The Ultimate Newborn Essentials List + FREE Checklist!

newborn essentials

It can be challenging to figure out the newborn essentials, especially for your first baby. And even if you are a mom of more than one child, you quickly learn that as the times change, so do the newborn must haves. The best baby products change from year to year, so having an up-to-date newborn baby checklist is critical!

We will go over all of the different categories and make fantastic recommendations to make your life easier. And who doesn’t want life to be as stress-free as possible with a new baby in tow?

First, let’s go over a few things that will help you set up the perfect registry, and then we’ll get into what you should put on it!

Why you need a baby registry

Having a registry helps those who want to send you gifts by showing them precisely what you would like to receive. Your friends and family will then look up your registry and buy items they would like to gift your baby. 

When people shop from your registry, items will be removed from the registry or notate that someone has already purchased them. You get rid of the guesswork, so they can quickly spoil you and your growing family!

How does a baby registry work?

A baby registry is a list of items to choose from. Once you have created your baby registry and added all the things you want for your sweet bundle of joy, you can let all your friends and family know where you are registered. It is very common to include where you have registered on baby shower invitations. 

How do you announce a baby registry without a baby shower?

Are you planning on having a baby shower? Or, is this your second baby but still in need of things your friends and family might be willing to gift you? 

Is it possible to announce a baby registry without having a full-blown baby shower? You sure can!

You can consider hosting one of the following baby shower alternatives:

  • Baby sprinkle
  • Virtual baby shower
  • Mother blessingway
  • Celebration brunch or dinner
  • Baby blessing

Friends and family may also ask what you need, and it will be helpful for both of you when you can easily share your wish list!

Which baby registry is best?

The best baby registry is the Amazon Baby Registry. 


The Amazon Baby Registry makes it super easy to add items from ANYWHERE on the web. That means even if you want to put your fabulous finds from Target, Buy Buy Baby, Walmart, or even Etsy on your Amazon registry, you can do that!


Essential baby items on Amazon tend to be cheaper than elsewhere, making it easier for others to shop for you! Also, you may qualify for a 10-15% completion discount on the registry items you haven’t received and need to purchase yourself.


The Amazon registries are very easy to share. You get a personalized link you can share, have easy buttons for sharing on social media, and people can search your name in the Amazon search bar to find your registry!

How does Amazon baby registry work?

It is super simple to use Amazon’s Baby Registry! Just follow the tips below:

  1. Click here to go to Amazon Baby Registry, and then click “Create a new baby registry.”
  2. Answer the questions, so Amazon knows when you are due and where to send purchased gifts. 
  3. Click on the link to go to Amazon’s baby registry checklist, and begin adding your items! You can also check off things you’ve already purchased or received so that you’re closer to completing the list.
  4. After adding items to your baby registry, go to the tab that says “Share” and copy your share link or click one of the buttons available to make it easy to share.

How many items usually are on a baby registry?

Most people put at least 100 items on their baby registry, including multiples of some items and different variations of others, such as diapers and different bottle types. From my experience, the amount of items doesn’t matter very much. Most people will sort by price range if possible and pick something that is within their budget.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to include baby items of all different price ranges so everyone who wants to gift your baby can do so without feeling like they couldn’t afford anything. 

You also don’t want to make your registry too overwhelming. Have one or two brands that you want for your baby instead of a million different brands of the same item. 

I don’t even put clothes on my registry because people will buy your child tons of different cute clothes they come across regardless!

What are the newborn essentials for 2021?

I have arranged them by category so that it is easier for you to see why each item you need is essential. 

Feeding Essentials

Regardless of how you decide to feed your baby, you’re going to need some supplies. But what do you need for feeding the baby? 

You might be surprised when your newborn baby seems to eat around the clock. Newborns generally eat 8-12 times per day for the first month or so–that’s approximately every 2 hours! That’s why these essential items for feeding your baby are first on this list.

1. Baby bottles

Whether you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, it’s a good idea to have baby bottles ready before you bring the baby home. It’s also a great idea to have two or three different types of bottles available, especially if you are breastfeeding your baby. 

The Avent anti-colic bottles are the perfect bottles for bottle-feeding your baby. They come with only three parts and are very easy to clean. This newborn bottle starter set comes with 3 4 oz bottles with newborn nipples and 2 9 oz bottles with stage 2 nipples. 

Another baby bottle is the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature bottles. I love these Tommee bottles for breastfed babies because they are similar to a mother’s breast. It has a breast-like nipple for an easy and natural latch, has a slower flow identical to breastfeeding, and helps prevent a gassy and colicky baby

2. Electric Steam Sterilizer

An electric steam sterilizer is one of the baby must-haves. As a new mom, you’re going to be so busy that you won’t want to deal with sterilizing bottles on the stove-top. I tried doing that and almost burned the house down!

