Newborn baby in knitted purple hat and swaddled in white blanket

So you’re expecting—congratulations! Girl, your world is about to be rocked, but in the best possible way. Here are the newborn essentials you’ll need to get ready for baby’s big debut.

Meet our newborn essentials experts:

Catalina Margulis

Catalina Margulis

Catalina is a Toronto editor and writer. When she’s not working on her latest assignment, she’s cleaning up after her four young children.

Jennifer Grenier

Jennifer Grenier

In her free time, Jennifer enjoys listening to heavy metal; hanging out with her two kids, husband and dog; and dancing like no one is watching.

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Oh, man, I remember those days, when I was expecting my firstborn. I can still feel the flutter of nerves thinking back to those first moments. Can I really do this? Can I keep this little human being alive?

When it comes to motherhood, knowing what you’re in for is half the battle. The other half? That’s just literally blood, sweat and tears. And a really good newborn baby shopping list.

“I was a mess,” recalls Jennifer Grenier, a mom of two and a blogger for ninjamommers.com. “It was insanely scary to me. I couldn’t think about anything else; it was morning, noon and night. Constant fear and terror that I was going to do the wrong thing. But there were also moments of insane bliss. I remember looking at my husband and thinking, ‘Oh, look what we did.’”

Yes, mom, it’s about to get real. And while it’s tempting to go out and buy everything imaginable on your newborn essentials new baby checklist in preparation for your new baby, there are some things that can you can take your time with.

“I wouldn’t suggest going out and getting a breast pump right away, for example,” says Jennifer. “You do have time in the hospital, you can always send someone to pick one up.”

Keep an eye out for deals and sales on your newborn essentials as your baby bump grows (you can Subscribe to Save at Walmart for automatic discounts and deliveries on your everyday must-haves), and stock up on the baby necessities you’ll need right away.

Jennifer and I have both been there and back, several times. Here’s what makes our baby checklist of things you’ll need from day one to the first days, weeks and months to follow.

Some things just help make newborn life easier

When it comes to splurge items, the crib should be on top of your list. “I know it’s not pressing right away when you’re having a baby, but it’s good to have a convertible crib because then you can change it later and you’re only buying one bed,” says Jennifer. A convertible crib like Baby Relax Aaden 3 in 1 Convertible Crib by Safety 1st will grow with your baby, which can help keep costs down in the long run. Buy extra crib sheets, too, Jennifer says. That way, if you need to change the sheet in the middle of the night, you can just swap the messy one out and go back to bed.

Jennifer also recommends adding a video baby monitor to your newborn baby shopping list. “I had a baby monitor but I didn’t have one of those fancier video ones. As a new mom, you’re freaking out every second of the day. There were a lot of times I’d go in when my son was sleeping just to make sure he was okay,” she says. A great choice is Angelcare’s AC310-1 Baby 4.3″ LCD Video Monitor, which allows parents to hear and see their baby, as well as monitor the temperature in the nursery, without disturbing baby’s sleep.

Help make newborn life easier

When it comes to splurge items, the crib should be on top of your list. “I know it’s not pressing right away when you’re having a baby, but it’s good to have a convertible crib because then you can change it later and you’re only buying one bed,” says Jennifer.

A convertible crib like Baby Relax Aaden 3 in 1 Convertible Crib by Safety 1st will grow with your baby, which can help keep costs down in the long run. Buy extra crib sheets, too, Jennifer says. That way, if you need to change the sheet in the middle of the night, you can just swap the messy one out and go back to bed.

Jennifer also recommends adding a video baby monitor to your newborn baby shopping list. “I had a baby monitor but I didn’t have one of those fancier video ones. As a new mom, you’re freaking out every second of the day. There were a lot of times I’d go in when my son was sleeping just to make sure he was okay,” she says.

A great choice is Angelcare’s AC310-1 Baby 4.3″ LCD Video Monitor, which allows parents to hear and see their baby, as well as monitor the temperature in the nursery, without disturbing baby’s sleep.

