Finding it hard to narrow down what baby stuff to get without going overboard? Our baby essentials shopping checklist is a handy guide on what you’ll really need for your new baby!
Congrats on your new baby, mama! If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry because we’ve been there. Where does one even begin in the world of baby products?! Our tip: start with this baby checklist! As pregnant mamas one and all, we’re sure you’ve received plenty of advice (perhaps mostly unsolicited) over the course of your pregnancy. So please feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but the absolute best piece of wisdom we received during our pregnancy was this: “All your newborn baby really needs is love. If you can feed them, clothe them, cuddle them and give them a place to sleep, they’ll be happy.”
That’s not to say we didn’t continue to compare strollers; obsessively pore over diaper reviews; or impulse buy cute dresses, but sure enough once the baby came home, we completely forgot about most of the stuff we’d stocked up on beforehand and simply focused on getting to know (and love) our baby.
We’ve created a super handy Downloadable Baby Checklist of essentials for Sassy Mamas. We’ve divided each category into must-haves and nice-to-haves, because space and financial constraints differ for everyone. Here we’re purely focused on newborn essentials that will get you through those first few bleary months.
TOP TIP: If this is your first baby, chances are many of your friends and family will be gifting you a surplus of baby essentials! You can leave most of these items till later to see if loved ones have already gifted them to you, such as newborn baby clothes, towels and baby skincare (NB: 18 months on and I still haven’t needed to buy baby soap for my little one thanks to all the skincare sets I received! – Syazana, Editor).
See the checklist below, followed by more expanded explanations and guidelines. Happy shopping!
Newborn Baby Clothes
Your baby will live in these so you can’t have enough.
Check out: RAPH&REMY, Where to Buy Stylish Baby & Kids’ Clothes in Singapore
- Snap or Tie-Front Kimono tops
The perfect first clothing item for newborns since you don’t have to pull them over their teeny tiny delicate heads!
Check out: OETEO
Depending on how your bub will sleep, you may want footed or footless pyjamas. Get those with double-ended zippers to make late night diaper changes a breeze!
Check out: Mothercare
Essential from the get-go to keep baby from scratching themself; particularly since cutting baby fingernails can be pretty terrifying for parents!
Depending on how cold/hot your bub gets, you may or may not need socks in Singapore. Personally we never needed them until baby started visiting indoor play spots around 6 months.
Chances are your bundle of joy will receive an adorable hat gratis in the hospital; we never needed one again but some bubs might like it in air con-happy Singers!
- Dress-up outfits
You’ve gotta have at least one for a special occasion (coming home from the hospital? First family portrait? A wedding?), plus we challenge you to find anything cuter than a tiny ruffled dress or baby tuxedo.
Check out: Le Petit Society, Château de Sable
One or two will be plenty for Singapore, again this one depends on your baby’s temperature.
Baby Cleaning & Changing Essentials
- Baby wipes
Stock up on these, mama, you’re going to be changing a lot of diapers in the early days.
Check out: Bioderma
- Diapers (cloth or disposable)
Not sure which you’d prefer? Click here for our breakdown of the two camps.
Check out: Natural Moony Diapers, Guide to Cloth Diapers
- Changing mat/pad
Maybe not strictly essential, but it’s a lot easier to clean off a waterproof pad than repeatedly clean a rotation of towels (or your bedspread!).
- Baby soap/shampoo
The gentler, the better.
Check out: Guide to Kid-friendly Eczema Products in Singapore
- Baby nail clippers
We were legitimately terrified of cutting our baby’s nails, but those talons grow super quickly so it’s worth investing in a good, sharp pair to get the job done!
- Diaper cream
Not too expensive so probably worth having just in case baby has a sensitive little tush.
Check out: Desitin, Tips to Avoid Diaper Rash
- Baby oil/lotion
Great for rubbing baby down after the bath. As an alternative, consider olive or coconut oil.
Check out: Telon oil or Yu Yee oil, both available on Shopee and Lazada
Hooded ones especially are impossibly cute accessories, but it’s just as easy wrapping bub up in a regular towel.
- Changing table
A solid surface with drawers and a dedicated space for diapers and other changing materials is great, but a changing mat on any flat surface should work just as well (so long as baby can’t roll off!).
- Baby bathtub
If you only have a large bathtub or shower, it’s probably worth getting yourself one of these, although it’s easy enough cleaning wee ones in a bucket in the sink in the early days!
- Baby washing detergent
Depending on what you use to do your laundry, you may want to have extra-sensitive detergent for all those extra loads you’ll be doing once bubs arrives.
Check out: Seventh Generation
Baby’s Sleeping Needs
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborns sleep in the same room with their parents, but not in bed with them (due to suffocation risks), so a small, portable bed like a Moses basket/bassinet or co-sleeper might be best. If baby will sleep in a crib, make sure it’s on a flat surface free of blankets, bumpers or drop-rails.
- Swaddle blanket or sleep sack
Many mums swear by swaddle blankets; chances are you’ll receive heaps of them as baby shower gifts. If you’re like us, have the nurses at the hospital teach you their folding techniques because they are true pros! You might also consider more convenient alternatives like the Miracle Blanket or Woombie.
