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New Baby: Essential Buys

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

Posted: 16 October 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. Scratch mitts
  5. Two or three cardigans or a couple of cardigans and a jumper.
  6. Outdoor suit or set in winter – If you have a winter baby you’ll need extra layers for out of doors.
  7. A couple of pairs of baby socks or booties for out and about
  8. A bonnet
  9. 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 you’ll need at least 24 to get you through two days, and more if you don’t have a tumble drier. Don’t forget the fastenings
  10. 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
  11. A changing mat or unit that’s easy to wipe clean
  12. Baby wipes and cotton wool for changing and top and tailing
  13. 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
  14. Baby bath - A mild bathing formula is optional for baby, many mums prefer to use no cleanser at all on their baby's soft skin
  15. A couple of small towels for after bathing, as soft as you can afford. The variety with hoods are particularly cosy for baby
  16. 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)
  17. A crib, moses basket 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
  18. 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
  19. A couple of blankets for the pram or buggy
  20. 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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Discuss this story

Something i found to be an essential when i had my daughter, and still use now is a milk dispenser. If you are bottle feeding it is much easier (and cheaper) to buy one of these and measure the amount of milk into the sections, that way when you go out you can mix your milk quickly and easily, rather than premixing and buying a bottle holder to keep them fresh. They are also great in the middle of the night to keep by your bed, so no having to go into the kitchen at 3am! I have and Avent one for £4.99, and a Mothercare one which was bout £2.99, but i would reccomend the Avent one as it is easier to use and turns into a feeding bowl when no longer needed.

Posted: 19/02/2007 at 16:28

Something that I have used to death is Asda shawls. They cost £3 each and come in three colours, cream, pink and baby blue - they are really soft, you can wash and tumble dry them, and they are brilliant as moses, pram or cot blankets - definately on my list of baby essentials, and a great bargain!
Maddie N Tara ( 4 weeks today!)xx

Posted: 19/02/2007 at 19:12

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