Make your life easier with these items:

 

Breast pumps can be used to increase your milk supply until baby’s latching properly or to have breast milk on hand for caregivers when you need to head out for a bit. “Bigger ones may take up more space, but they work so much better and hand pumping can be exhausting,” Jennifer says. Medela is known for having the best breast pumps, making Today’s Parent’s list of Best electric breast pumps of 2018 for several of its products, including its Pump in Style Advanced Backpack with Breast Pump, which is perfect for frequent pumping, as well as being easy to assemble, use and clean.

Laundry detergent that’s suitable for newborn skin also makes Jennifer’s baby checklist. “My daughter had eczema so bad when she was born. It’s better to be safe than sorry and use gentle, hypoallergenic laundry detergent, especially for their bedding and stuff they’ll be wearing often,” she says. Jennifer used Baby Soft Liquid Laundry Detergent by Purex. It has the cleaning power needed for your baby’s messes, while also being gentle on sensitive skin.

A bottle warmer is another thing Jennifer recommends for your newborn baby checklist. “No one ever told me I would need one, and a lot of times I was frustrated with trying to heat milk and formula up without burning it,” says Jennifer. With a bottle warmer like Deluxe Bottle Warmer by Dr. Brown’s, you can heat bottles to just the right temperature.

A good quality thermometer is important, too. “I like the ones that take your baby’s temperature with a sensor,” says Jennifer. “They’re not inexpensive, but they give you an accurate reading.” A good one to try is BNT400CA No Touch + Forehead Thermometer by Braun. It gives accurate readings instantly with a quick scan or with a gentle touch on the forehead.

Breast pumps can be used to increase your milk supply until baby’s latching properly or to have breast milk on hand for caregivers when you need to head out for a bit. “Bigger ones may take up more space, but they work so much better and hand pumping can be exhausting,” Jennifer says.

Medela is known for having the best breast pumps, making Today’s Parent’s list of Best electric breast pumps of 2018 for several of its products, including its Pump in Style Advanced Backpack with Breast Pump, which is perfect for frequent pumping, as well as being easy to assemble, use and clean.

Laundry detergent that’s suitable for newborn skin also makes Jennifer’s baby checklist. “My daughter had eczema so bad when she was born. It’s better to be safe than sorry and use gentle, hypoallergenic laundry detergent, especially for their bedding and stuff they’ll be wearing often,” she says.

Jennifer used Baby Soft Liquid Laundry Detergent by Purex. It has the cleaning power needed for your baby’s messes, while also being gentle on sensitive skin.

A bottle warmer is another thing Jennifer recommends for your newborn baby checklist. “No one ever told me I would need one, and a lot of times I was frustrated with trying to heat milk and formula up without burning it,” says Jennifer. With a bottle warmer like Deluxe Bottle Warmer by Dr. Brown’s, you can heat bottles to just the right temperature.

A good quality thermometer is important, too. “I like the ones that take your baby’s temperature with a sensor,” says Jennifer. “They’re not inexpensive, but they give you an accurate reading.” A good one to try is BNT400CA No Touch + Forehead Thermometer by Braun. It gives accurate readings instantly with a quick scan or with a gentle touch on the forehead.

Other new baby checklist items you’ll want in those first few days, weeks and months:

Pregnant woman in white shirt and peach throw reading a tablet in bed

Feeding

Feeding

Bottles

If you are formula feeding or pumping breastmilk, you will need a good set of baby bottles like these Closer to Nature Fiesta Fun Time Baby Bottles – 9 ounce, Multi-Colored, 6 Count by Tommee Tippee. This six-pack is BPA free and designed to promote easy feeding.

Formula

Those who aren’t breastfeeding will need to have plenty of baby formula on hand—but first make sure baby is fine with the brand. With many choices on the market, speaking to friends or a healthcare professional for recommendations can help. Check out our list of best baby formulas to explore some of the options available.

