter your winning team, and although some people are happy with just the minimum items, it would be good to know what all of the possibilities are to have everything set in place beforehand, because, as you'll soon find out, there will not be much time to set up afterward.

How to get it together

Maybe this was a planned pregnancy, or maybe (like most) it was a wonderful surprise! Either way, CONGRATULATIONS, and I hope I can help you to figure out what you need to more easily welcome your bundle of joy into your home.

I have developed a very comprehensive list to include all of the essentials - everything from furniture to baby wipes - so that you can spend the first few weeks enjoying your time with your new child and getting to understand their needs, sounds and signals rather than spending that time hectically running around trying to put all of the pieces together.

My suggestion for the list below is to copy it into a Word document. Then, start a baby registry on Amazon, and as you add things to your registry, just delete them from the list. That way you can do a little at a time, and if you have friends or family that can not afford much, they have the option to get you the little things like baby wipes and diaper rash cream. You can save the document and just go back to it whenever you have the time (or are feeling up to it - if you're in the first trimester and are having sickness, fatigue and heartburn issues). Once your document is clear, you're done!

Diapers - Disposable vs. Cloth - $$$ and Convenience

For my child, we planned to use cloth diapers and a cloth diaper cleaning/rental service. This is certainly not for everyone and it may not be available in every area, but it's worth checking out because not only does it save you money, but it's also good for the environment. The service in my area delivers bundles of new, clean diapers twice a week, so when I change my baby I just toss the dirty diaper into a bag the same way I would if I were throwing it out, except that in my case, the service picks up the dirty diapers with every delivery and hand-washes and sanitizes them separately, without using harsh detergents or bleaches. It costs about $25 a week, whereas using disposable diapers costs about $40 a week. Now, I do have disposable diapers on hand for when I go to other people's houses or out in public, but about 95% of the time I am using cloth diapers, and it results in HUGE savings! Hey, it may not be for you, but it's worth checking out - for your wallet and for the environment.

The Essential Newborn Checklist

Realize that long sleeve vs short sleeve may vary depending on your due date - but also know that infants can not regulate their body temperature like we can, so you do need to add one extra layer for each layer that you are wearing yourself.

And don't bother getting too many super cute clothes in newborn size, because they will outgrow most of the clothes before they have a chance to wear them.


  • 4 Knit Hats
  • 2 Sun Hats
  • 6 Pairs Socks
  • 2 Cap & Bootie Sets
  • 2 Pairs Mittens
  • 3 Pairs cotton stretch panels 0-3 mos
  • 4 Pairs cotton stretch pants 3-6 mos (you might as well put the 3-6 month clothing on your list now, because they grow out of their infant clothes quicker than expected)
  • 2 Long sleeve zip-up sweatshirts
  • 2 Long sleeve cotton sweaters
  • 4 Long sleeve sleeping gown 0-3 mos (these make middle of the night diaper changes immensely easier - it’s okay if your child is a boy, I won’t tell anyone)
  • 1 Long sleeve sleeping gown 0-6 mos
  • 1 Long sleeve bunting gown 0-6 mos
  • 5 Long sleeve t-shirts 0-3 mos
  • 2 Long sleeve thermal bodysuits 0-3 mos
  • 2 Long sleeve body suits 0-3 mos
  • 2 Long sleeve thermal bodysuits 3-6 mos
  • 4 Long sleeve body suits 3-6 mos
  • 3 Short sleeve body suits 0-3 mos
  • 6 Short sleeve body suits 3-6 mos
  • 4 Short sleeve onesies 0-3 mos
  • 6 Short sleeve onesies 3-6 mos
  • 30 Baby hangers


  • 1 Fleece blanket
  • 2 Cotton thermal blankets
  • 4 Receiving blankets
  • 3 Swaddling blankets
  • 3 Crib sheets
  • 2 Waterproof crib mattress pads
  • 2 Plush Blankets


  • 3 Rattles (high contrast is best so that they can see them easier)
  • 2 Wrist Rattles (stuffed animal rattle that attaches like a band to the child’s wrist)
  • 1 Stuffed animal rattle
  • 1 Stuffed animal
  • 2 Stuffed animal pacifiers (so that the child can hug the toy while sucking on the pacifier - just don’t let them have this in the crib - only for use while they’re sitting up)
  • 1 Teething ring
  • 1 Teething ball
  • 8 BPA free pacifiers
  • 2 Pacifier holders (small pouches for going out)
  • 1 Car Seat Toy (hangs on the back of the seat so that they have something to play with while they’re in the rear-facing seat)
  • 1 Play mat (try one that has a “bump” in it so that they can lean up to play with their toys)
  • 1 Learning play book (something with shapes to help them develop)


