1 In Baby/ mom life

What Baby (and Mom) ACTUALLY need

Let me begin by saying if you ask 10 moms “what do I need?” you are likely going to get 10 different answers all with the phrase “but, do what you think” at the end of their explanations. Well, you can certainly “do what you think” but I am here today to give you something to follow.
Little Dude – 3 days old (First Halloween)
Before I ever thought of writing a blog I had asked this question and was lucky enough to be given a detailed list from a friend to follow when preparing for Little Dude’s arrival. I used the list (while of course doing what I thought…) and was not disappointed. The friend who had shared their list has a child a few years older than Little dude so of course a few things changed prompting me to re-vamp the list to be able to share with my pregnant friends at the time.
In particular, I re-vamped the list for the expected arrival of Little L, a spunky little lady who’se mom I absolutely love as a friend and is one of the best travel partners and hostesses going (She was even the Calgary, Alberta Hometown Hostess – check out the post here). Sarah has always given me honest feedback and advice when chatting about any topic and so I wanted to make the list I sent her the best it could possibly be.
Now, 2.5 years or so later while I am getting ready for Baby #2 to arrive, I realized I had this huge list of valuable information that I have not yet shared with all of you – let’s fix that shall we?
Without further ado, allow me to share my Baby Shopping Checklist.
**This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase one 
of the products linked in this post, I may receive a small commission.**
This newborn baby checklist is a complete list of newborn needs; you will be prepared for one of the most precious days of your life. Remember when buying clothing – only buy a few in one size as your baby will grow very fast (and clothing is typically the number one thing other’s will buy you as gifts).
Little Dude – 1 day old
  • Onesie(s) [I brought 4 and used two… this will ultimately depend on how long you are actually in the hospital. My recommendation would be to bring 3 in total, 2 newborn size and one bigger just in case your baby is a big one! Since I do not know the sex of the baby this time I am bringing 5 – 2 boy onesies, 2 girl onesies and 1 gender neutral onesie]
  • Baby receiving blanket or swaddle blanket and a heavier blanket if the weather is cold
  • Cap/Hat for in the hospital and a warmer one for the day you leave
  • Diapers and wipes (some hospitals provide an initial supply of these) [You can ask about this at one of your appointments leading up to delivery as what is supplied is different province by province and sometimes even hospital by hospital]
  • Infant car seat [The one we have is the Maxi Cosi Mico AP, bought based on safety rating and it was compatible with the stroller we chose – whichever you choose make sure you shop for a car seat that is compatible with your stroller! When the carseat connects to your stroller it is a huge advantage when going places, especially by yourself, with the baby.]
  • Diaper bag [There are a million options for this item… With Little Dude I chose a diaper bag that looks like a large leather purse with the intention of using it post-baby for work travel etc. In the first month after Little Dude was born I was extremely happy I chose a bag that I loved vs. something that had cartoon characters all over it… it was one of the only things that felt “normal” to carry around during that time. You gals may not have the same feelings as I did, but it is something to consider. I am grateful I invested in my Kate Spade bag and will use it this time around as well. I also purchased a backpack diaper bag for Baby #2 keeping with a more designer feel, but adding to the practicality of a backpack knowing that I will often have Little Dude and the baby on my own.]
  • Pacifier [many hospitals will frown upon this especially if you plan to breast feed. I did not bring on to the hospital the first time around for that reason, but that was a mistake – I have one in my hospital bag this time!]
  • Breastfeeding essentials for Mom (Nursing bra, nipple cream, nursing bra pads)
  • “Going home outfit” [if in the cold weather this will likely consist of a onesie and a cute bunting of sorts for baby – and for Mom, don’t try to be a hero! There is no award for fitting into something a day after giving birth. Pack a comfortable maternity outfit that you can rock and be confident in postpartum.]
  • Plastic zippered pouch or folder to hold hospital documents [I took 2 large ziplock freezer bags]
  • Sanitary pads the size of your head [I am not even kidding. Buy a big bag. Take what you can from the hospital. Use depends, use whatever you can think of to make YOU comfortable! Watch for sales and buy lots of pads and keep in mind you will be lying down/sitting more than usual so longer/overnight ones are better]
  • Advil or your preferred type of pain killers
  • Hemorrhoid cream [I am spoiling (being sarcastic here…haha) myself this time around and bought hemorrhoid soothing, flushable wipes too]
  • Bathrobe [you will be up and down a lot through the night…nice to have to keep warm and cover up depending on your preferences.]
  • Fresh pjs or a nightgown for the first few days/weeks of mama hood. [I have one pair of maternity capri pyjama pants that I have been wearing constantly]
Be sure to double check my Hospital Bag Essentials, including what I am packing in my hospital bag for Baby #2, myself and the Mr, this is where to find my complete hospital bag checklist that will certainly get you through!

