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Preparing for the arrival

What will you really need for your newborn? Make sure you get the necessary before the nice-to-have

Posted: 8 November 2009
by ThinkBaby

There's no end of baby related equipment and no limit to the money you could, and are probably tempted, to spend on your new baby. What you really need is another matter. If you check off the list of essentials first then you'll know how much money you've got left to splash out on those not-so-necessary-but-terribly-cute things, and a few little luxuries to make your life easier.

  1. A carseat - for a newborn (rear-facing)
  2. 5 or 6 babygros for a newborn - While the newborn baby size of clothes will probably be too small in less than two months, it’s still wise to buy several sets of the basic essentials as you’ll be changing them often. Even if you get lots of baby clothes as gifts they’re not likely to be these perhaps boring, but utterly indispensable, basics. Which also goes for…
  3. 5 or 6 baby vests
  4. Two or three cardigans or a couple of cardigans and a jumper.
  5. Outdoor suit or set in winter – If you have a winter baby you’ll need extra layers for out of doors.
  6. A couple of pairs of baby socks or booties for out and about
  7. A bonnet
  8. Nappies – If you go for disposables, which you might find easier in the first couple of weeks while you’re adjusting, you’ll need quite a few of these as your baby will need changing every couple of hours. If you’ve got space then try and stock up for a week or so to make life easier on yourself later. There are lots of different brands out there, so you might want to get a recommendation from a friend or from ThinkBaby. If you’re going for reusable nappies the number you use will depend on the type of nappy you use, but you'll be safe with 24 to get you through two days (you may need more if you don't have a tumble drier). Don’t forget the fastenings
  9. Waterproof pants - If you’re using reusable nappies you’ll need several pairs of waterproof pants for over the top (unless you have the all-in-one kind). You might also want to think about disposable liners that can be flushed down the loo to minimise the nappy soiling
  10. A changing mat or unit that’s easy to wipe clean
  11. Baby wipes and cotton wool for changing and top and tailing
  12. Baby bath, bowl or newborn bath support for an adult bath - There are plenty of options when it comes to bathing baby, and it’s really a matter of personal preference
  13. Baby bath - A mild bathing formula if you want to use one. Alternatively you can simply use nothing at all on your baby's skin
  14. A couple of small towels for after bathing, as soft as you can afford
  15. Feeding accessories - Bottles, teats, a steriliser or sterilising fluid and brushes if you are bottle feeding (you’ll need these later if you are breast feeding but want to be able to express milk too)
  16. A crib, moses basket, hammock or cot – depending on your preferences. Many parents like to keep their newborns in a crib or moses basket by their bedside for the first few months
  17. Bedding - for the baby’s cot. Your baby will need the right size mattress for their bed, fitted with a waterproof cover and soft fitted cotton or flannel sheets. To cover baby you can use either layers of cellular cotton blankets or a baby sleeping bag
  18. A couple of blankets for the pram or buggy
  19. A pram or buggy suitable for newborns (you might prefer to carry your baby around in a sling for the first couple of months)

For mum

  • Nursing bras, breast pads and somewhere comfortable to sit and nurse if you are breastfeeding
  • Squares of muslin or muslin nappies to protect your clothes when feeding or winding
  • Maxi pads to manage post-labour flow

Nice to have

  • A sling for carrying your baby on your front in the first few months and / or a backpack or papoose to carry the child on your back when she’s heavier later

What you can probably forget about

  • Soft toys – they’re cute and tempting, but you’ll probably receive lots of soft toys for your new baby as gifts, so it’s a good area to exercise restraint if you’re on a budget, though we know you're going to buy at least one. If your friends turn out to be far more practical with their gifts then you can always buy toys later

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