What are the most essential things a newborn baby needs? Now, there are a ton of things to plan and shop for before a baby is born. Most parents prefer not to buy before the baby is born, but some things will be needed as soon as the baby arrives. From baby clothes to diapers to formula to a thermometer, the list is a long one. Your basic list should include – clothes, bathing necessities, feeding, sleeping, and transport.
It is usually a surprise to the new parents the number of things a newborn baby needs. It is helpful if you have a checklist of the items that will be necessary as soon as the baby is born. Stocking up on the basics is always a great way to welcome the baby home and be prepared for the initial days.
Here we list down the 19 Most Essential Things A Newborn Baby Needs:
1. Baby Clothes
The essential thing that a baby will need as soon as it is born. The clothes that you choose should be both comfortable and cozy. In addition to this, they also need to be practical and easily manageable. You also need to buy clothes based on your weather conditions. But even if you stay in a warm place having some warm garments is always advisable.
Once you have purchased the clothes, it is best to wash them with warm water and mild detergent to ensure that your baby does not develop any allergies. Never put-on new, unwashed clothes on your baby, as newborn babies have highly sensitive skin and will develop rashes and allergies in no time.
The clothes should not be constricting for the baby. The slightly loose ones will make the baby feel comfortable and will be easy while putting on or taking off. Some new-borns never fit into the new-born sizes because of their height and weight.
And never buy one of everything. Having a set of 4-6 will be handier, as babies need to change frequently. But don’t go overboard with your purchases, you will have to buy new ones every few weeks, babies outgrow clothes very quickly. The baby clothes should include the following items:
- Front open Sweaters
- Front open Jackets
- Socks and Mittens
- Hats and caps- winter and summer wear
- One-piece Pyjamas
2. Nursery items
Planning a nursery is another most important thing that you will have to do as a new parent. To create a beautiful and comfortable nursery, you need to put in a lot of thought and work. A nursery is used for a long time by the baby and should hence you can plan with care and forethought. If you desire more than one child, then invest in furnishing that lasts longer. The nursery needs to have the following things: –
- Neck support pillow- These pillows are mainly for the newborn babies to provide adequate support to their head and neck. Babies cannot hold their neck straight for the first few months, and you need to handle it carefully. In the initial few months, babies spend most of the time sleeping; it is essential to buy a good quality neck support pillow.
- Night Light- Choose a nightlight which will keep the room illuminated but not disturb the baby’s sleep.
3. Nursery Furniture
- Crib with a mattress– Gender-neutral colors are ideal for cribs if you plan on having multiple children. Also, while choosing a mattress, it is better to buy a water-proof one or top it with a pad which is water-proof. Babies tend to wet themselves very often, and this will prevent the mattress from getting damaged. Having an extra mattress or mattress cover is helpful in the long run.
- Bassinet– Some parents prefer to have the baby close to them in the initial few weeks of the baby’s birth, and the bassinet is handy to have as it is easier to move compared to the crib. It also comes in handy while traveling.
- Dresser– For keeping the baby’s necessities handy. Having a dresser will help you keep the baby’s things organized so that you don’t have to hunt for them when needed.
- Rocking Chair– This comes in very handy with a small baby. If you hold the baby against your body and sit in a rocking chair, they will calm down in no time.
- Feeding Chairs- Feeding chairs are great for baby safety and imbibing eating disciples for the newborns.
4. Baby Monitor
Having a baby monitor will always allow you to keep an ear on the baby. You cannot be physically present with the baby all the time, and the baby monitor keeps you tension-free while you get some work done while the baby is asleep, but you can monitor the little one.
- Audio– You can choose between the less expensive audio monitor which needs to be placed at a distance of around 10 feet to pick up the sounds of the baby.
- Video – Video Monitors are the more expensive monitor, but you can get a visual of the baby. ( But there is a way about by using security camera as a baby monitor.)
Other than those that you need to use in the nursery, you will need to have a separate set of blankets for using outside the nursery. You can use them while the baby is sleeping in the rocker or bassinet. There should be two kinds of blankets- one a light cotton for regular use and a woolen one for colder weather.
Swaths, on the other hand, are essential, especially during the initial period after the baby is born. They help in rolling the baby up to keep the baby cozy while sleeping. It gives the baby a cozy and cocooned feeling and ensures that the baby has undisturbed rest.
Babies go through 15 or more diapers in a day. Whether you use disposable, cloth or reusable liners, you need to plan accordingly. Cloth diapers need to be washed with a mild detergent.If you want to use disposable diapers, it is better to try out with a smaller pack. Because some babies develop diaper rashes, which makes them very restless. Sometimes you will have to try out with different brands to check which brand suits your baby.