The Nursery

41 weeks pregnant with Little Dude (yes, that is 1 week overdue!)
  • Crib
  • Fitted crib sheets (2-between spit-up and leaky diapers, you’ll use both)
  • Waterproof crib mattress (tight enough so two fingers can’t fit between the mattress and crib)
  • Receiving blankets [I have 8 receiving blankets and 4 swaddle blankets and have plenty! I use them as blankets, I put one under Little Dude’s head area in his bassinet/crib and as burp clothes when feeding. With the amount I have I didn’t run out over the span of at least a week. Don’t over buy… we haven’t used any of the receiving blankets since Little Dude was 4-5 months; we did still use the swaddle blankets for a much longer period of time]
  • Changing table [I use the top of a HEMNES IKEA dresser for this.]
  • Changing Pad and cover [Get 2 changing pad covers. Also to make the change pad a bit more secure on the dresser I put the sticky thing you would put under a rug underneath so it doesn’t move.]
  • Monitor [We bought one that has video and sound for Little Dude and really loved having those features. The brand we bought is Lenovo, for no reason other than it looked good at the store and had all the features of the more expensive ones. Basically, we went middle of the pack, not the cheapest, but not the Cadillac of monitors] – We used this a lot when travelling as well! Get one!


Little Dude – 3 days old
  • Disposable diapers (50 to 70 per week-no, I’m not kidding) [I buy what is on sale, however stick with either pampers or huggies. We have tried many different brands and these were our favourites, for both the Mr. and I. The Mr. loves the ones with the “pee indicator strip” on the outside – I’m pretty sure most brands have this now.]
  • Wipes [We use Huggies Natural care wipes, they are thicker and less “slimy” feeling than pampers etc. We use typically 1 wipe per change and 2 when there is poop involved. A package of 184 wipes has been lasting us about a month. Note: I wrote this when Little Dude was 2 months old I think AND on another note, I also use these as face wipes/make up removers for myself]
  • Petroleum jelly (to apply during each diaper change) [We only used this for the first week or two]
  • Diaper rash cream with zinc oxide (to use if your child gets a rash) [We have used this since day 5 and continue to use it all the time… we had Aveeno Diaper Rash cream which sadly they don’t make anymore so have purchased the PC zinc oxide cream in its place which has worked fine.] We stopped using this when he was 4 months old and then had a tube/jar on hand but only used on occasion when his bum looked a little red.

Health and General Care

  • Safety first kit that includes: Thermometer, Bulb syringe (or snot sucker of some type), Infant Nail Clippers [we used the nail clippers a lot and really nothing else…]
  • Baby lotion (for dry skin after the first few months) [We use Aveeno, get one big bottle and that will last you a LONG time]


Little Dude’s first bath in his tub


  • Plastic infant tub with supportive sling or baby-sized sponge to prevent slipping (used until your baby can sit up) [I have the fisher price bath tub and really like it. The seat inside can be used to store toys in the future and it has two settings which is nice (for smaller/bigger babies). Someone bought me a travel bath seat. It was useful over Christmas in Cape Breton however is only good for very small babies; Little dude was at capacity at Christmas time (2 months old)… so unless someone else buys those kinds of things for you don’t waste your money. Also, there are all kinds of vibrating tubs etc. I think these are a waste of money… a baby’s bath is 5 minutes tops and they are either going to be happy or scream. I don’t think a vibrating tub would make any difference…just food for thought.]
  • Baby shampoo [We use Aveeno – a bottle of this lasts a LONG time!]
  • Washcloths (6 to 8)
  • Hooded towel (1) [we have a few, but would not have needed more than 1. Also, as soon as Little Dude got a bit bigger I didn’t find these towels big enough/warm enough so he uses one of our “regular people” towels… I just wash it with his soap instead of ours.]


