Baby Items list: Practical Baby Shower Gifts & List of Things you Need for a Baby
Do you know which baby things to buy before birth?
What DO you need for a baby? Like, what are really the things needed for a baby?
Well, Mama, I’m right in the thick of it, with a 4-month-old and a toddler, so I thought I’d share my baby items list of baby things to buy before birth.
These are items you need for a baby from day one (or soon after) and they are seriously life-savers.
This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure for details.
List of Things you Need for a Baby
Quick note on your baby shower gift list:
Baby showers are awesome (and let’s face it, one of the few upsides to being miserably pregnant,) but people tend to get caught up buying the cute onesies or the fun accessories, right?
Some wise mother might be thoughtful enough to make you a new mom gift basket of the practical items you need for a baby, but more often than not nobody’s got time for that.
When you’re seriously in need of baby items take all you can get, but sometimes if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself.
The practical baby items aren’t as fun to buy as gifts, but they’re going to meet baby’s basic needs so you want to cover your bases.
So, I lovingly refer to this post as:
What you won’t get at your baby shower…
I realize and HOPE that there are some truly awesome friends reading this in search of practical baby shower gifts for your pregnant bestie.
Please prove me wrong here!
This list is full of perfect baby items and, in my opinion, some of the best baby shower gifts you could give.)
Generally, it’s best for mamas-to-be to be safe and stock up on some of these simple and cheap necessities now, because girl, when you need these baby items, you need them RIGHT then.
Babies don’t tend to wait patiently for you to run to the store and grab what they need real quick…and they’ll TELL you about it if you’re not prepared.
Luckily, we are spoiled with the ability to stock up on what we need with a few clicks.
You can avoid waddling through a store in your third trimester trying to get the last minute items you need for a newborn baby.
When to start buying baby stuff during pregnancy?
A good rule of thumb is to have all of your basic items for Baby ready to go by around 36 weeks pregnant.
You never know what surprises may be around the corner and better prepared than caught of guard, right?
So here’s the best checklist of less flashy, but super-needed baby must haves for you to stock your home with as you prepare for baby.
Baby Checklist: List of Things You Need for a New Baby
Let’s start with the basics…
These are items that should be on EVERY baby shopping list for first time moms (and exactly which items to buy!)
Nail clippers may be one of the MOST essential things a newborn baby needs.
And they make the best practical baby shower gift!
I know those little kits come with nail clippers…
But Mama, those things are CHEAP-O.
Plus, good luck using those big clippers on a newborn’s tiny nails. These scissors are fantastic.
They are tiny, but so precise. You get so much more control over where you’re clipping.
That’s important when you’re trying not to cut that sweet little babe’s itty bitty fingers.
And best of all, they’re crazy inexpensive!
I’ve been using my pair for over 3 years.
These might be my number one recommendation for what new moms need for Baby. Definitely put these on your list of things to buy when pregnant.
Another really good option for infant nail clippers is:
New moms RAVE about this. Pretty dang cool.
I lovvve these. Grab several packs. Babies poop. A lot. And it stinks.
These little bags are great for tossing diapers in when you can’t get to a trash can, like in the car.
We use them at our Pack-n-Play changing station in our bedroom, so we can load up several loads without making a thousand trips to the trash can or stinking up our room.
Definitely put this on your list of things you need for a baby!
These are AMAZING.
You want these wipes in your baby’s bag. Trust me.
Messes are inevitable with babies.
These face wipes are super soft and gentle and won’t leave a disgusting chemical taste in Baby’s mouth.
Plus, they have saline to help keep Baby’s nose clean when wiping away dry boogies and snot.
Definitely add these to your essential baby stuff list.
Speaking of wipes, you’ve got to try these.
They are fantastic.
Water wipes are made with 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. They are:
- free of fragrances
- free of parabens and sulphates
- perfect for a newborn’s sensitive skin
I love these for wiping down sticky hands, dirty bottoms, and even surfaces before and after Baby plays or eats.
These wipes a MUCH better than popular name brand wipes.
Let’s face it, wipes are one of the most essential things a newborn baby needs…let’s make sure we know what’s in them!
Speaking of boogies, this nasal syringe is the best.
I know, you’re thinking, “I got one in my Baby Grooming Kit at my last baby shower.”
Let me tell you, those kits are cheap because they are CHEAP-ly made.
Those booger suckers just don’t work.
Ask any seasoned mama.
Even the one we got from the hospital was sub-par.
