If you’re expecting, you’ve definitely started thinking about all the baby essentials you’ll need in the upcoming months. Some things are obvious—clothing, a crib, diapers—but other baby essentials are easier to overlook.

That’s why the baby experts at Mustela have created the ultimate first year shopping list. We’ve thought of everything, so you can put your mind at ease and focus on other, more important things—like preparing your baby’s room and deciding on a name!

Let’s take a look at all the newborn baby essentials.

Mother and baby bonding

Which Items Are Actually Essential?

It’s not easy to know which baby items are truly essential and which ones you can ignore. Your baby doesn’t need brand-name clothing, but what about a hooded towel or a humidifier? It’s not always clear what’s absolutely necessary and what’s just nice to have.

The truth is that some newborn baby essentials aren’t exactly essential. Humans have survived for thousands of years without things like breast pumps and pacifiers, so we don’t need them in order to take care of our babies.

However, we don’t live in the Stone Age anymore, and life in the 21st century requires a few extra items. Diapers, for instance, are impossible to go without. The same is true of bathing products and cleansers.

If you’re looking to save money on baby essentials or just prefer a minimalist approach, here is a list of what you will definitely need to care for your baby:

  • Clothing
  • Swaddling blanket
  • Diapers
  • A crib or co-sleeper
  • Mattress pad and sheets
  • Baby sling
  • Baby food (starting around four months old)
  • Cleansers to bathe your baby with

These are, to quote Baloo, the bare necessities of life. But there are a number of other baby essentials that will make caring for your child easier. And making life easier for you and your partner should be a high priority!

So let’s get started with the ultimate first year shopping list.

First Year Baby Essentials

Here are all the baby essentials you’ll need for the first year of your little one’s life.

basket with first year baby essentials

Clothing

Onesies

This is more or less the only clothing item you’ll need for the first year. Onesies that snap between the legs are easy to put on and take off your baby.

Pants

For the crisp days and cold months, keep your baby’s legs warm with a pair of pants over their onesie.

Shoes And Socks

You’ll definitely want to make sure your little one’s feet are warm and protected when you leave your home. Tiny babies don’t necessarily need to wear shoes, but socks are a necessity at any age!

Hats

Babies tend to lose a lot of heat through their heads, so keep your baby’s head cozy with a hat or beanie.

When purchasing baby hats, keep the season in mind. If it’s wintertime and you live in a cold climate, make sure you’ve got a winter hat as well. On the other hand, if you’ll be out enjoying the sunshine with your little one, invest in a sun hat to protect them from sunburn.

Coats

A good coat is definitely a baby essential. You don’t want your precious little one getting cold! Be especially cautious to protect your baby’s skin in the winter.

In addition to a coat, it’s also good to have a couple of sweaters or light jackets on hand.

Pajamas Or Sleepers

To help your little one sleep soundly and comfortably, dress them in soft pajamas or sleepers.

If your baby has eczema-prone skin, opt for Mustela’s Stelatopia Skin Soothing Pajamas. These 100% cotton pajamas reduce itching and deliver skin-soothing moisture to your little one’s skin throughout the night.

Dress-Up Outfit

A dress-up outfit is not necessarily a must-have. Your baby will survive without it! But if you have an important event, holiday, or family photos coming up, you’ll probably want to have a special outfit for the littlest member of your family.

Swimsuit

Once again, depending on the season, where you live, and your family’s favorite pastimes, you may want to have a baby swimsuit on hand.

mom, dad, and baby in swimsuits at the beach

Furniture

Crib

A place for your baby to sleep is essential. Some parents prefer a crib, but other folks like to use a bassinet, which allows your baby to sleep in the same room as you.

Bassinets or mini cribs are also great for tiny nurseries, but your baby will outgrow them sooner than later. If you have the room, a standard crib will last longer. Either way, you’ll need somewhere for your bundle of joy to rest their weary head.

Changing Station

A sturdy changing station may not be 100 percent essential, but it will definitely make life much easier!

Dresser

Make storing your baby’s clothing hassle-free with a small dresser. If you’re tight on space, the dresser can serve as a changing table as well!

Buy a changing pad and turn the top of the dresser into a changing surface. This allows you to forego the changing table entirely.

Playpen

It’s important for your baby to have a special little place to play.