Nursing bra

A good nursing bra makes feeding baby so much easier. Look for comfort and quality, as with this Women’s Wirefree Nursing Bra by George. Its convenient one-handed nursing release and adjustable straps provide a custom fit, and it’s padded for a smooth silhouette.

Receiving blankets

Whether you’re swaddling baby with one, using it as a blanket or towelling down from baby spit-up, receiving blankets are a must for your newborn essentials checklist and come in handy for just about everything.

Changing

Changing

Change pad

For changes on the go, you can’t beat a changing pad. Keep it stowed in your diaper bag at all times.

Wipes

You’ll be going through wipes like crazy, so for baby’s delicate skin, opt for something as natural and gentle as possible. These Natural Care Unscented Baby Wipes, Sensitive, 10 Disposable Flip-top Packs (560 Total Wipes) by Huggies are pH-balanced and enriched with aloe and vitamin E to soothe baby’s bottom.

Cleaning

Cleaning

Wash cloths

Stock up on wash cloths now for baby baths; later, they’ll come in handy at meal times for wiping hands and faces.

Baby bathtub

A baby bathtub is a perfect hand-me-down gift, but if you purchase new, shop around for the features you want, such as a built-in seat or baby sling. Choose one that you can use from the newborn stage into the toddler years, like this Sure Comfort Deluxe Tub by The First Years.

Shampoo/body wash

Baby’s first baths can be intimidating. Baby Wash and Shampoo for Baths, Head-to-Toe, Tear Free from Johnson & Johnson Inc. is a mild, tear-free, gentle, hypoallergenic formula free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and dyes, making it perfect for sensitive newborn skin.

Baby nail clippers

Clipping your newborn’s nails can be a stressful experience. Blue Nail Clippers with Magnifying Glass by Dreambaby has a fold-away magnifier to help you see baby’s nails more closely and prevent painful accidents. Be sure to add this one to your newborn baby shopping list.

Hair brush

Choose a soft-bristled hair brush made specifically for babies. Regularly brushing baby’s hair and scalp can help prevent cradle cap.

Quick peek at some must-haves:

 

Sleeping

Sleeping

Night light

Not only do night lights comfort baby but they also come in handy during those late night feedings.

White noise machine

This Travel Sound Machine from The First Years is great for getting your baby to sleep at home or on the go. You can also download an app like White Noise Baby Sleep Sounds, which offers a variety of sounds, lullabies and white noise options.

Accessories

Accessories

Stroller hanger

Perfect for homes that are short on storage space, a stroller hanger like this Strollerbuddy Strollaway Over The Door Stroller Hanger from Dreambaby slides over standard doors to keep strollers off the floor and out of the way.

Stroller sack

A stroller sack is like a sleeping bag, that helps keep your little one warm on walks on cold fall or winter days.

Books

It’s never too soon to start reading to your little one—they love the sound of your voice. Ask friends and family to each bring a favourite book to add to baby’s library for a fun baby shower idea.

Final thoughts

While stocking up on baby essentials can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. “Looking back, if I could give advice to my younger self, I would say, ‘Stop freaking yourself out because it’s not helping anything,’” says Jennifer. “You’re going to make mistakes and that’s okay. Relax a little bit. Also, remember to take a little time for you.”

To get a head start on preparing for your new baby, start by adding your newborn essentials to your new baby checklist and baby registry, and let friends and family share in the joy of welcoming your little one. Check out our baby registry checklist for ideas. From there, you can fill in what you still need, as you need it. Thanks to online shopping, you don’t even have to leave home to start your shopping—it’s all right there at your fingertips. Check out our baby budget guide to plan your first year with baby, and explore theHUB for more ideas for your pregnancy, baby and beyond.

Most importantly, though, remember to enjoy the ride—as exciting and trying as those first weeks and months are, they fly by fast!

Newborn Essentials Checklist:

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