Obviously everyone knows that your baby is going to need nappies and clothes. It's also a given that you will need somewhere for them to sleep, as well as a car seat and a pushchair. However there are so many additional extras when you are shopping for your little one, that it is hard to know what is essential and what you can live without. So I have written my list of must haves for when your newborn arrives.
Most hospitals will not let you go home until they have seen your car seat and are sure that you are able to safely place your new baby inside it. This means it is the number one must have on a list of things to get for your newborn baby. We invested a little extra money this time around and purchased a Doona and the isofix attachment for my car.
This meant we have a pushchair and car seat all built into one which is fantastically convenient, especially for a parent like me who often has to cope with the baby and toddler on their own. Although it is a fab contraption, be aware that you should not leave a baby in a car seat for more than two hours (which at the rate Little L feeds, has never been a problem for us!)
There are a number of these on the market these days, from pregnancy to baby to 'alternative' and I would highly recommend Milestone whose baby cards I recieved as a gift. There are a variety available too!
Gro Anywhere Blind *
You may have seen my review of the awesome Gro Anywhere Blind here, and if so, you will know that we love it and our girls have one each! They are worth the investment at the beginning, especially to help you get some sleep in between the inevitable night feeds!
When we had Squidgy we used a Moses basket, and I can honestly say that she spent more time sleeping on my chest or in my bed than she did inside her own. This was not intentional, but on nights when I was up for the hundredth time feeding her I would sometimes fall asleep while patting her back to bring up wind, or even whilst feeding her. I knew that it was not a safe option, so John and I made the decision to bed share from the start with Little L, but safely.
On the few occasions when we had to lay her to sleep on the mattress in her cot, however, she slept even worse than normal. The other great thing about the Sleepyhead comes in two sizes so we will hopefully be able to move her straight into the next size as she outgrows the Deluxe.
As with most designs these days, you can take the listening in part on your travels, and its battery has lasted longer than our expensive one ever did. Other perks include quick charge when the battery is drained (plus it still works when plugged in!), a clip to be able to attach it to your trousers when moving around (or pyjamas as is mostly the case in my house!) and no nasty crackling sounds when it picks up movement or noise in Little L's room, which is more than could be said for our old one. Not bad for a budget option!
Soft Toy and/or Comforter
Even better, something handmade. Not to blow my own trumpet or anything, well OK, yes I am... I make the cutest handmade, CE tested, soft toy, crochet giraffes that are perfect for babies. They are my best selling product at Mama Naii's Crochet. Both of my girls have one and I have so many customers who will tell you how awesome they are too! Having something to love and cherish, that they can have with them as they grow up is super important.
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, in those first few weeks (and possibly longer) your baby will be waking in the night demanding to be fed. When this happens you don't want them to think that it is day time, and let's be honest you don't really want to fully wake up either.
Whether you choose to go down the cloth route like we have, or stick with disposables, nappies are something that you will need in large quantities when you have a new baby in the house! As a general rule when it comes to nappies, your baby will probably do upwards of six wet nappies and three poop nappies in those early days, and on average you will be changing your newborn around ten to twelve times daily for the first month or so.
Make sure you have plenty of nappies to cover this, whichever type you decide to go for! Buying disposables in bulk will save you money, and when it comes to cloth you don't want to be doing a wash twice a day to keep up with it, you will have enough to worry about!
You may have read my Keeping Routines the Same with Two Children post and seen our Summer Infant Waterfall Baby Bather * which was perfect for us. When your baby first arrives in the world they are so tiny and unable to support themselves, or even hold their head up. It is so important to be able to bath them safely and having a purpose designed product to do so is a must.
Nursing Chair / Glider
A Breast Pump
If, like me, you decide to breastfeed, sometimes it is a good idea to pump too. I pumped with both my girls and found that it gave me the opportunity to rest and also go out as I knew that other people had the means to feed my baby during that time. Pumping has also been a life line for some mums whose babies were either too ill to breastfeed directly or couldn't latch properly (you may have seen the #ParentingYOURWay post I shared from my friend Julie about exclusively expressing). When it comes to pumps there are so many to choose from so it may be worth checking out some breast pump reviews as well as asking for personal stories from other mums who have expressed in the past. Personally, I have used both a manual and electric pump and found the electric one so much easier to use!
Swaddle / Sleeping Bag *
You can read my full review of this awesome bag (and how it served us well on holiday) here.
Baby Carrier / Sling
Baby Care Kit
Disclaimer: Although this post is written of my own volition, some of the products were sent to me for the purpose of testing them out for review, and I loved them enough to include them here. These products are highlighted by the use of an asterisk (*) beside them. Any affiliate links are indicated by the use of a cross (†) beside them.