Checklist: Newborn Essentials

Are you expecting your newborn anytime soon? Regardless of whether it’s your first or third, I am pretty sure you’re feeling overwhelmed. I know I did last year a few months before I was due to give birth.

A few months before my due date I was constantly googling for “what does a newborn need” and “must-have items for newborn”. Thus, here I am 5 months later (ICYMI, I shared my Delivery Experience), posting this checklist hoping that it will ease the anxiousness especially for you new moms out there.

Just to make it clear though I am not, by any means, an expert. I am just your regular new mom that found this sort of checklist helped me in getting organized and ready to welcome my first newborn.
The items that I am about to recommend may or may not be useful to some but in general, these things are what newborns would need.

Clothing Essentials

  • Onesies and Sleepsuits. Lots of them. For sleepsuits, the zipper ones (Cotton On has them, but a bit pricey, RM79 for one piece) are easier to manage but the ones with snap buttons work the same and are a lot cheaper (A pack of 3 from Mothercare for RM148 or RM63.20 for a pack of 3 from Babyshop). Most newborn sleepsuits come with closed feet, very practical as you don’t need to put on socks.
  • Mittens and booties. Enough to wear for a couple of months. Buy from Mothercare or Amazon where they have plenty of choices to choose from.

Nice-to-have Clothing Essentials

  • Hats. I only use them at night and when we’re out and about.

Bathing and Diaper Change Essentials

  • Baby Bath Tub. I am currently using the Skip Hop Moby Smart Sling 3 Stage, which I love. You can easily find it both in shops and on Lazada / Amazon.
  • Toiletries. The usual; baby shampoo, body wash, and towels. I use this 2 in 1 baby shampoo and wash from Cetaphil and love using these hooded towels.
  • Changing Mat. I was gifted this Mothercare Changing Mat by my Aunt and couldn’t be more grateful for it. It is lightweight, you can easily move it anywhere. You can get it on Lazada for RM138 or a similar one on Amazon.
  • Diaper Caddy/Organizer. Lots of types and patterns, you can easily get them at Lazada (if you’re in Malaysia), Amazon or AliExpress. It stores all my newborn’s necessities (diapers, diaper cream, wipes, extra clothing) in one place and I can bring it to different rooms/areas in the house without having to go back to my bedroom to get the things.
  • Diapers. Need I say more. Drypers Wee Wee Dry so far is working for my baby and I buy them in bulk from Lazada.
  • Baby Wipes. Also, need I say more. Most of my friends recommended Pureen and I love them. I also buy these in bulk to avoid running out of stock as I use them every day.
  • Tungku Baby. This item is widely used here in Malaysia as it has been said to help babies release gas easier and prevent them to feel bloated. I got it free from my Confinement Package but can you easily get it on Lazada for RM15+-.

Nice-to-have Diapering Essentials

  • Diaper pail. This item was on my checklist but the price of it was out of my budget. Tommee Tippee Twist & Click Nappy Disposal Tub caught my eye after watching numerous Youtube videos. How this diaper pail works is that it will individually wrap each nappy, safely sealing away germs and odors. The only setback for this is that it has its disposable bags which come in individual cassettes thus you have to refill them once they’re finished. So that will be a permanent buy for as long as you’re using this diaper pail. I found a similar bin on Lazada and Amazon called Ubbi which functions the same (Odor-free diaper pail) but without the need to refill the disposal bags.
  • Diaper bag. Technically you do need a bag but it doesn’t have to be a specific diaper bag. You could use just any bag you own but it’s nice to have a proper diaper bag; with all its useful compartments.
  • Changing table. I almost got this foldable changing table but there was just no space in our bedroom. Honestly, though, you’ll find the nearest flat surface (in my case, the baby crib) to change diapers, especially at night time when you’re just so tired to move around.

Feeding Essentials

Whether you’re gonna breastfeed or bottlefeed, these things are crucial when the time comes.

