It’s an absolute minefield when you’re expecting a baby, especially if it’s your first. There’s checklist upon checklist of ‘newborn must haves’ or ‘new baby essentials’ and most of the brands have been paid to be on the list. I remember spending an absolute fortune before Sofia was even here – and in the very early days, and I’d say a good 60% of it was a complete waste of money.
Here are my newborn must haves…and there’s not an ad or a collab in sight*!
If you can, I recommend investing in a Sleepyhead. I can’t guarantee you’ll get sleep (I had it from birth so is it the reason #2 sleeps better or would he have been a good sleeper anyway?) but it’s so handy! It keeps them all snug and compact, just as they have been in their heated six star hotel for 9 months. We had a wooden swinging crib upstairs in our room so it wasn’t feasible to carry down – the sleepyhead is like a moveable mattress so you can transport them in it without waking them. We also used this as the sole mattress for crib so there wasn’t the additional expense of purchasing another mattress. Winning!
Speaking from experience, if you’ve got a sleepyhead and a sicky baby, quick tip – line the under cover with a maternity bed liner (that they given you in hospital/water breaking mattress protectors from Boots). I then wrapped it in a large muslin (ours is an Aden and Anais which covers the whole thing and stays under) and finally use a Snuz sheet. This just helps keep it really clean and protected…plus the sleepyhead covers are £55 each. Ridiculous – that’s the same price of my kingsize duvet, sheet and pillow set!
Angelcare movement and sound monitor – these should be prescribed! These clever sound and movement sensor monitors give additional piece of mind as not only do they tell you the room temperature and pick up any sounds, it also alarms you if the baby hasn’t moved (ie – breathed) for 10 seconds and then a further constant alarm if there is no movement after 20 seconds. This would be my top essential.
Bottles. First time round I tried every bottle going, literally. This time round I started with Dr Brown’s Options, though when he was put on to Staydown milk (yes – we had a refluxer chucker!) I moved to Avent Classic Plus. This was, initially, just for ease of cleaning – but they did a great job, so we stayed with them.
With Arlo, I went all 80’s and opted for a Milton cold water steriliser – easier than an electric. Water stays sterile for 24 hours so you can add bottles/dummies in throughout the day without having to wait to completely fill up the electric one (I always felt bad turning it on for just one or two, plus with Sofia I always forgot to add a dash of water and ended up burning the elements on my electric one!)
Baby bouncer – I wouldn’t bother with anything super fancy; I think ours was about £30 from Mothercare. It’s the saving grace when you fancy a hot cuppa, I used to pop Arlo in his and he would be glued to BabyTV for at least five minutes…he used to love daytime snoozing in it too.
Isofix base – so long seatbelt faffing! We have the FamilyFix base which fits the Maxi Cosi Pebble and then further down the line, the Maxi CosiPearl. We have two bases but only one of each seat, so we just ‘click in’ depending who’s driving. These are the one thing that I would say you can purchase second hand – you can usually find them for a fraction of the price on Facebook selling pages or Gumtree.
Tommee Tippee nail scissors – for a couple of quid, you’ll get your moneys worth within the first month. Their nails grow SO fast!
Saline drops and snot suckers – you forget that automatic body functions such as blowing noses just doesn’t happen with a baby, so – it’s no myth, you’ll have to do it for them. Cue, vom emoji. If they’re blocked up then they snuffle a lot and find it tricky to breathe and drink at the same time, resulting in a miserable baby. So reach for the saline drops to break down the thick snot and then get a snot sucker to clear it out for them – you can now get hand ones, I actually had the suck up one with Sofia. Grim.
Calpol! One of life’s saviours, it’s good for just about every ailment. Temperature? Reach for the calpol. Teething? Reach for the calpol. Injections? Reach for the calpol. Basically, be sure to have at least two bottles in your cupboard at all times.
MyHummy – babies have had womb sounds in their ears for the past nine months so suddenly coming out and being expected to sleep in silence doesn’t often go down too well. I wrote a review of this wonderful white noise machine; I highly recommend it!
Nightlight – create some ambience esp during night feeds, we use the light on the Angelcare baby monitor as it creates a nice soft glow as opposed to a harsh light flooding the room.
Baby bath seat – you don’t realise how big a bath is, until you put your newborn in it. I particularly like the Summer one, it’s basically like a bouncy chair for the bath; it also avoids the awkward slippery eel situation once you’ve soaped them up!
Bottle feeding? Then you’ll be grateful for a milk powder dispenser – literally a middle of the night lifesaver!
Tommee Tippee flask – it’s like an old fashion Perfect Prep machine…fill your sterilized bottle up with one less than the required ounces of cool boiled water, at night/on the go – add an extra ounce from the flask to bring it to room temperature, add the formula – voila, ready to drink temp milk without the price tag! (This is the way I did it, but there are formula guidelines, you can read them here….)
Muslins, like wet wipes, these will be your saviour. Snot/sick/sticky hands. You can never have too many!
Wet wipes – these little beauties will become your new BFF. Stock up! I use two brands – Aldi and also the lovely Mum and You.
Changing bag – it really doesn’t have to be fancy, just practical.
and finally, the most important…..
really good friends! The ones you can cry in front of when you’re beyond knackered and your bum hurts from the piles protruding out of it. The ones who visit and don’t even ask but deliver a hot cup of tea from the kitchen and a slab of cake that they’ve brought with them.
What are your newborn essentials?
*This post contains some affiliate links – which means if you purchase through one of my recommendation links then I will earn a small amount of commission – you won’t be charged any more. No brands have collaborated with me in this post, these are my personal recommendations.