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Newborn essentials list – top 10 buys

It’s crazy how much stuff there is for newborns these days. It can be overwhelming when you walk into a baby store or read a baby magazine – you think you’ll need to buy everything on show and you’ll be a bad parent if you don’t get your baby the latest gadgets.

But the truth is, newborns don’t need as much stuff as you think. For the first few months, all they tend to do is sleep and eat anyway. They just need somewhere comfortable and flat to sleep, milk on demand and a clean nappy.

Don’t forget that once they’re born, your friends and family will likely want to buy a gift for your new baby. If you want to avoid duplication of gifts or have some specific ideas for what people can give, create a gift list and let people know what you’d like them to buy.

And if you’re stuck, here are our top 10 essential buys for newborns that you might want to add to the list…

1. Travel system

A travel system includes everything you need to transport your little one around, which is why they’re a popular choice among new parents.

A travel system tends to come with a rear-facing car seat, which can clip onto the frame of the pram, a carrycot for the first six months and a pushchair attachment for when they’re older.

There’s lots of choice when it comes to travel systems, so do your research and if you can, give it a test drive to check it’s comfortable for you to push and easy to put up and down.

Of course, you can buy each piece separately, but a travel system can sometimes be a more economical option. It’s an investment but includes everything you need to transport your little one – from infant to toddler – some systems even come with extras like a cup holder, changing bag and isofix base.

2. Baby carrier/sling

Newborns love to have close contact with you in the first few weeks and months. That’s why a baby carrier or sling is a great option.

If your baby has trouble settling in their crib, it can be hard to get them to nap so you can make yourself a sandwich. Getting them to nap in a sling or baby carrier means they still get that close contact from you, and you can have your hands free to make (and eat) some lunch.

Not only that but it’s handy if you’re going somewhere busy or don’t want to cart your pram around with you, as it’s a real space saver.

There are lots of different options on the market, so it’s a good idea to try them withbefore you buy. See if there’s a sling library near you or ask a friend if you can borrow theirs.

3. Crib or Moses basket

For the first six months of their life, it’s recommended that your baby sleeps in the same room as you. So, you need to make sure that the crib or Moses basket you choose fits in your bedroom. One that rocks is a good option, to help soothe your little one if they’re having trouble settling.

‘Next to me’ cribs are a popular choice as they can work as an extension of your bed, meaning you don’t need to get up and down to tend to baby, and they can feel safe knowing that they’re close to you. Don’t forget to follow all the advice to ensure your baby sleeps safely.

4. Baby wipes

Believe it or not, baby wipes aren’t just for babies! They’re super-handy when your kids are older too – especially when they’re eating ice cream! Some even swear by them as a trusty cleaning product when they’re doing household chores!

For your newborn though, it’s best to opt for wipes that are water-based as they’re gentler on your little one’s skin.

We love these Water Wipes.

5. Nappies

Whether you choose disposable or reusable nappies, you’re going to get through a lot of them in the early days. Newborns typically need changing 10-12 times a day. It’s always best to change their nappy as soon as possible after they’ve done a wee or poo, to prevent nappy rash.

Disposable nappies are pretty high-tech these days – with built-in colour-change strips and leak-proof technology. Meanwhile, reusable nappies are a great choice for climate-conscious parents and come in lots of colourful, playful designs.

6. Muslin cloths

Muslin cloths are super-handy – not just for cleaning up baby sick but dribble and snot too. It’s a good idea to keep one in different areas of the house so you always have one to hand.

And if you choose to breastfeed, they’re great for protecting your modesty when you’re out and about.

They can even work as a soother or comforter for your baby, especially if it smells of you, to help them settle at night.

7. Feeding bottles and sterilising equipment

Whether you plan on breastfeeding or bottle feeding, it’s a good idea to buy some bottles in order to feed you baby.

If you’re breastfeeding, it means you can express your own milk and use it in a bottle, so your partner can feed the baby too.

For newborns, you only need small bottles, as they tend to feed little and often, and make sure you have a few bottles with teats and caps. Opt for teats with a slower flow, as it prevents baby from swallowing too much milk too quickly.

It’s important to sterilise all your feeding equipment to ensure it’s clean and prevent your baby from getting an upset tummy. There are a variety of sterilisers on the market including microwave ones and electric ones. Do your research and choose the steriliser that most suits your needs and lifestyle.

8. Vests and sleepsuits

While there are lots of adorable outfits out there for newborns, on a practical level, a good supply of vests and sleepsuits is all your baby really needs to get through the first few months.

They’re comfortable, easy to get on and off, and are affordable – which is good as you’ll need a lot of them (those poo stains can be tricky to get out)!

Despite what you might think, size 0-3 months is likely to be too big for a newborn, so opt for a newborn size. There are, of course, even smaller sizes for premature babies, but it’s often hard to know how big they’ll be until they actually arrive.

Supermarkets with clothing lines are a good place to buy baby vests and sleepsuits, as they often have a good selection and tend to come in packs, which are reasonably priced and far more economical.

We love these super-cute animal print sleepsuits and this 10-pack of pure cotton vests, both from Marks and Spencer.

9. Changing unit and changing mat

You’re going to be changing your baby a lot during the early days, so it’s important that both you and your little one are comfortable, and that they’re safe.

A changing unit with cupboards and/or drawers is a great option to store your newborn’s clothes and changing supplies and means you don’t have to buy a separate chest of drawers.

You’ll need a nice, squishy changing mat so they don’t have to lie on a hard surface, and it’s a good idea to buy a fold-away changing mat too, that you can take with you wherever you go. Choose one that has extra compartments and pockets so you can keep your nappies, wipes, nappy bags and nappy rash cream altogether and on hand for those nappy change emergencies.

We love this changing unit, changing mat and fold-away changing mat all from Amazon.

10. Monitor

It’s crazy how you spend hours wanting them to go to sleep, and then when they finally do go to sleep, you worry about them and constantly want to check on them to make sure they’re ok and still breathing.

A baby monitor can help put your mind at ease, and there are lots of different types on the market, depending on your needs. They range from audio-only models so you can listen out for their cries, to state-of-the-art wearable monitors that track baby’s heart rate and breathing.

You can even watch your baby sleeping through an app on your phone while you’re at work or at the shops (obviously assuming someone else is there looking after them)!

All items in stock at time of publishing.

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