What baby essentials do I really need?
As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, your brain goes into overdrive. What should you be eating? Is it safe to have your hair dyed when you are pregnant? What size is my baby? Then there is what to buy? The pram, the nursery furniture and the nursery as well as all the smaller baby essentials you are going to need.
It doesn’t take too much Googling to find lists of how to prepare for hospital, or the endless offers for baby equipment that’s on the market.
Before long, researching the best baby products – especially for a first child – can become quite overwhelming.
What really are the newborn essentials parents actually need?
Basic baby stuff such as nappies (disposable or reusable), vests, sleep suits, muslin cloths and cellular blankets are definite newborn essentials, but what about everything else?
If you are breastfeeding, it is best to be prepared. Stock up with comfortable clothing and a good quality nursing bra that can be quickly accessed and washes easily.
Mum’s breastfeeding toolkit will need to include nipple pads, nipple shields, baby-safe creams, and a good breast pump. Using a pump can help to improve milk production, reduce engorgement, and also allow the other partner to take over a few feeds.
When bottle feeding or combination feeding a baby, the sky’s the limit. Whether it’s helping to reduce colic and reflux, an environmentally friendly baby bottle with a longer lifespan, or a smaller one for preemies, there is pretty much a bottle for most needs.
Whichever method of feeding is chosen, babies dribble and posset a lot, especially in the first few months. Soft newborn bibs are baby must haves to absorb fluids and prevent skin sores, but also try to keep the washing pile down a little.
A steriliser is an absolute must-have in the first year to help keep baby safe from germs and bacteria. There are some great ones available on the market.
Here’s a spoiler alert for you; despite the bad press about sleepless nights*, newborns actually sleep a lot. In fact, newborn babies can sleep up to 18 hours a day. So somewhere to do that is an obvious baby essential.
Baby is safest when sleeping in a clear sleep space, which is easy to create in a cot or moses basket. A bedside crib might be desirable as it can facilitate easier feeding, and can help calm baby as they will know they are not sleeping too far away.
Newborns actually need very little equipment for sleeping though, as it’s important to follow safe sleeping advice about temperature and what’s in the cot.
For peace of mind and reassurance, choosing a baby monitor will probably be one of your first purchases. There are a range of monitors from monitors with sleep pads, smart monitors and video monitors, all designed to suit every need and every budget.
*The sleepless nights are still true though, we’re sorry to say. Babies can’t tell the time and so, they often like to party at night time!
Getting out and about
Whilst life is a little more restricted at the moment, babies will still need to travel. From taking gentle exercise, picking up more nappies from the shops, or going further afield, a pram, travel system, car seat and baby carrier or sling will top the list of baby things most families buy.
The thing with baby travel however, is that half of the house also needs to come too. A good changing bag needs to be able to take spare nappies, clothing, milk, muslins, and of course all of Mum’s essentials too.
Keeping little ones entertained
Although it feels tempting to buy them, toys and teddies are not newborn essentials. As it turns out, babies can’t handle too much stimulation until their brains develop, so it’s best to keep interaction to relaxing cuddles and lullabies at first.
A white noise app is one of the best baby products that parents can invest in. These apps during sleep can replicate the noises they’ll have been used to in the womb, to help them settle and hopefully nod off.
So, the key thing to remember is to buy the basics and save the nice-to-haves for later or for your baby shower!