Swing, Walker, Or Baby Bouncer

Babies love to play in a baby bouncer, swing gently, or wander around the house with support from a baby walker.

Babyproofing Supplies

In a few months, your little one will be on the move and capable of climbing and crawling. It’s time to babyproof! Take a look at your house and furniture to figure out what supplies you need for babyproofing.

At the very least, you’ll need outlet covers, baby gates for the top and bottom of the stairs, and cabinet and drawer latches.

Linens

Swaddling Cloth

Babies love the warmth and comfort of being swaddled. A good swaddling cloth is an important baby essential.

warm and comfortable baby in swaddling cloth

Towels

You’ll need soft towels to dry your little one after bath time. Hooded towels are both cute and a great way to keep your baby warm after coming out of the bath.

Crib Sheets

Choose soft sheets that fit snugly on your baby’s mattress pad.

Burp Cloths

Avoid staining your clothes by always having a burp cloth handy.

Bedtime Items

Mattress Pad

A firm mattress pad that fits your baby’s crib or co-sleeper is essential.

Waterproof Bed Pad

This will prevent the mattress pad from getting dirty if your baby’s diaper leaks or if they spit up during the night.

Pacifier

Pacifiers are especially helpful when your baby begins teething.

Skincare Products

Lotions

Babies get dry skin, just like any other human! Try Mustela Hydra Bebe Body Lotion to keep your baby’s skin soft and smooth.

Oils

Use our soothing baby oil right before bedtime to moisturize your little one’s skin and help them relax.

Sunscreen

Protect your baby’s skin from the sun with a high-quality sunscreen, like Mustela's SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion. Then, after a fun day outside, apply Mustela’s After Sun Lotion to your little one’s skin. Made with Avocado Perseose®, jojoba oil and shea butter, this cream nourishes, hydrates, and cools your baby’s skin.

Changing Supplies

baby with diaper rash cream

Diapers

Both cloth diapers and disposable diapers have their advantages. No matter which you choose, diapers are definitely essential and you’ll need to keep plenty of them on hand. Always make sure you’re changing your baby’s diapers the right way.

Wipes

You’ll need to properly clean your baby’s bottom every time you change their diaper. Mustela's Diaper Wipes are paraben-free and specially formulated for a newborn’s delicate skin.

Diaper Rash Cream

Mustela’s Diaper Rash Cream 1 2 3 will keep your baby’s bottom just as soft as it should be while also helping to protect against diaper rash.

Diaper Pail

When you’ve got a stinky diaper on your hands, it helps to have a diaper pail within reach. Although a fancy diaper pail is convenient, you don’t need to have one — a trash can will also do the job.

Feeding

Bottles And Nipples

Whether for breastmilk or formula, feeding bottles and nipples are baby essentials.

Bottle-Cleaning Supplies

To clean baby bottles, wash them thoroughly with a bottle-cleaning brush or put them in the dishwasher in a bottle basket.

dad feeding baby a bottle, one of the baby essentials

Formula

It’s best to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first 6 months to a year, but if you can’t or choose not to, be sure to keep plenty of formula stocked.

Breast pump

Breast pumps are extremely convenient and allow you to always have a bottle of milk on hand for when your baby gets hungry and you aren’t around.

Breastfeeding Essentials

Don’t forget nursing bras, breast pads, and nipple cream to make breastfeeding as comfortable as possible.

Mustela’s Nursing Comfort Balm eases discomfort and forms a moisturizing barrier to keep your skin comfortable and protected. Plus, it’s environmentally friendly and safe your both you and your little one!

Baby food

You won’t need solid baby food at first, but you can start mixing baby food into your baby’s diet around six months old.

Bibs

No matter how careful you are, milk, spit-up, and baby food will get everywhere! Put a bib on your little one to avoid an outfit change every time they eat.

Bathtime Supplies

baby in bath tub with bathtime supplies

Baby Bathtub

Having a baby bathtub makes bathtime a breeze. Buy one to place in the bathroom sink or in the regular bathtub.

Bath Thermometer

A bath thermometer will allow you to carefully keep your baby’s bathwater just right — not too hot and not too cold.

Washcloths

Use gentle, baby-specific washcloths for your baby’s extra soft skin.

Bath Oil

A few drops of Mustela's Bath Oil makes bathtime soothing and nourishing for your little one.

