Ultimate Checklist: Must-Have Baby Essentials for New Parents - Home Kartz

Ultimate Checklist: Must-Have Baby Essentials for New Parents

When preparing for the arrival of a new baby, it's essential to have a checklist of must-have baby essentials to ensure you're fully equipped for the journey ahead. The list can seem overwhelming, from clothing and nursery items to feeding and safety essentials. However, with the right guidance, you can streamline your shopping list and focus on the most critical items. This ultimate checklist of baby essentials will help you navigate the world of baby products and prepare for the exciting adventure of parenthood.


Key Takeaways

  • Group your list of baby items into four basic categories: eat, sleep, pee/poop, and tools that will help you be hands-free.
  • When compiling your baby essentials list, consider real-life tips, quantities you should buy, and your favorite brands.
  • Focusing on the essentials to make your life easier rather than getting lost in the overwhelming array of baby products is essential.
  • Creating a baby registry is an exciting part of preparing for your new arrival, and it's a helpful tool in your journey to parenthood.
  • Ask for help or advice from friends and family who have been through it before when creating your baby registry.


1. Newborn Clothing

Shopping for your little bundle's wardrobe is as fun as necessary! Remember, comfort is key for your newborn, so look for soft, breathable fabrics that are easy to put on and take off. Here's a quick rundown of newborn clothing must-haves:

  • Onesies: The quintessential baby wear, perfect for any occasion.
  • Sleepers: For those cozy nights, zippers are a lifesaver!
  • Socks and booties: Keep those tiny toes warm.
  • Hats: A soft cap can keep your baby's head snug.
  • Outerwear: Depending on the season, a light jacket or a warm coat.

Don't get too carried away with the quantity; babies grow at lightning speed! A few pieces of each essential will do as you figure out what works best for your baby.


Fashion can wait; focus on the basics first. As tempting as it is to deck out your newborn in trendy outfits, they'll outgrow them before you get enough 'aww' moments. Save the fashion splurges for later and stick to simple, functional pieces.


2. Nursery and Sleeping

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Creating the perfect nursery is not just about aesthetics; it's about practicality and safety, too. 

Choosing the right crib or cot is crucial, as it's one of your biggest investments. Look for a crib that grows with your child and can convert to a toddler bed as they grow.

Remember, the nursery is where your little one will spend a lot of time, so it's important to make it comfortable and soothing.


Here's a quick checklist for your nursery setup:

  • Crib or cot that converts to a toddler bed
  • Firm and snug-fitting crib mattress
  • Baby monitor for peace of mind
  • Nursery glider or rocking chair for those late-night feeds
  • Adequate storage for baby's clothes and essentials


Sleep
is a precious commodity for new parents, and setting up a cozy sleep environment is key. Add swaddle blankets and a sound machine to your list to help your baby drift to dreamland. Always follow safe sleep guidelines to ensure your baby's safety.


3. Nappies and Changing Essentials


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Nappies are non-negotiable for keeping your little one clean and comfy. You'll be swapping out nappies up to 12 times daily, so choosing the right kind for your baby and your lifestyle is crucial.

There are two primary choices: cloth nappies and disposable nappies. Cloth nappies come in various styles, including all-in-ones, all-in-twos, and pocket nappies. They're eco-friendly and can be cost-effective in the long run. On the flip side, disposable nappies are super convenient, especially on the go.

Remember, no matter which type you choose, having a reliable stash of nappies is key to avoiding any messy situations.


Here's a quick checklist of changing essentials:

  • A sturdy changing table or pad
  • A diaper pail or bin for soiled nappies
  • Disposable bin bags for on-the-go changes
  • A stockpile of baby wipes
  • Diaper rash cream to protect your baby's skin


And remember, while disposable bin bags are handy, opting for an environmentally friendly option is a small step you can take to make a big difference for our planet.


4. Feeding Essentials


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When it comes to feeding your little bundle of joy, being prepared can make all the difference. Feeding time is not just about nutrition; it's a bonding experience you'll cherish. However, it can come with challenges, so having the right gear is key.

