There are over 3.6 million babies born every year in the United States alone. That creates a big market for companies that sell products geared toward new parents. Companies make everything you could imagine a new parent could use. This massive industry is estimated to reach over $225 billion in 2022. Preparing for a new baby makes it easy to get caught up in the consumerism of thinking you need everything. Marketing draws on your emotions to be a good parent and to keep your baby safe. Social media influencers can influence you to purchase particular products or brands. Plus, pregnancy is an exciting time, and buying things in preparation for your baby is fun.

It can be overwhelming to think about choosing the right products, how much everything will cost, and where you will put everything. This article will explain exactly what you need for your new baby, whether you are purchasing items yourself or adding them to a baby registry. Plus, download the Ultimate List of the must-haves, optional items, and what is unnecessary.

Some links throughout this article may be affiliate links. I only recommend companies that make exceptional products I love and have personal experience with.

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Download the Ultimate List here.

The Baby Industry

There are over 3.6 million babies born every year in the United States alone. That creates a big market for companies that sell products geared toward new parents. Companies make everything you could imagine a new parent could use. This is a massive industry estimated to reach over $225 billion in 2022. Preparing for a new baby makes it easy to get caught up in the consumerism of thinking you need everything. Marketing draws on your emotions to be a good parent and to keep your baby safe. Social media influencers can influence you to purchase particular products or brands. Plus, pregnancy is an exciting time, and buying things in preparation for your baby is fun.

Baby Items You Need

This article will explain exactly what you need for your new baby, whether you are purchasing items yourself or adding them to a baby registry. If you plan on a baby shower and have a baby registry, check out the Guide to Creating Your Baby Registry. There are endless lists online of everything you need for a baby. Some of these are very detailed and have hundreds of items. It can be overwhelming to think about choosing the right products, how much everything will cost, and where you will put everything. This article breaks down the must-haves, optional items, and what is unnecessary.

Finding the Right Products

There are a lot of resources with a list of the top baby products, the best strollers, and the safest crib mattresses. It can be helpful if you already have an excellent resource you trust. If you are searching on Google, this can take you down an endless rabbit hole trying to find the right products.

Two of the best resources are online reviews and recommendations from friends and family who have used products. Regardless of where you are shopping, Amazon has the largest database of product reviews. Plus, there are many answered questions, pictures, and videos available. If you have friends and family who have children, ask for the products they do or don’t recommend. They will tell you what they couldn’t live without and the items they didn’t need or like.

The Consumer Reports website has in-depth ratings, reviews, and buying advice for must-have baby products based on rigorous expert testing.

Tips as You Are Shopping for Your Baby or Building Your Registry

While shopping for your baby, simple tips can save you time, money, and frustration later on. Every family has different priorities and financial abilities, and there are options for everything in any budget. If you are lucky enough to have friends and family who have kids and can pass items down to you, that can also be an excellent resource.

Big ticket items like car seats, cribs, and strollers last longer than your baby will use them. Consider buying items in gender-neutral colors you can reuse if you have more children later.

Babies and kids can be messy. Baby gear, bedding, and clothing in lighter colors can be harder to clean and will show stains more than in darker colors.

Both you and your partner will use items like baby carriers and diaper bags. Some parents choose to have two diaper bags, one for mom and the other for dad or partner. Some partners will not care what color or style of the carrier they use with their baby. Talk to your partner and ensure you select things you are both comfortable using.

Think about how you will utilize items and how often you will use them. For example, a travel bag for your car seat can be great for keeping your car seat clean during a long flight. If you plan to fly once or twice a year, you may not want to spend $50 or more on a canvass bag when a large trash bag works just as well.

The Ultimate List

There is nuance to many of the items discussed in this article. Opinions differ on what items are must-haves and what are optional or unnecessary. Keep in mind families are raising babies with far fewer resources and things than you have available. Recommendations are for what you need at a minimum. You can always buy more or add higher quantities to your baby registry. You can download the Ultimate List here. I encourage you to customize this list to fit your priorities, budget, and lifestyle.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are one of the best gifts for expecting parents. If you have a registry put gift cards on it. If people ask what you need for a baby, you can say you are still working on a list, and gift cards to whatever store you prefer are appreciated. Consider stores that carry a large variety of baby necessities like Amazon, Target, buybuy Baby, Walmart, etc.

