Becoming a parent is a daunting task. Even more so when it eats up a big chunk of your bank account. Research study states that it will cost you around $5,000 to cover the cost of baby essentials in its first year.
Disposable diapers alone cost at least $400 over 12 months!
You may be very excited about becoming a new parent and will want to buy every product out there. But, it is best to know which are the baby essential products to invest in.
It can be helpful to talk to other moms about the more common products such as baby strollers or cribs.
There are thousands of products you can buy. If you are struggling to find out what to buy for your newborn, then you’ll love this infographic.
It’s a simple checklist that will guide you to purchase baby essentials without spending on places where you do not have to.
Baby Essentials: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet Infographic
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Nursery & Furniture
When expecting a baby you would want to give them the best environment when arriving home from the hospital.
Here we have 11 essential baby nursery furniture to include in your baby room.
- Baby Cot – The most important furniture of all is the baby cot. Your baby will be growing into it for a few years. Consider investing in one that can convert into a full-size bed. This way you can save a few bucks from buying a new bed every year while your baby grows. They grow fast!
- Baby Mattress – Most commonly they are waterproof and also pocket sprung. Choose one that is soft to touch and does not have any wired edges. This will give your baby the utmost comfort while sleeping in its cot.
- Beddings – You will need a few of these in stock as they will get dirty really quick. Even with diapers your baby will be drooling and spitting. So changing beddings will be a common process and a few in hand will make life easier.
- Bassinet – A bassinet can be used if you want your baby to be closer to your bed. This is great for newborns as they tend to be too small for a full-size cot. Your baby bassinet can sit beside your bed and you will be able to watch your baby sleep at night.
- Baby Swing – When you want to have some free time, consider using a baby swing. Babies love rocking motions. When put in a baby swing they will fall asleep quickly and you can have more time doing your own things.
- Baby monitor – If you have separate rooms from your baby, a baby monitor is essential. It will monitor your baby and alert you when your baby cries or wakes. Baby monitors are getting smarter every day and most of them can link up with your smartphone.
- Nightlight – Don’t want to wake your other half up while feeding your baby in the middle of the night? A nightlight will be able to give you enough light source to find your way around. This also helps as your baby’s eyes adjust to the light.
- Dresser – Some prefer to have a small dresser for baby clothes. It can be a lot more cost saving if you invest a full-size dresser. Don’t underestimate the number of clothes you will be buying for your newborn. Friends and family will also contribute, so a larger size dresser would be more suitable.
- Changing table – Either a changing table or a changing board depending on your situation. A changing table normally includes a dresser as well. There are some changing boards that hook onto the top of the baby cot, but make sure the dimensions are correct before purchasing.
- Cool mist humidifier – Depending on where you live, you will need a humidifier. This makes the air less dry and your baby will be able to sleep better. Make sure you don’t add any essential oils in the system as it may have a negative effect on the baby.
- Baby Sleeping Sack – A soft thin blanket can give your baby additional warmth and security. Make sure it is a soft fabric so it does not overheat your baby. The size is also important to make sure the baby does not wrap them too tightly during sleep. An alternative would be to use a sleeping sack instead to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Nursing & Feeding
Give your baby the nutrients they need while growing. A good feeding environment is paired with proper equipment.
The following essential nursing products you should invest in are:
- Baby Bottles & Nipples – Invest in high-quality baby bottles to ensure your baby has the best feeding experience. If you are breastfeeding, you may want to have a few bottles on hand to store breastmilk. You may need a small freezer if you want to store them for a long period of time.
- Bottle brush – To make sure your baby bottles are clean, use a bottle brush to clean excess milk that is stuck on the bottle. A brush can help you clean those hard to reach parts of the bottle.
- Breastmilk Pump – Only if you are breastfeeding, a high-quality breastmilk pump will allow you to store your breastmilk. There are also smart breast milk pumps in the market that hook up with your smartphone to take a record on how much milk is saved.
- Milk storage bags – Another option if you are breastfeeding. Instead of purchasing multiple baby bottles, you can buy disposable milk storage bags. These can then be freezes and warmed when needed. Especially useful when you travel a lot and do not want to bring bulky bottles.
- Nursing bras and pads– Again, for those who breastfeed, nursing bras can provide the privacy when feeding in public.
- Nipple cream – Some mothers may feel pain on their nipples when breastfeeding. Make sure you purchase high-quality nipple creams to soothe your nipples after feeding. Babies can often bite and chew on nipples so a nipple cream is a great addition to your baby essentials.
- Nursing pillow – Normally you hold your baby up to your breast, but with a nursing pillow they can rest on top of it. This allows your hands to be free and attend to other things while feeding.
