Newborn Essentials List: 10 Items New Parents Actually Need
What do I need to buy for a newborn baby? There are SO many products out there to choose from it can be overwhelming, especially for first time mums. The typical parent spends over £2000 when buying items in preparation for their baby. With Sophie I acquired lots of different “essentials” which I never actually used or could have coped without. Now, on my second time around, I’ve written a handy Newborn Essentials List as a guide to the items that I bought for my newborn this time. Things I actually need, use & couldn’t live without!
Probably the most obvious of newborn purchases is the pushchair. If you want to get out & about with your baby, this is an absolute must. This time around we went for the BabyStyle Oyster 2 Pushchair – a multi award winning Oyster pushchair.
Why We Love It
- A long term purchase: suitable from birth, this pushchair will last up until baby weighs 15kg (approx 3-4 years).
- It has a reversible seat unit, meaning baby & mum can see each other OR can be turned around when older to see what’s going on in the world!
- The seat can recline from upright to completely flat – great for naps.
- It has a large hood, helping with sun protection
- Underneath the chair is an large, easy access shopping basket. Perfect for all the other essential items baby needs when you’re out!
- The handle is height adjustable – perfect for short people (like me) & tall (like my husband!)
- Comes with a 5-point harness with chest pads, making the seat comfy yet safe
- It is compatible with a great selection of market leading car seats – Maxi Cosi, Cybex & Britax (adapters required).
- It folds easily, is super compact, great quality and light to push
- A Footmuff to keep baby extra warm in the winter months
There are many types of car seats available on the market, many of which are fixed into the car. For Charlie, however, we decided to buy a portable car seat that we could carry around & fix onto the pushchair when needed. After lots of consideration, we chose the CYBEX Aton 5 – an infant car seat in stardust black.
Why We Love It
- It is ultra lightweight in comparison to some other car seats
- A long-term purchase – it is suitable from birth until your baby weighs 13kg (approx 15 months)
- It fits on our Oyster2 pushchair frame (with adapters), making a complete travel system
- Can be fitted into the car with either an Isofix base or using the vehicle’s adult seat belt (a cheaper, but still safe option)
- Comes with an integrated sun canopy which can be folded back out of the way
- Very safe – the shell is energy absorbing & the seat has added side impact protection
- It is roomy & the seat & harnesses are padded for comfort
- A child view Munchkin Mirror – baby should be rear facing for as long as possible to keep them extra safe in case of a car accident. This does mean, however, we can’t see them from the front car seats. This mirror allows parents to keep an eye on baby during any car journey.
- A set of Car Sun Shades – protect baby from the sun in the car with a set of UV blocking sun blinds
Safe sleeping is a parents main priority & there are lots of NHS guidelines to support new parents. We decided to implement the same sleeping system that we used with Sophie as it worked really well & she was a very good sleeper from early on.
It is recommended that babies stay in their parents room until they are 6 months old. For us, this meant we needed a small crib as the cot wouldn’t fit in our room. We chose the Chicco Next2me Side Sleeping Crib.
Why We Love It
- The crib is designed to allow you to sleep next to your baby without sharing the same bed. Of course, it is possible to co-sleep safely, but this crib eliminates any risks.
- Can be easily assembled & then fastened to the parents’ bed. Has 6 different height adjustments meaning it can adapt to most size beds. We have a divan bed – the feet of the crib can fold in so the cot is flush to the bedside.
- The crib lining is removable & washable
- Can be used as a normal crib – the open side can be raised creating a 4 sided crib
- The crib comes with a padded mattress & a net window, increasing air circulation – essential for reducing the risk of SIDS.
- If baby has a cold with nasal congestion or reflux, the crib can be tilted.
- Baby Monitor – the reason I haven’t put this as an ‘essential’ is because, actually, I don’t leave Charlie alone long enough to buy a baby monitor as a newborn. This is something I would certainly invest in when putting him to bed on his own. I would recommend the one I used with Sophie as it came with a camera & this could be viewed from my phone, meaning I could always see her.
- Gro-Snug – babies like to be swaddled, but current advice is to try & avoid swaddling a baby’s legs due to potential hip problems. Therefore, I invested in a few of these fantastic Gro-Snugs. The top half swaddles baby’s upper body with the much wider bottom half allowing free leg movement. They come in 2 tog ratings & have openings for baby’s arms if required, turning the Gro-Snug into a mini sleeping bag.
What could be more essential than products that care for your baby’s health? For us, a thermometer is a must have. It indicates when baby has a fever & how severe it is, helping to inform us whether we need to seek medical advice/help. There are a range of fast, accurate & fairly cheap digital thermometers available. We chose the Braun Thermoscan Thermometer
Why We Love It
- This thermometer is used & recommended by doctors
- The technology used means the temperature reading is exceedingly accurate
- It measures temperature in seconds, meaning wriggly babies & toddlers don’t have to sit still for too long!
- It stores the last 9 temperature readings
- The thermometer has age precision technology meaning, once you tell it how old your child is, it will interpret the results for you based on their age
- Saline Nasal Spray – a newborn cannot blow their own nose, breathe through their mouth or take any decongestants. This means that when they get a blocked nose they can’t sleep or eat properly. A saline nasal spray is safe for babies & helps loosen the mucus allowing them to breathe more easily.
- Nasal Aspirator – Similar to the nasal spray, this is a further option to help with newborn congestion. We brought this nasal aspirator to manually remove the mucus (yes it’s gross, but does the job!)
New babies are exceedingly slippery when wet & I wouldn’t dare put them into the main bathtub as I would be worried about dropping them. I find that specially designed baby bath tubs are by far the best option for us as they are small & help support baby. The one we used for Sophie & will continue to use for Charlie is the Shnuggle Cosy Bath Tub, a well designed tub with smooth curves & a roll top.
