The Ultimate Newborn Essentials List - For Mum & Baby
Congratulations! If you are reading this blog post, you are most likely pregnant and probably feeling slightly anxious, excited, possibly still grappling with fatigue and/or morning sickness. If you’ve passed the stage where you can finally announce your news shit is really starting to get real, and you’re probably wondering when the right time is to start buying baby-stuff. Well, there is no right time to start buying stuff. Keep reminding yourself, it is an exciting time of your life, and you deserve to relish in that excited-ness. If you feel like buying that cute little onesie you just saw, DO IT. Pregnancy is the time to do what makes you feel good and happy, that is for sure. It’s a personal choice around when you feel most comfortable to start buying everything – in my experience I just got so much more productive and clear about what I wanted after the 7/8-month mark. You don’t want to wait too late to do all the store rounds if you plan on testing out lots of products (such as prams and cots), because often these have long delivery times if they’re not readily in stock, plus depending on how comfortable you are 34 weeks plus, you may not be bothered to go from store to store so late on in your pregnancy.
So, when I was pregnant I got sent a hell of a lot of spreadsheets by a lot of my more organised friends, colour-coded and categorised in ways you wouldn’t even imagine. So take this list as one which has been through the rounds of trying and testing all. One thing I can tell you for sure is by reading this, you’re about to get in the know of some REAL COOL MUM STUFF. And I highlight this COOL aspect, because depending on how far along you are, 9 months from right now, all the things you’ll want to buy for the foreseeable future will be the things that make your life easier, simpler and therefore slicker. My goal here is to make you a super SLICK mum with all the gadgets, frills and all.
This is a long ass list, so get comfortable, and let’s get started with the essentials:
Daily Use & Sleep
Muslin Cloths, Muslin Bibs and Muslin Swaddle Blankets - these are items you’ll be using pretty much all day everyday during the first few months and because of that, we spent close to a year trying to source the softest Organic Muslin for our Muslin Cloth and our Muslin Bib . I was told by my experienced maternity nurse at the time, to leave a muslin cloth on my shoulder for my baby to rest their head, it’s much cleaner than them resting on your clothes - this is especially important for any visitors you have who want to hold baby. When shopping for bibs, don't go for Velcro fastenings, they don't wash well and the stickyness ends up going after a few months.
The Miracle Swaddle – this really is a miracle product (get two, you’ll want a spare for when your other is in the wash).
Sleepyhead – there are tons of variations of this product on the market, I always went for the Sleepyhead brand, and even upgraded to the bigger size at around 6 months. I would use the Aden & Anais Swaddle Blanket to cover it, as it was much easier and quicker to throw into the laundry versus removing the Sleepyhead cover.
Everyday Vests & Sleepsuits – you will end up changing your babu multiple times a day, so I would recommend at least 5-10 sleepsuits and 5-10 vests. Find our Organic Cotton Sleepsuits here - we intentionally designed them with practicality in mind, adding an easy and quick zip-up feature instead of snap-buttons, which is a game-changer for those midnight nappy changers. Crafted in the softest Organic Cotton and personalised with your little ones name, this is a very special item for those early months.
Organic Cotton Socks – easy to forget, but pretty important for a newborn as keeping the feet warm is a great way to prevent colds and coughs. I recommend these.
Organic Cotton Scratch-Free Mittens - another easy to forget item, but quite essential in the early days as newborns have shockingly sharp nails and tend to scratch their faces.
Hand Sanitiser – stock up on sanitiser, keep one for the living room where your friends may come over and meet baby, keep one for your nursery/baby’s room and your bedroom, and get a mini attachable sanitiser for your diaper bag and your pram. You can never have too much.
Water Wipes - I've always found these are the best on the market.
Nappies - easy to forget as they're so basic, but you will need lots as soon as you're back from the hospital, and make sure they are the correct size.
Bath, Grooming & Care
Shnuggle bath – this is a best-selling new-born bath. It's lightweight and easy to move around, the only downside is it will not last you very long. Once my baby grew I changed to the Brevi bath which is a standing bath on wheels, which I found in Mothercare, it is also available on Amazon. I love this bath! It is practical, with plenty of storage space for bath toys, towels and creams, and in my experience it is much easier bathing a baby when standing. Plus, it can be moved around the house if necessary with lots of ease.