Breastfeed Essentials

  • Breastpump. I can’t recommend what’s best as it differs for everyone and I only tried and used one which is the Spectra 9+ and it works well for me. 
  • Breastmilk storage. The storages come in 2 different forms; ziplock bags and bottles. I used the bags as I find them much easier to store and they take less space in the fridge/freezer.
  • Nursing ads. I didn’t know this was crucial but when milk started to stain my shirts, I bought the pads straight away.
  • Nipple Cream. You must have this by your bedside, at all times. Your nipples will crack like nobody’s business. 

Bottlefeed Essentials

  • Bottles and Teats. Choosing bottles even before the baby is born might be a bit challenging. Initially, I bought the Comotomo bottles, as it was said to prevent nipple confusion as it mimics the natural breastfeeding experience. However, my newborn proved me wrong. She did not like the Comotomo and we switched to the Avent (Amazon has them too) bottles and she still uses them until this day.

Tip: Buy a few different bottle brands. You just got to try and error when it comes to bottles.

  • Bottle Warmer. I didn’t think this was crucial in the beginning, however, my newborn had problems latching so we had to bottlefeed her. Having to warm up my EBM using hot water every single time was time-consuming so when I found out about this bottle warmer from Momama, it changed my life. It is small and portable, making it so easy to bring for hospital trips and outings. This bottle warmer can adapt to most bottle brands as they have suitable adapters according to the bottles. I found a similar portable bottle warmer on Amazon as well.
  • Bottle Sterilizer. This is another important item. Not only do you need to sterilize the bottles, all your baby’s toys/teethers, etc will need to be sterilized first before usage. I am currently using this Avent sterilizer, handed down from my sister. It is 4 years old and still working well. Amazon carries them too.
  • Bottle Brushes. Have extras, it will save you from future headaches. Lots of choices on Lazada and Amazon.
  • Air Tight Formula Container. This I did not purchase before I gave birth, which I should have. I am using two of these containers from a brand called Ankou. They come in different sizes and are lightweight too. 

Nice-to-have Feeding Essentials

  • Milk Collector. This will be very helpful if you’re using a single pump. While you’re pumping on one side, on the other side you’ll use the milk collector. I used this Hakka (Amazon) Milk Collector to save the excess, dripping milk. You will be surprised at how much you are able to collect on this non-pumping side and as you know, EVERY SINGLE DROP COUNTS.
  • Nursing bras. In my experience, you could leave without this BUT if you want to make your life a tad easier, investing in nursing bras would be a good idea. 
  • Nursing pillow. You could leave without this too. I used mine a couple of times during the first week but ended up forgetting about it. However, my sister couldn’t live without it, as it has helped her nurse her son better. I think this nursing pillow would be helpful to moms who breastfeed their newborns compared to bottlefeed sessions. 
  • Bottle-drying rack. I don’t have this but it is handy for drying bottles, pacifiers, teethers, and such.
  • Milk Booster/Supplements. I heard about this but didn’t know it would be beneficial for me (positive first-time breastfeeding mom here) but I ended up needing supplements to help me boost my milk supply. I only tried lactation cookies by Lactomama.  
  • Lactation Massager. Engorged breasts are no joke. So that is why this massager will come in handy. I was recommended by a friend to use the LaVie massager and it was a life-saver.

Healthy and Safety Essentials

  • Diaper Cream. My sister recommended Bepanthen and I am now recommending this to you. So far no nappy rash on my newborn. 
  • Rash Cream/Lotion. This was recommended by my pediatrician as my newborn has mild rashes caused by heat and milk excess, it is called Ezerra. Both Diaper and Rash creams I use religiously every day, right after baths.
  • Minyak Telon. A baby-safe oil to help her ease her tummy of any irritable gas. 
  • Thermometer. An important item to have with you at all times. Best to get the ear thermometer as it is the most accurate. You can get it on Lazada or Amazon.
  • Nasal Aspirator and Nasal Spray. Useful items to have on standby. The nasal aspirator will help to remove mucus and the nasal spray (Sterimar), which was recommended by my pediatrician, will relieve and ease your baby’s breathing. 
  • Baby nail scissors/clippers. To help trim your newborn’s nails safely and smoothly. Initially, we used this Electric Trimmer but it was quite a hassle as it takes a longer time to trim. We ended up using this baby’s nail scissors (Amazon) and it took my husband (he does it, I’m too scared) only half the time if he uses the electric trimmer.