Breast pumps are a must-have for many new moms, even if you plan to breastfeed exclusively. They allow you to store milk when you might be away from your baby or need a little break. Here's a quick list of feeding essentials to get you started:

  • Breast pump (manual or electric)
  • Baby bottles and nipples
  • Sterilizer for bottles and pump parts
  • Nipple cream for comfort
  • Burp cloths for inevitable spills

Remember, practice makes perfect. Try out your sterilizer and bottles before the baby arrives to get the hang of it. This will help reduce stress when you're sleep-deprived and juggling the demands of a newborn.


Bottle feeding can also be an excellent way for other caregivers to bond with the baby. Keep various bottles on hand to find out which one your baby prefers. And don't forget the burp cloths—as any seasoned parent will tell you, spit-ups are just part of the journey!


5. Bathing Essentials


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Splish, splash! It's time to make bath time a breeze with the right essentials. Bathing a newborn is not just about cleanliness; it's a bonding experience that can be exciting and relaxing. Here's what you'll need to turn your bathroom into a mini spa for your little one:

Bath and Bath Seats: A tub fits your space whether you have a cozy corner or a spacious bathroom. The vast options are basic to inflatable, collapsible, or even tubs with built-in storage. Prices range from an affordable $15 to a premium $150, but remember, price doesn't always equate to quality.

Bathing Toiletries: Soft, organic washcloths are your best friend, protecting your baby's delicate skin. Pair them with a gentle, chemical-free baby shampoo and body wash for a tear-free experience.

Baby Bath Support: A bath support is a game-changer, providing a secure spot for your slippery bundle of joy and giving you extra confidence during bath time.

Baby Towel: You could use a regular towel, but baby-specific towels are softer and the right size. They make wrapping up your little one extra cozy after bath time.

Infant Bath Tub: An infant-specific bathtub offers the safest and most convenient way to bathe your newborn, with the right support to make bath time easier for both of you.

Remember, the key to a successful bath time is preparation and having the right tools at hand. With these essentials, you'll be ready to handle bath time like a pro!


6. Baby Safety and Grooming


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When it comes to your little one, safety and grooming are paramount. From the moment they start exploring, bumps and scrapes are part of the adventure. A well-stocked first aid kit should be on hand for those just-in-case moments. But it's not just about being reactive; proactive safety measures are key.

Keep your baby's environment safe with baby gates, cabinet locks, and edge guards. It's all about creating a secure space where they can learn and grow without unnecessary risks.


Here's a quick checklist of safety and grooming essentials:

  • Baby gate to secure dangerous areas
  • Cabinet locks to prevent access to hazardous substances
  • Edge guards to cushion sharp corners
  • Baby proofing kit for overall safety
  • Nail clippers designed for tiny fingers
  • Soft-bristled baby toothbrush
  • Gentle baby shampoo and washcloths


Remember, no gadget can replace the watchful eye of a loving parent. Always supervise your baby, especially around water or potential hazards. And if you're ever in doubt about your baby's health or development, don't hesitate to seek professional advice.


7. Prams


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When it comes to choosing the perfect pram for your little one, it's all about balancing budget, safety, and comfort. Don't get swayed by the priciest models; focus on the most important features to you and your baby.

  • Budget: Set a realistic budget before you start shopping. While high-end prams may be tempting, they're not always necessary.
  • Safety: Use a secure harness system to look for prams that meet or exceed safety standards.
  • Comfort: Ensure the pram has ample cushioning and support for your baby's comfort.
  • Size: The pram should fit in your car's boot and be easy for you to lift.

Remember, you'll be using the pram frequently, so it should also have enough storage for your nappy bag, feeding items, and other essentials. Comfort for you is just as important as comfort for your baby, so choose a pram that's the right height and easy to handle.


8. Car Seats and Accessories

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When it comes to traveling with your little one, safety is non-negotiable. Car seats and accessories are crucial for ensuring your baby's protection on the road. You must do your homework and pick the right car seat that fits your child's age, weight, and height.


