baby lying down wearing whimsy print onesie

Ultimate Baby Essentials Checklist for New Parents

By: Brooke Hamilton


Being an expectant parent is incredibly exciting—you’re absorbing all the baby information you can from friends, family, and blog posts and anxiously awaiting your little one’s arrival. But, as you prepare for all the coos and cuddles, it can sometimes feel like you’re driving with warring GPS systems. Some sources tell you one thing—“You can’t live without this crib!” or “Your baby absolutely needs this toy!”—while others point you in the opposite direction.

That’s why we’re here to help.

Find everything your baby actually needs, from the nursery to the bathroom and beyond, in this comprehensive newborn baby essentials checklist.

Newborn Nursery Must-Haves

When it comes to your baby’s nursery, the must-have of all must-haves is a safe and sleep-supportive crib. Babies sleep for a majority of the day—at least 14-17 hours—so it’s important that their sleeping arrangements are satisfactory.

Of course, a crib isn’t the only must-have for your baby’s nursery. Other newborn baby essentials include:

  • Crib mattress, with a mattress pad and fitted sheet

  • Baby monitor

  • Sound machine to help lull your baby to sleep and keep them asleep

  • Changing table and changing pad

  • Nightlight for late-night feedings (many sound machines also double as nightlights!)

  • Storage containers or baskets for diapers, toys, baby clothes, and more

  • Sensory toys

  • Floor mat for tummy time

What Not to Get for Your Newborn Nursery

As parents ourselves, we understand the desire to splurge on elaborate mobiles and adorable stuffed animals for your baby’s nursery. However, it’s important to note that there are some items that don’t belong in your baby’s nursery until they get older.

In particular, there are many guidelines regarding baby cribs that parents are strongly urged to follow to avoid the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. The cause of SIDS still isn’t fully understood, but experts believe that extraneous items in a baby’s crib may play a role. To keep your baby safe and comfortable while they sleep, it’s recommended to avoid the following items until they are between 12-18 months old:

  • Toys and stuffed animals – Soft toys and stuffed animals are a joy to gift your little one, just be sure to keep them out of your baby’s crib while they sleep. Instead, try giving them a pacifier at night.

  • Inclined sleepers and baby bumpers – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasizes the need for babies to sleep on their backs on a flat, non-inclined surface. Their recommendation “Back is Best” urges parents to make sure their babies sleep on their backs, and recommends cribs should have a flat mattress and, a fitted crib sheet. Even baby bumpers can cause suffocation and entrapment —risks that aren’t worth any supposed benefits.

Though many of the above items will be safe for your baby as they get older, it’s important to focus on getting the true newborn essentials your baby can safely enjoy.

Feeding Essentials for Newborns

When the baby isn’t sleeping, it’s probably feeding time! Most newborns need to eat every two to three hours, which adds up to about eight to twelve feedings a day.

Whether you’re choosing to breastfeed or bottle feed, you’ll want to be prepared for your hungry little one. Depending on which method you choose, the must-have items you’ll need for feeding include:

  • Breast pump

  • Baby bottles with nipples

  • Baby bottle warmer

  • Breastfeeding/nursing support pillows

  • Comfy chair (since you’ll be sitting in it often!)

  • Burp cloth

  • Vitamin D supplements, with the consent of your baby’s doctor 5

While there exists some stigma around breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding, know that both formula and breastmilk are sure to raise a strong, healthy baby—you should choose whichever option works best for you and your little one. 5

Baby Bathing Basics

There’s something so soothing about the smell of a baby. As a new parent, you may wonder what’s the best way to keep your baby smelling—and looking—like the fresh little peanut they are. The answer is regular baths.

To that end, let’s get into some baby bath basics.

Newborns should only receive sponge baths until after the umbilical cord stump has fallen off and healed, typically within one or two weeks. After that, it’s recommended that babies are bathed only about three times a week to prevent dry skin.

