home > Hubbub > baby > New baby nursery checklist – a guide to newborn essentials

Useful? Share it with your friends -

New baby nursery checklist – a guide to newborn essentials

A pregnant woman stands beside a cot in the nursery holding some baby clothes against her bellyPreparing for a new baby can be overwhelming – especially when it is your first.

But when it comes to buying baby gear and setting up a nursery you really don’t have to stress! You might be happy to hear that there are really only a few ‘essential’ items you’ll need to have ready before your baby arrives.

Most things can be bought afterwards – when you know more about your baby (like the sex and the size) and your own style of parenting.

So, this is a list of what we – with the help of our forum members – think are essential items to buy BEFORE your baby is born.

Our guide to essential nursery items for your baby

 

Sleeping

You’ll need somewhere safe for your baby to sleep. Unless you’re planning to co-sleep you’ll need a cot (cost-effective as they’ll be able to use until they’re 2+) or a bassinet (which they’ll grow out of sooner – meaning you’ll need a cot down the track – but is more convenient while they are young).

  • Cot (or bassinet)
  • Mattress
  • Fitted sheet (consider buying two or more, it is useful to have a spare)
  • Fitted waterproof mattress protector (protect your mattress from poo explosions)
  • Swaddles or muslin wraps or blankets (consider two or more)

TIP: Make sure you’re familiar with the SIDS Safe Sleeping Guidelines before you shop – otherwise you might spend money on something that may put your baby at risk. Plus check out our Cot Safety Checklist.

 

Changing/bathing

You don’t absolutely need a baby bath or change table. You can bath a baby in the regular bath tub (or even the sink) and you can change a baby’s nappy on the floor or a bed. But both items are useful and will make things a bit easier on your back!

  • Towel (baby towels are thin and often have hoods, consider buying two)
  • Face washers
  • Nappies (if you’re using disposables just buy one large ‘newborn’ park to start with, in case your baby grows out of them fast)
  • Terry cloth nappies/muslin squares (useful to have a few on hand as spew rags, or to put under baby on the change table.)
  • Nappy wipes or cotton wool balls
  • Baby bath (one with a plug is easier to empty)
  • Change mat or change table

TIP: Protect your new baby’s skin by only bathing every second day or so with just warm water (or a mild, non-soap based cleanser if required). Check out our Change table Safety Checklist and our guide to buying cloth nappies.

 

Going out with a newborn

Your newborn is required by law to be in a baby capsule or rear-facing car seat while travelling in a car. It’s a good idea to have one professionally installed a few weeks before your due date. Make sure you are familiar with your state’s car child restraint laws.

You might also want to invest in a good quality pram. Look for one that reclines flat for a newborn but can be converted into a stroller for a toddler. Many families however prefer to use a baby carrier for new babies and perhaps a cheaper stroller for older babies and toddlers.

  • Baby capsule/rear-facing car seat
  • Baby carrier and/or pram (look for one that reclines flat for a newborn)
  • Nappy bag (to carry spare nappies, cloths, wipes, clothes etc when out)

TIP: Check out our Nappy Bag packing checklist to see exactly what you need to pack for a trip out of the house with a new baby! And make sure you read the Pram Safety Checklist.

REVIEWS: Read parents’ pram and stroller reviews as well as baby carriers and sling reviews and baby car seat reviews

 

Dressing and baby clothes

There is no need to buy many clothes before baby arrives. Just have a few necessities on hand, then go shopping once you know what size and sex your baby is. Otherwise you could end up with a heap of cute 0000 outfits that never see the light of day.

Also, it pays to be practical. Sure little baby jeans and T-shirts are cute but they aren’t comfortable and you won’t get much use out of them, especially in the smaller sizes. Keep in mind that people may buy clothes as gifts too.

Also check to see if your maternity hospital has a list of what they’d like you to bring in for your baby – this is often a good guide as well. We’ve said 5 of most items here so you’re prepared for baby messes and to have a few in the wash.

  • Singlets x 5 (or, even better, singlet suits – as they don’t ride up!).
  • Short-sleeved bodysuits x 5 (can be used under clothes in winter)
  • Long-sleeved growsuits x 5 (you’ll still need at least a couple of these even if your baby is born in summer in case of air-conditioning – especially in hospital)
  • Socks x 3

READ: Check out our Ultimate guide to buying baby clothes – size guide and tips and find a local baby clothing store.

 

Feeding your newborn baby

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you won’t need much in the way of equipment. If things don’t go as planned then you’ll be able to easily buy formula and feeding equipment in most towns and cities. If you want to have just-in-case formula you can buy packets with individual sachets – as tins of formula need to be used within a certain time period once opened.

  • Breastpads (cloth can be a money saver)
  • Bottles, if you’re bottlefeeding, and bottle-cleaning equipment

REVIEWS: Read parents breastpump reviews and baby bottle reviews and breast pad reviews.

 

Useful baby items (but not essential)

There are many more items that we could have included on our lists – some people might consider the following items as essential while others don’t. The thing is you can’t know for sure until your baby is born.

The following baby items are useful – they’d make great baby shower gifts!

  • A special ‘feeding’ pillow or a ‘V’ shaped cushion
  • Digital thermometer
  • Baby monitor
  • Nail scissors/clippers/toiletries
  • Baby sleeping bag
  • Nappy bag with a change mat
  • Sunshades for car windows
  • Portable cot
  • Beanies, mittens (if you’re having a winter bub)
  • Breastpump (if you want to try giving bub the occasional bottle of EBM)
  • Playmat for tummy time
  • A dummy/pacifier

 

It pays to remember that every family is different and we’re all on a different budget.

Some parents will consider a pram a ‘must-have’ while other families love their baby carrier. Some don’t mind buying an expensive wooden change table to match the cot, while others prefer a more cost-effective one that fits on top of an existing set of drawers. And some won’t bother at all – preferring to change the baby’s nappy on the floor or a bed.

It really is important to find what works for you. And you probably won’t figure that out until after your baby has arrived.

Hopefully in the meantime you’ll find our baby nursery essential checklist a useful guide when preparing for your new baby. All the best! xx

Thanks to the members who helped compile this list: shabbychook, Kimnus, Atizmum, JesseBear, NikkiTapscott, zultbear, SpunkyMonkeyandSupermansMum, swimmingupstream and SorensMum.

——————————————————————

A printable shopping list for when you are buying for a new babyPRINT OUT OUR CHECKLIST

We’ve made this guide to newborn and nursery essentials into a printable list for you!

Click through to nursery checklist buying for baby

 

Image credit: mariok/123RF Stock Photo

Have your say:
What would you consider to be an essential baby item to buy for the nursery?
What do YOU think? Let us know.

The Bubhub Crew

About The Bubhub Crew

The Bub Hub Crew is the name we have given to our esteemed team of multi-award-winning* staff writers. We’re a small team. Small, not short. In fact some of us are quite ...

Post your comment

Comment Guidelines : Play nice! We welcome opinions, discussion and compliments. Especially compliments. But remember: the person on the other side of the computer screen is someone's mum, brother, nan or highly intelligent but opinionated cat. We don't tolerate nastiness or bullying. We'll delete disrespectful comments and any replies to them. more

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you have a Gravatar, it will appear next to your comments. Read more about Gravatars here

*


− 1 = 8

Free weekly inspiration
Sleeping and Settling Tips
who are these people who write great posts? meet our hubbub authors!
Learn how you can contribute to the hubbub!

reviews
learn how you can become a reviewer!

competitions

forum - chatting now
 
gotcha