Here is another good list: Rookie Moms Shopping List

Joslin’s Baby Basics List for New Moms

(I know this doesn’t cover everything, but at least you have an idea where to start)

General Baby Buying Guides:

Get these books or go browsing in a bookstore with a notebook and a pen:

The Consumer Reports Guide to Baby Products and Baby bargains. (get the most up to date one because brands change over time)  Check out the sections on infant and convertible car seats-they would have the most up to date ratings. (the consumer reports website doesn’t let you see all of the ratings unless you are a subscriber, but the book has a free code to try for 1 month)

Check out Consumer Reports Ratings and buying tips-

The basics:

Some of these I am giving examples to give you an idea of what it is or suggested brands.  The brands are just my personal preferences, so go with what you what!

  • Infant Car Seat (the bucket with a carry handle)

-Graco brand is good and affordable

  • Convertible Car Seat (rear and forward facing)

You won’t need this until around 6 months if you are using an infant seat-(convertible seats can also be used from birth, but most people don’t because they aren’t portable)   *make sure it can go rear facing, because most babies grow out of the infant seats before they are able to be forward facing in a regular seat (in most states they have to be at least 20 lbs. and 1 year old before they can go forward facing) but the infant seats have height and weight restrictions.  Our son grew out of the infant seat lengthwise at 5 months! 

-We have an Eddie Bauer 3 in One Convertible seat-it is made by Cosco.  It is rear and forward facing and can also be used as a booster

-Britax-is a more expensive brand, but it tops the safety ratings lists

  • Strollers
  • travel system (or make sure it can accommodate the car seat carrier that you get)

-Graco makes a lot of travel systems-their infant car seats are good, so that would be a good option  Just go to a store that has a lot of floor models that you can try out 

-you can also buy a stroller frame that the infant seat attaches to

  • jogging

-these are more rugged and are geared toward exercise or use on rough surfaces.  keep in mind that these are not usually designed for infants and many don’t have adjustable seat backs so they are best for older babies

  • umbrella

-lightweight and very compact-also not suggested for newborns because most lack adjustable features

  • Backseat mirror- for car (it attaches to the head rest in front of the baby) just make sure it is big enough that you can see the baby well
  • Car window shades-get the cling kind instead of the rollups
  • Crib-we didn’t use ours for a few months-we kept our son in our room in the pack and play bassinet
  • Crib sheets/Mattress pads (waterproof)

-don’t get patterned sheets-they distract when you want the baby to sleep!  Also don’t get the store brand-they shrink and will barely stretch over the corners!

  • Crib Bumpers

-same as sheets-don’t get patterns too busy or they will be distracting (or make sure the pattern is just facing the outside)

  • Pack and Play (portable playpen/crib) with bassinet attachment or Co-Sleeper bedside crib

-Graco (has bassinet attachment-then converts to playpen)

-Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper (this one attaches to side of bed and converts to bassinet and playpen)

*don’t forget to get sheets for these too!

  • Rocking Chair-make sure it is comfy and doesn’t squeak
  • Diapers

-pampers swaddlers, then pampers cruisers-they are much less bulky in the leg area I think

  • Wipes

-pampers or Kirkland (found at Costco) -these brands don’t leave behind lint on clothes and furniture (when you have to wipe off spitup) -Huggies brand and Sam’s Club brand leave lint

  • Changing table or changing pad to go on a dresser

If you have multiple levels in your house, make sure to put a changing station of some sort on each level (fully stocked with diapers, wipes, and extra clothes)

  • Receiving Blankets/Swaddling Blankets

-swaddling your baby will help them settle and sleep

-best are large size knit or flannel square blankets

-Ultimate swaddling blanket, The Miracle Blanket, Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe

  • Burp Cloths

-Gerber cloth diapers folded lengthwise

  • Boppy (helps position baby for feedings)

-Get a washable cover (or two)

  • Onesie Shirts, Pants

 -Carter’s, Gap, Old Navy, Children’s Place (these are all our son wore around the house during the summer)-I don’t like the fit of Gerber brand

