what to buy first when expecting a baby
what to buy first when expecting a baby

Expecting a baby is an incredibly exciting time, filled with anticipation and joy. However, it can also feel overwhelming when faced with the seemingly endless list of items you need to buy. Luckily, we are here to help simplify the process and guide you on what to buy first when preparing for your little one’s arrival. From essential items like a crib and diapers, to practical necessities such as onesies and nursing supplies, we’ve got you covered. Get ready to embark on this unforgettable journey with confidence as we take you through the must-have items to kickstart your baby shopping spree.

Nursery Essentials

Crib or Bassinet

One of the first things we recommend purchasing when expecting a baby is a crib or bassinet. These provide a safe place for the little one to sleep and rest. It’s important to ensure that the crib meets all safety standards and has sturdy construction. Bassinets are great for keeping the baby close during the first few months, while cribs can be used for longer. Remember to choose a mattress that fits snugly and offers the right level of firmness for your baby’s comfort and safety.


The importance of a good mattress cannot be emphasized enough. It’s crucial to invest in a high-quality, comfortable mattress that provides adequate support for your baby’s growing body. Look for a mattress that is firm and fits perfectly into the crib or bassinet. Opt for materials that are hypoallergenic and easy to clean.

Changing Table

A changing table is a practical addition to any nursery. It provides a dedicated space for diaper changes, making the process more convenient and efficient. Look for a changing table with storage shelves or drawers to keep all the essentials organized and within reach. Ensure that the table has safety features such as raised edges to prevent accidental falls. Remember to stock up on changing pad covers for easy cleaning.

Rocking Chair or Glider

A rocking chair or glider is not only a comfortable seating option for parents, but it also helps soothe and calm the baby. The gentle rocking motion can be incredibly relaxing, especially during late-night feedings or moments when the baby needs some extra care. Look for a chair with comfortable padding and supportive armrests, as well as a mechanism that allows for smooth gliding or rocking.

Dresser or Storage

Having sufficient storage space in the nursery is essential for keeping all the baby’s essentials organized. Consider investing in a dresser or storage unit with drawers and shelves. This will allow you to store clothing, blankets, toys, and other items neatly. Look for a sturdy and spacious piece of furniture that complements the overall decor of the nursery.


Choosing the right bedding is crucial for your baby’s comfort and safety. Opt for fitted sheets made from soft, breathable materials. Avoid loose bedding or pillows, as they can pose a suffocation hazard for newborns. Consider investing in waterproof mattress protectors to protect against accidents and spills.

Baby Monitor

A baby monitor is an essential tool for keeping an eye on your little one while they sleep or play in the nursery. There are various types available, including audio-only monitors and video monitors with live feeds. Look for features such as night vision, two-way communication, and temperature sensors. A reliable baby monitor provides peace of mind by allowing parents to monitor their baby’s well-being from anywhere in the house.

Feeding Supplies

Breast Pump

If you plan to breastfeed, a breast pump is a must-have item. It allows you to express milk and store it for future use. There are manual and electric breast pumps available, each with its own benefits. Consider a double electric pump for efficient milk expression. Make sure to choose a reputable brand that offers comfort and ease of use.

Bottles and Nipples

Whether you breastfeed or formula feed, having a set of bottles and nipples is essential. Look for bottles that are BPA-free and easy to clean. Consider purchasing a variety of nipple sizes to accommodate your baby’s changing needs as they grow. You may also want to invest in a bottle drying rack to keep everything organized and hygienic.


Sterilizing bottles and other feeding accessories is important to maintain good hygiene. There are different methods of sterilization available, including boiling, steam sterilizers, and microwave sterilizers. Choose a sterilization method that suits your needs and preferences. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper sterilization.

Bottle Brush

A bottle brush is a practical tool for cleaning bottles, nipples, and other small accessories. Look for a brush with soft bristles that can reach into tight spots for thorough cleaning. Some brushes come with a nipple brush attachment, making it even easier to clean various bottle parts. Remember to replace your bottle brush regularly to maintain hygiene.

