Baby Essentials to Have on Hand for Your New Arrival

Baby Essentials to Have on Hand for Your New Arrival

Prepping for a new arrival can be overwhelming. When it comes to baby essentials, what is truly essential and what isn't? You'll want a guide for how to parent in the early months. And one for what to have on hand. So what are the must have baby essentials in the first few months?

How many clothes does a baby need?

New babies need to be kept comfortably warm, but not too hot. A good rule of thumb is to dress baby in whatever you're wearing, plus an extra layer. Newborn clothes should be simple, breathable, and comfortable. Look for clothing with zippers instead of snaps to make the undressing and dressing process easier. Used baby items are a great choice here.

-8 onesies, in a mix of both short and long-sleeved. Look for foldover cuffs on long-sleeved garments, which guard against fingernail scratches while baby learns how to control those tiny hands.

-5 pairs of pants. Soft, stretchy cotton pants are more comfortable than other fabrics and easier to get on and off.

-Pajamas. 3-5 gowns (for simpler middle-of-the-night diaper changes) and 6-8 one-piece sleepers. Zippered closures save time while diapering, while footed jammies eliminate the need for socks.

-6-8 pairs of socks

-Soft shoes for extra warmth

-2-3 sweaters or cardigans for an extra layer that doesn't add bulk

-Bunting bag or snowsuit for winter babies

-2 warm hats and 1 hat with a sun brim

Baby essentials for the early months

Around the house

Newborns don't need a fully decked-out nursery! A comfy and safe place to sleep is key, along with a few more items that make daily activities (like diaper changing) just a little bit easier.

-Somewhere safe to sleep. Depending on your preference and your space, this could be a bassinet, crib, co-sleeper, or Moses basket. Make sure that all spaces intended for sleep meet up-to-date safety specifications.

-Change of sheets for baby's sleeping space

-Baby monitor

-Swaddling blankets. Look for oversized, lightweight muslin blankets that can double as an extra nursing cover.

-1-2 sleep sacks or sleep swaddlers

-1-2 lightweight, easily washable blankets for extra warmth as needed


Whether you use cloth, hybrid or disposables, diapers are one thing you don't want to run short on! Plan to go through around 10-12 diapers per 24 hours in the first month, and 6-8 diapers per day until about six months of age. That's around 2,200 diapers in the first year of life!

-A 2-3 week supply of diapers; multiple sizes may be needed

-Disposable or reusable diaper wipes. When choosing disposable, look for chemical-free brands that are easier on baby's skin.

-Diaper changing pad with 1-2 removable, washable covers

-Diaper pail if using disposable diapers

-2-3 wet bags if using cloth diapers

-Diaper cream

-Diaper bag

-Portable changing pad

Parents bathing baby

Bathing and health care

Bathtime can be fun and not frustrating with the right supplies! When it comes to body care products, keep it simple. Baby's skin is sensitive, and most often, nothing more than water is required.

-Infant tub for safer bathing

-3-5 washcloths

-1-2 infant towels

-Infant nail clippers

-Soft-bristle hairbrush

-Infant Tylenol


Whether from the breast or from the bottle, feeding takes center stage in the early days! Breastfeeding mamas won't need too many supplies, but there are a few items recommended to make nursing more comfortable.

If nursing

-Breast pads (disposable or reusable)

-3-4 nursing bras, including 1-2 comfortable bras for overnight wear

-Nursing cover if desired

-Nursing pillow

-Extra cover for nursing pillow

-Lanolin or another natural nipple cream

If pumping

-Breast pump and accessories

-Freezer bags

If bottle beeding

-4-12 bottles, beginning with 4 oz. size


-Infant formula if using

-Electric bottle warmer if desired

For all methods of feeding

-2-3 pacifiers

-10-12 burp cloths

Baby sleeping in car carrier


Getting baby home from the hospital is just the first step in getting around! Here's what you need to step out on the town with baby. Most items, excluding car seats, are easily found secondhand if you're looking to save money.

-Infant car seat

-Hands-free baby carrier, if desired. There are many different options when it comes to babywearing, and you might want to try a few to find your best fit. Check Toycycle often for pre-owned carriers at great prices.



Other baby needs

While not necessarily baby essentials, some items are designed to give tired parents a break. You won't need all of the items on this list, but it's worth trying different options to see what pleases baby the most. Big-ticket items can be expensive; purchasing second hand through baby and kids consignment shops is a great way to save cash while you find what works. Don't forget about a few toys to engage baby! Now is also a great time to begin your library of children's books! Studies show that children who are read to often have a richer vocabulary by age two than children who aren't.

-Vibrating chair or bouncer

-Baby swing

-Floor gym for tummy time

-Infant toys

-Baby books

Browse for excellent-condition used baby items in Toycycle’s used baby store. We’re here to save you money, and to bring a bit more sustainability to caring for your baby.

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