Most parents choose to bathe their baby in either:

  • A plastic, baby bathtub or basin

  • A sink

Both are good options, though extra care is needed in the sink to prevent slipping or collisions with the sink taps. No matter which method you choose, you should always be sure to have one hand on your baby at all times while they’re in the water.

To keep water and suds out of your baby’s eyes, cup your hand over their forehead so that the water runs off to the sides instead of into their face. You might also want a towel ready for a quick dry-off so your baby doesn’t get too cold.

Here are some other baby bath time essentials you’ll need to ensure a squeaky clean and happy baby: 6

  • Soft, cotton washcloths and towels

  • Baby-friendly soap/shampoo that’s gentle on sensitive skin

  • Unscented, hypoallergenic lotion to prevent dry skin after bathing

The best part about bath time is that it isn’t just for keeping your baby squeaky clean—it can also be a time of play for babies who enjoy the water and a great bonding experience between baby and caregiver.

Clothing Essentials for Your Newborn

Picking out baby clothes can be one of the most exciting parts of preparing for your little one’s arrival. Just looking at all the precious baby girl pajamas or baby boy pajamas and teeny-tiny socks is enough to make your heart melt. 

But newborn baby clothing serves an important function, too. Babies can’t regulate their body temperature as well as adults can, so they need those extra layers to help keep them warm. 

To that end, here are the newborn baby clothing essentials you’ll definitely want to have on your checklist:

  • One-piece footies

  • Bodysuits

  • Two-piece sets

  • Swaddles

  • Sleep bags

  • Socks and booties

  • Beanies and hats

Since spills and stains are inevitable with babies, it’s also a good idea to have several of each item, with backup outfits close at hand. Discover additional tips on how to dress your baby for sleep to ensure a good night’s rest. 

For those winter babies, you may need to get some extra outer layers for car trips or doctor’s visits. Jackets, mittens, and thicker hats and socks will keep your baby safe from the chill.

You may also want to consider what types of materials your baby’s clothes are made from. Natural fibers like cotton and bamboo are best because they’re:

  • Soft and gentle on the skin

  • Breathable

  • Absorbent 

  • Flexible

It’s best to stay away from most synthetic fabrics, as well as coarse fibers, such as wool.7 These materials are more likely to irritate your baby’s skin and cling to sweat and moisture. 

Fortunately, Posh Peanut makes baby clothes from a stretchy and versatile material, using our signature viscose from bamboo material called Päpook®. Päpook is inspired by the Armenian word for “soft,” but that’s almost an understatement for how buttery and gentle this fabric is on sensitive skin. The award-winning fabric also stretches with your growing baby so that you can get more wear out of each item, and the light and breathable quality ensures warmth and comfort year-round. 

At Posh Peanut, we care about function, comfort, and style. Our clothing comes in a plethora of prints and colors for every baby to shine in, and we even have matching sets for adults, too. 

Trust Posh Peanut For the Baby Clothes You Need and More

With this guide stashed in your back pocket, you’ll be able to get all the essentials on your newborn baby checklist in no time. 

And, for all your baby clothing needs, Posh Peanut has you covered. Made from our award-winning Päpook® fabric, all of our one-pieces, swaddles, sleep bags, and more are stretchy, breathable, and as soft as your baby’s delicate skin.

Plus, we’re passionate about combining function and quality with style. That’s why we offer a wide selection of colors and prints, from florals and foods to animals, sports, and more. Browse our website today to start crossing all your must-have clothing items off your new baby checklist.

Always check with your pediatrician on issues concerning your baby. The information contained herein should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


1. Nemours KidsHealth. Sleep and Your Newborn. 

2. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Crib Safety Tips. 

3. American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics Updates Safe Sleep Recommendations: Back is Best. 

4. Cleveland Clinic. Are Crib Bumpers Safe? 

5. Mayo Clinic. Feeding your newborn: Tips for new parents. 

6. American Academy of Pediatrics. Bathing Your Baby. 

7. Parent Herald. The Best Fabric For Baby Clothing and What You Need to Avoid.