The ultimate checklist of items you need for life with a newborn
Whether it is an impossibly small sleepsuit or a brand new buggy, purchasing the first precious pieces for your baby is one of the most thrilling parts of expecting. However it can also be overwhelming at times – there are a dizzying array of products created for newborns, not all of them essential. To help you decide, we’ve created a checklist of the items you need.
Your baby will go through more wardrobe changes than a supermodel in their first few weeks, so it’s wise to buy more outfits than you think you’ll need.
• Vests (also known as onesies in the US) – An essential layer to ward off the chill. A kimono style that buttons at the chest is ideal, as it saves you pulling garments over your newborn’s fragile head.
• All-in-ones – While tiny dresses and dungarees look adorable, an all-in-one is more practical. Trust us, anything that requires changing one piece of clothing, instead of three, is a must-have.
• Hat – Babies lose more body heat through their head than adults so cover that petite crown.
• Mittens – They’ll keep small hands warm and prevent your little one from inadvertently scratching themselves.
• Socks – You can never have too many. They easily slip off and you’ll always end up with an odd one in the wash.
• Booties – Keep tiny toes snug.
• Cover-up – When heading outdoors your baby will need a lightweight knit or cotton jacket in warm weather and a padded suit in winter.
• Blanket – Every little one needs a cosy blanket.
• Buggy – Whether you opt for a city-chic Bugaboo Bee or a vintage-inspired Silver Cross Balmoral pram, this big-ticket item requires careful consideration. Invest in a travel system that suits your lifestyle.
• Car seat – Essential, in fact the hospital won’t let you leave without one. Ensure that it is rear facing.
• Baby carrier or sling – For quick trips out when you can’t be bothered taking the buggy or even simply making a cup of tea when baby is refusing to be put down.
• Breastfeeding pump – If you’re breastfeeding, this is your answer to a night out or even a few hours off. It’s also handy if you are finding it difficult to nurse, but still want to feed your baby breast milk. Electric pumps are more expensive but they will save you time (something you’ll never have enough of in the near future.)
• Bottles – From glass to anti-colic, there is a bewildering variety available but ultimately it will come down to which one your baby prefers. If you are using plastic make sure the brand is BPA-free.
• Steriliser – For keeping bottles, teats, teethers and dummies hygienic.
• Soothers – Love them or hate them, pacifiers have stood the test of time. It’s up to you whether you choose to use the dummy.
• Moses basket/Co-sleeper – It is recommended that newborns sleep in the same room as their parents. A Moses basket or a co-sleeper is perfect for their first few months.
• White noise – From apps to sleep-aids, it’s a tried-and-tested method to lull little ones into slumber.
• Muslins – For swaddling. A cotton muslin can also double as a pram cover, lightweight blanket or burp cloth.
• Sleeping bag – Perfect for babies who don’t like to be wrapped up tightly, or for when your little one outgrows swaddling. It provides warmth without the concern of loose bedding.
• Baby Monitor – To keep an eye on your baby when you are not in the same room.
• Mobile – A soothing distraction and maybe, just maybe, it might send them off the sleep.
• Changing mat – A style with upturned sides is handy for keeping baby (and mess) contained.
• Changing mat cover – To comfort delicate skin.
• Nappies – You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll go through one pack. Buy in bulk.
• Baby bag – Invest in a chic tote that is large enough to carry wipes, nappies, a travel change mat, plus a change of clothes for little one when you’re out and about.
• Clutch – A sleek zip-up pouch to hold nappies and wipes for times when you don’t want to carry an oversized bag.
• Nappy bins – Not the most glamorous of purchases but the only way to ensure that your house still smells of Diptyque candles instead of dirty nappies.
• Bouncer – Keep your precious bundle secure and entertained with a specially designed baby chair. Some will even rock your baby to sleep.
• Board books – It’s never too early to start reading. Books with high-contrast, black and white images are easy for young babies to focus on.
• Soft toys – A cuddly friend will soothe little ones and is likely to be a favourite months or even years later.
• Baby bath – Similar to bottles there are all manner of baby baths. Rest assured your little one won’t mind where they are bathed – even if it’s the kitchen sink!
• Towel – A style with a hood will keep your baby’s head cosy.
• Baby wash – You may not choose to use anything but plain water for the first few weeks or even months, but if you do, we love Minois’ gentle, natural formulas.
Words by Amanda Woodward-Brown