If you’ve not had a chance to make a newborn baby checklist yet (and we appreciate that you’ve got a lot on your mind), let us help you. With the aid of anecdotes from real parents, we’ve put together a list for your newborn baby starter kit that will help take away the stress of those early days and allow you to enjoy them to the fullest.
What you need for feeding
What you need for bath time
Newborn clothes and accessories
What you need to change a diaper
Up for debate ‘essentials’
What you need as a new parent
1. Newborn baby checklist – What you need for feeding
A fed baby is a happy baby, so whether you're breastfeeding or going straight to formula there are a number of items in your newborn baby starter kit that you’ll need to ensure your little one is comfortable at feeding time. Here's what we recommend you have to hand:
For breastfeeding mums:
Nursing bras – These allow your baby quick access to your breast and ensure you're comfortable too.
Nursing pads – Ensure any leaks are kept at bay with pads.
Nipple cream – It's no secret that hungry babies can make you a little sore, so cream is essential.
Breast pump – This is essential for between feeds and if any friends or family are caring for your baby for the day.
Breastmilk storage bags – Keep the breast milk you've pumped hygienically stored in these.
Nursing tops – These complement your nursing bra, allowing you to feed your baby easily, wherever you are.
For bottle-feeding mums:
Several baby bottles – You'll need these to feed your little one throughout the day and night.
Teats – Each time you feed your baby you'll need to change the teat on the bottle.
Bottle warmer – Ensure your formula mixture is warm for your newborn with a bottle warmer.
Bottle sanitiser and teat brushes – Keep things clean at all times!
Plenty of formula – Sometimes, it pays to stock up on formula and store plenty in the cupboard ready to go. You'll need to change your formula as your baby grows, going from newborn to older ages to keep them healthy and full.
What you'll also need for feeding time
Burp cloths – You'll wonder what you ever did without them. Great for mopping up so many fluids, regurgitated milk, peep, liquid poop, tears (yours and theirs), you name it.
Wet wipes – If your baby (or you!) gets into a big mess then wet wipes can save the day. Created using just water and a drop of fruit extract, WaterWipes are the world’s purest baby wipe and are the closest alternative to cotton wool and water.
“Let me be clear, you can never have too many wet wipes or burp cloths during those first few weeks. Babies dribble, drool, and spit-up almost constantly.
"And don’t get me started on the many, many explosive diaper incidents,” says Sian, mum to Cara 3, and Sophie, 1. “However many you think you need of each, buy two times that. At least.”
2. Newborn baby starter kit – What you need for bath time
Getting your baby used to the water is important early on and bath time can be fun for you both. Here are some recommendations for your newborn baby starter kit to ensure you have what you need for that first bath.
A baby bathtub – These are usually portable and some fold in on themselves to save you space. You can pick up a basic plastic tub or you'll also find baby bathtubs that have inbuilt thermometers and scales!
Bath cushion – Ensure your little one is comfortable with a bath cushion that you can fit inside their bathtub.
Washcloths – Pick up some soft washcloths to gently clean and rinse your baby with.
Baby soap – Choose baby soap that is gentle on sensitive skin.
Clean jug – You can use this to pour a little water onto your baby to clean them and keep them warm during bath time.
Hooded towel or robe – Get your little one all snuggled up and cosy after that bath by wrapping them in a hooded towel or robe. We love the varieties with animal ears!
Need some tips on how to bathe your newborn baby? No worries we've got you covered - just pop on over to our recent article about bathing a newborn baby.
3. Newborn baby checklist – The clothes and accessories you really need
It's easy to get carried away when buying clothes for your newborn but in reality, they'll grow out of them so fast you won't get to enjoy them all!
Whether it’s spitting up after a feed or a leaky diaper, babies go through an extraordinary amount of clothes every day – so make sure you have an abundance of baby grows and bibs available. Here's a baby item checklist for clothing and accessories.
Baby grows – Clothes like shirts and sweaters are cute, but you’re going to be undressing and redressing your baby so many times that front-opening baby grow are always a winner. You'll need a fair few of these, we'd say two for every day of the week, plus some to sleep in.
A coat or jacket – Ideal if it's coming up to the winter season when they're born.
Blankets – Keep your newborn warm with a blanket or two. Cellular blankets are a good idea as they keep baby cosy, while still being breathable.
4. Newborn baby starter kit – What you need for changing a baby’s diaper
It's safe to say you need to stockpile these like there’s no tomorrow. It’s that or risk a bleary-eyed trip to the store.
Diapers – A newborn baby will go through up to 12 diapers per day1, so make sure you buy accordingly during those first few weeks, whether you're leaning towards disposable diapers or cloth varieties.
Changing mat – We recommend having more than one changing mat, one for the nursery, and one that moves around the house with you. A fold-up one for when you venture outside is a good idea too.
“We had a lovely changing station set up in the nursery, complete with diapers, wet wipes, cotton pads, and creams. But sometimes, if the diaper was particularly full or Gruff was particularly cranky, it just wasn’t practical to move him from where he was, so we had a second changing mat that used to come around the house with us,” says Angelina, mum to Gruff, 2.
Diaper rash cream – Keep a tube or tub of this close by just in case your newborn starts to show signs of diaper rash. Take a look at our guide to diaper rash for more tips.
Wet wipes – Use these to wipe your baby's privates to keep them clean. WaterWipes are the purest baby wipes available, reducing the risk of irritation.
Check out our diaper changing tips article for all the ins and outs on this messy topic!
5. Newborn 'essentials' that are up for debate
Some items that my find their way onto your newborn checklist aren't always as essential as brands make them out to be but we recommend you make your own decision when it comes to what you need. Here, we've listed some 'essentials' that are up for debate.
1. Swaddling blankets
There’s really no need for specific blankets for swaddling; an ordinary one will work just fine. Our guide on swaddling can help you when it comes to wrapping your little one up for the first time.
2. A wet-wipe warmer
This gadget needs to be plugged in, which means your baby wipes will be confined to one room, so not hugely practical. Just hold your wipe for a few seconds in your hand if they feel particularly cold, but usually, babies don't mind too much.
3. Diaper Genie
This one divides opinions. A diaper genie, for some, can be a handy utility but they can take up a lot of room, and it’s easy to forget they need emptying. A simple alternative is a separate, normal rubbish bin for diapers that you empty regularly.
6. What you need as a new parent
It's not just baby that you need to prep for when writing up that newborn baby checklist, it's important you also have everything you need to hand to keep you healthy and sane while caring for your new little one.
As brilliant as those first few weeks are, it’s also tough going, as life as you know it gets turned on its head. Just remember to be kind to yourself, as well as your baby.
Comfortable clothes like joggers and loose-flowing tops are great at this time, and we also recommend having a cupboard full of snacks (both healthy and otherwise) that you can raid whenever you need an energy/morale boost.
“I lived in my maternity jeans for those first few months and was so sad when my husband gently suggested I say goodbye to them… two years later,” says Efa, mum to Esme, 4. “I still wistfully think of them sometimes.”
We hope that this guide to your newborn baby starter kit and newborn baby checklist helps you prepare for the arrival of your new bundle of joy – our pregnancy tips for mums-to-be can also help.