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Mumli’s official newborn baby checklist


You’ve gotten the hang of this pregnancy gig, you’ve found a name both you and your partner are happy with, you’re getting ready to push out a bowling ball baby (a.k.a. birth) and… oh sh*t, you’ve got to buy stuff for the baby. 

Despite their itty bitty size, babies need a lot of gear. And knowing where to begin, how much of everything to buy, what’s a necessity and what’s not can be a f*cking nightmare. We get it! 

So, here’s Mumli’s official newborn baby checklist, with everything you need to buy to care for your wee one once they arrive.

A quick note, mum to mum(to-be) 

This baby checklist is not exhaustive. And neither is it prescriptive. You might decide something is an absolute must to make your motherhood journey the best possible experience or that you can do without it (we’re all different). You might be sticking to a budget (you’re not alone there). Or, you might have a pile of hand-me-downs from family or prior children (know that is a first baby checklist, and your preparing for baby number 2 checklist is likely to look a little different).

Whatever the case, read our newborn baby checklist, consider your preferences and needs, then make it your own. Now, let’s do this. 

The newborn checklist 

Clothing 

We’ll start here because – well, baby clothes are the cutest. When buying baby clothes, think about:

  • The season your little one will be born – if they’ll be a summer baby, focus on short leg and sleeve attire, and long leg and short sleep options if they’ll be a winter baby. Of course, you could buy a mix if you live somewhere with unpredictable weather.

  • What you can be bothered with – some mums are happy to f*ck around with complicated buttons and snaps; others are not.

  • How much laundry you’re willing to do – the more you buy of something, the less frequently you’ll need to do the washing (but no guarantees, though, because accidents happen).

So the essential newborn clothes checklist includes:

  • Onesies x 6-8 (or x 12 – 16, if you’re having twins) – these are a long-sleeved, long legged one-piece outfits (hence the name onesie) that little ones generally wear as pyjamas overnight or during the day if it’s colder (so if you’re having a winter baby you might want to buy closer to x 10 onesies per child); note that onesies with two-way zips are easier for nappy changes and should be top of your newborn baby needs checklist.  

  • Tops x 4-8 – this could be a mix of t-shirts, singlets, or long sleeve shirts.

  • Bottoms x 4-8 – this could be a range of leggings, shorts, or bummies.

  • Bodysuits x 4-8 – these are perfect for layering. 

  • Jumpers or cardigans x 2 – though you might buy more if you’re having a winter baby and like to get outdoors.

  • Jacket x 1 – only if your baby’s arriving in winter (if not, buy a jacket closer to the season to ensure it fits).

  • Hats x 2 – you might choose beanies for winter or broad brim hats for summer (for ultimate sun protection).

  • Socks x 5 – these are a must if your babe is born in winter.

  • Booties x 1 – if it’s winter, for extra warmth on top of socks.

  • Gloves x 1 – if it’s freezing out, though they’re rarely needed otherwise.

  • Blankets x 2 – for the pram, the nursery, the bouncer, wherever you need, and the thickness will depend on the season.

  • Swaddles x 1,000,000 – ok, not really, but we’d recommend at least three because they’re so damn versatile (here are nine we love).

Buy basics like onesies and pyjamas in a couple of different sizes, in case your babe is particularly little or big when they’re born. You never know. And if you’re having twins, double everything on your newborn clothes checklist (but know it’ll mean double the cuddles). 

Nursery 

Setting up your baby-to-be’s nursery is one of the most exciting parts of pregnancy. Cute decor aside, there are a few essentials you’ll need. Here’s our new baby checklist for the nursery:

  • A bed x 1 (or x 2, for twins) – this might be a bassinet, a cot, or a co-sleeper, and it’ll be in your bedroom for the first six months or so of your babe’s life (in line with safe sleep guidelines). 

  • A mattress x 1 (or x 2, for twins) – it should be firm, clean and fit the bed tightly to help reduce the risk of SIDS (for more information, here’s how to set up a safe sleep environment). 

  • Fitted sheet x 2 (or x 4, for twins) – it should fit the mattress perfectly to help minimise the risk of SIDS. 

  • Waterproof mattress cover x 1 (or x 2, for twins) – in case of nappy breeches or vomits.

  • Sleepsuit x 2 (or x 4, for twins) – these help keep your little one warm and safe while asleep, but make sure you buy the appropriate thickness to avoid overheating (it can contribute to SIDS).

  • Feeding chair x 1 – it doesn’t need to be a specific rocking chair or glider, but you’ll need something to sit in when feeding your little one, and you want it to be big and comfy.

  • Changing table x 1 – it’ll save your back during nappy changes.

  • Changing mat x 1 – this sits atop the changing table, for comfort. 

  • Changing mat covers x 2 – this wraps around the changing mat and helps protect the mat in case of accidents (plus, they are a lovely piece of nursery decor). 

  • Nappy bin x 1 – contain the stink, girl.