- Bottle warmer – Don’t waste time going back and forth from the kitchen! Invest in a bottle warmer and place it next to your baby. You can warm your bottle of milk anytime at night quickly to feed your baby.
- Bottle Sterilizer – A dishwasher may be able to clean your used baby bottle. But is it able to remove all the bacteria that grows in old milk? A bottle sterilizer can keep your child from harmful bacterias. You can choose from steam bottle sterilizers or microwave sterilizers depending on your situation.
- Bibs – Bibs or burp cloths can keep your baby clothes from getting dirty when feeding. This washable cloth is a life saver. But a few sets so you can change them every day.
- Pacifiers – Putting your baby to sleep with a pacifier may reduce the chances of SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome). However, if you are breastfeeding, wait until the baby is 1 month old. Introducing it too soon may cause the baby to be confused and not prefer your own nipples.
Until your child can learn how to go to the potty themselves, you will have to help them. Here are some of the essential diapering products you need to prepare.
- Diapers – Probably the most important baby essential product in this list. Diapers can save you from cleaning dirty clothing and beddings. They are easily disposed of and keep your baby clean. Try buying these in bulk as they usually have discounts.
- Changing Table – A changing table is a place where you change your baby diapers. The usually have raised edges to prevent your baby from rolling over. An alternative to a changing table, you may have one that can fit onto the baby cot. This will save you a lot of space and money.
- Diaper pail and liners – When changing your baby’s diapers, you will need to throw the used diapers into the bin. It would be handy if you have a diaper pail next to the crib so you can keep your baby under watch. Instead of having to run to a bin and have your baby unattended, you can drop it into the diaper pail next to you.
- Diaper cream – Sometimes your baby can have a red bottom. Rashes are their worst nightmare. Diaper cream can prevent this and soothe any skin conditions. It keeps the acidic chemicals from their waste from harming their delicate skin.
- Unscented baby wipes – Remember to use unscented it causes less irritation. Make sure they are baby safe as well. These wipes will help you clean them when changing diapers. Make sure you clean them thoroughly every time.
- Hand sanitizer – After you deal with their poo and pee, you might want to use hand sanitizers to keep your hands bacteria-free. Make sure you clean your hands before coming in contact with your newborn. This will help them grow healthy as their immune system is still undeveloped.
Bathing your baby should be safe and fun. That is only if you have the right products! Make sure you include these in your inventory of baby essentials.
- Washcloths – Grab a soft washcloth to clean your baby while giving them a bath. Their skin is still very sensitive so make sure you apply a soft pressure. Avoid from using scrubs or brushes when bathing.
- Baby bathtub – It is not just a plastic tub. Some baby bathtubs now include thermometers and also clean water draining system. Clean water constantly runs through the tub and the dirty water drains out. All this while the water temperature is indicated for you.
- Baby soap – Not all soap is suitable for your newborn. Make sure you buy baby safe soap for them. The chemicals are different and are not as strong. They are commonly gently fragmented and is gentle on the skin.
- Baby shampoo – Your newborn baby’s eyes are very delicate. Any irritation may cause long-term problems. Choose a baby shampoo that is suitable for babies. Normally they are tear free and is milder than the ones adults use. It would be best if you choose a baby shampoo that is organic.
- Hooded baby towels – Apart from looking great on your baby it provides a fun way to keep the dry. Hooded baby towels allow it to dry the head at the same time. It also prevents the towel from wrapping around their body too tightly.
- Baby hairbrush – They are normally made with soft nylon bristles. It is very gentle on your newborn hair. Your baby’s scalp is not fully mature yet so you need to be careful when brushing. A soft light stroke would do the job.
- Baby Car Seat – Important if you travel a lot in a car. It is also against the law in some countries to bring a baby on board without a baby car seat. Make sure you purchase one that has safety standards. Car seats can differ in quality and safety from different manufacturers. Also, make sure your child age is suitable for the baby car seat.
- Baby Stroller – With a baby stroller you can bring your newborn to parks for a walk. Some baby strollers have multiple combinations so your baby can grow into it. From front facing to facing inwards and different reclining options. Make sure the baby stroller is equipped with a suspension to minimize movement and discomfort.
- Baby Carrier / Sling – When going for a quick walk, you can use a baby carrier instead. This lightweight gear can help your arms and shoulders. They also allow you to be hands-free and can attend to other tasks while carrying your baby. If you are an at home mom and want to carry your baby while doing house chores, this is the best options.
- Baby Walker – A baby walker can help develop the all important muscles for your baby. It also trains them into getting used to the upright position. They are also safe as it prevents them bumping into hard edges and corners.
- High chair – When your baby grows, you will need to feed them on the table. A high chair will put them at the right height for you to attend to them. Make sure you choose a high chair that is easily cleaned and dismantled. This can save you some space and ensure it is bacteria free while feeding.
