Newborn babies need a lot of stuff! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’ve created a one-stop shop (or shopping) list to help.
Before you whip out your credit card though, keep in mind you’ll probably receive some of these things as gifts, so you could pre-empt this and think about making a gift registry. And of course, there’s no need to buy everything brand new: babies grow quickly so hand-me-downs are a good way to save money. Everyone’s budget and needs are different, so use this list as a guide and choose what’s right for you.
It’s easy to get carried away with cute outfits for bub, but it’s important to make sure you have the essentials. To work out how many clothes to buy, think about how often you’ll want to be doing a load of washing. Look for clothes with easy access for nappy changes. Hint - press studs are your new best friend! Some parents prefer a top and pants combo for quick nappy changes and less washing if only one item gets dirty. Overall, go for quality over quantity; comfortable fabrics and loose or stretchy necklines that are easy to get over bub’s head. Don’t forget to buy the right clothes for the season your baby is due. You’ll be surprised how quickly your baby grows out of their clothes so here’s a guide for how many items to buy.
- One-piece outfits 3-4 pcs
- Shirts and bodysuits 3-4 pcs
- Leggings or stretchy pants 3-4 pcs
- Outer layers 5 pcs
- Pajamas or sleepers 5-7 pcs
- Sun hat 1-2 pcs
- Beanie 1-2 pcs
- Mittens 2-3 pairs
- Socks or booties 5-7 pairs
Prepare a fully equipped nappy bag and changing station in your nursery. Trust us, when you encounter your first poonami you’ll need all the equipment on hand. Don’t know what a poonami is? You soon will. Here are the essentials for changing nappies at home or on the go.
- Changing pad or table
- Nappy bag
- Nappy rash ointment
- Portable changing mat or blankets
- Small disposable plastic bags
- Nappy bin
Meal times can be tricky for both mum and bub to get the hang of. Having the right gear can make the process a whole lot smoother. Whether you’re breastfeeding, using formula or feeding your baby their first solids, here are the essentials to set you up for success.
- Nursing pillow
- Nursing chair - there are plenty of nursing chairs on the market with different reclining options so you can get comfy to feed your bub, however they’re not essential. A comfortable chair with arms at the right height for nursing will do the job just fine. Some mums are happy just using pillows too.
- Maternity bras 4 pcs
- Breast pump
- Breast milk bags
- Burp cloths 6-12 pcs
- Bibs 3-5 pcs
- Bottles 6-12 ps
- Bottle brushes 2 pcs
READ MORE: Is it time to see a lactation consultant?
Think of it this way: the more sleep the baby gets, the more sleep you’ll get. Unfortunately buying all the baby products in the world won’t guarantee a sleeping baby, however it can make a big difference. Look for waterproof mattresses, quality, breathable fabrics and a cot that suits your budget and space.
- Crib and mattress
- Fitted cot sheets 2-3 pcs
- Cot blankets 2-3 pcs
- Waterproof mattress pad
- Waterproof mattress underlays 1-2 pcs
- Wearable blankets 2-3 pcs
- Swaddling blankets 3 (jersey is cozy for when it’s cool and muslin is perfect for warmer weather)
- Zip up suits 2-3 pcs
When it comes to bathing your bub there’s an endless range of tubs to choose from but the kitchen or bathroom sink does the job too. Here are a few things you’ll need to keep bub happy in the tub and look after their precious skin.
- Towels 2-3 pcs
- Washcloths 4-6 pcs
- Soft-bristled baby brush
- Unperfumed moisturiser, such as Sorbolene
- Seat for bath
- Bath thermometer
Out and about
You’ve got the nursery decked out, now it’s time to get all the gear you’ll need when you’re out and about. You’ll be shocked at the range of prams but remember, they all do the same thing, it’s just that some do it better. Choose something within your budget, consider future plans for more babies, think about the terrain you’ll be using it on and don’t forget to check if it will fit in the boot of your car. For car seats, look for something that’s easy to clean and consider getting it professionally fitted.
- Baby sling or carrier
- Car seat
- Sun shade for the car windows
- Baby sunscreen
It’s time to start looking at your house through the eyes of a newborn. Your baby won’t be crawling for a few months but it’s a good idea to think about safety measures now. Your baby proof checklist will depend on your house, but here are some things to think about:
- Safety gates
- Outlet covers
- Cupboard and drawer latches
- Toilet seat locks
- Baby monitor
There are pre-packed first aid kits you can buy but it’s worth putting together your own so you’re confident you have what you need. Your first aid kit for bub will continue to expand but there are some basics you should get sorted early on. Make sure you’re buying the products specifically for babies.
- Digital thermometer
- Bulb syringe
- Nose spray
- Baby nail scissors or clippers
- Baby cotton tips
- Cotton buds
Bits and pieces
You don’t need to get too carried away buying items like toys. Chances are you’ll receive a lot of gifts and soon you’ll realise you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff! When picking out baby’s first toys, find something age-appropriate, well made and be aware of choking hazards. This includes anything that could easily break or items with strings attached that they could get tangled in.
- Dummies 3-5 (if you want them)
- Bouncy seat
- Play mat and gym
We haven't forgotten about you, mum! Here are some things you might want to have waiting for you when you get home from the hospital.
- Nipple pads
- Nipple cream
- Maternity pads
- Maternity tights
- Comfy clothes
- Ice packs for your nipples and genitals
- Flushable wipes - if you needed stitches after giving birth something more gentle than toilet paper is a good idea
It may look like a lot (and it is), but you’ve got plenty of time to get organised. Keep checking back to this list and work your way through until you feel like you have everything you need to bring your baby into the world.
Need a little extra support?
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If you’re planning to have a baby in the next 12 months you may be eligible to take part. Find out more here
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