  • Baby monitor x 1 (or x 2, if having twins and you want one monitor per bed) – to keep tabs on what’s going on while you’re outside the room, especially if you think you want to try sleep training down the line.

  • Chest of drawers x 1 – for storing clothes or toys if you don’t have built-ins (and honestly, even if you do, they’re a must because babies have a lot of cr*p).

  • Night light x 1 – something low level so you can still see during the night feeds but not so bright that it’ll stimulate your little one.

  • White noise machine x 1 – to help drown out sudden noises that can disrupt your newborn’s sleep (though some baby monitors have white noise built-in, and you can also buy white noise apps).

  • Dummies x 3 – noting though that it’s recommended to wait four-six weeks to introduce a dummy, if you want to, especially if your baby is breastfed so that they can establish that first.

Changing

Fun fact: it’s estimated that newborns average about 8-10 nappy changes per day. So, do the math, and that’s a hell of a lot of nappy changing. Meaning there are a few changing-related must-buys to add to your new baby checklist:

  • Nappies x 1 box (grab x 2 boxes, if having twins) – in newborn size.

  • Nappy rash cream x 1 – because nappy rash happens, and applying cream can help soothe and protect sore bums.

  • Baby wipes x 2 (pick up x 4, if birthing twins) – you’ll go through them quicker than you can imagine.

  • Nappy bag (plus its contents) x 1 – it’ll save your chops when you’re out and about with your baby.

Before we leave off here, there’s one other essential to add to your newborn baby shopping checklist – and that’s something to cover the changing mat and even the changing mat cover during your little one’s very first weeks. Because the poos can be gnarley, rogue pees can happen, and you want to be able to clean that sh*t away quickly. You might try puppy training pads (x 1 pack should suffice for now) or use burp cloths (which you’ll see in the feeding list below). Trust us – whatever you use, it’ll be a lifesaver. 

Feeding

Luckily, newborns have relatively low needs when it comes to feeding (the fun truly starts when they’re on solids). Once home from the hospital, babies are usually breastfed or bottle-fed. Here’s what to add to your newborn baby shopping checklist: 

  • Bottles and teats x 8 (or x 16, for twins) – newborns have about six to eight feeds every 24 hours, so if bottle feeding, having multiple bottles will mean you’re not constantly panicking to get one cleaned and prepped.

  • Bottle steriliser x 1 – sterilising your baby’s bottles helps to reduce their chances of getting sick.

  • Bottle brush x 1 – to help keep those bottles super clean.

  • Bottle drying rack x 1 – so you can ‘set and forget’ until you need those bottles again.

  • Bottle warmer x 1 – not essential, but it can be helpful in ‘expediting’ the bottle preparation process.

  • Newborn formula x 1 (or perhaps x 2, for twins) – if you’re not pumping or breastfeeding.

  • Breastpump x 1 – if you’re planning to pump, or in case you run into breastfeeding issues and want to bottle feed expressed breast milk.

  • Milk storage bags x 1 pack – if you’re planning to pump and have excess breastmilk to store in your freezer.

  • Bibs x 4 (x 8, for twins) – these aren’t super necessary until your wee one(s) start teething and drooling up a storm (anytime between four and ten months of age), but they can be helpful for newborn spit-ups and are good to have to hand for now.

  • Burp cloths x 10 (or x 15, if having twins) – because newborns vomit, sometimes a lot.  

  • Feeding pillow x 1 – not essential, but it can help you sit more comfortably during feeds (plus you can use it for tummy time by propping your baby up on it, too).

We should note that there are two other feeding-related must-buys:

  • Nipple balm x 1 – it can help soothe your nips if they become sore, itchy or cracked from breastfeeding or pumping.

  • Breast pads x 1 box (at least!) – these help soak up leaky breast milk until your supply settles, which can take around four weeks.

We know that these are more for you, mama-to-be, than your bub. But, your needs during the postpartum period are just as important, which is why they’ve made our newborn baby checklist. For more information on postpartum essentials, read our list of must-buys here

Bathtime

Real talk: bathtime with a newborn can be scary (especially at first) and bloody messy. (Sadly, it’s not rubber duckies and scented bubbles just yet!) Here are a few essentials that can help make newborn bathtime less stressful:

  • Baby bathtub x 1 – while you can bathe your little one in a kitchen or laundry sink, you can buy specific baby bathtubs, too – they use less water and are perfect for use within your bigger shower or bathtub areas. 

  • Body wash x 1 – newborns generally don’t need soap or even shampoo, but you might find you need a little something in the event of a poo-nami, so it’s good to have a gentle wash on hand.

  • Washcloths x 10 (x 15 or so, for twins) – use these to lay over your babe’s belly when they’re in the bath to keep them warm and to clean their little body (you can also use them to wipe up spit ups, spilt milk, rogue wees and more, so buy these in bulk – 10 is a minimum).

  • Hooded towels x 3 (x 6, if having twins) – to wrap your baby up fully post-bath and keep them warm.

  • Body lotion x 1 – like body wash and shampoo, newborns generally don’t need lotion, yet having something mild on hand should you notice any dry patches is helpful.