Here's a quick checklist to consider when selecting a car seat:

  • Rearward-facing car capsule: Best for newborns and young infants.
  • Convertible car seat: Grows with your child from infant to toddler.
  • Forward-facing car seat: For older toddlers who have outgrown the rearward-facing limit.
  • Booster seat: For children who are big enough for seat belts but still need a boost.

Remember, not all car seats fit in all vehicles. Always check the car seat's compatibility with your car before making a purchase.


Lastly, accessories like a back seat mirror or an extra car seat base can make your life easier. Don't overlook the convenience they can offer, especially during those busy days filled with errands and appointments.


9. First Time Mum Essentials


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Stepping into motherhood is a mix of excitement and new responsibilities. As a first-time mum, it's crucial to remember that caring for yourself is as important as caring for your baby. Self-care isn't selfish; it's necessary for your well-being and your baby's. Here's a quick list of essentials that can help make the transition smoother:

  • Breast pads: Whether disposable or reusable, these are a lifesaver for managing leaks.
  • Comfortable clothing: Think stretchy, soft, and easy for breastfeeding if you choose to do so.
  • A reliable breast pump is for those moments when you need a break or are away from your little one.
  • A stash of healthy snacks: Keeping your energy up is essential!

Remember, it's okay to ask for help and take time for yourself. Those first few months can be intense, but with the right essentials and support, you'll find your groove in no time.


10. Infant Car Seat


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Hey there, new parents! Let's discuss a non-negotiable for your bundle of joy: the infant car seat. You'll need a properly installed infant car seat before bringing your little one home from the hospital. This is one item where new is the way to go; a second-hand seat might have hidden damage or need to be updated with current safety standards.

  • Safety First: Look for a seat with a high safety rating, like the UPPAbaby MESA V2, which boasts a 5-star ease of use rating.
  • Growth and Change: Choose a seat designed for infants, as they cater to the rapid development and changes your baby will go through, unlike convertible seats for older babies.

Remember, while budget is important, safety is paramount. Don't compromise on a car seat that meets all safety regulations and fits your car correctly.


Lastly, always check for recalls and expiration dates. Car seats aren't just about legal requirements but about peace of mind. Safe travels!


11. Stroller


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Choosing the right stroller can feel like navigating a maze of features, brands, and recommendations. But fear not, new parents! The stroller is your passport to freedom with your little one, allowing you to get fresh air and run errands easily. Here's a quick rundown to help you find your perfect match:

  • Full-Size Strollers: The classic choice for everyday use. They're sturdy and feature-packed but can be bulky.
  • Lightweight Strollers: These are easy to fold and carry for quick trips and travel.
  • Double Strollers: A lifesaver for twins or siblings close in age, offering side-by-side or tandem seating.
  • Jogging Strollers: These are designed to handle higher speeds and uneven terrain for the active family.

Remember, while a stroller isn't an absolute necessity, it can significantly boost your mental well-being and convenience. Whether it's a jogger for those morning runs or a full-size model for shopping trips, there's a stroller out there that's the perfect fit for your family's lifestyle.


Lastly, remember to add your chosen stroller to your baby registry. High-quality strollers can be an investment, and it's always a bonus if you can receive one as a gift. Happy strolling!


12. Breast Pump


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When it comes to feeding your little one, a breast pump can be a game-changer, especially for moms returning to work or needing to share feeding duties. The right breast pump is crucial for comfort, efficiency, and maintaining a good milk supply.

  • Manual Breast Pumps: Best for occasional use, affordable, and portable.
  • Electric Breast Pumps: Ideal for regular use, faster, and often come with more features.
  • Double Electric Breast Pumps: Save time by expressing from both breasts simultaneously.
  • Hands-Free Breast Pumps: Offer the ultimate convenience for multitasking moms.

Remember, what works for one mom might not work for another, so consider your lifestyle and needs when selecting a breast pump. If you're on the go, look for a model that's compact and has a long battery life. For those long days away from home, a breast pump bag that's both stylish and functional can make all the difference.


