The Complete Newborn Essentials Checklist

Newborn Essentials: Paperclip’s Ultimate Checklist

There are two types of first-time parents. The first are the type who prepare for their newborn baby from the moment those two magic lines appear on the pregnancy test. The second type goes into labor and realizes their baby will be swaddled in the striped hospital blanket until the Amazon delivery arrives. Thank goodness for Prime.

Who among us haven’t found ourselves at 2 AM in a half-awake sprint to the 24-hour store because you realized too late that newborn-sized diapers are a necessity, not an optional accessory. There’s nothing quite like the midnight realization that your life now includes emergency diaper runs.

Whether that’s been you or not, preparing for your bundle of joy long before arriving at the hospital is essential. Speaking of essentials, we have a few lists for you: ‘Newborn Essentials’, the ultimate checklists to gear up for your baby’s arrival. And when I say ‘gear up,’ I mean it literally. Nothing on Earth requires more of it than a 7lb. baby.

Emotionally Preparing for a Newborn

Becoming a parent is an enormous emotional undertaking. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions daily (or even hourly) while pregnant. Take comfort in the fact that women around the world have experienced these very same emotions for centuries. Pregnancy & Newborn offers a full Do’s and Don’ts guide available to help first-time parents navigate this exciting and stressful time. Remember that your doctor is always on hand to answer any critical questions.

Someone told me a story once how she sobbed because she couldn’t find her shoes, and then laughed hysterically when she realized they were on her feet. Yes, pregnancy brain makes for great party stories later!

How to Get Organized for a Newborn

Getting organized for a new baby doesn't need to be overwhelming. There’s nothing more satisfying than completing a list, right? So, we’ve created eight newborn essentials lists. Now, you can feel that sense of satisfaction eight times. Carve out a little time each week (or month) to tackle them.

For example, spend one Saturday afternoon shopping for nursery furniture at your local baby department store, or shop online, at Paperclip for beautifully designed and sustainably made diaper essentials and feeding products. Stock up on baby food and diapers at your neighborhood grocery store. Your lists will shrink in no time.

Remember, it’s all about baby steps. Preparing for a newborn seems far less daunting when broken down into bite-sized lists. Grab a pen and start ticking.

Clothing Essentials

  • 4-8 onesies
  • 4-8 shirts
  • 4-8 pants
  • 6-8 one-piece pjs
  • 6-8 socks
  • 2-3 newborn hats
  • 2-3 rompers
  • 2-3 swaddles
  • Bunting bag
  • Seasonally appropriate stroller blankets

Nursery Essentials

  • Crib and/or bassinet
  • Firm crib mattress
  • Waterproof bed pad
  • 2-4 fitted crib sheets
  • Rocker or glider for feeding
  • Baby monitor
  • Diaper changing table
  • Diaper pail
  • Portable crib
  • Humidifier
  • Clothes hamper
  • Nightlight

Diaper Essentials

  • 2-3 large boxes of disposable newborn-size diapers or 8 dozen cloth diapers with diaper covers
  • 1-2 tubes of diaper cream/rash protection
  • 2-3 boxes of unscented baby wipes
  • Diaper bag (link to paperclip here)

Bath Essentials

  • Baby bathtub
  • Baby body wash and shampoo
  • 4 hooded baby towels
  • Soft washcloths
  • Baby lotion

Feeding Essentials

  • 8-10 bottles and nipples for newborns 
  • Bottle brush
  • Bottle sterilizer
  • Bottle warmer
  • Formula (if not nursing)
  • Breast pump (if breastfeeding)
  • Milk storage bags (if breastfeeding)
  • Nursing pads (if breastfeeding)
  • Nipple cream (if breastfeeding)
  • High chair
  • 6-8 bibs
  • 6-8 burp cloths
  • Feeding pillow

Playtime Essentials

  • Playmat
  • Crib mobile
  • 4-6 stroller toys
  • 4-6 teething toys
  • Board books
  • Activity center
  • Newborn toys
  • Toy storage
  • Portable pack-and-play

Gear Essentials

  • Infant or convertible car seat
  • Stroller
  • Baby carrier
  • Baby swing or bouncer

Health Essentials

  • Baby nail clippers and file
  • Baby thermometer
  • 4-6 pacifiers (if using)
  • First aid kit
  • Cradle cap brush
  • Baby medicine
  • Bulb syringe
  • Sunscreen (newborn appropriate)

How To Save Money on Newborn Essentials

Newborn babies are expensive. The essentials needed to support that little bundle of joy can quickly add up. A few simple tips can help save money while still getting everything you need for the big day.

Put your newborn essentials on a gift registry so that friends and family can buy you things that you really need. Ask for baby gifts for your birthday, anniversary, and other gift-giving holidays. Check with friends, colleagues, and family who may have useful and barely used hand-me-downs to pass along. If you have time, compare prices among retailers and find sales.

The Arrival

The arrival of a newborn changes everything. Even nine months of advance planning can’t fully prepare you for the adventure your new family is about to embark upon. But whether you methodically tick items off a checklist or rely on last-minute deliveries, the most important preparation is the unconditional love to welcome your baby into your arms and hearts. That, and an Amazon Prime membership.


Written by Jamie Edwards

Jamie is an avid traveler, travel writer, and photographer. She launched I am Lost and Found, her adventure/luxury travel website after 25 years of living and traveling around the globe. She has lived in both NYC and Tokyo. Today she resides in Washington DC with her husband, two kids, and two black labs. Jamie’s goal is simple: to inspire travel.

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Melissa | Verified Buyer