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The Ultimate Checklist for New Parents

Vanessa Frankard
Vanessa Frankard

Don’t let parenthood overwhelm you. If you’re looking for a starting point on products you might need as a new parent, use our newborn baby checklist as your guide to a smooth and joyful transition into life with your precious baby!

Here’s a checklist for new parents of things to buy in preparation for life with your little one:

Baby Essentials for Transportation:

Here are a few must-have items when you’re on the go with your new baby.

  • Infant Car Seat – you’ll need this to get home from the hospital
  • Stroller
  • Stroller rain cover and/or mosquito net
  • Baby sling or carrier

Pro Tip:

Many modern strollers have modular components (like a bassinet, seat, and infant car seat) that click in and out of a stroller frame for convenience. For example, if your infant car seat clips directly into your stroller frame, you can easily move a sleeping baby from the car to the stroller without waking them up.

Baby Essentials for Sleep:

Babies generally sleep 12 to 16 hours in a 24-hour period. Here are some items to consider when it comes to setting up a comfortable sleep environment for your baby.

  • Bassinet and bassinet stand
  • Swaddles
  • Sleep sacks
  • Rocking chair or glider
  • Crib and mattress
  • Fitted sheets
  • Waterproof mattress protector

Pro Tip:

Most babies sleep in a small bassinet for their first few months of life before transitioning to a full sized crib. Some families don’t even purchase a crib until after their baby is born! If you’re short on time, space, or money, you’d be better off prioritizing buying a bassinet over a crib for your newborn. Check out our tips on how to financially plan for a baby.

Baby Essentials for Diapering & Changing

Don’t dread diaper changes! Here are some products that’ll make your life easier when it comes to diaper change time.

  • Change table and/or change pad
  • Diapers (NB and Size 1)
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Diaper disposal bin like a Diaper Genie
  • Portable diaper change mat

Pro Tip:

At the hospital where we gave birth, we were told to keep the extra newborn diapers and wipes available in our room. It doesn’t hurt to ask your place of birth if you’re able to take home some newborn essentials with you. In this new chapter, saving a bit of money here and there can really help you meet your budgeting goals

Essentials for Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding

Although breast milk is recommended by the World Health Organization as the ideal food for infants, not every family is able to breastfeed exclusively. In this section, we’ve provided a list of essentials for breastfeeding and/or formula feeding families. Know that many families do a combination of both and it’s totally normal.

  • Breast pump
  • Bottles
  • Bottle warmer
  • Bottle sterilizer (see pro tip below)
  • Formula
  • Formula dispenser
  • Nursing pads
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nipple cream

Pro Tip:

Babies have sensitive skin. When it comes to bath and skincare products, be sure to pick products that are formulated for babies with ‘clean’ ingredients, avoiding unnecessary inputs like artificial colouring or fragrance.

Baby Essentials for Clothing and Accessories

Picking outfits for your new baby – how fun! Here are some basic must-have items to keep in your baby’s wardrobe.

  • Long and short sleeved bodysuits
  • Pants or leggings
  • Rompers / onesies
  • Sleepers or sleep sacks
  • Socks
  • Hat
  • Baby scratch mitts (some long-sleeved baby outfits will have fold-over mitts)
  • Drool bibs
  • Warm jacket or outerwear

Pro Tip:

For baby rompers or onesies, dress from the top, change from the bottom. Look for a double zipper style to make diaper changes easier. This allows for quick and easy diaper changes on the bottom, without the need to pull the clothing item over baby’s head or remove their entire outfit.

Baby Essentials for Play

Help your newborn discover the world and work on one sense at a time, without over stimulating them.

  • Floor mat for tummy time
  • Baby bouncer
  • Sensory objects like rattles or textured toys or crinkle books
  • High contrast objects (i.e.. black and white toys) to help develop vision
  • Silicone or wooden teethers
  • A mirror

Pro Tip:

For newborns, avoid toys with flashing lights, colours and sound. Why? Newborns can only work on one sense at a time, so electronic toys can be overstimulating for them.

Now that we’ve shared with you the ultimate checklist of things you may need as a new parent, here’s 10 gadgets you may not need as a parent.

Vanessa Frankard
Written by Vanessa Frankard

Since 2008, Vanessa has kept her readers and followers ‘in the know’ on local happenings, facilitating for the discovery and support of brands, businesses, and experiences available in Vancouver and beyond. Now as a new mom, she shares her journey of motherhood, inspiring modern women and their families to think... "Hey if she can do it, I can too!