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Don’t Worry New Mama – We Got it All Covered for You
As a first time mom-to-be it’s normal to feel overwhelmed about all the things you need to buy for the new special little person about to enter your life.
No doubt many people have told you about a million different things you MUST buy and they can be contradictory.
Before you realize it, the shopping list of things to buy for baby has become ridiculously long, not to mention expensive.
Our resident Mom of seven Tamara is here to help.
She will take you through all the essentials you’ll need for your newborn baby, stop the overwhelm and save you money. These are all products she has used herself for her babies and can confidently recommend.
Where there is a newer version of a product, this has been recommended instead.
Each section has been separated into essential items – those things you’re really going to need, and extras – a few extra items that you may wish to buy if your budget stretches that far.
If you haven’t signed up for your baby registry yet, we recommend Amazon’s baby registry. You can add items from ANY store, not just Amazon, and you get a great welcome box when you sign up for Prime and buy $10 worth of things from your registry.
Chilling Out at Home
For the first 3-4 months your baby is going to be resting and sleeping a lot and you will want to keep baby near you most of the time. You’ll need a few items to make this easy for you.
A chair of some sort is essential so that you can put baby down safely. If you want to keep baby close to your body while you go about your chores at home, then you’ll also need a sling or wrap. When baby is having long sleeps I prefer to use a bassinet or a moses basket in the first 3-4 months as it can be moved around the home easily.
Don’t miss this very important point – You can either buy a separate chair and bassinet or a Pack ‘n Play.
A pack and play is a nice option because most types have a portable bassinet, a changing space, travel crib, everyday crib and later on it can be used as a play yard too.
It’s ideal to use for baby to sleep in at night during the first few months.
Here’s a really useful video about the Day2Dream Pack n Play by Graco on Amazon. It’s worth watching because it shows you all the functions and everything you can do with it.
As well as having somewhere safe for baby to sleep and relax, it’s advised that baby spends some time on their tummy everyday to help strengthen their muscles.
For that you’ll need a soft floor mat. You don’t want your baby banging their head on a hard floor or alternatively getting mouthfuls of carpet fluff in their mouth- – a floor mat avoids these problems.
5 Chilling Out at Home Essentials
1. Floor play mat
2. Bassinet or moses basket*
3. Baby bouncer, chair or lounger*
**Instead of buying a bassinet and chair separately you can get a Pack n Play Instead
4. 4 – 6 Sheets for the bassinet, moses basket or pack n play.
5. Baby Wrap or sling
At Home Extras
- Pack n Play Mattress Protector
I always like to have baby right next to me at night for at least the first 6 – 12 months, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want or need a nursery. Unless you plan to co-sleep indefinitely, at some point you’ll want to transition your little one into their own room.
As far as cribs go I prefer to get one that at least converts into a toddler bed as this saves money down the line. Many cribs (like this one from Graco) also convert into a full size bed which means the crib you’re buying now can last for a good 10 years or even more.
Your baby’s nursery doesn’t actually need that much in the way of furniture but here are the must-haves.
9 Nursery Essentials
1. A 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 Crib – Ideally one that will convert into a toddler bed
3. Crib mattress protector
4. Night light
5. Dresser for storing baby’s clothes
6. Room thermometer* (many baby monitors have an integral room thermometer so you may not need this. Check the specs)
7. Baby monitor – most parents-to-be choose a video monitor but a sound only monitor is just fine. Personally I like the Cocoon because it does two things other monitors don’t do. It’s connected to my phone (how handy is that!) and it monitors baby’s breathing.
8. Crib Sheets (see the baby sleep section below)
9. Clothes Hamper
- Changing table
- Toy storage box or basket
- A comfortable chair for feeding (a glider or rocker is a lovely extra)
There are a few decisions you’ll need to make about baby’s sleep. The first is where baby is going to sleep both in the day and at night. It’s recommended that you keep baby next to you at night for at least the first six months and honestly it’s much easier to do that compared to having baby in another room.
Important – You’ll see that all my sleep essentials recommendations are products made from cotton and not fleece. Cotton is breathable and will enable baby regulate his or her temperature much better than fleece. Fleece can be too warm and make baby hot which can be dangerous for young babies.
2. 3 – 5 x 0-3 month old Sleep sacks or swaddles – Personally I prefer swaddles for the first few months and then move onto sleep sacks after that.
3. 2 – 3 x Baby Blankets
- 3 x Wearable blankets for cold weather
- 3 – 5 x 3-6 month sleep sacks
- Travel Crib (If you go for a pack n play you’ll already have a travel crib)
- Movement sensor
Whether you’ve decided to breastfeed, exclusively pump, combination feed or bottle feed you need to be well prepared. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding from the breast you won’t need very much at all. All the other options will require bottles and the essential bottle feeding accessories.
1. 10+ bibs
2. 10 x Burp cloths
3. Nursing pads (You will need these if you’re nursing or not. If nursing I recommend washable bamboo pads. Otherwise the disposable ones are fine.)
1. Lansinoh nipple cream – This stuff is magic for sore nipples.
Nursing Extras & Pumping Essentials
It’s very handy to have a breast pump even if you’re exclusively feeding from the breast but it isn’t essential so I’ve put it in this section.
