Close up, woman takes baby clothes from an open drawer


Checklist: Newborn Essentials

The Must-Haves for the First Weeks

Buying baby essentials is fun for many pregnant women. There are a lot of choices and it can get confusing, so we've put together a checklist and some useful tips for you!

With the numerous adorable rompers, onesies, high-tech prams, colorful patterned bedding sets, pacifiers and bottle models, couples who are becoming parents for the first time in particular quickly lose track of what's going on. A checklist of the most important things can therefore be a great help when shopping.

First of all, a quick tip: ideally, all baby equipment will be ready and waiting 4-5 weeks before the estimated due date. This saves you wandering around shopping malls or baby shops shortly before labor, or waiting for a last minute delivery.

1. Baby clothes (size 0-3M)

  • 2 to 3 romper suits: a romper suit is essentially an all-in-one, usually without sleeves. Rompers with feet are practical in cooler regions or seasons, because the baby's little feet stay nice and warm.
    Make sure the romper suit has buttons (e.g., in the crotch) that make changing diapers easier – this will save you and your little one a lot of stress. 
  • 3 to five 5 onesies: onesies are the bottom layer of any baby outfit. They are often buttoned at the crotch, can be sleeveless, with short or long sleeves, and made of different materials. Natural materials such as cotton jersey are always recommended. Wool is also possible – but these onesies are then more difficult to wash and not all children tolerate wool on their skin.
  • 3 long sleeve tops or lightweight sweaters to pull over the head. To make dressing easier, we recommend sweaters with buttons at the neckline.
  • 2 to 4 pairs of tights and 2 to 3 pairs of socks (cotton or wool)
  • 1 hat (thick or thin depending on region and season)
  • 1 cardigan,1 wool hat, 1 winter jacket or a warm pram suit and a knitted baby blanket if it is cold in your region.

2. For sleeping

  • Baby sleep sack – make sure you get the right size so your baby can't slip inside!
  • Crib: cradle or co-sleeper bed that can also be placed directly next to the parents' bed
  • Armchair or comfortable chair next to the crib for breastfeeding/bottle feeding

3. For baby's room

  • Changing unit or other means of changing nappy, such as a changing unit for fitting over the bath or washing machine
  • Changing mat
  • Baby monitor, music box, crib mobile

4. For breastfeeding or bottle feeding

  • Baby bottle
  • Nursing pads
  • Nipple shields and nipple care products to protect nipples during breastfeeding
  • Nursing bra
  • Breast pump for expressing breast milk
  • If the baby is not breastfed: 5-6 additional bottles, powdered infant milk, a brush and a steam sterilizer for cleaning and sterilization

5. For care

  • Diapers  
  • Wet wipes, washcloths 
  • Baby bathtub or bath bucket for safety when bathing. Important: do not bathe the baby until the belly button has fully healed! 
  • Hooded bath towel 
  • Clinical thermometer and bath thermometer 
  • Rounded baby nail scissors: in the first weeks the nails are still very soft and often break off by themselves. Be careful not to cut the nails too short, to avoid damaging the sensitive skin. 
  • Rash cream and/or powder 
  • Baby oil for gentle skin care 

6. For out and about

  • Stroller and/or sling or other carrying system
  • Blanket, sun or rain protection for the stroller 
  • Age-appropriate car seat and a sun shield for the car 
  • Changing bag or large bag for changing equipment 

7. Miscellaneous

  • Especially small pacifier for newborns
  • Mobile, rattle, or similar toys for very small babies 

Tip: for bigger purchases (stroller, baby crib, changing table, etc.) it is worth taking a look at the second-hand items on offer. You will always find used items that are almost as new and hardly used.

Baby clothes are also a popular birth gift – so it may be a good idea to buy only a few pieces initially and wait to see what you are missing later on. Some shops also offer "baby lists" for newborns, so that relatives and friends know exactly what the young family needs. An advantage for both parties: the givers do not have to worry about what to buy, and you do not get unnecessary things!

Photos: Shutterstock