Prices for breast pumps can vary widely, from around $70 for a basic manual pump to upwards of $300 for a high-end automatic model. While it's an investment, the right breast pump can smooth your breastfeeding journey.


13. Baby Swing


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A baby swing can be a lifesaver when calming your little bundle of joy. Swings provide a soothing motion that often mimics the comfort of the womb, making them perfect for relaxation or even prepping your baby for a peaceful nap. While high-tech swings with numerous settings are available, many parents, including myself, swear by the simplicity of a classic swing. A gentle sway is usually all it takes to keep your baby content.

Remember, safety first! Always ensure your baby is securely buckled in the swing and never leave them unattended.


Here's a quick list of some top baby swing picks for new parents:

  • Graco Simple Sway Swing
  • Ingenuity InLighten Swing
  • BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft


Each swing has its unique features, but they all share the ability to give your arms a much-needed break. And let's be honest, we could all use a moment to grab a quick snack or use the bathroom in peace. Remember, while a swing is great for awake time, it's not a substitute for a safe sleeping space like a crib or bassinet.


14. Swaddle Blankets


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Swaddle blankets are a must-have for any new parent's arsenal. They're not just for keeping your little one snug as a bug; swaddles help newborns feel secure, mimicking the coziness of the womb, and can be a game-changer for sleep. Here's a quick rundown on why you'll want to stock up:

  • Security: Swaddles help prevent startle reflexes that can wake your baby.
  • Versatility: Use them as a light blanket, nursing cover, or a changing mat in a pinch.
  • Comfort: A well-swaddled baby is happy, giving everyone better sleep.


When it comes to swaddling, you have options. Some parents swear by the traditional wrap-around swaddle for short naps, while others prefer the convenience of a Velcro swaddle for longer nighttime rests. The Velcro option is particularly handy as it keeps the swaddle in place, reducing the risk of it being undone.

Remember, while swaddling can be incredibly soothing, it's important to follow safe swaddling practices to ensure your baby's hips and legs can move freely and to prevent overheating.


As for brands, it's a personal choice, and with technology ever-evolving, the best swaddle for you is one that you and your baby find comfortable and easy to use. Happy swaddling!


15. Nursing

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When it comes to nursing, comfort and convenience are key. Nursing tops are a game-changer for feeding your little one discreetly and easily. Look for tops with hidden pockets and openings, like the BLANQI Everyday Pull-Down Support Tank, which offers privacy and simplicity during feedings.

Nursing pads are a must-have for managing leaks between feedings. They're not just about saving face in public; they're about comfort and keeping your clothes stain-free.


Here's a quick list of nursing essentials to add to your baby registry:

  • Nursing Cover
  • Breast Pads
  • Nipple Cream
  • Nursing Bras
  • Nursing Tanks
  • Breast Milk Storage Bags
  • Bottles
  • Pacifiers


Remember, a good breast pump is invaluable when direct nursing isn't possible or when you need to store milk for later. It's worth investing in a quality pump to make your nursing journey smoother.


16. Nose Cleaner

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When keeping your little one comfortable, a nose cleaner is necessary for tackling those inevitable stuffy noses. The Oogiebear Baby Nose Cleaner is a parent favorite, not only for its effectiveness in removing stubborn mucus but also because it's safe for tiny nostrils.

  • Ease of Use: Designed for little noses and ears, making it a versatile tool.
  • Organic Nosebalm: Pairs perfectly with Oogiebear's USDA-certified organic nose balm.
  • Promo Code: Use 'rookiebear15' for a 15% discount.

Remember, a clear nose means a happy baby and a peaceful night for everyone!


Many parents swear by the Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator for those first sniffles and colds. It's more effective than traditional bulb aspirators and includes hygienic filters. Plus, it's a breeze to clean, which is always a bonus for busy parents.