  • Bath toys (from about 6 months on) [do not buy… you will likely get these as gifts by the time the baby needs/wants them and since bath time is pretty quick baby will likely play with/suck on a face cloth the whole time or play with a rubber duckie… Little Dude only started to play with bath toys at almost 9 months old, this frog was his favourite for in the bath and the pool outside]
  • Kneeling pad for Mom/Dad [I received the “Moby Whale” bath kneeler made by SkipHop as a gift and it certainly makes bath time more comfortable for the parent! I would buy this again and again… I have also have since purchased the elbow pad for Mom/Dad. Good for longer “fun” bath time]
  • Bath mat for baby to sit on in the tub and water pouring spout. I bought these when Little Dude was about 9 months old for the transition to the “big tub” both from the “moby whale” SkipHop collection.


Little Dude visiting Baddeck, Cape Breton


  • Car seat (to be secured facing backwards until your child is 1 year and 22-25 pounds) [see first section for details]
  • Mirror to be able to view baby while he is rear facing [Well worth the $20! We actually bought two of these as we found switching the car seat and the base from car to car wasn’t so bad but getting the mirror in place was a hastle. $40 in total for 2… it was a no brainer!]
  • Stroller [Disclaimer: I was willing to invest in this item… and chatted all about it here]


  • Front carrier, sling for out and about journeys [I was given an Ergo Baby Carrier from my colleagues wife at the time. I have no complaints about it… I liked using it however much prefer the stroller. Personal preference…]
  • Portable crib/Play Pen [we have a very simple one with no bells and whistles… it has served its purpose very well. Playpen sheets are available almost everywhere for about $12 per sheet, we have 1 and that has been fine.]
  • Car Seat Cover for colder months [I was given a “Pookie Poncho” as a gift and LOVE it. It fits over the car seat, baby carrier, stroller seat and toddler car seat. So it is very versatile and good to -35 degree. I took Little Dude for walks in -15 with PJ’s on, a blanket and a hat and he comes home almost in a sweat. It really works well and will last for multiple years.]

Feeding – Nursing / Bottle Feeding

Nursing Essentials:

  • Nursing pillow (to keep your baby in position and save your back)
  • Nursing pads (to prevent leakage)
  • Lanolin cream (to prevent chaffing)
  • Breast pump (electric or manual) – Pump carrying case, plastic bags for storing milk in the freezer, and supplies. Pricy but essential for times between breast/bottle/breast feedings. Manual pump might be more cost effective in this case… [Note: this advice is from the original list I received from a friend since nursing did not workout for me]
  • Bottles (2 to 3 for serving pumped milk)
  • Nursing cover [the one I linked has multiple uses, so looks like a good buy, especially for the price]
  • Bibs [I used 1-2 per day and have enough to last me a week or more]

Nursing Nice-to-have:

  • Bottle warmer (for warming refrigerated breast milk if your baby prefers the warm stuff) Follow the rule of five when pumping breast milk. Five hours out of the fridge, five days in the fridge, five months in the freezer. [Although Little Dude was bottle fed from 3 weeks old on, we did not use a bottle warmer. We always fed him room temperature formula… this made traveling and  being on the go a breeze as well!]

Bottle Feeding Essentials:

  • Bottles [I have 5 bottles in total. 2 5 oz size and 3 10 oz size. It has worked out very well. The brand I use is Nukk]
  • Bottle washing wand (my technical made up term, I use an IKEA wash brush and find that works just as well or better than an actual bottle brush, however do have a bottle brush and use the end for washing the nipples.]
  • Drying Rack [I love the Boon drying rack that I have with the flower accessory for drying the nipples]
  • Bibs [I use 1-2 per day and have enough to last me a week or more]

Bottle Feeding Nice-to-have:

  • Bottle Maker – this thing was worth every penny! I loved the convenience of it, and if I didn’t already own one certainly have this on my “essential” list for baby #2.


Little Dude – 3 months old

No, you don’t need all these toys; pick your favorites…

Birth to 3 Months

  • Bouncy seat [I was hesitant about this, but received one as a gift and am VERY happy we have it. Little Dude loved this seat and we used it all the time. He started using it at about a month old. The best feature to me is that it is mobile…I bring it to the bathroom/shower, kitchen, bedroom…all over the house]
  • Swing [We have the Mama Roo swing and really love it. I will say though if I lived in a  bigger house I may not have chosen this model as it is not the cheapest, but it does take up far less space than most swings. So in our case that was a huge benefit. If you do go with the Mama Roo I would recommend NOT spending extra on the one that can be controlled with your phone. That is the one we received and although very cool, we do not use it enough the warrant the extra money…Little Dude napped in this ALOT and used it until he was 5 months]
  • Play mat with dangling objects hanging from above [We have the Baby Einstein Caterpillar one…this one seems to be the updated version of it.]
  • Scout/Violet Dog by LeapFrog. [Little Dude received Scout as a gift and he really loves him! Also, this toy comes in handy as it plays bed time music for 5, 10 or 15 minutes… I use it for that a lot so Little Dude falls asleep on his own. Scout has basically replaced a musical mobile in his bed. I like this better than the aquariums you can attach to the crib since you can easily take Scout out of the bed once the baby falls asleep… Little Dude hit his head on the aquarium several times and would flail his arms hitting it and turning it back on in the night. It lasted 2 nights and was removed…]