Nursery Must Haves

The nursery is often one of the biggest to-dos for a mom-to-be. Whether decorating a room in your home or just carving out a corner for a baby, this space can use your creativity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that infants sleep in the parents’ room, close to the parent’s bed, but on a separate surface designed for infants, ideally for at least the first six months. Your baby may be taking naps in their nursery but should be sleeping in your room during the night.

Crib and Mattress –Cribs can range quite a bit in price. You generally want a firm mattress, no bumpers, pillows, blankets, or anything in the crib except your baby. I urge you to do your due diligence to ensure your baby is sleeping in a safe environment, and ultimately you need to go with the sleeping arrangement that is the best for your family. I encourage you to review the safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Fitted Crib Sheets (2+) – The one thing you should have in your crib is a fitted sheet. You want at least two fitted sheets so you can swap them out if one gets dirty.

Blankets (2-3) – Although your baby will not be sleeping with blankets, you will use them during other times. There are many different kinds of blankets. Swaddle blankets are for swaddling babies and tend to be bigger than a receiving blanket, which is more of an all-purpose blanket. You will find yourself using blankets as burp cloths, shading your baby in a stroller, covering up while you are nursing, or using them as a changing pad. Buy a few different kinds in different weights and see what you use the most before stocking up.

Changing Table Pad and Covers – It is very convenient to have an area designated for diaper changing with all your supplies in one place. This is typically a changing table or dresser with a changing pad on top. You can also consider securely attaching a changing pad to the top of any dresser without buying something specifically for that purpose. There will be accidents, and you want at least two covers, so you have a clean one available.

Optional Nursery

You should have fun building and decorating the nursery for your baby. There are a lot of additions that can add to the comfort or design of your baby’s room. The following items are optional.

Waterproof Mattress Protector – Most manufacturers make crib mattresses with a waterproof cover. You do not need an additional layer of protection, but some parents get an extra mattress protector or thin pad.

Bassinet or Side Sleeper – Where your baby sleeps is a personal choice. In addition to a crib, there are a couple of options for bedding solutions. A side sleeper is an infant bed that attaches to an adult bed. A bassinet or a cradle is a bed specifically for babies during the first few months. Cribs are subject to many safety standards regulated by the federal government, whereas bassinets and side sleepers are not.

Glider or Rocker – A glider or rocker is a stereotypical fixture in a nursery. You may find yourself spending more time with your baby in other areas of your home, and some parents do not end up using a glider. These are very comfortable to sit in when breastfeeding, which you will be doing a lot with a newborn.

Organization (Baskets, Storage Bins, or Canvas Totes) – With all the new stuff for your baby, organization is the key to keeping everything in its place. There are endless organization options for all budgets.

Decor – Every family’s priorities differ in setting up a space for their baby. You may also be limited by space and what type of permanent improvements you can make if renting. You are welcome to add a mobile, art, or other decor to your registry. If you want to decorate without painting, wall decals are a great way to add color and art to your walls.

Sound or White Noise Machine – Many parents find a sound machine or white noise machine helpful for their babies’ sleep. You can also download apps, many for free, on your phone or tablet.

Light Dimmer or Night Light – It can take time to get your baby into a regular sleeping schedule. One thing that can help with this is dimming lights at bedtime and avoiding bright lights at night. If you are up with your baby for feeding or changing during the night, you will need light to see what you are doing. A dimmer light switch or a night light can provide enough light so you can see but not so bright as to make you or your baby wide awake.

Must-Have Baby Gear

Baby gear includes strollers, carriers, and miscellaneous items you will use daily with your baby.

Car Seat – A car seat is one of the few items you absolutely need if you plan to be in a car at some point with your baby. Not only is it the law that a baby has to ride in a car seat, but it is also the safest way for your baby to travel. A hospital or birth center will not let you leave without a car seat. There is a wide range of options available on car seats.

Infant car seats have a detachable carrier. With the convenience of the detachable carrier, you don’t have to wake a sleeping baby to take them out of the car. This also comes in handy to put on a stroller, in a shopping cart, or just keep your baby in it when you are out and about. The downside is that you will need a second car seat once your baby grows out of it. Infant car seats go from 4-40 pounds and will vary per seat. In general, kids get too tall for this seat before they reach the weight limit.

Convertible car seats accommodate newborns up through your child growing out of a car seat. The benefit of a convertible car seat is that you only need one. The downside is that you cannot detach it and take the baby out; you would have to unstrap your baby and pull them out.

