Newborn Essentials: The Complete Newborn Checklist

Congratulations, you’re having a baby! Pregnancy is such a beautiful time. It is also time to prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.

But what should you buy?

Walking into a baby store can be overwhelming – there are so many products. Do you need one of everything? Which things are useful? Which are totally unnecessary?

Don’t stress. A new baby doesn’t actually need much – clothes for warmth, a safe place to sleep, to be fed, to be clean, to be transported from A to B, and of course, to be loved.

Whether you’re a mum to be, first time mum or even have a whole tribe and just need a quick reminder, here are the essentials you need for a new baby.


At a minimum, your new bundle of joy will need four outfits – one to wear, one change of clothes, one in the wash, and one drying. As the average birth weight of a new baby is 3.5kg, with the weight range from 2.5kg to 4.5kg, you should buy four outfits in size 000 (fits 0-3 months, up to 6kg). As you get closer to your due date, you will know how your baby’s weight is tracking to determine if you should also buy size 0000 (for up to 4kg) and size 00000 (for up to 3kg) clothes. Essential clothes include:


  • 4 x Bodysuits
  • 2 x Growsuits
  • 1 x Long sleeve tops
  • 1 x Pants
  • 2 x Jumpers (if in a cold climate)
  • 2 x Socks (if in a cold climate)
  • 1 x Hat (either beanie or sun hat dependant on climate)



1 x Cot / Bassinet / Co sleeper – baby needs a safe place to sleep. These are the main options:

  • Cot – most versatile as baby can sleep here for a number of years until she outgrows it or starts to climb out. If you use a bassinet or co sleeper in the beginning, baby will outgrow them and transition to a cot. A cot is great if you don’t want to buy multiple pieces of furniture.
  • Bassinet – smaller and cosier than a cot. Great option if you want baby in your bedroom but don’t have space for a cot. Some bassinets open up on one side and can act like a co sleeper.
  • Co sleeper – allows you to feed and soothe baby from the comfort of your own bed. Babies love being close to mum and dad. Great for overnight feeding and settling.

1 x Mattress – an appropriate size organic crib mattress for your chosen cot or bassinet.

2 x Mattress protector – much easier to clean than the mattress itself. Saves you from having to buy a new mattress if baby spits up or soils it. Buy two – one for the mattress, and one as backup for when the first is in the wash.

2 x Fitted sheets – the right size for your mattress. Again, buy two – one for the mattress, and one as backup for when the first is in the wash.

2 x Sleeping bags/Swaddles/Blankets – to keep baby warm while she’s sleeping. I love sleeping bags! They keep baby snug. It’s just like being in the womb. They’re great as baby can’t roll out of them. Swaddles are also snug. However, babies often prove to be pretty good escape artists no matter how good you are at swaddling. There’s traditional blankets too. Just tuck them in on the sides and end of the cot.


  • Baby monitor – great when you have a big home so you can hear when baby wakes.
  • Room thermometer – handy to help you work out how many layers to dress baby in, and what bedding to use.
  • Night light – great for overnight feeds and nappy changes. Enough light for you to see what you need to do, but dim enough to help baby to sleep.
  • White noise machine – great for helping baby to sleep, and to sleep through more than one sleep cycle.



  • 2 x Nursing bras – make it easy to breastfeed baby. Buy three – one to wear, one in the wash, and one drying.
  • 2 x Nursing tops – like nursing bras, nursing tops make it easy to breastfeed baby. They also help with modesty when breastfeeding in public. Again, buy three – one to wear, one in the wash, and one drying.
  • Nursing pads – help to absorb any leakage. Disposable and reusable options are available.
  • Nipple balm – essential! If this is your first baby, breastfeeding can be very painful. This helps heal your nipples


  • Breast pump – you can buy manual or electric breast pumps. The electric ones have single and double pump options.
  • Bottles – at least four bottles. Two to pump into (assuming double breast pump) and two for storing milk.
  • Teats – at least one slow flow teat is needed.


  • Formula – wide range of brands are available at different prices. Some cater to food intolerances and allergies.
  • Bottles – at least two. One for feeding baby, and one extra.
  • Teats – at least one slow flow teat is needed.


  • Nursing chair – look for one that allows you to sit upright (using pillows for support is fine), recline (at least a little), and rock (at least slightly), with armrests. This will make it easier to feed and settle baby.
  • Feeding pillow – great for supporting baby, and helps ensure you maintain good posture.
  • Bottle steriliser – very convenient for sterilising baby bottles. Options include an electric standalone appliance, microwave steriliser, and disposable microwave steriliser bags.



  • Nappies – cloth or disposable options available. A newborn will go through 6 to 12 nappies a day.
  • Wipes – buy wipes with a good level of moistness. To stop wipes from drying out, buy those with a resealable lid instead of a resealable sticker.
  • Barrier cream – essential since baby wears nappies for most of the day. Give baby some nappy free time too.


  • Change table – choose one suitable for your height. A built in shelf, or sliding shelf is handy for storing baby change items.
  • Change pad – choose one with raised sides and a wipeable surface.



  • Cotton balls – for cleaning baby’s eyes.
  • 4 x Face washers – use two when bathing baby; one on baby’s tummy to keep her warm, and use one to clean baby. The other two are spares to allow for laundry time.


  • Bath wash – use baby specific, fragrance free bath wash as newborns have sensitive skin.
  • Hooded towels – great for keeping baby’s head warm.
  • Baby bath and stand – saves your back. Pick one with a hose for easy draining.
  • Bath thermometer – great for testing the temperature of the water. Ideal temperature is body temperature, 37-38°C.



  • Baby carrier – so handy when leaving the house with baby as it keeps both your hands free. Newborns love being held. Check this comprehensive buying guide to find the perfect one.
  • Car seat / Capsule – essential if you have a car. You can buy or hire. Car seats, suitable for newborns, can be used longer than a capsule, generally from 0 to 4 years. In contrast, a capsule can be used till bub is about 6 months. A capsule is handy if baby just fell asleep, or if you have a compatible pram.
  • Nappy bag – A nappy bag is very useful. They have multiple compartments, pockets and zips to stay organised when you are out and about. Backpack style ones are particularly handy!


  • Car mirror – perfect for keeping an eye on bub.
  • Pram – nice to take on walks, and going out so you don’t have to carry bub. Pick one that suits your lifestyle. Consider functionality, size, weight and available accessories. If you have two monsters, or plan to have a second, consider a double pram.



  • Baby Paracetamol – essential to have on hand. It is likely baby will need some paracetamol when she gets ill. Of course, please consult your medical practitioner prior to use.


  • Thermometer – good to have to help you determine if baby is unwell. You should, of course, also see a doctor.
  • Dummies – can be useful to help soothe and settle baby.


  • Bouncer – a safe place to put baby down when you need two free hands. Usually portable, so great for moving from room to room allowing baby to watch what you are doing. The bouncing motion can help settle baby too.
  • Toys – lightweight crinkle toys, an unbreakable mirror, linkable plastic rings, soft cuddle toys, and rattles are great first toys for baby.
  • Cot Mobile – a musical mobile acts like white noise. This can help soothe baby and encourage sleep. A cot mobile can also be stimulating and entertaining for an awake baby.
  • Playmat – great for tummy time.