57 Newborn Must-Haves [The Ultimate Baby Starter Kit]

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Whether you’re outfitting your nursery or putting together a baby registry, if you’re expecting a baby in the next nine months, it’s likely that you’ve realized that newborns… well, they require a lot. And it’s not just a lot of attention. They require a ton of just stuff.

But how much of that stuff is really just cleverly-marketed baby gear, and what are the essential newborn must-haves? 

To help you weed out the things you don’t really need to bring a baby home, we’ve put together a list of the 57 newborn must-haves, from pacifiers to portable infant tubs, and we’re pointing out some of the items you really won’t need as well.

Newborn must-haves infographic

Diapers and Wipes

This is just a given! You’re going to need diapering supplies. You may choose to buy disposable diapers or go the reusable cloth diaper route, but whatever your choice, you want to have them ready and waiting as soon as you come home from the hospital. And if you don’t want to make a trip out to the store the very next day, you’ll want to stock up. 

A jumbo box of diapers can keep you covered for a week or two, so there’s less for you to worry about when it comes to bringing the baby home.

Get some wipes in bulk, too, and it’s not a bad idea to pick up some rash cream or ointment, just in case.

A pro tip for new parents — you can get things like diapers and wipes auto-delivered from Amazon, Honest or Hello Bello, so you never even have to think about buying more. They just magically show up on your door whenever you start to run low.

A Crib and All the Trimmings

Nursery with crib and blankets

Another given. You need to buy a crib, bassinet or another place for your baby to sleep, even if you plan to co-sleep. You never know when you might need a place for your baby to safely lie while you take care of some extra chores, or even if the co-sleeping thing just doesn’t work out.

Of course, cribs vary wildly, so you want to make sure you buy the safest crib for you and your family. (And resist the temptation to go with a cheaper crib, if you’re not comfortable with that crib’s safety features — your baby’s safety has to come first.)

A crib mattress for that crib is also a necessity, but all the blankets and fancy dressings may not be. Studies show that keeping fewer items in a crib can lessen the likelihood of fatal accidents. Start with three sets of bed linens, but if you want to opt for a blanket, try a swaddling blanket, which fits tightly around your new baby’s body and safely away from their mouth and nose.

Baby Clothes

Yep, you’re going to need something to actually put that baby in when you get them home. But beyond the cute little onesies, swaddles and the fun costumes, what are the actual necessities and newborn must-haves?

Try to have on hand:

  • 5 to 10 onesies
  • 5 to 10 shirts
  • 5 to 10 pairs of pants
  • 5 to 10 one-piece pajamas
  • 2 to 4 seasonal outfits (if you’re having your baby in the winter, get some newborn-appropriate coats or sweaters; if you’re having your baby in the summer, look for newborn summer hats and other protective wear)
  • 5 pairs of socks 
  • 2 hats

One thing you won’t need? You’re likely not going to need shoes for your baby until you feel comfortable setting them on the ground — which for some parents is months and months after birth. 

Feeding Gear

Dad looking at newborn on the bed

No matter how you want to feed your baby — whether with formula or the old-fashioned way — you’ll need to buy a few things before you bring the baby home from the hospital.

If you’re feeding your baby formula, you’ll want to stock up on enough for several weeks. As far as bottles and nipples go, have a few different varieties on hand, so you can find the fit and feel your baby prefers. Once you find your baby’s preference, it’s good to have at least half a dozen bottles on hand.

Make sure to get all the necessary gear to clean those bottles, too, like a bottle cleaning brush and drying rack.

If you’re breastfeeding, make sure to have several nursing bras for daywear and nightwear. If you decide to use a breast pump, also have breastmilk storage on hand, either bottles or bags. And don’t forget a nursing pillow, the hype is real.

No matter how you feed your baby, you’ll want to have burp cloths, about 10 to 12, and several pacifiers. Much like bottle nipples, though, your baby may prefer some pacifier brands to others, so start out with a few for them to try. Once they’ve picked their favorite, stock up on six or so, to always have one on hand.

The solid food feeding gear isn’t a necessity until your baby is around four months old. However, that time will pass before you know it, so you may want to go ahead and purchase a high chair, bibs, infant bowls and utensils.

Related: The 13 Best Nursing Bras For Breastfeeding

Safety Gear for the Rest of the House

Your entire life changes once you have a baby and those changes roll over into how you take care of the rest of your house, not just your baby.

Throw out all your old cleaning products and invest in some baby-safe cleaners, from your wood polish to your all-purpose cleaner to your bathroom cleaner. You don’t want there to be a chance that the baby ends up heading to the hospital all because they decide to slobber on the side of the coffee table a few moments after you gave it a quick clean.

The safety precautions don’t end there, though.

You’ll want baby gates for the tops and bottoms of your staircases, outlet covers for your entire house, drawer and cabinet latches for your whole house, a fireplace bumper if you have a fireplace and furniture anchors.

If you really worry about your baby getting active in the months to come, you may want to purchase a toilet lock or corner guards for coffee and end tables. However, these aren’t necessarily newborn must-haves. (Any ‘80s babies out there know that it’s certainly possible to survive a few accidental head bumps.)

Bathtime Gear

Cute baby taking a bath

You may love that new-baby smell and think it means that your newborn doesn’t need a bath, but eventually, you’re going to need to break out the baby bathtub.

Bathtime newborn must-haves include:

A Car Seat and Infant Carrier

A car seat pulls double duty as a handy infant carrier. Anywhere you go, just pop that car seat out of the car, and you can take the baby with you.

Many parents like to invest in a convertible infant car seat, one that will last their child for years. 

