As a brand-new parent (or almost-parent) you already know that babies need a LOT of equipment. From baby grows to carry cots to monitors and oh-so-many nappies, getting ready for your new arrival is an expensive business. You can keep costs and stress to a minimum when you know exactly what you’ll need. Our ultimate list of eight newborn essentials will make those early weeks and months a little bit easier.
Baby grows, hats, socks, booties, sleepsuits… how does such a tiny person need such a big wardrobe? In those early months, your baby will go through several outfit changes a day, so stock up with multipacks where you can. Choose fabrics that are gentle on delicate newborn skin and easily washable, such as cotton and linen.
Baby carriers come in all shapes and sizes and are crucial for your baby’s safety and comfort when you’re out and about. Babywearing with a wrap or sling creates a cosy, safe place for your baby, while a baby backpack is a practical alternative to keep them close while having your hands free. A soft structured carrier will have adjustable straps and buckles to hold the baby in a natural position and will last into toddlerhood. Some carriers can be tricky to start off with, but there’s no right choice – try a few options to find the one that works best for you.
Many new parents choose to have their newborn sleep in a Moses basket or crib in the same room as them. Moses baskets and carry cots are snug and portable options, but your baby is likely to outgrow them pretty fast, so starting off with a crib can be a less expensive choice in the long run. Cribs come in different sizes and often have a rocking function which can help your baby get to sleep. Whatever you choose, create a safe sleep space free of loose blankets and pillows and make sure the room is a cool temperature.
Most parents like to use a baby monitor during nap time, but with so many on the market, how do you choose? You might find peace of mind with a simple audio or visual monitor. A breathing or movement monitor will alert you when the baby hasn’t moved for a set amount of time. Wireless digital monitors can be encrypted so you don’t accidentally transmit your baby’s crying to an unsuspecting neighbour, and many now come with compatible apps so you can remotely control room temperature or turn on your baby’s favourite tunes. Whatever you choose, you’ll want one with a long-lasting battery, decent range and clear sound.
Newborns don’t really need toys, but they do love bright colours and funny noises as they start to make sense of the world. Soft, tactile and noisy toys that stimulate the senses are ideal choices, such as rattles, teething toys, cuddly animals and baby gyms. They should be free from anything that could be a choking hazard, and easily washed, as they’re likely to be well-loved!
One of the biggest investments you’re likely to make is your baby’s stroller. Active family? Choose a jogging stroller. More of a city-dweller? Go for something lightweight and portable, such as an umbrella stroller, complete with in-built hood. And if you already have or are likely to have another child, a double stroller will be the one for you.
A baby bath can make bath times easier for you and safer for your newborn. In the first few months, your baby only needs bathed a few times a week. A small, foam baby bath will fit in your sink and help avoid slips. Larger, collapsible tubs can grow with your baby without taking up too much bathroom space, while travel baby baths are handy at home and on the go. If your baby really isn’t keen on bath time, they may prefer to sit upright in a bucket bath.
Baby Food and Formula
Newborn babies need to feed every few hours. Feeding can be stressful, but it’s the perfect time for cuddles and bonding. It’s your choice whether you breastfeed or bottle feed. If breastfeeding is challenging or not possible, many mums choose to express milk and feed the baby with a bottle or use baby formula instead.
Life with a newborn is full of decisions and it’s completely normal to worry about doing the right thing and choosing the right products. If you’re unsure about anything, your health professional will be happy to give you some reassurance or advice.