There are so many baby lists out there. It makes it hard to know exactly what it is you need in those early newborn days.
I’ve put together my own guide all about what you must have and what is nice to have.
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Moses Basket – For the first couple of months your baby will likely sleep in the same room as you, so a Moses basket or a smaller crib is a great option. There is a huge amount of choice out there from the more traditional bassinets to the sleep next to me cribs. We went for a Moses basket on a rocking stand which you can get for a very reasonable price.
Cot bed/Crib and Mattress – There really is no need to spend hundreds of pounds on getting the perfect crib. We purchased a cot bed from Kiddicare which has been used by both of our boys, at the fraction of the cost as one from a high-street retailer. We loved the simple look of this one and the drawers underneath for storage. Plus it can be transformed into a little bed when your child gets a bit older.
Baby Monitor – Once your baby starts going down earlier in the evening, you will need to be able to hear them should they cry. You may wish to go for a video monitor for that extra peace of mind. We initially used a monitor that came with a sensor mat, which monitors the baby breathing in and out.
Chair – I needed something with good support while feeding and having a chair in the nursery was the perfect solution. I found that I was less likely to fall asleep in a chair than if I breastfed in bed. Now the kids are a bit older, they enjoy reading stories in the chair before bed. After searching for many types of nursing chairs, we decided on a POANG armchair from Ikea with a brown cover. Sticker tree was from Mamas and Papas.
Nightlight – A lamp that emits a soft light is perfect for the middle of the night feeds or when you need to change your baby’s nappy at 3 am and don’t want to wake them up too much.
Nice to Have
White noise machine – Your baby is used to the noise of the womb so might be a little unsettled by the silence of the night. We used Ewan the Sheep for Jack when he struggled to get to sleep.
Nappy caddy – This is a lovely way to keep nappies, wipes, shampoo and other mini essentials all in one place
Nappies – It goes without saying that nappies are a must-have. Make sure you have plenty of them for those early days, because boy, you’re gonna need them! We stockpiled these before the baby arrived, looking out for baby events at Aldi, Asda, Boots or any other supermarket. Alternatively, consider reusable nappies which are much better for the environment and save you money.
Changing Mat – Look for one that folds up and can be stored away easily. You can get away without the changing table but you definitely need a mat.
Cotton Wool – During the early days, we preferred using cotton wool and warm water for nappy changes. Our eldest was a little sensitive to the wet wipes initially which is why we used water.
Top and Tail Bowl – These are really inexpensive and handy when you giving your baby a quick wash without having to run a bath.
Wet Wipes – Waterwipes are a brilliant alternative to cotton wool and water. We always had a pack of these in our changing bag for our newborn baby. They are on the expensive side, so as your baby gets older and their skin a little less sensitive then swap to a brand like Mamia by Aldi. Plus wet wipes are perfect for just about everything – cleaning mucky hands and faces or wiping up spills.
Nappy lotion – Almost every baby – at some point – will get a horrible nappy rash so make sure get some lotion have some in stock to soothe any soreness.
Nappy bags – You don’t have to spend a fortune here but we have found these incredibly handy, especially if you have a baby who tried to grab everything when trying to change a dirty nappy. You can get fragranced bags but most of the time we quickly filled them up and then disposed of it in the first bin we could find!
Nice to Have
Changing Table – We didn’t have room for one so didn’t bother, but if you suffer from a bad back then a table can be really handy. There are many times I wish I had one when I struggled to bend over to change what felt like the fiftieth nappy of the day!
Breast pads – Whether you prefer washable or disposable, these are essential if you don’t want to wake up in milk-soaked pyjamas.
Nipple cream – Help relieve the pain of breastfeeding by using a good cream such as Lansinoh.
Muslin cloths – Throw this over your shoulder to catch any spit-ups while winding your baby.
Breastfeeding pillow – I think it is pretty debatable whether this is an essential item or not, but for me, with the endless breastfeeds, a good pillow worked wonders for keeping the baby supported, comfortable and latched on.
Prenatal Vitamins – Keep healthy while breastfeeding and during postpartum recovery by taking your vitamins.
A good diet – Again, look after yourself, this is so important. Check out what breastfeeding mums should eat.
Breast pump – While I didn’t really use my breast pump, I know this would be essential for some who plan to express some milk for bottle feeds. I’ve used both a manual and an electric pump by Little Martin’s and would recommend the electric one – hands down!
Nice to Have
Breastfeeding cover – You do not need to cover up while breastfeeding – why on earth should you?! However, I did use a cover while breastfeeding my eldest as he kept unlatching and exposing my breast to everyone when we were out and about. You could also use a cardigan or a muslin cloth
Nipple shields – This might be something you find useful if you are struggling with mastitis or sore and cracked nipples.
Bottles – If you’re planning on bottle feeding then MAM anti colic bottles were our absolute favourite here. They self-sterilise in the microwave, which is very convenient. We were really low on space and didn’t fancy having a massive steriliser in the corner of the kitchen taking up counter space.
As an aside, our baby moved from breast to bottle beautifully with MAM bottles with no issues with wind or colic. I really couldn’t recommend them enough. We purchased a starter kit which was ideal for us as it had a variety of bottle sizes.
