My thoughts and opinions on life, work, and everything in between.

Baby Shopping List

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It's easy to convince yourself that you need everything, and that you will save yourself time by pre-preparing. What we've found is that in reality there are only a handful of things you really need before baby arrives.

We found it helpful to make a list of the essential (marked below) must haves that we bought ahead of time, and to make a list of researched situational (marked ~) items that we knew where and how we could buy quickly in case we needed it.


  • [ ] Stroller
    • After trying a couple of different ones, we went with the UPPAbaby Vista 2 for its easy of use, mobility, and build quality (when compared to similar competing options).
  • [ ] Infant car seat
    • We went with the UPPAbaby Mesa since we were already bought into the UPPAbaby ecosystem.
    • A tip from friends was to consider getting an extra base or an entire extra car seat for additional cars so you don't need to constantly re-install the car seat base.
  • [ ] Baby bag
    • Realistically you could just use any old bag for this. The one nice feature we like about the special purpose ones are the clips to attach the bag to a stroller.
  • [ ] ~ Baby carrier
    • The main benefit of a baby carrier is to reclaim use of your hands.
    • We ended up with quite a few different ones (wraps, ergo baby, etc.) and while we've certainly used them enough to justify getting them, they are also not that life changing unless your baby is able to easy fall asleep in them (our daughter would rarely do that).


  • [ ] Crib/Bassinet
    • We got both a bassinet (the one that came with the UPPAbaby Vista 2) and an actual crib (a babyletto convertible crib).
    • The bassinet won't get too much use since the baby will pretty quickly outgrow it, but we found it nice to be able to have baby right next to our bed at night for the first little while.
    • Consider getting a crib that can convert into a toddler bed to prolong the amount of use you can get out of it.
  • [ ] 2+ sets of crib/bassinet sheets
    • Baby will inevitably spit up, poop, pee, or otherwise ruin the sheets. Having at least 2 means you'll be able to have a spare while washing the soiled one.
  • [ ] 3+ Sleep sacks
    • We liked these much more than manually swaddling the baby with a blanket; being able to just zip up or velcro the baby makes a huge difference while sleep deprived.
    • The two brands/types that we tried are the Love to Dream swaddle ups and the Halo SleepSacks
      • Love to Dream: Baby appears to like this more because there is much less struggle since their arms are up, but as a result it also is not as effective at minimizing the startle reflex which resulted in more waking and shorter naps. We started with this before realizing that they don't actually work as well.
      • ❤ Halo: Zipper + velcro made these a bit more challenging to get the baby in (still much easier than manually swaddling). Because baby's arms are more tightly wrapped, it really helped with baby's startle reflex; putting baby down into her bassinet without waking was easier, also resulted in longer naps since she wouldn't wake herself up as much with her flailing arms.
    • You'll want at least 3 of these so that you can backups when they inevitably get dirty: spit up, pee, poop.
  • [ ] ~ White noise machine
    • This seemed to be helpful in the first month for us.
    • We didn't buy a specific white noise machine, we just repurposed a sonos speaker and played white noise through it (any bluetooth speaker should be fine to be honest…).


  • [ ] Diapers
    • Never ending need, Amazon's subscribe and save is helpful if you don't want to constantly buy from stores or stockpile massive amounts that baby could outgrow.
      • We ended up using 3 boxes of the NB size before graduating to Size 1. From then on each size tends to last longer.
    • We went with Pampers Pure Diapers.
      • Stores often had discounts and it was readily available in store and on Amazon.
  • [ ] Water based wipes
    • You can't buy enough; you will go through these so quickly… Amazon's subscribe and save is quite helpful here.
    • We went with Pampers Aqua Pure Wipes and are happy with them. We also tried the Costco Kirkland branded wipes but those seemed to cause diaper rashes more frequently.
      • Stores often had discounts and it was readily available in store and on Amazon.
  • [ ] Zinc oxide diaper cream
    • Penaten worked really well for us. We preferred the squeeze bottle over the small cans; easier to squeeze than to dig fingers into can.
  • [ ] Diaper genie
    • Baby produces so many dirty diapers, having a place to easily store them without stinking up the place was very helpful.
    • Costco sometimes has the refills available at a discount; refills are a great item to stockpile.
  • [ ] Change table
    • We went with the Keekaroo Peanut Changer and are quite happy with it. It's comfortable for baby, easy to clean, and doesn't seem to slide around much.
  • [ ] ~ Portable changing pad
    • Depending on how often you go out with baby and to what places, a portable changing pad might be helpful so you don't need to get creative finding places for changing or risk having to put baby on a dirty surface.


