Newborn Checklist for New Parents: Must-Haves for Your Newborn

In preparing for your newborn, there are a number of things that you will need beforehand to welcome your little one to his/her new home. For a new parent it may seem overwhelming trying to gather the newborn essentials you will need before you return home from the hospital. Relax. We have provided a newborn checklist for you with the must-have items you will need to welcome your baby to their new home.

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The Nursery

As a nesting instinct most mothers feel when they are anxiously anticipating the arrival of their baby, getting baby’s room ready is a must. These are the essential newborn items you will need to have ready for the nursery before your baby comes home.

  • Diapering essenitals
  • Feeding/Nursing Supplies
  • Bedding
  • Clothing
  • Bathing supplies
  • Health and Safety necessities
  • Gear


When you leave the hospital you will most likely be sent home with a few diapers. This may be enough to get you by for the first day or two but you will need to stock up on your diapering supplies before hand to save you the hassle of running to the store for last minute diapering supplies. You will need a changing pad, pad cover, (changing table is optional but not a necessity item as you can change baby anywhere) and a diaper pail (also optional but not really necessary)

Cloth Diapering

For cloth diapering, you will need:
– at least 1 dozen cloth diapers
– 1-2 dozen cloth wipes or soft baby washcloths
– cloth diaper-friendly diaper rash ointment
– solution or diaper area wash for cloth wipes

Disposable Diapering

– 2 boxes newborn/size 1 disposable diapers
– couple packs or a box disposable wipes
– diaper rash cream and/or baby powder

For fitted/prefold cloth diapers you will also need:
– 6 baby safety pins or at least 4 cloth diaper fasteners
– 8 water-proof diaper covers

If you don’t have a changing table or a designated changing station you may want to get a diaper stacker to hold your diapers or a neat little diaper caddy that you can pick up and carry from room-to-room for convenient diaper changes.



When it comes to feeding, the supplies you need will vary based on whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed. If you choose to breastfeed these are the items you will need:

  • 6-12 bibs
  • a few burp cloths
  • nursing pillow
  • breast pump
  • milk storage containers or bags
  • nursing bras
  • breast pads (at least 6 pair of reusable or a box of disposable)
  • lanolin cream

You may want to buy a couple of nursing tops as they are more convenient for nursing while you are out and about. I liked nursing tank tops for lounging around the house. With nursing bras you will want to get one cup size larger than your pregnancy size. Personally, I only owned 2 nursing bras as I found just a plain sports bra was just as usefulPhilips AVENT BPA Free Natural Polypropylene Bottles and much more comfortable. You may also want to have a couple of bottles for feeding expressed breast milk (there may be times when someone else will need to feed the baby when you are away) The best bottles I used while nursing that my son had no problem going back and forth from breast to bottle with were the Avent bottles.

If you are formula or strictly bottle-feeding you will need:Medela Advanced Personal Double Breastpump

  • 6-12 or more bibs and burp cloths
  • 8 4-oz bottles with nipples
  • 6 8-oz bottles with nipples
  • bottle and nipple brush
  • formula (be sure to check the expiration date prior to buying)
  • Thermal bottle carrier

Optional items you may want (but are not necessary) include a bottle warmer and a sterilizer. You will need to sterilize all bottlesMedela Quick Clean and nipples either by boiling or using a steam sterilizer (dishwasher will work too) prior to feeding baby. This includes your pumping accessories as well. Medela makes sterilizer bags that you place in the microwave for pump accessories and bottles. I liked these because one bag lasts up to 2o uses and they come 5 bags to a box.


During the first few weeks you may want to have your baby in something smaller than the crib to keep beside you such as a co-sleeper or bassinet. However, keep in mind that babies do outgrow them fairly quickly so these are completely optional. Items you will need for the nursery include:

  • an approved crib and crib mattress
  • at least 2 water-proof mattress covers (if your mattress already has a water-proof outer lining, you really only need 1)
  • 4 fitted crib sheets
  • 4 light blankets to fit in the crib
  • sleep sack or swaddling blanket

Additionally, you will need at least 2 receiving blankets and a thicker, warm blanket for colder months to use during the day or when you are out. Crib bumpers are not advised as they have been found to increase the risk of SIDS, however there are breathable bumpers available that are safer for babies. Initially the bumpers are just for show. I chose the breathable bumper when my baby became more active to prevent hitting his head against the crib rails because he would move around a lot when he was awake. Another item many parents like to have for newborns is a sleep positioner. If you opt for one (not really necessary especially when baby is swaddled because they can’t really go anywhere) be sure it is made of a breathable material.


You can’t bring baby home in his birthday suit. You will need to have an outfit (appropriate for the weather if it is cooler) to bring baby home in. Additionally, you will need these items:

  • 8 undershirts or onesies (short and long-sleeve)
  • 8 one-piece sleepers (I also loved the long gowns with the elastic bottom)  
  • 5 pairs of pants
  • 2 newborn caps
  • 8 pairs or socks or booties
  • 2 pairs of mittens (to keep baby from scratching their face)
  • 2 jackets or cardigans for colder weather (if you live where there is snow- a bunting bag or snowsuit)
  • Baby-friendly laundry detergent
  • 4 nicer, dress up outfits

Bath Essentials

The first couple of weeks you will be giving baby a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off. You will need the following items for bath time:

  • Infant tub or bath-seat that is suitable for newborns51PmuNctukL
  • 6-12 baby washcloths
  • Mild baby wash and shampoo
  • 3 hooded bath towels
  • Soft-bristled baby hair brush

You may want to also have a mild baby lotion for moisturizing your baby’s delicate skin which can lose moisture, especially after bathing.

Health & Safety Items

These are a few baby care essentials you will need for cleaning, grooming, and health of your baby:

  • Baby nail clippers
  • Cotton balls
  • Bulb-syringe
  • Thermometer

Baby Gear

You will need to have an approved infant car seat before you can leave the hospital with your newborn. Other baby gear items you may want to have for the home before your little one makes their debut are:

  • Play pen
  • Swing
  • Bouncer
  • High Chair (not needed at first, but will need later for feeding solids)
  • Crib mobile
  • White noise machine
  • Baby monitor

Additional items: plastic baby hangers for the closet, rocking chair/glider with foot rest for feedings, 2-4 pacifiers, sun shade for the car windows, baby toys and rattles, sling or baby carrier.

For Mom on the Go

These are a few things you will want to have for your baby while you are out and about:

  • Diaper Bag
  • Stroller that fully reclines or adapts to an infant car seat
  • Nursing cover (if you are breast feeding)
  • Sling or baby carrier

Newborn Checklist for the Diaper Bag:

– 3-4 diapers (depending on how long you plan to be out with baby)
– pack of wipes
– changing pad (most diaper bags come with one)
– wet bag (for cloth diapers, disposing diapers when a trash can is nowhere in site, or for dirty outfits from blow outs or spit-ups)
– an extra outfit
– a pacifier and a rattle
– diaper rash ointment
– For formula-fed babies: 1-2 bottles with water for preparing formula, formula for 2-3 feedings 
(there are handy little formula dispensers that hold enough formula in each compartment for a feeding)

These are your basic newborn essentials. To view more baby gear and popular baby products, check out our baby shower checklist under buying guides:
My All-time Favorite Baby Products


  1. Great list; thanks for sharing. 😀

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