  • One Piece Outfits- same brands as above
  • Sleep Sack-use these over pj’s in cooler temperatures while baby sleeps

-Halo sleep sack is the original, though many companies make them now

  • Digital ear thermometer or temporal artery thermometer
  • Nasal aspirators
  • Nail clippers
  • Diaper bag
  • Bottles and sterilizer (or put them in the dishwasher)-if you will be storing breast milk or using formula

-Avent brand -has an anti-colic nipple without a lot of parts to put together or clean!  I still use the small ones with the covered lid to carry snacks in the diaper bag

  • Diaper creams-Desitin creamy or A&D creamy
  • Waterproof lap pads-put these on top of the changing pad cover so you don’t have to keep washing the cover, just the lap pad-also put then in the bottom of the car seat and on the crib sheet in case of “big” accidents!
  • Bouncy seat or infant rocker-make sure it moves when baby moves and has a vibrator that stays on-attachable toys are nice too for when baby gets older (I’ve never tried a rocker, but we had the baby papasan and our son didn’t like it since it didn’t move)
  • Baby monitor
  • Sound Machine/white noise-gives background noise-blocks out other house and street noises, we use it in the bedroom for sleeping and it always travels with our son!

-HoMedics Sound Spa (got it at target)

  • Car seat carrier cover-to keep cold away-keeps you from having to put a coat on the baby

-Bundle Me-JJ Cole (car seats or strollers)

-Kiddopotamus Fleece Warmer-will fit on car seats, strollers, and over some types of baby carriers (slings)

  • Bibs-solid colors are good-they coordinate with clothes better
  • Baby towels and washcloths
  • Socks -Carter’s has some that are fuzzy on the inside, good for the winter and they stay on!
  • Soft soled shoes -helps keep socks on feet once the baby starts kicking a lot and best for beginning walking

-Robeez, Preschoolians, IsaBooties, Jack and Lily….to name a few

  • Shopping Cart/High chair cover

-these will help keep germs away from your baby at the store or at a restaurant when they begin to sit on their own.  Make sure to get one that covers the whole surface, not just the front and back

-Buggy Bagg, Clean Shopper

  • Baby Carriers/Slings**

-these are wonderful for getting things done when all your baby wants is to be held 

-they are also great for when you are out and your baby doesn’t want to be in their infant car carrier seat or stroller.  (our son refused to sit in his carrier seat unless it was in full motion!!)

-there are many different types of carriers but most of these are not found in mainstream stores. The types offered in mainstream stores do not hold babies in ideal positions or are not comfortable for the wearer.  Some of the brands I have listed below can be found in specialty baby stores/boutiques, but mostly online.  (type of sling in italics, brand names listed underneath-click the name to go to the website)

            –Pouch sling: one shoulder, most non-adjustable

            Hot Slings, Peanut Shell, Kangaroo Korner adjustable

            Ring sling: one shoulder, adjustable

            ZoloWear, Maya Wrap

            –Mai Tai (pronounced “may tie”): two shouldered, adjustable, tie straps

            Kozy Carrier, Mai Tai Baby, BabyHawk, Ball Baby Overall

            -Structured Soft Carrier: two shouldered, adjustable, buckle straps

            Ergo Baby Carrier, Beco Baby Carrier, Jetpak (owned by a friend of mine)

            -Wrap: length of cloth that wraps around mother and child in various positions

            Moby Wrap (stretchy), Sleepy Wrap (stretchy), Ellaroo (woven)

-Hip Carrier: carrier designed for larger babies or toddlers to be comfortably held on the parent’s hip, with a wide strap to cover the shoulder

            Mei Hip, Scootababy

**It is important that when you use baby carriers that your baby is positioned correctly.   Some good resources for using baby carriers are on the instruction pages of the carrier you are using, or a website dedicated to the use of baby carriers (called babywearing)  Please let me know if you want some more information, because I loved using my slings! (articles, carrier reviews, forums)-lots of info here, can be overwhelming (various ways to wear your sling-using pictures and videos) 

Things you will want after a few months (so get them now!)

