17 Essentials You Need On Your New Baby Checklist

By John Cruz

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Having the right essentials before the baby comes is critical to parenting success, and that is why I have created this new baby checklist.

I’ve gone through the process many times, and every time, these same items popped up.

We all need help as parents, and you will continue to require that help even when these babies, of course, become teenagers.

But before the madness, let’s see what we need now, as we can focus on the other stresses of being a parent when that time comes.

I want to do things a little differently with this new baby list, so I’m going to go with the process of being at the hospital to at least the first month of the baby’s arrival.

I also want to include what mom and dad need, as they are and will be the ones providing for this new life.

Starting Your New Baby Checklist

Your new baby will need certain things, and it’s not going to be easy to remember them.

That’s why we create reminders, to-do lists, and for baby’s essentials, a checklist.

We all know there’s an app for that, but sometimes feeling some paper is better.

Whatever you prefer, you’re on this post for a reason, and that’s to see what you can add to your new baby checklist.

So, where do we start?

Those of you who have kids already know what to get and have gone through this experience.

It will take the same process for someone like yourself, and then you can share the same knowledge.

So if you are looking to get some essentials for your baby, I have compiled a new baby checklist to help you save those brain cells for another issue that comes with being a parent.

1. Car Seat


I mention this first because I didn’t think of it, and it is probably the most important thing on this new baby checklist.

For one, you need it to protect the baby.

Two, it’s Ummm, the law.

And three, you won’t’ be able to leave the hospital without one.

So, if you think that a car seat is not that important, I think these three reasons will have you thinking otherwise.

There is a kazillion of these to choose from, so pick one that fits your budget.

Other things to keep in mind when choosing a car seat are comfort, safety, picking the right size, and because they will be growing extremely fast.

As a new parent, a car seat might seem like it fits any baby until you try to put your new baby in one.

Sometimes it will be too big for the baby that the straps will get right up in their face.

Do get oriented with your car seat.

Figure out how to adjust the straps and how it connects to the base.

2. The Correct Sized Diapers


Diapers are a no-brainer and one that I hope you knew you should add to this new baby checklist.

You might want to know the different sizes that are available and how to choose the correct size.

The sizes are pretty straightforward as they are numbered, with the expectation for the specific diaper you need, which would be the size “newborn.”

Even at that, some babies might not fit quite snug for some babies.

However, these diapers aren’t going to last that long because babies grow so fast at that age.

Dealing with brands of diapers is a different story, but our top recommendations will give you an idea of what is out there.

Just in case you haven’t seen a commercial on diapers yet.

Diapers are essential to your new baby checklist, so add them, even if you think you won’t forget.

3. Newborn Baby Clothes

Newborn baby clothes are very much essential to your new baby checklist.

Although you can wrap your new baby in a swaddle, you still want to have something to wear when you leave the hospital.

You’re going to need it at home as well, but I wouldn’t go all out with clothes just yet, as they will outgrow them in just a few short months.

I also wanted to mention “onesies” as they are the perfect piece of clothing for infants.

The bottom uses buttons and gives you access to their bum when it’s time to change a diaper.

Onesies are inexpensive, and the plain old white ones will work just fine.

4. Baby Swaddle (Blankets)


Since I just mentioned swaddling a baby, I guess I can add it next.

You can learn how to swaddle a baby, but this does not require the purchase of a “swaddle.”

All you need are baby blankets that can serve as a swaddle.

When not in use, you can use the blanket for other things.

Of course, you can use it to cover the baby, but I’ve used it to cover a table, a burping rag (not planned), and old blankets for a rag.

I’m sure you see the importance of blankets, so please don’t forget to add this to your new baby checklist.

5. Newborn Baby Socks


Regardless of the temperature around you, you will need to add many of these to your new baby checklist.

As adults, our feet get cold even with room temperature.

Can you imagine what this baby that just came out of some warm liquid is feeling?

Pretty much the same concept of transferring a fish from one environment to another.

If you’ve owned fish, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So yes, cover up those tiny feet and make sure to keep them warm at all times.

6. Baby Bottles


I know mom might be breastfeeding, but bottles are still a must for this new baby checklist.