If you and your partner drive separate cars, you may want a car seat for each vehicle. If you opt for an infant car seat, you can purchase an additional base and share the carrier, which tends to stay with your baby.

Stroller – A stroller is a must for a new baby. It is an excellent way to get out of the house on a walk or running errands and be able to push your baby in a stroller rather than carry them. When buying a stroller, think about how you will use it. You have many options, and no one stroller works great for every family.

All-purpose strollers are perfect for everyday activities.

Jogging strollers are great if you like to run or walk and have a smoother ride for your baby.

An all-in-one travel system is a stroller, car seat base, and car seat that all work together. If you are not buying a travel system, you may need a separate adapter to put the car seat in your stroller. You may be able to put your newborn directly in the stroller if the seat reclines almost all the way flat. If not, you will want to keep them in the car seat and use that with the stroller.

If you buy a stroller online, it may be worth visiting a store to see them in person. You may need to purchase other accessories like storage compartments, cup holders, trays, covers, etc., separately.

Baby Carrier – Carriers are excellent for keeping your baby close to you while freeing both hands. There are two main types of carriers: structured and wrap carriers. Some carriers, like the Boppy ComfyHug Hybrid Carrier (SAVE 15% WITH CODE PREGPOD15), combine the two styles. Understand the recommended age or size the carrier supports. Some are only useful for a few months; others can convert to a back carrier, and you can use them for years.

Diaper Bag – Anytime you leave your house with your baby, there are some things you want to have with you. Most parents have a diaper bag with everything to change their baby, extra clothes, etc. You can use any big purse, tote, or backpack you already own.

Changing Pad – When you are out and about, you will need to change your baby’s diaper, and a changing pad is very helpful.

Optional Baby Gear

Some baby gear may make life easier or give you peace of mind, but the following items are optional.

Lounger or Swing – A baby swing or lounger can be a great help in soothing a fussy baby and nice to give you a break from holding them. You should not leave your baby unattended in a lounger or swing. You may not use this every day, but if you have a lounger or swing your baby enjoys, this can be a lifesaver when you do use it.

Playard or a Pack ‘n Play This is an enclosed space you can use to put your baby in for a nap or play in once they get bigger. These fold up and can be helpful if you go to someone’s house and want a safe space for your baby. Some play yards have add-ons like a bassinet or a changing table that make them more useful for newborns. You can use a playard for a short time, and it isn’t helpful once your baby is walking and can potentially climb out. While these are frequently on the must-have list, these are optional. Think about whether you will actually use it.

Baby Car Mirror – Your baby must be rear-facing in their car seat until at least two years old. A rear mirror that attaches to the backseat headrest allows you to see your child from the driver’s seat rear view mirror. As a new parent, it is nice to be able to see your baby in the backseat for peace of mind. It also helps if you need to troubleshoot a fussy baby while driving.

Wet Bag – Inevitably, you will have wet or dirty clothes that you will change your baby out of, and you need something to put those clothes in so they do not get anything else in your diaper bag dirty. You could use any disposable plastic bag. You could also use a wet bag to put wet items in and wash and reuse them. My favorite bags are from Aloha. They are super stylish, lightweight, and easy to clean.

Baby Monitor – A baby monitor is a nice thing to have if your baby is sleeping in another room and can be a nice thing to have if your baby naps in a different room so you can keep an eye on them. These can range quite a bit in price, and some will integrate with your phone.

There is also a fantastic app called Cloud Baby Monitor you can use on any device. You need one device (phone, tablet, or laptop) as the camera and another as the monitor. This is an excellent alternative if you do not use a monitor daily or if you need a monitor while traveling. The only downside to the app is that it is hard to see the video at night.

Nursing and Feeding Must Haves

You will spend a lot of time breastfeeding, especially in the first few months. The following items are must-haves.

Nursing Pillow and Covers –Making sure you are comfortable and that your baby is in a comfortable position that allows them to latch properly can make or break your breastfeeding experience. Nursing pillows can be a lifesaver for both you and your baby. You can also opt for a more versatile pillow, like the Boppy Original Support for Feeding and Milestones (SAVE 15% WITH CODE PREGPOD15), which you can use throughout the first year.