Sleeping Essentials

  • White noise. We downloaded an App called White Noise+, for free on Apple Store. This App helped us tremendously during the earlier weeks. We put this on almost every night just to help our baby girl fall asleep.
  • Crib, mattress, and extra bedding sheets. We recycled my sister’s old baby crib bought from Ikea and bought extra sheets as with a newborn, there will be constant spit ups thus needing to change the sheets now and then.
  • Swaddle (kain bedung as we call it here in Malaysia) is equally important. This will help to soothe your newborn and she/he sleeps better as swaddling resembles the mother’s womb. Nowadays there are a lot of swaddle types including velcro (Clevemama has them, a pack of 3 for RM165) and zipper ones which I used before from a local Malaysian brand called Gugu. You can also get them at AliExpress or Amazon.
  • Nightlight. A must, especially if you registered with the Ministry of Health (KKM), their nurses will have their weekly newborn visits, and this is required by them under their ruling; to have a nightlight in the bedroom where your baby sleeps. It will be very useful for night feeding and diaper changing too.

Nice-to-have Sleeping Essentials

baby monitor
Baby Monitor
  • Baby Monitor. I got it before I delivered, but have only used it twice so far. Probably because I am always with her in the same room. Nonetheless, I think it will be a good investment and will be of good usage once she gets older and has her room. A similar one on Amazon and Lazada.

Newborn Toys and Entertainment Essentials

  • Playmat. A soft mat with hanging toys keeps my baby girl entertained during the day. I could just leave her on this mat and she will be happily contented playing with the dangling toys.
  • Tummy-time pillow. I found this pillow very useful during tummy time. It helps to stabilize your baby while on his/her tummy and the toys that come with it will help them to distract themselves.
  • Pacifiers. Some parents may disagree with me, so you do you. So far, having a pacifier has helped to soothe and calm my baby girl when she gets a bit fussy or feels discomfort. 
  • Soft toys/Teether. You may not need a lot of them during the newborn stage but having a few will keep them entertained.

Nice-to-have Newborn Toys and Entertainment Essentials

  • Baby swing/rocker. I had high hopes for this baby swing but unfortunately, my baby girl is not a fan. Hopefully, when she is a bit older she appreciates it. Next baby (what?) I would want to try this baby rocker, it seems more practical, and am pretty sure babies prefer the rocking “up and down” movements rather than “side to side”.

Travel Gear Essentials

  • Car seat. VERY IMPORTANT.
  • Baby Carrier. Two free hands while having your baby close to you? WIN. I use this from Konny and my baby girl loves being in it. The downside of this is that it has sizes. Another good one is this carrier and this; suitable for everyone, no specific sizes.

Nice-to-have Gear Essentials

  • Stroller. I put this under nice-to-have is because during the first couple of months you don’t really need it unless you’ll be bringing your newborn out often. The first three months of my newborn’s life were just hospital trips for her regular checkups and we used her car seat to put her in while waiting for the doctor. Also, make sure you research thoroughly on the stroller that will fit your lifestyle the most; whether you want it to be travel-friendly or park-friendly. We bought the Joie Litrax 3 but now we’re beginning to rethink our decision as this stroller is super heavy. The reasons we bought this are because (1) it is reversible (you can position it to face you or out), (2) one hand, quick compact fold, and (3) the wheels are big and durable which means it won’t easily wear out. 

Hope this checklist helps you in preparing for your newborn’s arrival! If I did miss out on any items, do let me know in the comments below!

XO,

Amirah Z.

Disclaimer: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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