Burp Cloths

During feeding, babies often need to burp to release trapped air. Burp cloths are essential for catching any spit-up or mess during this process. Look for burp cloths that are soft, absorbent, and easy to wash. It’s a good idea to have a supply of burp cloths in different colors or patterns to add a touch of fun to diaper changing routine.

Nursing Pillow

For breastfeeding moms, a nursing pillow is a great investment. It provides support and comfort, making it easier to maintain a proper latch and position while nursing. Look for a nursing pillow with a firm and adjustable design that conforms to your body shape. Some nursing pillows come with removable covers for easy cleaning.

Nursing Bras

If you plan to breastfeed, having a few nursing bras on hand is essential. Nursing bras provide easy access for breastfeeding, with clips or clasps that allow you to open the cup easily. Look for bras that provide adequate support and comfort. Consider getting fitted for nursing bras during the last trimester of pregnancy to ensure the right fit.

Formula and/or Breastfeeding Supplies

Depending on your feeding choice, make sure to have an adequate supply of formula or breastfeeding supplies. If you plan to formula feed, choose a brand that meets your baby’s nutritional needs and consult with a healthcare professional for guidance. For breastfeeding, consider having breastfeeding pads and nipple cream to alleviate any discomfort.

High Chair or Feeding Seat

As your baby grows and starts to eat solid foods, a high chair or feeding seat becomes essential. Look for a high chair with a sturdy frame and adjustable features. Consider a high chair that is easy to clean, with removable trays and washable cushions. There are also portable options available for when you’re on-the-go.

Diapering Essentials


Diapers are a daily essential for your baby, so it’s important to stock up before their arrival. Whether you choose disposable or cloth diapers, ensure they are appropriate for your baby’s size and weight. Consider purchasing a variety of sizes to accommodate their growth. Remember to check for skin sensitivity and invest in diapers that are hypoallergenic and gentle on your baby’s delicate skin.


Alongside diapers, baby wipes are crucial for keeping your little one clean and fresh. Look for wipes that are gentle, hypoallergenic, and free from harsh chemicals. Consider purchasing wipes in bulk to ensure you have an ample supply. Always have a pack of wipes handy for quick diaper changes or for wiping your baby’s hands and face.

Diaper Rash Cream

Diaper rashes can occur due to prolonged exposure to wetness and irritation. Having a good quality diaper rash cream on hand can help soothe and protect your baby’s delicate skin. Look for creams that contain zinc oxide or natural ingredients known for their skin-healing properties. Apply a thin layer of cream during each diaper change to prevent or treat diaper rash.

Changing Pad

A changing pad provides a clean and comfortable surface for diaper changes. Look for a changing pad that fits securely on a changing table or dresser. It should have raised edges to prevent your baby from rolling off. Consider purchasing a waterproof changing pad cover to protect the pad from messes. Remember to have multiple changing pad covers on hand for easy rotation and washing.

Diaper Pail or Garbage Can

To contain and control the odor associated with dirty diapers, consider investing in a diaper pail or a garbage can with a secure lid. Look for a pail with odor-locking features and easy-to-use disposal systems. Some diaper pails also offer hands-free operation, which can be convenient when you have your hands full. Remember to empty and clean the diaper pail regularly to maintain hygiene.

Diaper Bag

A diaper bag is a must-have item for parents on the go. It allows you to carry all the essentials for diaper changes, feeding, and other baby care needs. Look for a bag with multiple compartments to keep everything organized. Consider a diaper bag with insulated pockets to keep bottles warm or cold. Opt for a style that suits your preference, whether it’s a backpack, tote, or messenger bag.

Clothing and Accessories


Onesies, or bodysuits, are a staple in every baby’s wardrobe. They provide a comfortable and convenient outfit option, especially during the early months. Look for onesies made from soft, breathable fabrics that are gentle on your baby’s skin. Consider purchasing a range of sizes to accommodate their growth. Onesies with snap closures are easier to put on and remove.