You don’t just need bottles either; you need the right one for YOUR baby.

For us, they had these one-time-use bottles at the hospital, and our babies liked them.

I tried to find something similar, but that didn’t happen.

Finding the right bottle might take a little trial and error, but it will help when it comes time to get that much-needed parent sleep.

See what your baby likes and, please don’t forget to sterilize those nipples.

7. Bottle Warmer


I used to think this was a luxury until I found myself heating bottles in the microwave.

You don’t want to make that same mistake, so consider getting a baby warmer.

It’s nothing more than heating a bottle with warm water, but without having to worry about making it too hot.

It’s very, very convenient and they are also inexpensive.

Things have changed, and I do not recommend heating a bottle in the microwave like I used to do, as there is a right way to heat a bottle.

8. Baby Wipes


You are going to need some good old baby wipes.

I know the coronavirus and this whole pandemic have given us a better appreciation for baby wipes, but they will always be used for one thing.

To wipe a baby’s bottom.

Baby wipes were used for decades, and not much has changed with them either.

Some cost more, some are a little moist than others, but they will always come down to preference.

You can test once again but pick one that works best for your family.

9. Baby Wipe Warmer


I guess warmers are the in-thing and getting they come with wipes too.

I like this little invention, though, as it saves babies from having to go through the pain of something cold touching their little area down there.

As adults, we all freak out when someone puts something cold on us, and I’m sure your baby will do the same.

Give your baby the comfort they need and get yourself a warmer for your baby wipes.

10. Pacifier

Whether you call it a pacifier, binky, soother, dummy, or dodo, you are going to need to add this little thing to your new baby checklist.

All my kids are different, and some of them didn’t actually like pacifiers.

My first child, though, absolutely loved it.

He sucked on that thing when he needed comfort and sucked on it even when he was already walking.

That’s not something to brag about, but it does help some babies that need that extra layer of comfort.

Just like bottles, you need to pick the one that best suits your baby.

There are many to choose from, so test out a few, and you’ll eventually find the right one for your baby.

11. Crib or Bassinet


Your baby will need a place to sleep that also protects them from a flying elbow and other critters in your house.

That’s why the invention of the crib is so wonderful.

So, yes, a crib is very much needed on your new baby checklist.

Now, if you’re like me and you sleep with one eye open, you might want to consider a bassinet that sits right on top of your bed.

Having my baby next to me is what I like best, so using a crib wasn’t something we utilized.

Pick what works best for you, and you should be good to go.

12. Baby Monitor


There’s no way you can be right beside your baby every second of the day, but that little thing needs some exceptional attention.

So what do you do?

You get a dang baby monitor.

This gadget is essential and one you must add to your new baby checklist.

There are all kinds of baby monitors these days, though, so be ready to have a hard time deciding.

Back in the day, there were only these walkie-talkie-style monitors, but they only worked one way.

They did the job.

However, if you want to take things to another level, get one that has a camera.

Better yet, get one that has a camera and rotates!

The old stuff will work just fine.

Just don’t forget to add a baby monitor to your cart.

13. Baby Formula

Depending on what you want for your baby, some formula is good to have.

Professionals usually recommend Breastfeeding for at least six months, but sometimes formula is the only way.

These days, both parents work and pumping milk slowly stops, and baby formula is your next best bet.

You can always pump milk during lunch like some moms, but even just having a can available is always a good idea.

Like every other food, though, there is a shelf life, so make sure you don’t hold on to that can for too long.

14. Diaper Pail

A trash can is a great place to throw dirty diapers but be ready to take out the garbage every day.

But if you want to make life easier, you might want to consider adding a diaper pail to your new baby checklist.

You’ll be dealing with dirty diapers for a few years, which is why I had to add them to this list.

There are several diaper pails to choose from, but we got the diaper genie, which works well.

We like things from the genie family because we even got the “Litter Genie” for our cats.

These little pails make life so much easier and are worth the investment.

If a diaper pail isn’t in the budget, regular old store bags will work just fine.

15. Thermometer

There are two things I can’t stand infants getting.

Fevers, and if your baby has it, asthma.