1. Breast pump – I’ve only used a manual pump myself so if you plan to pump a lot you may want to look into electric breast pumps.
2. Milk storage bags. Breast Shells Milk Savers
4. 2-6 x Bottles – The Comotomo bottles are great for breastfed babies
5. Extra nipples
6. A nursing pillow
7. Feeding cover – Personally I’m not a fan of feeding covers but if you think it will help you feel more comfortable nursing in public then get yourself one. The other option is use muslin cloths.
8. Nipple shield
Bottle Feeding Essentials
1. Formula milk
2. 5 – 8 x Bottles – This Avent newborn bottle set includes a bottle brush and dispenser plus a few other things.
3. Extra Teats
4. A bottle-brush
5. 2 x Travel formula dispensers
6. Bottle Sterilizer – I prefer a microwave steam sterilizer. This Avent one goes with the bottles above so you know they will fit.
7. Bottle Drying Rack
- Bottle Labels for Daycare
- Bottle Warmer
- Formula Prep Machine – Personally I don’t like these but do your own research if you’re thinking about buying one.
At some point you and your baby will be on the move. Whether it is going shopping, to the park or a stroll around the neighborhood you need to have the right travel gear.
I’m pretty picky about what my little ones ride in. I like to get a travel system that allows baby to face me and where baby can lay down flat. It’s not healthy for young babies to be sat up in a car seat for long periods. The travel system I recommend has all these features and is a very good price as well.
1. Diaper bag – I like to use a backpack diaper bag so that I have both arms free when I need them (which is most of the time)
2. 3 in 1 Travel System Stroller and Car seat or Buy stroller and car seat separate
3. A mirror so baby can see you while driving
- Travel crib – if you went for the Pack n Play you’ll already have this
- A baby sling or carrier – I mentioned a sling in the at home section so make sure you don’t buy two by mistake.
When buying baby clothes most of us go overboard the first time around – I know I did. We want to buy ALL the cute baby clothes and they’re so cute and hard to resist.
However, you will need to try and restrain yourself if money is tight. You won’t need too many of the newborn size clothes. Newborns grow very fast and you will find that he/she wears some clothes once or twice before outgrowing them completely.
Below is a list of the specific clothing items that all first time moms will need for their newborn baby.
You’ll need to buy at least enough clothes for the first 3 months. That means buying a set of clothes in newborn size and another set in 0-3 months size.
If you decide to buy for older (3-6 months and 6-9 months) think about what season it will be when baby is that age and buy for that season.
Baby Clothes Essentials
1. 10 x short sleeve bodysuits in Newborn and 0-3 Month Size
2. 8-10 x Footies in newborn size and 0-3 month size
3. 5-10 x pairs of socks
4. 5-10 x long sleeve t-shirts/tops that can be worn over a vest in both sizes
5. 2-4 x front buttoned cardigans, jackets, hoodies or sweaters in both sizes
6. 5-8 x Leggings or pants in both sizes
7. 4 x Baby hats
8. Winter All in one Fleece Coat/Romper*
9. Winter Mittens*
10. Winter Hat*
*If you’re in a cold climate
Baby Clothing Extras
- Going Home Outfit
- Soft crib shoes
- All the cute clothes! – Yes do buy some just be careful not to go crazy if money is tight.
Hopefully your baby won’t get sick but here are a few things to have at home for baby’s general health and well-being.
1. A thermometer – I like the digital forehead thermometer for ease of use and accuracy
2. Sterilizing gauze for babies who have been circumcised
3. Gentle clothes washing detergent (normal detergents can cause allergic reactions)
- Baby tylenol
- Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator
You might find the bathing your newborn baby quite challenging. They are very slippery so you have to be extra careful and gentle. One of the best ways to make your bath-time enjoyable is being armed with the right products. Here’s a list of bath time essentials you will need for your newborn.
1. Baby bath-tub – there are a lot of bath tub options. I prefer something simple and easy to clean.
2. Baby hair and body wash – there are many baby washes for hair and body to choose from so you don’t need to buy separate.
3. Wash cloths for washing baby’s face and body
4. Nail clippers
5. Soft hairbrush
- 2-4 x Soft hooded towels
- Natural sponge – I really like to use a natural sponge on babies body but they are a luxury item.
You’re going to be spending a lot of your time keeping your baby’s bottom clean, dry and free from soreness. There are a lot of diapering options including organic diapers, cloth diapers, degradable diapers and standard diapers. I’ve always used Pampers as I’ve found them the most absorbent and least likely to leak.
If you decide to go with disposable diapers over cloth you’ll need 2-3 boxes of diapers in sizes Newborn and
2. 2 x Changing pad covers
3. 3 x Changing Pad Liners
4. 2-3 x boxes of diapers (newborn size and size 1) and/or 5-10 sets of cloth diapers
5. Diaper cream (I have always used zinc cream and found it most effective)
- Portable Diaper Caddy
- Diaper Pail
- Diaper pail refill bags
- A wipe warmer (You really don’t need this)
As a first time mom (or even a second or third time mom) getting everything you need for a newborn baby can be daunting. I hope this list has helped you sort out what you NEED to buy from the things you might WANT to buy.
If you haven’t already, the easiest way to make sure you get all the essentials you need for yourself and baby is to start a Baby registry.
That way you won’t forget anything.
Happy shopping Mama!