25 Baby Essential Items for 2023: Must-Have Shopping Kit List
Updated on by Matthew H. Nash – Licensed Insurance Agent
Congratulations on your new baby! As a fellow parent now with multiple kids, I know exactly how you’re feeling. To help you along, I’ve created this essential list of all the must-have items in addition to some top health and safety tips to ensure that your little ones arrival is seamless. Read more about our affiliate disclosure.
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Table of Contents
Newborn Baby Checklist Items – 25 Essentials
One of the biggest investments you’ll make is buying clothes for your child. Onesies are the easiest and most convenient outfits you can buy, and you’ll need plenty, as you’ll go through at least a few each day. Hats, mittens, blankets, and burp cloths are also a must, which is why this set is a great choice. It comes with plenty of onesies, both short and long-sleeved, plus a few of each of the other essentials, giving you the most bang for your buck.
An infant car seat is probably the most important purchase you can make for your child’s safety. This is the one thing that you should never buy used. Make sure you choose one that’s lightweight and easy to carry. You’ll also need a stroller to transport your baby around when they get too big to carry, so why not purchase a stroller and car seat combo, like this one from Evenflo. Purchasing in a set is a great idea because you’ll save money and you’ll know that they’re compatible.
Babies respond really well to white noise or background noise. Having a noise machine can help your little one drift off when they’re having trouble getting to sleep. This option by Hatch is great because it also acts as a nightlight, can be controlled from your phone, and, when your child is old enough, it has a time-to-rise function that’ll let your toddler know when they are allowed to get up for the day.
We feel it’s necessary to highlight the importance of life insurance for expecting and new parents so that your family is protected no matter what happens. I have compared and price checked all the life insurance companies on the market and have consistently found Ladder to be the best combination of price, coverage, and claim satisfaction. Parents can get insured for as little as $10 per month. Ladder offers coverage up to $3M per parent (without a medical exam, just a few health questions). You can apply 100% online and get a quote in under 30 seconds.
Sophie the Giraffe has been loved by babies and toddlers all over the world for 55 years. In our experience it’s a very high-quality teething toy that almost all babies can’t stop putting their mouths. It’s made from 100% natural rubber, and the soft texture varies throughout the body, giving your child plenty of places to comfortably chew and soothe their gums. Sophie also has a squeaker, offering a fun and stimulating sound that’ll keep your little one interested and entertained for hours.
If you’re planning to breastfeed or just want a safer co-sleeping option, a bassinet is a must. If you choose one like this Mika Micky option, it rolls right up next to your bed, and one side can be removed for easier access throughout the night. Your little one will outgrow their bassinet within three months (possibly sooner if they’re on the bigger side), so make sure you find one that has all the features you need but is also affordable.
A rocking chair or glider is definitely a lifesaver when you’ve got a fussy baby that’s ready for bed or a nap. These chairs offer a comfortable place to sit and rock your little one to sleep. This Storkcraft glider moves back and forth, helping your little one doze off. It comes in different patterns, so you can easily find one that’ll look great in your nursery.
As mentioned earlier, babies are messy. Even with all your quick wipedowns during diaper and clothing changes, you’ll need to give your little one a bath every few days. Regular tubs are too big and sinks won’t support your baby. That’s why it’s important to buy a baby bathtub. This Fisher-Price option converts, with a safe option for newborns up to about a year, depending on your child’s size. In the bonus section, you’ll find ideas for the rest of your bathing needs.
There are all sorts of diaper accessories that you’ll need (which we’ve included in the bonus section), but one of the must-haves is a diaper pail. You’ll be going through a lot of diaper changes, so having a place to immediately dispose of dirty diapers is essential. This is the original Diaper Genie, which locks in odors to keep your nursery smelling fresh and clean.
No matter what type you choose, a baby carrier or sling will help you keep your hands free when you’re out and about. We’ve got a great sling option in the bonus section, but this Lillebaby carrier takes the cake. It’s comfortable, adjustable, and can be worn in different ways, giving you more flexibility and versatility. They come in fun patterns and support babies from 7 to 45 pounds, so you’ll get plenty of use out of it before your child outgrows it.
Although it may seem like you have some time before your baby is mobile, you’d be surprised what they can get into when left to their own devices. It’s best to prepare for all eventualities, which means baby-proofing your house. You’ll find lots of different options on the market, allowing you to secure just about anything. This is a great kit that has a little of everything, including outlet covers, corner guards, adjustable locks, and hidden locks.
Every baby needs a pacifier to help them learn to self-soothe. The sucking motion is very soothing to little ones, and often the only way to get a fussy baby to settle down. There are plenty of options on the market, but these pacifiers are 100% food-grade silicone, have two holes for added breathability, have a collapsible handle, and are all one piece, making them one of the safest options. They come in a variety of colors, so you can coordinate with any outfit or just pick your favorites.
If your child is sleeping in their nursery, you’ll want to be able to keep an eye (or ear) on them. A baby monitor notifies you when your baby is awake and needs you. You can choose from basic audio versions or get something like this video monitor, depending on what’s most important to you. These come with a variety of different features and price tags, so you’ll need to consider all your options.