But this thing works like a charm for grabbing stray boogies that are clogging baby’s nose.
It’s one of those must-have baby items when feeding a sick baby who can’t breathe through their nose.
It’s also great in case baby starts gagging on spit-up.
The best part is it comes apart at the top so you can actually clean it.
Of alllll the stuffs for babies out there claiming to be “life-savers”, this one really delivers (excuse the pun.)
It is totally worth the extra few bucks to upgrade, trust me. I really consider this a necessity in my baby gear.
This other kind (the kind you actually suck through a straw thingy) is also super popular, if you’re into that kind of thing.
During the newborn months, I like to have sanitizer at each diaper changing station and in the kitchen and living room.
My son was born at the start of flu season and people lovvve to come visit.
Having hand sanitizer on the table is a great reminder for them to wash up before asking to hold your baby.
And it takes the awkwardness out of asking them to wash their hands.
Look for a great alcohol and dye-free option like this kind to protect Baby’s sensitive skin.
You can also MAKE your own natural hand sanitizer using essential oils.I have this handy little kit.
It has my favorite oils for cleaning our home too.
Did you know babies can start teething as early as 3 months?!
Yeah…neither did I.
Thankfully, I still had this amazing stuff from my toddler’s baby days when my new baby started cutting teeth out of nowhere.
I recommend ALL mamas buy this before birth because those 3 months FLY by! I was sooo glad I had it already.
It’s natural and reallllly soothing for baby.This is a really great alternative to the unsafe teething gel options that have recently been proven dangerous for babies.
This contains NO benzocaine and is belladonna-free.
I just couldn’t believe it when I felt that tooth coming through at 3-months-old. Poor baby! Be ready just in case, Mama.
Here’s my full review of the teething gel, if you want to know more.
This belongs at the TOP of your list of things you need for a baby!
And it’s seriously the one of the best practical baby shower gifts a new mom could ask for.
Speaking of tiny teeth, did you know you’re supposed to start brushing Baby’s teeth as soon as the sprout up?
I definitely didn’t know this and my first got his teeth in pretty early and almost all at once.
Thankfully, a sweet dentist’s wife gave me an infant toothbrush as a gift.
I thought it was more of a little joke and cutesy thing, but I ended up being so glad I had it already!
We later got this one as a teether/toothbrush and I really like it.
I feel like it’s brushing away plaque while my baby is gnawing on it for fun. This is a relief when you start solids.
And of course, it’s great to have a teether ready for babies like my second who puts EVERYTHING in his mouth.
(Oh, this is the toothpaste we use, if you’re curious.)
I also have a whole post that has more info on natural relief for teething.
Don’t skimp on this one.
You want to KNOW if Baby has a temp.
Get a thermometer you can trust.
Splurge the few extra bucks, because using a kind like this is a lot more pleasant than taking a Baby’s temperature from the other end while they are screaming.
A solid thermometer is one of those undeniable baby must haves.
Baby fevers are scary and unpredictable.
You do not want to be unprepared for this one.
Babies get fevers.
Thankfully, most of the time it’s nothing too concerning, but when Baby is cranky and hurting, you want to have meds ready to dig out of the cabinet if needed.
Always talk to your baby’s pediatrician when they are sick. They will advise you on what action to take.
Another thing you do NOT want to NOT have.
Even in the first few weeks, babies get gassy and may need a quick middle-of-the-night dose to settle their poor tummies.
Don’t wait until your first stressful event of not having these drops to buy them.
Get them now, you won’t regret it.
Gripe water is great for when you have NO IDEA why baby is crying.
Which can happen…often.
A lot of babies love this stuff.
It’s gentle on their tummies and the taste really helps them reset when they are inconsolable.
It’s also pretty effective for those obnoxious, sleep-interrupting hiccups.
Go ahead and have it ready to grab in the middle of the night when nothing is working to soothe your little one.
It’s one of the essential items for baby that’s inexpensive and totally worth buying for “just in case.”
I realize that everybody gets baby bath wash and shampoo as baby shower gifts…
But have you ever read the labels on those popular name brands???
Those chemicals are NOT something we want soaking into our babies’ sensitive skin.
(Not sure why they are “the” thing to buy.)
Instead, use something natural and safe.
We LOVVVE this foaming bath oil. It’s natural, smells amazing, and even works as a bubble bath!And it comes in a pretty big bottle which lasts foreverrr, so we get a ton of bang for our buck. It’s a no-brainer for us.
