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Paula Kashtan

Checklist: Baby Essentials

Your personal shopping guide to all the bare essentials baby will need.

Here it is: The bare-bones, absolute essentials, nothing-but-the-basics guide to what to buy for baby.

Clothing

  • 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 summer baby, soft cap that covers ears for winter baby)
  • No-scratch mittens
  • Bunting bag or fleece suit for winter baby
  • Swimsuit for summer baby

Nursery

  • Crib, cradle or bassinet
  • Firm, flat mattress fit snugly in crib (less than two fingers should fit between mattress and crib)
  • Rocking or arm chair
  • Baby monitor
  • Nightlight
  • Dresser
  • Toy basket

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)

Diapering

  • Changing table or cushioned changing pad for low dresser or bureau, with safety strap or railing
  • Changing table pad and cover
  • Diaper pail and liners
  • Diaper bag
  • Diaper cream
  • Unscented baby wipes (causes less irritation)
  • Soft washcloths
  • 6-10 dozen cloth diapers and 6-8 diaper covers, or 2-3 large boxes of disposable newborn-size diapers

Bath

  • Baby soap
  • Baby bathtub
  • Baby soap
  • Baby shampoo
  • 2-4 soft towels or hooded baby towels
  • Baby hairbrush
  • Soft washcloths (use a different color or pattern than your diaper washcloths!)
  • Gentle laundry detergent

Feeding

  • 10-16 bottles and nipples, both 4- and 8- ounce (if fed strictly by the bottle, baby will go through about 10 in the 4-ounce size per day)
  • Liners, for disposable bottles
  • 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 warmer (cuts down on nighttime trips to and from the kitchen)
  • Bottle sterilizer (if your dishwasher doesn’t have one)
  • Bottle brush
  • Dishwasher basket for small items
  • 4-8 bibs
  • Burp cloths
  • 2-4 pacifiers
  • Formula (if not nursing)

Health

  • Baby nail clippers or blunt scissors
  • Baby thermometer
  • Petroleum jelly and sterile gauze (for circumcision care)
  • First aid kit

Gear

  • Infant or convertible car seat
  • Stroller or infant carrier
  • Swing or bouncy chair
  • High chair
  • Baby carrier/sling

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PHOTO: KT Merry
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