What to Buy for Baby

Use our handy checklist to make sure you have everything you'll need once baby arrives.
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Updated August 10, 2018
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Image: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Here’s everything you’ll need to get through those first few weeks with baby.


  • 4-8 bodysuits or onesies (wide head openings and loose legs)
  • 4-8 undershirts or vests (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
  • Gentle laundry detergent


  • Crib (Guidelines: Slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, corner posts no more than 1/16 of an inch above frame, no cutouts in headboard or footboard, top rails at leasy 26 inches above mattress)
  • Cradle or bassinet
  • Firm, flat mattress fit snugly in crib (less than two fingers should fit between mattress and crib)
  • 1-3 washable crib mattress pads
  • 2-4 fitted crib sheets
  • 4-6 soft, light receiving blankets
  • 1-2 heavier blankets (for colder climates)
  • Rocking or arm chair
  • Baby monitor
  • Nightlight
  • Dresser
  • Toy basket
  • Swing or bouncy chair


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


  • 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!)


  • 10-16 bottles and nipples, both four and eight ounce (if fed strictly by the bottle, baby will go through about ten in the four ounce size per day)
  • Liners, for disposable bottles
  • 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
  • High chair
  • 2-4 pacifiers
  • Formula (if not nursing)

For nursing moms:

  • 1-3 nursing bras (Breasts swell following birth, so start with one size larger than your maternity bra. Wait until size settles down — about two weeks after birth — to purchase additional bras.)
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Nursing pillow
  • Pump (even if you plan only to nurse, a pump will allow you to leave milk for baby if you want or need to separate)
  • Milk storage bags

Medicine Cabinet

  • Baby nail clippers or blunt scissors
  • Cotton balls (don’t use swabs to clean baby’s nose or ears)
  • Baby thermometer
  • Bulb syringe/nasal aspirator
  • Medicine dropper
  • Petroleum jelly and sterile gauze (for circumcision care)
  • Infant acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Saline nasal drops
  • Baby gas drops


  • Infant or convertible car seat
  • Stroller (reclining to almost flat for infants)
  • Diaper bag
  • Changing pad
  • Baby carrier/sling

For Mom

  • Ice packs (in case of tearing during birth or swelling after)
  • 2-3 week supply of ultra absorbent sanitary pads
  • Panty liners
  • Hemorrhoid wipes and cream

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