17. Nail Clippers


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Keeping your little one's nails trimmed is crucial to prevent accidental scratches. Nail clippers are a must-have for any new parent's toolkit. The tiny nails of a newborn may need trimming more than once a week, and while it can be tricky to guide those clippers, there are a few options to consider:

  • Traditional nail scissors are sharp and effective.
  • Many parents now prefer a nail grinder for a smoother finish.
  • A surprising mom hack is gently chewing the nails down, which can be easier until the baby's fingers grow.

Despite your best efforts, you might still want to keep mittens on those tiny hands to protect your baby's delicate skin.

Remember, it's not just about the tool, but also about being gentle and patient during the process to ensure your baby's comfort and safety.


18. Digital Thermometer


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When your little munchkin feels under the weather, a reliable digital thermometer is your best friend. It's a must-have tool for keeping tabs on your baby's health, and with so many options out there, it's important to find one that's quick, accurate, and easy to use.

Digital thermometers come in various styles, each with its benefits. For instance, the non-contact thermometers are perfect for checking the temperature of a sleeping baby without disturbing their dreams. Here's a quick rundown of some popular options:

  • The Vicks forehead thermometer: Non-invasive with a 3-second reading.
  • Oricom non-contact thermometer: Hygienic, quick 2-second reading, and stores 32 records.
  • Braun Thermoscan: Super fast, less than a second reading, and known for its accuracy.

Remember, it's not just about the speed; accuracy is crucial when it comes to your baby's health. While some thermometers are budget-friendly, investing in a high-quality one can save you a lot of stress.


Lastly, consider having more than one thermometer at home. It's always good to have a backup, especially during those late-night fever scares. Keep one handy in your baby's room and another in your first aid kit so you're prepared wherever you are.


19. Washcloths


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Washcloths are a must-have for any parent's arsenal for keeping their little one clean and comfy. These small but mighty cloths are perfect for gently scrubbing your baby's delicate skin during bath time.

Opt for bamboo washcloths, which are not only incredibly soft but also eco-friendly, free from chemicals, and kind to your baby's skin. A pack of three should suffice, and they're versatile enough for the whole family to use.


Here's a quick rundown on pricing for these essential items:

  • Baby Washcloths (Single Pack): $9.95
  • Baby Washcloths (Pack of 3): $26.95


Remember, less is often more regarding your baby's bath time. Bathing your baby's body three times a week is sufficient to keep it clean without over-drying its skin. When you're done, wrap it in a cozy, hooded towel to keep it warm and snug.


20. Bathtub


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Choosing the right bathtub for your little one can make bath time a soothing and enjoyable experience. When selecting a bathtub, consider space, storage, and budget factors. A basic tub might cost as little as $15, while more elaborate models with additional features like changing mats and nappy storage can go up to $150. Remember, a higher price sometimes means a better product.

Safety is paramount during bath time. Always ensure you never leave your baby unattended in the bath or near water.


For those with limited space, options like inflatable or collapsible tubs are ideal. If you're using your existing bath, products like a baby dam can help save water by allowing you to fill only a portion of the tub. Temperature is crucial; a bath thermometer is necessary to ensure the water is safe at 37–38 degrees Celsius for your baby's comfort.


Here are a couple of top picks for baby bathtubs:

  • Boon Naked: Offers simplicity and support for your baby.
  • Primo EuroBath: A runner-up that provides ample space and comfort.


21. oogiebear Baby Nose Cleaner

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When it comes to keeping your little one's nostrils clear, the oogiebear Baby Nose Cleaner is a game-changer for new parents. This nifty tool is designed to safely and effectively remove stubborn mucus and dry boogers from tiny noses, and it's just as helpful for those pesky ear boogies, too!

The oogiebear nosebalm, when paired with the nose cleaner, forms the ultimate baby nose care routine, especially for parents who are always on the move. The balm is USDA-certified organic, ensuring that all natural compounds remain effective from the first to the last swipe.


Here's a quick deal: Use the promo code rookiebear15 to snag a 15% discount on your purchase. And remember, keeping those little noses clean is not just about comfort—it's about health and hygiene, too.


