Your Essential Newborn Checklist

When you’re expecting a baby, especially when it’s your first, there is already so much going through your mind that it can be tricky to know what to prepare and what to get for your new arrival. After all, these tiny humans still need quite a lot of stuff – so where should you even begin?

While you might have a list of some of the basics in your mind, clothes, nappies, pram etc. there are so many little details that you don’t want to forget.

So, if you’re expecting, we’re here to help make your journey into parenthood that little bit easier. has put together a comprehensive checklist for your newborn, covering everything from what you need to take to the hospital with you for the birth, to organising a nursery and making sure you have all the essentials. You can copy the list or even make your own, whatever is going to help ensure you’ve got everything you need for your exciting new arrival.

For mum

Let’s start by looking at some useful things for mum to have during the birth and when she returns with her newborn. Pregnancy can certainly take its toll on an expecting mother, so there are a few things you might want to help make you feel more comfortable and help you to feel more like yourself. You’ll also want to make the birth and life with a newborn as easy as possible.

  • A pregnancy pillow
  • Lots of comfortable clothes
  • A changing bag to carry all the baby’s essentials
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Pampering products such as moisturisers, those designed specifically for expecting mums are the best option

For the hospital

Next let’s look at what you need to take to the hospital with you when you go into labour. It pays to have this packed in a bag ready as you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy. That way you can grab it on your way to the hospital or send someone round to grab it for you if you go into labour whilst away from your home.

For yourself you might want to pack:

  • Any birth plans or notes
  • Loose comfortable clothing and pyjamas
  • Breast and maternity pads
  • Your wash bag including essentials like your toothbrush, hairbands, flannel etc.
  • A towel
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Things to pass the time such as a book or tablet
  • An extra pillow

For the baby you should pack:

  • Bodysuits, vests and sleep suits
  • Scratch mittens and socks
  • Muslins
  • A blanket
  • Nappies and wipes
  • Clothes for going home in
  • A car seat – though you may already have this in the car

For the nursery/bedroom

Here’s a list of the essentials for your baby’s nursery. It is recommended that newborns spend the first six months in their parents room, but after this they can be in their own nursery. Plus you’ll want somewhere to store all of their belongings.

  • A Moses basket, cot or cradle that can easily be moved between the nursery and parents bedroom
  • Cot mattresses
  • A changing unit or changing mat
  • Draws to store baby’s clothes and essentials
  • A mobile or noise machine
  • A room thermometer
  • A baby monitor
  • Nightlight
  • Nappy disposal system – optional

For travelling

Life doesn’t stop just because you’ve had a baby, and there will be times when you are on the move, even if it’s just popping to the shop. You want your baby to be completely safe whilst travelling, but you also want to make life as easy as possible for yourself. Here are the items you need to consider for you and your newborn when you’re on the move.

  • A pram or pushchair which lies flat
  • A rear-facing car seat
  • A baby carrier or sling – optional but great for giving you more freedom to move

For wearing

A newborn baby’s skin can be very sensitive, so it’s best to choose delicate fabrics such as cotton. Be sure you’ve got plenty of changes of clothes for your little one as they’ll certainly get through a few. But remember, they grow up quickly at a young age, so don’t go too overboard when buying clothes, otherwise you might find they’ve grown out of them before they’ve even had a chance to wear half the stuff you’ve got.

  • Sleep suits
  • Bodysuits
  • Romper suits or more dressed up outfits
  • Socks and booties
  • Hats
  • Scratch mittens
  • Jumpers and jackets
  • Pram suits

For hygiene and wellbeing

You need to ensure your baby is always clean and comfortable, otherwise their skin can become irritated or they could become unwell.  While babies can fall ill and it’s not always possible to avoid this, there are certain items you need to keep your baby as happy and healthy as you can.

  • Plenty of nappies – you’ll be going through at lot!
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby lotion
  • Nappy cream
  • Talcum powder
  • Thermometers for taking their temperature
  • Baby bath or bath support
  • Soft wash clothes
  • Baby soap and shampoo
  • Nail scissors – optional but useful to have

For feeding

What you need from the items below will be dependant on how you plan to feed your baby. You might want to be prepared for both scenarios, or if you have a preference between breast and bottle feeding you might already have an idea of what you need. Here is a list of the basics when it comes to feeding your little one.

  • Bottles and teats
  • Bottle brush
  • Formula – if not breastfeeding
  • Steam steriliser
  • Breast pump – manual and/or electrical
  • Nursing bras and cover ups
  • Plenty of bibs
  • Milk storage bags

Making sure you’re prepared for the arrival of your newborn

While you can never be 100% ready to bring home a new baby (after all they’re all different and have specific needs), you can be as prepared as possible! Use the checklist above to make sure you’ve got all the essentials for the birth and for their arrival. This should help to ease you into parenthood and make things feel more relaxed when you take your little one home for the first time.

Rosie M. Jordan

Hello my name is Rosie. I am a 36-year-old SAHM to an energetic little boy called Andrew. We love reading, Toddler Sense, the library and trips to the park. To get in touch you can email us

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