  • 30 pack outlet protectors
  • 18 pack cabinet locks
  • 4 pack corner cabinet locks
  • 3 Toilet seat locks
  • 1 Car mirror for rear-facing child seat (so you can see them from your rearview mirror)
  • 1 Humidifier
  • 3 3-packs humidifier cartridges
  • Health Kit (thermometer, nasal aspirator, nail clippers, etc)
  • 1 Baby monitor (some people prefer the video monitor so they can see what their baby is doing without disturbing them - great idea if you can afford it, but not essential if you can't)
  • 2 Baby Gates (maybe more depending on the layout of your living spaces - think about where you want to keep the child out of, where the stairs are located, and width of room openings)


  • 3 Diaper Rash Paste tubes (for disposable diapers)
  • 3 Diaper Rash CJ’s Butt Butter tubs (for cloth diapers)
  • 1 Baby Wipes tub
  • 24 Baby Wipes refill packs 48-count (trust me, you will go through these faster than you think - they usually come in packs of 3 or 6)
  • 3 Baby Wipes portable packs
  • 1 Portable changing kit
  • 2 Portable diaper bags (one men’s style, one women’s style)
  • 1 Thermos (so you have warm water while changing the diaper)
  • 1 Changing Pad Cover
  • 2 Water-proof changing pad liners
  • 15 Peepee Teepee (if a boy)
  • 20-pack Newborn Diapers (backup if using cloth diapers - if using disposables, you will need about 12 diapers per day at first which will reduce to about 8 per day by 4 months)
  • Disposable:168 Newborn diapers (usually used for 2 weeks)
  • Disposable:420 Size 1 (usually used until 2 months old)
  • Disposable:550 Size 2 (usually used until 4 months old)
  • 4 Water-proof baby pads 18”x27”
  • 3 60-oz Boxes Diaper Detergent (if you plan to wash your own cloth diapers)


  • 5 Baby Spoons
  • 3 Utensil kits (the transitional kind to help them learn how to use utensils)
  • 2 Feeding pillows (always have a backup!!)
  • 2 Feeding pillow covers
  • 12 Burp cloths
  • 10-pack bibs
  • 1 Reclining feeding seat (much better than a high chair)
  • 1 Bottle/Food Warmer
  • 1 BPA free infant bottle starter set (with 6 bottles, newborn nipples, bottle brush and pacifier)
  • 1 BPA free microwave steam sterilizer
  • 1 Breast Pump with attachments (check with your insurance - this might be covered or reimbursable!!)
  • 2 Insulated bottle holders for diaper bag
  • 1 Nursing cover (to give yourself some privacy while feeding your baby in public)
  • 4 Nursing bras
  • 2 Nursing bra tanks (soooo comfortable!)


  • 1 Floating Bathing Pad (much better and easier than a baby bath tub - can be used in the sink or tub)
  • 3-Pack Liquid Bath Soap
  • 4 Bottles Baby Shampoo
  • 3-Pack Moisturizer
  • 4 Hooded Towels
  • 6 Washcloths
  • 1 Brush & Comb Set
  • 2 80-Packs safety cotton swabs
  • 2 jars Petroleum Jelly
  • 4 Bottles Dreft Baby Laundry Detergent
  • 1 Bottle Rubbing Alcohol


  • 1 Bouncer
  • 1 Jumperoo (the Fischer Price version is the best - kids will spend hours every day in these!)
  • 1 Playpen
  • 1 Waterproof Playpen Pad
  • 1 Swing
  • 1 Bassinet
  • 1 Glider Rocker with ottoman (much more comfortable than a standard rocking chair)
  • 1 Changing Table with hamper and baskets
  • 1 Jogging Stroller (or regular stroller, if you’re not a jogger)
  • 2 Car seats (one for each car - so each parent can transport the child at any time)


  • 1 CD - Soothing Sounds
  • 1 Book - Calm, Connect and Communicate with your baby
  • 2 Cloth baby carriers (hands free 1 medium, 1 extra large - more comfortable for you and the baby than standard carriers, but if you prefer, you could just get a regular hands-free carrier)
  • 2 4-Packs nursing pads (to soak up the seeping milk - there are also “milk saver” versions available


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