I love this Avent steam sterilizer because it fits multiple bottles and other baby products such as pump parts and pacifiers. You can put them in, turn it on, and it will be thoroughly sterilized in 6 minutes and then shut off automatically!

3. Electric Breast Pump

This Medela Pump In Style breast pump is perfect for breastfeeding moms who are busy or want pumping sessions to be easy, quick, painless, and effective. The Pump In Style also comes with several stylish carry bag choices and makes the pump easy to carry. If you’re looking for another brand of breast pumps, check out Spectra breast pumps.

The pump in style comes with some bottles for collecting breast milk, but you will also need milk storage bags to store breast milk, especially if you need to create a freezer stash. These Lansinoh bags are top-rated for stored breast milk.

If you don’t think you’ll need a hospital-grade breast pump for regular pumping, you might consider a manual breast pump instead. This manual breast pump is super helpful to have on hand even if you don’t think you’ll need a pump at all. 

4. Burp Cloths & Bibs

Burp cloths are helpful, especially if your baby spits up a lot. It will help you avoid messing up your clothes (somewhat) and clean up baby messes quickly and easily. I love large burp cloths such as these to the small ones that I think aren’t very helpful.

These large burp cloths are super soft muslin. They are perfect for cleaning the baby’s mouth and won’t irritate smooth, delicate skin.

You might also consider registering for some of these fantastic bibs! They come with a “collar” that helps prevent neck rashes many drooly babies experiences. They are super soft and very absorbent.

5. Nursing Covers & Nipple Salve

The Infinity Nursing Cover is perfect for breastfeeding moms, especially new moms. Breastfeeding has a bit of a learning curve, and sometimes you might get panicky about breastfeeding in front of others. Having a cover with you can help you feel more comfortable feeding your baby when out and about.

I also love this multi-functional infant cover because you can cover it up without covering the baby’s head. Some babies can make a scene from being covered, especially if it’s a hot day. You can use the nursing cover to protect the baby’s car seat, so you’ll get used out of it one way or another! Check out additional images on Amazon to see the different ways you can use them!

Nipple salve will help those early days of breastfeeding when the baby’s mouth is small, and you learn how to get a proper latch. It can help to soothe sore nipples so that you can continue breastfeeding even when you feel like throwing in the towel.

6. High Chair

A high chair is one of the newborn baby needs that you should have on your list. Whether you plan to spoon-feed your baby purees or follow the baby-led weaning trend, a high chair will help keep you sane when it comes time for the baby to start experimenting with solids.

I love the Honey Joy Convertible High Chair because it converts to 4 positions and has a removable feeding tray for easy cleaning. Feeding babies can be messy. And once your child is a toddler, they’re still going to be messy. That makes a big mess while eating things can go on for several years!

7. Sippy Cup & Straw Cup

The Grosmimi Customizable Straw Cups are nice because they are magic spill-proof cups. I tried to avoid feeling overwhelmed as much as possible as a new mom, and minimizing unexpected messes’ potential was significant. Having some of these self-care items for moms on hand was another way to stay sane.

I love the Nuby No-Spill Grip n’ Sip Cups because they are comfy and help avoid big messes. They are popular transition cups because they are so easy to use.

If you have no intention of using a sippy cup with your baby, you can introduce a regular-style cup from the start. The Haakaa Silicone Cup makes this easy. It’s unbreakable, easy for babies to hold, and a comfortable way for your baby to learn to use a real cup.

Diapering Essentials

The other thing you’ll do around the clock will be changing your baby’s diapers. If this is your first baby, you’re going to be so shocked at how quickly a massive box of over 200 diapers disappears!

Because of this reason, diapers are a newborn essential. However, you want to register for different sizes of diapers because babies grow super fast! There are also other things you’ll need to make diapering your baby simple.

1. Diapers

Whether you’re using disposable diapers or reusable cloth diapers, you’ll quickly find that there are millions of brands available for you to choose from. You’ll want to spend a little time going over the pros and cons of each and make a decision about which one will work best for your family.

Diapers are essential baby registry items, so you don’t have to worry about what people will think if you’re registering for multiple packs of each size. It’s a big-ticket item that your friends and family will be happy to help you with! Register for the most giant packs you can find. Especially in sizes 2 and 3!

2. Wipes

Disposable wipes go with diapers like peanut butter goes with jelly. You’re going to need them! You can skip the wipe warmer if you want because not many people end up using those. Babies tend not to be so picky about having warm wipes anyway.

3. Changing Table or Mat

A changing table can be helpful and more ergonomic for many parents. It can also be beneficial when dealing with poop blowouts. But you can also use a Pack ‘N Play with a built-in changing section or just use a changing mat. Figure out what will make you the most comfortable, and go from there!