Original Sprout Soap – there are lots of nice, clean alternatives out there. This brand came highly recommended from my Pre-Natal class, and my maternity nurse who had not come across this brand before said she much preferred it to others.
Hooded Towels - hooded towels are definitely preferable for a new born.
Bath Sponges - these come in a nice pack of two.
Bath Rinser - this is especially useful for hair washing.
Craddle Cap Brush - this is pretty common for newborns, not all have it though.
Tommee Tippee Care Set - with all the grooming essentials, you'll be surprised by how fast your baby's nails grow and how sharp they are.
Double Base Gel - as an everyday moisturiser for newborns, it is designed for highly sensitive skin and I still use it now with my kids. This came highly recommended from my Paediatrician .
Vaseline - my very experienced maternity nurse swore by Vaseline and recommended a thick layer every night after bath on the feet, chest and back to prevent colds. This ended up as a staple in our house during the early months.
Medicine Bag – it's important to have a medicine bag ready with a few essentials. Mine was stocked with: Calpol, Calcough, Vapour Rub suitable for a newborn, Saline spray suitable for a newborn, Baby Ibuprofen, Braun Thermometer with some ear re-fills, and Plasters. Braun also do a Forehead Thermometer, which I used for my third baby.
Out & About
Pram – this is extremely personal and I highly recommend a trip to a department store that has a large selection of brands to test out (John Lewis has the widest selection I’ve seen in store). Everyone has different requirements for prams, some people are more focused on the look and design, whilst others want something lightweight, or one that can be converted into a double-pram in the future. I went for the Uppababy Cruz – for me it was a good weight, not too heavy, extremely easy to fold, with a good amount of storage space. Regardless of whichever pram you buy, it is almost 99% certain that you will move to a Baby-Zen Yoyo or equivalent when your baby turns 6 months, so bear this in mind. Having already bought one first time around, I was thinking I could get a copy-cat from Mothercare second time around – but with further research, the cheapest copy-cat versions have a very low weight capacity, whilst the Yo-Yo can be used until your child is approx. 5 years old, whilst still being one of the lightest around. For those having a second child, head to our list for Essentials for a Second Time Mama - as our pram recommendation for two kids is one of my most bought items used to date!
Pram Blanket – a cellular breathable blanket like this organic option is a must. And for a more designed option that is a beautiful addition to your pram when you're on-the-go, find our signature Hot-Air Balloon Personalised Pram Blanket here. It makes for the perfect newborn gift!
Flask - to keep your sterile water warm for a feed if on the go.
Skip Hop Portable Changer – this was hand's down my favourite gadget for out and about. I would fill it with: a packet of Water Wipes, a mini pack of Dettol wipes (for wiping down after use), a small travel bottle filled with Original Sprout soap, nappy sacks, and a mini nappy cream (Bepanthen). It can also attach to your pram.
Stroller Clips - once baby get here and your pushing around a pram, you'll want to be as hands-free as possible, hence these Stroller Clips for shopping are a must.
Maxi Cosi Car Seat - the Pebble Pro is designed for newborns and lasted us until around 1 year. We then moved to the Titan. I also love the Britax Romer Dualfix i-Size Carseat, which I bought for my third baby because it has a 360 degree rotation feature making it so much easier to put a child in. It is suitable from birth until around 4 years.
Baby Bag – with baby number one, I used lots of fancy bags in the beginning, until one day, at a locally organised play group I noticed almost every other mother carrying this. And it changed my life! This is an absolute must-have.
Baby's Room / Your Room
Baby Monitor – I went through almost every monitor on the market failing to find anything that would be reliable without disconnecting in the middle of the night. The most reliable I've come across so far is Nest. I've been using this for around two years now and have had no issues. For baby number three, I invested in the Nanit Pro, which is excellent - it is very reliable and has so many features, which include monitoring the baby's breathing, which I know for a first-time mum is something you can often have anxiety about. The downside of the Nanit is that it is solely an overhead view of the baby's cot, and so does not show the rest of the room. It is also very pricey versus most others on the market.
Laundry Basket - you're about to do a typical week's worth of laundry on a daily basis. Get ready!
Toy Basket - for quickly storing away the many many little rattles and stuffed toys you will accumulate during the first few months.