- Wipes– Another necessity. You can use wet/dry wipes, or you can also use a washcloth dipped in warm water. Unscented wipes are better than the scented ones as they are less prone to irritate the baby’s delicate skin.
- Changing Table– Is not a necessity but handy to have. It is perfectly fine to change the baby o the bed as well.
8. Powders and Creams
- Baby powder – It is important to power the baby before putting on a fresh diaper. It will remove moisture, rash and prevent friction.
- Cream and Ointments– It is essential to have an ointment or cream in case the baby develops a diaper rash. If this problem cannot be taken care of soon, it tends to increase and sometimes your baby can even develop a fever because of this.
9. Diaper Bag
A diaper is handy for holding all the baby essentials when you need to go out with the baby. It comes with pockets to keep the bottles and formula, tissues, wipes, extra clothing, diapers, blankets, medicines, etc. It helps to have two diaper bags – One a small handy one for a quick trip outside and a bigger one with more pockets to hold all the baby necessities while taking a more extended trip.
10. Bath Essentials
Bathing is a special time that you spend with your baby. It is also fun time and the time that you bond with your new-born. Babies are very slippery till you get the hang of getting a good grip while you bathe. Though you might not need too many things, just a few bare essentials.
A bathtub so you can comfortably bathe the baby. It is not compulsory to have one though.
- Mild soap and shampoo– Not all soaps and shampoos suit all babies. Sometimes the most popular brand of soaps might give your baby a skin rash.
- Lotions and powders to apply after bath– It is the same with lotions. Babies tend to develop allergies with certain lotions. It is advisable to apply at a small place and check after a few hours if the baby has developed a rash or not. Discontinue use if the area appears reddish or the baby has a rash.
- A hooded towel to wrap the baby in after a bath.It will not only blot out the excess moisture but will also keep the baby warm till the time that you change into a fresh set of clothes.
- Washcloths– Use a soft washcloth to clean the baby gently, even if the cloth is a little rough it will cause discomfort to the baby.
- Mild Detergent- Keep a separate mild detergent for washing the baby’s clothes. Harsher cleansers, if they leave a residue on the cloth can irritate the baby.
11. Breast Feeding
If you are breastfeeding, then there are a different set of things that you need, and if you don’t breastfeed, you will need a different set of things.
- Nipple Cream– Breastfeeding over a period can be very painful. Investing in a good quality nipple cream will help you relieve the pain sooner.
- Nursing pads– to help catch the drips. You can choose from disposable ones or washable.
- Breast Pump– If you are working mom then investing in a breast pump is necessary.
12. Bottle Feeding
- Formula– If you are bottle feeding your baby’s pediatrician will recommend a formula and quantity to be given.
- Bottles- If you are bottle feeding the baby, you have a choice of glass or plastic. Glass bottles are easier to clean and do not have any chemicals as compared to plastic bottles.
- Steriliser- If the baby is being bottle-fed then sterilizing the bottles is very important. Babies tend to pick all kinds of infections and stomach problems if the bottles are not cleaned and sterilized properly.
- Bottle cleaning brushes- sterilizing the bottles and cleaning them thoroughly is very important.
- Burp Cloths- Babies need to be burped and usually will spit out a little what has been fed to them. Having a burp cloth on your shoulder is recommended for protecting your clothing.
The initial few months after the baby’s birth, is the time when they need a lot of care. You need to refer to the pediatrician if you suspect that something is wrong, but otherwise,some essentials will come in handy-
- Thermometer- A digital rectal thermometer is ideal for checking the temperature of a newborn.
- Nasal Aspirator– Babies tend to catch colds very frequently and have trouble breathing; this makes them very cranky and restless. A nasal aspirator will help in clearing nasal blockages.
- Medicine dropper– Giving the correct medicine dosage is very important for the baby, and it is easier to do so with the dropper.
- Humidifiers– It is not compulsory, but cool mist humidifiers help in keeping a balance of moisture in the room and soothe the baby.
- Baby first-aid kit– Should contain all the medicines that you will need at any point in time. Ensure that you replace medications as soon as you run out of them.
- Teethers– These will come in handy once the baby is a few months old. Some babies tend to start teething as early as six months old. Teethers help to ease the discomfort during this period.
14. Personal Care
- Nail Clippers– Baby clippers are different than regular clippers used by adults. They a blunt so they don’t hurt the baby when you cut its nails.
- Baby brush or comb– Choose a soft brush or comb for combing the baby’s hair. If you use regular combs, it will leave scratches on the baby’s scalp.
