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What are the most essential things a newborn baby needs? Although it is a popular belief that you should start shopping only once the baby is born, it helps to be prepared for the arrival of your newborn. Most parents buy shoes, toys, blankets and sometimes, even a bigger house before or immediately after their baby is born, but the list of essentials really doesn’t have to be this complicated.
Video: Newborn Baby Shopping – The list of Items You Need to Buy
Things To Buy For Newborn Babies
While getting this list of baby item ready from A to Z, it is necessary to keep in mind every little aspect of having a newborn baby. Your newborn baby requires different sets of clothing and accessories suitable for every activity you will be doing with your bundle of joy and for every season of the year. In this article, newborn baby essentials are further divided into specific purposes to make it easier for you. Read on to find out the list of basic products that are needed for the first couple of months after the newborn baby arrives.
Irrespective of the method you choose to feed your little one, the list below gives you a clear idea of what baby-feeding essentials you will require.
Nursing clothes: For new nursing mothers, clothes in light fabrics and nursing covers are very useful. Choose good quality nursing bras, nightwear and tops, either with buttons or loose enough to allow breastfeeding. Dark coloured clothes can help conceal stains of the breast milk if it leaks. You may also opt for breast pads or nipple shields to soak up the excess milk that could leak while you are breastfeeding. Other than clothes, you would also need a good nipple cream to protect your skin.
Breast pumps: There are different types of breast pumps available in the market such as electric, battery-operated and manual breast pumps. Depending on your requirement, you can choose between pumps that have an open or a closed system, or pumps that work on one or both breasts at the same time. You also get some accessories along with the breast pumps like bottles, bags for storage, labels, clips, etc. Which come in handy while pumping breast milk.
Steriliser: Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your newborn baby, you will need to sterilise the teats, pacifiers and bottles until the baby is a year old. Thorough cleaning and rinsing them in boiling hot water could do the trick, but you may not have the time or could need a better steriliser if your baby’s immune system is weak. That’s when electric sterilisers come in handy. Studies suggest that electric sterilisers can kill about 99.9% germs. You will, however, have to follow the directions of use that come along with the product to ensure the bottles, pacifiers and teats are germ-free.
Formula: If you are also bottle-feeding your baby, you will need to add feeding essentials on the baby-shopping list. Buy a brand of formula that your baby’s paediatrician recommends. Start with a single tin to see if your newborn baby has allergies, discomfort or constipation.
- Feeding bottle: There are different types of feeding bottle available to choose from. They come in different materials like glass, plastic and silicone. You can choose the material that suits your baby the most. Also, anti-colic nipples on feeding bottles are best for newborn babies. These bottles help minimise the amount of air a baby swallows. In addition, you need to ensure that you purchase BPA free feeding bottles made of good quality material that can endure high temperatures.
Bottle cleaning brush: It is essential to rid the feeding bottle of leftovers after every feed. The bottle steriliser, when combined with the cleaning brush, can help maintain cleanliness and hygiene for your little one.
Thermos: A flask is an ideal container to store hot water. Boiled water can be kept in the thermos and used to mix formula milk also.
Bibs and muslin cloths: While bottle-feeding or breastfeeding your newborn baby, use a bib on the baby to avoid spills and mess. Muslin cloths are ideal to mop up spills, soaking up drool, and keeping your clothes clean while feeding your newborn. A support pillow helps with maintaining a comfortable posture while breastfeeding your baby.
While it is advisable to let your newborn baby sleep in your room for the first couple of months, it is ideal to plan his sleeping area. If you decide to co-sleep, it is necessary to keep the baby’s area firm and safe. Add a blanket and sheets based on the weather conditions and make a cosy little bed for the newborn baby.
- Baby mattress and crib: A lightweight crib or Moses basket with a firm, a well-fitted new mattress is the first item that goes on your baby bedding essentials list. Avoid investing in fluffy mattresses since these could smother and suffocate the baby. Instead, buy firm mattresses and use light sheets and tuck them in properly. The pillows should also be double-layered, properly stitched and firm enough to avoid any suffocation if the baby turns in the crib.
- Baby blanket and sheets: Lint-free good quality blankets and sheets are the best choices for your newborn baby’s bedding. The blankets should be light and breathable. Mattress protectors or quick-dry sheets are necessary to ensure your baby has a dry, and a comfortable bed to sleep in.
- Mosquito net: You can never be too careful when it comes to mosquitoes around your newborn baby. A mosquito net along with an ultrasonic mosquito repellent can protect your baby from bites and diseases.
- Baby monitor: If your baby has a nursery to sleep in, you will need a baby monitor from a good company, which will help you keep an eye on your sleeping child. Ensure it has a rechargeable and a long-lasting battery.
