Babies are not like a cake, there’s no set list of ingredients with instructions that will get you the results you are looking for – so keep in mind that this newborn shopping guide is just that – a guide. From having a cot or pram to having bath products. This is just a list of things you may want to consider if they apply to your situation. Also many parents say that it’s better to buy less and then shop as you go rather than buying too much and wasting money on gimmicks and gadgets you or your baby never uses or needs. However you may want to be (or at least feel) prepared for when baby comes.
There are a few options with where you might want your baby to sleep. Please familiarise yourself with SIDS recommendations recommendations before you place your baby in any sleep space to try to avoid incident or injury. they include – cot, bassinet, side car cot, baby hammock, bed sharing. As well as possibly a portacot for travel or visiting. You will also need 3-4 changes of bedding for wherever your baby sleeps, in case they throw up in or soil their bedding (this can happen more than once in a day, so depending on how quickly you can get bedding washed and dry – it’s important not to improvise with baby bedding, correctly fitted sheets are essential for baby’s sleep space) Some baby’s also love being swaddled for sleep so a few swaddle wraps can be very useful, either light muslin or stretchy cotton are good to start with.
You’ve got to get baby around somehow. If you take baby in the car you will need an appropriate and correctly installed infant car seat. Either an infant capsule, which usually go up to 8-10 kgs (approximately 6-12 months), these may be a part of a travel system which you can buy a pram to go with the capsule to make getting in and out of the car and then walking around the shops or while visiting easier. You may also be able to hire a baby capsule as they are only used for a short period of time. Alternatively you can buy a Reversible car seat, which can be suitable from birth until 4 years, or a car seat which is suitable from 6 months to 4 years. Remember to check the safety rating and weight limits on any car seat or capsule you buy.
You may also want a pram, stroller, or a baby carrier for baby wearing. You may also want one of each depending on how you intend of getting around with baby.
If you are breastfeeding you may need nothing except what your body provides – which is fantastic – however there are some breastfeeding “tools” that may make your breastfeeding journey more comfortable or even help you establish a successful breastfeeding relationship. These include – breast pump, nipple creams (such as lanisoh to relieve sore or cracked nipples), feeding chairs or pillows (also great for bottle feeding to take care of your body and posture while feeding) nursing or maternity bras and tops (not essential, normal bras and tops may be more comfortable – its all about what works for you) , breast pads.
If you are bottle feeding, or mix feeding, you will need 5-10 bottles, you may want to buy spare teats for the bottles as they can get damaged or lost. To make washing and drying bottles easier you may want to have a bottle brush, a bottle drying rack, a steriliser (a steam, microwave, or sterilising cleaner like Milton – though you can sterilise bottles in a large pot of boiling water) Some other things that might make bottle feeder easier are bottle warmer, a formula dispenser, insulated bottle carrier, large plastic container to keep all your bottles and equipment in once sterilised.
Think about what season your baby is going to be born into before you go and buy a lot of clothes, and also your own climate. As an approximate guide it’s a good idea to start off with 5-10 outfits, even with scans it’s difficult to know how big or how small your baby will be, or how fast they may grow, so you may wish to start off with perhaps 5 outfits in 0000 (newborn) and 5 in 000 (0-3 months) Then see if you need more of one size or the other. Keep newborn clothes simple. Singlets, onesie, coveralls (like “wondersuits”). Tops and singlets that have snaps under the crotch are great because they stop clothes bunching up and getting twisted, particularly when baby is wearing a few layers. Also pants or overalls with feet are great as even very little babies can kick their socks off – also consider how easily adult socks get lost, baby socks are so much more losable. Otherwise tights can be a good alternative to socks. You may want a few jackets and jumpers depending on season or climate.
You will either need disposable nappies, or cloth nappies, or a collection of both. Approximately 100-200 newborn sized disposables and 12-24 cloth nappies is a good starting point. You will also need something to wipe babies bottom with, either packaged wipes, or face washers are great if you’re already planning to use cloth nappies.
You don’t really need anything special to clean your baby, you can use your own face washers, towels, even just take baby into the shower with you. If you do want to use a soap cleanser on your baby its important you use a cleanser that is appropriate for your baby’s delicate skin. A packet of flat terry towel nappies are great for cleaning up after baby, they make good baby towels, or use as a change mat, burp cloth, wiping up general spills. Baby baths can be useful, though they often outgrow baby baths very quickly. You may want a hooded baby towel for bath times as it’s important to keep baby’s head warm if it’s wet and for some people they do make bathing baby a little bit easier.
There are also loads of things you might want to consider for peace of mind or convenience, such as baby monitors (sound, video or movement monitors that detect if your baby is breathing) thermometer, baby paracetamol (though cannot be taken before 1 month), baby toys, baby swing or bouncer, play mat, change table, nappy bag, sun shades for the car windows and nursery decorations.
Good luck with your shopping, try not to be overwhelmed, just remember the most important thing you can give your baby to help them thrive is love.