Health and general care

Taking care of a tiny human is a learning curve. Here are the newborn care checklist essentials that will help you look after your babe as best you can: 

  • Baby nail clippers x 1 – a newborn’s nails can grow fast, and these will help should you need to give your little one’s talons a trim.

  • Digital thermometer x 1 – taking your babe’s temperature if they’re particularly irritable or won’t stop crying can help as a first step to determine what might be causing them grief (if they’re running a temperature, it could be sickness).

  • Baby first aid kit x 1 – it contains what you need in case an accident happens (because they can).

  • Nasal aspirator x 1 – babies don’t know how to blow their noses, so nasal aspirators – which allow you to suck snot out of your wee one’s snoot – can help keep those passages clear for things like feeding and breathing.

  • Gentle laundry detergent x 1 bottle – because harsh detergents can cause rashes on your newborn’s sensitive skin.

Do know that this is a simple baby checklist for health and care. As your little one grows up, other must-buys include a baby hairbrush (though be careful of brushing your baby’s head if they’ve got cradle cap – it can lead to irritation), a baby toothbrush and teething gel (particularly once they start growing chompers). You can choose to buy these now, so you’re extra prepared, or you can make a note for later. 

Transportation and play 

On top of everything you need to care for your precious baby, you’ll need gear for transporting them (whether that is travelling as far as your in-law’s house interstate or simply popping to your local park) and for playtime (which is as fun as it is important for their development). Here’s what should be on your baby preparation checklist: 

  • Car seat x 1 (or x 2, if you’re having twins) – you can read up on how to choose a car seat here and on the best car seats here.

  • Pram x 1 – make sure it’s a double pram if you’re having twins, and you can read more on how to choose a pram here.

  • Baby carrier x 1 – these help keep your babe(s) snug while leaving your hands free (here’s a list of eight of the best to help you choose).

  • Bouncer – x 1 (or x 2, for twins) – these are so useful as a place to pop your babe(s) while you get sh*t done.

  • Playmat x 1 – this will provide cushioning during playtime, and some even come with developmental activities and toys included (here’s a guide to seven of the best playmats to get you started).

  • Toys x infinity – these will help occupy your babe between naps, and newborns generally love the noise of little rattles and the look of anything shiny or black and white.

Safety

Another part of taking care of a newborn is keeping them safe around the home. And believe us when we say that you’ve likely never noticed how many items could be a potential danger in your abode until you bring a baby into the space. 

While newborns aren’t mobile and won’t be for a few months yet, it pays to prepare because they’ll be sitting up and crawling before you know it (and potentially before you’ve bought the goods to babyproof) So, here’s a mini baby proofing checklist to consider before your newest family member arrives:

  • Baby gate(s) – they help block your babe from going into areas you don’t want them to go or taking (heaven forbid!) a tumble down the stairs.

  • Drawer and cupboard locks – they help prevent your little one from getting into things they shouldn’t and from slamming their tiny fingers (ouch).

  • Corner guards – these nestle onto the corners of your coffee table and other furniture to help avoid injury if (and probably when) tumbles happen.

Of course, the number you need of each will depend on your home. 

Now, these are simply the basics that will help keep your baby safe as they start sitting up and crawling. Once they begin to pull up and stand, other items you’ll likely need include window guards, blind cord clasps, anti-tip straps or locks for your furniture and the TV and even locks for your toilet seats (kids get into everything). Read our guide to 11 aesthetically-friendly baby proofing essentials here for more information. 

And last but not least…

Where do you buy all this sh*t?

A baby store should have most of what you need (so long as it’s in stock). But that’s not your only option. 

You can buy lots of items, like prams, carriers and toys, second hand and on Facebook Marketplace (it’s a great way to save some cash). For the health and general care essentials, you can usually find these in a pharmacy. And the safety must-buys you can often pick up at hardware stores. 

Where you purchase everything on your list is up to you. Our advice? Make and tick off your newborn essentials checklist in whatever way is best for you. All that’s left now is to get shopping, mama-to-be! 

Read next: The ultimate hospital checklist according to a midwife

HealthyChildren.org, How long is it appropriate to keep hand mittens on a newborn baby?

Raising Children Network, Safe sleeping for babies: essential tips

Verywell Family, The 11 Best Diapers of 2022 

Mayo Clinic, Diaper rash – Diagnosis and treatment

Raising Children Network, Bottle-feeding babies: giving the bottle

Raising Children Network, Bottle-feeding: cleaning and sterilising equipment 

Raising Children Network, Dummies: advantages, disadvantages and tips for use

Verywell Family, The 8 Best Nipple Creams of 2022 

Australian Breastfeeding Association, Too much milk

Pregnancy Birth and Baby, Teething

Raising Children Network, Trimming baby nails 

Raising Children Network, Taking your child’s temperature: a guide

Nationwide Children’s, Suctioning the Nose with a Bulb Syringe 

Pregnancy Birth and Baby, Safe sleep for babies

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