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 reviews, watched a lot of vlogs and 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 her. And there were a lot of things that other moms were recommending that really, are 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.
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If you want to save up and you don’t want a crib:
- Waterproof mattress protector or underpad protector – You can either protect your entire bed or just a portion of it from your baby’s pee and poop. Buy 3, for use, for extra and for emergencies.
If you’re going to buy a crib:
- Crib – obviously
- 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 leak! 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.
- 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
- 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
- Container for the 5 items above – 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. Just get those wide, flat ones from Daiso.
- 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:
- Breast Pump – Assuming you’re reading this post-pandemic, where everything is really back to normal again, I suggest renting a breast pump first before buying your own set, so you can see what brand works for you and also avoid wasting money just in case you have a little milk
- Breast Pump carrier/ bag – If you travel a lot or you need to pump at work, then this is a must
- Ice, container, and carrier for pumped milk – self-explanatory. Never had these because I can’t produce enough milk so I opted for formula milk
- 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.
- Breastfeeding 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 put 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.
- Regular milk bottle brush and a few small brushes – small brush is for brushing the nipple bottle.
- Thin brush – for when you have a breast pump, for cleaning its tubes 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
- 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
- Bathtub – 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 separateslanted support for the baby
- 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 whatever floats your boat. Just research the ingredients, brand history and reviews first.
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 washable 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, (I mostly read/ watched content from people outside of Singapore, so my fault) and I didn’t learn 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 cream – the hospital will give a sample. Well, mine did. If you want, just buy one then if it seems okay on your baby’s skin then buy 2-3 more.
- 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 a bit dry it was especially when cleaning 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.
- Container to place a few diapers, diaper cream and a pack of wet wipes – 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 racks – 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 changing mat – A must when you go out of the house.
Diaperchanging table or diaper changing pad – 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.
- 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 leakeddiaper and so on so you’ll really need more. Short sleevedonesies – 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 sleevedromper with zipper – for cold weathers/ air conditionedrooms
- Velcro or zippered SwaddleMe – This is a total newborn game changer and 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.
- 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
- Hat – for going out. Buy maybe 2 or 3? Depends on how many times you’d be going out in a week. Personally, though, the weather is too hot here to wear a hat but they looked cute in the pictures.
- Cute clothes – Again, depends on how many times you’d be going out in a week. But again, consider its functionality.
- 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 bouncer seats – OPTIONAL but helpful to have. Recline them on it so they can exercise their vision while looking at you doing chores around the house. Useful to have when they’re teething and hates sleeping in the crib.
- Mobile musical crib toy – OPTIONAL but it did help me entertain and distract my baby from crying, enough for me to take a 5 min bath/ poop.
- Other toys – OPTIONAL but helpful in their development.
Nowthis 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 andeasy to clean. Other than that, anything should be fine.
- Car seats – A must if you have a car of course.
- Diaper bag – A backpack is more convenient than a carry-on or shoulder bag.
- Stroller – A must, especially if you’re out and you’re too tired to carry your baby
For You, Mommy!
- Breastfeeding tops/ 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 have a caesarean wound.
- 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 for this then just buy more, if you’re still bleeding, when you go out for for your baby’s first vaccination.
- 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.
- CCTV – think of how and where you’re going to install this.
- Cable storage case for CCTV 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 – I still use this one for, as of July 2020, my 3-year-old. She easily wakes up from outside noises so this is essential for me.
- Baby safe nail cutter
- 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 – can be liquid, can be powder, depends on you. I find liquid easier to use.
- 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
andyour phone on. If you have the budget and the spacethen I’d highly recommend it.
You might have noticed I didn’t include pillows, bolsters, pacifiers, stroller fans
I hope this list has been super helpful in giving you ideas on your newborn essentials checklist.
Did I miss something in this newborn essential checklist? Let me know by commenting below.