Why We Love It
- Can be used from birth up until 12 months, so a long term investment
- It has a large, foam backrest to support baby
- The feet are non-slip so grip firmly to different surfaces e.g. bathtub, floor, sink or shower tray
- The bath has a Bum Bump to hold newborns upright in the bath. This means parents can wash baby without having to hold them at the same time.
- Bath Thermometer – if you’re worried that you will not be able to judge the temperature of the bath accurately, it may be worth investing in one of these. It will tell you immediately if the water is at body temperature.
- Baby Bath Towels – soft, fluffy & with a hood to keep baby’s head warm – I can’t resist baby towels. Not essential … but cute!
Nappies, Wipes & Sacks
A pretty obvious one! Baby is going to wee & poo & they’re not going to have any control over it! Therefore nappies are most certainly essential. We chose to go with disposable nappies as they are convenient & I personally couldn’t face the idea of washing cloth nappies everyday. For the first few weeks of Charlie’s life, we have used Pampers Micro nappies as Charlie is so small. The colour changing indicator tells me when he has filled his nappy & the front is easy to fold down, meaning his umbilical stump can heal properly. As he gets older, we will move to the cheaper store branded nappies.
To ensure a nice clean bottom, Wet Wipes are a must for us. They are convenient & can be taken out & about in their packs. We often buy them in bulk, making them much cheaper. We also buy cheap Nappy Sacks , including fragranced ones to take away some of the smell!
- Changing Mat – I say ‘optional’ because you don’t *have* to change baby on a mat. However, they are plastic & easy clean for any accidents baby may have during a nappy change. The sides are often raised & cushioned, helping to stop your baby from rolling off them (I still wouldn’t leave them unattended whilst they are on it!).
Bottles & Teats
After a lot of thought & consideration, I chose not to breastfeed Charlie. I had serious problems doing so with Sophie & ended up feeling very low when I was unable to do it. Therefore I needed to invest in a set of bottles & all the extras that come with formula fed babies. The bottles & teats I chose were the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Feeding Bottles.
Why We Love It
- Tommee Tippee bottles have been designed by breastfeeding experts & have a unique, easy latch on teat shape meaning baby is more likely to accept the bottles
- The silicone teats are shaped & work just like a breast – they gently elongate & flex during feeding, mimicing a natural breastfeeding action
- Each bottle has an Easi-Vent valve, eliminating excessive air flow so babies ingest less air & more milk!
- All bottles are BPA free
Perfect Prep Machine
This is certainly one of THE best things we have bought so far! The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine is designed to make preparing bottles easier for parents, day & night. In the fog of sleep deprivation, this machine has been wonderful!
Why We Love It
- Baby doesn’t have to wait for a feed – the machine makes the bottle in just 2 minutes, meaning baby gets fed with minimal upset
- It is safe & sterile – the in-built water filter removes any impurities from the water before going into the bottle
- The machine dispenses the correct amount of water into the bottles meaning the formula consistency is always accurate
- Any bacteria found in the formula is instantly killed by a ‘hot shot’ of water dispensed by the machine
- Each bottle is made at body temperature, just like breast milk – perfect for baby
After having an all singing, all dancing steriliser with Sophie, we actually went back to basics this time around. The steriliser we used last time ended up rusting on the metal plate & the bottles needed sterilising again after a certain amount of time had passed. So we have now gone with a Milton Cold Water Steriliser . Milton has been protecting babies for over 65 years & is a brand we trust.
Why We Love It
- The Milton Cold Water Steriliser has been specifically designed for use with the Milton Method of cold water sterilisation, as recommended by professionals.
- It’s large 5 litre capacity allows 6 bottles of any brand to be sterilised. It can also be used for sterilising breastfeeding equipment and baby accessories, including teething rings, plastic toys, soothers and weaning items.
- Used with Milton Sterilising Tablets or Fluid, the Milton Method kills all harmful viruses, fungi, spores and bacteria.
- All items are sterilised in 15 minutes and the solution stays sterile for 24 hours. This means bottles are always sterile unless you put a dirty item / hand in the water. In this case, you just have to wait 15 minutes again & everything is back to being sterile.
- There is no need to rinse items after sterilsation before giving them to baby.
I’m a bit of a Cath Kidston changing bag addict. The one I had for Sophie is still being used for all her bits & pieces & so I needed a new one for Charlie. This time we went for the Cath Kidston Changing Bag Clarendon Rose Cream & it has already been put through its paces! After 3 weeks of being taken into hospitals, cars, hanging off a pushchair & going on a day trip it is still looking as good as it did when first purchased.
Why We Love It
- A really gorgeous pattern on the bag (other pattern options available)
- The strap is adjustable & padded, making it comfortable to carry around over the shoulder
- The bag comes with a changing mat in the same ‘wipeable’ design
- It also comes with an insulated bottle holder, perfect for keeping a bottle warm on the go
- The bag closes using a velcro system, making it easier to undo when trying to juggle a baby & bag one handed!
- Lots of space & pockets to store items
There is no denying that buying all of the equipment needed when welcoming a new baby into the world can come at a high cost. We were lucky in that we had a lot of help from family, however not everyone is in this fortunate position. I don’t believe it is completely necessary to spend £1000+ on baby equipment as a lot of it can be bought second hand or asked for as baby shower gifts etc. However, if this is not possible there are loans companies such as Zippa Loans who can provide short-term cash loans to help new parents buy everything they need. There are also plenty of baby freebies available to new parents, something which everyone should take advantage of!
**Newborn Essentials List: 10 Items New Parents Actually Need is a sponsored post