Nipple Cream – It is common to have sore and sensitive nipples in the first few days of breastfeeding. Sore nipples are often related to a poor latch. With breastfeeding, you always want to fix or correct the underlying problem, not just treat symptoms. As you correct the underlying problem, you want to relieve yourself if you damage your nipple. This isn’t something you should be using every day for your entire breastfeeding life. Nipple cream should be short-term to help heal while you fix the problem causing the damage. For more breastfeeding tips, see the episode on breastfeeding troubleshooting.

Nursing Pads – If you are concerned about leaking milk, you will want nursing pads. This can save you from an embarrassing situation and prevent changing your bra and shirt if a leak happens. There are both reusable nursing pads and disposable nursing pads.

Breast Pump and Accessories – Whether you plan to pump milk, you should get a breast pump. In the United States, health insurance companies cover breast pumps, so it is free. Aeroflow is a company that makes this process super easy by working with your insurance company. If you are in a position where you do not have health insurance and are having trouble affording a pump, you may still be able to get some assistance to buy one. Talk to your care provider and ask about any low-income programs that may be available. You can also add a pump to your baby registry; hopefully, a generous friend or family member will help cover it. There is an episode on everything you need to know about pumping breastmilk and building a stash.

Hands-Free Pumping Bra – Pumping bras make pumping easier, it takes less time because you pump both breasts at once, and you can be hands-free. If you do not want to purchase a pumping bra, you can easily make one by cutting holes in a sports bra or spandex like a bandeau top. It isn’t as nice as a bra made for pumping, but it will do the trick.

Breast Milk Storage Bags – The best way to store frozen milk is in freezer bags made for breast milk storage. I highly recommend the storage bags from Lansinoh. When you freeze them, lay them flat for organized storage in your freezer.

Bottles and Nipples (2+ Brands) – If you plan to give your baby formula, bottles and nipples are a must. Even if you are breastfeeding, you may want the option to pump and give your baby milk from a bottle. Babies can be very particular about the bottle and nipple they use. If you plan to add these to your registry or purchase them in advance, get a couple of different kinds and wait to stock up until you know it is a bottle your baby likes. A separate episode on bottle feeding and infant formula covers when to introduce a bottle, finding the right one, warming, sterilizing, and infant formulas.

Burp Cloths (5-10) – Burp cloths are something you will use constantly. Burping your baby can help prevent gas and spitting up. Most parents will put a burp cloth over their shoulder when burping their baby.

Optional Nursing and Feeding

Some additional products can be helpful for nursing and feeding. They make things more convenient, but you can feed your baby without them.

Pacifiers – I assumed everyone used pacifiers for a new baby until I did some research and discovered that there were pros and cons to using a pacifier. An episode on pacifiers examines the research on pacifier use and SIDS, dental issues, effects on breastfeeding, and more. If you use pacifiers, don’t stock up on one kind. Just like baby bottles, your baby may prefer one type over another. Once your baby finds one they like, get a few extras to have on hand.

Teethers – Your baby will turn anything and everything into a teething toy by putting it in their mouth. You may want to get an actual teething toy, and these are not recommended until at least three months. You may need to try a few before finding one your baby likes. If you add these to your registry or buy them get a few different ones.

Nursing Covers – A nursing cover is great if you prefer to be discreet or cover up while breastfeeding in public or around other people. Some nursing covers, like the Boppy 4 & More Multi-Use Cover (SAVE 15% WITH CODE PREGPOD15), also function as an infant car seat canopy, stroller cover, shopping cart cover, high chair cover, and baby carrier cover.

Nursing Bras – A nursing bra will make breastfeeding convenient while supporting you throughout the day and night. The Everything Bra from Bodily is the most comfortable nursing bra I have ever tried. This was designed with a lactation consultant to optimize breast health and minimize afflictions like mastitis and clogged or plugged ducts. You can breastfeed without a nursing bra, but they are very convenient. Please ensure that your bra is comfortable and not too tight. Wearing a too-tight bra can lead to breastfeeding complications like plugged ducts and mastitis. 

Nursing Apparel – Like nursing bras, nursing apparel can make breastfeeding more convenient or discreet around other people, but it is not a necessity.

Kindred Bravely clothing features ultra-soft fabrics and comfortable styles for pregnancy and nursing. Get 20% OFF with the promo code PREGPOD20.

Bottle Brush – A bottle brush makes cleaning baby bottles very easy. These are inexpensive and much easier than fitting a sponge into a baby bottle.

Bottle Storage or Drying Rack – A rack to dry and store bottles can be convenient, especially if you handwash bottles and nipples often.

