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By Adoption Choices of Nevada

Baby Essentials: What You Really Need

Preparing for the arrival of your baby is an exciting and stressful time. There’s a lot on your to-do list and you may feel overwhelmed. The market for baby gear is huge and full of very fancy, seemingly necessary items. Here at Adoption Choices of Nevada we want to make this time for you more exciting than stressful. This list will give you an idea of what you’re going to need for the first few months. We’re including items that are absolutely essential, are often deemed “luxury,” and some items that are really not necessary and will probably just take up extra space.


Babies go through lots of clothes, especially in the first few months. Not only do they grow out of everything quickly, but you’ll also be dealing with all sorts of other messes (i.e. lots of bodily fluids). You can expect a lot of gifts from family and friends that will include plenty of cute and fun outfits, but be sure to stock up on the basics.


  • 10-14 onesies, mixture of long sleeve & short sleeve
  • 10-14 baby leggings or pants
  • 7-10 pairs of socks
  • 1-3 Jackets or sweaters
  • 5-7 one piece/footed pajamas
  • Bunting bag or fleece suit for winter
  • Brimmed hat for sun exposure
  • Soft cap with ear flaps for cold weather
  • Gentle laundry detergent


  • Take-home-outfit
  • No-scratch mittens

Strictly Optional

  • Shoes (not necessary until baby is walking)


You already have an idea of how many diapers a baby goes through, especially a newborn. With these, you have a few options. Cloth diapering, for instance, is becoming more and more common with parents because of its lower costs and its lower environmental impact. If you are interested in cloth diapering, here is a great resource to help get you started.


  • 1-2 large boxes of diapers
  • 2-4 dozen cloth diapers
  • 6-10 Cloth diaper covers
  • Diaper pail and refill liners
  • Wet bag for cloth diapers
  • 1-2 packs/boxes of gentle baby wipes
  • Soft washcloths
  • Changing table with waterproof changing table pad
  • 2-3 changing table pad covers (accidents happen)
  • Diaper rash ointment


  • Waterproof pads to go under the baby’s bottom on changing pad (this will help reduce the amount of times you need to wash the pad cover)
  • Baby powder

Strictly Optional

  • Wipe warmer
  • Diaper stacker

Bathing and Grooming

Newborns don’t get proper baths until the umbilical cord falls off, which means bath time will consist of wiping down baby with a wet washcloth without getting him soaking wet. And as baby grows, your bath time needs will change. Whether you want to invest in a full infant tub or just an infant seat will depend a lot on how much storage space you have.


  • 2 hooded towels
  • 2-4 washcloths
  • Infant tub/bath seat
  • Nail scissors/nail clippers/nail files
  • Baby oil and/or lotion
  • Baby shampoo/bath wash
  • Baby comb and brush set


  • Faucet guard
  • Bath thermometer
  • Bath toys
  • Mesh holder for bath toys


Safe sleeping practices are very important in order to prevent SIDS. Whether you are planning on co-sleeping or keeping baby in his own crib, be sure to research the safest practices. And always remember: back is best.


  • Crib or co-sleeper
  • Crib mattress
  • Rocking chair/glider
  • 2-4 fitted crib sheets
  • 2 mattress protectors
  • 4-6 soft receiving blankets (not to be slept with)
  • 1-2 thick blankets for colder weather (not to be slept with)


  • Bassinet
  • Sleep sack
  • Baby monitor, especially if you live in a large house


  • Pillows
  • Loose blankets


Babies eat a lot. Like a whole lot. Especially during the first year. Setting yourself up for the demand of your baby’s dietary needs is crucial before taking him home. As an adoptive parent, you may have assumed breastfeeding was out of the question, but that is not the case. Milk sharing is becoming increasingly popular. If you are interested in using donor breast milk to feed your baby, consult with your pediatrician and look up the nearest milk bank to you.


  • 10-16 bottles with correct nipple size (both 4- and 8-oz size bottles)
  • Several weeks worth of formula, or donated breast milk
  • Bottle brush
  • Bottle drying rack
  • 2-4 packs of burp cloths
  • Insulated cooler for carrying around pre-made formula


  • Bottle warmer (heating a bottle under warm water or in a pot takes roughly the same amount of time)
  • Cloth bibs
  • Dry formula dispensers
  • Bottle sterilizer


Traveling with a baby, similar to sleeping, has many strict guidelines to follow in order to ensure the safety of your baby. Car seats and strollers are held to higher standards today than just 10 years ago. Stay updated on all the safety rules and regulations of infant car seats, what to buy and how to install them.


  • Car seat that fits newborn
  • Stroller that fits car seat
  • Infant carrier (Baby Bjorn, Ergobaby, etc.)
  • Diaper bag or backpack


  • Baby sling/wrap
  • Baby backpack for outdoor adventures
  • Compact stroller
  • Sunshades for car windows

Everything Else

Not everything you need fits directly under each of these lists. Here are all the other odds and ends you will need for baby’s first months, plus some added extras that you may want to invest in.


  • Pacifiers for soothing (although some babies don’t take to them)
  • Bouncer seat/infant seat for setting baby down safely
  • First aid kit including: thermometer, infant Tylenol, nasal aspirator (FridaBaby is a highly recommended brand and more effective than the bulb)


  • Baby swing
  • Gripe water, for gas and hiccups
  • Teething remedy
  • Humidifier
  • Dock-a-Tot
  • Play/activity mat
  • Crib mirror

Baby Essentials: What You Really Need 

It may seem like baby’s need a whole lot, but the truth is what they need most of all is a caring and attentive parent. This list was compiled as a guide to help you organize your mind during this exciting time. Use it as a checklist. As long as you are prepared for baby’s arrival and stocked up on all the absolute baby essentials, you will do great!

Adoption Choices of Nevada

If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Devon Thornton is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. She has recently moved from Orlando, FL to Clarksville, TN, and is pursuing her writing career with Adoption Choices and also writing personal essays in her free time. Devon is an avid reader and a big Harry Potter fan.

When she’s not curled up reading a book, you can find her somewhere on a hike or a camping trip. She loves her cat, Minerva, and considers herself a true animal lover. She hopes one day to publish a book of essays and to maybe meet J.K. Rowling.






Hartshorn, Jessica. “Baby Shopping Guide: The Must-Haves (and Don’t-Needs).” Parents, 24 Jan. 2019,

Kashtan, Paula. “A Checklist of All the Baby Essentials You’ll Need.” Baby Checklist: 56 Baby Essentials, The Bump, 19 Aug. 2014,