(Here’s a code for a great discount: Ashley20)
Boring, I know…
But these are some of those often-forgotten, but always needed items off the list of baby things you need.
You can never have enough baby hangers.
Even if you get a couple packs at as a practical baby shower gift, I’m willing to bet you’ll get like 5 times as many clothes.
Go ahead and have hangers ready so you can wash and hang all those cute outfits now and get them out of the nursery floor.
One less thing to do while waiting to go into labor.
Anyway, Hangers. Simple and practical, but important baby things to buy before birth!
This is the ONLY kind of bib I like to use now.
It’s one of my FAVORITE baby things.
When the 2 we have are dirty, we kind of sigh about having to use a regular cloth bib.
I know everyone loves buying cutesie bibs, but you know what?
They STAIN instantly and are no longer adorable.
And most of them are too tiny to do much good.
They rinse off so easily and CATCH the little bits of food that would fall in the floor or Baby’s lap.
Sooo much better.
This is one of the BEST investments new parents can make.
Some babies HATE the car, and even the ones who don’t have their moments.
A baby car mirror is an excellent way to check on Baby safely.
It’s also super handy when you’re trying to see if your little one fell asleep in the car.
Sometimes it’s worth cruising a little longer to make sure they get some extra Z’s.
This is something we had to buy for ourselves with both babies.
I guess it’s not a fun gift to give, but when you’re a new parent there’s nothing more fun than getting SLEEP.This one is amazing.
Unless your house is somehow silent (no pets, no cars driving by, no creaky floors or loud flushing toilets) you will NOT regret buying a sound machine.
Don’t crank it up, just play some soft noise near Baby’s bed to help them sleep through background noise.
This would actually be a really good practical baby shower gift if ya ask me.
I searched forevvverrr for a good solution to laying my baby down on our hardwood floors.
Blankets aren’t soft enough and I kind of hate those bright puzzle piece things.
I wanted something soft, but not baby-looking in our family room, but rugs stain and aren’t great with pets.
Anyway, this is the perfect solution.
This thing is amazing.
It’s large like a rug, soft and cushy for Baby, and comes in different patterns and colors.
And it’s sooo much easier to clean than a rug, so you know your little one is rolling around on a clean, soft surface.
I love it so much. I honestly want 2, one for Baby’s room and our living room.
Let’s talk about non baby things to buy before birth.
Practical Non Baby Things to Buy Before Birth:
You also want to stock up on a few household essentials and basic need items before baby arrives.
These are some non-baby items I highly recommend grabbing real quick while you’re prepping.
Some people will tell you that you need special “baby” laundry detergent, like Dreft, but I disagree.
You really just want something safe and free of chemicals.
I actually like using the same detergent for my whole family.
This way, we are all using less chemicals and if Baby’s sock gets mixed in with our laundry, it’s no biggie.
Plus, your little one will be all snuggled up against your clothes.
Definitely buy this before baby is born. Use a good free and clear brand like this one.
Girl, do this.
Seriously, this is probably one of the best mom decisions I’ve ever made.
No more rushing through the aisles at the store to get home to breastfeed or abandoning the cart to go change a poopy diaper.
This is also AMAZING during the first few weeks when you don’t want to get out of the house unless you HAVE to.
Find a store on your man’s route home from work so he can just pick groceries up real quick on the way.
It also saves me money, believe it or not. It’s awesome.
I wrote a full review here.
Once baby arrives (or really while you’re preparing,) you want to switch to all natural cleaning products as much as possible.
All those yucky chemicals are no no’s for tiny humans.
Find a simple cleaning all purpose cleaning spray for all those messes babies can cause, plus just general clean up.
You can also use this great essential oil cleaning solution.
After you have a baby, your appetite may be unpredictable.
Not to mention the fact that just because dinner is ready, doesn’t mean Baby thinks it’s time for you to eat.
Get some glass storage containers.
(You want glass, Mama! Microwaving in plastic can put a lot of bad chemicals into your food, then your body…then your breast milk)
Get containers in different sizes to put away all the extra food people may bring you.
You can grab it and warm it up whenever you have a spare 2 seconds to eat.
These are also great for quickly loading up hubby’s lunch for the next day.
Or whatever form of birth control you intend to use once you resume physical intimacy.
I know, last thing you want to think about late in pregnancy and definitely not after having a baby…
…but eventually it’ll happen…and you want to be ready.
Relying on postpartum and breastfeeding hormones to prevent pregnancy is risky.
Talk to your OB/GYN, but mine recommended using protection from day 1 after starting up again.
