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Your ultimate newborn baby shopping list - essentials checklist

Need help preparing for baby? Learn what to stock up on with our guide to creating the ultimate newborn baby shopping list.


feet close up of two babies

Key items for your baby shopping list

  • Crib or Moses basket: baby needs a safe place for baby to sleep!

  • Baby-safe laundry detergents: ready to wash sheets, clothes, and more.

  • Car seat and pram: two essentials for travelling with a newborn.

  • Baby bottles, breast pumps and bras, bips and formula milk: everything you need to keep your baby well-fed.

It's the third trimester of your pregnancy and when you're not resting your swollen feet, you're stocking up on cute items for your newborn. It's almost time to meet your baby - but are you really ready? There are so many newborn essentials to buy that it can be daunting to know where to start. To help, we've put together this guide to creating the perfect baby shopping list. Every parent is different so your final list may be a little different but this is the best starting point.

Baby clothes need to be washed regularly so pick up baby-friendly products like to make sure they get clean and stay safe for baby’s sensitive skin.

What do I need for a new baby?

The easiest way to start building your newborn shopping list is to ask yourself the big question: what does a newborn need? Break it down into a few core categories to help you think of everything - you can focus on the items they'll need for different rooms (bedroom vs nusery) or different activities (sleep vs play) to make it easier - and write every item down, even those you've already purchased. It's better to write everything down and mark off any items you already have then to accidentally forget something.

Newborn baby shopping list: examples

To help you answer the big question, here are a few templates you can use as a starting point when creating your own shopping list of essentials newborns need, split by room and activity.

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Sleep-time: Baby essentials for the bedroom

  • Bed: the first priority should be to make sure you have a comfy and safe place for your baby to sleep. Examples include a Moses basket or crib but the decision is down to you (and baby, once they arrive!) Always check your chosen item adheres to safety regulations.

  • Linen: next, think about what your baby will sleep under. Bed linen should be soft, comfy, and free from any hazards like embellishments or loose threads. Swaddle blankets or muslins can be a great comfort to newborns. Always follow safety procedures to protect their limbs if swaddling.

  • Sleep aids: think about additions for entertainment, for example, a baby mobile. You can also help to encourage sleep with items such as white noise toys. Soft teddies are a popular addition but it's advised that you don't let babies under 12 months sleep with any object, even teddies.

  • Night light: while darkness is comforting for newborns who have spent the last 9 months or so tucked up in your womb, a night light can be a great feature for you. It will make night feeds and nappy changes much easier and less disruptive for all members of the household.

  • Baby monitor: if you want to keep an eye, or ear, on your baby when you're not in the room then a baby monitor can be invaluable. Compare models to find the right one for you and make sure you test and replace the batteries as regularly as needed.

As your baby grows, and moves into their own bedroom, you will want to revisit this list and update some of their essentials. It's also important that you don’t forget to regularly wash their crib sheets, pillowcases and other bedding to ensure your baby stays healthy and protected while sleeping.

Bath-time: Baby essentials for the bathroom

  • Bath: a baby bath or topping and tailing bowl is needed when bathing a newborn because of the safety risks poses by a full-size bath. Not to mention the fact that it will save a lot of water to use a smaller bath. Always bathe your baby safely - never leave them unattended near open sources of water and check the temperature is not too hot before washing them.

  • Towels: soft cotton towels are essential for drying baby after bathtime. Pat their skin dry gently - do not rub - and remember to dry all those cute creases in their arms, legs, and in between fingers and toes.

  • Toiletries: a gentle baby wash such as  is an obvious choice but you also need items such as baby powder, baby shampoo, and nappy rash cream. Always opt for skin-sensitive options and check for any allergic reactions on your newborn when using anything new.

  • Tap covers: these soft covers help to prevent babies from catching themselves on hot taps - wiggly legs can often catch things they shouldn't!

  • Toys: while your newborn won't be ready to play with bath toys straightaway you may want to stock up on a few for when they're older.

For more advice on mastering bathtime, read our article on how to bathe your newborn.

Play-time: Baby essentials for outside the home

  • Changing bag: a bag with different compartments for packing is best. Why not choose one which comes with a portable changing mat too, just in case?

  • Nappies and nappy bags: how many you need will depend according to how long you will be out. Newborn babies can need changing up to ten times a day so always overestimate. If you're a cloth-bum mum then make sure you can store soiled nappies in a separate part of your bag (and in a nappy bag).

  • Toiletries: gentle baby wipes, or water and cotton wool are your best friends for cleaning up messes on-the-go.

  • Muslin cloths: perfect for wiping up spillages on baby and on you.

  • Change of clothes: it's always best to pack this in case of accidents. You may even want to pack a spare top for yourself.

  • Good quality pram: check that it offers comfort and safety as well as being a weight you can both push and lift if required.

  • Car seat: a newborn baby essential for safe travels when using the car. Ensure it adheres to safety regulations and practice geetting baby in and out of it a few times before using so you're sure of what goes where.

Dinner-time: Newborn baby essentials for feeding

For breastfeeding, you won't need much more than yourself but a few basics you should stock up on include:

  • Breast pads and nursing bras: use the breast pads to protect against leaks between feeds and a nursing bra to make feeding your baby easier - particularly if you're not at home.

  • Breast pump and bottles: if you decide to express then you'll need a breast pump and baby bottles. This can make on-the-go feeding easier and also give dad the chance to feed baby.

  • Nipple cream and guards: breastfeeding is sore, but satisfying, work. Use cream and guards to soothe and protect your nipples.

If you’re using baby formula, you'll need to shop from a slightly different list:

  • Baby formula: make sure that you stock up on a brand which is specifically designed for newborns and test how your baby responds to it. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when making the formula for feeds.

  • Baby bottles: you may need to try a few different sizes and styles to find the one your baby prefers.

Regardless of what feeding method you choose, it's advisable to invest in a baby bottle sanitiser or follow instructions on sterilising them yourself using the microwave, dishwasher, or boiling water.

All-the-time: General newborn baby essentials

As well as the specific lists above, there are some items that your baby will always need - like clothes! Don't forget to add these essentals to your newborn shopping list.

  • Clothes: you know they need lots of cute outfits but don’t forget the extras like hats, scratch mitts, booties, jackets, and sleepsuits.

  • Blankets: keep your baby snug at home and out and about with blankets. Make sure they're safe for newborns.

  • Baby products: more than just toiletries, you need kind-to-skin detergents such as  and child-proofing items such as cupbaord locks and stairgates (although theses don't need to be assembled until your baby is crawling).

  • Toys: stimulate your baby's brain with colours, textures, and sounds by investing in toys. Always check they're suitable for newborns and don't give a new baby a toy with any removable parts or items that could pose a choking hazard.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Originally published