Sleepers, also known as footed pajamas, are essential for your baby’s bedtime routine. They keep your little one warm and cozy during sleep. Look for sleepers that are made from breathable fabrics and have easy-to-use zippers or snaps for quick diaper changes. Consider purchasing sleepers in different thicknesses for different seasons.


Keep your baby’s little feet cozy and warm with a collection of soft socks. Look for socks that have a snug fit without being too tight. Consider purchasing socks with non-slip soles to help your baby maintain stability as they start to explore their environment. Opt for socks in a variety of colors and styles to match different outfits.


Hats are essential for protecting your baby’s sensitive skin from the sun and keeping their head warm during colder seasons. Look for hats that provide adequate coverage and have a chin strap to keep them secure. Choose hats made from breathable and lightweight materials. Consider having a collection of hats in different styles, such as beanies, sun hats, and bonnets.


Babies tend to scratch their faces unintentionally, so having a pair of mittens is essential to prevent any accidental scratches. Look for mittens made from soft and breathable fabrics that won’t irritate your baby’s skin. Consider purchasing mittens with adjustable closures to ensure a snug fit. Having extra pairs of mittens is also helpful, as they can easily get lost or soiled.


Swaddling helps babies feel secure and can promote better sleep. Look for swaddles that are made from lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as muslin or cotton. Consider swaddles with Velcro or adjustable closures for ease of use. Some swaddles also double as blankets or nursing covers, providing versatility.


Bibs are essential for keeping your baby’s clothes clean and dry during feeding time. Look for bibs that are soft, absorbent, and easy to clean. Consider bibs with adjustable closures to accommodate your baby’s growth. Opt for bibs with waterproof backings or pockets to catch any spills or dribbles. Having a collection of bibs in different colors or patterns adds a touch of style to mealtime.

Baby Towels

Bath time is an important part of your baby’s routine, and having a soft and absorbent baby towel is essential. Look for towels made from hypoallergenic and gentle fabrics, such as organic cotton. Consider towels with hooded designs to keep your baby’s head warm after a bath. Having multiple towels on hand ensures you always have a fresh one ready.

Baby Washcloths

Baby washcloths are gentle on your baby’s delicate skin and perfect for bath time. They can also be used for wiping your baby’s face or cleaning up spills. Look for washcloths made from soft, absorbent materials that are durable and easy to clean. Consider having a set of washcloths in different colors or patterns for easy differentiation.

Health and Safety

Infant Car Seat

An infant car seat is a non-negotiable item for bringing your baby home from the hospital and for subsequent car journeys. Look for a car seat that is suitable for your baby’s weight and size. Make sure it meets all safety standards and is easy to install and use. Consider a car seat with a removable carrier, which allows you to transport your baby without waking them.

Baby Stroller

A reliable and durable baby stroller is important for daily outings and errands. Look for a stroller that is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and offers safety features such as a five-point harness. Consider a stroller with adjustable handles and a large storage basket for added convenience. Some strollers also offer the option to attach infant car seats for easy transportation.

Baby Carrier or Sling

A baby carrier or sling allows you to carry your little one while keeping your hands free. Look for a carrier or sling that offers proper support for your baby’s neck and back. Consider carriers or slings made from breathable fabrics that are comfortable for both you and your baby. Some carriers have adjustable straps and positions to accommodate your baby’s growth.

Baby Bathtub

Bathing your baby is a special bonding time, and having a baby bathtub makes the experience safe and enjoyable. Look for a bathtub with a non-slip surface and a contoured design that supports your baby’s body. Consider a bathtub that grows with your baby, offering adjustable positions and accessories. Remember to always supervise your baby during bath time.

Baby Thermometer

A reliable baby thermometer is essential for monitoring your baby’s temperature. Look for a thermometer that is accurate, quick, and easy to use. Consider a digital thermometer with a flexible tip for comfort and safety. Some thermometers also offer features such as fever indicators or memory recall.

