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How to Gather Together the Items You Need for a Newborn

As you’ve probably heard, the little person about to take over your life doesn’t come cheap. Along with the big-ticket items like a crib and a stroller, your baby needs a constant supply of diapers.

You can also expect him to outgrow his clothes at a rapid rate, and if you decide to formula feed, that adds to the expenses as well.

By being organized well in advance and thinking carefully about what you actually need for your newborn — as opposed to what you want, or think you need — you can keep spending under control while still meeting all your baby’s needs.


Things You’ll Need

  • Newborn clothing
  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes or washcloths
  • Changing pad
  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • Baby carrier or sling (optional)
  • Burp cloths
  • Lanolin ointment
  • Gel packs
  • Breast pads
  • 4-ounce bottles
  • Infant formula (optional)
  • Bottle brushes
  • Spare nipples
  • Bassinet
  • Fitted sheets
  • Wearable blankets
  • Digital thermometer
  • Baby nail scissors
  • Baby brush
  • Mild laundry detergent


Methods to Gather Together the Items You Need for a Newborn

Create a list of what you need for your newborn baby. You may even want to create a spreadsheet. Divide the list into sections to make your task easier; for example: clothing, feeding, changing, bath time and travel. Make a column for the name of the item and leave plenty of space to make notes about prices and store options.

Start with newborn baby clothing. Buy a range of sizes, as you won’t know until your baby is born what size she needs. A few onesies, outer layers (such as soft cardigans) and one-piece outfits in sizes newborn and 3 months should be adequate. Remember plenty of socks, mittens and an appropriate hat: a sunhat if it’s summertime or a warm, close-fitting hat that covers your newborn’s ears for winter.

Choose neutral colors (green and yellow) if you don’t know the sex of your baby. Don’t go overboard when it comes to newborn clothes, as you’re likely to receive lots of gifts, and you’ll have plenty of time to boost baby’s wardrobe when you know whether you’re buying for a boy or a girl.

Figure out how many diapers you’ll need to keep you going for the first few weeks, as you’ll have enough to worry about without making late-night dashes to the supermarket. A newborn tends to go through ten to 12 diapers per day, says BabyCenter.com, which equals 70 to 84 diapers per week. Remember baby wipes (or plenty of washcloths if you don’t want to use wipes). Know that a changing table isn’t an absolute necessity. A changing pad on a safe, hard surface is a cheaper, more flexible alternative.


How to Gather Together the Items You Need for a Newborn


Choose a car seat. To take your newborn baby home from the hospital, a secure car seat is mandatory. You’ll also want a stroller to take your baby for walks. Make sure the stroller reclines to make it suitable for your newborn, or opt for a model that can be used with your infant car seat or with a bassinet attachment. Consider whether you want to buy a baby carrier or sling. It’s not necessary but can be extremely handy during the first few months if you want to be able to move about freely while keeping your baby close.

List the items you need to feed your newborn. Burp cloths are essential whether you plan to breast- or bottle-feed. For breastfeeding, buy lanolin ointment to relieve sore nipples, gel packs to soothe swollen or sore breasts and breast pads (disposable or reusable) to keep leaks away from your clothing.

Decide if you want to purchase a breast pump. If you intend to bottle-feed, go for 4-ounce bottles, a plentiful supply of formula, bottle brushes and plenty of spare nipples. You may also want to buy a supply of bottled water if your pediatrician suggests it.

Invest in a bassinet or crib for your newborn to sleep in at night. The only bedding you’ll need is few fitted sheets and a couple of wearable blankets, which zip over your baby’s sleep attire to keep him warm.

Remember a digital thermometer to help you monitor your baby’s temperature, baby nail scissors to trim your newborn’s nails safely, a soft-bristled baby brush to handle cradle cap and a mild laundry detergent (these are often labeled “baby” or “free and clear”) to help protect your newborn’s delicate skin.

Purchase the items on your list. You may want to look at big-ticket items, like the car seat and stroller, in a department store first, before browsing and buying online to get the best deals.

Most stores offer sale items and coupons all year round or provide discount codes to use online if you sign up for a mailing list. Store your items in your baby’s nursery, keeping everything neat and tidy in anticipation of your new arrival.


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