Newborn Baby Essentials: A shopping list of what you really need (and nothing you don’t!) including a FREE download
If your due date is fast approaching, you’ll naturally want to get prepared by buying all the newborn baby essentials.
But it’s easy to get overwhelmed about all the things that you think you need.
When I was pregnant, I found that the local baby shops here in Worcester were packed so full that it became overwhelming.
When buying for my baby, I found myself struggling to decide what I really needed. And I certainly didn’t have a clue what size clothes or how much of everything I should buy!
Which is why, in today’s blog, I’m listing for you what I believe you really need to buy. And I’m only including the newborn baby essentials. Nothing more!
So, keep reading if you’re the kind of mummy-to-be who’s after some no-nonsense advice about what you’ll really need for your newborn.
I’ve also created a handy shopping checklist. Download the newborn essentials shopping list here or click on the image below. Then, either print it off or save it to your phone and take it with you as you go shopping.
Shopping for your newborn baby
So, let’s talk newborn baby essentials…
Although it’s tempting to go out and buy every single cute outfit you see, the reality is that your new bundle of joy will need hardly anything at first. And they grow SO fast!
And while I don’t mean to take away some of the excitement that comes with buying for your baby, the truth is that there really is no need to go and buy lots of things.
It’ll be important to keep your baby cosy. Remember, they cannot regulate their body temperate as a newborn. So, you’ll always need to ensure that you’re dressing them appropriately for the season and keeping them warm enough.
Vests and Babygros (approx. 6)
When your baby arrives, you may well spend anything from a few hours to a few days in the hospital, and more if there are complications. So, at the very least, you’ll want to have about 5-6 newborn all-in-ones packed in your hospital bag.
At first, your baby will likely spend all their time in babygros. Day and night, these are the most comfortable and practical clothes for a newborn. After all, they’ll be spending much of the day asleep! Poppers at the bottom make nappy changes a breeze.
You can buy some really cute babygros these days, so you needn’t stick to plain white. And they come with and without feet. The choice is absolutely endless!
Depending on the season, you may also need vests to go underneath.
A note on sizing…
Your midwife may be able to give you an idea of how big your baby may be when they’re born, but if you’re not sure, buy a few items in newborn size (which fits babies approx. 6-9lbs). Then plan to buy more once you know how big your baby is. So many people buy too many newborn clothes, only to find that they grow out of them within weeks.
Similarly, if you have a smaller baby than anticipated you’ll find that even ‘newborn’ size is too big. So, you’ll need ‘premature’ or ‘tiny baby’ size first.
My top tip would be to keep your options open. Don’t bulk-buy baby clothes until you’re sure what size you need.
Socks, mitts, and a hat (a few of each)
Soft cotton socks are essential for keeping your little one’s feet warm if they aren’t tucked into a babygro.
Mittens are great for preventing them from scratching themselves – those tiny little fingers often have long sharp nails! You’ll find that some babygros have the mitts integrated into the design, removing the need to buy separate ones. If you like that idea, look out for those. It’ll certainly stop you losing them in the wash!
Hats (1 or 2)
You’ll find that your baby is given a hat in the hospital as soon as they are born. The hat helps them retain their body heat. You’ll want one or two to use at home if your baby is born in the winter. Alternatively, you may need a hat to protect your baby from the sun if you have a summer baby.
Blankets (1 or 2)
You’ll be tucking baby up to sleep and will want to have at least one blanket, plus a spare, on hand.
Look out for those known as ‘swaddling’ blankets which have holes in them to keep air circulating around your baby while also keeping them warm.
Cardigan (1 or 2)
The season will dictate whether your baby needs extra layers on top of their babygro. If they do, you’ll find it useful to have one or two cardigans or jumpers. Choose one with a hood and one without so you have both options.
And, when you’re out and about with baby, going for walks in their pushchair, you’ll need an outer layer to keep them cosy.
These typically have integrated hoods and mittens and cover the feet. Which means that you don’t need to buy baby booties and shoes (no matter how cute newborn size shoes are, I found that you really don’t need them).
Please note that padded clothing should not be worn in car seats to ensure they are safe and secure in the car.
Newborn baby essentials: Accessories
Bottles for feeding and milk
If you’re not planning to breastfeed, or are wanting to be prepared just in case breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you, it’s worth having some baby milk (premixed) in your hospital bag, ready to serve.
Worcester Hospital no longer supplies milk for babies, so it’s definitely worthwhile buying a small quantity in advance and taking it in with you. I’d also recommend that you have a box of milk formula ready at home too.