Nasal Aspirator

Babies often experience nasal congestion, and a nasal aspirator can help clear their tiny noses. Look for a nasal aspirator that is gentle, easy to use, and easy to clean. Consider options with different suction strengths or those that utilize bulb or oral suction. A nasal aspirator can provide relief for your baby and help them breathe easier.

First Aid Kit

Having a well-stocked first aid kit is essential for handling minor injuries or ailments that may arise with your baby. Look for a kit that includes essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic ointment, gauze pads, digital thermometer, and infant pain relievers (with proper guidance from a healthcare professional). Familiarize yourself with the contents of the kit and store it in a convenient location.

Baby Grooming Kit

A baby grooming kit includes essential items for maintaining your little one’s hygiene and appearance. Look for a kit that includes a soft-bristled brush, comb, nail clippers or scissors, and a nasal aspirator. Consider a kit with a storage case for easy organization and portability. Remember to use the grooming tools with caution and follow proper instructions.

Baby Sunscreen

Protecting your baby’s delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays is essential. Look for a baby sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection and has a high SPF. Choose a sunscreen specifically formulated for infants, as their skin is more sensitive. Consider using hats, protective clothing, and shade to minimize sun exposure.

Playtime and Entertainment

Baby Swing or Bouncer

Baby swings or bouncers provide a soothing and entertaining environment for your little one. Look for a swing or bouncer that offers different speed and motion settings. Consider models with built-in music or nature sounds to engage and calm your baby. Some swings also have removable seats, which can double as a stationary bouncer.


A playmat provides a safe and comfortable space for your baby to explore and play. Look for a playmat that is soft, cushioned, and easy to clean. Consider a playmat with engaging colors, textures, and interactive toys attached. Some playmats also have adjustable arches to accommodate your baby’s growth and development.


Toys are essential for stimulating your baby’s senses and encouraging their development. Look for toys that are age-appropriate and offer various textures, colors, and sounds. Consider toys that can be easily grasped or manipulated by tiny hands. Opt for toys made from non-toxic materials and free from small parts that could be a choking hazard.


Introducing books to your baby from an early age helps foster a love for reading and language development. Look for board books or cloth books that are durable and easy for little hands to explore. Consider books with large, colorful pictures and simple text. Reading together is a wonderful bonding activity for parents and babies.

Activity Center

As your baby grows, an activity center provides a fun and stimulating environment for play. Look for an activity center with adjustable height settings to accommodate your baby’s growth. Consider centers that offer a variety of toys, lights, and sounds to engage their senses. Some activity centers can also be converted into a play table for continued use.

Mobile or Crib Toys

A mobile or crib toys can help soothe and entertain your baby while they lie in their crib. Look for mobiles that have soft, visually stimulating designs and gentle music or nature sounds. Consider mobiles with features such as remote control, adjustable volume, and rotating toys. Remember to hang the mobile securely and ensure it’s out of reach of your baby.

Travel Essentials


A reliable and durable stroller is essential for traveling with your baby. Look for a stroller that is lightweight, compact, and easy to fold. Consider strollers that offer a one-hand folding mechanism for convenience. Some strollers also have additional features such as reclining seats or adjustable handles. Choose a stroller that suits your travel needs and preferences.

Car Seat

Having a car seat suitable for your baby’s age and weight is a legal requirement in many countries. Look for a car seat that meets all safety standards and is easy to install and use. Consider a car seat that offers multiple recline positions for comfort during long journeys. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation and use.

Diaper Bag

A well-equipped diaper bag is an essential item for traveling with your baby. Look for a spacious bag with multiple compartments to keep everything organized and easily accessible. Consider a diaper bag with insulated pockets to keep bottles warm or cold. Opt for a style that suits your preference, whether it’s a backpack, tote, or messenger bag.

