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When I got pregnant with my daughter, just like most first-time moms, I knew nothing about motherhood. I didn’t know what stuff to get and what I shouldn’t, which stuff works and which don’t. Google was my friend back then; I went through several different sites and got overwhelmed with all the different information I found. One website was saying I need this but another one was saying I don’t. It was helpful of course, but it was also confusing for me. So I had to step back, got my Belly Book and started coming up with a list of things you need for a new baby. And then I reviewed the list that I have against the lists available online. After a few additions and removal, my new baby must have checklist was complete.
Having a new baby must have checklist really helped me get organized in my preparation for the arrival of my precious little one. Which is why I want to share with you the most essential things a newborn baby needs, along with some nice to haves. I’ve been through 2 pregnancies (but still by no means an expert) so I know what worked for us and what didn’t (although please keep in mind that what worked for us might not work for you).
For the Baby
- 4 oz. feeding bottles – We got 6 of them to use for the first few months. Either breast feeding (especially if you plan on using a breast pump) or formula feeding, you will need feeding bottles. Check out these feeding bottles here, here, here, and here. Note: If you are planning to breast feed though, make sure that you get those kinds of feeding bottle nipple that feels like Mom’s breast.
- 8 oz. feeding bottles – We got 8 of them. Check out these feeding bottles here, here, here, and here.
- Feeding bottle nipples – You will need to switch them to a different level as your baby grows.
- Burp cloths – You will need a ton of these especially during the first few months. Check out these adorable burp cloths here, here, here, here, and here.
- Bibs – You need the cloth ones for the first few months, then the plastic ones when they start eating solid food. Check out these stylish bibs here, here, here, here, and here.
- Boppy pillow – You could use this when breastfeeding or to elevate your baby’s head while playing with him/her to give him/her a new view or use as a support when your baby’s learning how to sit. You can get it here, here, here, and here.
- Boppy pillow case – 2 of these should be enough. You can get them here, here, here, and here.
- Bottle and nipple brush – You can get one here, here, here, here, and here.
- Sterilizer – You can get one here, here, here, here, and here.
- Bottle warmer – This is optional. However, if you need one, you can get one here, here, and here.
- Drying rack – You can get one here, here, here, here, and here.
- Steamer – Once your baby starts eating solid, and if you prefer to make your own rather than buy from the store, you will need a steamer to cook their food. You can get one here, here, and here.
- Food processor – You can use this to puree cooked veggies/fruits/meat. Later on, you can also use this to make your own squeezable pouches. (Yes, you can make your own if you prefer.) You just have to get a squeeze station for that. You can get one here, here, here, here, and here.
- High chair – This is useful when they start to eat solid food. There are those that converts from high chair to a booster chair; get those instead of the traditional high chairs so you can get a lot of use out of it. You can get one here, here, here, and here.
- Side snap tops – We got a combination of short (5) and long (4) sleeve ones. We used these until the cord falls off. You can get some here, here, here, and here.
- Pants – Around 5-7 should be enough. You can some here, here, here, and here.
- Onesies – I like to have tons of extra of these; around 10-14 worked for us; but if you want less (which is fine too), maybe around 5-7 should work for you. You can get some here, here, here, and here.
- Sleep & plays – Around 5-7 should be enough. You can get some here, here, here, and here.
- Mittens – These are used to prevent the little ones from scratching themselves. I love the ones we have in Manila (I had to ask a friend and my Dad to get some for the babies) because you can control how loose or tight you want them to be to make sure they don’t fall off. You can get some here, here, here, and here.
- Socks – Around 5-7 pairs should be enough. You can get some here, here, here, and here.
- A few outfits for dressing up (optional). But if you really want to, you can get some here, here, here, and here.
- Crib/Bassinet/Pack ‘n Play – We wanted to co-sleep with our daughter but we only have a small room so we decided to get a Pack ‘n Play. We opted for the Pack ‘n Play instead of the bassinet because, for me, it’s not that practical to get a bassinet which we’ll only be able to use for 2-3 months and would just end up in our storage; we could use Pack ‘n Play beyond that and we could also bring it with us when we travel. We also got a crib and put it in the second bedroom for when our daughter is older and we’re comfortable having her sleep in her own room. (Oh! There were tears on the first night that happened and it wasn’t my daughters; mine.) You can get one here, here, here, here, here, and here.