Cot - the list of options is endless pretty much like a Pram, and it's extremely personal. Try and go to your local department store and see a variety of options. I found my Cot from Dragons of Walton Street which I purchased with a Matching Changer Station. For baby number two, I purchase one from Pottery Barn Kids.
Changing Station – this will be where you change your baby in the early days (once you're baby grows to about 7-8 months it may become easier to change them on a changing mat on the floor, as they can move a lot which isn't safe at a height). Fill your changing station with all the essentials: Changing Matt lined with a Disposable Changing Matt (that may sound unnecessary, but it's much quicker to throw out a disposable changing matt if things get dirty), Wipes, Tissue Box, Kitchen Roll (when explosions happen and tissue just doesn't cut it), Dettol Wipes, Nappy Barrier Cream, a Plastic Tumbler for warming bottles, Cotton Pads (during the first few weeks they are much gentler to use on a baby than wipes) and Coconut Oil (my maternity nurse gave me a great tip to help clean a baby's soiled bum).
Arrange the drawers of your Changing Station, to make life easier. Separating your vests and baby grows by age, and creating a separate space for muslins, bibs and swaddles.
Sangenic Bin and refills – this is a nappy bin that completely contains the soiled nappy odour, and covers each nappy in an anti-bacterial film.
Night Light - you're about to do lots of waking up in the middle of the night in the early days, for nappy changes and feeds, so a night light is worth investing in. I love these option from Nursery Window.
Formula – you will need to think about what formula you’ll want to have at home once you come back from the hospital if you plan on formula feeding or split feeding. This is an extremely personal choice so I won’t go into the list of options, but it’s something to bear in mind when putting together your baby things. Starter packs with pre-sterilised teats are also great to have in your Nappy Bag for when you're out and about, saving you the hassle of pouring and mixing.
Formula Dispenser - for managing formula feeds when you're out and about
Madela Symphony Pump – this is hands down one of the best pumps on the market. It is a hospital-grade pump and so it is not advisable to buy but all major pharmacies tend to rent this for a small monthly fee. The advantages of hospital grade pumps come down to time-saving, a good 15 minutes and you're done, and that's with both boobs. PS. get used to saying the words boobs and poo, you're about to say them 1923842 times a day. Third time around, I used the Sprectre Electric Pump, which has been excellent and is a more feasible option if you want to invest in buying a pump. Don't forget, you will need to buy all the parts that go with it seperately.
Bra for pumping – this is a total game changer and allows you to pump hands free, use your phone, read a book
Steriliser - for both your bottles and pumping equipment
Bottles with the correct new born teat - bottles are again a very personal choice, and so I suggest looking around and finding one you are comfortable with. I used Dr-Browns Narrow 12oz Glass Bottle - remember to get the correct and appropriate teats.
Bottle Brush Cleaner – for washing all your bottles and teats.
E-Cover soap - a very gentle and chemically clean soap for cleaning all your things.
Tena Lady Pants - this is the hands-down the one item I encourage every pregnant mum to have, they are a total game-changer post delivery. They're basically adult diapers, and whilst they may sound ridiculous, the alternative you get in hospital just do not cut it at all. You won't need to use these for that long so just buy 1-2 packs. And remember to put them in your Hospital Bag (for a full round up Hospital Essentials - check out our Hospital Essentials List)
Lanisoh Nipple Cream - breastfeeding can be painful in the early days, and this will really help! It's super nourishing, I also used it on my lips!
Disposable Breast Pads - for leaky boobs, may sound gross but leaky boobs is oh so very real.
Sanitary Towels - once the super heavy bleeding stops, you can go back to a normal sanitary towel.
Panty Liners - post 37/38 weeks you can start to get some pretty weird things showing up in your underwear, which is almost always totally normal. A tip from my Pre-Natal classes was to wear a panty liner, in case anything showed up that worried you, you could send a photo to your gynac. And also, towards the end, things do tend to get a bit leaky, so you just feel a bit fresher wearing these.
The Bump Class Book - whilst I know a book is not really considered a deal-breaking essential, I decided to put this on here as when you are pregnant you will get a LOT of people giving you advice, or recommendations and tips, to the point where you won't really know what to think. This is an excellent book, with so many practical tips, useful information and things that really stay with you on your journey.