Since Tulip was born I’ve had a few pregnant women ask me what we bought for her before she was born and what we’ve found useful. I’ve seen many “essential items for baby” lists online. Many of them include prams, bottle warmers, baby monitors etc. Not only things I didn’t find essential but things I didn’t even buy at all. So I thought I’d write a list of my essentials for a newborn, including how my thoughts have changed on certain things.
Sleeping – we have a bedside cot (BabyBay), I prefer this to a moses basket because you can see baby straight away and pull across to you for night feeds rather than having to sit up to look in moses basket or pick baby up over side. We did end up getting a moses basket for the lounge for naps during the day (although she mostly naps on me, but it did come in useful if I just needed to put her down for a bit). You don’t need to worry about getting everything for the future before the baby is born. Many people like to set up the baby’s bedroom of course but it’s not a necessity. At 3 months we got a cot bed to set up in Tulip’s bedroom. The plan was to have her nap in there in the day and move her there at night when she was 6 months old. I now wish I’d never bothered to set up her bedroom as at 10 months she still naps on me in the day and sleeps in with us at night! The advice is that your baby should be in your room for AT LEAST 6 months as then the SIDS risk has decreased significantly. But I sort of took this as “SHOULD move to own room at 6 months”. When she was 6 months I started putting her to bed in her cot in her room and then when I went to bed I’d bring her back in with me. Eventually I stopped putting her in her room at all as it was easier to feed her to sleep in bed. Soon her bedroom turned into a bit of a storage room. Before she was born, her room had been the office. When we put her cot up we moved the computer to the lounge. As she got bigger we needed more space in the lounge for her to play and the computer was so in the way. When she was 9 months old we took the barely used cot down and moved the computer back in her room! She still fits in the BabyBay (just about) so starts off the night in it but soon moves all the way into the bed. I love having her in with me. It makes night wakings so much easier and she can have cuddles and feel secure. I now have no goal of when she will go in her own room, I’m just following her lead. I hope to get a bigger bed and have it low or on the floor to make it a bit safer for her. But I’m also trying to teach her how to climb safely off the sofa and bed.
Nappies – we have Tots Bots reusable nappies. We started out with 15 but now have 20 just to give a bit more of a cushion when running low. We started off needing to wash a load of nappies twice a day, then went down to once a day and now we’re at every other day or so. They work out much cheaper than disposables, even with the laundry costs. They are very easy to use and it really doesn’t take much out of our day to wash them. We also have reusable wipes from Cheeky Wipes. I’ve written posts previously all about the nappies and wipes if you want to know more.
Transport – As was the main focus of my blog to begin with, we didn’t buy a pram for Tulip as a newborn, we babywear. Although we have now bought a pram, I am still fully happy with our decision not to have one from the start. I still really believe newborns don’t need a pram. They want to be held all the time and there’s nothing wrong with that! It saved us a lot of money not buying a travel system. The pram I’ve got now is second hand and I didn’t need all the newborn attachments so I’ve still saved a lot of money. Of course we have a car seat too. Tulip is still in the infant one but I will be getting her an extended rear facing one when she grows out of her current one (please read up about how much safer ERF carseats are if you haven’t already done so).
Toys – You don’t need to worry too much about these with a newborn, you’re all they need. But good things to have eventually are a play gym so the baby is able to use arms and legs to bat and kick at things and this can also be used for tummy time. A couple little toys the baby can grab and hold onto are also good, rattle ones are nice.
Clothes – We only got a few newborn size clothes, most babies grow out of these quite quickly. I’d recommend going mostly for 0-3 month size, especially when it comes to outfits. You just need a few vests and sleepsuits in newborn size.
Other items we’ve found useful:
*bath thermometer (I don’t trust myself to know the temperature is ok just by dipping my elbow in)
*bath seat – next time I wouldn’t get one, I’d just get in with baby which is what I’ve done with Tulip since she grew out of the bath seat. But I was too nervous to get in with her at the time.
*my breast friend breastfeeding pillow – I used to use this for every feed, it really helped. Eventually I stopped using it during the day and then all together. To be honest I think any cushion will do but someone had given me this one second hand. I don’t think I’ll need cushions so much next time since I’m already confident feeding.
*changing mat on floor – it’s recommended to change baby on floor as it’s safer, also saves on costs and space without a changing table. We put clean nappies in a basket next to changing mat and dirty ones go in bucket that came with nappies.
*muslins – I bought a pack of twelve. They come in handy for mopping up sick and other spills!
I’d love to hear what other found essential for their newborns!