Coughs, colds, and other primary illnesses are something I can handle, but I tend to get uneasy when it comes to fevers.

You’ll see what I mean when the baby arrives.

So if you don’t have one already, you might want to add a thermometer to your new baby checklist.

You’ll need it now, and you’ll need it for as long as you have kids in your house.

These days, there are many thermometers to choose from, so go with whatever floats your boat.

That old one you put under your tongue will work just fine, but I’m sure you know your baby won’t like it.

Thanks to the pandemic, we have learned that we can take our temperatures through our wrists and our dang foreheads.

For baby, though, I recommend you at least get the one you can stick in their armpit.

I find that to give better results and is not as irritating as putting it under their tongue.

16. Diaper Bag


We have mentioned a lot of essentials to add to your new baby checklist, but it wouldn’t be cool to have them in some plastic bag.

Get yourself a decent diaper bag that works for you and your budget.

Of course, we have the best diaper bags for dads, but we will be creating a list for everyone, probably by next week.

I’ll add that to this post later, but for now, you can check that out.

Do know that there are many diaper bags to choose from in this department.

Go with something functional, looks good to you and what works best for your budget.

17. Diaper Rash Cream


You never know when you will need diaper rash cream, but trust me, you want to add this to your new baby checklist.

Just like fevers, diaper rash is something you don’t want.

Diapers are good at what they do (collect pee and poop), but they do irritate some babies.

If that happens, you are going to need some diaper rash cream.

You can also use a cloth diaper, which may or may not be better for the environment.

It’s still a diaper debate but use whatever works best for you.

Using a cloth diaper doesn’t mean you’re going to get rid of their rash either, so do a little experimenting and see what works best.

Things to Consider Before Creating Your New Baby Checklist

Building your new baby checklist is essential as a parent, but sometimes you need to tweak a thing or two due to several circumstances.

Sometimes you may need one thing, or you might not, regardless of what other parents say.

There are always exceptions and many other reasons why one baby will need something while another doesn’t.

These are some things you should consider before embarking on getting the essentials for your new baby checklist.

Work With Your Budget

Our wallets are all different, and what other parents have might not be something you essentially need.

Don’t try to show off too much just yet and think very practical.

You don’t need Jordans, and you don’t need a complete bedroom set of baby things.

You’re not going to use these things for a long time, so consider that when adding to your new baby checklist.

Babies Grow

Do not overshop.

It happened with every kid we’ve had (we have four btw), and even with the “hand me down” deal in mind, we still managed to get way too much new baby stuff.

It might be overthinking and overpreparing, but it is very unnecessary, especially if this is your first rodeo.

Keep in mind that newborns don’t usually leave the house unless it’s for an emergency.

Being all stylish is not something to worry about just yet, so stick with onesies for now, and you’ll be fine.

There are some excellent books for expecting dads for those of you soon-to-be fathers, which can also help.

Others Might Want to Help

Besides grandma and grandpa, others might want to help.

You might think that you can’t ever have too much of something until you find some newborn baby clothes that still have the tags on them.

Don’t rob others of their joy and allow them to gift you with something.

Besides, baby things are straightforward and don’t cost that much.

Unless, of course, you’re buying one of those fancy strollers or baby monitors.

Baby Registries are Awesome

Baby registries weren’t around when I had my first child, so consider yourself lucky.

Amazon and other stores allow you to create a list of things you want, and others can get on there and purchase whatever is on that list.

It will be checked off and will let you know that you don’t need that specific item.

Pretty sweet, right?

Well, they exist, and you can let others know what you need all in one place.

Create Your New Baby Checklist

Although there are a lot more things you think you need, at the very least, these are the essentials you need on your new baby checklist.

At least for now.

Come to the end of month one or the start of month two, and you will see that you probably need to get more things.

For now, this new baby checklist should get you started, and we will be creating another list of the things you might need a little later in your baby’s life.

I hope this list helps.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please do so in the comments section below.


About the author

With four humans of his own, John is our parenting expert. He loves being a dad, and when he's not trying to work on his golf game, you'll find him at his kid's soccer games or at the mall with his kids.

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