Dishwasher Basket for Bottle Parts – If you plan to put bottles and parts in your dishwasher, a basket keeps all of the parts together.

Optional Feeding Items for 6 Months+

High Chair or Booster Seat – A high chair or a booster seat that can go on a dining room chair keeps your baby safely seated during meals and keeps messes contained to a small area. You will need this, but not until your baby is around six months old.

Bibs (4-6) – Once your baby starts eating solid foods, bibs can help keep messes to a minimum and keep outfits clean. You will likely want bibs but don’t need them for the first few months. You will also probably get some bibs as gifts, even if you do not put them on your registry.

Child-Friendly Dishes (Plates, Bowls, Spoons, Snack Dispensers, Sippy Cups) – When your baby starts eating solid foods, you may want dishes that won’t break if dropped or utensils that are not sharp. Child-friendly dishes are optional. For the first year, you will be feeding them, or they will be feeding themselves with their hands.

Unnecessary Nursing and Feeding Items

Some items may be helpful but take up space and are unnecessary.

Bottle Warmer – A bottle warmer can be convenient, but it is easy to warm a bottle in a cup of hot water. This is another thing that needs to sit on your kitchen counter, which may not be ideal if you have limited space.

Sterilizer – It is a general practice to sterilize bottles before you use them for the first time. Some parents make it a habit of sterilizing them periodically. It is not necessary to sterilize them before each use. You can always ask your care provider or pediatrician what their recommendation is for sterilizing bottles. Sterilizing bottles is more of an issue with premature babies.

If you do sterilize bottles, you can do this in your dishwasher. There are electric steamers that will sterilize bottles, steam sterilizers that you put in your microwave, and sterilizers that use UV light. You have a lot of options to find a solution you like that works within your budget. Don’t forget you can always boil a pot of water and sterilize everything.

Food Processor or Prep System – While it has become popular to make your baby food, you do not need a food processor or a particular food prep system or machine. In most cases, you can easily mash up or mix food yourself. You may also consider exploring allowing your baby to explore foods and feed themselves, see the book on Baby Led Weaning for more.

Must-Have Diapering

Expect to change a lot of diapers because a newborn goes through 8-12 diapers daily. That number slowly decreases over time, and by the time your child gets out of diapers, they will still go through about 5-7 per day.

Diapers –You can go with either cloth or disposable diapers. If you choose cloth diapers, these tend to be a more significant investment upfront. If you are stocking up on disposable diapers, get them in multiple sizes.. Many subscription services, like Coterie (20% OFF Plus FREE Shipping with code PREGNANCYPODCAST), deliver high-quality diapers to your front door each month.

WipesEvery time you change your baby’s diaper, you use wipes to clean them. Do not be shy about stocking up on wipes. You will use wipes all the time for everything.

Diaper CreamDiaper Rash presents as red, irritated skin in the diaper area. If your little one does get a diaper rash, there is a lot you can do to treat it. The most important tip for treating and preventing diaper rash is to change all dirty diapers as soon as possible. Diaper cream is a barrier between your baby’s skin and stool or urine. If you are changing your baby, often diaper rash should not be a problem.

Optional Diapering

Some items can make changing your baby’s diaper more convenient, although these items are not required.

Portable Changing PadHaving a designated place to change diapers is excellent, but you will find yourself changing diapers in other areas in your home. Especially in the first few weeks as you are recovering from birth, it is nice to have diapers, wipes, and a changing pad nearby so you do not have to get up and walk to your baby’s nursery whenever they need a diaper change.

Diaper Organization – You want to keep everything like diapers and wipes organized in one place. There and many diaper organization products available.

Diaper Pail and Liner Refills – Every time you change a diaper, you must throw the dirty one away. Many parents use a diaper pail with disposable liners. These are convenient, but you still have to take them out like the trash. You could choose to put diapers directly in the trash instead. If you buy a diaper pail, you can expect to need lots of liner refills.

Wipe WarmerA wipe warmer can be nice, but it is not necessary. If you think your baby is fussy about a cold wipe, you can hold it between your hands for a few seconds to warm it up. Wipe warmers do require a nearby electrical outlet.

Must-Have Bath Items

You should avoid giving your baby a bath where part of their body is submerged in water until their cord heals. So for the first one to two weeks, you will give them a sponge bath. You do not need to use soap; just warm water is fine. Keep your baby wrapped in a warm towel and gently wash them from head to toe with a warm washcloth. Pay special attention to creases under their neck, arms, and diaper area. After the umbilical cord stump falls off, you can bathe them.

