Baby Essentials

here are countless lists online of baby essentials, review them and figure out what will work for you and your family. Lean towards the lists that aren't on a retailers site. While they are helpful, they are also in the business of selling you everything on that list, so they will have a broader idea of what's essential. Look at them as more of a wish list and what to put on your registry as opposed to what you need.  This is kind of my bring baby home essentials list, with a few common items marked as optional.  I have my non-essential essentials list tomorrow, a few things that are considered non-essential by most that I would buy again if they broke.

Crib?  Who needs a crib? 

* indicates optional items

  • Place for baby to sleep (crib, pack 'n play, bassinet, cosleeper, cradle, etc)
  • Mattress* (cribs generally do not come with a mattress, some choices may)
  • Changing table*
  • Dresser or armoire*
  • Glider/recliner*
  • 4-6 onesies, short sleeves and no legs snaps at the bottom
  • 4-6 sleeping items, whether footie pj's or gowns or blanket sleepers (season appropriate)
  • 4-6 one-piece rompers or bottoms and tops (season appropriate)
  • 4-6 bibs or burp cloths (I used burp clothes exclusively until she could pull them away)
  • 2-3 bonnets or hats (the weight depends on the season)
  • 3-4 pairs of socks or booties
  • 3-4 pairs of hand mitts
  • 1-2 long sleeve cardigan or sweater or jacket (season appropriate)
  • 1 snowsuit or heavy bunting* (winter baby or cooler climate)
Note: Choose simpler clothing with snaps or zippers over buttons whenever possible.  Tiny buttons on tiny garments are frustrating to deal with and velcro will have a tendency to catch their socks in the laundry.  Ruffles and pleats and all the little details are cute, but are very difficult to iron on such a tiny garment.

  • 2-3 crib sheets
  • 2 mattress pads
  • 3-4 receiving blankets for swaddling
  • 1-2 heavy stroller blankets* (winter baby or cooler climate)
  • 1-2 midweight blankets* (winter baby or cooler climate)
  • other crib linens* (bumper, pillows, comforter, dust ruffle, canopy)

  • 1 dozen diapers per day (if cloth, your choice of prefold or not)
  • 8-10 diaper covers (if using cloth)
  • diaper pins (if using cloth)
  • Wipes or washcloths
  • Changing pad*
  • 2 changing pad covers*
  • 4-6 lap pads* (highly recommended, I always have 1 on the changing pad and 1 in the diaper bag)
Note: The actual number of diapers you will need will depend on how often you intend to do laundry, or go shopping.  If using cloth and intend to launder daily, you need 2 dozen.  If laundering weekly or are using a diaper service, you will need 6-7 dozen.  If using disposables, have 1 pack of size 1 purchased.  If you need a smaller size, they are sized based on weight, pick up a pack before bringing baby home. 

Bathing Items
  • Bathtub*
  • Baby wash or shampoo
  • Baby lotion or baby oil (I recommend Aveeno Baby Lotion)
  • 2 hooded bath towels
  • 3-4 washcloths
Note: A very common baby lotion has alcohol as one of its first ingredients and she had problems with dry, flaky skin.  We switched lotions and the problem went away, so we gave away the other.  We had been given 3 bottles of it, plus had bought one before she was born.  Hopefully, a baby with less sensititve skin is enjoying it now. 
Health Care and Nursery Items

  • Nail clippers
  • Nasal aspirator (I highly recommend a Nosefrida)
  • Thermometer
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Nightlight*
  • Baby monitor*
  • Clothes hamper*
  • Diaper pail or disposal system* (I recommend something you can operate one-handed)
  • Sound machine*
Note: I marked hamper as optional, but you will want a way to separate your clothes from their clothes for washing them.  You should not use fabric softener on the clothes and should opt for a dye free, fragrance free laundry soap, if you can.


Feeding Supplies

  • Lanolin (if breastfeeding)
  • Breast pump (if breastfeeding)
  • 4 larger (8-9 oz, varies by brand) bottles (if bottlefeeding)
  • Formula (if bottlefeeding or supplementing)
  • 4 - 6 four oz bottles with nipples
  • Bottle brush

Note: There are different nipples to control flow. If breastfeeding start with the slowest flow, this may require you to buy a slower flow than what comes with the bottle.  If bottle feeding, most bottles come with nipples at a level 2 which should be fine in the beginning.


  • Toys*
  • Books*
  • Stuffed animals*
  • Music Player* (MP3, CD, cassette, record)
  • Picture frames*
  • Wall decoration*
Note: All optional really, but this is what brings the personality to your baby's space.  I'm sure some of you are thinking I'm heartless for saying toys and stuffed animals such are optional, but really a baby doesn't care about toys and stuff for a little while.

Car seat
Stroller or pram*
Exercise gym/play mat* (for tummy time)
Swing and/or bouncy seat*

Note: Many hospitals in the United States will not let you take the baby out of the hospital without securing them in a car seat first even if you will be walking them home a couple of blocks away in a pram.  Like accessories there are a lot of items for this category, however these are the only few you may need/want to have to bring baby home. High chairs, baby seats, exersaucers, etc. aren't actually needed til much later.  I'll do an extras to put on your registry post later this week as well.  For all those things you may want later.


  1. Funny enough, we didn't know the crib came without a mattress. No one told us at the store either. Second trip, grrrr.

    The velcro also pulls on other clothes. About drove me NUTS. Finally I learned to put all things with velcro (many bibs come this way - and it's quite handy) in a lingerie bag. After awhile, I had two, one for velcro and one for socks! That made my life so much easier, and I didn't start with the itty bitty teeny tiny ones you did. :)

    Great list!

  2. Oh, forgot to say ... close the velcro too (that was a duh moment for me!). Doesn't always stay closed, but it helps!

  3. Even closing the velcro somehow the teensy socks are just small enough to get hung up on the edges of it. Oh and the flower buttons on girls outfits are a nightmare to button sometimes with just barely big enough button holes.


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