Mobile: Add a dash of cuteness to your baby’s bedding by hanging a mobile made from safe, non-plastic hangings. The mobile will add colour to the room and also keep your baby occupied.
When you think of newborn babies the first aspect that comes to mind apart from the word ‘adorable’ is ‘diaper’. This item owns a top position in the baby essentials shopping list.
- Disposable diapers: Avoid buying diapers in bulk. Instead, buy sample packs of 3 brands and try each on the baby. Depending on the most comfortable brand, buy the remaining in bulk for your newborn baby. These diapers come in handy during outdoor visits.
Cotton nappies: Reusable cotton nappies are a safe option on sensitive baby skin. However, these nappies need to be changed as soon as they are soiled, which requires you to stock up on them so that you don’t run out before you can toss them in the laundry. Nowadays, reusable nappies come with a biodegradable lining which can be removed and flushed down. The cotton nappy can then be washed thoroughly in the washing machine.
- Rash cream: Buy a good quality diaper rash cream and keep it handy. You may also check with your paediatrician for an effective cream and for the directions of use.
Wet wipes: Cleaning your newborn baby’s bottom needs to be done gently and hygienically. Wet wipes let you retain the moisture in your baby’s skin while leaving the area clean and smelling fresh. Having said that, some babies may have an allergic reaction towards a particular brand of wet wipes. You could try some in the beginning and continue using the one which suits your little one.
Changing mat: Changing mats come in really handy to change diapers. They keep bed linen and other material from getting soiled when you will be changing your baby’s diaper. The mats that are available nowadays are easy to clean and they are extremely useful when you travel with your newborn baby.
Dustbins and garbage bags: You will also need separate garbage bags and dustbins to collect dirty diapers so that you can throw them out all at once. Plus, they will help you maintain hygiene in general.
The first thing you must buy for your newborn baby is clothes. Newborn baby clothes must be comfortable, cotton-based and have safe motifs if any. Buy soft fabrics and avoid, glitter, heavy embellishments, sequins, ribbon, ties and buttons, because these can be choking hazards or be the source of skin irritation. Don’t buy too many clothes as newborn babies grow fast. Also, consider the weather conditions while buying the following items.
- Sleepsuits: Full bodysuits or sleepsuits for newborn babies are designed for easy changing and dressing. Buy a dozen sleepsuits with press-up buttons on the front from the neck to ankle.
- Tops: Dressing a newborn can be slightly tricky considering your baby is delicate and tiny. Avoid dresses that have buttons on the back or go over the head. Buy 5-6 sets of tops or singlets that have envelope necks or open fronts.
- Socks: It is essential to keep your newborn’s feet warm all the time if the temperature drops or when going out. Buy up to 3 pairs of cotton socks with cute patterns for your little one to keep them warm and comfortable.
- Caps: A newborn baby’s head must be covered with a blanket, hood or cap to keep him warm and give it a feeling of being secure. You can buy from a range of cotton caps available in the market and protect your baby.
- Swaddle cloth: A wrap-around cotton blanket or swaddle cloth is a must. These clothing essentials for newborns are warm yet breathable and help keep your newborn protected from cold temperatures.
5. Bathing and Cleaning
For the first couple of times, newborn babies just need a quick wipe using a sponge or cotton swab. However, it isn’t long before your baby will have fun splashing water in the bath. This is also a special time when parents can bond with their newborn babies. Here are some bathing and cleaning essentials you will need for your newborn.
Bathtub: Based on the size of the baby and your comfort, pick the ideal bathtub from the array of options available in the market. While plastic tubs are easier to clean, a convertible tub can expand as your baby grows. You can also choose inflatable or foldable tubs, which come in handy while travelling.
Towels: Buy 2-3 soft, light-coloured, cotton bath towels made from absorbent material. An absorbent material is gentle on the skin and soaks water immediately.
- Baby wash & shampoo: Your newborn baby will need a mild, tear-free, fragrance-free shampoo and baby wash. When using for the first time, you can go for a small bottle and check how your newborn baby’s skin it reacts. If there are no issues, you can stock up and continue using the product.
Massage & hair oil: You can use traditional oils such as almond or coconut oil to massage your newborn baby. If you are buying bottled oils, get the gentle, organic-based ones, or check with your baby’s doctor for recommendations.
Baby cream: Moisturise your newborn baby’s skin with a good baby cream that needs to be applied after every bath. If you are not sure whether a cream will suit your little one, do a patch test and wait for a while. If the baby’s skin has no reaction, you can apply it all over his body.
Baby proofing your home prevents mishaps and accidents while creating a safer environment for your newborn baby to grow in. Invest in high-grade carbon monoxide and smoke detectors for your home. Playpens and stair gates are much needed to avoid falls and to keep your baby in a particular area. Window and cupboard catch, plug socket covers, nightlights, fireguards, furniture corner protectors and many other recent inventions can help make your home safe for your newborn baby. A thermometer, a first-aid kit, nail scissors, and a book on illnesses are also some other essential items to keep when there’s a baby in the house.
