THE NEWBORN ESSENTIALS YOU ACTUALLY NEED
If you are pregnant, especially if this is your first baby, I know you have started thinking about what the first baby essentials are. I know you are planning ahead and probably budgeting as getting all these essential things for a newborn can be very expensive, but where do you start and how do you know what are the essential things to buy for a newborn and what can you leave on the shelf? When I was pregnant I was overwhelmed by all the things that everyone told me were newborn essentials. Before I had our first child I am fairly sure that most of Fisher Price was piled up in boxes in my front room.
Then I had my baby and realised that I didn’t need most of it… EVER and the things I did need often weren’t required for the first six months. They weren’t baby newborn essentials after all! Oh the money I wasted…
So, now four children in, I am here to save expectant mothers from drowning under a sea of baby stuff and from wasting money by sharing my list of essential things to buy for a newborn baby and I have even broken this down by category for you so you can easily check off items when you are shopping for baby essentials for the first year and know that you have all bases covered, but haven’t bought things you won’t need.
New Baby Essentials – you don’t need it all!
You don’t NEED it all – you might want it and if you do and can afford to buy everything then go for it. Shopping for those first baby essentials is really fun and exciting, but if you would rather be a bit mindful of spend and don’t have a mansion to put it all in then I totally recommend focusing in on what you actually NEED to have. Remember once you have your baby and get to know them you can always get that extra rocker or chewing toy, but you don’t need it all on day one. So if you want to just start with the actual newborn essentials then this list is for you.
The 26 Newborn Essentials you need
The list below of newborn essentials tries to also why you need these items and I have included links wherever I can to save you from having to search around, but if you would rather just see it all in one place then check out my Newborn Essentials Product Collection where I have pulled together all the items that I love including options at different price points and more sustainable/ eco friendly options too.
- Maternity Pads – It is not in the least bit glamorous, but you need maternity pads!
- Waterproof bed mats to spare your sheets at the start (these are, I am afraid for you and not the baby). You can get disposable ones for potty training or washable ones which is what I preferred as they aren’t as sweaty to sleep on. They do make ones for people post surgery, but they are more expensive and if you get potty training ones then any left overs can be saved for the future – you will need them for your potty training toddler
- If you are planning to breastfeed then have some nipple cream at the ready. I have some fab tips for you to get you through the first month of breastfeeding over on this post
- Breast pads for the leaking. These are a godsend when you are out and about as no one wants to walk around with a damp nipple shaped mark on their clothes. You can get disposable ones or washable ones. Personally I found the washable ones more comfortable as they are typically made of bamboo cotton so very soft. They are of course also better for the planet as less waste.
- Nursing bras and tops – this makes life a lot easier especially for feeding in public if you are not a bare all kind of gal
- If you plan to breastfeed you don’t need any of this on day one, but if not or if you want to express; 8 bottles, a Sterilser and a bottle brush
- A breast pump – I am a big fan of expressing milk as it gives you a little bit of freedom to be able to perhaps leave baby with their daddy and for daddy to be more involved
- Muslin cloths – I had hundreds of these as my first had reflux so they were constantly in use, but to start with a few will do as they dry quickly and you will be doing washing every day (at least). My top tip here is just get the plain white ones. They are cheaper and since you are just going to be wiping sick up with them in the main there really is no point in paying extra for them to be pretty
- Nappy bag (Diaper Bag for my american friends) – you can use a normal bag so I was debating whether this was an essential, but they are very handy to have and really do have space for everything. Personally I love Skip Hop as they are stylish, but so very practical. They also really last. I bought one second hand, used it with my kids and was still able to sell it on as it was in perfect condition all of the stitching is of a super high quality.
- A Rear Facing Car Seat – check out this car seat safety information and really do keep your child rear facing for as long as possible REAR FACING SEATS 5x SAFER
- A buggy – if the one you pick is suitable from newborn you won’t need a carrycot as well. They grow out of them so very quickly
- A moses basket that you can easily move around as you are unlikely to want to leave a newborn to nap far away from you. Mokee have some beautiful and practical items to set up your baby nursery
- A baby bouncer – this will buy you time when you need to hang out washing etc especially if it vibrates
- A baby carrier or wrap – a god send so you can actually get some stuff done when baby just wants to be held and it is just lovely keeping them close to you. My favourites are the Ergo Baby. I have used them with all my children, but have also tried various other wraps and carriers and always came back to this brand. I just found that they were so much more comfortable for me to use and my kids loved them too.
- Nappies, Nappies, Nappies – We used washable nappies with our first child, but once I had 3 in nappies that went out the window. I recommend buying nappies in your weekly shop in advance of having a baby. You won’t notice one pack per week, but you will notice the cost when the baby is actually there if you have to buy them all at once. I also recommend joining Amazon family as you can save 15% on nappies
- A nappy bin – For me this is an essential as it really does help in the middle of the night to be able to just put dirty nappies into a bin in the bathroom rather than having to keep going downstairs and they do contain the inevitable smell. For my twins I had two; one upstairs and one downstairs, but that was another level of nappy changing.
- 20 baby sleep suits – help yourself out and let them wear these almost all of the time. They don’t need fancy outfits.
- 20 vests (short sleeved and long sleeved)
- 7 long sleeved cardies or padded jackets depending on the time of year
- 4 baby blankets. I like the cellular blankets; depending on the time of year you might also need a thicker blanket for trips out in the buggy. Once my little ones were around 3-6 months old we changed to grobags, but I like the blankets for newborns
- 6 baby cot or moses basket sheets (if you baby has reflux you will end up needing more, but this is a good start)
- Cotton wool or reusable bamboo pads you will use this with water instead of wipes for you newborn and for the gunky eyes that often come
- Baby wipes – like nappies I would stockpile in advance and try to get the bio degradable ones if possible as there is lots of choice with these now
- A baby bath support – you can do without, but these make bathing easier and safer so for me are a must have
- Soft hooded towels for after bath; newborns get cold fast so this is a must, but 2 is really enough. Use one wash one!
- Changing mat
- Netflix, HAYU or Amazon Prime – or even lots of box sets.
When you are feeding in the middle of the night or stuck on the sofa for what seems like hours it is more palatable if you can watch something for a bit. I watched the whole of Grey’s Anatomy in the middle of the night with my first child. That really was a newborn essential for this mummy!
Newborn Essentials by Category
As promised this list gives you all the essentials broken down by category so you can check them off as you get organised for the arrival of your beautiful baby. Enjoy this exciting time mama to be! Never forget you got this!!