Preparing for your new arrival can be one of the most overwhelming experiences for first time mum’s! There are so many options and an abundance of advice, that it can be hard to know what you ACTUALLY need for a new baby.
This Baby Shopping Guide contains all the must-have items for bringing your new baby home and some suggestions on which products I personally found to be the best.
Bassinet or cot and mattress:
This is really personal preference and comes down to a few different factors. If you are having your new baby sleep in the same room as you, I would recommend a bassinet to make the most out of space. If you do go with a bassinet, ideally get something that has wheels so you can move it around the house with you and into other rooms.
Newborn babies spend a lot of time sleeping so it’s nice to have the convenience of bringing them with you to other parts of the house. Especially if you have heating & cooling in certain rooms and keep them in living areas during the day.
For safety reasons, I would personally suggest buying a cot or bassinet new so you know that it has not been tampered with or broken in the past and is 100% safe. Choose a firm mattress for a cot or bassinet for SIDS safety reasons.
We are about to have our second baby and these are the three bassinet’s we are considering for the new bubs. Our first was delivered via an emergency c-section and so I would have LOVED a proper co-sleeper back then as my recovery was so painful.
Here are my top picks for bassinets and co-sleepers:
New babies are prone to lots of messy mishaps during sleep times – you name it, they do it! I would always recommend that you have a mattress protector on your bassinet or cot mattress to protect it. They are super easy to pop through the wash and re-apply when you’re remaking their bed.
These things are MAGIC! We personally used the Love To Dream Swaddles which were amazing and super easy to use. One of the biggest things with newborns is they have no idea what the difference is between day and night. My tip is to use normal zip up suits during the day and only swaddle at night so your baby can begin to learn the difference between the two.
Baby Video Monitor
There are mixed reviews on whether you ACTUALLY need to have a baby monitor or not, and again this is very much personal preference. We personally used ours a lot in the early stages for peace of mind, particularly during the day when you need to hang some washing out, get some fresh air or have a few minutes to yourself and don’t want to stress that your baby needs something. I would set the baby monitor up and then bring it outside with me or into different rooms of the house so I didn’t feel like I was a slave to the nursery!
The concept of needing or using breast pads was so foreign to me before I had my first. I didn’t get why on earth you needed to stick pads over your nipples for crying out loud – how strange. Let me tell you, these things are absolute life-savers when it comes to the first six weeks of breast-feeding.
There is no way that I would’ve survived any public experience without them. I still remember the one time I wasn’t wearing them in a WHITE SHIRT, standing in the kitchen with my partner and his work colleague. I’m sure you can guess what happened next and it was rather embarrassing – HAHA!
My favourites were the disposable Coles brand and you can get them in your online shop (which is an absolute god-send and I will write about in another blog soon) or in-store.
However, if you prefer ones that are machine washable then the Avent washable breast pads are quite good also and definitely love the fact you can have 6 pairs going and throw them in the wash as you need!
Okay – so this one depends on whether you’re going to breast feed or bottle feed. No judgement either way, I could personally only breast feed my son until 4-5 months as my milk began to dry up as I got pregnant so quickly with my second.
If you do decided to get a breast pump, here are my top tips.
- Choose a pump that is a closed system (hygienic for you and the baby!)
- Choose a pump that has the potential to be cordless – you need to be able to bring it with you anywhere and not be always plugged into a wall
- Choose a pump that is a double for convenience sake
I did A LOT of research about breast pumps prior to having my first and really narrowed it down to two pumps that I thought were the best in terms of quality, price and features. I ended up choosing the Spectra S1 Breast Pump which was amazing and super-simple to use.
It is a little on the pricey side but it won’t disappoint and you’ll get lots of use out of this, particularly if you decide to have more than one baby. Ours is still in perfect condition plus they have GREAT customer service if you run into any challenges.
Breast Milk Storage Containers
Again – this one depends on whether you will be breastfeeding or not. If you are, then I highly recommend picking up some breast milk storage containers for a few different reasons.
- It’s nice to have a back up in case you need them (support person needs to do a feed while you’re sleeping or not able to breast feed for some reason – and there can be lots of them!)
- Any extra milk that you express is not wasted and you can build up a milk bank for times of need
- You can bring them with you if for some reason you are heading out and need to express and feed via a bottle
- If you get REALLY sore nipples, you can always express and then bottle feed which gives your breasts a bit of a break! Any extra, or if you’re expressing a feed ahead, can be placed in these containers and stored in the fridge until you need them
The AVENT Breast Milk Storage Cups are the ones that I personally used with my first and found them to be air tight, simple to use and easy to clean and store.
