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Bringing a baby into the world is one of the most precious experiences someone can go through. It can also be quite stressful. Preparing for the arrival of a newborn takes time, money and patience. But how do you know what items you absolutely need and which items you can pass up? If you are a new parent, you might not have a clue how to shop for a newborn baby.

If you have had children before, this list might not be news to you. Below are some of the must-haves, the essentials and some extra items that might just make life with a newborn a little easier. After all, you want to be prepared and able to enjoy all those little moments with your new baby without worrying if you have what you need to properly care for them.

Essential Newborn Baby Items

It is not always easy to know which baby items are essential and which can be ignored. Your new baby won’t care if they have the latest trends or products with brand names. They just want to be clean, comfortable and cared for. While some items are deemed “essential” by some parents and caregivers, other parents might feel differently. Human beings have survived for thousands of years without the use of pacifiers, cloth diapers and breast pumps. We do not need these to properly take care of a baby. However, many items can make raising a baby a little easier and more enjoyable.

Minimalist Essentials For A New Baby

To raise a happy and healthy baby, only a few items are really needed. The bare necessities can include clothing, diapers, cradles for young babies, gentle baby cleansing soap, baby food and swaddling blankets. If you decide not to breastfeed, you may want to add a few extra essentials to your minimalist list including formula and bottles.

Ultimate List Of Baby Essentials For First Year

As your new baby makes their way through their first year of life, you will notice the need for a few additional baby items. Below are some of the more common items you will need to have handy while caring for your little one in the coming months.

  • Onesies- For the first year, you will come to love the ease and versatility of a onesie. This may be the one article of clothing your baby will wear more than anything else. Onesies snap between the baby’s legs, making it easy to change diapers without having to fully undress them. They are easy to put on, take off and are also quite cute.
  • Clothing Accessories- Depending on the time of year it is and where you live, you will most likely need to have some extra clothing accessories on hand for your little one. Typical items to consider include shoes, socks and hats. Keep in mind that your baby will be growing quickly and outgrow anything you purchase for them at this time of their life. Try not to buy too many items because they will not be worn much. When it gets cold out, be sure to have a nice, warm jacket for your baby. A baby’s skin is extra sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

Furniture Items To Have For Baby

  • Crib- The most important furniture item to have for your baby is a crib. Your little one needs a safe place to sleep. Make sure not to place too many blankets or stuffed animals in the crib with your baby while they sleep. For the first few months, a baby doesn’t have the ability to move or uncover their face if they cannot breathe. For the first couple of months, a co-sleeper is an option that many parents love. It allows you and your baby to safely share the same bed. You won’t have to go to another room or even get out of bed to check on your little one throughout the night.
  • Changing Station- To some parents, this is a non-essential furniture item. Most parents find they can change their little one anywhere around their home easily. However, a sturdy changing station can make it easier and will have your diapers, wipes, creams and extra clothes easily accessible. While changing your baby, be sure to use the included strap to keep them from accidentally rolling off onto the floor.
  • Dresser- A small dresser is great for storing your baby’s many pieces of clothing. If you keep the dresser as they get older, have it bolted to the wall. Many toddlers have been hurt or killed climbing a dresser that wasn’t secured to the wall and it fell on them.

Essential Baby Items For Traveling

Aside from having some essential items to make taking care of your baby at home easier, there are some items you definitely need to have in order to take your baby out into the world safely.

  • Car Seat- If you have to choose one essential travel item for your baby, choose a car seat. It is against the law to have your baby in a moving vehicle without being properly restrained in a car seat specific for their size and weight. Follow installation instructions from the manufacturer to ensure it is safely installed in your vehicle and your baby is placed in it correctly.
  • Stroller- Unless you want to carry your baby around all day, you will need a good stroller. There are many types of strollers to choose from and can range from $20 to a few hundred dollars.
  • Baby Carrier- If you don’t want to push your baby around in a stroller, a baby sling or carrier can be a great option. Your baby will be close and snuggled to your chest or back. Be sure to read the instructions for proper use and to keep your baby safe.
  • Diaper Bag- Every parent needs a good, solid diaper bag. When you go anywhere with your little one, you will need to bring some of these essential items listed above with you. Be sure you bring everything you need so you can enjoy your trip away from home with your baby.