Saturday, September 28, 2013

Newborn Essentials Checklist

When I got pregnant I knew pretty much zip, zero, zilch about babies and what was needed to keep one alive. I started babysitting when I was sixteen, so I knew how to take care of other people's children for a few hours, but newborns are a completely different story. What clothes and supplies do you need? How do you dress your baby? How can you make sure you don't have too much stuff that you won't use, or not enough things? I wanted to err on the side of too little, so that I wouldn't have any regrets about spending money on things we never got to use. Turns out, this was a good plan!

What we ended up needing and using for Noah:

6 side snap short sleeved onesies. This was the smartest move I ever made, because when you are inexperienced with babies, slipping onesies over their heads feels like the most complicated and scary thing you've ever done in your life. I recommend side snaps over front snaps because they won't irritate your newborn's umbilical stump. There will probably be some days where you will need all 6 when you're getting the hang of diapering. If you are unsure about how big your baby will be (which most of us are), you can get 3 newborn size and 3 of the 0-3 month sizes.

Babies should always be wearing at least two layers of clothing, since they don't have enough body fat yet to keep themselves warm. The rule of thumb is that they should have one more layer on than you would.

4 sleepers. My babe was a winter baby, so we had two cotton sleepers and two microfleece ones. You may get bored of seeing the same jammies over and over, but they will outgrow them so quickly that you will graduate to the next size up before you know it. Pajamas with built-in mittens are even better!

3 hats. Noah had a huge head right from the start, so the newborn hats fit him for about two weeks. If you get a few hats in different sizes, that would be your best bet! (newborn, 0-3 months, 3 months) Then buy what fits after baby is born.

4 washcloths. Baby washcloths are smaller and softer, perfect for gentle, new skin. You'll find these handy when sponge bathing baby in the early days, and cleaning up spit up.

Baby shampoo/body wash. You won't need to bathe baby for a while, but this is a staple.

140 newborn diapers. The bare minimum, because you can use up to 10 diapers a day. These should last at least two weeks, until you figure out what size your baby needs. The hospital will give you a small pack of diapers as well.

1 box of Kirkland brand wipes from Costco. Trust me, you'll thank me later. $19.99 for 900 wipes (9 packs of 100). They are made from a sustainable fiber, are biodegradable, thick, moist, and unscented.

Vaseline. For helping to remove the super sticky meconium from your baby's sensitive bottom.

4 muslin swaddle blankets. You can use these for actual swaddling, but you will always find them useful well into toddler-hood, I am told. They are so cute, soft, breathable, warm, lightweight, and absorbent. In a pinch you can use them as burp cloths too, and for keeping baby warm in the stroller.

3 Summer Infant SwaddleMe "blankets". Let's face it, when you are sleep-deprived and don't have the brain cells to swaddle a newborn, this incredible invention is a godsend. It's like speed-swaddling. So good. If you are my friend and you are expecting, you can also expect this from me as a gift!

Thermometer. This is for your piece of mind in the beginning, especially when you can't for the life of you figure out why your baby is crying and you are trying to rule out everything, like fever. Before you leave the hospital, make a note of your baby's normal temp, cause some run hotter or colder than others.

4 Burpy Bibs. We used Aden+Anais burpy bibs because they are amazing. They can convert from shoulder burp cloths to snap on bibs. LOVE. THESE. I confess that we have 80 million of them, but I think we only needed about 4.

2 sheets for a bassinet or crib. Pretty self-explanatory, one for use while one's in the wash.

Car seat. Some hospitals won't even let you go home with the baby unless you show them your car seat.

Unscented Laundry Detergent. It doesn't have to be "baby detergent", anything unscented and dye-free will do.

Next week I will be posting about what I packed in my hospital bag and what we actually needed! Happy Saturday everyone!


  1. Hi, I love you blog. I'm expecting a baby and trying to buy the necessary staff. I wanted to ask where did you buy the side snap short sleeved onesies. I have a hard time finding them online.

    1. Hi there, thanks so much and congratulations on your pregnancy! I know that Carters sells side snap shirts, as well as Gerber brand (these run very small though). We used Disney and Spasilk brand side snap bodysuits that I got from Amazon, but I'm not sure if sells them. Hope that helps! I know for sure that Carters ships to Canada. :)

  2. Thanks. I've found some on H&M (canada) website but of course they don't have them in store and don't have shipping yet:)