There’s no time in life more exciting than waiting for the arrival of your newborn baby! In anticipation of your bundle of joy, you’re probably waking up at 4am (what’s with that!), and starting to think about decorating the nursery, as your burgeoning bump continues to blossom.
The second trimester tends to be popular for getting baby-ready; allowing enough time to plan ahead, while still feeling mobile enough to shop. But then again, who needs to leave the house when you have the world wide web at your swollen feet!
From bottles and cribs to baby swaddle blankets, here’s a list of some of the must-have items to invest in.
We’ve divided it up by; nursery, sleeping, feeding, entertainment, clothing, travel and grooming, to make sure you’re covered.
For the Nursery
Your newborn baby will probably sleep in your room for the first months. However, you will still need a baby cot to rest their weary head. If you are planning to breastfeed, then you may want to opt for a crib with easy-access for night time wakening’s. There’s also a number of cot beds that later transition in to toddler beds, which make great investment pieces.
Especially in the early months, you’ll want to create an environment conducive to sleep for your baby. It’s well-worth investing in good quality cot bedding, preferably made from organic cotton, which is extra soft and far gentler on their tender skin. Since babies should sleep on their backs, you will want to provide the best possible materials for them. Decorated with beautiful illustrations, using non-toxic dyes, our organic cotton fitted sheets are one of our bestsellers.
Their rooms should never be too hot or cold so you may want to invest in a room thermometer. Many parents also find a baby monitor reassuring for when they can’t be in the same room; there’s a range in the market, depending on your needs. Not quite an essential, but it’s worth mentioning that there’s also numerous baby sleep toys that make calming noises helping your little one nod off. And if it doesn’t work on them, it probably will on you!
When it comes to newborn babies, it’s all about the layers. Equip yourself with lots of sleep-suits (about 10), as there will be plenty of changes.
Babies love the comfort of feeling safe and secure, and swaddling is an ancient practice that can help them feel settled. A swaddle blanket will come in extremely handy; they often double up as pram shades, wraps and comforters and are multi-beneficial. If you look back at photos of the Duchess of Cambridge coming out of hospital from birth, her babies are often wrapped in swaddles.
To keep babies warm, it’s tempting to use a chunky knit blanket. However, official guidelines recommend a lightweight well-fitting baby sleeping bag for your newborn. You may have heard of cellular blankets – these are recommended for little babies, since they have lots of tiny holes in and are made from cotton.
Many parents find a moses basket handy for daytime naps. These are easy to move from room-to-room, since children shouldn’t sleep in their buggies for long lengths of time.
Babies tend to eat, sleep and need changing on repeat.
Depending on your preference for feeding, you may want to invest in some or all of these items: A set of baby bottles with steriliser is always handy to have, and there’s also a number of handy gadgets that warm the milk up for you too. You may also find a breast pump helpful - there’s a wide range to choose in the market, although many women find the electric versions easier to use. The Little London Awards are a good place to start for inspiration for well-considered baby products.
One final thought for feeding - babies are messy business! There’s plenty of burping, dribbles and spills to clean up. Which is why it’s handy to stockpile muslin squares. Considering that these are often chewed by your little one, or end up in close contact with them, it’s wise to opt for organic cotton. Its premium quality makes it kinder to your baby’s skin. Basically, you can never have enough!
Other than a few black and white books (they don’t see in colour for a while), you need little else in way of entertainment for your newborn baby. Soft toys are always cute to cuddle up to, but you can expect to receive endless plush toys from friends and family.
It is worth thinking about a comforter though. These sometimes double up as a security baby blanket, so it’s a good move to buy a high-quality version.
Don’t be surprised if your baby’s wardrobe soon eclipses yours. It’s great fun shopping for a newborn and it’s worth spending wisely on items that are ethically produced for their delicate skin.
Usually, ten baby grows (a mixture of long and short sleeve) will suffice, along with coats/cardigans, scratch mitts, socks, a hat and lots of layers for bundling up. Do buy a combination of newborn as well as 0-3-month-old items, no matter how big you expect your bump to be!
Depending on the time of year, you may also want to get a snow suit or jacket. Think about their ‘coming home outfit’ as everyone will coo at your cute baby, and it’s never bad to be photo-ready!
Before you can even leave the hospital, you will need to show that your baby is travelling home safely in an approved car seat. Stores such as Halfords can help you with installation, and can advise on whether you need an Isofix.
For getting about day-to-day you’ll of course need a travel system, otherwise known as a pram or buggy. Since these are pricey investments, it’s a good idea to visit a professional supplier and try them out in advance with the parent or parents that will be using it.
Keep in mind how easy they are to open and collapse, as well as get in and out of your car. If you are planning to have more children, you may want to consider if they are adaptable too. You won’t need a stroller until your child gets older – this usually replaces a buggy, when you want to lug less around.
Finally, a baby-carrier or sling will serve you well for those early first months. They free you up and help getting out and about that bit easier. They vary in appeal, depending on your personal needs. Some prefer the security of a baby carrier, others find a sling more adaptable for feeding. It comes down to personal preference in the end.
Starting with the essentials; you can never have enough nappies! Certainly buy them in newborn size, as well as the next stage. Look out for versions with a wetness indicator, which comes in extremely handy. Trust us!
If you plan to take your little one swimming, then add swimming nappies and a secure swimming costume to prevent accidents in the pool. There’s also nappy bags, a nappy bin and a changing mat to add to your growing shopping list.
You’ll be cleaning your newborn baby with a top and tail bowl and cotton wool in the early days, but may soon move on to wipes. Look out for water wipes – these tend to be the most pure, alcohol-free and kindest to your baby’s delicate skin. Where possible, opt for natural cotton, since their bottoms are particularly sensitive areas. On that note, Sudocrem is another staple to buy.
For bath time, a baby bath will serve you well. Newborns don’t need shampoo, and the less chemicals used the better. But if or when you do decide to shop for items, opt for those that are organic and made from natural sources only. Don’t forget to stock up on baby towels, preferably those made from soft sustainable cotton, since they are irresistibly snuggly and soft!
On a final note, your baby will need regular nail cutting, so a pair of baby scissors will help prevent them from nasty scratches. And last but not least – if your budget extends, a baby thermometer comes in rather useful, particularly post-immunisation and when they are feeling unwell, so you can monitor their wellbeing.
Phew, after all that shopping, you deserve to put your feet up!
Credit: Header Image by @babyhitparade