Bassinet : All new bassinets have to comply with safety standards so if you are considering buying a second-hand bassinet, check the standards before you buy.
Bassinet mattress: All new bassinets have to comply with safety standards so if you are considering buying a second-hand bassinet, check the standards before you buy.
Bedding for bassinet: Consider three sets - one being used, one being washed and one for little accident emergencies.
Mattress protector: You’ll be able to keep your baby’s mattress in pristine condition if you use a waterproof, breathable mattress protector to keep it dry.
Cot: All new cots have to comply with safety standards so if you are considering buying a second-hand cot, check the standards before you buy.
Cot mattress: Toddlers and preschoolers don't weigh much so there's no reason to invest in a fully sprung cot mattress. Select instead a good quality foam or natural fibre mattress that's at least 10cm thick and fits your cot snugly.
Bedding for cot: Consider three sets - one being used, one being washed and one for middle of the night emergencies.
Baby monitor: Check the range and frequency before you buy. Choose one that has a large enough range to be useful in your home and a frequency that is different to your electical goods, particularly your cordless phone to ensure a clear connection. Find out what baby monitors made it into the Kidspot Best of Awards
Nightlight: Consider a rechargable portable night light - you can carry it with you as you move around at night and leave it on for hours before needing recharging.
Change mat: Select one that has raised sides to stop baby from rolling away and a good quality wipeable surface.
Change table: If you don't have a lot of space to spare, choose a foldable change table that you can close between nappy changes.
Toiletries: Select unscented, natural - possibly even organic - toiletries for newborns as their skin can react to unfamiliar chemicals.
Nappy wipes: Buy in bulk and store them in a pop-top dispenser that will prevent them from drying out. Choose thick alcohol-free wipes that are gently scented and not too moist.
Barrier cream: Be prepared to try a couple of barrier cream preparations before you find the perfect one for your baby. These creams are inexpensive and it's worth the investment to find the one that works best for you.
Sorbelene cream: Consider using sorbelene cream instead of soap at bathtime if your baby's skin seems to be becoming dry. Gentle and moisturising, it rarely upsets senstive skin.
Cotton wool: Useful when bathing and spot-cleaning baby's face and bottom, cotton wool is gentler on the skin than a flannel.
Cotton buds: Cotton buds are kinder than finger nails when healing umbilical cords need gentle cleaning. Also very handy when cleaning around ears, eyes and nose.
Soap/bubble bath: Not an essential but lovely to have. Choose one that is specially formulated for babies.
Shampoo: Don't use adult shampoo on babies - it's too strong - instead choose a baby shampoo that's natural and mildly scented. Avoid using conditioner completely.
Nail clippers/scissors: If you're nervous about cutting little nails, buy nail clippers rather than scissors as these are less likely to cut baby's skin. Cut nails just after bathtime when the nails are supple from the heat of the water.
Hair brush: Select a gentle brush - you'll need to buy something stronger by the end of the first year, but little sprouts of baby hair only need the gentlest of brushes to get it looking good.
Nappies - cloth or disposable: If you are using cloth nappies, you need to start with 24 nappies for your newborn. If you are using disposable, don't stock up too much in the first months as your baby will grow quickly and you may be left with a pile of nappies that no longer fit.
Bath towel: Consider two towels - one for use and one for washing.
Face cloth: Consider two face cloths - one for use and one for washing.
Baby bath: Try to find one with a plug which will save you lugging a heavy bath of water.
Bath ramp: Not an essential but handy. This allows you to bathe baby with confidence by lying him in the bath on the ramp without any risk of him slipping under the water.
Bath seat: Handy when you have a baby who can sit up - a bath seat will keep him safe and secure in the water at bathtime.
Leaving the house
Pram/stroller: Try to road-test friend's prams before purchasing your own. This can be one of the most expensive baby purchases you'll make and finding a pram that serves your purposes is important. Depsite the style you like, make sure it is easy to open and close. Check out the best prams, as voted by Kidspot mums!
Raincover for the pram: Some prams have their own rain covers which can be bought separately, but you can buy universal rain covers that are designed to fit various styles of pram and these are generally cheaper than the branded version.