- Waterproof mattress protectors
Another must if you’re going the crib route straight off the bat.
- Crib mobiles
A nice diversion for baby that’s meant to be stimulating, although their eyesight will be so bad in the first few months they probably won’t notice it for a while!
Newborn Baby Feeding Essentials
- Milk bottles
Whether drinking formula or breastmilk, baby will definitely need bottles. Mothercare and Motherswork both have a great range to choose from.
- Manual breast pump
This is a must for any breastfeeding mama; fuss-free with no wires and super portable, which is great for popping on one breast while you’re feeding baby on the other so you can catch the let-down (and slowly build your expressed breastmilk stash)!
Check out: Recommended Manual Breast Pumps, Best Lactation Goodies and Bakes to Boost Breastmilk Supply
- Nursing bra/non-wired bras
This will make breastfeeding in public a lot more comfortable and discreet. Some nursing bras can be a little fumbly with their little clips, so we’ve also had great luck with wireless bras such as those in the Uniqlo range – just fold down the top of the cup to #freethenipple. While you’re at it, stock up on v-neck tees or button-down shirts/dresses!
- Breast pads
Engorgement and leakage are inevitable joys of the first six weeks while your body settles into its breastfeeding rhythm. Best be prepared, mama! There are plenty of disposable and reusable ones to choose from.
- Milk formula
For mamas who choose not to or are unable to breastfeed.
- Milk storage
If you’ll be storing excess milk in the freezer, make sure to stock up on sturdy, sealable bags. Baby food storage solutions work well too!
- Feeding/burp cloth/Cotton bibs
Might not come in handy straight away, but if your bub struggles with reflux or drools they’ll be useful.
- Nursing pillow
We found this made nursing a lot more comfortable in the first couple months (otherwise your arms and back will get awfully achy from all those feeds), but you could probably find any number of suitable pillows around the house – you may just need to stack several of them to find a comfortable position. So we still highly recommend nursing pillows!
Nice to haves:
- Electrical breast pump
Obviously a must for any breastfeeding mama; if possible, try to purchase abroad to save money (but be mindful of any electrical conversions).
Check out: The Best Breast Pumps in Singapore (with Discounts for Sassy Mamas!)
- Bottle warmer
This is not essential (any large vessel in which you immerse bottles, pacifiers, etc. in boiling water would do just as well). However, we have found that having a steriliser saves a lot of time!
Check out: LoveAmme
- Bottle drying rack
Out & About with Baby
Whether you’re taking a walk in the park or picking up groceries, there’ll be lots of times a stroller is easier than a baby carrier.
Check out: Best Strollers in Singapore; Babyzen Yoyo+ Review; Bugaboo Strollers Review; Joolz Stroller Review
- Car seat
An absolute safety requirement. We’ve got all the deets on what’s legally required in Singapore.
- Baby carrier
For those times when you need your hands free (or bubs just wants to snuggle), babywearing will be invaluable. Make sure you snag yourself an infant insert for the early days, but be mindful of overheating.
Check out: Top 5 Baby Carriers to Try
- Portable changing mat
These make diaper changes on the go a snap; the best ones will have space for a couple diapers and wipes, too.
- Diaper bag
There are a number of things to consider when choosing a diaper bag — do you want a gender-neutral style so hubs can take it out? Would you like one that comes with built-in changing mats? Does it give easy access to your phone, or does it have insulated sections for bottles or snacks? Check out: Diaper Bag Checklist
- Stroller organiser/caddy
You’ll be surprised at how handy these can be in keeping necessities close – drink, purse, kids’ little toys…
Around the House
- Activity gym/playmat
Check out: Baaba
- Soft/crinkle books
Check out: Amazon
- Assorted toys
Check out: Best Open-ended Toys for All Ages
- Feeding pillow/Baby cushion
Something like a Boppy or Podster is great for stashing bubs comfortably on a flat surface, and can also come in handy for other caregivers with bottle feeds.
- Bouncy chair or swing
These can be lifesavers for your arms if you find yourself constantly carrying, swaying and bobbing your bub! A bouncy chair or swing is great for going hands-free, with functions like bouncing, swinging, vibrating and even music. Not all babies will stand for being out of your arms though, so be warned before you spend on this big-ticket item!
- Nursing chair
The nursery of our dreams, of course, features coordinated furniture and a sweet glider for those perfect feeding moments, but at the end of the day any chair with good support will probably get the job done!
Check out: How to Create the Perfect Nursery
- Baby monitor
Great for keeping tabs on bub’s sleeping habits when you’re out of the room.
Baby Health & Safety
- Baby thermometer
There will come a time when your baby has a fever, so might as well prepare ahead of time!
- SOS medicine
Newborns are generally not prescribed medicine by doctors unless absolutely necessary, but the one medicine we always have on standby is liquid paracetamol. Make sure it’s one for babies and you only give it in the stated dosage when needed.
- Snot suckers
- Balm to soothe eczema, diaper rash, mosquito bites
Check out: Inara Organics, Utama Spice
Just remember, parenting is a learning process, and just like you or I have our preferences, so will your baby. We wish you lots of happiness figuring out what works, together!
Click here to download our Baby Checklist in a handy format that you can pop in your purse!