- Sun shields for car windows – A lot of parents forget that the back seats tend to get really hot under the sun. The windows enhance the heat and can cause skin damage to your baby. A sun shield can help reduce this and cool the car down. Especially useful when parked under the sun.
- Diaper bag – When traveling, you can put all the baby essentials in a diaper bag. It will include baby bottles, baby formula, baby wipes and so on. Keep everything organized so when you need it, you won’t have to dig for it. Choose a lightweight diaper bag so you can carry it easily along with your baby.
- Baby Sunscreen – Baby’s skin are especially sensitive to UV. Make sure you protect them by applying baby sunscreen when out in the sun. Be sure that the sunscreen is baby safe.
- Insulated bottle holder – During the winter, you wouldn’t want your warm milk to cool out real quick. An insulated bottle holder will be able to keep your baby milk warm while feeding. Especially useful when feeding outdoors in the cold. Cold milk is not recommended for your babies as it may cause issues.
Toys and Entertainment
- Teething toys – When your baby starts to grow teeth, they will want to get their hands and mouth on literally everything. Teething toys can provide a safe environment for them to do so. Make sure they are choking free and safe to bite on. No small parts should fall off of it.
- Portable playpen – If you want your baby to have some fun time but also in a safe environment, use a portable playpen. These are lightweight play areas with safety nets on the sides to keep your baby in a safe zone. Include their favorite toy and you can leave them inside while you do chores.
- Baby Bouncer Seat – Similar to a baby swing, it allows you to set your baby on it and be hands-free for the day. It provides a rocking motion to have them rest better. It is also a safe spot for them to play in.
- Play mat and gym – A play mat is useful if your baby likes to crawl on the floor all the time. You can also use play mats to provide a great play area for them. Make sure the play mats are baby safe as some may contain harmful chemicals.
- Baby books – To help your baby learn, baby books can be useful. You can also use them to give bedtime stories. Make sure the baby books are correct for their age.
- Baby music player – When babies sleep, you can use a music player to play some soft music to enhance their sleeping experience. Although you can use a phone for this, try a smaller speaker that is gentle with the sound.
- Squishy baby ball – This ball gives your baby a chance to experiment and play with different things. Some balls have many features having your baby learn how to hold and grab. These are essential for your baby’s development.
- Safety gates – If you have areas in the house you do not want your baby to go, safety gates are very useful. Some places would be on stairs or in the doorway to the kitchen. Keep your baby out of harm using safety gates. Make sure they are tall enough as some toddlers can climb over them.
- Socket covers – If your baby crawls on the floor all the time, you might want to use socket covers. Prevent them from sticking their fingers into sockets as they will be curious about everything around the house. It is better to be safe when it comes to deadly electricity.
- Table Edge / Corner Guards – As your baby grows, they will be running around the house. It is inevitable that they will bang their head on one of the furniture. Make sure you baby proof them before they can do any harm. Table edges and corner guards provide a soft impact if they run into any accidents.
- Cupboard and drawer latches – If you’ve heard of the Ikea horror stories of drawers falling on babies, you would definitely want to invest in one of these drawer latches. These prevent toddlers from opening your drawers and climbing them. It is useful if you want to keep items out of their reach.
- Toilet seat locks – Another important safety feature is the toilet seat lock. They prevent your child from opening the toilet seat and eventually falling into it. Although they won’t be flushed anyway, it is still a safety hazard.
- Flatscreen TV Safety Straps – Imagine a heavy metal door laying on top of you. This would be the feeling if a flat screen TV was to drop on top of your child. Use TV safety straps to secure your flat screen TV. This prevents it from falling forward on top of your baby.
- Baby laundry detergent – Your newborn baby’s skin is delicate, so choose a baby laundry detergent that is natural. If possible find one that is organic. Using baby laundry detergent can also avoid any allergies and very sensitive skin.
- Bulb syringe – A bulb syringe is used to suck sticky mucus out of your baby’s nose. It is very useful as your baby does not yet now how to clear its nose. Some of these come in kits and can be reused after washed.
- Baby nail clippers – Your baby will be scratching and grabbing all the time. Use special baby nail clippers to keep their nails as short as possible. They do tend to grow fast!
- Baby thermometer – If you want to check your baby’s core temperature, use a baby thermometer. These are placed inside their ears and will indicate their temperature on a small digital screen. It is also highly accurate to find their internal temperature compared to a traditional thermometer.
- First aid kit – First aid kit for babies is different from the adult version. Every item in the kit will be aimed for babies. It can include painkillers, bandages, and antiseptic cream. The formula used in these products are milder compared to the ones we use.
