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The Newborn shopping list – the essentials you really need (and the things you really don’t!)

With so many baby products advertised to parents-to-be, it can be really tricky to know what you really need and what is just a nice little treat!

With the help of myself and my lovely parent readers, here’s a rundown of the essentials you really need (and the things you really don’t) to help you with your shopping list.


Baby Clothing

  • At least 7 baby-gro’s as 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 in winter and a cardigan/little jacket over the top if it is cold. White is fresh – but won’t likely stay white for long thanks to ‘poocano’ explosions and sick accidents which are hard stains to shift. Instead, opt for darker colour or patterned baby-gross that will last longer and look cleaner for longer.
  • At least 7 baby vests (with envelope necks and poppers underneath.) These are worn under the baby-gro in the colder weather, or on their own if it’s hot. Again – go for darker colours if possible.
  • One or two cardigans or little soft jackets to provide an extra layer of clothing in colder weather
  • If it is winter, your baby may need a coat or all-in-one suit. If you spend a lot of time in the car, choose one that is not too thick, otherwise there’s a risk your baby will get too hot.
  • A soft cotton hat for cooler weather, and a nice warm knitted hat for out and about in chillier months – this will be essential in winter. Little babies loose most of the heat from their head, so it’s important to keep them warm. If your baby was premature a cotton jersey pull-on hat is also useful. A sun hat is also important for the hotter weather.
  • At least 10 Muslin cloths – these are perfect for a variety of new baby situations. Use as a spit-up bib when feeding, a cloth to help you feel more private when breastfeeding, a cover for your own clothes when baby is upright on your shoulder being winded, and so much more!
  • Scratch mitts – newborns have shape little nails that can be scary to trim in those early days, so scratch mitts can protect their little faces.


You really don’t need: 

  • Baby socks – they fall of anyway, you end up with twenty cute odd socks and if you have baby-gro’s that cover your baby’s feet, you won’t need them!
  • Shoes – yes they’re cute, no they won’t wear them without losing them/kicking them off. Newborns really don’t need shoes
  • Super-trendy-instagram-worthy outfits! These of course are very cute, but not essential. They also make nappy changing a bit of a nightmare, so stick with the easier baby-grow that have poppers underneath for easy baby changing. You’ll find that family and friends will buy outfits as gifts, so save your money before going out buying a whole new wardrobe for your new baby.


Feeding baby  

  • If you’re breastfeeding, you will need a nice couple of comfy nursing bras and breast pads.
  • If you are breast-feeding and want to express – you’ll need a breast pump and breastmilk storage containers.
  • If you’re formula feeding or expressing, you’ll need baby bottles, teats, bottle brushes for cleaning, and a steriliser.


You really don’t need:

  • Fancy pant sterilising systems – these can be costly. Instead invest in a safe, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin steriliser. A microwave bottle steamer is perfect and around £20
  • Breastfeeding clothes – these can make life easier, but are costly and not essential. Instead, use your maternity or regular clothes and use layering (vest under a t-shirt so when you fit your top, you’re not feeling exposed underneath)
  • Breastfeeding shawls and covers – A scarf or thin blanket does the job just as well if you feel like feeding in a little ore privacy.


Baby Sleep 

  • A Moses basket or crib to begin with – you don’t need a cot until your little one is older and moves into their own room (around 6 months old)
  • At least 3 fitted bottom cotton sheets
  • A baby sleeping bag. Check the tog for the time of year/room temperature for these as you don’t want baby getting too hot or too cold.
  • A blanket to tuck in if it’s a little chilly
  • A Safety regulated mattress that fits the Moses/crib
  • A baby monitor to listen into baby for when you are out of the room


You really don’t need:

  • Pillows – newborns and babies do not need pillows. Remember the emptier the crib/cot – the safer
  • Soft toys – newborns don’t need to cuddle soft teddy bears – even if they are cute. Keep the crib as clutter free as possible
  • Cot bumpers – these really aren’t needed and could cause suffocation if your baby were to get stuck underneath them.
  • Quilts – newborns don’t need quilts – these can cause overheating and potential suffocation too.
  • Fancy musical mobiles – as cute as they are, you don’t need a fancy crib mobile. Let your baby fall asleep with natural sounds around them and they won’t need that ‘musical crutch’ to always fall asleep.
  • A super fancy baby nursery! As lovely as it is to decorate a nursery ready for baby’s arrival, it isn’t essential and can be really costly. Your newborn will be in your room in their own crib for the first 6 months (NHS guidelines suggest this is the safest option in the early days) So don’t go spending lots of money on decorating the spare room if you really can’t afford to. Your newborn really won’t even know!


