Must-Have Newborn Essentials Checklist for the First 3 Months

I like making and organizing lists. When the time came where I had to make a newborn essentials checklist, I was all over it like white on rice. I read blogs and online reviews, asked friends a lot, watched a lot of vlogs. I thought I pretty much had everything I needed when the baby came.

Then I realized there were still a lot of things I never thought I needed until I was actually taking care of my baby. And there were a lot of things that other moms were recommending that were really not an essential.

So that’s when I wrote the things to consider before buying newborn essentials and then finally this ultimate newborn essential checklist.

So other new, overwhelmed and clueless moms (like me before!) will know what exactly to buy, how many to buy and what are optional items for your baby.

Newborn Essentials Checklist

Baby Must-Haves For Sleeping

Here’s a newborn must-have If you want to save up by co-sleeping and you don’t want a crib:

If you’re going to buy a crib, here’s an essential for your newborn:

  • Crib – Or a mini crib, travel crib or pack n play can also work, in my opinion.
  • Mattress – comes usually with the crib, just buy at the same time with the crib
  • 3 – 4 mattress sheets – trust me, you need this many. I remember one time, I just changed the sheets then what do you know, someone had a diaper blowout! Then a poonami again by the end of the day so just buy 3-4 sheets. 
  • 3 – 4 waterproof mattress protector – you’ll need these many too.
  • Waterproof underpad protector – OPTIONAL – you can just buy 2 mattress protectors then just use these under the mattress sheets in case of an emergency. And trust me, there will be a lot of those
  • Travel crib – OPTIONAL – buy at the same time with the crib along with its mattress, sheets and waterproof mattress protector
  • Night light – a must, especially if you don’t want to wake up your baby but you can’t see shit in the dark.

Newborn Necessities For Feeding

  • 7 milk bottles – Yes, you’ll need this many if you’re solely going to rely on formula milk. If not, then maybe 2 – 3 bottles will do, just in case, you need to leave your baby to someone else to take care of for a few hours. Consider just buying 2-3 different bottles initially. Test it out with your baby then just buy more after.
  • Milk powder 
  • Hot water container or insulated tumbler
  • Cooled boiled water container – I prefer boiling the water then waiting for it to cool down before putting in a container but you can also have filtered or distilled or mineral water. Just as long it’s safe and clean, it should be fine. 
  • One 3-4 layer milk powder dispenser – You can use this for traveling or when you want to have some milk prepared inside your baby’s bedroom
  • Tray basket for organizing – If you want the milk essentials inside the bedroom, just have 3-4 bottles prepared along with the other necessities in a container so you don’t need to walk groggily outside of your baby’s bedroom, to the kitchen, when your baby needs milk at night.
  • Washcloths or old towels – keep it nearby to clean up the occasional spit and vomit

I only tried to breastfeed for 2 months but if you want to commit to it, you’ll need the following: 

  • Breast Pump – Try renting one if it’s possible, so you can see what brand works for you and to also avoid wasting money just in case you have little milk. Check out my breast pump reviews here.
  • Breast Pump carrier/ bag – If you travel a lot or you need to pump at work, then this is a must
  • Ice pack, extra milk bottles or milk storage bags – To keep your your pumped milk fresh.
  • Nipple cream, nipple shields, nursing pads – some hospitals in Singapore like Thomson Hospital will include this in their going-home gift bag for you. They gave me a small luggage with nipple creams, nursing pads, baby skincare and bathing set, belly wrap and I forgot the others but I think there were a few diapers in there.
  • Pumping bra – helpful to have, so you can pump hands-free.
  • Nursing pillow – OPTIONAL – Never thought I’d need one before but it was a great help, made holding the baby less tiring. I even used it to propped my baby in a sitting position.
  • Nursing cover – OPTIONAL – If you’re a little shy breastfeeding your child in punlic, then get a few of these.
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Newborn Essentials For Cleaning

