The long awaited day is almost here! Soon you will hold a precious baby in your arms, and you want everything to be perfect!
Bringing home a newborn baby, especially when it is your first, can be daunting. Such big changes and unknowns can cause a new mom stress. “De-stressify” your preparation with this newborn baby checklist. It will help give you the confidence to know you are prepared!
The following newborn baby checklist can be used as a guideline in the quest to be prepared for your new arrival. While no checklist will have you prepared for EVERYTHING (like finding out your mother-in-law will be coming to “help” for a few weeks), this one ought to come close!
Clothing – Newborn babies grow into the next size very quickly! Don’t go crazy purchasing the tiny newborn clothing items, or you may find that your baby has outgrown them before he/she has even had a chance to try them on! By the time your baby is about 8-9 pounds, you will need the 3 month old clothing (these will last until your baby is about 12 pounds). Some larger babies even skip the newborn size altogether!
The quantities listed here are based on the assumption that you will be washing your laundry at least 2 times per week.
- 5-10 newborn sized outfits
- 2 sweaters
- 5-7 sleepwear
- 2-4 wearable blankets or sleep sacks
- 4-6 onsies
- dress clothes
- 2 pairs of mittens (for preventing scratches)
- hats – one for warmth and one for shade
- snowsuit – do NOT use when your baby is in his/her car seat
- 6-10 pairs of socks (more is better because they are so little that they get lost or “eaten” by the washing machine)
- accessories – such as shoes, hair decor, jewelry
- mild laundry detergent
Bathing and Grooming – When my first baby was born, we had very little in the way of baby supplies – and nothing for bathing. Do you know what we discovered? We didn’t really need much. He got perfectly clean when I bathed him in the bathroom sink and washed his hair with the kitchen sink hose.
So why did I include most of the following items in this newborn baby checklist? Convenience. There is a LOT to be said for convenience when you have a newborn baby in the house!
- baby tub or baby bathing sponge
- 4 baby washcloths
- 2 hooded towels
- baby lotion
- baby brush
- infant nail clippers
- baby shampoo/body wash
- bath thermometer
Nursery Items – A beautifully decked-out nursery is a fun way to prepare for your new baby. Giving the baby’s room personality and then putting away the items he/she will be using makes it start feeling like he will REALLY be arriving soon! Consider:
- baby size hangers
- rocking chair
- cd player with soothing cds
- night light
- nursery decor – wall hangings, window coverings, bed skirt
Diapering – “Changing a diaper is a lot like getting a present from your grandmother – you’re not sure what you’ve got but you’re pretty sure you’re not going to like it.” (Foxworthy) No baby checklist would be complete without “covering” this.
- wet wipes – either commercial or home-made
- changing table with a water-proof pad
- 3 washable changing pad covers
- hand sanitizer
- diaper rash remedy
- wipe warmer
- diaper disposal or diaper pail with liners
- basket or diaper holder for keeping diapers orderly
If using disposable diapers:
- 10-12 disposable diapers per day
If using cloth diapers:
- 24-36 cloth diapers
- 8-10 diaper covers
- inserts and liners
- diaper pins if the chosen system calls for them
- diaper sprayer
Feeding – After you have decided whether you will be breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you will want to consider which items you will need to assist you in growing a healthy baby.
- 3-5 nursing bras
- nursing pads – washable or disposable
- breast pump
- nipple cream
- breast milk storage containers
- breast feeing pillow
- nursing cover
- 10 burp rags
- Bottle Feeding Needs:
- bottles (BPA free) – start with just a few until you know what your baby will prefer
- nipples (clear silicone)
- formula – don’t stock up until you know it will “agree” with your baby
- 10 burp rags
- bottle brush
- bottle warmer
- drying rack
- sterilization bags
Sleeping – Newborn babies spend about 18 out of every 24 hours sleeping. At least some of that time you will want to put him/her down to tend to your own needs. Your baby’s safety during that time is paramount. Providing a safe, comfortable, familiar place to sleep will help your baby establish good sleeping habits which will in turn facilitate YOUR sleep. You will need:
- sleeping place – crib with mattress, portable crib, bassinet, Moses basket, or co-sleeper
- 2 mattress pads
- 3 fitted sheets
- 6-8 receiving blankets
- baby monitor
- a small fan for air circulation and white noise
Traveling – Whether it is across town or across the country – you will want to show off your baby (or at least re-stock on diapers). Traveling with a newborn is more complicated than grabbing your keys and walking out the door, but you will be prepared for any trip if you have:
- car seat
- diaper bag
- replacement car seat cover
- baby sling or carrier
- blankets of varying thicknesses
- car seat travel bag for air travel
- portable crib
Health – No one likes to think about their baby becoming ill, but sooner or later it is bound to happen. Be prepared by having the following items on hand:
- nasal aspirator/bulb syringe
- petroleum jelly
- digital thermometer
- rubbing alcohol & q-tips (for umbilical cord care)
- infant acetaminophen – use with newborns only under advisement of your pediatrician
- saline nasal spray
- a great pediatrician
- Don’t forget to add your baby to your health insurance policy!
Safety – Your newborn won’t be mobile for a few months, but you will want to have safety items in place well before that occurs.
- safety gates
- corner/edge bumpers
- safety locks
- outlet covers
Development and Entertainment – Most of your newborn baby’s early development will come from the cuddling, singing, talking, and interaction provided by the ones who love him/her the most. A few items that will stimulate and entertain him/her while you are occupied will be beneficial to you both.
- baby mobile or a plastic mirror for the crib
- a few toys of differing textures
- baby swing and/or baby bouncer
- baby book for recording all of the milestones
A common “rookie mom” mistake is caring for her baby to the exclusion of caring for herself. Don’t forget to make “mommy care” a priority, too. Add your favorite bubble bath to your newborn baby checklist – and then use it!