Newborn Baby Essentials Checklist Items To Buy When Having a Baby
As a mum and midwife I understand that it can be a little overwhelming when it comes to knowing what to buy and what you will actually need when you have a baby. The market is flooded with so many newborn baby essentials, some you will definitely need and others not so much.
Bassinet/ Cot: Purchasing a safe sleep space such as a bassinet or cot should be one of the top priorities on your list. It is recommended that babies “room in” with their parents for the first 6 months (as a part of the safe sleep guidelines) so a bassinet is usually the most suitable bed to start with and as baby gets older you can transfer to them a cot. There are many different styles and most have height adjustment which is handy for transferring baby to and from their sleep space for feeds. The mattress needs to be a snug fit within the cot/bassinet with no gaps down the side.
Pram + Car Seat: A Pram and a car seat are essential as they are your main mode of transport to get out and about with baby. There are many styles to choose from so I would suggest doing your research before purchasing. If you would like more information about prams check out our blog on Top Tips Every Parent Should Know When Buying a Pram.
Change Table + Change Mat: A change table is another essential item to have in the nursery as this will be the main space for nappy changes and for dressing baby. You will also need to buy a foam change mat and it’s a good idea to buy a cover for it as often the plastic is cold when placing baby on it.
Thermometer: A thermometer is a must have item on your list. It’s worth investing in a quality brand and you want something that is reliable. The two main types are tympanic (ear) and per axilla (under the arm) thermometers, for newborns the under the arm style are the most accurate in my experience but either would be suitable.
Baby Clothing: Using natural fibers such as cotton or merino wool is recommended as they are breathable and the most comfortable for the baby and have a lower fire risk. Newborn babies are not good at maintaining their body temperature so it is good to have layers of clothing available and dress baby to match the climate.
- 3 long sleeve singlet’s (cotton/ or merino blend) for winter or 3 x short sleeve for summer. (these button under the crotch and have no legs)
- Singlet’s with poppers under the crotch are best for easy handling.
- 3-4 sleep suits for night (these can be a stretch and grow which have long sleeves for arms and legs- and have buttons or a zip OR a baby gown which have long sleeves and a long dress style which you can tie up).
- 3-4 Stretch and grow (All in one suits) for the daytime
- 1 cotton or merino hat for outings
- 1 Cardigan or a soft comfortable extra layer for colder climates.
- 1 pair of booties and 1-2 pairs of socks
- 3 Sheets suitable for the baby’s bed
- 3 Muslin Cotton Swaddles
- 3 Blankets for bedding and pram
- Consider pram covers such as sun shade, or rain cover suitable for climate
Nappies: Discuss and research with your partner about which style of nappy you prefer to choose.
- Cloth nappies are a great solution as they save you money long term and it decreases the amount of disposable nappies going into our landfill. They can be used until baby is aged 2-3 years old right up until toilet training and can be used for subsequent babies.
- For disposable nappies it’s a good idea to buy a few different brands in the beginning as you may find one brand is a better fit for your baby. The same goes for baby wipes as some babies react to certain brands. For wipes I would advise a fragrance free wipe or something that is water based. Expect baby to use anywhere from 5 to 10 nappies per 24 hour period. Barrier cream is good to have on hand preferably unscented. Most newborn sized nappies go up to 5kg and babies grow fast so it’s something to be mindful for when buying in bulk.
Feeding Chair: A feeding chair is a great addition to the nursery. You will spend a lot of time in this chair so ensure it is comfortable (but good to have some firmness too) and supportive. I found it helpful to have a foot stool to elevate my feet. Alternatively you can use the couch if you find it comfortable and supportive.
Night Light: A night light is a soft dim light that you will use overnight when you get up to feed and change the baby. A light with a dimmer or salt lamp give off a subtle light and it’s a great way to have just enough light while not over stimulating the baby (and yourself) so everyone can go back to sleep easier.
- Nursing pads (for re-usable it’s good to get 3 pairs or there are disposable options)
- 3 feeding tops for overnight feeding (the singlet tops with clips work well)
- Feeding bra’s (recommended to get fitted in third trimester of pregnancy)
- Burp cloths
Bottle Feeding Mums:
- Bottles (3-4 if doing all bottle feeds, or 1 if just doing occasional feeds)
- Sterilizer unit
- If formula feeding research formula brands you would like to use
- Bottle Brush
- Drying rack
- Burp cloths
- Formula dispenser/ Milk powder dispenser (this is super handy to bring out and about as it holds the correct scoops for each feed)
Baby Bath: A portable baby bath is a handy item to have as you can place it on a flat surface such as a kitchen bench which will be much easier on your back. There are many different brands out there but a standard baby bath will work fine and helps you become more confident in holding baby while in the bath.
- 6 Flannels
- 3 soft baby towels
Nappy Bin: A nappy bin is great if you’re using disposables, ensure to get a bin that has a good lid closing system for odour control. If you’re using cloth nappies you will need a pail/bucket with a lid.
- A laundry basket by the change table is a good idea
- Draws and hanging storage for clothing
- A baby monitor if you feel this is suitable for you
- A baby carrier/front pack is helpful for getting out and about and also good for unsettled and windy babies
- Feeding cushion can help support you during feeds
- A dressing gown & slippers for mum
- Maternity sanitary pads (2 packs)
- Nipple cream (or Gel pads which are great for sore nipples)
It is quite a comprehensive list and we hope it helps you know what essentials you need to buy in preparation for your new arrival. You can decide which items are the most essential to you and for the additional items you can always buy if you need them after baby is born. You don’t have to buy everything brand new, there are great second hand items available just ensure that they are within their use by dates (car seats for example) and to the correct safety standard for your country.
Posted: Saturday 4 February 2023