  • Regular milk bottle brush and a few small brushes – small brush is for brushing the nipple bottle. 
  • Thin brush – OPTIONAL – for cleaning breast pump parts or for when you have the Dr. Brown milk bottles. They have these vent insert and you need a thin brush to clean them.
  • Small, tall tray with holes (to drain water) to place the brushes. You can also just hang the brushes on a hook on the wall, if you have the space.
  • Baby safe dishwashing liquid – better to use a separate dishwashing liquid for baby bottles
  • Basin to wash the milk bottles – Check if it can fit in your sink and visualize if you can, at least, wash 4 bottles in it
  • UV sterilizer – OPTIONAL-  but really convenient as one, you don’t need to manually sterilize the bottles and two, can be used to dry and store milk bottles
  • Separate pot for sterilizing milk bottles – OPTIONAL – if you’re not going to buy a UV sterilizer and you don’t want to use whatever pot you have then you need one.
  • Tong for picking the milk bottles when you manually sterilize them – OPTIONAL- no need if you have a UV sterilizer
  • Travel milk bottle drying rack – You can use for traveling or for when you want a proper place to dry your milk bottles, especially if you don’t have a UV sterilizer
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Newborn Must Have For Bathing

  • Baby bath tub – You can opt to buy a baby bathtub with slanted support or buy a bigger bathtub, one that you can use longer than a year and just buy a separate slanted support for the baby. (Btw, I wrote some tips and 3 ways on how to bathe your newborn here)
  • Baby safe bath wash
  • 2 – 3 Bath towels – You can buy bigger ones to use until your baby turns into a toddler so you can save more or you can also just opt for baby-sized bath towels
  • 20 face towels – Buy a lot because you would still need this even when they get older. 
  • Cotton balls – You’ll need this to wipe your newborn’s eyes. You can also use this to clean your baby’s umbilical cord.
  • Cotton buds – You can also use this to clean your baby’s umbilical cord and the outer part of your baby’s ears.
  • Small container for the cotton balls – OPTIONAL – If you’re not particular about where to put the cotton balls for your baby’s eyes then any other small bowl will do. But if you want a separate container to put in warm water and the cotton balls then just buy one.
  • Baby lotion and baby powder – OPTIONAL – I didn’t put any on my baby but I do know a lot of parents using some for their little ones so whatever floats your boat. Just research the ingredients, brand history and reviews first.

Must Have Newborn Essentials For Changing Diapers

  • Reusable diapers – will save you a lot and there’s already a lot of convenient and cute designs available but you still need time to wash and dry them. And time is what you’ll have little of when you’re taking care of a baby. So prioritize and consider if you really want this.
  • Disposable diapers – If you don’t want to opt for the reusable diapers, then go for this. Here’s a tip, don’t buy any diapers, yet – ask diaper companies for samples. Yes, you can do that. I didn’t know I could do that until my baby was a year old and I tried to request for one, faking her birth date in the submission form but they apparently have ways of sniffing out liars so I never got any free diapers, lol. So while you’re pregnant, request for free diapers from multiple companies. That way you can use the samples on your baby and see which one seems to fit and then, you can buy in bulk.
  • Diaper rash cream – This is a must, even if your baby doesn’t have a rash yet. Just always apply one after wiping your little one.
  • Wet wipes – Buy 3 different brands and then test out each pack first. If one seems suitable for your baby’s butt, then buy in stock. I bought a few packs of this particular popular brand. But I didn’t really like how slightly dry it was, especially when wiping poop so I opted to test out a few brands until I finally settled on one that I used until my kid was a toddler. Then again, you can always ask for free samples from some companies.
  • Tray basket for organizing – OPTIONAL – You can decide to just get everything from their storage when your baby needs changing or, you can have some already prepared in a container near the diaper changing mat so you can quickly change your baby’s diapers
  • Movable trolley rack – OPTIONAL, to put diaper essentials so you can move them around the house 
  • Small plastic bags – OPTIONAL – for poonami/ blowout diapers. Chuck those poop-filled diapers in and remember to throw this outside the baby’s room, don’t let it’s stench linger in the bedroom.
  • Travel waterproof diaper changing mat – A must when you go out of the house. 
  • Diaper changing table – OPTIONAL If you’re planning to just change your baby’s diaper on the bed then just use the travel waterproof changing mat. But it can be a bit tiring on your back, especially when you have to do it several times a day and believe me, you’d be bending over a dozen times a day so your choice. So I highly recommend getting a diaper changing table or at least, get a crib with a its own diaper changing pad.
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Infant Essentials For Clothing

