Baby Essentials

All you need to know and get for your first year!

Baby Clothing

One piece outfits (5 to 7)

Tip: Look for one piece outfits that zip or snap down the front, and all the way down the leg.

Shirts (5 to 7)

Tip: Look for t-shirts and turtle necks with plenty of room in the neck, or snaps at the neck, so that they slip easily over your child's head.

Leggings or pull-on pants (5 to 7)

Tip: Look for stretchy waistbands that fit good over your baby's diaper and belly, and expand as he/she gains weight.

Outer Layers (5)

Tip: Buy larger sizes and look for items with loose armholes that won't require tugging and fussing.

Hats and Mittens

Tip: A broad-brimmed sun hat for the summer and a warm hat that covers the ears in the winter should do the trick.

Socks or Booties

Tip: You'll need lots of socks for indoors and some booties for outdoor wear.

Shoes

Tip: Some doctors recommend waiting until your child is a strong walker because shoes can interfere with development.

Pajamas/Sleepers (5 to 7)

Tip: Avoid ribbons, strings, ties, and other decorative items that could get wrapped around your baby and pose a choking hazard.

Diapering

Diapers

Tips: Your baby probably will go through ten to 12 diapers a day at first, so plan accordingly.

Wipes

Tips: Whether you plan to buy wipes, make your own, or use a washcloth and warm water, you'll want to be prepared.

Changing pad or table

Tips: Some parents use a changing pad or just a towel on the floor or bed. (Keep your hand on your baby at all times when changing on an elevated surface!)

Baby soothers, toys, and enteriment

Pacifiers

Tip: Pacifiers aren't a necessity by any means, but for some parents and babies, these soothers are an essential item.

Bouncy Seat

Tip: Also called a bouncer, these baby seats bounce up and down when your little one kicks or moves. It's a handy, safe place to put your baby down.

Play Mat/Gym

Tip: Young babies (who aren't mobile yet) can have a ball staring and batting at the toys.

Toys

Tip: Your baby doesn't need a lot of fancy playthings, but it's nice to have a few rattles, musical toys, and soft toys at the ready

Books

Tip: Chunky board books are a great way to introduce reading to your baby.

Sleeping

Cribs and Mattress

Tip: When buying, look for a sturdy crib with slats that aren't too far apart – no more than 2 3/8 inches (about the size of a soda can). Avoid drop-side cribs, which have caused dozens of baby deaths and were banned in the U.S. in 2010.

Bedding

Tip: In fact, the bumpers, pillows, quilts, and soft blankets that often come with baby bedding sets shouldn't go in your baby's crib.

Wearable Blankets (2 or 3)

Tip: You may or may not need these, depending on the climate where you live and what season your baby's born in.

Swaddling Blankets (3)

Tip: Some wearable blankets are also made for swaddling, with flaps that fold over your baby's arms and secure with Velcro.

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Safety

Safety Gates

Tip: You can also use a gate to block off areas of the house that might be perilous, such as the bathroom or your office.

Outlet Covers

Tip: Exposed outlets are an almost irresistible attraction to curious explorers. Bottom line: Keep them covered.

Cupboard and drawer latches

Tip: Tug at them to make sure they can withstand numerous tries by a determined toddler.

Toilet Seat Locks

Tip: Babies can drown in as little as 2 inches of water, so keep your baby and his toys out of the toilet with a lock.

Baby Monitors

Tip: You can opt for a traditional audio model or a fancier (and more-expensive) video monitor that lets you see your baby.

Health

First-aid kit

Tip: See what to keep in your first-aid kit.

Bulb syringe

Tip: Use with saline drops to clear you baby's stuffy nose.

Teething toys

Tip: Chewing on these can ease your baby's discomfort during teething.

Digital thermometer

Tip: This is an important item to have in your medicine chest.

Baby nail scissors or clippers

Tip: These help you trim you baby's nails safely.

Baby-friendly laundry detergent

Tip: Some brands are specially formulated to be gentle on baby skin, although brands for sensitive skin are fine, too.

A soft-bristled baby brush

Tip: This is especially helpful for handling cradle cap.