Bathing baby

  • A baby bath support is super useful and fits in the bath for bathing your little one in shallow water. (you don’t need a baby bath – they take up a lot of room and you only use them for a few months!) 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.
  • At least 2 soft towels for baby’s own use.
  • At least 2 soft cotton flannels and/or cotton wool for washing.


You really don’t need:

  • Baby towels – little baby towels can useful, but not essential. A small bath towel is fine and much cheaper than a hooded towel with a cute baby pattern.
  • Baby bath products – in the early days when your little one is bathing and being washed, you just need plain water. If however you want to use a shampoo sometimes or body wash for particularly messy days – choose a mild, newborn appropriate product.
  • Bath toys – in the early days a newborn bath time will be a quick in and out wash as they get cold very quickly. It won’t be play time in the bath for a while.
  • Bath thermometer – these can help, but again, they’re not essential. Instead test the bath temperature with the indie of your wrist. It should be warm but not hot.


Travelling with baby

  • A pram or pushchair that lies flat
  • A raincover for rainy days and a sunshade for warmer weather. DO NOT USE A BLANKET for shade as this can increase the temperature inside your newborns pram dangerously high in hot weather.
  • A rear-facing car seat, if your baby will be travelling by car.
  • Baby carrier/sling

You really don’t need:

  • Super fancy pram with bling – although they’re very nice, all you need is a basic, safe, easy-fold pram or pushchair. you don’t need to buy new either (but if buying second hand -don’t forget to check it all over properly!)
  • Expensive travel systems – A new, safe carseat is essential, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. The price doesn’t always reflect the safety value. Halfords and mother care offer one-to-one fitting and advice if you are unsure which to go for. If you are going for second hand – ask the seller/gifter if it has been involved in any accidents. If this is the case it should not be used.
  • Expensive baby carriers – Some are very pricey, so instead opt for a simple baby sling that are super useful in the early days and allow some valuable hands-free time while still feeling connected to your little one.


Other Baby bits and bobs!

  • A changing bag for all the newborn bits you need on the go. (This can be any bag with compartments.)
  • Nappies! Lots of nappies! Newborn babies will need their nappies changed around 10 times to 12 times a day so you’ll need enough to keep you going for at least the first few days or so. If you are planning to use reusable nappies, you will need at least 10 that are suitable for your newborn baby together with nappy liners, and a bucket and nappy steriliser for washing.
  • Baby wipes or cotton wool (to use with water for cleaning)
  • Baby chair – A simple, basic, bouncer style chair is super-helpful for little ones after feeding (especially those who suffer with reflux or colic)

You really don’t need:

  • A super snazzy, expensive changing bag. – These look fab but a bag is a bag!
  • Expensive big brand nappies! Try supermarket brands or a mix of the top brand and supermarket brands (sometimes the big brands are better for night-time wear.)
  • Wipe warmers – yes they exist, no you don’t need them
  • Baby books (apart from my sleep guide of course – I’m kidding! In all seriousness, Try and avoid the newborn ‘how to raise a baby’ guides and instead trust your instincts and enjoy your own style of parenting.
  • Baby toys – you don’t need toys in the early days. All your baby needs is you!
  • Highchair – this won’t be needed for suite a few months so save your pennies!
  • Fancy jungle gym – as fun as these can be, the price can be high. Instead, a soft blanket for the floor is fine especially if it has busy patterns which newborns love to focus on.
  • A bouncing-all buzzing-rocking chair – A simple bouncer is more than enough for your newborn for those ‘upright after-feed’ moments.


I hope this guide really helps you with your shopping! It really is difficult with so much advertising and conflicting advice out there, so I hope the experience of buying for my own little ones, and the tips of my lovely parent followers, really takes the stress out of the exciting shopping for your new little one!