  • Kimono style tops – optional but surprisingly, I found this very convenient and easy to dress and undress my baby with. Buy 10 pcs or more. Yes, that’s how many you’ll need. I remember there was a time when my I had to change my baby’s clothes for the seventh time for just one day because she puked then I had to give her a bath, then she puked again, cleaned her up again, did a poonami, then she had a leaked diaper and so on so you’ll really need more.
  • Short sleeved onesies – you can buy more of these or mix it up with the Kimono style tops. I highly, highly recommend this as well, especially if you’re baby does a lot of “poonami.” They’re really easy to remove, to avoid diaper changing fails.
  • Long sleeved onesie or zippered romper – for cold weather/ air conditioned rooms. Buy 14 if you want to use it daily.
  • Velcro or zippered SwaddleMe – This is a total newborn game changer! I wished I bought more of these instead of those stupid muslin wraps they’re recommending to wrap babies in when they needed to be swaddled. I think I cried tears of joy when I finally realized how helpful this was in making my baby sleep. You can also choose the one below:
  • Wearable blanket/ sleeping bag – this looks pretty cozy and easier to remove, without startling your baby.
  • Mittens – buy those with an elastic, velcro strap or something that your baby won’t easily remove. Buy at least 10 because you’d think you’d only need one for the day but they might puke on it, suck on it so much it becomes disgustingly wet, dipped it in their poonami, etc.
  • Hat – OPTIONAL – for going out. Buy maybe 2 or 3? Depends on how many times you’d be going out in a week.
  • Cute clothes – Again, depends on how many times you’d be going out in a week. But again, consider its functionality.
  • Winter clothes – if needed.
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Baby Essentials For Playing

  • Waterproof padded mat/ playmat – so you can place your newborn anywhere and if they pee or poop on it, clean-up would be a breeze. Can also be used for them to exercise and play on, until they get a little older. Buy something bigger, a size where you can imagine them practicing how to roll around, crawl, and walk on.
  • Baby bouncers/ swings/ rockers – OPTIONAL but helpful to have. Useful to have to keep your hands free or when hate sleeping in their crib
  • Crib mobile toy – OPTIONAL but it did help me entertain and distract my baby from crying, enough for me to take a 5 min bath/ poop.
  • Baby toys – OPTIONAL but helpful in their development. Now this will depend on your taste but I suggest getting something that’s safe for the baby to suck on, won’t be able to swallow any parts of it and easy to clean. Other than that, anything should be fine.

Infant Necessities For Traveling

First Time Mommy Essentials

  • Breastfeeding tops or nursing dresses – Just buy second hand ones, especially if you’re not sure yet if you can breastfeed all the way. Buy something that’s comfortable at home but looks decent when you have to go out at a short notice. I suggest buying 5 dresses and 5 tops then just use whatever comfortable leggings or shorts you have. You can still use this even after a few years, especially if you see yourself breastfeeding for quite some time.
  • Granny panties – you know those ridiculously large underwear that covers the lower part of your tummy? Trust me, you will need them, especially when you had a c-section.
  • Heavy duty napkins/ maternity pads – fun fact: you will still be bleeding right after giving birth (read more about what really happens after giving birth here) so have a whole pack ready then just buy more.
  • Stretch marks cream – OPTIONAL – I don’t really know if they work but I kinda wished I tried them. Might have helped remove these awful marks on my body. 

Other Newborn Must Have Essentials

  • Baby monitor – think of how and where you’re going to install this in your baby’s room. I highly recommend to get one, especially if you need to do chores in another room but you still want to keep an eye on your sleeping baby.
  • Cable storage case for baby monitor wires – OPTIONAL – if you can’t find a way to hide the wires. Trust me, you’ll eventually need this when your baby is older and starts getting curious about the wires)
  • White noise – Helpful to have, especially if you have a baby that’s extra sensitive to noises around them.
  • Baby safe nail cutter
  • Thermometer
  • Trash bin for baby’s bedroom – OPTIONAL. I suggest having one so you don’t need to go out several times a day to throw your baby’s diaper. You can just throw everything in the bin then throw out its contents at the end of the day.
  • Baby laundry detergent – better have a separate one for the baby as the regular one might irritate your baby’s skin.
  • Sofa chair and small table – OPTIONAL. I remember wishing I had one when I would be holding the milk bottle for my baby or when she doesn’t like napping in her crib and I had to hold her for her entire nap duration. The table would be for placing the milk bottle, some tissues and your phone on. If you have the budget and the space then I’d highly recommend it. 

Takeaway on Newborn Essentials Checklist

You might have noticed I didn’t include pillows, bolsters, pacifiers, stroller fans and a whole lot more, mainly because for me, they’re not really essentials.

Some of them are nice-to-have, but if you do want to buy more than the essentials and you have the budget for it, then go ahead. You do you.

I hope this list has been super helpful in giving you ideas on your newborn essentials checklist.