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What Baby Stuff Do I Need?

Updated on September 23, 2014

Things You Need For New Baby - What You REALLY Need!

Your first pregnancy is now at the stage where you can start planning for the arrival of your newborn, but as a first-time parent, shopping for your baby can be exciting and overwhelming - what do you buy? It seems like you need everything!

The nesting instinct is very powerful and walking into a baby shop without a checklist - you may want to buy a lot of things you really do not need! You need a baby checklist AND a budget.

Baby registries are wishlists and you do not need everything on it as there are a lot of "nice-to-have" items on it. The things you need for a new baby should be on your baby checklist and things you would like for your baby on the baby registry.

As your newborn will mostly eat, sleep and poop for the first few months, you really only need a few essentials to get you through those first few months. Those essentials are for caring for your newborn, providing a safe and comfortable place and for transporting your baby safely.

Begin by getting the basics for the first few months with the view of buying more things later as your baby gets bigger and more active.

The essential things you will need for your newborn baby can be divided into 6 main categories: feeding, clothing, diapering, sleeping, bathing and transporting.

How many of each do I buy? Remember, your newborn will be growing fast and things like clothes and shoes will only last for a few months until he or she outgrows them.

Be realistic, prudent and frugal when buying for your newborn. You can always buy additional items later, rather than having spent too much on things that you do not use.

Let's have a look at those 6 categories.

New Video Module

Getting Ready Baby Checklist
Getting Ready Baby Checklist

Essentials For Feeding Your Newborn

How Many Bottles Do You Need For A Newborn?

Feeding time needs to be a bonding time for you and your baby without stress and anxiety, therefore being equipped with all your feeding essentials is important.

Irrespective of whether you are going to breastfeed or bottle feed, you will need bottles for your newborn for either storing expressed milk or for formula. Between 6 to 12 bottles with newborn nipples would be adequate.

A brush for cleaning the bottles and nipples is another essential item.

For breast feeding you will also need a breast pump to express milk easily, at least 2 nursing bras and nursing pads. You can hand express, but a breast pump just makes it so much easier and stress free.

Invest in good fitting nursing bras - you are going to need to be comfortable and it needs to be easy to use.

If you intend to buy reusable nursing pads, about a dozen would be enough. You will need a good supply if you are intending to use disposable ones.

About a dozen burp cloths is useful but you can also use cloth diapers or receiving blankets as burp cloths - they work just as well. (I used cloth diapers and from memory seemed to have one permanently on my shoulder for the first few months!)

A nice-to-have most new moms really appreciate is a feeding pillow or baby nursing pillow. It allows you to position your baby during nursing and feeding making it comfortable for both of you.

Basic Essentials For Feeding Newborn

6 to 12 Bottles with Newborn Nipples.

1 Cleaning Brush.

12 Burp Cloths.

2 Nursing Bras.

Nursing Pads - reusable or disposable.

Breast Pump.

Nice-to-have: Feeding Pillow.

Baby Clothes For A Newborn - Newborn Clothes Sizes?

Not knowing the exact size your newborn will need makes it difficult to buy clothes. You do not want to land up with a lot of clothes that are too small for your baby.

But, thankfully, it is not necessary to buy more than the basics for starters. Once you know what size fits your baby, it is easier to add those extra items.

It pays to be practical too - those cute newborn outfits are just adorable but try fitting them on your new arrival and see how long they stay on!

Let's look at the necessities you need in the clothing category:

  • Onesies (one piece) that snap at the crutch are perfect for your new arrival, so invest in 6 long sleeved and/or 6 short sleeved onesies depending on the time of year your baby will be born.
  • 3 to 6 Pairs of socks, preferably ones that can't be kicked off.
  • 6 cotton Footed Sleepers.
  • 6 T-shirts to wear under clothing.
  • 6 Swaddling blankets.

Organized Changing Table
Organized Changing Table

Diapering And Changing Essentials

Although you could use a bed or even the floor to change your newborn, it will be much easier on your back if you use a baby changing table that is the right height for you.

You will need at least 1 waterproof pad for your changing table. Use some cloth diapers for putting under baby as well.