Cleansers

Mustela’s, Gentle Cleansing Gel and Foam Shampoo For Newborns are examples of safe, delicate cleansers to use as part of your newborn’s daily washing routine.

Detangling Spray

Combing out your little one’s hair can be painful for them! Make things easier with a detangling spray. Mustela’s Skin Freshener can be used to style your baby’s hair as well as refresh and moisturize their skin.

Travel Items

Stroller

A good stroller is helpful for trips to places where you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

Car Seat

Car seats are a newborn baby essential. Make sure to have a car seat installed well before your baby’s due date.

Baby Carrier

A baby carrier or baby sling makes travel easy! And your baby will enjoy being held close to you or your partner. To learn how to properly use a carrier or sling, take a look at our article about carrying your baby the right way.

Diaper Bag

Use a diaper bag to hold all the things you might need when you’re out and about.

First-Aid Supplies

Baby Thermometer

There are several different types of baby thermometers on the market. It’s helpful to have one handy for when you think your little one might be sick or the pediatrician asks you to take their temperature before going in for an appointment.

Cotton Balls And Swabs

You never know when you’ll need a cotton ball to clean your little one’s delicate skin or a cotton swab to carefully apply ointment.

Gauze And Petroleum Jelly

These are must-haves if you have a circumcised little boy.

Bulb Syringe

Use a bulb syringe to carefully suck yucky mucus out of your baby’s nose.

Baby Medicine

Ask your pediatrician about what baby medicine you should keep on hand. And don’t forget to check expiration dates every so often and restock as needed!

Medicine Cup, Spoon, And Syringe

When it’s time to give liquid medicine, you’ll need a medicine cup, spoon, or syringe to give your little one the correct dose. Some medications come with a syringe or spoon in the package. If not, you’ll need to use your own to carefully measure the correct dosage.

Cicastela Moisture Recovery Cream

mom applying mustela's cicastela moisture recovery cream to her baby's hand

Don’t let scrapes, cuts, and bug bites stop the fun! Keep Cicastela Moisture Recovery Cream in your first-aid kit and your diaper bag. This multi-purpose ointment promotes skin recovery and relieves skin discomfort by delivering cooling hydration.

Nail Clippers

You’ll need something to keep your baby’s tiny fingernails in check, but you don’t necessarily have to use baby nail clippers. If you prefer, go with nail scissors or a nail file.

mom trimming baby's nails with nail clippers, one of the baby essentials

Nursery Room Essentials

Baby Monitor

A baby monitor is essential if your baby won’t be sleeping in the same room as you. Video monitors have become quite affordable and are an effective way to keep on eye on your little one at night.

Nightlight

A soft light can be comforting for newborn babies and help you find your way around the nursery in the middle of the night.

Blackout Curtains

Hang blackout curtains to make the nursery dark when you put your baby to bed before the sun goes down.

Humidifier

Keep plenty of moisture in the air in your baby’s room with a humidifier. This helps your baby breathe and rest easier.

Toys And Books

Rattles, shakers, musical toys, stuffed animals—there are many to choose from, and having toys and books to stimulate your baby’s senses is essential.

Clothes Hamper

Babies are small, but they sure do produce a lot of laundry! Put a laundry basket or clothes hamper in their nursery so you can conveniently toss their dirty clothes without skipping a beat.

Rocking Chair Or Glider

Between story time, feeding your baby, and late-night rocking, you’ll spend a lot of time in a rocking chair or glider. Pick a comfy one!

mom, dad, and baby sitting together in a rocking chair

How To Save Money On The Baby Essentials

Preparing for your baby’s arrival can quickly become expensive. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, take a look at the tips below. They can help you save money while still getting everything you need to be prepared for delivery day.

  • Create a registry before your baby shower, and put all the baby essentials on the list.
  • Ask for baby essentials as gifts for your birthday or Christmas.
  • Check with family, friends, and colleagues for hand-me-down baby essentials.
  • Have a look at thrift stores to get the larger baby essentials, like furniture and strollers, for cheap.

While purchasing all the newborn baby essentials may be pricey, it doesn’t even compare to the joy and fulfillment of giving birth and bonding with your baby. You can’t put a price tag on love!

Start with the basics — like a crib, diapers, Cleansing Wipes, and Gentle Cleansing Gel — then go from there. With this baby essentials shopping list, you’ll have everything you need to be fully prepared for your little one’s arrival!