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Ultimate Baby Checklist and Must-Have Baby Items

Ultimate Baby Checklist and Must-Have Baby Items

By now you've probably read What to Expect When You're Expecting back to front (if not twice already).

You've probably already dug through the bottom of your fridge, picking through fruits and vegetables to compare against the size of your growing bub.

(Husband: "Is he a carrot yet, honey?"

Wife: "No, I think he's still an apple.")

And you probably started scrolling through the first 10 pages of Google results for "baby gear" and got absolutely overwhelmed. (Who knew babies needed so much STUFF?).

But don't worry. We've boiled it down to the absolute basics here. No fluffing about recommending imported Tibetan yak-fur stroller inserts over simple 100% cotton ones. Or eco-friendly glass bottles, hand-blown by Amazon-dwelling orangutans, versus...you get the picture.

So here's your ultimate new-baby checklist - this will for sure get you through at least the first 3 months without repeat trips to the baby supply store (except for diapers, diapers, and diapers....).

1. A (very, VERY good) stroller

Head into a baby warehouse and try out a few different types. Don't just go for the fancy brand-name one, or the same one that your cousins/sister/brother-in-law/BFF has. Will it fit in your trunk? Your apartment building's elevator? Is it easy to fold (if it does at all)?

Also think about its components and parts - are they built to last, or are just made of cheap plastic? Make sure you're actually getting your money's worth.

2. Car seat - or capsule?

This goes hand-in-hand with your choice of stroller. There are parents who prefer a car seat that is permanent in the car, and those who prefer a capsule that can be fitted to their stroller (so, you know, you don't have to wake your sleeping baby when taking them out of the car).

Both have their pluses and their minuses - but make sure you and your partner both agree on what's best for your situation.

(Did you know we have a detailed guide about getting your car ready for your new baby? You can check it out here.)

3. Burp cloths

Doubling as a light summer wrap for baby, burp cloths are essential for protecting any and all of the following:

  • your clothes
  • your sofa
  • your bed
  • your car
  • your carpets and rugs
  • your family's clothes

Why? Because babies spit up at random. Placing one of these over your shoulder when you burp them - or underneath them when you lie them down on any surface, will help catch any drips.

It's always easier to toss a load of used burp cloths into the washing machine than your entire sofa's upholstery (or a mattress).

4. Towels

Likewise for towels. You'll need some good baby towels - probably 5 or 6 is a good start. No, not the fancy-shmancy kind of towels. Good, thick cotton towels that will stand up through repeated washing. (See Item #3, above.)

5. Bathtub or bath seat

Whether you're planning on bathing them in your tub, your sink, or a special baby bath, make your decision before baby makes his or her appearance. Nowadays there is a great range of options available.

No built-in tub? There are stand-up tubs that can be drained easily. Have a tub? Try a comfortable silicon or plastic tub insert, or a mini tub that you can place inside so you don't have to fill an adult-sized tub all the way.

6. Diapers and wet wipes

Have to state the obvious here, but make sure you have at least 1 bulk box of these.

Two boxes of Newborn diapers aren't necessary for two reasons -

(1.) Baby might grow faster than you think and will be into Size 1 before you know it. Don't overbuy Newborn size or you'll be left with a closet full of them in just a few short weeks.

(2.) Post-birth, you'll want a reason to get out of the house for some fresh air - and going for a short trip to the supermarket to get diapers is perfect for this.

7. Crib

Baby isn't going to sleep in the stroller all day. They need something for those long nights.

But be aware: though you might plan a lot, your plans may change post-baby. Suddenly, parents who were set on sleeping their babies in their separate rooms from day 1 find themselves pining for a co-sleeper bassinet. Or vice-versa.

8. (Appropriate) baby clothes

And last but not least - appropriately-sized clothes. Let's make one thing clear: baby will grow FAST. Don't buy everything size 0-3 months - buy some items up to 6 months (especially the basics - long sleeved cotton onesies and footed pants - come to mind).

9. Pacifier

Not every baby will use them. Even if you buy every single brand and try them out. Some babies just don't like them and are happy to fall asleep without them. You could always get one to try out, but you don't have to force your baby if it's not up their alley.

What do you think of our list? Is there anything you would add? Anything you'd change? Share your thoughts with us below!

19 comments

Nov 28, 2016 • Posted by Bunny

I actually was looking for a baby checklist for ideas. My friend’s baby shower is next weekend so I wanted to get some hints or creative ideas for a gift to get her. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to see what I can come up with. This has actually be super helpful!

Nov 27, 2016 • Posted by Tommy

My wife has been a mess lately. She is due to have our first child in just a few weeks. I am trying to help her cope and relieve some stress. I am going to show her this baby checklist. We basically have everything covered. She keeps thinking we are forgetting something. I hope this eases her mind.

Nov 25, 2016 • Posted by BabyBlues

I am a mother of 5.. Yes, you read that right… FIVE! I have never seen such a great baby checklist in my life! People always look at these over the top books that make you read chapters worth of information on what to remember then by the time the baby comes, they forget! I know a few mommy-to-bes and I will share this with them.

Nov 22, 2016 • Posted by Sarah Oliver

Oh how I wish I looked this up sooner and read over a baby checklist! This is actually embarrassing. I went through my pregnancy alone. I am going to be a single parent. I had gotten everything in order and I was sure I was good to go. Then I brought my baby home and realized… I didn’t have a crib!

Nov 21, 2016 • Posted by Beth

I was looking online for a very very simple baby check list and this is the best one for what I need! I have a friend who has been panicking because she is due in less than a month and she has nothing ready to go. She also can’t even make it past 2 pages in a book without falling asleep. haha I am going to share this with her, thanks!!

Nov 20, 2016 • Posted by Gabby

I for one found this baby checklist super useful! I am a new mommy to be and will be due in late December. I am all over the place because of the holidays. I am just hoping I make it through Christmas! I am getting everything prepared this weekend for sure since my husband will be off work to help.

Nov 18, 2016 • Posted by Tabitha

WOW! Great list! I saw this posted on my facebook wall. My friend is expecting again so I am going to make sure I tag her in it. I will be saving this myself. I am not a mommy yet but my husband and I plan on starting next year, I will be going off the pill. Again, wonderful baby checklist!

Nov 17, 2016 • Posted by Cheyenne

When I was pregnant with my first, I could have used a baby checklist like this! You were not kidding about the crib! I remember buying this fancy, over the top, adjustable pain in the butt crib. It took me, my husband, and my brother to get it together. Know what happened? I ended up having to buy a guardrail for the bed because our baby would not sleep alone in his crib. He would cry every time for HOURS.

Nov 15, 2016 • Posted by Carol

My friend thought I was silly for googling about for a baby checklist. She never had a child and I am having my first so I want to be prepared. I quizzed her using this checklist and she left out so many important things! Thanks for sharing this easy to follow and straight to the point list. I am printing it off!

<3 xoxo Carol

Nov 13, 2016 • Posted by Bailey

My first pregnancy I was not prepared at all. I could have used a baby checklist like this! I spent the first year basically always forgetting something or not having something I could use. Now that I am nearing the end of mt second pregnancy, I feel I will be better prepared. The towels bit is so important. I actually got some nice thick towels from the dollar store, just basic plain white ones. They are good to have and cheap enough to where you can throw them out if they get “too dirty”.

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