What your newborn baby needs -The essential checklist!

Looking at a blank piece of paper trying to write a checklist of all the essentials that your newborn baby needs?

What do you need to buy before you have your baby? And what is a waste of money?

We’ve got you covered – with our handy checklist so you know you’ve got all the essentials

You have a new baby on the way, and everything is exciting (and a tiny bit terrifying)! It can be difficult to figure out if you have everything you need once they arrive, so that’s why we’ve created this easy checklist to make sure you have all the essentials.

Scroll on to find out more!


Toddler clothing (a Babygro and socks), and a bunny comfort blanket, are pegged to a washing line.

When it comes to clothing, you want to find a good middle ground. What is the magic number between buying too many clothes (that your newborn will grow out of in just over a month), and not enough (leading to you needing to do the washing every other day)?

The truth is your new-born baby will mostly be styling it out in sleepsuits/onesies. It can be ever so tempting to stock up on endless amounts of adorable teeny tiny clothes.

But, if you can resist temptation, you can save money and purchase just the essentials. Also – chances are you’ll get loads of cute clothes as new baby presents so you don’t need to buy them.

Our rough estimates are:

  • 7 onesies
  • 7 baby vests
  • 7 pairs of baby socks
  • 2-3 swaddle blankets
  • New-born hat
  • Optional: One cute outfit to impress visitors (very much not essential!)

Bedding & sleeping essentials

The image shows what looks like a baby's set-up, including a circular crib (with ornamental pillows and a stuffed toy inside) and a few other sensory toys beside it.

Like most things when you’re expecting a baby for the first time, you can tend to wonder what you do and don’t need. Sleeping essentials for newborn’s can be pricey, and there are lots of options. Our recommended essentials are as follows:

  • Cot (or alternative) You might start out with Moses basket, but your baby will grow out of it very quickly so borrow/buy second hand if you can.
  • Mattress – ALWAYS buy a new mattress. It’s recommended as part of the safe sleeping guidance for babies.
  • 3-4 bed sheets
  • Waterproof mattress cover
  • Baby monitor


A baby crawls across a blank background, primarily wearing a nappy.

How many packs of nappies is too many? Short answer: You can never have too many. You will get through an unbelievable amount of nappies, so it’s a great idea to stock up and get multipack offers where you can!

  • 2-6 packs of disposable nappies/a good supply of cloth nappies
  • Cotton wool balls for the first weeks of nappy changes (when your baby’s skin is the most delicate)
  • 2 packs of baby wipes
  • Nappy rash cream
  • 1 changing mat
  • Disposable nappy bags (these can come in packs of 100-300, and honestly the more the merrier)
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Feeding supplies

A newborn gazes up at their mother as they are bottle-fed

Of course, there are different approaches to feeding your newborn, and therefore there will be different essentials for every family. We’ve offered a list for both bottle-feeding and breastfeeding individually:

  • More muslin cloths than you’ll ever thought you’d need! (these might just be the best buy you ever made as a new parents)
  • 10 bibs (e.g. Totsi)
  • Breastfeeding:
    • Nursing pads
    • Nipple cream
    • Breast pump
    • Bottles and bottle teats (optional, but may be useful at a later point for convenience)
  • Bottle-feeding:
    • 5-8 bottles
    • A bottle brush
    • Bottle teats
    • Formula
    • Steriliser


A selection of essential toiletries for a newborn baby in pink and white. Including a pacifier, towels, baby sponges and newborn-friendly bodywash/lotion.

Make sure baby bath times go smoothly by gathering a few of the essentials:

  • 3 baby flannels (These sometimes come in multipacks of more)
  • Baby sponge
  • Newborn friendly bodywash
  • Newborn friendly lotion

Medicines & care

A baby looks up curious while a stethoscope is pressed to their stomach.

Of course, you should follow the directions of your GP and midwife for any essential medication, and we won’t be recommending any specific medication in our checklist. However, you can’t go wrong with these little tools of the trade:

  • Baby nail clippers
  • Digital thermometer
  • Baby medicine syringe

Gadgets & furniture

A mother and baby push their newborn in a stroller, one of the essentials that is needed on your checklist.

There’s plenty of choice out there for gadgets and additional furniture. The marketplace often supplies endless amounts of furniture and items that are built to make your life easier. However, the essentials only really consist of a few things…

  • Car seat
  • Pram

(There are even some options where you can get both of these in one convertible product).

You might also want to buy a sling or papoose to carry your baby in too.

Optional (less essential) items to add to your ‘newborn baby needs’ checklist

These items might show up in your list, and you might think that they are a necessity. However, there are cheap/free alternatives to these that are just as safe and easy for your toddler.

  • Baby bathtub: Whilst they are useful, you can wash your newborn just as easily in a clean washing-up bowl. (Worried about bathing your baby? The NHS have provided a great guide here)
  • Hooded baby towel: Adorable, very sweet, and suitable for specifically a tiny person. However, you can just as easily wrap your baby up in a normal towel.
  • Nappy bin: Whilst it might come in handy for you, you don’t necessarily need this. You can dispose of dirty nappies just as easily with a nappy sack in your usual general-waste bin.
  • Shoes: Yes, we know, those teeny tiny shoes are so cute and you just want to buy all of them. We’ve been there, believe us! However, in truth, you really won’t have any need for them until your baby starts to show signs that they will start walking soon. So resist temptation.
  • Playpen & travel cot: Whilst useful, this should only really be added to your list if you know that you will be travelling. So maybe save this one for later, and if you find you have a need for it.
  • Dummies: We aren’t the experts on this, but the resources we’ve seen suggest there’s both pros and cons to dummies. NCT suggests to avoid dummies if you are breastfeeding, and to avoid them regardless in the first few weeks after birth. Read more of their advice here.
  • Toy box: Those toys will start to accumulate very quickly, and will very soon clutter your home, so the idea of a toy box isn’t a bad one. However, to call it an essential for a newborn baby would be an overstatement
  • Mobile – to place over your baby’s cot
  • Play mat – baby play mats are a safe and engaging space to place your baby. They often have dangly toys and textured surfaces to entertain and stimulate your baby. Not an essential but an added extra.
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What to skip in your newborn baby essential needs checklist?

A newborn baby lays sleeping/resting upon their mother.

There may be a few items that you’ve been tempted to buy before your newborn has arrived. But it may work out better if you hold off until after your baby is born (if you end up needing it at all). Here’s some of our suggestions of what to avoid:

  • Too many clothes: when they first arrive, they are unbelievably tiny. But babies grow at an extremely quick rate, and will outgrow their clothes before you know it. Save yourself some valuable £’s and hold off buying any unnecessary clothing where possible. Maybe hold off buying that fancy tiny tuxedo until you know that you’ve got a fancy event for them to wear it to.
  • A toy collection that makes Hamleys jealous: When your friends and relatives want to buy a gift for your newborn, the go-to thing they are likely to want to give you is a toy. Stuffed animals are one of the most common gifts for new babies. Avoid the temptation to buy too many toys.
  • Items that aren’t suitable for the season they are born in: This might take a bit of thinking, and a bit of counting the months, but it will save you money on purchases that you may not use. For example, you might not want to buy your new baby a thick winter coat if they are due in May as you won’t fully know how big or how little they are at that point. These purchases can always wait until your baby is here.

If you liked our essential list for your newborn baby, you might also like:

A mum’s experience renting baby clothes (Bundlee)

9 fascinating baby facts

A picturesque delivery- Diary of a first time dad

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Happity Author

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