- Pacifiers– Babies tend to get a little fussy when pacifiers are concerned, keep a selection of them and see which one the baby likes.
15. Baby travel gear
Safety during travel is of utmost importance, especially with a baby. There are a lot of choices for travel gear available in the market, and depending on your needs, you must choose.
- Stroller– You will need a stroller for taking the baby out for a walk. A stroller is not something that a baby outgrows very soon. You can easily use the same one until the baby is 3-4 years of age. One with a canopy will help protect the baby from the sun.
- Car Seat– Convertible seat covers can be changed to adapt as your baby grows. You can use various setups with the same car seat. It is also a one time buy and you can use it for a long time.
- Baby Carrier– Having a baby carrier will help you keep your baby close to you while you work. It keeps the baby snug and warms while you are working. It also leaves your arms free to get your work done while you chat with your baby.
- Portable Crib– Is a handy thing to have though it is not mandatory. Having a portable crib will give you the freedom to take the baby out in the garden while you get your gardening work done. It is also handy to have if you are visiting other people’s homes.
Every new-born needs a soft toy to cuddle. It is usual that they develop a bond with up to the age of five. Some have a favorite toy some have a blanket, and some even have a favorite pillow. So, when you are shopping for toys don’t forget to add something special to your baby, which he or she can cherish for many years to come. Choose with care and check choking hazards.
- Rattle– Is a must-have for all babies. They like the sound that it makes and try turning their heads to catch a glimpse of it.
- Books– Your baby will not be reading for a long time to come. But making a practice of reading to the baby will help you bond with the baby and is your voice acts in soothing the baby if the baby is cranky or unwell.
- Mobile- A mobile hanging on the crib keeps the baby occupied. These are available in attractive colors which the babies find very stimulating.
- Toys with sound– Even though your baby is too small to enjoy toys which are battery operated but simple squeaks will be attractive for the baby.
- Toy basket to keep the toys in one place. It is also an easy way to teach discipline to babies as they grow old. If you train the kids to keep all their things they will learn to organize at a very early age.
You need to child-proof your home as soon as the baby starts to crawl. Some babies tend to start crawling as soon as they are 6-7 months old. It is when you need to take extra precautions to ensure that your little one does not get hurt during these short trips. Here are few safety types of equipment to prevent the baby from some common hazards.
- Gates- if you have stairs then you have to invest in getting one of these safety gates. These need to be put at both the top and bottom of the stairs. These gates are useful for blocking dangerous zones such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement, etc. Babies are great explorers, so ensure that you invest in good quality gates which they cannot manage to open. These will come in handy as the baby grows old.
- Covers for outlets– for most babies’ outlets are a significant attraction. Keep the outlets covered so the baby cannot reach it.
- Latches for cupboards and drawers– Once the baby knows that there is stuff that goes into the cupboards and drawers, they will tend to find it to be the fascinating place. They are determined enough to open latches if they are not well fastened. Invest in good quality locks for your drawers and cupboards. Tug and check that they don’t become prey to the busy little hands at work.
17. Bathroom Safety
Bathrooms are accident prone zones for crawling babies. Keep the bathroom door closed always to prevent the baby from crawling inside. Another precaution to be taken is getting a toilet seat lock fixed. The lock can open only when you press the button, or the latch is manually released.
Always keep the bathtub emptied. Ensure that all the faucets are tight, and the baby cannot open it even if he or she has crawled inside. It is better to use a safety gate for the bathroom door as well if it is not possible to keep it closed.
18. Baby Record Book
It may not be related to taking care of the baby, but most parents want to keep a record of all the memories of the baby from the time the baby is born. The baby record book will have all the details, and essential milestones recorded date wise.
This way you are keeping the baby’s memories intact even when the baby is grown-up. It will always make you smile when you look through them after the baby is grown up.
Other than the above list of things you will also need a high chair once you start giving solid food to the baby.
19. Shopping Guide
You have to do your shopping smartly to be able to buy everything and not go bankrupt in the process. There are a ton of things that you can borrow or substitute with. You will have friends and relatives whose children have outgrown their cribs or beds. They may offer you at a cheaper price or may just gift it to you if you are lucky. The same goes for nursery furniture as well. These are the most expensive things that you will need to spend on.
Now comes other accessories as a stroller and car seats. You will get decent ones in a second sale or from friends or relatives.
Things like table corner protectors, safety gates, cabinet and drawer latches, etc. are not immediate needs but will be needed after four months or so. Plan your purchases, so you are buying things in batches rather than in one go. This way it is easier to handle your finances but still, provide the best for the baby.