  • Playmat/activity center- for playing on the floor
  • Exersaucer -stationary play center that baby sits in
  • High chair-get one that reclines for when you first start feeding the baby
  • Doorway gates-if you need to block off rooms or stairs-we have one in our fireplace!
  • Safety products-outlet covers, door handle covers, appliance locks….
  • Baby bowls
  • Baby spoons-the soft ones at first (Nuby or Gerber)
  • Toys-rattles, soft toys for using in the car, cloth books

-Lamaze, Baby Einstein, Leap Frog, Sassy

  • Baskets or Bins- for storing the plethora of toys and books that you will likely receive and continue to receive!
  • Table covers -covers surface area at home or in a restaurant when baby doesn’t use plates or bowls (or just thinks they are toys!)

-Table Toppers, disposable -TinyDiner, reusable


  • pacifiers-usually the hospital will give you one-just try a few if you want
  • hats -the close fitting knit kind-make sure it isn’t scratchy on the inside-(our son hardly wore them after we came home from the hospital- you really don’t need them if you have a summer baby)
  • portable high chair-great when you go to other people’s house or a restaurant that doesn’t have highchairs (yes there are some!) -we keep ours in the trunk of the car
  • swing-we just didn’t use it a lot and our son didn’t like it
  • doorway jumper-we did use this quite a bit, but it is just an extra plaything
  • baby tub-you can just wash them on a towel at first, next we had the Safety 1st fold up- but it wasn’t very supportive -I got an inflatable one that I used in the tub that I liked-Babies R Us store brand.
  • wipes warmer-we didn’t get one, but some people say they love theirs
  • bottle warmer-I mostly nursed, so we didn’t feel the need for this one
  • diaper disposal system-its great until they are on solids, then it just starts getting too smelly-we toss the diapers in a small trash can in the garage and empty it often
  • hand blender or small food processor (if you don’t already have one)-an easy way to make your own baby food once they start solids

No (in my opinion!):

  • Baby Bjorn/Snugli/Infantino types of carriers- see baby carriers above
  • Quilts/blankets for crib -*do not put these in baby’s bed!!* use them to cuddle baby or use them on the floor for tummy time. babies won’t need covers in their bed until they are toddlers (at least)

– use sleep sacks (mentioned above) if baby needs to be warm in bed

  • Sleep positioner
  • Crib mobile/crib toys-too distracting-you want the baby to know that the crib is place to sleep, not play! If you get a mobile, put it over the changing area if you can instead
  • Baby laundry detergents-free and clear brands are just fine
  • Diaper Disposal system (diaper genie, diaper champ, etc)-just use a small trash can with a tight lid and empty daily
  • Baby robes-babies don’t need a robe!


  • The Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy
  • Sleeping Through the Night-Jodi Mindell (I wish I had this one from the start!)
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block-Harvey Karp
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Caring for your baby and young child: Birth to age 5
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting and What to Expect the First Year-Heidi Murkoff
  • *Please*-DO NOT get Babywise by Gary Ezzo

Breastfeeding stuff

  • Lansinoh lanolin -Start using this in the hospital! Protects and does not have to be removed before baby nurses. Trust me-use it!
  • Nursing Bras
  • Breast Pads
  • Breast Pump (if you will be working)
  • Boppy-previously stated
  • Nursing coverup-either a receiving blanket or shawl will work ok, or get one made just for nursing.

-Bebe au Lait (neck apron style), Busy Baby Nursing Wraps (shawl style), Loved Baby (shawl style)

  • A big water bottle-make sure it is full when you sit down and drink up while baby does!
  • Some good books, TV shows, music, books on tape-you will be sitting down for about 20-45 minutes every few hours for the first month or so with nothing else to do! The library is your friend!
  • Nursing Mother’s Companion -Kathleen Huggins
  • Womanly Art of Breastfeeding-La Leche League International