Babies don’t need a bath every single day. Every other day or a few times a week is great. It can be tricky to wash a slippery wet baby, and safety is critical with bathing. It will also help to get everything together before the bath because you would never turn your back or walk away from a baby in a tub, not even for a second.

Infant Bath Tub – Your baby cannot sit or hold their head up unsupported, so when bathing them, they need to be in something that keeps them in a reclined position. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a hard plastic baby bathtub with a sloped, textured surface or sling that keeps your baby from sliding. You could also bathe your baby in a sink lined with a towel. The AAP cautions to avoid bath seats in an adult-sized bathtub.

Baby Shampoo and Wash – It is easy to stock up on baby soap, but you may not need as much as you think. Your baby has very sensitive skin, and you want to stick to safe, non-toxic ingredients. You may opt for a bath gift set if you want additional products like lotions.

Optional Bath Items

Washcloths and Towels – You can use standard washcloths or bath towels for your baby. Since their skin is sensitive, you want them to be soft. You can also get cute bath towels with hoods or washcloths that are smaller and softer specifically for babies.

Bathtub Spout CoverYou will use an infant tub for at least six months. Once you transition them to a full-size bathtub, some parents get a spout cover, so their children do not hit their heads on the faucet. You are not leaving your child unattended in the bath, and it should be no problem to keep them on the side away from the faucet. As your child gets more mobile, there is more of a need to cover the spout and cushion a possible bump.

Bath ToysThere are a lot of bath toys. As your baby grows, bath time becomes more of playtime, and toys come in handy. Some of the best bath toys are cups or other plastic things from your kitchen.

Unnecessary Bath Items

There are a lot of bath products you do not need.

Bath Thermometer – A bath for your baby should be warm—not hot—to the inside of your wrist or elbow. If you are more comfortable using a thermometer, you can, but you don’t need it.

Baby Bathrobe –  While a baby bathrobe is adorable, you will likely have them wrapped up in a towel until you put clothes on them, and a robe is unnecessary.

Must Haves for Safety, Health, and Baby Care

As a parent, there are some safety, health, and baby care items you will want to have on hand.

Thermometer – You need a thermometer to measure your baby’s temperature. A fever is a part of the body’s immune response and is often a side effect of another illness or condition. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants under two months old who have fever need immediate medical attention, even if they appear well and show no other signs of being ill. While it is terrifying that infants can get a severe infection so rapidly, they are also very quick to respond to treatment. You may also breeze through the first few months without your baby ever getting a fever. Once your little one is three months old, fevers are not so scary. Talk to your pediatrician and ask what they recommend and when you should contact them about a fever. When in doubt, always call your doctor or pediatrician.

The most accurate temperature reading is rectal with a digital thermometer. A temporal artery thermometer takes a temperature from the forehead and is suitable for any age. At six months, you can use tympanic thermometers that take a reading from an ear. At age four, you can use an oral thermometer.

Nose FridaIf your baby has a stuffy nose, they may have difficulty nursing or drinking from a bottle. If this is the case, you can use saline and a suction bulb to remove mucus from your child’s nose. There is also a gadget called a snot sucker from Nose Frida. This sounds gross, and kind of is, but it also works much better than most suction bulbs. This is a lifesaver when your baby is snotty.

Infant Grooming Set with Nail Clippers, Brush, Comb, Toothbrush, etc. – Babies’ fingernails can be razor sharp and grow very quickly. The best way to prevent them from scratching is to keep their nails short. Infant grooming sets come with nail clippers, files, and other useful tools like a brush, infant toothbrush, etc., that will come in handy for your baby.

Optional for Safety, Health, and Baby Care

Shopping Cart Cover – Until your baby can sit up on their own, you will need to have them in an infant car seat or a carrier at a store. Once they are around six months and can sit in a shopping cart, you may want a shopping cart cover. The Boppy 4 & More Multi-Use Cover (SAVE 15% WITH CODE PREGPOD15) also functions as an infant car seat canopy, stroller cover, high chair cover, and baby carrier cover.

Mittens Many parents use mittens that cover a baby’s hands to prevent them from scratching themselves. Some argue that babies feel comforted by touching with their hands and are constantly exploring their environment with their hands. After all, they did have full use of their hands for the nine months they spent in the womb. You can choose not to use mittens. If your baby does scratch themselves, they will heal quickly.