4 to 6 Months

  • Foam Floor Tiles [we received the SkipHop Foam floor tiles as a gift. I love them and love that they are for kids but in adult colours, especially since they are in our living room.]
  • Discovery cubes
  • Teethers (Sophie the Giraffe is a must, although I have a super fun llama one for baby #2 that my Mom bought during our trip to Vancouver last fall) [Little Dude started using Sophie at 2.5 months]
  • Toy with holder that will attach to car seat or stroller [I attached some of these to the “Play mat with dangling objects” since Little Dude received a bunch as gifts. Truthfully he seemed to grab for these toys more than the ones that came with the play mat…]
  • Exersaucer [Little Dude had two… one at my house and one I put at my parent’s. He had the Baby Einstein activity jumper and the “farm yard” exersaucer. The Baby Einstein one is his favourite and is much “quieter” for Mom/Dad. These are a great!]
  • Bumbo Seat or equivalent [We received a Bumbo seat as a gift and didn’t use it as much as we thought we would, it did however become Little Dude’s “mobile seat option” for travel – Little Dude sat from a young age (4.5 months) so he really only used the bumbo seat for about a month and then preferred to sit on his own. I would still recommend getting one, but wouldn’t say it was essential. Also, you can get second hand ones very easily! So I would suggest doing that…]

For a complete list of Little Dude’s favourite toys from 0-10 months old have a look at this post I wrote at that time.

Last, but certainly not least… 

Diaper Bag Contents


  • Diapers (5 in your bag at all times)
  • Wipes [I recommend the Huggies travel clutch (available for about $5) for wipes. It is refillable, so less expensive in the end and has a good dispenser for when you are actually changing the baby.]
  • Diaper rash ointment (travel size)
  • Thin, portable changing pad [just a little extra protection from the germfest in public restrooms and other on-the-run diaper changing spots, often the trunk of my SUV… this will likely come with your diaper bag when you buy it.]
  • Swaddle blanket [Lulujo makes beautiful ones that are big enough for burping, nursing covers, shelter from wind and more. Plus they are a New Brunswick company!]
  • Face cloth for spit up, runny noses, etc. [I always kept one in my jacket pocket]
  • Snacks (appropriate to age)
  • Bottle or sippy cup (unless exclusively breastfeeding)
  • Pacifier/Pacifier clip [I use the Nukk brand to stick with the same as Little Dude’s bottles. We have 2 pacifiers that we use all the time and that is sufficient. The clip is a must when out and about! You can get them at walmart for $3-$4, however if you want to splurge a little bit there are tons of more fun options!]
  • Change of clothes in case of unexpected spit up or leaky diaper
  • Items for Mom – Hand sanitizer, lip balm, hair elastic,  advil, etc. (the stuff you always wish you had in your purse and relied on your mom friends to have…)


  • Small Toys (2 to 3, appropriate to age)
  • Board Books / Fabric Book with clip (travel size if possible)
You now have my ultimate list of what baby (and mom) ACTUALLY need. This list has served several parents well since the time it was created a few years ago and as I mentioned it has been modified each time I re-write or re-share it in order to make sure it has the most valuable information and up-to-date advice possible from the experience of real moms.
I hope you found this post extremely helpful! 
Please share it with your friends if you think it could help them along as well… 
as we teach our toddlers: sharing is caring 🙂

xo Jenna

This newborn baby checklist is a complete list of newborn needs; you will be prepared for one of the most precious days of your life. Buy what baby and mom actually need using this guide. #momlife #baby #whatbabyneeds This newborn baby checklist is a complete list of newborn needs; you will be prepared for one of the most precious days of your life. Buy what baby and mom actually need using this guide. #momlife #baby #whatbabyneeds

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    February 17, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Great list! Huge help for a new dad!

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