Newborn Essential List
Please bear in mind that it’s been two years since I’ve had Indie (and nearly four since Harper was born!) so there definitely might be some newer options I’m not aware of. What I can tell you is that we bought so much stuff for Harper thinking it was essential, and turns out it wasn’t at all!
I think realistically the “essential” list is actually quite small (see the very end of the post where I compile all the real essentials). But a lot of other stuff is just dead handy to have. I hate just doing up a ‘list’ so I’ve given a bit of rational behind my thinking for most of it.
It’s so easy to buy everything you think you will need, especially during the nesting phase - we have all been there! My big suggestion would be to write down a list and work out everything you really do need, what would be nice to have and a things you aren’t sure if you might need, so you can wait until baby comes to decide.
It’s really important to remember as well that this is what worked for me. This might not work for you and your baby and you might completely disagree with some of the things I said!! Every mum and baby is different but this is just to give you an idea as to what worked for me.
Ok, so I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is a tonne of washing, especially in the early days; so I like to have lots of babygro’s and vests. Between baby poo, spit up (which stinks FYI), explosive nappies (poonami anyone?), you literally could have 3 or 4 changes a day some days!
I always get a tonne of questions about what sizes to buy as well. Both my babies so far have been small, Harper was 6 lbs 7oz and Indie 6 lbs 13oz at birth so honestly we got LOADS of time out of newborn and first sizes. They were in 0-3 months then up until about 4 or 5 months of age.
With regards ‘clothes’ for babies (versus babygro’s) we had so many for Harper and I think they are just a pain. Plus remember you will probably get loads of clothes as presents! They are annoying to put on, to change, everything about them is annoying really. We had such cute little outfits, and you can buy loads but they definitely aren’t essentials. No doubt if it’s your first you will want to have some options there, but honestly keep them to a minimum.
- Babygro’s x 10 size newborn and 10 size 0-3 months (honestly I probably have about 20 but you don’t need this many). I now only buy ones with feet on them (I CANNOT deal with socks on newborns!) like these from Next and these from Marks and Spencers and most in small sizes will have inbuilt mittens as well (though we never really used these!). Love everything from Gap for newborns - how cute are these
- Vests x 10 size newborn and 10 size 0-3 months (I probably have about 20 of these as well). I really like the ones with the side poppers especially for newborns so you don’t have to manoeuvre them as much - I stocked up on these and these from H&M. I love the Gap ones as well, excellent quality - make sure you sign up to their emails as they always have discounts. Gap vests here
- Cardigan / Jacket type overall x 1 or 2 (I love these ones from Gap -we have them in a variety of colours for the girls and they make the best presents!)
- Baby hat x 1 or 2
Nice to have
3-4 nice outfits
I can’t really comment on bottle feeding as I breastfed both my girls and really you don’t need a huge amount for that!!
With Harper I decided I only ever wanted her to have breastmilk so put a lot of pressure on myself to pump and have a big stash in the freezer. I used the Medela pump, but honest to god it made my life an absolute misery. I would feed every morning and then try and pump and never really get a lot. Such a lot of stress. So with Indie, I actually just breastfed and had some pre-made formula bottles available in case I needed them. Breast-feeding is obviously best, and the WHO and every other agency recommend exclusively breastfeeding up until the age of six months. But if you want to be able to go out and leave baby for a little bit, or even just let dad give a bottle, then maybe have a few pre made formula bottles there? Alternatively the Hakaa pump is a major lifesaver. When you are breastfeeding on one side you could use it on the other side and build up a stash like that. You only need minimal amounts if you want to breastfeed pretty much exclusively.
- Boobs - thats pretty much it!
- Nursing pads - I love the Lansinoh ones and I’ve been very kindly gifted the reusable ones to try
- Nursing bras - I really like the H&M ones - I’ve stocked up on these and these.
- Night light - I think its worth having a night light for night feeds, something not very bright so you don’t wake baby too much. We love this Miffy one.
- Cami vests for mum to make pretty much every top breastfeeding friendly - best thing I ever worked out for breastfeeding. I hate ‘nursing’ tops so used to just wear a stretchy vest in an extra large size under loose tops & pull it down while pulling top up. I usually stock up on them in Penny’s but these ones from Dunnes (I think these are the right ones, they need to be super stretchy) and these ones Marks & Spencers do the same thing (just a tad more expensive)
- Haakaa Pump
- Bottles - maybe just 2 to have in case if breastfeeding.
