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The ultimate new baby checklist

Christina Holt is a blogger and freelance writer who lives in Southern California with her husband and three boys. Christina uses her love of design, adventures in parenting and teaching background as inspiration for her writing on numer...

What every newborn needs

Baby registries can be overwhelming for new parents, but when you first welcome your baby into the world, you really only need a few things to get you through the first few months -- not everything on a registry list. These newborn essentials will carry you until your baby is more active, interactive and requires different baby gear.

Baby gear for newborns

While your baby won't do much more than sleep, eat and poop for the first few months, you'll need some items to safely transport your newborn, care for your newborn and to provide a safe and comfortable place for your newborn so you can cook dinner or take a shower.

1

Stroller with an infant car seat adapter

The most important stroller to have with a newborn is a stroller that can accommodate an infant car seat. The Britax B-Agile stroller (Britax, $250) comes with two Click and Go infant car seat adapters to adapt seamlessly with the Britax infant car seats. The optional infant car seat adapter frame (Britax, $50) can be used to accommodate infant car seats from other major brands including Graco, Chicco and Peg Perego.

2

Infant car seat

The Britax B-Safe infant car seat (Britax, $180) is a popular choice for new parents due to its safety and convenience features and easy adaptability to all Britax strollers.

3

Baby bouncer

The BabyBjorn Babysitter Balance (BabyBjorn, $140) has an ergonomic seat and gently rocks while promoting balance and motor skills through baby's own natural movements.

4

Swing or motion seat

The 4moms mamaRoo (4moms, $200) moves more like a parent by swaying side-to-side and bouncing up-and-down. The built-in speakers with nature sounds helps soothe baby -- or to drown out unwanted noises -- or can be connected to a MP3 player to play baby's favorite songs.

5

Bassinet

The Stokke Daybed bassinet (Stokke, $200) fits virtually any home décor and provides your baby with a safe, sturdy and ventilated place to sleep while keeping close to mom and dad.

6

Diaper bag

The Skip Hop Versa diaper bag (SkipHop, $70) is a stylish and practical diaper bag that holds newborn essentials, adapts to the stroller handlebar and can expand to accommodate even more items for both mom and baby.

7

Tummy time blanket or playmat

The Nook LilyPad (Nook, $120) gives baby a breathable, comfortable, convenient and organic place to lie while developing essential neck muscle strength.

8

Infant carrier

Most baby carriers can be used from birth and through your child's toddler years. The Ergobaby Bundle of Joy package (Ergobaby, $130) includes the popular Ergobaby carrier with an infant insert, which allows parents to use the carrier from birth to 45 pounds.

Infant car seats: Which one is right for you? >>

Bath, skin and health essentials for newborns

These health and care items for newborns are essential to have on hand from the day you bring your baby home.

  • Diaper pail
  • Changing pad with multiple covers
  • Baby bath tub
  • Gentle hair and body wash
  • Sensitive laundry detergent
  • Nasal aspirator
  • First Aid kit
  • Health and grooming kit
  • Thermometer
  • Pacifier

Layette for newborns

Newborns go through a lot of clothes, but don't typically need much more than the basics.

  • Mittens
  • Sleeper gowns
  • Socks
  • Onesies
  • Kimono t-shirts
  • Footed sleepers
  • Newborn caps
  • Swaddle blankets
  • Stroller blankets
  • Cold weather blankets

Feeding essentials for newborns

These feeding essentials help the process of feeding your newborn go more smoothly for both your baby and yourself.

  • Breast pump
  • Breast pump accessories: Sterilizer and storage bags
  • Bottles
  • Bottle accessories: Drying rack, bottle brush and sterilizer
  • Bottle warmer
  • Feeding pillow
  • Nursing cover
  • Burp cloths

5 Breastfeeding tips for new moms >>

Nice to have

These items are nice to have, but you don't necessarily need them right away. These items can be purchased as your baby gets older or if you end up needing them.

  • Video baby monitor
  • White noise machine
  • Black, white and red toys

Important tips about newborns for new parents

Do not wash the newborn baby clothes until after your baby is born. While your doctor will likely give you an estimate on your unborn baby’s weight, he or she could be wrong -- and you'll never really know the size of your baby until he or she is born. Instead of washing all the newborn clothing, set them aside to wash after your baby is born. If you do not wash the newborn clothing and have a larger baby, you'll be able to return or exchange the clothing for larger sizes.

Tip: If your baby fits within the weight range of the newborn diapers, but is leaking through often, try the next diaper size up.

Keep the newborn diapers sealed in their package until after your baby is born. The hospital will provide you with all the diapers you'll need during your hospital stay and for the ride home. During your hospital stay, you'll be able to determine which size diaper is best for your new baby -- newborn or size one. If your baby needs size one diapers, you can usually return or exchange sealed packs of newborn diapers from the store you purchased them from.

More newborn tips for parents

6 Tips for heading home with a newborn
How to get housework done with a newborn baby
10 Simple baby care tricks Mom never told you

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