When you are pregnant and looking at what you will need for when the baby arrives it is very tempting to BUY. ALL. THE. THINGS. Cute little outfits. A pram. Somewhere for them to sleep. Some more cute little outfits. A swing. A bouncer. Even more cute little outfits. A car seat and OMG! I just have to buy this cute little outfit!! There are so many things that seem to be very useful and that you will definitely use but there are others that you will shove in a corner somewhere to gather dust. So what things are essential for a newborn? Although there are lots of lovely things out there which may not be considered an essential item to one person, someone else might find that they use it all the time. So here are my Newborn Essentials and what I found useful for the first few months.
#aff. Obviously your baby will need somewhere to sleep and for the first 6 months you are advised that the baby sleeps in the same room as you. You might decide to get a Moses basket as it is easy to carry room to room but they can quickly outgrow it or maybe you think a bedside cot will suit your needs better. We went for the Snüzpod Bedside Crib in Natural. We decided to go for this one as the side could be unzipped and then be attached to the bed for easy night time feeding. If you don’t need to have the side down (we didn’t in the end) there is a see through mesh part to make it easy to look at your baby from your bed. Also the bassinet part lifts off so you can move it from room to room if needed for daytime naps.
Baby sleep bags are fantastic for bedtime and are much safer to use than covering them with blankets which they can kick off or get tangled up in during the night. I bought the Grobag sleep bags although you can find other versions in supermarkets or in stores that stock baby items. They come in different tog ratings to use in the Summer and Winter months as you don’t want your baby to be too hot/cold when they are sleeping. Babies do need to weigh over 8.8lb (4kg) before being able to use a sleep bag so they don’t slip down. If they are smaller than that you will need to use a cellular blanket or swaddle them.
A set of wheels is required to get you and your baby around. There are so many different brands and types of prams and pushchairs to choose from. It is worthwhile spending time to find out which one would suit your needs the best. Also measure your car boot size! Some prams and pushchairs take up a LOT of room even when folded. We decided to go for a Silver Cross Pioneer travel system as this meant we didn’t have to get a separate pushchair and pram. With travel systems you can use your car seat (providing it is one that is compatible with the chassis) as well as a carrycot that clicks in and out. Once your baby is older then you just use the pushchair part to get around.
Another newborn essential item is the car seat as most maternity hospitals won’t allow you to leave without one. Again there are lots of different brands out there and some might not be compatible with your car so you will need to check before buying if it is suitable. As we have the Silver Cross Pioneer travel system we went for the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat as this can be used with the pushchair chassis. Another thing that we bought was an isofix base for the car seat and would really recommend getting one. It is so much easier just clicking the seat into the base than fannying about with seatbelts to hold the car seat in place.
#aff. For bathtimes, I bought an Angelcare Soft Touch Bath Support in Aqua instead of a baby bath. I felt that as well as taking up less room for storage it saved having to fill up and empty a baby bath. You just need to fill up your bath until it reaches the water level indicator on the bath support and put your baby in. It also means that your hands are free to wash and play with your baby as they are well supported while in the water.
In the early days changing nappies is something that you will be doing a lot of. As many as 10-12 a day in the first few weeks! Doesn’t that sound fun?! Although changing tables aren’t an essential I found it a great help after having a caesarean section as I could just stand to change nappies/clothes rather than bend down on the floor to do it. Also wipeable changing mats are a must to clean any ‘leakages’ that will no doubt happen when the nappies are off. I found having two changing mats worked well, I had one for downstairs and the other for upstairs. This saved me going up and down the stairs each time he needed a nappy change.
Nappies are definite essentials. Whether you want to go down the cloth or disposable route is entirely up to you and what suits your needs the best. Make sure you have enough for the early days as you will be going through so many. I found Water Wipes to be really very good (although they are quite pricey) and gentle on the skin too. You could always use cotton wool and water but when your eyes are only half open through lack of sleep you just want something that gets the job done and quick!!
These are definitely newborn essentials as they have so many uses. The larger ones can be used to swaddle your baby, as a light blanket in the pram or even as a cover on public changing mats if you are out and about. The smaller ones can be used as comforters, mopping up sick, burp cloths, mopping up pee that always happens mid nappy change and even as a bib. You can never have enough muslins!!
I had heard really good things about Sleepyheads while I was pregnant and bought it regardless of whether or not he was going to be a good sleeper. I wasn’t taking any chances to find out about sleep deprivation the hard way! It is basically a pod that your baby sleeps in. You can use it in their cot (it fitted in our Snüzpod), for daytime sleeping in the room that you are in, for co-sleeping, you could even take it for sleepovers/holidays. It does say 0-8 months but Noah was too big for it by the time he was 5 months old and has been sleeping fine (so far) without it since so we haven’t needed to buy the Sleepyhead Grande for him.
Ok, this might sound a weird item to include in this type of post but I really found the Echo Spot very useful. In the early days I used it to play lullabies and white noise to help get Noah to sleep. It was also useful to find out what the temperature/weather is like that day so I knew what clothes to put him in and now also use it to play children’s music to singalong to while he is getting dressed or playing in his room. I’m pretty sure that his first word is going to be “Alexa!!”
This baby monitor was on my must have list as it has a mattress movement sensor pad which triggers an alarm if they stop breathing. It also sets the alarm off when you forget to switch it off, pick up the baby and leave the room to feed him. Don’t think my excuse of ‘just testing the alarm’ was believable at 2.30am every day! It also shows you the room temperature and will set the alarm off if the temperature gets too cold/hot.
#aff. The Gro Egg thermometer displays the room temperature as well as cleverly letting you know if the room is too hot, too cold or just right by changing colour. The ideal temperature for a baby’s room is 16-20°C and the Gro Egg will display a yellow colour (as well as a smiley face). If the room is too cold it will change to blue and too hot will turn the display to red. It can also be used as a nightlight as it gives off a low glow when the lights are off.
I hope that you found this Newborn Essentials list helpful. What do you have on your must-have list?