I actually know someone who got pregnant 6 weeks after having her first baby.
I also highly recommend using extra lubricant during your first time back in the sheets.
It can be nerve wracking and possibly a little uncomfortable.
Between postpartum messes and newborn messes and just hectic new baby life messes, you might want some extra towels that you don’t mind trashing later.
This is great for after showers during the first few days of postpartum when things are extra heavy.
Get a dark color and don’t feel bad about throwing them away when things settle down.
I like these because they are cheap, have dark color options, and different sizes for various needs.
Practical Items for New Moms:
So, I’ve decided to throw in a few more items that I personally LOVE using after having a baby.
If everything is already checked off of Mama’s newborn baby shopping list, focus on buying these new mom necessities before birth.
These are things that would be GREAT baby shower gifts for MOM not baby.
Even better, right?
I remember being pregnant and awkwardly asking a new friend what nursing bra she used.
This isn’t something to mess around with!
You’re wearing this thing every day and you want something comfortable and functional.
This bra is a great day-to-day option, especially for maternity leave and stay-at-home moms.
I also recommend getting some great breast pads to help with any unexpected leaks as your body adjusts to breastfeeding.
This disposable kind as worked great for me.
Or if you prefer something cloth, these washable breast pads are a good option.
Can’t stress this enough.
The need to drink tons of water doesn’t stop after your pregnancy. In fact, I think it’s even more important when you’re breastfeeding.
Get a great water bottle that you can keep with you, grab easily with one finger while juggling your stuff, Baby’s stuff, and oh yeah, Baby.I love this one.
It keeps my water cold and chemical-free, it’s cute, and I can just loop in around my finger as I’m heading out the door.
This is a new mom must-have.I wrote a whole post on the best water bottles for pregnant and new moms.
This is a favorite tip of mine to share with mamas-to-be.
Without going into detail, you’re gonna need great pads (like these) after you have your baby.
To minimize feeling super gross and also ruining your favorite undies, I recommend grabbing some inexpensive, size-up, basic panties like these.I like that these are super comfortable for a postpartum mama, they rinse easily and if things get really messy, you can just toss them because they were cheap.
This makes things sooo much easier, trust me.
Oh, and if you have a C-section, try these extremely comfy mommy undies during the first few weeks.
More New Mom Tips:
I actually have a bunch more great tips on items that expecting mothers should stock up on and other last minute ways to prepare for Baby.
Read my post for tons of really clever tips on what to get done before birth. But first…
ONE more genius tip
Learn HOW to give birth (and a bunch of other labor tips.)
I really wish I had done this online pre-labor course instead of the ALL-DAY-LONG course that the hospital had (it was sooo boring.)
But this Prenatal Course is wonderful and can be done totally at your own pace.
Hilary is a Labor and Delivery Nurse in real life and she walks you through what to expect during your 3rd trimester, going through labor, delivery, and the basics of newborn care.
She answers A LOT of questions, like:
“Um…what if I POOP while pushing?!”
Plus, it’s a couples class so Baby Daddy will be well-prepared for the big day too (super important!)
Here’s my full review with more details on the class.
|Psst. Need a discount? I got you, girl. Use the code: OY10 for 10% off any course.|
Baby Things to Buy Before Birth
So, there’s my baby checklist of practical baby shower gifts and what baby things you need for a newborn, as well as items you need for a baby as they get a bit older.
From my first-hand experience, it’s totally worth grabbing these cheap things things to stock up on before baby arrives. You’ll be glad you did!
So add these baby must haves to your list of baby things to buy when pregnant.
If you haven’t yet…
That way your loved ones know exactly what kind of baby stuff you actually need and want.
AND did you know???
With an Amazon Baby Registry, they send you a TOTALLY FREE BABY STUFF!
You also get 10% off of items that are left on your registry after your showers (15% for Prime members!)
More Tips for Pregnancy & New Mom Life
So there ya go. Your curated What to Buy Before Baby is Born Checklist, complete with essentials, must-haves, and nice-to-haves.
Things are about to get wonderfully crazy, Mama.
If you’re on Baby Number 2 and you’re looking for what to buy before birth, be sure and check out my Second Baby Checklist.
And if you liked this list of things to buy before baby arrives and you’re looking for other ways to prepare for baby…
Check out these resources:
And Follow me on Pinterest for more helpful tips about pregnancy and life as a new mom!
Baby Items List: List of Things You Need for a Baby
Baby Stuff to Buy While Pregnant: