I remember when I pregnant with Harper and trying to figure out exactly what I needed for her was so overwhelming! As a new parent there is many things you will learn along the way but overspending on items you don’t need is definitely something to avoid! This is my guide to what you need for your new addition to the family. Now every baby and family is completely different so there will always be some things people love and others find they just don’t use. Here is what I found I needed and what I didn’t end up using!
- Bassinet or Cot: This decision is personal preference. We started H off in the bassinet which had wheels that was handy to be able to wheel her around the house wherever I was when she slept. We transferred her to a cot at 5 months old. Remember every baby and parent is different so do what YOU think is best for your baby.
- Bassinet/ Cot Mattress: Baby mattresses are firm and flat to prevent SIDS.
- Waterproof Bed Liner: A necessity to protect the mattress from spew, poo..any body fluids basically.
- Fitted Sheet: Newborns can be spewy and have poo explosions so its always good to have a few fitted sheets!
- Baby Sleeping Bag/ Swaddles : We started off using the Love to Dream swaddles until H was 5 months then transferred her to a sleeping bag. I did buy some gorgeous wraps but only used them the first two weeks (H is the wrap Houdini).
- Baby Monitor: This isn’t something EVERYONE gets but it is handy to have to keep an eye on your napping baby from another room and be able to hear them (especially if you have a big house).
Sleeping items I found helpful:
- Snuzza Breathing Monitor: As a first time mum I found this gave amazing peace of mind- it is not for everyone but made me relax knowing she had a monitor on. You clip it on the nappy and it detects breathing as their tummy moves as they inhale and exhale. When Harper started rolling we took it off as it can fall off and have a false alarm (This DOES NOT replace the SIDS guidelines). Here is the Snuza we used
- White Noise SoundMaker: I found this amazing for soothing H to sleep and we still use it at 15 months old. This is also something dependant on the baby but always good to try. (click here for our sound maker we love)
Sleeping items I NEVER used:
- Night lights: I found them too bright to be in babies room and just a pain personally. Instead I bought a cheap touch lamp that had different light settings for those nighttime feeds.
- Breathing Sensors (the ones placed under the mattress): I started using these in the beginning but soon realised that if you have any fans on/ or windows open that they don’t work! I would take H out of the bassinet and the alarm wouldn’t go off! This then didn’t give me any peace of mind-so i then found the Snuzza Breathing monitor instead.
- Capsule or Carseat : This is also personal preference. A capsule allows you to unclick the car capsule out and carry the baby or click it onto your pram (with an adaptor). A carseat is fixed and you cannot remove it. I used a capsule up until 6 months and loved how much easier it made getting baby in and out the car.
- Car Mirror : A mirror you strap onto the back seat headrest and allows you to see baby (who will be rear-facing).
- Car Window Sun Shades
- Pram: This is one of the harder items to decide on, with so many different brands and types on the market. Most prams you will have to buy the bassinet as they generally only come with the seat (which will be used from approx 6 months onwards). If you can get a pram that comes with the bassinet part or the seat changes into a bassinet will be more cost effective. If you are planning on having two (close in age) I would recommend a pram that converts into a double later on- we got the Bugaboo Donkey and now we are expecting baby 2 which makes it a lot cheaper!
- Nappy Bag: Now you don’t need the top of the line nappy bags (says the woman who got a bloody Mimco one haha!) Anything that has enough room for all of babies stuff is good enough! Colette always has some really affordable nice nappy bags! I recommend getting one that easily hangs off your pram and has a foldable change mat.
- Pram toys: Not necessary from birth but helps once they are a few weeks/ months old to keep them distracted whilst mum gets things done. Go for toys that have a clip so you can clip it onto the pram and not continually pick up dropped toys.
- Pram Blankets: To keep baby warm in the pram
Items I found helpful:
- Pram Liner: Keeps the pram seat clean (good if you want to sell it eventually too) and easy to throw in the wash if baby has an accident. You can find beautiful liners on Etsy!
- Pram Bag Hooks: These are bag hooks that you attach to the pram handle. So handy for hanging off groceries, handbags and shopping bags. (click here to see bag hooks)
- Porta-Cot: We tend to travel and go away often so this came in so handy for us personally! Even if you ever get baby babysat then you can easily bring along the porte-cot so they always have somewhere to sleep. (Tip: always go for a good compact/ easy to fold ports-cot, the big bulky ones that have built in change tables are a pain to fit in the boot!)
Baby clothes is probably one of the most exciting things to buy when expecting. There you are standing in Best & Less just picturing your future newborn in the cutest outfits! But remember newborns need practicality! (and believe me when I say you’ll be too tired to dress them in cute outfits everyday).
- Singlets- I recommend the singlets that clip up underneath their nappy. You will find the singlets without clips slide up very easily.
- Onesies/ Growsuits/ Bodysuits: Whatever you want to call it these are what your newborn will pretty much live in for the new few months. I love Bonds Wondersuits (with zippers) as their suits have built in socks and mittens (and trust me its much better than having a million mittens and socks laying around).
- Beanies: I didn’t personally use a beanie for H as it was summer when she was born. If you know it is going to be cooler when your baby is born these are needed.
- A few cute outfits for photo purposes: I had all good intentions before H was born to dress her up everyday- this didn’t happen. Cute outfits are good for photos or for when visitors come not for practicality (unless your supermum haha).
Baby Clothes I NEVER used:
- Mittens: Bloody useless as H would always manage to pull them off. Newborns have the tendency to eat their hands when hungry which usually means the mittens come off (not to mention just like socks you always loose one!)
- Booties: I never found I used booties on H as it wasn’t cold enough and she was always under a blanket if it was. If you live in a colder area or the winters in your country are very cold I would recommend these but living in Australia I didn’t find I needed them.
All feeding journeys are different and whether your breastfeeding or bottle-feeding here are a couple of general feeding items I recommend:
- Bibs: This is a must-have if you want to save yourself changing their outfit a million times a day. Newborns can be very spewy so having some cute bibs to leave on even when your not feeding is a good idea.
- Burp Clothes (Stephs Tip: Terry Towels): Here is my biggest tip instead of spending a ridiculous amount on pretty looking $7 burp cloths go and buy yourself a couple of packs of terry towels/cloth nappies! These are quarter of the cost and much better size for popping over your shoulder or on our lap when feeding/ burping. (Here is an example of what terry towels I bought as burp/ general cloths)
- Nursing/ Rocking Chair: This isn’t something that everyone can get/ afford/ or fit into their home. But if you are able to I highly recommend a nursing chair. For the hours you will be spending breastfeeding or even rocking your baby to sleep the nursing chair was/ is a lifesaver for me. Even once you have stopped breastfeeding if you have a baby (your average baby) that doesn’t self settle every night you will be doing a lot of rocking, this is where your chair will save you (and your back).
- (TIP) Feeding Apps: Yes now that we are in the 21st century there is apps for everything. As a first time mum and most FTM I met all used feeding apps on our phones. This was to record when baby fed, pooped, slept and which boob I fed from last (which is important to avoid mastitis). Also handy when your midwife asks how bub is feeding, pooping, peeing and you can show them (trust me baby brain will be in full swing by then-yes coming from experience I am the woman who lost her phone in the fridge more than once). This is something some first time mums tend to use to help keep track for those first few weeks.
- Boobs (.)(.) : Yes I’m hilarious
- Nursing friendly tops and bras: I know these are actually for the mum but these are 100% needed if your breastfeeding. Newborns like to feed ALOT so your boobs will be out so much they start to become part of the furniture. Anything that makes it quicker and easier for you to get the girls out is essential. Bonds and most department stores have a good range of nursing bras. My personal must haves are the bonds nursing singlets!
- Breast Pads: Because you don’t want to flood your tops everyday.
- Bottles: Anti-colic, slow flow teats are the way to go for newborns. Sometimes its a good idea to buy a couple types to see which one works best for your baby.
- Steriliser: Needed to sterilise the bottle, teats and any dummies (if y0u use them). Some ladies prefer to do it the old fashioned way of boiling them in a pot on the stove. I love using the microwave sterilisers for everything as they are cost effective and will be no limescale build up (that happens in the steriliser units). There is also sterilising tablets and units, if your unsure you can always google the options and see what suits you.
- Formula: This is something you and your Dr/ partner need to decide on. Every baby is different so don’t be surprised if you have to try a couple before you find one that works best for your newborn.
Feeding items I NEVER used:
- Feeding Pillow: I bought a feeding pillow which I never ended up using. I found I would use couch cushions every time. This is also a personal preference as I know some mothers swear by them.
- Bottle Warmer: When I would pump breastmilk and store it for H to have when I wasn’t around (or to get some sleep) I bought a bottle warmer- which I never used. They can take longer than just placing the bottle in a bowl of boiling water. I still haven’t touched this now H is on formula so I personally found this a waste of money.
- Baby Bath: This is not essential for everyone, if you have a good sized sink you can use that (if you feel comfortable!!). The bath doesn’t have to be super fancy with jacuzzi fans just anything thats a good size and practical.
- Baby Towels: Having the smaller baby towels can be easier to handle a slippery newborn than the larger towels.
- Face Cloths
- Nail clippers/ Scissors
- Cotton Balls: For cleaning noses and ears
- Nappy Rash Cream/ Barrier Cream: Obviously needed for nappy rash but the barrier cream comes in handy for any moisture rashes which is common in newborns as their skin is very sensitive.
- Baby Toiletries: As newborns skin is sensitive go for unscented products. You can buy packs that have everything you need; bath wash, shampoo etc
- Nappy Wipes (aka Motherhoods Holy Grail):
- Change Table: This is also personal preference and also depends on space in your home. I bought drawers that has a change table on top (which can later be taken off when baby gets older) which is a great way to save space from having both drawers and a change table. You will be changing a lot of nappies so being comfortable doing so is important. There is some mothers who are happy to change them on the floor, couch etc. This just depends on what you prefer or can do. If you don’t get a change table have a change mat handy to save you from accidents on the floor, tables, couch.
- Optionals : Bath seat/ ramp: We personally didn’t use this as we learnt how to hold her in the bath safely. But the ramps can come in handy (NEVER take your hand or eyes off your baby around water)
- Baby Swing: This was the BEST thing we bought for the first few months. Harper loved the swing. Remember not all babies are the same so go off personal preference and what your baby likes.
- Toys: Newborn toys always make sure they are soft and safe from birth
- Baby Play Mat: Somewhere for baby to stretch and interact and practise tummy time
- Thermometer: We invested in the contactless thermometer and honestly best thing ever for babies who won’t sit still (newborns are easier to take their temperatures until they start to get more aware)
- Dummies (personal preference)
New Mama’s I hope this guide has helped you with deciding what you need for your new baby! Remember every family and baby is different so do what YOU want (remember your the mother no-one else). Please comment or message me if you found this helpful!