50 Things You REALLY Need For A New Baby–And 10 Things You Don’t

50 Things You REALLY Need For A New Baby–And 10 Things You Don’t

Happy Monday, readers! My very best friend/sister from another mister (what a weird phrase) is having her first  baby in July, and she asked me to make a list of things that she really needed for a baby. I was super honored that she would ask for my advice and took the task very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the list turned out to be super long–perfect for a blog post! Since I had it just sitting around, I figured I would share it with all of you. I will include my thoughts on it first, then just a list of it without all of my interjections, so scroll down if you want to see the list but don’t care what I have to say about everything (Totally understandable. Do you, boo.).

This post is part of a virtual baby shower that some other great moms have graciously let me join, so be sure to check out the links to their posts at the very bottom!

Without further ado, here is my comprehensive list of things you need for a new baby.



Crib. I would focus on buying one that is a 3-in-1 convertible so it changes to a toddler bed and then a full size bed if you buy rails for it. Ours is Delta brand, similar to this (we bought ours secondhand, so I’m not sure which specific model it is). Kids literally chew the hell out of them so I wouldn’t get too carried away price-wise, but that’s your call.

Crib mattress.

Sheets x at least 2. We have 4 and when AJ was very small we did use them all—there would be nights she would tinkle herself three times, but you could probably get away with two.

Crib skirt. Probably not really necessary but it was nice to hide stuff under there when she was little and the crib was up high.

Changing table. I love my changing table but you could live without one. If you buy a dresser instead, get a changing pad and probably again at least two covers for it.

Pack n Play is personal preference. We don’t have one, but both sets of grandparents do, which have been invaluable, but we don’t really go anywhere else to stay.

Rocking chair. Note that you don’t have to specifically have a glider. You could use a regular rocking chair. I ended up getting a glider from my mom and dad, but I was going to buy this Stork Craft Glider. I still want it.

Halo swaddle blanket. I have noted below that I wouldn’t buy blankets, but the exception is a swaddle blanket. We have a Halo one that we got from the hospital, it looks like a straight jacket but OMG THAT THING SAVED OUR LIVES. I would get one of those. Or 10.

Monitor. We had this one, and it worked fine. Fun fact: if our experience is anything to judge by, it can stand up to being chewed up by a dog not once, not twice, but three times. It looks a little worse for wear, but it still works!



Baby bath tub with sling. We had this one, it was cheap and did the job.

Hooded towels. I would get a three-pack of them, if I did it over, but AJ just had one until this Christmas and it worked okay.

Baby washcloths. Grown up ones would work, baby ones are just softer.

Hairbrush and comb. I’m not really sure if this should go on the get or don’t get list. AJ was bald AF so we didn’t use it until recently. Maybe go ahead and get one; if they get cradle cap a soft hairbrush is the best way to rub off some of the flakey bits. [Interjection: AJ was born with hair, and it fell out only on the top. She kept the sides and back. It was so, so, so, so, SO incredibly bad.] For the internet’s viewing pleasure, an image of AJ with her 40-year-old man hair:

2-pack of nail clippers. This is vital. You will lose one. I repeat: you must buy two. Do it here if you wish. Buy them somewhere else. Please, just do it.

Johnson & Johnson baby soap, lotion (I know this is a hot topic, but my understanding is that they have removed all carcinogens from their products, PLUS you can get cancer from walking across the street or getting out of bed in the morning. I support their products). At first you will just want to use the regular stuff, but the purple sleepy time stuff is BOMB when they get a tiny bit bigger.

Boudreaux’s butt paste. Desitin might be more popular, but it is STICKY, and it gets on everything and never comes off. Boudreaux’s wipes off easily but treats diaper rash SO well. I will never buy another tube of Desitin. I am so obsessed that I exclusively buy giant tub of it because it’s like a dollar cheaper than little tubes. #momlife.

Baby bum brush. I was so ashamed when I bought this because I had frequently said it was stupid, but I did buy it, and I love it. I would buy more if I needed to. So, usually you put diaper cream on after a BM, right? Well, I’m really not interested in putting my finger where, until 10 seconds ago, there was just poo. The bum brush takes care of this, and it spreads it really evenly. Buy one. I wrote another specific post justifying my love for it; you can check it out here.

Thermometer. We have a temporal one and like it a lot. For accuracy in little ones, rectal ones are technically the best.

Humidifier. This is really all you can do if they get a cold when they’re little.


Diaper stuff

Maybe buy diapers on sale. Perhaps try not to be brand-specific, because it seems like every baby has a brand they can’t use, or they have tons of blowouts in one brand or another. The idea of stocking up pre-baby is a good one, but without the end user available to test on, you’re not going to know what works for you.

Buy wipes, but maybe opt for at least one box of sensitive skin ones. Here’s what we get, again in enormous bulk.

If you’re thinking about cloth diapers, I would check out Alva. I got AJ’s there and they were really cheap. All in one are easiest; they’re literally just like a disposable diaper use-wise, but you don’t throw them away when you’re done.



I hate this category. If I was going to do it over, I would buy 2 or 3 outfits in NB size and everything else in 0-3 months. They will definitely use 0-3, but I got caught with my pants down with no NB size clothes and a 6 pound baby.

Probably at least 7 onesies. These will not last you 7 days, but it’s a place to start. It might actually be good to buy a very few long sleeve simply because you can’t put sunscreen on them until they are 6 months old. AJ went home in long sleeves and 90 degree weather.

At least 7 pairs of pants. See above. Even in July, a baby probably won’t need shorts.

PJ’s. AJ used Gerber Sleep ‘N Play. At least 3 or 4 sets of these.

