The ever-increasing cost of raising a child is set to exceed the $250,000 mark in the coming years. It’s understandable, then, how loving parents-to-be may feel torn when weighing up which items their newborn baby will need and which they can do without.
And then there are maternity clothes, accessories, and other items that’ll ensure your pregnancy is as safe and comfortable as possible. From nursing bras to breast pumps, strollers to sleepsacks, this list of so-called maternity essentials can feel never-ending.
Luckily, we’re here to cut through the fleeting baby trends and misplaced advice. Keep reading for the definitive list of everything you and your newborn infant will need!
Pregnancy and Maternity Essentials
Pregnancy can be a wonderful period of time that many mothers-to-be enjoy. But even if you’re struggling with morning sickness, insomnia, and everything else, there are ways to help make your journey to motherhood run smoother. Here are some essentials you’re likely to need:
Although you’ll be able to continue wearing your regular clothes for the first few months, you’ll soon need to adapt your wardrobe to accommodate your expanding belly. Some comfortable yet chic maternity clothing options are:
- Stretchy maxi and midi dresses
- Stretchy tank tops
- Maternity leggings
- Wrap dresses and blouses
- Wrap cardigans, coats, and jackets
Don’t feel you have to go out and buy a ton of new clothes you can only wear for a few months though. Opting for stretchy items means you’ll be able to wear these after pregnancy as well as during. And, you might even be able to make clothes you already own into maternity-appropriate options by rethinking how to wear them.
Smothering your skin in body oil after a bath or shower is a must when you’re expecting. Some favorites include:
- Rosehip oil
- Argan oil
- Jojoba oil
- Coconut oil
Using these oils or other pregnancy-safe alternatives reduces the chance of developing stretch marks and helps calm the itchy skin that you may experience on your expanding stomach. What’s more, this indulgent self-care practice helps you connect with your changing body as well as the baby growing inside you.
So many women swear by their pregnancy pillow that we couldn’t leave this off the list. Your budget and favorite sleeping position will determine which of the many options is best for you. But, this rundown of the best pregnancy pillows has something for everyone.
Nursing Bras and Easy-Access Tops
If you plan to breastfeed your baby, you’ll need to stock up on a few nursing bras for more convenient nursing. Likewise, to avoid having to get half-undressed every time your baby wants to feed, you’ll need to pair them with easy-access tops, such as:
- Henley tops
- Button-down shirts
- Scoop neck t-shirts and tanks
- Wrap blouses
Again, don’t feel that you have to buy new clothes if you can make the items you already own work for nursing.
Newborn Essentials Checklist
Long before your newborn infant comes along you should start planning and preparing for their arrival. While the list of newborn essentials can feel endless, here are the most important checklist items that all loving parents will need:
Newborns can sleep up to 16 hours a day. To provide a safe and comfortable sleeping space for your baby, you’ll need:
- Crib with mattress
- Fitted sheets
- 2 baby blankets
- 2-4 sleepsacks
The sleepsacks should be your go-to for most periods of sleep but the blankets can be useful for keeping them warm when they fall asleep in your arms or in their stroller.
The clothing your newborn infant will need depends a lot on your due date. So, while it might be tempting to buy the entire Hanna Andersson collection, try to limit yourself to these newborn essentials:
- 4-6 onesies
- 4-8 pajama sets
- 4 pairs of stretch cotton pants
- 4 soft cotton hoodies, cardigans, or sweatshirts
- 6-8 pairs of socks
You should also have a couple of seasonally-appropriate outfits for going out, such as a summer dress or a cute sweater, as well as a snowsuit for winter babies.
Your feeding plan and preferences will determine the exact items you’ll need here. But most loving parents will use some or all of the following:
- 6-8 cotton bibs
- 4 muslin cloths – these can serve as burp cloths, bibs, thin blankets, or for covering up when nursing in public
- Newborn formula
- 2-4 newborn bottles
- Breast pump
If you plan on combination feeding or bottle feeding, our top tip is to wait before stocking up on too much of your chosen formula as your baby may not tolerate it.
Whether you plan to use disposable diapers, washable diapers, or both, you’ll need all or some of the following items:
- Diaper bag
- Changing mat
- Diaper cream
- 10-20 washable diapers with inserts
- 2 packs of newborn diapers
- 2 packs of baby wipes
Again, stocking up on diapers can make you feel more prepared but it’s best to wait until the birth to avoid accumulating an excess of diapers that are the wrong size or not as comfortable or effective as you’d hoped.
Bathing & Grooming Supplies
To ensure your baby is clean, comfortable, and safe, you’ll also need these newborn washing and grooming essentials:
- Plastic baby and newborn infant tub – we recommend a dual-position standing bathtub
- Baby bath gel
- 2-3 washcloths
- Baby lotion
- 2 soft hooded towels
- Soft hairbrush
- Nail cutting set
To make bath time more fun, forget the bath toys and use kitchen utensils instead. Funnels, measuring cups, plastic spoons, and like are all great for entertaining your baby while you wash them.
You’ll want to show your newborn off to the world, which means the following items are all must-haves:
- Car seat
Remember to make sure that these items are suitable for your newborn infant if you plan to use them straight away. For example, many carriers aren’t suitable for babies under three months old, while some car seats have a minimum weight limit.
The Maternity Essentials That Every Mother Needs
Pregnancy can be a stressful enough time without worrying about which maternity essentials you’ll need.
But with this checklist to guide you through pregnancy and beyond, we hope you now feel more prepared for the arrival of your bundle of joy!
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