Bouncer seats tend to be very soothing to newborns. They usually offer some vibration, even when you’re not actively keeping it bouncing. They often play music and have a toy bar, which helps to keep your little one’s attention. The seat belt and pad help to keep your newborn in place, making this a great choice to have your child relax while you take care of any of your own chores.
A changing table offers a safe place to deal with diaper changes, and they almost always include plenty of storage room for all your diapering essentials. This Delta Children changing table is a great choice, with plenty of space for storage and rails to keep your baby safe. You can also look for options that double as a dresser if you don’t have much space in the nursery.
If you’re planning to nurse your baby, you’re going to need a breast pump. Whether you’re going back to work or just want dad to be able to feed the baby sometimes, pumping breast milk for bottles is essential. It’s also a huge relief if your supply seems to be higher than your baby’s appetite. This Medela breast pump is manual, and it’s an affordable price, making it a great choice if you’re only planning to pump occasionally or on an as-needed basis. If you’re a working mom, you may want to check out an electric and/or double breast pump.
As your little one gets old enough to start eating solids, you’ll need a safe place for them to sit that helps keep them contained and supported. A high chair offers just the solution. Choose one like this option from Graco, with a removable tray for easy cleanup, buckles to keep your little one safely restrained, and a fold-up design for storage.
If you’re looking for another remedy that’ll help your teething baby’s sore gums, you may want to try an amber teething necklace. Amber contains succinic acid, which helps to reduce fussiness caused by teething. It’s said to have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to soothe and ease the pain of sore gums. This necklace has knots between the beads and a twist clasp for added safety.
Tummy time is important for babies, so you’re going to need a comfortable mat for your baby to lay on. This cute little play gym offers plenty of versatility. Your little one can kick the piano, play with the hanging tows, or practice tummy time. As they get older, the piano flips up, allowing your little one to sit at the piano and play.
Of course, if you’re going to be out and about, you’re going to need a diaper bag to carry all your babies essentials. Find one with enough room to allow you to carry multiple diapers and at least one change of clothes. This option offers plenty of pockets and storage to keep all your accessories and essentials organized and within easy reach.
Bath toys will help keep your baby entertained while you’re trying to get them clean. They come in a variety of styles and designs, so it should be easy to help find something your little one will love. This set comes with an animal theme, which is brightly colored and fun. You’ll also get a mesh basket or storage scoop that suctions onto the wall, helping to keep all the toys contained when not in use.
Rattles are the number one toy for babies. They’re easy to grip for little hands, make noise to entertain your child and give them something to shake. Babies love playing with these toys and there are thousands of different options. Fisher-Price is a quality brand, and these particular rattles are miniature maracas, so your little one can make their own music as they play. They’re brightly colored and each one has a side with a pom-pom, soft texture that’s soothing for teething babies and safe for them to chew.
Swings come in a variety of style, with rocking, swinging, or gliding motions. You can choose back and forth or side to side swings. They almost all play soothing music and come with a toy bar. A swing is another great option when you need to get some things done and can’t hold your child. It also helps rock them to sleep when they’re feeling extra fussy. You can find large, stationary swings and designate a place in the house for it, or get something like this portable swing from Ingenuity, that you can move where you need it.
Cribs are the perfect place to keep your baby safe when you have to put them down for a little bit. Whether you’re using a crib at night or a bassinet in the first few months, having a crib where your child can play or sleep unattended is crucial. All cribs must meet safety standards in the United States, so you know your little one will be safe regardless of the crib you choose. This Delta Children crib is a great choice because it’s stylish, affordable, and converts to a toddler bed and a full-size bed as your child grows. Also, don’t forget to get a crib mattress to go with the crib.
Cooling teethers are another great option for teething babies. These toys can be put in the freezer or refrigerator to help chill and relieve gum pain. These particular teethers have a textured surface that helps to soothe sore gums. The rings are easy for little ones to hang on to themselves, allowing your baby to control how and where they want to chew on these toys. These types of teethers come in a variety of styles and designs, making it easy to find one that will entice your child.
Please note: Everything on our list is important to consider for when your baby arrives. However, as mentioned above, life insurance is an essential item that unfortunately often gets overlooked since the application process used to be daunting. The good news is, with Ladder Life Insurance you can apply 100% online and get coverage without a medical exam for as little as $10/ month. It takes 30 seconds to get a quote and only takes 5 minutes to complete the application from start to finish.
