Stores selling clothing and supplies for your newborn supply many of the lists of basic baby needs for your newborn. Surprise: the greater the variety and number of items, the more money the store will make. There are some things you must have for your newborn. However, the required items do not need to break the bank.
When you leave the hospital, you need a car seat for your newborn. This is probably going to be one of the most expensive items you purchase, but you will be using it for a long time, so it is well worth the price. Make sure you get a new car seat that meets all required safety standards.
Where do you plan to have your newborn sleep? A bassinet in your own room is convenient and a good idea for a first baby – you and the baby may be more comfortable. Again, whether you choose a bassinet or full-sized crib, make sure it is safe for your baby. Either way, you will need a waterproof mattress cover.
You will need more bottom fitted sheets than top because of leaky nappies and drooling. You also need five to eight lightweight receiving blankets and two heavier covers if baby comes during the winter months. Removable waterproof bed pads can prevent frequent bedding changes – maybe three to five of those.
When purchasing gowns for you newborn, remember that ease of access is important – nappy changing a sleeping baby is much easier if only the bottom of the gown needs to be disturbed. Onesies, as the name implies, are one piece t-shirts with closures between the legs. They work better than plain pullover shirts, which tend to scoot up and not keep your baby warm enough. A dozen of these should be enough.
Your newborn does not need many outfits for going out; the first few months you will probably not take the baby out a good deal. You will probably get enough of these as gifts, so I would not purchase very many. They are so cute, you will probably not be able to resist choosing one or two while out shopping for the necessities.
You will need nappies – lots of them! There are three options here: cloth, disposables, or nappy service. It is best to explore all three before deciding. Personally, I liked cloth nappies, especially the ones pre-cut and folded to fit. If you establish a routine for washing, the care is not that difficult and you can feel environmentally responsible. Of course, disposables are convenient when away from home. You will want a changing bag to carry essentials when you are out with baby. Choose one with a least one compartment that is waterproof for bottles and/or wet clothing.
Baby wipes are also convenient; choose fragrance-free for your newborn. Alternately, you can use baby washcloths. I used to place a damp cloth in a sandwich bag and carry it in the changing bag for emergencies. You can save money using soft baby washcloths instead of wipes; you need at least ten of these.
If you are bottle-feeding, you will need formula, at least six bottles, and teats. Ask other parents and your doctor for advice on the best options available.
Finally, you will need four pacifiers (if you’re going to use them), a baby bathtub, tearless baby shampoo, 2-4 baby towels for bath time, a nasal aspirator, and baby nail scissors or clippers.
There are many other things you will need, but this will get you started. Enjoy your newborn; they grow so quickly!