4. Bed Pad/Mattress Protector

Using a large bed pad such as this one on top of your crib sheet will make clean-up so easy! When your baby or toddler has a middle of the night blowout or “pee-splosion,” you won’t have to wrestle with fitted crib sheets. Just change your baby, take off the soiled bed pad, and put on a new one!

These bed pads come in a pack of four, and they are machine-washable. You’ll get used out of these for years, including when your child is older and has bedtime accidents. Thank goodness they are very durable!

5. Diaper Cream

You might think it’s a bit premature to put diaper rash cream on your baby registry, but in my humble opinion, you need to. You don’t want to wait until baby is fussy and uncomfortable at three in the morning to have to run out and wonder what kind of baby rash cream to buy! 

Get it out of the way now and ensure your baby’s diaper area is happy. Some diaper rash creams are also great to prevent diaper rashes on a baby’s bottom!

6. Diaper Pail

A diaper pail can help lock away insulting smells baby diapers can give off. This pail is even more helpful once the baby starts exploring solid foods, and their poop makes you want to throw up. The Munchkin diaper pails will be a total lifesaver as they are rated #1 in odor control–it will keep those awful smells locked away.

Clothing Essentials

There are some baby clothing must-have items you need to put on your registry. But chances are, your family and friends are going to have a fantastic time picking out cute clothes for your wee little one. If they are smart, they’ll buy a variety of clothing sizes, and you never know which day you’re going to wake up and need the next size for your baby.

1. Onesies

Onesies are helpful for babies way past the newborn stage. You’ll want a few in newborn sizes. Getting 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months is a great idea as well.

2. Cute Outfits

I wouldn’t put a ton of baby clothes on your baby registry list. However, you do want to pick out a couple of cute outfits of varying sizes that you love. It’s also a good idea to consider approximately what size your child will be for holidays and register for some cute 1st-holiday outfits!

Also, check out this list of pictures to take baby’s first year. It comes with a free printable to help ensure you capture photos of all those precious moments!

3. Hats, Socks & Mittens

Some people believe babies don’t need socks. I’m personally not one of them. I prefer to get really simple and comfortable socks for babies. Many baby clothes sets come with hats, but of course, you can also register for a pack or two of cute baby hats separately!

I didn’t use mittens, but some moms love putting them on their babies, especially if they are nervous about cutting a baby’s nails. Babies can scratch themselves up and leave cut marks when they get fussy, and baby mittens help prevent that.

Bathing Essentials

What do you need to bathe a baby? Pretty much the same things you need to keep your own body clean and comfortable!

1. Baby Bath Tub

While you can bathe a baby in a regular bathtub or sink, I think a baby bathtub is essential to add to your baby registry. Baby bath wash tubs make the bath time fun and stress-free. You don’t have to worry about having an accident and hurting your precious babe.

2. Gentle & Natural Baby Soap

A gentle soap-free of sulfates and other common irritants is perfect for your sensitive baby skin. I recommend a tear-free soap to avoid burning the little one’s sensitive eyes.

3. Baby Washcloth

Washcloths serve multiple purposes, from helping you bathe your baby to wiping up small messes your baby makes. I love these soft bamboo washcloths that are perfect for a baby’s sensitive skin.

4. Baby/Toddler Towels

You’ll also want to put some cute, absorbent baby towels or hooded baby towels on your registry. They’re small and comfortable to use with the baby, and work well for the toddler stage, too!

5. Gentle Baby Lotion

I love Earth Mama Calming Lotion for babies! Use it after a bath to help protect the baby’s skin and get the baby comfy, soothed, and ready for bed!

Bed-time Essentials

These bedtime essentials are important items for your baby. You’re going to want some products that help promote baby sleep. It’s no fun when the baby is having trouble sleeping, and you are at your wit’s end. These baby items will help you avoid that drama and set your baby up for great sleep from the very beginning!

1. Swaddling Blankets

The Aden + Anais swaddle blankets are large, durable, comfortable, and safe for your baby to sleep in. Many swaddle products are on the market, but many only serve the newborn stage and are quickly outgrown. These will last your baby a long time, and you can also easily find other uses for them!

2. Wearable blankets

Wearable sleep sacks will help keep your baby warm. You don’t have to worry about the sudden infant death syndrome with a wearable blanket due to a loose blanket. It’s so much safer for your baby and excellent for your sanity!

3. Footed Pajamas

Footed pajamas, also known as one-pieces and sleep and playsuits, are also great at keeping your baby warm without the use of a loose blanket. Babies and toddlers also look super cute in these! Be sure to register for various sizes!!

4. Crib

Cribs come well-recommended for infant sleep by safety experts and help your nursery look well together. If you opt for a crib, you’ll need to make sure you buy a safe, firm mattress and well-fitted crib sheets.