Like a crib, a car seat is definitely an investment and not a place to skimp. After all, your baby’s safety is at stake. 

You may choose to buy other baby carriers, such as slings or baby wraps, which tuck your child right up to your chest in a backpack-like contraption, but they’re not a newborn must-have. As long as you have the car seat/infant carrier, then you should be good to go.

A Stroller

Of course, carrying around that car seat for the foreseeable future can make your arms pretty tired. A stroller is an excellent purchase to go ahead and invest in before your little one is born, so you have it as soon as you need it.

Again, like a crib or a car seat, a stroller is an investment, so go into your stroller shopping with the knowledge that many strollers cost upwards of $1,000. You get what you pay for, though, and pricey strollers come with a range of desirable features, not to mention added safety. 

Whatever stroller you buy, make sure to outfit it with the necessary gear, such as stroller blankets and covers.

First Aid Gear

Baby with bandaids on legs

You want to make sure that you have everything on hand that your baby might need should they have a minor injury or illness. You can build your own baby first aid kit or buy a complete kit from the American Red Cross. If you choose to go the DIY route, make sure to include:

You can ask your pediatrician about any baby products you want to add to your DIY first aid kit, as well as check with them on appropriate dosages.

Sleepytime Gear

Nightlight in room

When it comes to putting the baby to bed, there are a few things that can not only make your task easier but also ensure that you get a restful night’s sleep as well, because you won’t be up all night worried about your new baby. 

A few newborn must-haves when it comes to nighttime needs include:

That’s it. Seriously. Some parents may swear by a white noise machine, which can make getting a baby to sleep easier, but if you’re on a budget and looking only to buy the true newborn must-haves, you don’t have to include it on your list. 

A Diaper Bag

Another item you’ll need anytime you’re on the go with a baby, a diaper bag should be large enough to easily fit all your gear without being unwieldy. Look for a bag with plenty of organization, so you’re not left digging around the depths of your bag while a screaming baby draws everyone’s attention in Target.

What You Don’t Need? 

There are a lot of luxury baby items out there that some new parents claim are absolute must-haves for newborns, but, at the end of the day, they’re just that — luxuries. 

So what do you not necessarily need to bring your new baby home from the hospital?

Extra Tech

While fancy baby monitors, white noise machines, bottle warmers, wipe warmers, diaper disposals and other tech solutions make a new parent’s life easier; they’re not necessities. 

Humans have been parenting since the dawn of time without them, and the human race has still survived. 

Fancy Toys

Again, your child doesn’t need a ton of toys as soon as they come home from the hospital. They can’t really use them anyway, at least not for a few months.

Don’t worry, though. It’s not like your child will be wanting for toys. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends love buying toys as baby shower gifts or just because, and soon you’ll find yourself overrun with more toys than your child needs. 

Seasonal Clothes for Next Year

You may be really, really tempted to buy that adorable Halloween costume on Etsy. You tell yourself, “My baby will be seven months old then! I’ll just ask for that size!”


Don’t buy seasonal clothes that far ahead. You have no idea how quickly or slowly your baby is going to grow, so they might be wearing that Halloween costume as an Easter costume.

While you can buy where-anytime items like pajamas, pants and shirts in advance, skip the seasonal wear, including coats and swimwear, until you have a more solid idea of how large your child will be when they can actually wear it.

Changing Table

You are going to pop that baby down wherever it is convenient to change diapers, believe us. A changing table will quickly become a place to store clean laundry and items to keep away from the baby. Get a good changing pad that fits in your diaper bag, and you’ll be all set. 

Welcoming a New Baby into the Family 

Dad holding newborn baby

Welcoming a newborn to the family doesn’t have to be difficult — but it does need to be taken seriously. Having all of the right newborn must-haves on hand before you head to the hospital can ensure that you’re prepared for the many adventures that come with having a new baby in the house. 

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

57 Must Newborn Baby Must-Haves:

  1. Diapers (disposable diapers and/or cloth diapers
  2. Baby wipes
  3. Diaper cream
  4. Diaper pail & liners
  5. Diaper bag
  6. Crib
  7. Crib mattress
  8. Bed linens
  9. Swaddling blankets
  10. Onesies
  11. Newborn shirts
  12. Newborn pants
  13. One-piece pajamas
  14. Seasonal outfits for winter or summer 
  15. Newborn socks 
  16. Newborn hats
  17. Baby formula
  18. Baby bottles
  19. Bottle cleaning brush 
  20. Bottle drying rack
  21. Nursing bras
  22. Breastmilk storage bottles or bags 
  23. Nursing pillow
  24. Burp cloths
  25. Pacifiers
  26. High chair
  27. Bibs
  28. Infant bowls and utensils
  29. Baby-safe cleaners
  30. Baby gates 
  31. Outlet covers 
  32. Drawer and cabinet latches 
  33. Fireplace bumper 
  34. Furniture anchors
  35. Toilet lock 
  36. Corner guards
  37. Infant tub
  38. Infant washcloths
  39. Infant soap and shampoo 
  40. Baby hairbrush
  41. Infant towels
  42. Baby nail clippers
  43. Cotton balls
  44. Baby lotion/oil 
  45. Car seat
  46. Stroller
  47. Stroller blanket
  48. Stroller cover
  49. Nasal bulb
  50. Digital thermometer 
  51. Medicine dispenser 
  52. Sterile gauze
  53. Saline nasal drops
  54. Baby Tylenol 
  55. Antibiotic cream or ointment 
  56. Infant upset stomach medication 
  57. Infant bandages 
  58. Baby monitor
  59. Night light

Holly Riddle

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