Another one for breast feeding mama’s – this will literally save your life. Lots of women get really sore nipples from feeding, especially in the first few weeks. I would recommend having lots of nipple cream on hand and potentially even a few tubes – one for your handbag or baby bag, one for the nursery and one for the car!
The main reason is that nipple cream hydrates, nourishes and replenishes your nipples back to health. The other reason is it protects them from damage or further damage and helps to ease the friction and rubbing that can happen inside your bra or onto the breast pad. Sounds a bit gross but any barrier cream you can put between your beloved nipples and your bra will be heavenly.
Lanisoh is the main brand you will hear of and it does a great job however it is made with animal products so if you’d prefer to use something more natural and free from animal ingredients then I recommend the Weleda brand.
Nappies are the super obvious buy here but there are LOTS to choose from. We went with Huggies initially as that was the recommendation from my friend who had girls. Personally, we found them to leak and I ended up trying Baby Love instead.
I wouldn’t recommend buying any more than one packet/box of newborn nappies as you will find that they outgrow them really quickly or they will leak through (this is a sign that you need to go up to the next size!). It’s not really a bad idea to have them move up to the next size on the earlier side as the guides on the boxes are a rough estimate only.
Even now, Henry is always using nappies that are around a size too big as it’s more important for them to be absorbent than to be a perfect smaller fit!
Again – there are lots of options for wipes. The most important thing is to strike a balance between quality and cost as there is a big difference between the budget option and the higher quality one. Personally, I found that the budget baby wipes didn’t have much moisture, were prone to ripping and I had to use 10x as many to do the job.
The best that you can buy would hands down be the Water Wipes brand which are made with 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract. They can be a little bit hard to find at times and are definitely on the expensive side but so worth it!
For the nursery, I had the Huggies pop-up tubs that you can refill with bulk wipes and save some money. These are great for the nursery as they are easy to pop open with one hand during a nappy change however I would recommend a travel size pack for the baby bag as they are too clunky to carry around in your bag.
To be honest, I have no idea how so many people survive without a change table! This has been the biggest god-send for us and is something we use daily – even with a 10 month old. It’s definitely true that you can change a baby anywhere, and you definitely do that when you have a new born but having a dedicated area in the nursery to change a nappy is definitely worthwhile.
This is not an item I would spend LOTS of money on unless you have a particular brand or look that you want to achieve. We went with the IKEA change table which was so affordable and has served us so well! TIP: We bought our change table topper from Baby Bunting though as I wasn’t a big fan of the quality of the IKEA one – I haven’t personally used it but I definitely love the plush, thick topper we bought from BB.
If you have a car, you will definitely need either a capsule or a car seat. You don’t have to buy both at the same time – most people suggest starting with the capsule which can be used until approximately 6 months of age and then transfer to a convertible car seat which will last between 3-4 years.
Personally, we LOVED our capsule and can’t recommend them highly enough. It’s so convenient to have a car seat that clips in and out of the base in the car without waking baby up! We were so sad when Henry outgrew his and had to move to a big boy car seat as he wakes up as soon as he gets in and out of the car and we can’t clip him straight into the pram base anymore.
If you choose a capsule, my tip would be to buy a pram that has adaptors so you can literally get baby out of the car and clip the capsule straight onto the pram base! Voila!
A pram is a must-have and will be an item you use everyday! Again, this is a personal preference item and there are so many great prams on the market. The most important thing is that you go and personally try them in-store, wheel them around, pack them up and pack them down so you really get a good idea of what you are buying.
Another tip is to buy a pram that has the potential to be a double/tandem if you decide to have another baby after this one. We went with the Bugaboo Cam3 which has been a great pram for the most part however we have to sell it now to buy a double/tandem as it can’t convert!
Baby Bath Support
If you already have a bath at home then I would recommend just picking up a baby bath support as we found these much easier to use than a baby bath on a stand. It’s another thing you have to find room to store and it also doesn’t have a drain or plug so can be a challenge to clean up after every bath.
Other Must-Have Items:
- Nail clippers
- Small wash cloths (these come in handy for bath time, little spews, dribbles and cleaning up!)
- Hooded towel
I hope this guide has helped with your journey and given you some advice on the items that are essential for a new baby. If you enjoyed the post or have any questions, please comment below!
Disclaimer: I have NOT been sponsored or paid in any way to promote the below brands, the advice is based on my personal experiences only.