Working on the basis that you will probably need about 10 nappies/diapers per day, get 2 large packs of disposable newborn diapers for starters and have some cloth diapers as well for backup. Once you know the exact size you will need it is easier to stock up.

As the hospital usually provides all the diapers for your stay and for going home, keep the diaper packets sealed so that you can exchange them for the correct size if needed.

Invest in a large container of wipes or stock up with cotton cloths (at least 20).

A diaper bag is essential for traveling with baby as you need all your diapering products organized. A good one with compartments is ideal. Trying to change a baby and finding you left the wipes behind, could be stressful.

A good diaper rash ointment is also worth having available as you never know when you will need it.

Work out how you are going to dispose of the dirty diapers - have you got a suitable bin, are you going to use a bag or invest in a diaper pail? Investigate your options and plan ahead as you do not want to have a smelly house!

Diapering Needs For Newborn

A Changing Table.

2 or more Waterproof Pads for changing table.

2 Packs of newborn diapers plus cloth diapers.


A Diaper Bag.

Diaper Rash Ointment or Cream.

Sleeping essentials for Baby

For the nursery you will need a good crib, a tight-fitting firm mattress, fitted sheets and light blankets such as receiving blankets or cotton blankets.

  • Somewhere safe for your newborn to sleep. Buying a crib is probably the most challenging as far as choice is concerned. Research and read reviews before making a decision. Safety standards are essential.
  • A waterproof crib mattress that fits snugly.
  • 2 Tight fitting sheets for the mattress.
  • 4 to 6 Receiving blankets or cotton blankets. You want light blankets to minimize tangling.

Bath Time
Bath Time

Bathing Newborn Baby

What you will need to wash your newborn

As a first time parent, bathing your baby for the first time can be a very daunting experience. In your mind you are probably going through all the things that can go wrong. Do some research or ask a friend who has had a baby to show you so that you can be confident and enjoy this new experience with your baby.

This guide from ABC Parenting shows you how in pictures.

The Mayo Clinic has a very good article on questions and answers on bathing a newborn how and when to bathe your newborn and what to use.

When bathing a newborn, it helps to have all your requirements ready beforehand such as the bath tub, a towel, a washcloth, cotton wool, a new nappy and clean clothes.

New Video Module

Having A Nap In Car Seat.
Having A Nap In Car Seat.

On The Go With Your Baby

Traveling by car, walking, shopping, or just carrying your baby - you need to consider what you will need before baby arrives.

If you have a car, a newborn car seat is essential for safety. There are many options to choose from, but a rear facing infant car seat with good head support and full safety features is recommended.

The Mayo Clinic has a very good article on Car Seat Safety: Avoid 10 common mistakes which explains the 10 common mistakes made in installing and using a newborn car seat.

A Stroller for a newborn is something we all just have to have. Going out shopping with a baby and only 2 hands, means finding a way of coping with a baby and being able to get the shopping done as well. For this, you need a safe place for your baby where you can still keep an eye on him/her while shopping. A stroller certainly makes multi-tasking easier.

Although it is great to have such a variety of options, it can be a difficult decision for first time parents. This guide on what to consider when looking for a stroller should make the decision making process a little easier.

A baby sling or soft front carrier allows you to have your hands free but still have close contact with our baby. It is ideal for traveling through airports, walking and for around the house.

A nice-to-have for traveling is a portable cot/playpen.

Your Comments Are Most Welcome.

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    • Lakegirl LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Lakegirl LM 

      7 years ago from Australia

      @anonymous: Thanks for the feedback Junina. It is very much appreciated. Congratulations and best wishes for your journey to motherhood. Pregnancy certainly has its challenges, but the end result is so worth it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      being a first time parent (single mom at that and living alone too!), expecting a baby is bordering between wonderful and scary experience for me...but this page truly makes me feel up to the challenge! I know I can do this! thanks for all the tips! really appreciate it!

    • profile image

      gadifi lm 

      7 years ago

      great information great lens now we think what we will get for a expecting niece as she is due at the end of this month

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @Lensmaster...Expecting that second grandbaby in about three weeks! I like that baby changing table with all the nifty compartments -- great improvement over my time. Thinking huge gift! Thanks for sharing this Lens!


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