Baby Carrier or Sling

When traveling, a baby carrier or sling can be a lifesaver, allowing you to keep your baby close while exploring new places. Look for a carrier or sling that offers proper support and comfort. Consider carriers or slings made from breathable fabrics that are suitable for different climates. Some carriers have adjustable straps and positions to accommodate your baby’s growth.

Portable Changing Pad

A portable changing pad is a convenient item to have when traveling with your baby. It provides a clean and comfortable surface for diaper changes on the go. Look for a changing pad that is compact, easy to fold, and easy to clean. Some changing pads also offer pockets for storing diapers, wipes, and other essentials.

Travel Crib or Playard

A travel crib or playard provides a safe and familiar sleeping space for your baby while away from home. Look for a crib or playard that is lightweight, easy to set up, and has a sturdy frame. Consider models that come with a carry bag for easy transportation. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling and using the crib or playard.

Baby Care Products

Baby Shampoo

Choosing a gentle and mild baby shampoo is important for keeping your baby’s hair and scalp clean and healthy. Look for shampoos that are free from harsh chemicals and designed specifically for babies. Consider shampoos that are tear-free and hypoallergenic. Remember to use only a small amount of shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

Baby Lotion

A good quality baby lotion helps moisturize and protect your baby’s delicate skin. Look for lotions that are free from artificial fragrances and dyes. Consider lotions with natural ingredients such as shea butter or oatmeal, known for their soothing properties. Remember to apply lotion after bathing or as needed throughout the day to keep your baby’s skin hydrated.

Baby Oil

Baby oil is great for moisturizing and massaging your baby’s skin. Look for oils that are gentle, hypoallergenic, and free from mineral oil or fragrances. Consider oils with natural ingredients such as almond or coconut oil. Remember to apply baby oil sparingly and avoid the face and genital area.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are an essential item for quick and convenient clean-ups on the go. Look for wipes that are gentle, hypoallergenic, and free from harsh chemicals. Consider purchasing wipes in bulk to ensure you have an ample supply. Always have a pack of wipes handy for diaper changes, wiping hands or faces, and cleaning up spills.

Baby Powder

Baby powder can help keep your baby’s skin dry and prevent diaper rash. Look for talc-free powders that are gentle on your baby’s skin. Consider powders that contain natural ingredients such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Always apply baby powder away from your baby’s face and remember to avoid using it if your baby has sensitive skin or respiratory issues.

Baby Laundry Detergent

Washing your baby’s clothes and blankets with a gentle and hypoallergenic laundry detergent is important for their sensitive skin. Look for detergents that are specifically formulated for babies and free from harsh chemicals or fragrances. Consider detergents that are suitable for both regular and delicate fabrics. Remember to wash all new clothing and bedding before use.

Storage and Organization

Storage Baskets or Bins

Storage baskets or bins are essential for keeping your baby’s essentials organized and easily accessible. Look for baskets or bins that are durable, collapsible, and come in various sizes. Consider baskets with handles for easy transport. Use them to store items such as toys, blankets, or extra diapers.

Clothes Dividers

Clothes dividers are a practical tool for organizing your baby’s wardrobe. They help separate clothing by size or category, making it easier to find what you need. Look for dividers that are durable and come with labels for easy identification. Consider dividers that can be easily attached or removed without damaging the clothing rack.

Toy Storage

As your baby grows, toys tend to accumulate. Having proper toy storage is crucial for keeping the nursery or play area tidy. Look for toy storage solutions that are child-friendly and easy to clean. Consider bins, baskets, or toy chests that offer ample space and can be easily accessed by your little one. Sort toys by categories or use labels to promote organization.

Diaper Caddy

A diaper caddy is a portable organizer that keeps all the diapering essentials in one place. Look for caddies with multiple compartments or pockets to hold diapers, wipes, creams, and other items. Consider caddies with handles for easy carrying. Having a designated diaper caddy allows you to quickly grab what you need during diaper changes.

