I am going to help you take the stress out of working out what you do and don’t need and give you some recommendations for tried and tested products that we personally loved. With my second baby my baby essentials list was a lot smaller than with my first as by then I had worked out what was just a gimmick and what was actually useful. If you have printed off the essential baby items checklist then you can mark things off easily as you have bought them, or add them to your wish list!
I have a loathing of most products marketed 3 in 1 or 5 in 1 etc. They seem to try and be jack of all trades, master of none. There are, as always, some exceptions and I list these below.
BABY ESSENTIALS LIST:
What do I need to buy for a newborn baby?
Bedside Crib, mattress and Fitted Sheets:
A good crib is essential. That is why it is at the very top of the Essential baby items checklist!
We used the SnuzPod with my second child and he always slept so much better than my first ever did. We never took the sides down, we just used it like a regular crib but it was nice to be able see the baby clearly from my bed especially when he stirred in the small hours. This is one of the few 3 in 1 products that I recommend highly.
The SnuzPod comes without a mattress so you need to purchase one additionally.
We bought the Snuz branded fitted sheets to match. We had 4 sheets as we had a tumble dryer so 4 was plenty.
We used the SnuzPod as a moses basket downstairs during the day. My husband would carry it up at night and we would use it as a crib on the stand. I had a c section and without my husbands help I would not have been able to use it as a moses basket as well as it was quite heavy to carry up and down the stairs.
It handy some really handy storage space on the bottom too and we placed our nappies, wipes and muslins under there in a little open storage box for easy access – I called it a changing station!
A wardrobe or chest of drawers to store all the new baby clothes!
Babies tend to sleep most of the day for the first few months so they tend to mostly wear sleepsuits, rompers or vests depending on the weather. I had two reflux babies so we always needed a large supply of clothes. 0-3 months I bought 20 vests, 20 sleepsuits and a few outfits. I made sure the colours varied and would buy some lights, some darks and some colours! My daughter was a summer baby so she mostly wore rompers or sometimes just a vest when it was really hot.
We did not buy any newborn sized clothes when I was pregnant with George as I was measuring big, had gestational diabetes and they estimated he would be 7lb 13. He arrived early at 5lb11 and my husband had to quickly run over to the Asda opposite the hospital to buy him some first size/newborn clothes as age 0-3 months absolutely drowned him.
In colder weather a coat or pramsuit will be needed for walks outdoors. Coats and pram suits are thick and must never be worn when baby is using the car seat as it can cause the car seat to fail in an emergency.
Gro Bag and Blankets
Gro Bags are baby sleep sacks that you can use instead of blankets. We used Gro Bags with both children. George was born at 6lb so he took a while to get to the minimum for the Gro Bag. We used cellular blankets before he was the correct Gro Bag weight.
The Gro website has a handy chart that tells you what sleepwear and what tog of Gro Bag the baby needs for every possible room temperature.
We always had a blanket as well for use in the pram on cooler days.
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Bottle Making Machine
The NHS and midwives recommend breastfeeding over bottle feeding due to the health benefits for babies. I tried to breastfeed both times. With Lily I had to give up on the midwifes advice at 3 weeks as she had a failure to thrive. With George I breastfed him out of theatre and he seemed to be taking a lot so I was pleased. When the midwives did the heel prick to check his blood sugars they were low and I was advised by the midwife at the time that the fastest way to bring them up would be to bottle feed so I chose to do that. Click here to read my Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine review.
Whether you are planning to formula feed or feed expressed breast milk you will need a steriliser. With our first child we used a steam one. With our second we used a Milton Cold Water Steriliser. I much preferred using the Milton one. It was so easy to use and easy to add bottles to throughout the day.
We had tried Tommee Tippee bottles for both children but they both suffered with reflux and these did not suit them. We switched Lily to Dr Browns bottles and they really helped. We tried Tommee Tippee and Dr Browns with George but he was still getting gassy. He settled well on Mam bottles.
Small pack of ready made bottles
Both times I did take a small pack of ready made formula with the disposable teats they come with to the hospital in my hospital bag just in case I needed them.
Essential for everything! Baby been sick? Use a muslin. Baby need to play peek a bo? Use a muslin. Baby want to hold something and give it a cuddle? Use a muslin! You will always find use for them. We bought 20 so as not to run out.
I heard lots of advice with my first to buy mostly white baby clothes, bedding, bibs, muslins etc. To be honest, I saw the rationale behind it but it really did not work for me. I would end up needing to do two loads of washing per day. One for my husband and I and one for my baby.
Second time around I made sure I had some lights, some colours and some darks so some would always be cleaned when we did our washing.
There are two types of bibs. The cloth bibs used for babies and the plastic toddler bibs or aprons. All are useful, but for now, you only need the cloth type. You can buy the plastic type when you prepare for weaning.
A good travel system is essential. It is so easy when you are out and about and you can seamlessly transition between car seat and pram.
The pram should come with a good quality foot muff to keep baby warm in cold weather.
A travel system is not suitable for every situation. If you like to go for walks in the woods then you would quickly find that a pram will be difficult to push. We used the BabyBjorn Carrier Move.
We used the Babybjorn Baby Bouncer with George and he loved it. It was comfortable and stylish. It also folded flat which was handy when we travelled as it took up very little boot space. You should never let your baby sleep in a bouncer. George often nodded off in his bouncer so I would always take him straight out and either carry him up to bed or hold him and enjoy the cuddle.
We used the Skip Hop main frame changing bag with George. It was very good and had lots of useful compartments.
I really hope you find this list useful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me via social media.
We never used a video monitor or heart sensor with either of our children. We just used a cheap £19.99 Motorola baby monitor!
I never liked the ideas of wires near the crib so that was the reason for not using a video monitor. Baby heart beat sensors were not really around much then so I do not know much about them, might be worth a chat with your midwife about whether they would be a good idea for you.
Babies like to feel supported and comforted. An adult bath would be overwhelming and it would waste a lot of water to fill one just for a tiny baby!
We used a shnuggle bath with George and he liked it.
We bought three hooded towels. This was plenty for the first few months.
White Noise Machine
Both of our children had a white noise machine and both slept much better with one.
We had a little Tommee Tippee hygiene kit with a comb, brush, nail clippers, toothbrush and thermometer. We never used the thermometer as we already owned a rapid forehead thermometer which was really good and quick!
We bought a travel cot. We regularly go on trips so it was handy to have our own one.
We also used our travel cot as a playpen once the children were a little bit bigger and could sit up.
They both grew out of their travel cot by aged 2.
We chose to give our children dummies. Lily preferred the older style cherry shaped dummies and George preferred the Tommee Tippee dummies so I would recommend buying one dummy and trying it out before stocking up!
Download an A4 Printable Essential Baby Items Checklist:
I hope you find the essential baby items checklist useful. Do follow me on social media as new lists and checklists are added frequently.