Monthly Parenting Magazine

Newborn essentials: the ultimate checklist

Newborn essentials: the ultimate checklist

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If you’re expecting, the list of newborn baby essentials you need to get can seem a little overwhelming! If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together the ultimate shopping list to make sure you’ve ticked all of the boxes. From strollers to sleeping bags, here are our top newborn essentials to get ahead of your baby’s arrival…

Nursery and sleeping baby essentials

The Lullaby Trust recommends that you sleep in the same room as your baby for the first six months and up to one year if possible. For the first few months, you’ll need a Moses basket or side sleeper crib. Position it on your side of the bed to keep your baby close for night time feeds. Once your little one can pull themselves up (at around six months), it’s time to transfer them to a cot.

You’ll also need some baby bedding. The Lullaby Trust recommends a firm mattress and fitted sheets to create a safe space for your baby to sleep. A baby sleeping bag tends to be safer than loose duvets and covers – make sure you get the correct tog according to the season. Swaddles are also popular, the zip-up ones are easier and often safer. A waterproof mattress cover can also be handy. Cot bumpers are not considered to be safe for baby sleeping and baby nests are not recommended for overnight sleep. A room thermometer will help you keep the temperature at the optimum level for baby sleep.

To save you travelling back and forth to the nursery at night in those first few weeks and months, it’s also a good idea to set up a changing station in your room. Create a little space with a changing table, changing mat, nappy bin, and storage space for nappies, wipes and barrier cream. You might also want to create an area for feeding with a rocking chair and night light. These items can be moved into your little one’s room once they are ready.

Baby gear essentials

Finding the perfect stroller for your little one is an important investment. We recommend getting a travel system to make sure all of your bases are covered.

A lightweight stroller is perfect for city living, but if you choose a model with all-wheel suspension and all-terrain tyres then you’ll be able to navigate it off-road too. One of our favourite designs is the 4 in 1 Joie finiti. Compact and super stylish, it has a comfy seat that can be used from birth in the lie flat position and also positioned to be parent or outward-facing. If you prefer a bassinet for your little one, the finiti fits the luxurious Joie ramble carrycot – which is fully lined and cushioned for your little one’s comfort.

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Joie Ramble

The finiti can also be paired with the Joie i-Level car seat, which is useful if your little one nods off when you’re in the car. The award-winning i-Level has the latest i-Size safety upgrades and has a headrest and harness system that can be adjusted. The i-Level can be used up to 13kg which is around 15 months and the finiti can be used up to 22kg which is around 4/5 years old.

Aside from baby car seats and strollers, you might also want to invest in a baby carrier like the Savvy by Joie. Using a baby carrier can be helpful for public transport and short trips out and about. A fabric wrap-style carrier is also useful for keeping your baby close and giving you your hands back so you can get on with things around the house.

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Joie finiti and i-Level

Bath time essentials

Washing your little one will be much easier in a baby bath with a newborn support. You’ll also need a rinse cup for pouring warm water and some bath toys to keep your little one entertained. Young babies often don’t like bath time to begin with, so a large muslin to swaddle them in can help make them feel a little bit more secure.

You’ll also need some baby washcloths, a couple of hooded towels, and some baby products including gentle shampoo and lotion, a baby toothbrush and toothpaste. You’ll also need baby nail clippers or an electric nail file and you might want to keep some nappies, wipes and a nappy pail in the bathroom too.

Baby wardrobe essentials

It can be tempting to over-buy when it comes to baby’s clothes as everything is so cute! In the first few weeks your little one will sleep a lot, so baby sleep-suits are ideal. There will no doubt be several outfit changes a day due to spit up, sick, and poo (sorry!), so make sure you have enough. However, babies often grow out of the newborn size very quickly, so remember to take this into consideration when you’re shopping. You’ll also need a little cotton hat and some scratch mittens in those first few weeks.

If you’re having a summer baby, you’ll need a sun hat to shade the baby’s face, although it is recommended to keep little ones out of the sun. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen will be the coolest in warmer weather.

For winter babies, you’ll need a pram suit, warm woolly cardigans or jumpers, woolly booties, a hat and socks. Layers are the key to keeping little ones warm, so stock up on vests and onesies. The wrap style is the easiest to dress wriggly babies in!

Make sure you also get some baby size hangers. Drawer dividers are also useful for organising little ones’ tiny things.

Baby feeding essentials

If you’re breastfeeding, a nursing pillow can be more comfortable for you and your little one – especially during the nighttime feeds. Stock up on cream to prevent sore nipples as well as breast pads and nursing bras for you.

If you’re planning to mix feed, you’ll need either a manual or electric breast pump. You’ll also need some milk storage bags for your freezer.

If you’re bottle-feeding, you’ll need formula, bottles, teats, and a bottle brush. A steriliser is also a good investment, as well as a bottle maker. However you’re feeding, you’ll also need lots of burp cloths.

Once you start weaning your little one at around six months, the baby feeding essentials you’ll need will include a high chair, bibs, baby plates, cups and bowls, a placemat, and some baby cutlery. Freezer pots are useful for batch cooking as are snack pots and a thermo-insulated pouch for feeding your little one on the go.

Baby health essentials

It’s a good idea to get a baby first aid kit before your little one arrives. Most kits will include baby essentials such as a baby thermometer, dressings, antiseptic wipes, baby scissors and tweezers.

You might also want to invest in a baby monitor, although this is usually most useful when your little one moves into their own room.

Once your baby starts to crawl, you’ll also need to baby proof your home with safety locks, safety gates, corner protectors etc.

Toys and learning

Babies don’t need a lot of toys in the early days, but you might want to get a few items as they become more interested in what’s going on around them. A play gym is great for keeping little ones amused, as are baby mobiles – although make sure you follow advice on hanging these safely if you’re putting one of these where baby sleeps.

Rattles will help babies develop their fine motor skills and teethers can be a sanity saver for sore gums. Tummy time books, a play mat, and mirrors are also great for a baby’s development. And no doubt you’ll be gifted lots of cuddly toys! Just make sure to keep these out of the baby’s sleep space.

As your little one gets bigger, developmental toys are very important. There are so many to choose from, but a few of our favourites include a baby walker, musical toys, stacking blocks and of course books. 

Mama essentials

And finally, a few things you might want to get for yourself… A changing bag can be useful for transporting baby essentials on-the-go, and you’ll also need a separate hospital bag big enough for an overnight stay.

Don’t forget to stock up on postpartum care essentials too such as pads, a soothing spray, a donut cushion, and a squirt bottle. If you’re having a caesarean section, you may need extra dressings. 

If you’re nursing, consider your wardrobe as you’ll need easy access. Breastfeeding tops, vests and nursing bras are all good investments.

Other nice newborn essentials to have include memory books and photo albums.