- Pre-made formula bottles (handy to have in case of any issues)
- Breastfeeding pillow - I used one of the V shaped ones with Harper, didn’t bother with Indie. Have the BBHugme one now and I might try that with this little one.
I have some more breastfeeding essentials, especially for those early days in my Hospital Bag blog post which you can check out here (just in case you missed it!).
Ok so with Harper we had a Moses basket (one that both my mum and I used previously!) which we used to bring upstairs and downstairs with us. She didn’t really sleep great in it, and we ended up moving her into the big cot (we have this adorable and affordable one from Mokee) really early. But that was a pain as well, trying to move her from the bed (after feed) and getting her into cot. Check out my number one essential below that we had with Indie.
- Co-sleeper - honest to god we didn’t have this with Harper and it made our lives SO MUCH EASIER with Indie. We bought the Chicco Next to Me and we have been very kindly gifted the new Chicco Next to me Air for this baby - check it out here. This is the biggest lifesaver EVER. If you are a breastfeeding mum, I would feed lying down in bed and then just scoot Indie along into the co-sleeper when she was finished. LIFE CHANGING.
- 2 changes of sheets for mattress
- 2 waterproof mattress protectors
- Cellular blankets x 4 - I’m afraid I never went down the gro-bag or swaddle route. We stuck to plain old simple cellular blankets & they worked perfectly for us for both girls.
For a newborn you don’t need a big cot realistically until they are six months old (or earlier if you intend to move them out of your room, but the advice is to keep them in your room until six months to prevent sudden infant death syndrome SIDS). Remember when you do, it's important to keep the bed free of anything extra, no frills. The advice for baby is to sleep on a hard surface free of any obstacles.
Nice to have
- Dockadot. We LOVE the sleepyhead. We didn’t have it with Harper but got it for Indie and it was a lifesaver. The issue with the sleepyhead is it’s against safe sleep guidelines (I didn’t know this with Indie) and she slept in it all the time. We used to bring it downstairs every day & she would lie in it during the day downstairs as well, or if we were travelling to my parents house. We were very kindly gifted this one and you can check out the sleepyhead here. Please do be aware that it is against safe sleep guidelines, so I only recommend it now for lying baby in during the day (not for sleeping).
- Blackout blinds - we had the Ikea blackout blinds in our old house and wouldn’t have a baby sleeping in a room without one.
- Baby monitor - we have an old BT monitor that we got with Harper - it has video & sound. I’m not a fan of the ones that baby lies on and monitor baby’s breathing. I think they will cause more anxiety that anything else (that was the decision I came to anyways). Personally I liked to be able to see and hear baby so that’s why we chose the BT one. With Romy we just used a Tapo video monitor from Amazon - such good value. They have a whole selection here.
- Somewhere to sleep downstairs - as I mentioned above we used to bring the Moses basket downstairs for Harper & move the Sleepyhead around with Indie. You might want something more permanent. We now have 2 Chicco Next to Me’s, so are going to use the old one downstairs - in the hopes this will offer baby more protection against the two toddlers!
- Grobags / swaddle bags - we love the Ergopouch ones.
CHANGE & BATHE
- Nappies and lots of them - I usually stock up on size 1 and 2 nappies to have at home (currently have 3 packs of each on our big changing table). A couple of questions regarding brands, I tried the supermarket own brands but came back to Pampers every time.
- Baby wipes - I like WaterWipes for newborns as they don’t contain anything extra.
- Changing table x 2 (with wipe clean changing mat) - one for upstairs and one for downstairs. This makes life SO MUCH EASIER especially for those night time changes. We got a Mamas and Papas one second hand with Harper on donedeal.ie (best purchase ever and such good value), and have just bought this Ikea one for the new baby for upstairs (small and compact!). In our old house we had a little changing station that we could use, but no space in this house.
- Tommee Tippee Nappy Disposal - ok this might not be an essential for everyone, but we loved these and honestly I couldn’t be without.
