When it's time to start shopping for your little one, it feels like the whole world has an opinion. From what kind of car seat to buy to what brand of stroller, there are a million choices and a million different ways to parent. It can be overwhelming, and it's tough to know where to start.
The same goes for baby supplies. Do you need an expensive changing table or will a changing pad on the floor do? How many onesies does a baby really need? We're here to help you sort through the essentials and figure out what you really need (and what you can live without).
- Changing table or pad
- Rocking chair or seat for feeding
- Storage system for clothes/diapers/toys
At a minimum, you'll need a crib, a changing table or pad, and a place to sit while feeding and snuggling. Some like to have a rocking chair or glider, but if you don't have room, a comfortable spot on your couch will do. You may also want a bassinet or crib for the early months, and a toddler bed for when your little one outgrows the crib.
If you're tight on space, look for multifunctional furniture like a dresser that can double as a changing table, or a crib that converts to a toddler bed. And don't forget about storage! You'll need somewhere to put all those clothes, diapers, and toys. A toy chest, dresser, or bin system is essential.
- 12-15 outfits (onsies, pajamas, pants, etc)
- 12-15 pairs of socks
Onesies, sleepers, outfits, pajamas, socks, shoes… the list goes on. How many do you really need? It depends on how often you want to do laundry (we recommend every two to three days). A good rule of thumb is to have four or five outfits for each day of the week (babies get spit-up, food, and poop on their clothes a lot), plus a few extra in case of accidents.
Many parents have found that, even though they're adorable, shoes for babies just are not functional. And since your little one won't be crawling or walking for a while, shoes aren't a must-have right when they’re born. Socks, however, are a must-have for keeping your little one warm.
Where will your baby sleep? In a crib, bassinet, Moses basket, or co-sleeper? It's up to you, but know that wherever the baby sleeps, you'll need sheets and blankets. Two or three sets should do the trick. And if you plan on swaddling your baby, you'll need some good swaddle blankets. When it's time to transition out of a swaddle, our Sleepsuit or sleepsack can be a lifesaver.
You'll also need a white noise machine to help your baby (and you!) sleep through the night. Look for one that has different sound options and can be controlled remotely.
- 2-3 nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Nipple cream
- Nursing pillow
- Breast pump, milk storage bags, bottles/nipples, and a bottle brush
- Bibs and burp cloths
Whether you're breastfeeding/pumping, formula feeding, or doing a combination of both, you'll need some supplies. If you're nursing, you'll need a good nursing bra (or two), breast pads, and some cream for when your nipples get sore. You may also want a nursing pillow to help you get comfortable.
If you're pumping, you'll need a breast pump (manual or electric), storage bags, and bottles. And whether you're pumping or formula feeding, you'll need bottles and nipples (plenty of extras!), a bottle brush, bibs, and burp cloths.
Seats & Stroller
- Rear-facing car seat
- Headrest mirror
When you're ready to take your little one out and about, you'll need a good stroller. Look for one that's lightweight and easy to fold – you'll be doing a lot of lifting and carrying, so it's important to have a stroller that won't be clumsy and cause strain on your muscles.
When it comes to car seats, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, the seat should be rear-facing until your child is at least one year old and weighs 20 pounds or more. Second, make sure the seat is properly installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. And third, always use the car seat when driving with your child – it's the law.
Other than that, you might also be carrying the detachable part of your car seat a lot so read lots of reviews and even try some out at the store to find one that's not too awkward.
You'll also need a few things to keep your baby entertained while you're driving, like a mirror so they can see you and some soft toys.
Some extra essentials that can be easy to forget or underestimate:
- Extra blankets
- Diaper bag
- Nasal aspirator (aka snot-sucker)
- Nail clippers or electric file
- Gentle baby lotion
Cozy and Comfortable Sleep with Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit
Sleep is one of the most essential parts of a baby's life—after all, they spend more than 14 hours a day catching those z’s! It helps them grow and stay healthy and allows you to get much-needed rest, too.
We created the Magic Sleepsuit to help babies and parents because we understand how important sleep is for everyone. The Magic Sleepsuit is a cozy, comfortable swaddle transition product that helps babies and parents get the sleep they need.
Our products come in multiple designs—the Magic Sleepsuit, Dream Sack, and Dream Sack Walker— so you can find the perfect fit and style for your baby. Visit our website to check something off your list of essentials!