Shelving Units

Shelving units provide additional storage space for items that don’t fit in drawers or baskets. Look for sturdy and adjustable shelving units that can accommodate different sizes of items. Consider units with built-in hooks or pegs for hanging items such as bags or clothing. Use shelves to display books, toys, or decorative items to add a personal touch to the nursery.

Drawer Organizers

Drawer organizers help maximize storage space and keep smaller items neatly sorted. Look for organizers that fit into your dresser or storage unit and offer multiple compartments. Consider organizers with compartments of different sizes to accommodate various items. Use drawer organizers for socks, bibs, pacifiers, or any other smaller items that tend to get easily misplaced.


Baby Registry

Creating a baby registry can be incredibly helpful for ensuring you receive the items you need when expecting a baby. Look for a reputable retailer or online platform that offers a wide range of baby products and has a user-friendly registry system. Consider items from different categories, such as nursery essentials, feeding supplies, and baby care products, to create a comprehensive and practical registry.

Carseat Cover

A car seat cover is a practical accessory for protecting your baby from the elements and providing additional privacy. Look for a cover that is compatible with your specific car seat model and provides adequate ventilation. Consider covers that offer UV protection and are easy to install and remove. Always ensure proper airflow and supervision when using a car seat cover.


Pacifiers can offer comfort and soothe your baby when they need to self-soothe or calm down. Look for pacifiers that are designed for newborns and fit properly in your baby’s mouth. Consider pacifiers with orthodontic designs that support healthy oral development. Remember to regularly inspect pacifiers for signs of wear and tear and replace them as necessary.

Nursing Pads

For breastfeeding moms, nursing pads are essential for managing leaks and maintaining personal comfort. Look for nursing pads that are absorbent and discreet. Consider disposable or reusable pads, depending on your preference. Remember to change nursing pads frequently to prevent discomfort or potential infection.

Breastfeeding Cover

A breastfeeding cover provides privacy and convenience for nursing moms. Look for a cover that is made from breathable and lightweight fabric. Consider covers with adjustable straps or necklines to ensure proper coverage. Some covers also double as infinity scarves or blankets, offering versatility.

Baby Proofing Supplies

As your baby grows and becomes more mobile, baby proofing becomes a necessary task. Look for baby proofing supplies such as outlet covers, cabinet locks, corner guards, and safety gates. Consider conducting a thorough assessment of your home to identify potential hazards and take appropriate measures to ensure your baby’s safety.

Baby Hangers

Having proper hangers for your baby’s clothing is essential for maintaining their shape and organization. Look for hangers that are small and lightweight, specifically designed for baby clothes. Consider hangers with clips for hanging pants or skirts. Having a collection of hangers in various sizes and types allows for easy storage and accessibility.

Baby Carrier Accessories

When using a baby carrier, certain accessories can enhance your comfort and convenience. Look for accessories such as teething pads, which provide a protective layer between your baby’s gums and the carrier straps. Consider carrier accessories such as drool bibs or sunshades for added protection. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using carrier accessories.

In conclusion, when preparing for the arrival of a baby, it’s important to focus on the essentials. From nursery furniture to feeding supplies, diapering necessities, clothing, and safety items, each category plays a crucial role in ensuring your baby’s comfort, well-being, and development. By carefully considering each item on this comprehensive list and selecting high-quality and appropriate options, you can create a nurturing environment for your little one and navigate parenthood with confidence. Remember, every baby is unique, so adapt this list to fit your specific needs and preferences. Happy shopping and congratulations on your upcoming bundle of joy!

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Melissa Patterson
I'm Melissa Patterson, the co-founder of BabyMomTips.com. I'm a mother of two and a passionate writer who loves to share my knowledge and experience with other moms. I'm dedicated to helping busy moms navigate the often-overwhelming journey of parenting and motherhood. My goal is to provide practical tips, advice, and resources that make parenting easier and more enjoyable. I'm also a strong advocate for self-care and mental health and am passionate about helping moms find balance in their lives. I'm always looking for new ways to support moms and make their lives easier.