5. Firm Mattress

A firm mattress can help the baby avoid suffocation. I love the Newton Baby crib mattress because it is excellent for baby comfort and low VOCs/toxins. You can continue using it past the baby stage as well.

6. Infant Co-sleeper

Most new moms hate that overnight run to a baby’s room, but experts shun bed-sharing, and some moms are understandably too nervous about doing it, anyway. An infant co-sleeper is the perfect solution. It makes keeping your baby close-by safe and makes it easy to do nighttime feedings and diaper changes.

7. Baby Night Light

The Hatch Baby Night Light is great because it doubles as a night light and sound machine. I love that it serves as a white noise machine, which can really help lull your baby to sleep and even helps babies stay asleep longer!

As your baby gets older, it will help save your sanity as it has a “time to rise” alarm that allows older children to know when it’s OK to get out of bed. You can also check out other excellent baby night lights here!

8. Baby Monitor

The Owlet Cam is a smart baby monitor that allows you to check in on a baby from an app. You can see the baby and speak to the baby over an encrypted line, making it very secure. It comes with a Smart Sock to monitor the baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels remotely. The app will notify you if levels are unsafe so you can tend to the baby quickly!

With video monitors, you can quickly check on your baby without jumping up out of bed, leaving your pot on the stove, or interrupting quality time with your significant other. A video monitor is a serious game changer!

Baby Gear For On-The-Go

There are several baby products you’ll need to make life with a baby easier when out and about or traveling.

1. Travel System

An infant car seat is one of the essential baby purchases you’ll make. You need to have your baby’s car seat before leaving the hospital. I prefer to purchase a car seat bundled together with a stroller in a travel system.

I love the Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System because they are safe, very comfortable, and lightweight. The stroller is easy to unfold and re-fold and will fit in your car nicely. The car seat is easy to attach and detach as well. 

2. Convertible Car Seat

The Diono Radian Convertible car seat is incredible, and babies can use it from 5-65 lbs. While it’s safest to rear-face a baby as long as possible, at some point, you’ll want to switch to a convertible car seat. You can use convertible car seats for rear-facing and forward-facing, and some parents can use them as a booster.

3. Baby Carrier

I used my Ergobaby Carrier so much that I 100% believe you need this item. It is ergonomic, robust, and offers the perfect back support. You can use a baby carrier while taking walks, cooking, bouncing baby to sleep, or just trying to have some hands-free time when the baby feels clingy.

4. Diaper Bag

Your diaper bag is going to be your best friend for the foreseeable future, so you’re going to want to get one that’s somewhat fashionable, strong, and comfortable. It should be big enough to fit all the baby’s things. You also need it to be easy to clean, and that’s what you’ll find in this multi-functional bag!

5. Changing Mat

A changing pad can help at home, but it’s also great for when you’re out and about with a baby. If there’s no changing room or you need to change the baby in an unexpected place, you’ll be so glad you have one of these in your diaper bag!

6. Pack ‘N Play

Pack ‘N Plays are multi-purpose baby items and help make things so much easier for you. Parents can use it as an area for the baby to sleep, play, be confined safely for short amounts of time. You’ll be confident that you always have a safe, enclosed area for the baby to play or sleep regardless of where you go!

Health Essentials

Having a few health essentials on hand will help you feel more confident helping your baby from the very first time he or she gets sick.

1. Nose Frida Nasal Aspirator

From the very first time, your precious baby falls sick. You’ll realize how important it is to have a Nose Frida. Those bulb aspirators were the old way. Nose Frida’s Snot Sucker is the best way to help sick babies and make clearing up baby’s snot so easy!

2. Saline Solution

Saline solution is saltwater, but it works great to help break down mucus and moisturize the baby’s nasal passages. With Nose Frida’s Snot Spray + Snot Sucker, you’ll be well prepared to deal with baby congestion.

3. Baby Tylenol

It’s a good idea to have Baby Advil or Tylenol on hand if your baby comes down with a fever or pain that you need to treat. Always use your doctor’s professional medical advice, though!

4. Infant First Aid Kit

Registering for an infant first aid kit is a good idea. You mostly need an infant thermometer. You might also find the baby nail clippers, medicine dispensers, and alcohol wipes useful.

FREE Newborn Checklist Printable PDF

Now you can print the ultimate baby essentials checklist to help ensure you have everything you really need for the baby arrives! You’ll also want to bookmark this page full of the best baby products to register for.

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Jo blogs at Critical Mama about mom thoughts and positive parenting tips. She is a mom to a super energetic son. She loves the baby and toddler stage and is fascinated when children discover new things. She is interested in natural health and inspiring others to live a better life. She loves listening to podcasts and audiobooks while she works. You can get in touch with her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

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