There are a number of baby milk brands available, so do your research. Ask friends and decide on which to choose before your baby arrives. While you can switch brands after making your initial selection, your baby will likely get used to the particular taste of the brand of milk you choose. They may not be too keen about switching!don’
Pick up small feeding bottles (newborns drink little and often at first) and ensure you’ve picked up teats suitable for newborns. These will regulate the flow of milk out of the bottle at a pace that will be comfortable for your baby. A bottle brush to clean the bottles and teats would also be useful.
Muslin cloths and bibs (5-10)
For any new parent, muslin cloths and bibs are essential. They are great for mopping up spilt milk and sick and are handy when burping your baby after a feed, so should definitely be on your shopping list!
They both come in a variety of colours and designs but don’t need to be anything fancy. They tend to be sold in multipacks because you’ll find that you need many of them!
Baby bath towel (1)
When you come to bathe your baby, you’ll need a soft cotton towel to dry them with. A towel approx. 1-metre square will be plenty big enough, and baby towels typically come with an integrated hood.
Nappies, nappy bags and baby wipes (Up to 12 nappies per day)
You’ll go through lots of these in the first couple of years!
With nappies, you have the option of disposable nappies or reusable, and which type you choose will completely come down to personal preference.
Nappy bags are also essential, as are baby wipes . I’d suggest you buy these in bulk to save money. Travel pack size wipes are also useful for taking in your handbag and keeping in the car.
Changing bag (1)
You’ll certainly need a spacious bag to keep all those nappies, wipes, a change of clothes, muslins and bottles for when you are venturing out of the house with your newborn. So, a changing bag is a must!
Luckily, there are some really lovely bags on the market now so while you need something practical, you won’t have to compromise on style.
Changing mat (1)
You’ll be changing your new baby’s nappy anything up to 12 times per day at first, so you’ll need a soft, foam changing mat to lay them on. Many changing bags come with an integrated one for when you’re on the go.
At home, you may wish to consider buying one for upstairs and one for downstairs to make life a little easier for you in those early months.
Seek the help of a local baby store whose staff can show you the different types of car seat that are available, rather than just select one off the internet.
I’d recommend that you choose one that integrates with your travel system and is easy to get in and out of the car.
This is likely to be one of the biggest investments you’ll need to make for your newborn.
Since there are lots of different brands and styles available, ask for advice and test drive the ones you are considering before buying.
How easy are they to push? Are they suitable for all terrain or off-road terrain? How compact are they when folded down? How heavy are they? Will they easily fit into the boot of your car?
These are all important considerations, and the Next Generation Pram and Nursery Centre in Defford is a great local company to visit. I found the team there to be really helpful when I came to choose my travel system.
Click here for my other local baby shop recommendations.
Nursing bra (at least 3) and breast pads
A nursing bra is an essential item for breastfeeding mums. The clips on the bra allow you to breastfeed discreetly and easily.
Be sure to get measured regularly during your pregnancy, and after your baby is born to ensure you are wearing the right size bra.
Breast pads are really useful for avoiding that embarrassing leaky nipple look! There are both disposable and washable options available.
Small baby bath
Your newborn will be far too tiny to be bathed in a regular sized bath, so you’ll want to buy a small plastic bath for the early months. You can also buy bath seats and non-slip mats.
Always hold the baby carefully while they are bathing and ensure the temperature of the water is suitable before putting them in. Test with your elbow if you don’t have a bath water temperature gauge.
In the baby’s nursery
Finally, when it comes to sleep time, you’ll have your baby in with you for the initial months, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to kit out your baby’s own room ready for when they move in there.
- Cot and mattress
- Cot bed sheets (at least 2)
- Cot waterproof mattress protector (at least 1)
Have you started shopping for your newborn baby essentials?
So, there you have it! I hope this list has been useful? Please let me know in the comments, if so.
Of course, you may well want to buy more than what I’ve listed here. No doubt (as I did), you’ll want to indulge your newborn. And if that’s the case, you’ll find that in local baby shops here in Worcester there are plenty of lovely items to buy in addition to these newborn baby essentials.
Don’t forget to download your free shopping list here or click on the image below!
If you’ve yet to book a newborn photoshoot, please get in touch today to enquire about my availability around the time of your due date.
You can contact me here or call me for a chat on 07951 412010.
Clare xTags: maternity, newborn baby, newborn baby photography, pregnancy, pregnancy hacks, pregnancy photography