What a new baby actually needs - here's a list!

Melanie, a local Sydney mum of two, was kind enough to share her experience of all the things she needed with a new baby.  This is not a list for the hospital, it is simply all the things a new baby needs… Most are to buy now (before your baby arrives), but if it starts with a W: it means wait you may not need it, or a B: borrow it or buy it later

Please note that this list is in no way my recommendation or things that you HAVE to have.  I’m sharing it simply in the hope you find this useful (or can at least get you thinking about what you may like to buy, borrow or wait to decide later).  In my personal experience, babies actually need very little and you can quite easily work out along the way the things you need to make your motherhood (or parenthood) journey easier for you. 

Your baby will simply come along for the ride, and only wants to feel warm, fed and safe with your love and nurture.

Now you have a new baby, what do you actually need?  See here for more info:  https://www.essentialme.com.au/blog/2018/02/26/new-baby-list



  • Total baby app download on phone – we found this really helpful for the first couple of weeks for tracking feeds and poos (yes you need to keep track of poos – colour, consistency!!)


  • Change Table
  • Change mat and 2 covers for it
  • Cloth toweling nappies (not to use for nappies but everything else i.e. on change table/sick etc)
  • Sudo cream
  • Vaseline
  • Cotton wool balls/pads
  • Spray Water bottle (use this for cleaning face and for nappy changes)
  • Big pump of hand sanitizer to quickly wash your hands after a change.
  • Box of tissues
  • Cotton buds: baby
  • Nappies – newborn size x5 packets. You'll need huggies newborn. You will use around 8-10 a day. Don’t buy too many Newborn sized nappies, they grow out of them pretty quickly.
  • Nappy Bin
  • Baby wipes: fragrance free, hypo allergenic
  • Nappy sacs
  • Mobile to hang above change table


  • Bassinet & mattress - get one on wheels or rocker and light so you can move it around and rock it whilst in bed
  • B: Cot & mattress – preferable with drop down sides for easy lifting
  • 2 fitted sheets for cot and/or bassinet: Bamboo are divine. Don't buy sheet sets as you will only use the fitted ones.
  • 2 waterproof mattress protectors for cot and/or bassinet
  • Blankets/muslin/wraps
    • 4 Wraps - you'll need 2 x muslin ones and 2 x thicker ones
    • 1 houdini swaddle – we used in the beginning
    • 2 zip up swaddles - "love to dream".
    • 2 Warm blankets to cover baby with in cot (1 cotton cellular/hospital-style blankets with holes)
  • B: Baby monitor


  • Feeding chair
  • W: Feeding cushion? – I never ended up using it
  • Breast pads - Pigeon brand are the best.
  • W: Nipple shields – if you need them
  • W: Lansinoh cream for your nipples if you need it or paw paw.
  • Bottles (small) – I used Pigeon brand which were good
  • Tin of formula - hopefully you won't need it but worth having in the cupboard in case .
  • Bottle and teat brush
  • W: Dummies - you might not want to use them
  • Bottle Sterilizer kit
  • W: Hire a Medela Breast pump if you’re breastfeeding - medela electric expressing machine, same make as the hospital uses which.. Whatever brand you go with buy their bottles too.. I made the mistake of getting the medela expresser and closer to nature bottles and they don't work together. I don’t think you are supposed to start pumping until like 6 weeks and BF is established so no need to buy it before the baby comes but I would recommend the electric option.
  • Bibs
  • Lamp/night light and clock for next to feeding chair on small table


  • Outfits - have some newborn/ 0000's outfits and singlets ready to go. Don't forget socks, mittens and beanie to keep them warm when first born. They live in onesies for the first few months, so much easier than pants and tops/ dresses/overalls for changing.
  • Singlets
  • onesies
  • socks/booties
  • scratch mittens (I never ended up using – I have a couple of pairs you can have)
  • cardigans/jumpers
  • sun hat
  • beanies

Out and about

  • Car seat: needs to be professionally fitted
  • Muslin (to cover pram when out – white ones cause a glare for baby’s eyes. Don’t cover the whole pram though, there needs to be air/circulation)
  • Pram – I have the bugaboo chameleon, it's easy to drive and fold up in the car
  • Sunshade/rain cover for the pram
  • Clips to hang muslin on pram
  • B: Portacot – for when you go away
  • Baby Carrier – mine didn’t really like it but I know other mums who couldn't live without it.
  • Car window shades for your rear door windows
  • Baby bag (get one that can fit over the pram’s handles)

Bath time

  • Baby bath.
  • Bath thermometer, we used it every time we run a bath.
  • soap free baby wash / shampoo / moisturiser.
  • 2 Face washers
  • Cotton buds to clean umbilical cord (just use water to clean)
  • 2 hooded bath towels
  • Nail scissors or clippers
  • Hair brush

First Aid

  • Emergency contact numbers (GP, hospital, 24 hour medical services)
  • Guide to administering first-aid
  • Book on illnesses
  • Thermometer
  • Antiseptic lotion
  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Childrens insect repellent
  • Baby dymadon/Panadol or neurofen (on Dr’s advice)
  • B: Bonjela / teething paste
  • Ice-pack (good for your boobs when breastfeeding!!!)

Play things

  • B: Bouncer - when they get a little bigger.
  • B: Floor matt play thing.
  • Toys for hanging on pram, car seat

Nappy Bag (what to pack)

  • Nappies
  • Spare change of clothes
  • Bib
  • Towel nappy
  • Nappy sacks
  • Sudo cream/Vaseline/paw paw etc.
  • Baby wipes
  • Soft tissues
  • Travel size anti-bacterial hand wash
  • Baby sun-screen
  • Sun hat
  • Beanie
  • Socks
  • Change matt (usually with bag)
  • Disposable change matts
  • Toy

For you

  • B: Feeding bras (if breastfeeding) – I ended up just using little braletts as my boobs weren’t big. You have to sleep in them too
  • Clothes that button down at the front/easy access
  • Multi vits for pregnancy/breastfeeding