Hospital Bag Checklist
If you are giving birth at a hospital, you will need to pack everything and ready to go before your due date. Try to have a hospital bag ready to go at around 36 weeks.
You wouldn’t want to be deciding on the day to the hospital as you will probably be in so much pain you cant!
Hospitals have different policies regarding what you are allowed to bring. So it is best to consult the hospital first.
Essentials for Mom
- ID / Documents – Remember to bring any documents needed for the hospital. This may include a photo ID and a booklet from your midwife. Keep these in your hospital bag so you never forget. If possible, it would be a good idea to photocopy your ID and have those ready just in case.
- Eyeglasses – If you wear contact lenses, be sure to bring your glasses. You might want to wear eyeglasses for better comfortability. Contact lenses can get dry and dirty in hospital environments.
- Bathrobe / Dressing Gown – Make sure you bring a change of dressing gown. It will most likely get dirty so choose the one you are not attached with. Preferably one that is disposable.
- Underwear – Keep a few clean underwear in your hospital bag. It is common that you will need to change underwear after giving birth.
- Maternity pads – As well as underwear, bring maternity pads. These are different from sanitary pads. You will need to change maternity pads every 2-3 hours on the first day after giving birth.
- Slippers / Socks – Although hospitals do provide socks and slippers, you may want to bring a few spare for yourself. These can get dirty so make sure they are not your favorite pair of socks.
- Snacks and isotonic drinks – When waiting for contractions and giving birth, you may want to have a drink or two. Isotonic drinks contain similar concentrations of salt and sugar as in the human body. These are commonly found in sports drinks.
- Hairband – Keep your hair tied up at all times when delivering the baby. Also very useful when you want to have a nice picture taken afterward. Avoid using hair clips as they do tend to poke.
- Magazine – Stay relaxed when you are waiting for delivery. Read your favorite magazine or a book.
- Mobile Phone / Tablet / Charger – A mobile phone would be useful when you want to tell your friends and family after delivering the baby. Make sure you bring a charger or it will be useless! If you have an iPad you can use it to read or play some games.
- TENS Machine – This machine is used to relax your muscles. However, some midwives tend to restrict the usage of the TENS machine. It is best to ask your midwife if you should use one or not. If you are allowed to, it makes a lot of difference to keep you from pain.
- Going home clothes – You will be very sweaty and exhausted after delivering. Bring a set of going home clothes to change. It will make a lot of difference and gives you a moral boost after staying in a hospital for hours.
- Nursing bras – Don’t forget your nursing bra to change into! Your baby will start to feed on the same day. It makes feeding a lot more private and easier. Nursing bras tend to be a lot more comfortable so you might want to wear them while going to the hospital.
- Toiletries – Things such as toothbrushes and toothpaste might be useful if you are staying overnight at the hospital. Keep hygiene levels up to standard and your baby will be happy on its birthday.
- Plastic Bags – A lot of people forget about this. A handy plastic bag would be able to keep your dirty clothes from your other objects in your hospital bag. You can put your dirty underwear and clothes in after giving birth.
Essentials for Baby
- Car Seat – Some hospitals insist you must have a suitable car seat fitted before you can leave the hospital. So get yourself a car seat and fit it in your car before hand. This will save a lot of hassle when trying to leave the hospital. It also keeps your newborn safe while traveling home.
- A going-home outfit – You wouldn’t want your baby to leave the hospital naked! Bring some baby clothes, preferably a one piece. Your baby is very venerable to extreme weathers so depending on when you give birth to your baby, you will need different clothing.
- A receiving blanket – Although hospitals tend to have to receive blankets, you might want to change into your own when bringing the baby home.
- Winter Jacket – If your baby is a winter baby, then remember to bring a thick winter jacket. Newborns don’t like the cold, keep them warm with a thick jacket. Their immune system is not fully developed yet so it is best to be safe.
- Hat – Without any fully grown hair, your baby’s head is vulnerable. Give them a hat to wear when heading home to help protect it from the weather. And of course, they will look cute in one too!
- Nappies – If your home is far away from the hospital, bring a few diapers for change. They will be passing a lot of fluid after birth. It is best to change diapers every few hours on the first day.
- Scratch mittens – Give your baby scratch mittens to prevent them scratching. They will have developed nails already to its important to keep them tucked in. It is also great for keeping them warm and safe while traveling home.
- Baby Wipes – Along with diapers, baby wipes can come in handy. There may be still residue from birth and you want to clean them off. Make sure you use baby safe wipes!
That summarizes all of the baby essentials for your hospital bag. Make sure you have it all packed few weeks before your due date. Some mothers may give birth early so it is best to be safe.
Did we miss any important product that you think should be included on this list? Let us know through the comments below.