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The Newborn Essentials Checklist

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Oct 13, 2021

The Newborn Essentials Checklist

After your baby is born, it is natural for you to feel both excited and worried. You feel excited to bring the newest member home where they can meet the rest of your family members. But without the expert help of doctors and nurses, you may find it overwhelming to take care of a newborn. Here are all the newborn essentials you need to prepare before heading home.

Where the Baby Sleeps

If you still have not prepared a separate room for your newborn, don’t worry. According to experts, it will be better for a newborn to sleep in the same room as their mother — at least for the first months of their life. This way, parents can attend to their needs immediately. Reports even say that this sleeping arrangement can help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Here are the newborn essentials you need to prepare in baby’s sleeping area:

  • A crib, cradle, or bassinette. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is sturdy and it meets all the safety standards. Additionally, have one that has soft sides.
  • Mattress. Choose one that’s well-fitted to the crib, cradle, or bassinette. Chose one that is firm and flat.
  • Water-proof crib mattress cover. You might not need it as most diapers are now absorbent and leak-proof, but having a waterproof crib mattress is still good, especially if you choose to use cloth diapers or lampin for your baby.
  • Fitted sheets. Select one that won’t “budge” even if your baby moves a lot. Also prepare 3 sets, one in use, one in the wash, and the last for “accidents.”
  • A mosquito net. To protect your baby from nasty mosquito bites.
  • Baby monitor. You may want to keep one handy so that you can check on your baby whenever you leave the room.

Clothing Essentials

For clothes, remember not to buy a lot. A newborn tends to grow fast and you may end up with a lot of unused clothes! In general, baby clothes need to be soft, comfortable, and safe. As much as possible, choose clothes made from natural fabrics.

Check out these clothing newborn essentials:

  • Onesies
  • Baby sleepers or sleepsuits
  • Cotton sweater
  • Socks
  • Hats
  • Baby booties
  • Anti-scratch mittens

newborn essentials

When Changing Diapers

One of the most challenging parts of bringing the baby home is changing their diapers. You can choose to purchase or build a changing table, but according to experts, it’s safer to change your baby on the floor where they can’t fall. You can also change them on the bed or changing table, but be sure to always hold them to prevent them from rolling away.

To make the process smoother, prepare the following newborn essentials in advance:

  • Diapers. You can choose between the disposable type and the reusable cloth kind. Whatever you choose, be sure to have enough for at least 2 days.
  • Baby wipes. For wipes, you can have 1 to 2 packs of disposable wet wipes or at least 12 pieces of cloth ones. An additional reminder for disposable wet wipes: Choose one that’s gentle for baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Diaper rash cream. For the best brand, seek the advice of a doctor, but look for those which are hypoallergenic and soothing.
  • Change mat. Choose a padded one with raised sides to keep the baby from rolling away. Also, the surface of the mat should be “wipeable.”
  • Diaper pail. Where you can temporarily throw used diapers. You can also use an ordinary trash bag for this.

Bathing Needs

You may be overwhelmed by the variety of available baby bathing products in the market, but again, just stock up on the basic items. The newborn essentials for bathing are:

  • Baby bathtub. Although it is okay to bathe the baby in the kitchen sink or laundry tub (as long as it’s clean and safe), having a baby bathtub could be beneficial. This is so you can bathe the baby where it’s convenient, especially if the kitchen or laundry room is not well-ventilated or not available for use at the moment.
  • Washcloths. Check for the texture and make sure that it is gentle on baby skin.
  • Toiletries. Often, a bottle of baby wash, shampoo, and baby oil or lotion will be enough. Choose the unscented variety and if possible, the organic kind with no harsh chemicals. Don’t use shampoos, lotions, and body wash for adults.
  • Hooded towels. Prepare one or two which your baby can use after bathing. Experts say that you can also use adult towels as long as they are gentle on baby’s sensitive skin.

It’ll also be good to prepare other grooming items, like a soft comb or hairbrush and round tip baby nail clippers or scissors.

Feeding and Nursing

Your newborn feeding essentials depend on whether you have decided to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby. Either way, here are the lists:

Newborn Essentials for Breastfeeding:

  • Breast pads or nursing pads. These pads are placed between the bra or your clothes and the breast. Their purpose is to absorb the breastmilk that leaks in between feedings.
  • Breast pump and storage containers. Mothers can use them if they plan to express breastmilk in advance, especially if they plan to go back to work soon.
  • Nursing pillow. Nursing pillows make it easier for moms to breastfeed baby, especially at night.
  • Nipple cream. These can help prevent cracked nipples.

Newborn Essentials for Bottle-Feeding:

  • 5 to 8 pieces of baby feeding bottles. Consider choosing those “anti-colic” types, which control how much air the baby swallows
  • Bottlebrush for cleaning every after feeding
  • Bottle nipples; choose different sizes
  • Burp cloths and bibs
  • Milk formula

General Baby Items

And finally, here are the newborn essentials that serve other purposes:

  • Toys. While they may not need a lot of toys yet, you can invest in some rattles, cloth books, and other soft, light toys.
  • First aid kit. In a separate bag, have a digital thermometer, medicine dropper, bulb syringe or nasal aspirator, Vaseline, and doctor-prescribed anti-fever drops.
  • For when going outdoors. Don’t forget to prepare things such as a car seat, a baby sling, stroller or pram, and a diaper bag.

Hopefully, with this newborn checklist, you’ll be better prepared to bring your baby home! Take your time to talk this newborn essentials list through and add or remove items as you see fit.

Learn more about Baby Care here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Oct 13, 2021

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