Baby car seat/capsule: Legislation concerning car seats and infant restraints have changed in recent years so ensure the car seat you plan on using complies to current legislation.
Sun shades for the car Windows: Choose a sun shade that encases the whole window rather than a suction cap sun shade as these can fly off the window in a collision.
Sling/pouch: Road-test slings and pouches with your baby in place before you purchase - you need to find one that evenly distributes baby's weight, is comfortable and is the right size for you so you don't hurt your back. View Kidspot's top rated slings & pouches!
Nappy-bag: Choose a bag that is big enough to house the essentials but not so big you could move house in it. A good nappy bag should have internal compartments, a 'wet area' and a foldable change mat. Check out Kidspot mums' favourite nappy bags!
Travel cot: Little babies will happily sleep in their pram for the first few months, but if you need your baby to sleep away from home often, invest in a good quality travel cot that is sturdy and simple to set up.
Teats: You may have to try a few types of teats before finding the right ones for your baby - whatever you use, make sure you use an age-appropriate teat to ensure correct milk flow.
Formula: Check that the formula is age-appropriate for your baby.
Bottles: Consider using wide-necked bottles - they are easier to clean and to prepare formula in. See what Kidspot mums voted as the best baby bottles!
Steriliser: Microwave steam sterilisers are a great option because they are fast and easy to use.
Breast pads: If you are choosing disposable breast pads, go for a brand that has a sticky patch on the back to secure it to the inside of your maternity bra and stop movement of the pad. Find some of our mums' favourite breast pads here.
Feeding pillow: A pillow from your bed will do the job but special V-shaped feeding pillows are more comfortable to use.
Bodysuits: Bodysuits are useful in the colder months when a bare belly - where clothing has separated - is not what you want to see. Body suits that stretch over the head and clip together between the legs are the easiest to put on and off.
Singlets: Have plenty of plain cotton singlets on hand at all times - this is an essential item of clothing even during the hotter months.
Growsuits: Growsuits can be worn day or night so it's worth stocking up on at least 4 or 5 of these essential items. Choose growsuits with press studs that go all the way down the inside of the legs for ease of nappy changing.
Sunhat: Select a hat that can be thrown into the wash and that has a brim that's big enough to shade baby from the sun.
Beanie: Choose a beanie that doesn't have a cuff as these can unroll unexpectedly and cover your baby's eyes and face, which can pose a safety threat.
Jackets, jumpers, cardigans: Select outer wear that can comfortably have another layer or two underneath so you can easily keep baby warm. Don't choose anything with ties around the neck as these can cause choking.
Socks: Buy a pair of socks for every day of the week - and consider choosing one colour and sticking to it. You will lose many socks and being able to pair up odd socks will save you having to buy more.
Drawers for storage: A small chest of drawers is the simplest way to keep all of baby's clothing and accessories in one place - as you can use it for years to come, invest in one that is big enough to store toddler and preschooler clothes later.
Mobile: Choose a mobile that can be moved around the house, and try to avoid mobiles that play music as this will only be annoying after months of playing the same tune.
Toys: Babies don't need a lot of toys so invest in good-quality toys that are going to last - eg. rattle, mirror, soft toy, cloth book. For some great baby toys,check out what Kidspot mums voted as their favourites!
Baby Gym: Entertaining baby is much easier with a baby gym at hand. Choose one that folds away neatly, is easy to pop up one-handed and allows the toys to be moved around.
Bouncinette/bouncer chair: Buy a chair or bouncinette that isn't too bulky and doesn't have legs that extend far beyond the seat - this will save you tripping over them.
Paracetamol: Consider buying paracetamol infant drops as you'll have more success administering a couple of drops than a couple of mls of medicine to your sick baby.
First-Aid kit: Accidents do happen even with small babies so invest in a first-aid kit for home and keep it topped up at all times.
Thermometer: A digital stick thermometer will give you the most accurate reading of your baby's temperature but if your baby resists this type of thermometer, try an ear thermometer as these are very quick to use and give an accurate reading.
Newborn Baby List