  • [ ] 2+ Nursing bras
    • These made breastfeeding much easier for mom.
    • There are a wide range of options here, but we had a mix of bras and tank tops that both seems to work well.
  • [ ] Nursing pads
    • Once mom's milk comes, these pads become a necessity or else the milk will get everywhere…
  • [ ] Nipple cream
    • We only used this one for a little bit at first when baby had a bit of trouble latching on one side.
    • Working to address the root of the problem (bad latch) with a lactation consultant is a better course of action here; the cream is just a stop gap to help with the discomfort.
  • [ ] Small amount of pre-mixed infant formula
    • Depending on how quickly mom's milk comes, baby might not have enough to eat for the first few days. Having some pre-mixed infant formula helps bridge that gap.
    • We found that each of the mini one time use size bottles actually was enough for about 2-3 feeds.
    • Don't forget to also buy the nipples that connect to the formula bottles if you don't plan on using your own bottles.
  • [ ] ~ Baby bottles + nipples
    • We received some Hegen bottles and Philips Avent bottles but didn't really use them much once mom's milk came in. We only really used them to supplement feeds with pre-mixed formula for the first few days.
  • [ ] ~ Bottle sterilizer
    • If bottle feeding is something that is planned long term, a bottle sterilizer will save you a lot of time and trouble from having to boil everything for each use.
  • [ ] ~ Breast pump
    • A breast pump can also be helpful for helping stimulate milk production at first before mom's milk comes in. This typically requires a pump with this type of stimulation feature/program.
    • Renting the medical grade pumps might be a better option that buying.
      • Medical grade pumps will have the stimulation program.
      • Medical grade pumps are massive, if you're planning on pumping regularly buying a more portable pump might be a good idea.
    • NOTE: Pumps can be rented on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. It's possible to return the pump if unused for refund.


  • [ ] Lots of onesies
    • As cute as all the other baby clothes are, onesies are by far the most functional and practical.
    • A mix of sleeveless/pantless buttoned ones and the full onesies is helpful.
      • Layering up the two types was helpful during the winter when it can get chilly.
    • The best ones are the zippered ones that zip up from the bottom because it makes changing diapers so much easier.


  • [ ] Tub/seat for baths
  • [ ] Baby soap/shampoo
  • [ ] Grooming kit/nail clippers
    • Baby nails grow quickly and are sharp!
    • We are very happy with our bblüv Trimö Electric Nail Trimmer. The trimmer work similar to a dremel but is gentle enough to not damage the skin around the nail, which makes it super easy to use.
  • [ ] ~ Nasal aspirator
    • Boggers have been the cause of a number of difficult naps and bedtimes. Having a nasal aspirator certainly helps in these situations, but our daughter really hated the process (and so did I as the person providing the suction…).


  • [ ] Data tracking
    • Of the apps we looked at, Huckleberry had the best UI, and felt like it was the easiest to use
    • Being able to track feeds, sleeps, diapers, etc. has been extremely valuable. Being able to look back to spot patterns and then help extrapolate what you can expect has been really helpful for us to figure out our own routines. Doctors will also want this information (more so in first few checkups).
    • The usefulness of the premium offerings are debatable. We got the middle tier that provided the SweetSpot nap timings, and we're still not sure if it's actually helpful or not. One thing we noticed once we starting trying to rely on it more was that we started losing our ability to understanding our daughter sleepy cues.
      • Don't get the premium subscriptions until after 2 months of age. SweetSpot isn't available until after that.