Caught in the euphoria of welcoming their first baby, new parents end up buying virtually every baby item available, most of which may amount to a waste of resources in the long run. Save money to spare for other important bits by using this babycentre list of top items your baby really needs:
Baby clothes
  • At least eight all-in-one suits will be very handy. Small babies tend to live in these during their first few months and really don’t need to wear anything else, apart from a vest underneath and a cardigan over the top if it is cold.
  • At least six vests, also known as body suits, with envelope necks and poppers underneath. These can be worn under all-in-ones, or on their own if it’s hot. Short and long-sleeved versions are available for different times of the year.
  • One or two cardigans to provide an extra layer of clothing.
  • Baby socks. If you choose all-in-one suits that cover your baby’s feet, you won’t need socks.
Nappies
  • As newborn babies will need their nappies changed 10 times to 12 times a day, buy enough to keep you going for at least the first few days or so. You will also need nappy sacks and wet wipes (or cotton wool).
  • If you are planning to use reusable nappies, you will need at least 15 nappies suitable for your newborn baby. You will also need a bucket, nappy liners, and some nappy steriliser. It’s also probably a good idea to have at least one packet of disposable nappies handy too, in case you get behind with the washing during the early weeks.
Feeding equipment
  • If you’re breastfeeding, you will need nursing bras and breast pads.
  • Bottles, teats, bottle brushes, and a steriliser or some other sterilising method are vital if you are bottle-feeding. Cotton bibs can be useful, too.
Baby’s bedding
  • A Moses basket, crib, or cot.
  • If your baby is going straight into a cot, you will need sheets and cellular blankets, or a fitted bottom sheet and a baby sleeping bag. If your baby is going to have a Moses basket or crib, you will need three sheets or four sheets, and several pram-size blankets.
  • A mattress that fits the Moses basket or cot.
  • A lightweight, cotton jersey or cotton wrap is useful to make your baby feel secure without overheating during the early weeks.
Bathing
  • A baby bath can be useful, but they do take up a lot of room if space is limited. A newborn bath support will hold your baby safely in the main bath and is much cheaper.
  • Baby towels are useful, but not essential. Babies are just as cosy wrapped in a small bath towel.
  • A mild, liquid baby cleanser or bath emollient to protect your baby’s delicate skin, cotton flannels and/or cotton wool.
Travel
  • A pram, pushchair, or buggy that lies flat, so is suitable for newborn babies.
  • A rear-facing car seat, if your baby will be travelling by car. Sun blinds for the car are also useful.
Other essentials
  • A changing bag is essential for holding all the bits and pieces you now need to take with you whenever you leave the house. Choose a bag with a changing mat and space for wet wipes, lots of nappies and your baby’s bottle (if you’re bottle-feeding). If you’re very organised, you may prefer a bag with lots of compartments. Otherwise, choose a simpler style, as you can end up wasting a lot of time looking for that vital, but buried, item!
  • Muslin squares have a multitude of uses. Don’t leave home without them! As well as protecting your clothes from the inevitable baby sick and mopping up dribbles, they provide a soft surface to rest your baby’s head on.

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