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Paula Kashtan

The Ultimate Checklist of Baby Essentials

Streamline your shopping list with this checklist of all the baby must-haves.

There are a ton of to-dos when prepping for baby’s arrival—and shopping for all the newborn essentials is not least among them. From setting up the nursery to gathering the gear for sleeping, eating and diapering, it’s easy to keep busy buying baby necessities—but where do you start, and exactly what do you need for a baby? Read on for a complete baby checklist of items to add to your baby registry.

Baby Checklist

The amount of stuff a newborn needs can take any mom-to-be by surprise. So which are the baby items you can forget about, and which are the baby essentials you can’t live without? Here it is: The bare-bones, nothing-but-the-basics list of baby items you’ll want to stock up on before your newborn arrives.

Baby clothes

It doesn’t get much cuter than tiny baby clothes—but you’ll want to pick out practical items that’ll keep baby comfy and cozy. When it comes to clothing, these are the baby must-haves:

  • 4-8 onesies (wide head openings and loose legs)
  • 4-8 undershirts (snaps at neck or wide head openings, snaps under crotch)
  • 4-8 one-piece pajamas
  • 2 blanket sleepers for winter baby
  • 1-3 sweaters or jackets (front buttoned)
  • 1-3 rompers or other dress-up outfits
  • 4-7 socks or booties (shoes are unnecessary until baby walks
  • 1-3 hats (broad-brimmed for a summer baby, soft cap that covers ears for a winter baby)
  • No-scratch mittens
  • Bunting bag or fleece suit for a winter baby


A baby’s room calls for adorable decor for sure, but you’ll also need furniture that will make infant care all the easier (and safer). Here are the baby essentials for any nursery:

Baby bedding

Sleep is going to be a precious thing, both for you and for baby. Help everyone get some much-needed shut-eye with this baby items list for bedding:

  • 1-3 washable crib mattress pads
  • 2-4 fitted crib sheets
  • 4-6 soft, light receiving blankets
  • 1-2 heavier blankets (for colder climates)


Changing a diaper may seem daunting at first, but trust us, you’ll get the hang of it—and these baby must-haves will help you pick it up even faster. Check out the newborn checklist for diaper supplies:


Bath time can be tons of fun (once you get a handle on that slippery baby), so best be prepared with all the right gear. These are the bath must-haves for baby:



Be prepared to feed your newborn around the clock—which means, whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you’re going to need the right gear. Here’s the newborn checklist of feeding supplies to stock up:

  • 10-16 bottles and nipples, both 4- and 8- ounce (if fed strictly by bottle, baby will go through about 10 in the 4-ounce size per day)
  • Pump (if you plan to breastfeed)
  • Milk storage bags (if you plan to breastfeed)
  • Nursing pads (if you plan to breastfeed)
  • Nipple cream (if you plan to breastfeed)
  • Nursing pillow (if you plan to breastfeed)
  • Bottle brush
  • Dishwasher basket for small items
  • 4-8 bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • 2-4 pacifiers
  • Formula (if not nursing)


Don’t forget: Babies need the occasionally grooming too. And if your child happens to get sick, you’ll want to have the right baby essentials on hand. Here’s what to buy:

Baby gear

Whether you’re on the move or getting ready for mealtime, you’ll need to need have some key baby gear ready to go. Here are the baby essentials to have on hand:

Plus more from The Bump, our baby registry checklist:

Photo: Laura Pursel

Published July 2017