- Crib sheets – We got 5 so we have tons of extra just in case any accidents happen. You can get some here, here, here, here, here, and here.
- Mattress covers – We got 2 so we have an extra just in case there’s a spit up or our baby threw up or wet his/her crib. You can get one here, here, and here.
- White noise – This is something that we wouldn’t be able to live without. It keeps our babies sleeping longer and soundly. You can get one here, here, and here.
- Swaddling blankets – Using swaddling cloths, I tried to learn how to swaddle a baby before my first baby was born. I used a stuffed toy that’s as big as a baby and it was very easy so I thought it was just a piece of cake. But as soon as you have a crying and squirming baby that’s trying to get out of the swaddle, it gets very challenging. And it also kept me awake at night because I would constantly check if our daughter was able to get out of her swaddle because if she did, she might accidentally cover her face with it. These swaddling blankets are a life-saver!!! It makes swaddling so much easier! I LOVE the Halo ones because once they’ve outgrown the swaddling phase, I can still use it as a wearable blanket. You can get some here, here, and here.
- Wearable blankets (without the option to swaddle) – We got 2 of them. You can get some here, here, and here.
- Diapers – We used disposable diapers and we got a small pack of each brand to test with my babies’ skin. Their skin loves Honest diapers. (Bonus for the cute designs!!!) If you are going to use cloth diapers though, make sure you have enough of them since they pee and poop a lot especially during the first few months (my son pooped every after feeding during his first month). You can get some here, here, here. TIP: If you’re interested to try the Honest diapers, you can sign up here which gives you $10 off your first purchase and your free trial of the diaper (includes diaper and wipes) or essential bundle. You can also try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days and do their Subscribe & Save to save more on the diapers.
- Baby wipes – We got a small pack of each brand to test and loved the Honest wipes as well. You can get some here, here, here, and here. TIP: If you want to try the Honest wipes, you can sign up here which gives you $10 off your first purchase and your free trial of the diaper (includes diaper and wipes) or essential bundle. You can also try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days and do their Subscribe & Save to save more on the wipes.
- Cotton balls – A Mommy friend of mine suggested a great idea to make cleaning poop easier that I will share with you as well. Use the wipes to clean the bigger area and use cotton balls dipped in water for the smaller ones. It does work and it’s easier too especially when I get down to the skin folds. You can get some here, here, and here.
- Diaper rash cream – This is another area where you have to try it on your baby’s skin and see which will work best. We did that and loved the Noodle & Boo Ultimate Ointment. It was the only thing that healed their rashes right away. You can also get the other brands here, here, and here.
- Diaper pail and refill – Don’t rely on the traditional trash can because the diaper pails worked AMAZING in masking the unwanted smell of poop-y diapers. You can get your diaper pail here, here, and your refill here.
- Changing table – We went for a design that we could re-purpose into something else after our kids have outgrown it. This, this, and this are some changing tables that could easily be re-purposed to something else later on.
- Changing pad – Carefully check the measurements of your changing pad against the measurements of your changing table. We got a changing pad that was bigger than our changing table so we ended up returning it and got a smaller one. Good thing the return policy here in the U.S. is really good. You can get one here, here, and here.
- Changing pad covers – We got 6 so we have tons of extra. During the first few months is when they tend to pee on you especially if you have a son. At some point during the first 3 months after my son arrived, we had to go through 6 changing pad covers within a span of 1 week. You can get some here, here, here, and here.
- Bath tub with a sling – You will need the sling for the first few months when your baby isn’t able to sit properly yet. This, this, and this are some cute options.
- Bath soap – We tried several different brands but my daughter’s skin loved the Noodle & Boo 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash. My son’s skin is so much more sensitive than my daughter’s so he could only use the Cetaphil Baby Wash & Shampoo.
- Wash cloth – This, this, and this are some nice options.
- Towel – Hooded towels are the best! We’ve tried cheaper ones but they aren’t absorbent at all; so we learned from that and invested in quality hooded towels. You can see some cute options here, here, and here.
- Body lotion – We tried several different brands but loved the lotion from Noodle & Boo for my daughter (but as she grew, her skin changed and this lotion stopped working for her); and we couldn’t use anything on my son’s very sensitive skin other than Vaseline.
