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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.