Formula – You can go for powdered or ready-to-use where you just pour it into the bottle, warm it up and it’s good to go.
Bottle brushes – Essential for keeping your bottles and teats clean. You don’t want to be using the same brushes and dishcloths you use to clean your dirty pots and pans.
Steriliser – If you chose to go with a different bottle brand then you may need a separate steriliser. You can a small steriliser that goes in the microwave or a larger one electric one that sterilises 5 bottles at a time. First time around we used a Tommee Tippee electric steriliser. They have revamped the design a little and you can also buy a starter kit with bottles and cleaning brush.
Nice to Have
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep – This is a highly regarded lifesaver for many parents as it prepares bottles at the right temperature in 2 minutes which is just what you need in the middle of the night. While it’s a handy product, it’s definitely a nice to have. If you have the spare cash to buy one then I recommend you do.
Insulated bottle bag – When on the go, these are so useful for keeping your sterile water warm.
Vacuum flask – Travelling on long journeys was sometimes a bit frantic when we weren’t sure where we could heat our next bottle. We ended up using this Tommee Tippee flask which kept the sterile water warm for when we were ready to use it. It can be used to either warm up a feed or pour water into the bottle to make up a feed.
Powder dispenser – Useful for making up accurate powder feeds when on the go
Bottle warmer – If you have made your bottles up in advance then this is a useful way to gently heat them up. This one is highly regarded.
Hooded towel – Babies hate getting out of the bath and into the cold, which is why we used a hooded towel. I have the Clevamama Splash and Wrap Bath towel which you wear. It is perfect as it stops me from getting splashed and makes it easy when picking up the baby out of the bath and wrapping him up.
Baby bath lotion and shampoo – Look for anything that is specially made to be gentle on their skin.
Washcloths – For washing at bath time
Nice to have
Baby Bath – If you don’t have a bath and don’t want to bath your baby in the sink then these are really useful. Alternatively, you could use a newborn baby bath seat like this popular with parents.
Baby thermometer – Keep a close eye on your baby’s temperature when they are a bit under the weather or following vaccinations. We use the ear and forehead digital thermometer by Jumper Medical which always gives us an accurate reading.
Pain relief – To bring any fevers down and to relieve teething pain
Teething granules – These are an effective alternative to teething gels and medicated pain relief
Teething gels – Having said that, I’m not dissing them. They still work pretty well too!
Vanity kit – We are still using this vanity kit nearly four years on. It is stacked with essentials including a brush, toothbrush, digital under-arm thermometer, clippers, scissors and nasal aspirator.
Comforting Your Baby
Baby bouncer – These are soothing for babies and can be a good way of keeping them happy while you go and make yourself a well-earned cup of tea.
Pacifier – Neither of my babies particularly took to dummies, but George did find some comfort with the Maam dummies during his newborn days when he wanted to suck for comfort
Swaddle – Some babies like to be swaddled, making them soothed and calm. We used this one from Aden + Anais – the same one that Prince George was swaddled in as he left hospital on his way home. They are just gorgeous and not too expensive either.
This all depends on the time of year, but I found my kids lived in sleepsuits for at the very least, the first 8 weeks of their lives. But here’s a small list of other newborn clothing essentials you will need.
- Non-bio washing powder
Nice to Have
Shoes – can be a bit tricky to get on newborn feet and they get outgrown really quickly so I wouldn’t bother. They are expensive too.
Out and About
Car seat – You can’t leave the hospital without one so make sure you become a car seat pro before your baby arrives.
Buggy – A travel system is perfect for going from pram to buggy with ease. We used the Mamas and Papas Urbo and got adapters so we could also put the car seat on the buggy wheels. This is particularly handy when your baby has started snoozing and you need to get them out of the car.
BEFORE you buy the buggy, make sure you try it and see how it folds up. Ask if you can take it out of the shop to make sure it fits into the boot of your car – most stores would be more than happy to help with this request.
Changing bag – It is good to have everything in one place and ready to go whenever we need to leave the house. Inside it has a stash of nappies, wet wipes, nappy bags and lotion. Plus bribery snacks now they are a little older.
Suncream – Apply suncream to areas of your child’s exposed skin
Nice to Have
Baby carrier – For going out on walks where taking the buggy might be tricky, or if your baby likes lots of cuddles and is soothed by being close to you.
Jungle gym – A wonderful toy for newborns who will love gazing at the bright colours, soft colourful lights and listen to the soothing sounds of the jungle or a few little tunes.
Teething toys – For when their teeth start making an appearance.
Books – Reading from an early age is never a bad thing. Your baby will probably be enthralled listening to you read out the back of a cereal box, but a few baby books for your baby to gaze a wonderful way to introduce the concept of reading at a young age.
Stair gates – one at the top and the foot of the stairs. Good for closing off other areas around the house such as the kitchen
Power socket covers – Once babies start crawling, they become obsessed with power sockets or anything else they can see while cruising along the floor. Make sure their little fingers are protected from harm by keeping power sockets covered.
Drawer and Cabinet Locks – Keep breakables, medicines or dangerous kitchen cleaning products out of reach and safely locked away from crawling toddlers.
That’s it! Is there anything I have missed? Let me know!
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