- Car seat – A Mommy friend of mine has told me that the hospitals won’t release your baby if your baby won’t properly fit in the car seat. I googled around and it seems to be true so we ended up getting the infant car seat instead of the convertible ones (more practical because you get to use it for a longer period of time) because we just didn’t want to risk it. If you’re buying a second-hand car seat, make sure that it hasn’t been involved in an accident. This is the car seat that we’ve tried and loved.
- Blankets – We got 3 for summer and 3 for winter. I used them when the baby’s in the stroller or in the car seat. I’ve also used these in the car when the car window sun shade we bought isn’t enough. Fleece blankets here and here; summer blankets here and here.
- Carrier – We were supposed to get the BabyBjorn ones but a Mommy friend of mine told me not to because it could cause Hip Dysplasia in babies. I googled around and found a bunch of articles and blogs where people are convinced that it’s true. I don’t know if there’s enough evidence to support their claim or not but I just don’t want to risk it so I looked for other options. We decided to go with the Ergobaby carrier. Our babies loved it!!! When I had my daughter, it was the only thing that would let me get things done around the house because she always wanted to be held. Now that we have 2 kids, we still use it especially if we’re going out for a walk or during our recent trip to the National Zoo. My daughter, who’s currently 2, still loves being in it. They’ve recently released a newer version of the carrier, Ergobaby 360, that allows you to carry your baby in an ergonomic front-facing position.
- Stroller – You might want to check out strollers that are compatible with your infant car seat to make it easier for you to transport your baby in and out of the car. This may come in handy especially if your baby is sleeping in the car seat. This and this are some practical options.
- Formula container – Only if you’re formula feeding. This and this are some cute options.
- Baby bag – I chose a diaper bag that doesn’t look like a diaper bag so I can still use it after my baby has outgrown it. This, this, and this are some stylish options.
- Pouches – (optional) Around 2-3 pouches to help you keep things organized in your baby bag. I have one for diapers and another one for extra clothes. This and this are some practical options.
- Sun hat – You’ll need it in summer. This and this are some cute options.
- Cardigan – If you’re going out in winter, a couple of these should be enough.
- Light/Puffer jacket/Bunting – If you’re going out in fall or winter, you’ll need one of these.
- Car window sun shade – This is what we got and we’re still currently using them.
- Humidifier – This helps if they have colds especially in the winter.
- First aid bag
- Nasal aspirator– We have the nasal aspirator from the hospital and got another one from Target but we found that the Nosefrida works best for suctioning mucus.
- Saline drops – The babies hate it but it really helps them, if used with a nasal aspirator, when they are congested.
- Tylenol – I am hoping you won’t need to use this but it’s very convenient to keep this handy just in case you would. This is really helpful when they have fever. Note: Please check with your doctor for the correct dosage.
- Nail clipper or nail file
- Play gym
- Baby toys
- Swing (optional)
- Bouncer (optional)
- Nursery decoration (optional)
- Laundry detergent – Since baby’s skin are so sensitive, we decided to get our kids their own laundry detergent, a milder one than what we use.
For the Mommy
- Breast pump – You’ll need this if you plan to breast feed and go back to work. You could also use this to try and increase your supply.
- Nipple cream – You’ll need this especially during the first few days.
- Extra breast pump parts – It’s just so convenient to have extra pump parts.
- Nursing cover
- Nursing bra – During pregnancy, your ribs and cup size expand a few times. Don’t go and start getting yourself new bras the moment they feel too tight. Check first if it’s the cup size or the band that’s causing the discomfort. If your current cup size is still correct but the band is too tight, I suggest getting those bra extenders and use it until you’re a cup size bigger. In the event that you need to get new bras, I suggest getting nursing bras instead so you can use them even after you’ve given birth (if you plan to breast feed).
- Pregnancy clothes – I opted not to buy any maternity clothes for both pregnancies because I didn’t want to spend money on something I won’t be able to use after I’ve given birth. (And they’re expensive too!) I invested in dresses that doesn’t have a fixed waistline (midi and maxi), empire cut or loose tops, leggings, and pants that have elastic waist. At home, I just used my husband’s shirts. See if that’s something that could work for you as well. Check this out if you’re interested to know more about it.
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Did you find the new baby must have checklist useful? For the experienced moms out there, what are some of your must haves? What other things did you end up needing that’s not in this list? I’d love to hear from all of you.