Optional Safety, Health, and Baby Care for 9 Months+

Childproofing ProductsAt some point, you may need to childproof areas of your home. You can babyproof your home with safety gates, outlet covers, cabinet locks, edge, and corner cushions, furniture wall straps, and stove knob covers. Keep in mind your baby will not be crawling until around nine months and likely will not be walking until closer to a year. There is no need to be childproof until your baby is mobile, and you will not need these products for at least nine months.

Must-Have Baby Clothing

One of the most fun things to shop for is baby clothing. As a rule of thumb, you want to dress your baby in one more layer of clothing than you are comfortable wearing. Your baby will be spitting up a lot, and you will have a few diapers explode. This means your baby will likely go through more than one outfit daily. Also, remember that you will be getting baby clothes as gifts because people love to buy cute tiny clothes. Your little one will grow so fast that it is easy to outgrow outfits before they even have a chance to wear them. You are better off buying a size up rather than something too small. Skip newborn sizes and start with 0-3 months.

Onesies (7-10) – These can be short or long sleeves and are like a body suit. These are great because they do not ride up like a shirt since they snap at the crotch. Your baby will live in onesies.

Outfits (10) – Depending on what you want to dress your baby in, outfits can be shirts or onesies with shorts or pants or dresses or rompers. Many parents choose to have one special outfit to bring their baby home from the hospital or birth center. You may choose to buy some outfits or add them to your registry, but expect outfits as gifts from friends and family.

Outer Layers (2) – You want at least two sweaters or jackets for your baby. Outer layers with a zipper are easier to put on than something that needs to go over their head.

Pajamas (4) – You will be feeding and changing a baby throughout the night, and you want pajamas that are easy to take off and put on when changing a diaper. Consider pajamas with a zipper over snaps or buttons.

Swaddles or Sleep Sacks (2 or 3) – Many parents swaddle their babies, wrapping them up snugly in a swaddle blanket. They make wraps specifically for swaddling that velcro closed and may make it easier. Some parents use a sleep sack that is usually sleeveless with an enclosed bottom that zips up. If you buy swaddles or sleep sacks, buy two or three brands to find the ones you like best before stocking up.

Socks (5-10) – Babies do not start walking until close to their first birthday. Whether you have them in shoes, you will want socks to keep their feet warm.

Optional Baby Clothing

Some optional clothing items you may want depending on the climate where you live.

Hats – many parents put hats on their newborns. A baby born vaginally often has a misshapen head from passing through the vaginal canal during birth. A hat is a cute way to hide this for the first few days. A hat keeps the sun off your baby’s face if you plan to spend time outside in the sun. You may want a hat on your baby in cold climates for additional warmth.

Swim Clothes – the general recommendation is to keep your baby out of the sun and not use sunscreen for the first six months. If you want to put your baby in a swim outfit or take your child in the water, you may want a swim outfit and a disposable or reusable swim diaper.

Snow Clothes – If you live in a very cold climate with snow, you may want a snowsuit for your baby. Presumably, if you are outside in the snow with your baby, it is for a short time, and your baby is bundled up and in a stroller or carrier.

Unnecessary Baby Clothing

Shoes – Your baby will not start walking until about one year of age. If you want to put shoes on your baby, you can, but they are unnecessary. You can keep your baby’s feet warm with socks. You could also opt for booties if you live in a cold climate, but shoes are unnecessary.

Baby Laundry Detergent – There is laundry detergent marketed explicitly for babies. This is unnecessary and creates more work for you than using the same laundry detergent for the whole family. Since your baby has sensitive skin, you may switch your family to an unscented detergent.

Toys, Learning, and Play

Friends and family will buy toys for your baby whether or not you add them to your registry. If there is a playmat or activity gym, in particular, you want, you may want to add this to your registry or get one. Car Seat and Stroller Toys can be helpful to entertain your baby when they are buckled in a car seat or stroller. Books are fantastic, and again, you will get books as gifts. You can also consider asking baby shower guests to bring books instead of cards.

You may also consider a subscription box from a company like Lovevery designed by experts for your child’s developing brain. The 0-3 months play kit has toys perfect for a new baby, they are beautifully designed and completely unique.

Download the Ultimate List here.

Thank you to the amazing companies that have supported this episode.

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