- Baby bath cushion - we bought a baby bath each time, but they are more hassle than they are worth (unless you don’t actually have a bath) so we just used to use these cushions in the bath - super easy.
Nice to have
- Baby bath towel with hood - but any old towel will do!
- Travel system - we had the Stokke Scoot with Harper & Indie along with the BeSafe Izi Modular Go car seat. It took us AGES to choose this. I wanted something compact and light and honestly we love it. When Indie came along we tried a number of different double buggies, but settled on the BabyZen YoYo- Indie sits on the front and we have the step with seat on the back for Indie.
- Isofix car seat base - the easiest way to get the car seat in and out of car!
- Baby mirror (so that you can see baby when driving)
- Baby blanket for going out in buggy (you can use the same cellular blankets here though)
Nice to have
- Baby sling - we had the BabyBjorn and it was dead handy for walks, but again not an essential. This time around we got the Ergobaby Embrace and we absolutely love it.
- Sun blinds for the car
- Changing bag - some of my favourites from Tiba and Marl, I know this might seem like an essential, but you can just use any bag and throw some stuff in!
I think most of us will buy loads of different things to keep baby entertained but again really you need very little.
- Play mat - dead handy to lie baby down & practice tummy time - we love this one from Tiny Love
- Bouncer - we had the Stokke bouncer that fits onto the Stokke steps chair and we loved it as we could have baby at our height in the kitchen etc or have the bouncer on the ground other times.
Nice to have
- Thermometer - I usually recommend this Braun one
- Muslin clothes - I have loads of these, for the same reason I mentioned re nappies above. They get used for everything and can get smelly. I would usually have a couple in every room of the house.
- Baby nail clippers - we have these Tommee Tippee ones and actually still use them with the girls all the time
- Nasal aspirator for snuffly baby - we have this one and this one
- Boots zinc and castor oil ointment - I really like this if baby gets a sore bum
- Vaseline (big tub)
Things we bought that we definitely didn’t need…
- Moses basket
- Baby bath
- Bath thermometer ( I think we had 2, total waste of time IMO, you can just stick your elbow in to check)
- Too many clothes
- Nursing chair - ok we didn’t actually buy it, but we considered it and I would think its a total non essential.
- Scratch mittens
- Baby socks / shoes - complete waste of time, they fall off constantly. Just buy babygro’s with feet on them! Trust me.
What I would like to buy for this baby…
- I really want a new Artipoppe baby sling carrier but they are SO EXPENSIVE. Definitely not an essential.
- Newborn set for the BabyZen - I absolutely LOVE this buggy. Its so small and compact and great for travelling. Cant handle double buggies as they are just too big. So hoping to get the newborn set for the new baby.
- I would also consider getting the Doona Car Seat as its a car seat / pushchair all in one. Looks really cool!
Some of your recommendations…
- My Hummy - I need to look into this because supposedly its amazing - a white noise teddy to help baby sleep…
- Nappy Caddy (if don’t have big changing unit)
- Haakaa came up a lot for breastfeeding moms
- Tommee Tippee bottle maker also came up
Ok and just to finish up I’m gonna list my ESSENTIALS that I couldn’t do without here, with none of the extra info above.
- Babygro’s x 10 size newborn and 10 size 0-3 months
- Vests x 10 size newborn and 10 size 0-3 months
- Cardigan / Jacket type overall x 1 or 2
- Baby hat x 1 or 2
- Nursing pads
- Nursing bras x 3
- Night light
- Cami vests for mum x 4 Chicco Next To Me Air Co Sleeper
- 2 changes of sheets for mattress
- 2 waterproof mattress protectors
- Cellular blankets x 4
- Sleepyhead for daytime
- Lots of nappies
- Water wipes
- Tommee Tippee Nappy Disposal
- Changing table x 2 with wipeable changing mat
- Baby bath cushion
- Travel system with car seat & car seat iso fix base
- Baby rearview mirror
- Muslin clothes x 10
- Baby nail clippers
- Nasal aspirator
- Boots zinc and castor oil ointment
So, there it is. A breakdown of everything I found useful and not for life with a newborn. What do you think? Let me know over on my post on instagram. I hope you guys found that useful. Be sure to check out my next post this week “How I’m preparing for life with a newborn”.
Thanks again for reading,
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