7. Baby Gear
It is essential to have key baby gear items ready when you’re getting ready for mealtime or going out. Invest in a kangaroo pouch baby carrier to carry your little one around. When the baby grows, you can put him in a rocker, a baby swing, bouncer, stroller or pram. The market has a variety of baby gear products suitable for different purposes. You can pick them up according to your size and colour requirements.
8. Leaving the House
Depending on the mode of transport you want to take, it is important to be travel-ready. Choose the best and most economic options while investing in essentials that are useful when you step out with your baby.
Diaper bag: Get a fashionable, trendy diaper bag, which has enough room and pockets to store all baby essentials while travelling.
Car seat/baby stroller: Car seats and baby strollers are some more useful baby-gear that you can buy, but invest in these products only if you plan to use them often, and the area you live in is stroller-friendly. If you are a more homely person, then cut these expensive items off the list.
Making regular visits to your baby’s paediatrician’s clinic or the hospital is important to keep your newborn child healthy. It is important to clip your newborn’s nails using only baby clippers. These scissors have curved blades with rounded points to ensure safety. Hand sanitisers are essential to keep your hands clean at all times while managing your newborn baby.
Season-Wise Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist
When buying newborn baby essentials, it is necessary to consider the weather conditions in order to get your little one what is necessary for the ongoing season. From choosing the warmest clothes to buying cosy sleeping necessities, here’s a list of items to invest in according to the season.
1. Summer Essentials for Newborn Babies
In addition to the detailed checklist mentioned earlier, here are several items you will need for a baby born in summer.
- Baby vests: Bodysuits or vests with popper buttons and envelope necks are ideal summer-wear options. Pick light colours and fabrics to keep the baby cool when the temperatures are soaring high.
Sleepsuits: Newborn babies live in sleepsuits for the first couple of months. Carefully chosen sleepsuits in the right fabric can make the season comfortable for your little one.
Sunshade for the car or pram: This one is ideal for travel. Fix a shade on your baby’s pram and on your car windows to protect him from heatstroke.
Summer hat: Pick a lightweight hat with a rim to shield your baby’s eyes from the sun.
Muslin cloths: Most rocking chairs, prams and car seats have synthetic fabric which makes babies sweat. Lining the seats with good quality cotton or muslin sheet will keep your baby cool when he is sitting over it.
Sunblock: Sunblocks are essential to protect a newborn baby for any sun damage. Check with your baby’s paediatrician for the best type of sunscreen you can use on your newborn baby’s delicate skin.
2. Winter Essentials For Newborn Babies
During winter, the temperature drop makes it harder for your baby to stay warm without additional clothing. Here’s a checklist for you to take care of your baby’s health and well-being when the mercury level drops.
- Baby quilt: You can find a variety of baby quilts in the market. They are available in various sizes, patterns and colours. Choose the ones which are soft, non-bulky and would keep your baby warm.
- Flannel sheets and blankets: Invest in good quality blankets or flannel sheets with hoods. These are ideal to wrap your newborn in and to add another cover to keep him warm.
- Full-sleeved vests: When looking for full-sized vests, go for cotton vests since they directly go on your baby’s skin. Wollens and sheets can then be used for an additional layer of clothing for your baby.
- Thermal wear: Depending on how cold it gets in your region, you may go for thermal pants and vests too.
- Sweater or cardigan: Sweaters and cardigans come in handy when you need a final layer for your newborn baby’s winter clothing. However, some wool could give your baby a rash. If it does, opt for several layers of cotton clothing along with a woollen blanket.
- Woollen caps and booties: Most sweater sets come with socks and caps for your baby to have a matching set. Wearing booties over a pair of cotton socks also provides an additional layer of clothing.
- Short-sleeved baby vests: About 5-6 pairs of vests along with bodysuits are ideal during monsoons. When the weather is humid, a vest is all your baby needs. Go for the cotton fabric to keep the baby comfortable.
- Sleepsuits: Loose fitting sleepsuits come in handy during monsoons, especially if they are made from cotton.
- Cotton jackets: Cotton jackets will be useful on cooler monsoon days. If you buy a bigger size, your newborn can wear it during winter as well.
- Insect repellent and prickly heat powder: Consult your baby’s paediatrician for the best insect repellent cream and prickly heat powder. Use these on your baby to protect him from mosquitoes and heat rashes during monsoons.
There are a lot of to-dos while prepping for your newborn’s arrival, and shopping for all the essentials listed above is one of the most important things. With this list, we have broken down all the newborn baby essentials you will need to keep your little one healthy, comfortable and happy. Stock up on the bare-bones list of baby items before or as soon as your newborn arrives!