Other New Born Baby Checklist Items to Consider
- Crib Mattress Protector
- Burt’s Bees Baby – Fitted Crib Sheet
- Tiny Love Take Along Mobile
- Burt’s Bees Baby – Bassinet Sheet
- Munchkin Secure Grip Waterproof Diaper Changing Pad
- Burt’s Bees Baby Changing Pad Cover
- Parker Baby Diaper Caddy
- Diapers Size 1 (8-14 lbs) Newborn
- Pampers Sensitive Water-Based Baby Diaper Wipes
- Munchkin Warm Glow Wipe Warmer
- Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Cream
- Muslin Burp Clothes for Baby
- Muslin Swaddle Blankets Neutral Receiving Blanket
- Baby Swaddle Blanket
- Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ Flannel Receiving Blankets
- Gerber unisex-baby 8-pack Short Sleeve Onesies
- Simple Joys by Carter’s Baby Boys’ Snap-Up Rompers
- Gerber baby-girls 4 Pack Sleep ‘N Play Footie
- Zaples Baby Non Slip Grip Ankle Socks with Non Skid Soles for Infants
- RATIVE Newborn Baby Cotton Gloves No Scratch Mittens
- Grow by Gerber Baby 4-Pack Caps
- Handmade Baby Headbands
- Safety 1st Deluxe 25-Piece Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit
- Johnson’s Bath Discovery Gift Set for Parents-to-Be
- Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ 8-Piece Towel and Washcloth Set
- OXO Tot Bottle & Cup Cleaning Set
- Philips AVENT Fast Baby Bottle Warmer
- Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Powder Formula
- Dr. Brown’s Deluxe Electric Baby Bottle and Pacifier Sterilizer
- Medela Breast Pump | Pump in Style with MaxFlow
- Medela Quick Clean MicroSteam Bags
- Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags
- Lansinoh TheraPearl Breast Therapy Pack
- Boppy Nursing Pillow
- Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads
- Organic Nipple Butter Breastfeeding Cream by Earth Mama
- Baby Led Weaning Feeding Supplies
- Simple Joys by Carter’s Unisex Babies’ Teething Bibs
- Pack n Play Stretchy Fitted Pack n Play Playard Sheet Set
- Boba Wrap Baby Carrier
- Philips AVENT Soothie Pacifier
- Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle & Sensory Teether Toy
- iPlay, iLearn 10pcs Baby Rattles Toys Set
- CUKU Tummy time Water Play mat
- Snuggle Me Organic Bare | Baby Lounger & Infant Floor Seat
- UHINOOS Nursing Cover
- Portable Diaper Changing Pad
- kinder Fluff Car Window Shade
- Complete Baby Proofing Kit
- Baby Handprint and Footprint Makers Kit Keepsake
8 New Baby Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I do on the first day at home with a newborn?
The first day at home with a newborn can be overwhelming. Use this time to bond as a family. Start a routine of feedings, diaper changes, nap and bedtimes. This will help get everyone adjusted to having a baby around. You’ll be using this first day to get used to all these new things. Your little one will eat, sleep, and need a lot of diaper changes, so make sure you have everything ready in advance.
2. When do you start tummy time?
You can start tummy time as early as the first day you bring your baby home, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. You’ll need to start slow, with only about 3-5 minute intervals 2-3 times a day. As your little one gets stronger, you can increase the length of time.
3. When is the best time to bathe a newborn?
There’s no particular time that you should bathe your baby, other than to avoid when your little one is hungry or right after they’ve eaten. Baths often relax babies, so right before a nap or bedtime is usually a great time to do it if this is the case for your child.
4. I’m young and healthy, is life insurance really necessary?
Yes, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the younger and healthier you are, the lower the rate you will be able to lock in for the term of the policy. For example, with Ladder Life Insurance, the price for a healthy 35-year-old Californian male who is 5’9″ and weighs 175 lbs for a 20-year term with a $250,000 death benefit costs only $15.84/ month.
Secondly, you never know when the unexpected may happen. You don’t want your newborn baby or your spouse to fend for themselves without any financial security.
5. How often should a newborn poop?
This varies, but you don’t need to be concerned as long as you’re seeing at least one bowel movement a day. Keep in mind that breastfed and formula-fed babies will differ. Breastfed babies will poop a lot more, and you can expect to see between 3-12 a day, while formula-fed babies might only poop between 1-4 times a day.
6. How do you stop baby hiccups?
While there’s no full-proof method to stopping hiccups, burping your baby usually helps. Often, babies get hiccups if they’re feeding too fast, so burping and slowing their feeding will help. Propping them upright is also a good idea.
7. Can newborns drink water?
Newborns shouldn’t drink water for the first six months. They get all the water they need either from their breastmilk or formula. Once they start eating solid foods, you can give them a little bit of water to drink.
8. Why do babies smile in their sleep?
Babies often smile in their sleep during the REM cycle of sleep. It’s usually just a reflex reaction. During this stage of sleep, their bodies create involuntary movements, which often manifest as smiles.
A final note about life insurance
About a decade ago when I lived in Chicago I sold life insurance the old-fashioned way which involved meeting people in Starbucks and awkwardly swabbing their cheeks with a Q tip. I will never forget a couple that was set to purchase a policy, they had everything ready to go except their signatures. They figured they could put it off a few days. However, while they were procrastinating, the husband sadly had an aneurysm and died leaving his wife and three kids without any future support from the main breadwinner. Had he just signed the documents, his wife would have received $500,000 for only paying under $25 a month.
These days, swabbing cheeks is a thing of the past, and thanks to the Internet you can do everything online. I recommend Ladder Life Insurance which can get you coverage in as little as 5 minutes. Don’t delay because tomorrow is never certain.