74 Baby Must-Haves To Add To Your Shopping Cart [Full Guide]

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Having your first baby? Knowing what all you need (and don’t need) to give your baby the best life possible can be difficult. There are hundreds of different baby products on the market! What do you really, actually need and what’s just, well, a rip-off?

And what do you need as soon as you bring a baby home, versus later on in the first year of their life?

From baby clothes to breast milk, here are the 74 baby must-haves that you need to put on your shopping list.

Baby Must-Haves: Feeding Time

One of the primary things you have to do to keep your baby alive is feed them, so what are you going to need in order to make that happen?

Firstly, you have to consider whether you’re going to be breastfeeding or using formula.

Regardless of which you choose, you’ll want to have the following on hand:

If you choose to go with formula feeding, you’ll just need to buy formula as an extra item. But be cautious — formula can get pricey, and different formulas work best for different babies. You may need to try a few types to find your baby’s preferred formula.

This also goes for nipples. Some babies like certain brands of bottle nipples more than others, so start off with a few choices for them to try out before committing.

Then, if you decide to go with breastfeeding, you’ll need several nursing bras, both daytime and nighttime nursing bras, and then some nursing pads and nipple cream. You’ll also want milk storage bags and a breast pump. Some mothers additionally like to buy some nursing camisoles, which are convenient replacements for the traditional nursing bra and can be worn around the house.

While not necessary, you may want to download a baby tracking app, which can help you keep track of recent feedings, as well as sleep and diaper schedules.

Baby Must-Haves: Sleepy Time

When your baby is all fed and sleepy, you’re going to need somewhere to put them to bed. Whether you’re co-sleeping and allowing your baby to sleep in your master bedroom, or starting them out in a nursery immediately, there are a few things you’ll want.

This is really all you need to put the baby to sleep, but some parents also opt for additional items that make putting baby to bed a little easier, such as white noise machines, swaddle blankets, mobiles or other crib accessories, baby monitors, night lights and black-out shades.

Baby Must-Haves: Diaper Time

After you feed the baby, diapering becomes inevitable. There a few baby must-haves for diaper time, including:

You’re going to need lots and lots of diapers.

Try to stock up before your new baby arrives so that you’re not worried about running out to buy them when you have so many other things on your mind. You can also set up regular diaper deliveries from providers such as Amazon, so that the diapers arrive on your doorstep every so often, for even more convenience.

On average, plan for a jumbo box of diapers to last about a week, maybe two.

Related: Building A Nursery For First Time Parents [With Complete Checklist]

Baby Must-Haves: Clothes

While you may receive quite a lot of clothes from your baby shower, you want to take inventory of everything you received and just make sure you have your bases covered.

When bringing home a newborn, it’s advised that you have…

One thing that you can probably skip buying for a newborn? Shoes. After all, how often do newborns really end up touching the ground? Socks and booties should suffice for a few months.


Baby Must-Haves: Household Needs

Okay, so you have the nursery outfitted with everything you think the baby could need. But what about the rest of the house? Yes, you will need to make some changes to your entire house in order to keep the baby safe.

You’ll want to buy…


Baby Must-Haves: Bath Time

No, you probably shouldn’t just take your baby into the shower with you and give them a quick rinse. To protect their super-soft and sensitive baby skin, you’ll want to have a few things on hand, including:

Related: The 13 Best Nursing Bras For Breastfeeding

Baby Must-Haves: On the Go

Once it’s time to take your baby out into the big, wide world, you want to do so as safely as possible. There are a few things that make this easier. You’ll want to get…


Baby Must-Haves: First Aid Gear

Mom checking her baby's temperature

An easy way to ensure you have all the first aid gear you might need for your baby is to purchase a full first aid kit created for infants (like this full kit from the American Red Cross). However, you can make your own first aid kit with items that you already may have around the house if you wish.

Whatever option you go with, make sure that you have the following on hand:

Your pediatrician may have additional suggestions for items to add to your infant first aid kit.

Baby Gear You Might Want, But Don’t Need

There’s tons of baby gear out there that you might want, but that you don’t need. If you’re on a strict budget when it comes to outfitting your nursery, here are a few things you can avoid.


Your child will accumulate toys quickly, thanks to grandparents, godparents, friends and other family members. You don’t necessarily need to worry about stocking your nursery up with infant toys right away — other people will do it for you.

And even if they don’t, however, is your newborn really going to be able to play with those toys? Not really. You can save the deluge of toys for Christmas.


Again, nice to have, but not necessary. Interacting with your newborn is crucial for healthy bonding and development, but reading to your newborn isn’t the only way to do this. And, the fact is, you likely already have books around the house you can read to them (your newborn will not notice if you’re reading to them from an age-appropriate book or the latest YA fantasy novel), or you can quickly find a free one online, to read from your tablet or phone.

