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newborn baby starter kit and newborn checklist

9 minutes


Baby due any week now? Then you’ve probably already given plenty of thought to ‘big ticket’ items such as pushchairs, car seats, high chairs, and cot, plus that hospital bag checklist. But how about the smaller items? The not-so-costly but important things that will help make those tricky first few days and weeks at home that much easier.

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.

  • 1. What you need for feeding

  • 2. What you need for bath time

  • 3. Newborn clothes and accessories

  • 4. What you need to change a nappy

  • 5. Up for debate ‘essentials’

  • 6. What you need as a new parent

1. Newborn baby checklist – What you need for feeding

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:

  • 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 biodegradable, vegan, cruelty-free and sensitive baby wet wipes 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 nappy 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 nappy, 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 you live in a cooler state or it's coming up to the winter season when they're born.

  • A couple of smart outfits – Smarter outfits are less important as babies outgrow them so quickly but if your baby is born around the holidays or there is a big event coming up in your calendar, you might want to pick up a few cute outfits.

  • 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 nappy

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.

  • Nappies – A newborn baby will go through up to 12 nappies per day1, so make sure you buy accordingly during those first few weeks, whether you're leaning towards disposable nappies 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 nappies, wet wipes, cotton pads, and creams. But sometimes, if the nappy 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.

  • Nappy rash cream – Keep a tube or tub of this close by just in case your newborn starts to show signs of nappy rash. Take a look at our guide to newborn baby nappy 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 nappy 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

    Use materials such as a thin muslin or thin cotton sheet – Do not use blankets or place any additional bedding over a swaddled baby, this could cause them to overheat. 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. Nappy Genie

    This one divides opinions. A nappy 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 nappies 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 jogging bottoms 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 tips on how to trust your parental instincts can also help.

Looking for more advice when it comes to caring for your baby? Take a look at our Parenting Community for more in-depth articles on newborns:

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  1. Parent.Guide, How many newborn nappies do I need for my child? Available at: Last accessed 29th April 2021.

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