Essential Items for Baby Nose Care:

  • oogiebear Baby Nose Cleaner
  • Oogie nosebalm
  • Promo code for discount: rookiebear15


22. Baby Meal Ideas


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When it comes to feeding your little munchkin, variety is the spice of life! Introducing a range of flavors and textures early on can pave the way for a well-rounded eater. The options, from purees to finger foods, are endless and can be tailored to your baby's developmental stage.

Meal prep is your friend, parents! By dedicating a little time to preparing meals in advance, you can ensure your baby has healthy and homemade options at the ready. Here's a simple list to get you started:

  • Mashed sweet potatoes with a pinch of cinnamon
  • Soft-cooked carrots and peas
  • Banana and avocado mash
  • Miniature rice cakes with hummus
  • Scrambled eggs with spinach

Remember, always be mindful of potential allergens and consult with your pediatrician before introducing new foods.


As your baby grows, look for cues that he or she is ready for more complex textures and flavors. And don't forget, mealtime is also playtime—let him or her explore his or her food to develop motor skills and a sense of independence!


23. Toddler Meal Ideas


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Transitioning from baby food to more solid meals can be fun and exciting for toddlers and parents. Keep it simple, healthy, and fun, using various colors and textures to entice those little taste buds. Remember, toddlers are learning to be independent, so finger foods they can manage independently are always a hit.

  • Peanut butter and banana slices on whole-grain bread
  • Steamed veggies with a side of hummus for dipping
  • Turkey and cheese roll-ups with a side of grapes
  • Yogurt with mixed berries and a sprinkle of granola

Always be mindful of potential choking hazards and cut food into appropriate sizes for your toddler.


For those days when you're on the go, consider packing these meals in an insulated lunchbox to keep them fresh. And remember, staying hydrated is crucial, so include a sippy cup of water or milk to round out the meal.


24. Lunchbox


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When packing your little one's lunchbox, convenience and nutrition are key. Finding the right balance between healthy and appealing can be challenging, but with a few creative ideas, you can ensure your toddler enjoys his or her meals even when you're not around.

Meal prep is your friend when organizing your child's lunchbox. Think of finger foods that are easy to manage and don't require reheating. Here's a quick list to get you started:

  • Whole grain sandwiches with lean protein
  • Fresh fruit slices or easy-to-eat entire fruits like grapes or berries
  • Veggie sticks with hummus or yogurt dip
  • Cheese cubes or string cheese
  • Hard-boiled eggs or mini frittatas


Remember, the goal is to provide a variety of foods that will keep your child energized and satisfied throughout the day. > Keep it colorful and fun; a vibrant lunchbox will likely return empty!

Lastly, remember to include an ice pack in your child's lunchbox to keep perishable items fresh, and always check for any food allergies or dietary restrictions in their daycare or school.


25. Baby Registry Guide


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Creating a baby registry can be a delightful milestone on your journey to parenthood. Start early and choose a platform that suits your style: Target, Amazon, Pottery Barn, or BuyBuyBaby. Remember, the registry is more than a wishlist—it's a strategic tool to ensure you're prepared for your little one's arrival.


Aim for a mix of items across various price points when deciding what to include. This way, your friends and family can find something within their budget. It's not rude to include expensive items—big-ticket essentials like strollers and car seats are expected. A typical registry has 50-100 items, covering everything from swaddle blankets to nursing pillows.

While it's tempting to add all the latest gadgets, focus on what you'll truly use. Skip the non-essentials like Diaper Genies and baby shoes, which may not be as practical.


Here's a quick checklist to get you started:


Sign up for an Amazon Baby Registry to save 15% with a Registry Coupon! Enjoy the process and lean on your community for support and advice.


Final Thoughts


In conclusion, preparing for a new baby can be overwhelming, but having a checklist of must-have baby essentials can make the process much easier. From newborn clothing to feeding, bathing, and safety items, this checklist covers everything new parents need to ensure they are well-equipped for their new arrival. Remember, the most important things for your new baby are love, attention, and care, but having the right baby essentials can make life a little easier. Happy parenting!

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