One set of scratch mittens. We didn’t use them much, but I wouldn’t want to go without them either.

Socks. BUY ALL OF THE SOCKS. If you look at the pile and think you have enough, just know that you’re wrong. Buy more.

Dressy clothes. You might think about buying MAYBE one dressy outfit. It’s not that important.

Newborn hats. Is that what they’re called? Like these. 3 will be more than enough.

Laundry detergent. A note on this: buy Dreft if you want, but we used scent-free, dye-free Era, which is 1000x cheaper. Anything without a bunch of perfume and dyes is okay.



Baby swing. AJ lived in hers for 5 months.

Infant car seat. Graco is a really good and pretty cheap brand. We bought one car seat, which we got a base with, and bought another base for Hubby’s truck. I would highly recommend this. Changing car seats out is the bane of my existence.

If you want to, you could go ahead and buy a convertible car seat instead but know that it won’t have the carrier that you can take out. We got the Graco 4ever for both the car and the truck once AJ outgrew the infant seat (goodbye, all of our money), and should be able to use them until she’s done car seating. I highly recommend them.

Baby carrier. This one is iffy. We have one but I’ve only used it like three times. Some people love baby wearing but I can’t get into it. You could get a cheapie until you decide if you like it or not.

Bouncer. We didn’t have one, but I would get a bouncer if I did it again.

Diaper bag.

Stroller. You will want to leave your house, and walking is a great way to lose baby weight. I got a Graco stroller as well, so her car seat could click in–very nice when she was small.

Sun shade for the car. Poor Ms. AJ didn’t get one until about a month ago (this reminds me, it’s still not installed in the car), and I feel very guilty about exposing her to the brightness just out of the womb.

A mirror for the carseat. Babies, especially little ones, make weird sounds, and you will want to know what’s going on back there.



I’m not much help on nursing stuff. For my very short breastfeeding journey, I just didn’t wear a bra or wore a sports bra, but I don’t think that’s a long-term solution. Get nursing bras.

Breast pump. Your insurance should cover one, but you will have to call them. Mine was Medela. I got it through this website, and it was so convenient. They took care of everything.

Nipple butter.

Burp cloths x 10000000. Yeesh.

BOXES AND BOXES of nursing pads. OMG. I would buy at least 200 nursing pads, seriously.

A Boppy. We didn’t have one and lived to tell the tale, but I know a lot of people like them.

Formula. Even if you’re 100% sure you will exclusively breastfeed, I would get a small thing of formula just to have. Most companies will send you samples if you sign up online.

At least 12 bottles. We could have used 18 when she was very small. We used the cheapest ones we could find, and they were fine.

Drying rack specifically for bottles I think would be really helpful if you don’t have a dishwasher. If you do have a dishwasher, theseare invaluable for keeping the nipples and rings in place.

Bottle brush for washing bottles.

Pacifiers. Again, personal preference.




Things I would not (or did not) get:

I wouldn’t recommend buying a single damn blanket. This is serious. Especially with a summer baby, it won’t be that important, and EVERYONE will give you one.

Don’t bother with a crib bedding set. You can’t use a blanket in a crib, and you can’t use bumpers.

You probably don’t need to worry about things like outlet covers right off the bat.

Don’t bother with a bulb syringe. The only thing I have ever gotten out of AJ’s nose with one is snot that was already hanging out of her nostrils.

Side note: Here is the Nose Frida that a lot of moms swear by, if you’ve got the balls to try it out. I have not personally tried it because the idea of sucking boogers out with my mouth repulses me and I can’t get around it, but they really are very popular. If you have tried it, I would love to hear how it went!

We did not buy a Rock & Play or a bassinet just because we knew we didn’t want to deal with transitioning her out of it into her crib.

Wipe warmer.

Bottle warmer.

Bottle sterilizer. They don’t need to be sterilized, just washed.

Dreft laundry detergent. See above.

Diaper stacker. They are going to be a disaster no matter what. Everything with a baby is a disaster. Set your expectations low.

Now, as promised, the list without my opinions and ramblings:


 new baby checklist


I’m super interested to see what you all think on this; I know I have some things on here that not everyone wants, and I know other people have must-haves that I didn’t include. What do you all think? Did I forget anything? What am I completely wrong about?


Did you like this post? Be sure to check out this virtual baby shower from other great moms!

Tiffany from Short Sweet Mom- 15 Things Not to Do at A Baby Shower 

Julie from Jules and Co- Minimalist Essentials for the New Baby 

Susan from Glorious Mom Blog- Buy This Not That: Baby Gear Edition 


12 thoughts on “50 Things You REALLY Need For A New Baby–And 10 Things You Don’t

  1. Love your list! Agree with all of the dont needs but the Rock n Play! We use it and love it but are transitioning my baby out of it soon, so lets hope that goes well! Ha!

  2. What a great comprehensive list! Two important things on my list when I was expecting: Award-winning children’s books to start a learning library and everything I could possibly get my hands on to promote brain development for infants and toddlers. For me, these were just as important as diapers! 🙂

  3. Great list! As far as bassinet goes…to save get the Pack n play with the bassinet attachment. They have deluxe ones but the basic one works just fine. Then use the pack n play with bassinet attachment in your room when they’re really little if you want before transitioning to crib and then you can use the pack n play as a regular play area after. Much better than paying for a bassinet they only use a tiny bit and then there’s no other use for it.

    1. Genius! That’s totally a great idea, I forgot they make them like that! And pack and play might make an easier transition too…bassinet part to the regular part to a regular crib eventually. Good thinking!!

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