Due to popular demand, I’m adding to my Hospital Bag post with what else you need to have for your baby. I remember being so bamboozled by the array of items that I left it to about 35 weeks to start buying and only then after a panic-ridden call to my mum who used terms such as romper and sleep suit as though I should know what these meant. Here’s a run-down of what I think you need.
- Body Suits –these are like 1980’s bodies that some of us are old enough to have worn. Can be short or long-sleeved and have poppers at crotch
- Romper Suits – like a jumpsuit with arms and legs but no feet. Buy ones with poppers down the middle.
- Sleep Suits – like a romper suit with feet.
- Hat – either woollen for winter or sun hat for summer although newborns should never be in direct sunlight.
- Grobag – This is a sleeping bag for babies. I highly recommend them. They come in 1.0 tog for summer and 2.5tog for winter www.gro-store.co.uk/sleeping/grobag-baby-sleep-bags.html
- Try to have a nappy changing station both up and down stairs. You don’t want to be rushing upstairs several times a day to change nappies, especially if there has been a leakage.
- Nappy sacs
- Baby wipes – avoid any with alcohol or added moisturiser. You baby’s bum doesn’t need anything extra. Try Huggies Pure
- Cotton Wool – use cotton wool in preference for at least 6 weeks. Wipes can be too drying initially.
- Nappy cream, such as Sudacrem or Bepanthem.
- Changing Mat
- Nappy Bucket. You don’t need an expensive ‘disposal system’, you just need a cheap plastic bucket.
- Top’n’Tail bowl – opinion is divided on the usefulness of these bowls. I personally found them useful.
- Change bag – there are some gorgeous change bags available, with gorgeous price-tags. Personally I used a satchel I already had which my husband didn’t mind being seen out with.
If using cloth nappies you will need:
- Cloth nappies x 24
- Nappy wraps x 5+
- Nappy liners
- Nappy Grips, if your nappy doesn’t come with fastening
If using disposables get a few packs in but don’t overdo it because babies grow quickly. Mine were in Size 2 within 10 days.
Out and About
- Pushchair/Pram – Ensure it suits your lifestyle. Will it get onto a bus, will it fit in your car, will it manage steps you use every day? I’d advise you go to a showroom and wheel a few around. Take some shopping to hang off the handle bars and see how they manoeuvre. You will need to buy a cosy-toes or add blankets.
- Sling/Papoose – You can opt for something like a soft structured carrier, a ring sling or a wrap-style. The BabyCalm Shop has lots of styles and designs and videos of how to use most of them too: BabyCalm Shop
- Car-seats – I’d highly recommend an ISOFIX seat so you know it’s installed correctly. This is one of the few things you must buy brand-new.
- Some people just use the kitchen sink or you can buy a basic bath for £10. I used a Supabath to avoid bending whilst other people use Tummy Tubs
- Hooded Towels
- Small sponge
- Bath wash
If you are breastfeeding you will need:
- Maternity Pads – I would highly recommend Johnson’s Nursing Pads; they are by far the most comfortable .
- Muslin squares
- Breast Pump
If you are bottle feeding you will need:
- Bottle Brush
- Initially most people go for a Moses basket or crib. Your baby will not stay here for long (mine lasted about 2 months) so this is the sort of thing that is worth buying cheap or borrowing, albeit with a new mattress.
- Bed-linen. If you are using a Grobag you just need sheets.
- A swaddling blanket will keep you baby feeling cosy and stop them waking themselves when they experience the moro/startle reflex.
- You don’t need a cot at this stage but there can be a long lead-time so it is worth ordering sooner rather than later. If you have space I would recommend a cot-bed which will see most children through to about 4 yrs old.
- If you are bed-sharing you can get away with not buying most of this equipment.
- Monitor – you don’t need all of the fancy functions but I would advise you to buy digital. We initially had an analogue monitor but when next door had a baby their monitor interfered with ours.
So much of what you buy now will only last you a few months. Most items can be bought cheaply at supermarkets (most supermarkets have special baby offers every month or so), from eBay (and sold on again in due course), from NCT Nearly New Sales and of course borrowed from friends. I hate to chuck away baby items; I want them to have another life. I think most parents feel like this so make sure all of your friends/family know that you are happy to receive their second-hand items. For larger items I have always found www.kiddicare.com really competitive price-wise and they deliver next day.
Oh, and remember, you will be inundated with presents. Let people know what you’d like, be specific. Your baby will always be well dressed. My childrens’ wardrobes are bulging and yet I have only really bought underwear for them. Family and friends will keep you stocked up – just hope they have good taste!
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