New baby checklist
As any parent-to-be will tell you, it is very easy to get carried away buying a whole load of baby things for your incoming bundle of joy. But where to begin? From toys for the nursery to clothes and the latest baby gadgets, it’s easy to run away with yourself and lose track of how much you’ve spent and what you’ve bought.
Panic not, the following tips are designed to show you what things you really need for a new baby, with a list of newborn essentials that will cover all the bases, without breaking the bank.
When it comes to buying baby clothes, it is very easy to buy your little one too much. There are so many to choose from, and they are all so CUTE! But remember, your little one is going to grow pretty fast, so they may only fit into some of their brand new clothes for a limited time. Before long, you’ll need bigger sizes! Oh, and baby clothes tend to get messy pretty fast, so you might want to save those fancy items for a special occasion. Here are a few tips for buying the key baby clothes essentials:
- 6 baby grows and vests. The ones with poppers are the best for quick and easy access for those frequent nappy changes.
- 2 cardigans. When it gets cold, these are perfect for keeping your little one cosy.
- 1 little hat. Your baby needs to keep their little head warm.
- 3 pairs of socks. Your baby won’t be wearing shoes for a while, so socks are mainly to keep their little feet warm. If they are in a full baby grow, this is less of a worry.
- 1 pair of mittens. These are less for keeping your baby’s hands warm and more to stop them scratching their face.
- A few tops with poppers, essential for those quick changes.
- A packet of muslin squares. These are great for mopping up food and spit-up, not to mention saving your own clothes from the odd stain or two.
Baby nappy changing essentials
A key part of your baby essentials checklist needs to be A LOT of nappies. Like it or not, you’re going to be changing them frequently - your newborn baby can need changing up to 10 or 12 times A DAY! The good news is it’s not nearly as bad as you think, but to help you along the way, make sure you stock up on the following:
- Reusable or disposable nappies: Reusable nappies, which are sometimes called cloth nappies, washable nappies or real nappies are better for the environment and are by and large slightly cheaper than their disposable counterparts. But disposable ones are considered slightly more robust when it comes to absorbing the contents of your little one’s nappies. It’s a personal choice but you can always give both a go to see which one works best for you and your little one. If in doubt, ask your pharmacy to help you find the best ones.
- Baby changing mat. This is essential as it is easily cleaned and disinfected, and it will also save your furniture from getting messy.
- Toiletries. To begin with, you’ll likely just want to use cotton wool and water to wipe up your little one’s mess. Later down the line, you’ll want some wipes.
- Nappy cream. Nappy rash happens from time to time, so nappy cream is essential to help you soothe your baby’s bottom.
- Nappy bags. Unless you want your dustbin smelling, these are essential. It helps if they are scented, too, to better mask those odours.
- Baby changing station. This is going to become your new best friend. It means you won’t have to bend over all the time, which will stop your back from aching, and if you set it up properly everything is within easy reach.
Baby feeding essentials
Your newborn baby is going to need a LOT of feeding. They are going to eat around the clock (yes, even in the middle of the night), so you need to be sure you have all the right things.
- Nursing pads (if breastfeeding). To prevent your favourite bras from getting stained.
- Nursing bras (if breastfeeding). You will be feeding your baby so regularly that easy access is a must.
- Breast pump (if breastfeeding). From time to time you might need a break from breastfeeding (it’s also nice to let your partner or family help out!), so a breast pump is essential.
- Milk storage bags. If you are going to express, these are great for storing your milk. You can even freeze them, then defrost them later to give to your baby.
- Bottles and teats. You’ll probably need at least six of each, whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding. There's no evidence that one type of bottle or teat is better than any other, so just go with whatever feels right for you and your little one.
- Steriliser. This is perhaps a bit of a luxury item, as you can sterilise by boiling bottles in boiling water, but a steriliser is a great way of doing lots of bottles in one go.
Baby washing essentials
Your little one is going to get a little grubby from time to time, so having the necessary baby washing items is key:
Baby soap and shampoo. Your little one’s soft, squishy skin is much more delicate than an adult’s, so you need soaps tailored to their needs.
At least two soft towels. You need to keep your baby nice and warm when they come out of the bath, not to mention dry.
Bath thermometer. It’s important to know you are not putting your baby into water that is too hot. The bath should be between 37 and 38 degrees.
Baby sleeping essentials
While your baby will hopefully become accustomed to sleeping in many different places, including on you, here’s everything you’ll need to ensure your little one sleeps safely and soundly:
- A Moses basket or the carrycot from a pram will do nicely, especially as you'll probably want to keep moving your baby around the house with you
- Soft baby bedding.
- Baby monitor. To keep a watchful eye on your little one, and essential for those times when you're in another room.
- Baby thermometer. To help you check the room temperature.
Baby travel essentials
- Car seat. If your baby's born in hospital, you'll need a car seat to take them home. Look out for the models that will suit newborns right up to 4 year-olds to save money. It’s very important to fit the seat correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and it’s always much safer for your baby to fit the seat in the back of the car. If you have airbags in your car, remember that your baby must always be seated in the back.
- Pram, pushchair or buggy. It is very important that whichever model you go for lies flat. This protects your baby’s developing back.
- A nappy bag. When you’re out and about, there are going to be a few nappy changes. Make sure your nappy bag is well stocked with nappies, cream, bags and, to be on the safe side, a change of baby clothes.
Where to pick up baby basics
New baby things can be very expensive, so it’s always worth asking family and friends to see what you can borrow. Alternatively, it’s worth having hunt around online or looking for ‘nearly new sales’ to see what bargains you can find. Just remember to never buy a baby car seat secondhand. You need to know the seat is in top condition and has never been in an accident prior to you buying it.
Most of your friends and family will want to lavish your baby with all manner of gifts. It might sound cheeky, but this is a great way of getting some of the things you really need! Why not put together a little wish list of supplies your baby is going to need.