Nursery Decor

If you’re on a budget, you don’t have to create the most opulent nursery known to man. Your baby will do just fine with the basics. If you do want to outfit your nursery with some cute accessories and wall decor, though, there are budget-friendly ways to DIY your nursery decor.

Crib Dolls and Extra Blankets

You don’t want to have too much stuff in your baby’s crib. Not only is it unnecessary, but having too much fabric in your baby’s crib can increase the likelihood of SIDS.

Seasonal or “Fancy” Infant Clothes

Unless you have something important coming up that you know your newborn will need to attend relatively soon, there’s no point in buying seasonal or special occasion clothes. You don’t know what size your child will be next Halloween or Christmas, so don’t try to guess and buy something far in advance.

Likewise, infants often don’t prefer frilly, fancy clothes with lots of fabrics, ribbons, buttons or zippers. Often, the simpler, the better when it comes to newborn clothing.

Luxury Items

Sure, the rich mom on the block has a wet wipe warmer and a diaper genie, but if you’re working on a budget, don’t feel pressured to buy luxury items like these. Your baby will never know the difference.

Related: 43 Easy Ways to Childproof Your Home

Items You’ll Need as Baby Gets Older

As your baby grows and changes, so will their needs. While you might not need to have these items on hand as soon as your baby arrives home, you do want to keep them in mind for purchasing in the upcoming months.

Feeding Gear

As your baby switches from formula to solid foods, you’ll need to have all the necessary supplies, such as infant-friendly bowls, plates, spoons and cups. You’ll also need a high chair. Plan to buy…

  • Sippy cups
  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • High chair
  • Booster seat
  • Plenty of baby food, from the cereal products you’ll start out with to the jarred baby food you’ll move to before you begin introducing solid foods. Some parents like to purchase supplies for making their own baby food, too, as well as “big kid” puffed or Cheerio-type snacks that are portable and unlikely to pose a choking hazard.

Toys and Books

Okay, now’s about the time when you want to ensure your child has a good selection of toys and books that will contribute to their development.

One type of toy that parents find invaluable as their baby grows? Teething toys. More to chew on means less crying.

Other Baby Items Suitable for the Older Crowd

Your baby will soon grow out of that infant tub, at which point you’ll need to start giving them baths in the regular bathtub. A tub seat is a nice thing to have on hand, so you don’t have to hold your baby upright the entire bath time.

Additionally, a toddler potty or toilet seat adapter will be necessary once your child is ready for potty training, often close to their first birthday.

Ready for Your First Baby?

While purchasing all the baby must-haves that you need for your first child can seem daunting, just think — once you’ve got a lot of this gear, you can keep it around for your second or third child!

As you begin building your nursery, additionally remember: no parent is perfect; all you can do is be prepared.

You also might be interested in: When Should My Baby Crawl? And 9 Other Milestones In The First Year

74 Baby Must-Haves: 

  1. Burp cloths
  2. Bibs
  3. Nursing pillow
  4. Bottles
  5. Bottle nipples
  6. Bottle drying stand
  7. Bottle brush
  8. Insulated bottle carrier
  9. Pacifiers
  10. Formula
  11. Nursing bras 
  12. Nursing pads
  13. Nipple cream
  14. Milk storage bags
  15. Breast pump
  16. Nursing camisoles
  17. Baby tracking app
  18. Bassinet
  19. Crib
  20. Crib sheets
  21. Other bedding
  22. Crib mattress protectors
  23. White noise machine
  24. Swaddle blankets
  25. Mobile
  26. Crib accessories
  27. Baby monitor
  28. Night light
  29. Black-out shades
  30. Changing table 
  31. Changing pad
  32. Changing pad cover 
  33. Baby wipes
  34. Diaper pail
  35. Traditional or cloth diapers
  36. 5 to 10 onesies
  37. 5 to 10 shirts
  38. 5 to 10 pairs of pants
  39. 5 to 10 one-piece pajamas
  40. 2 to 4 seasonal outfits
  41. 5 pairs of socks
  42. 2 hats
  43. Child-safe cleaning products
  44. Baby gates
  45. Outlet covers
  46. Drawer and cabinet latches
  47. Fireplace bumper (if you have a fireplace)
  48. Corner guards for tables
  49. Toilet locks
  50. Infant tub
  51. Infant washcloths
  52. Infant soap
  53. Infant shampoo
  54. Infant hairbrush
  55. Infant towels
  56. Infant nail clippers
  57. Baby lotion
  58. Baby oil
  59. Car seat 
  60. Baby carrier
  61. Stroller
  62. Diaper bag
  63. Portable crib or pack and play
  64. Infant First Aid Kit
  65. Nasal bulb
  66. Digital thermometer 
  67. Medicine dispenser 
  68. Sterile gauze
  69. Saline nasal drops
  70. Baby Tylenol 
  71. Antibiotic cream or ointment 
  72. Infant upset stomach medication 
  73. Alcohol swabs
  74. Infant bandages

Holly Riddle

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