Baby Gear: Essentials Checklist

Baby Gear: Essentials Checklist

Trying to pick up basic items for your baby, or register for your baby shower? Use our shopping list for your baby gear and nursery essentials.

Babies don't take up a lot of room, but their stuff sure seems to. Here, a list of essential gear you’ll need when your bring your baby home and on through the first year:

Crib. When you choose a crib, make sure the crib slats are less than 2 3/8 inches apart and that none are missing or broken. Also, make sure the mattress is firm and fits snugly (you can get no more than two fingers between it and the rails).

Baby monitor. These range in price and type. Many moms choose a video monitor as it lets them keep an eye on their sleeping baby.

Car seat. You can get an infant seat specifically designed for newborns and young babies, or a model that can be used for small infants and later converted for use with an older baby.

Changing table. Set this up away from windows or radiators. Use the safety straps, and be sure all changing supplies, including plenty of diaper and wipes, are in easy reach.

Diaper bag. Getting out and about with your baby can take a bit of practice. Having a diaper bag packed with the essentials will help you get on your way more quickly.

Baby carrier. This holds your baby close to your chest and lets you get things done while keeping in close contact with him. Be sure there is good head support for your baby.

A stroller. Consider a stroller that converts from a reclining infant model into an upright version suitable for older babies. A wide base, firm locking mechanism, and straps to secure your baby are all must-haves.

Bottles and nipples. Whether you choose to breastfeed or use formula, having a few bottles on hand will help you share the feeds with Dad. Newborns generally use the 4-ounce bottles, while older babies will need the 8-ounce kind.

Bouncy chair. It’s important to have a safe place to sit your baby while doing something else. Remember, never place an occupied infant seat on a high counter of any high surface.

Baby swing. Some parents swear a swing soothes your baby like nothing else. Make sure you buy a safe, reputable brand, and follow the installation instructions closely and use the straps every time.

Baby bathtub. You can give your baby a bath after his umbilical cord falls off. You'll need a small plastic tub or basin and a safe place to set everything up.

Thermometer. Digital thermometers are easiest to read. Avoid an ear thermometer until your baby is 3 months old.

If you are registering for your baby shower, it’s a good idea to list these items and consider doing a bit of research online before making your final decision. Take your time and figure out what works for you.

Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments



I really appreciated having a pacifier thermometer for the first few months. Our daughter was 8 mobths old by the time she ran her first fever, but as a new mom, it was a relief to know for sure.

Thermometer for infant

ewokbaby 1/24/2016

What kind of thermometer could you use for an infant?


Tabbyrenee 1/18/2016

Thank you so much. This was very helpful toe

Awesome advice


Such a great tool to use when everything can be so scary.

a few more essentials


A bassinet will come in handy for a new mom who is not ready to let her infant sleep in a different room. My son is 2 months old and he sleeps in a bassinet right beside of my bed since we did not want to co-sleep. Also, a nasal suction will come in handy to remove excess fluid and to help if baby gets a cold!

Pampers Pick: Why do pediatricians recommend Dreft?

Dreft’s hypoallergenic formula is perfect for keeping baby clothes soft and clean. It’s gentle on your baby’s skin, but tough on stains, making it a mom must-have for over 75 years and the detergent most

Read more