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New parent checklist: Everything first-time parents need

New parent checklist: Everything first-time parents need

Shopping for baby gear and products can seem overwhelming when there are so many options out there. Don’t stress! This is why we’ve created a new parent checklist with a list of essential baby must-haves that you’ll need for your baby’s first year. 

There’s a lot to do when you’re preparing for your baby’s arrival. This can seem like a never ending list like choosing your baby’s name, researching the best baby products to buy, taking prenatal classes, items to pack in your hospital bag, and so much more - on top of attending your prenatal appointments. Shopping for baby gear and products can seem overwhelming when there are so many options out there. Don’t stress! This is why we’ve created a new parent checklist with a list of essential baby must-haves that you’ll need for your baby’s first year. 


Baby Sleep Essentials

New parents often hear how the fourth trimester will be full of sleepless newborn nights as you navigate your parenting journey. To help your baby sleep, here are some baby sleep essentials:

  • Crib with a crib mattress and/or bassinet
  • Fitted crib sheets - Line the crib mattress with two fitted crib sheets and you won’t need to change it if a late-night accident happens. 
  • Waterproof crib mattress protector - You’ll want one of these to help protect your baby’s crib mattress from blowouts and late-night accidents. 
  • Baby monitor 
  • Swaddle sleep bags - At Nest Designs, we have designed startle stop swaddle sleep bags and swaddle sleep bags to help soothe your newborn baby’s natural startle reflex. 
  • Swaddle blankets - These help swaddle your baby to make them feel snug and cozy. They’re also multipurpose and can be used as a nursing cover, burp cloth, or lay it down during tummy time.
  • Sleep bags - Once your baby starts to roll, you’ll need to stop swaddling. This is when sleep bags come in handy.


Read our guide How to Choose the Right Sleep Bag to learn the differences between a swaddle sleep bag and the sleep bag. 


Baby Diapering Essentials

In a baby’s first year of life, they use about 2,000 to 2,200 diapers. That’s a big number! Making change diapers easier with these diapering essentials: 


  • Change table 
  • Change pad with cover 
  • Waterproof change pad - Add one of these to your diaper bag or in another area of your home like your living room for on-the-go diaper changes. You can also use a waterproof change pad when your little one is ready for potty training too!
  • Baby wipes - With all the diaper changes you’ll need to do in the first year alone, we recommend our dry baby wipes to reduce the amount that will be thrown into the landfills. Our dry baby wipes are made from 100% cotton and are fully biodegradable. Read more about Sustainable Alternatives to Wet Wipes
  • Diaper pail
  • Diaper pail refills 
  • Diapers
  • Diaper cream 

Baby Bathing & Wellness Essentials 

Bath time is a perfect way to help your baby wind down at the end of the night. When it becomes a part of their bedtime routine, it helps to signal to them that it’s almost time to sleep. Plus, did you know that it actually cools their body temperature down which promotes better sleep? Below are baby bathing and wellness essentials: 


  • Baby bathtub 
  • Baby soap
  • Burp cloths - Our Burp ‘n Bibs are made for after feed burping sessions. When your little one is ready for solids, they can be turned into a big bib. 
  • Washcloths
  • Hooded towel
  • Bandana bibs - These are great for when your baby is teething and they’re drooling endlessly. Our bandana bibs are adjustable and great for babies and toddlers so you’ll be able to use them during meal times too!
  • Nasal aspirator 
  • Thermometer 
  • Baby laundry detergent
  • Baby bottles
  • Pacifier
  • Pacifier clips


Baby Clothing Essentials

Baby clothes are ridiculously cute. Everything is so tiny that it makes it super adorable. Below are some essentials for your baby’s wardrobe. We know how cute baby shoes are but it’s definitely something you can skip until your little one starts walking. 

  • Onesies - Depending when your baby is born, there are different options for onesies such as long sleeve onesies, short sleeve onesies, and kimono-style onesies. Babies need to be changed multiple times a day and kimono-style onesies are a newborn must-have. The snaps along the side make it easier to  change your baby.
  • Rompers
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Scratch-proof mittens


Mama Essentials

Mamas often forget to buy themselves things when it comes to prepping for their baby’s arrival. But you’re equally important as your baby. Whether you’re planning to nurse your baby or not, here are some essentials:


  • Nursing PJs - Our nursing PJs are great whether you plan to breastfeed or not. The pant’s elastic waistband with an adjustable tab makes it comfortable to wear during pregnancy and postpartum. 
  • Nursing cover 
  • Snacks station - Many mamas forget to feed themselves throughout the day. A snacks station is something you or your partner could set up to make sure you aren’t hungry. Our favourites include nuts, dried fruit, shelled edamame, egg bites, and oatmeal.
  • Nursing pads
  • Water bottle
  • Baby carrier

Although preparing for a baby may seem overwhelming, it is also an exciting time. There are many items to shop for including essential must-haves and nice-to-have items. We hope this list of essential items helps you feel more prepared for your exciting parenting journey to come! Don't worry, you've got this!

Did we miss any new parent must-haves you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments below!