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Newborn essentials – the ultimate shopping guide

Even though they’re only tiny when you first bring them home, ironically babies can sometimes end up having more stuff than you! It can all mount up and take over your house!

It’s easy to get carried away with buying things for your newborn – after all, it’s an exciting time and you’ve been waiting ages for them to arrive. However, the most important thing they need is love and attention from you.

You want them to have the best start in life, but the truth is, they don’t need lots of stuff when they first come home. They don’t really do much except sleep and eat anyway, so as long as they have somewhere comfortable where they can lie flat, milk on demand and are kept safe, clean and comfortable, that’s all that matters.

Here, we’ve put together a shopping list of the essential items your newborn needs for the best start in life. Anything else is a bonus.

Newborn essentials

Newborn essentials: Ways to Travel

There are a few essential travel items that you need for your newborn.

Car seat:

You’ll need a car seat to get your baby home from hospital. It’s recommended that infants up to the age of 18 months travel in a rear-facing car seat. Do your research and check that it’s suitable for newborns. Don’t forget that you shouldn’t leave your infant in their car seat for more than two hours at a time. If you’re on a long car journey, schedule in a break where you can all get out and stretch your legs.


Up to the age of six months, babies should lie flat in a pram. There’s lots of choice when it comes to wheels for your little one, so do your research. It’s also a good idea to take it for a test drive like you would a new car. Check that it’s comfortable for you to push and easy to put up and down. The type of wheels/tyres are also something to consider, depending on the type of terrain you’re likely to use the pram.

Travel system:

Alternatively, a travel system is a great option to consider, as it includes a car seat, which clips onto the frame, a carrycot for the first six months and a pushchair attachment for when they’re older. Depending on the system you choose, it often comes with some extras like an isofix base, changing bag, cup holder and maybe even a footmuff! A travel system is an investment but includes everything you need you to transport your little one – from infant to toddler.

Baby carrier/sling:

This is a great option if you’re going somewhere busy or don’t want to cart your pram around with you. It’s such as space saver and what’s more, your baby will be close to you and will love some extra snuggles. Again, there’s lots of choice out there, and it’s a good idea to try before you buy. See if there’s a sling library near you or ask a friend if you can borrow theirs. Newborns often don’t like being put down, so a sling or baby carrier is also really useful if your baby needs a nap. It means they can sleep while you do the hoovering or pop to the shops.

Newborn essentials

Newborn essentials: Sleep Options

Sleep is really important for your little one, and it’s important to ensure they’re comfortable and safe so they can sleep safely and soundly.

Moses basket or crib:

For the first six months, it’s recommended that your baby sleeps in the same room as you. So, you need to make sure the product you choose fits in your bedroom. A crib or Moses basket that you can gently rock is a good option, to help soothe baby if they’re having trouble settling.

Rocker or snooze pod:

A newborn’s favourite place to be is often in your arms, but a baby rocker or snooze pod is a safe and comfortable place to put baby down and get some time to yourself. We can’t guarantee they’ll nap, but as long as they’re happy, it can be good for both of you to get some detachment. Both items are also useful for playtime – some baby rockers come with a detachable mobile and music settings, while the snooze pod can be used for some tummy time.

Newborn essentials

Newborn essentials: Changing

This is something you’re going to be doing a lot. So, make sure you’ve got the right equipment to hand to make changing your baby as stress-free as possible for both of you.


It’s pretty obvious, but make sure you have plenty of nappies. It’s a good idea to have a supply in various places around the house, and don’t forget to pack a few in your bag whenever you go out.

Baby wipes:

It’s a fact – baby wipes are the best invention ever. Not only are they a super-convenient way to clean your baby’s bottom, they’re also handy for cleaning up other messes such as a dirty face or a milk spillage. For your newborn, opt for wipes that are water-based as they’re gentler on baby’s skin.

Changing bag:

A changing bag is a vital piece of kit for when you’re on the move, to keep all your changing equipment together and ensure it’s easily accessible when you need it. A portable change mat is also useful, so you can change your little one anywhere. Of course, you can use any bag for your supplies, but most changing bags have lots of pockets and compartments, which come in handy.

Changing table:

While a changing table isn’t an essential piece of kit, your back will thank you for it as it prevents you from bending down and leaning over to change your baby’s nappy. They also often come with drawers and/or cupboards so you can store your little one’s clothes and nappies tidily in here.

Vests and sleepsuits:

There are so many cute outfits for newborns – you can end up spending more on their clothes than your own wardrobe! In the early days though, a good supply of vests and sleepsuits is all you really need. They’re comfortable, easy to get on and off, and are affordable – which is good as you’ll need a lot of them! Remember to pack a spare change of outfit or two if you go out in case of a leaky nappy.

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Newborn essentials: Feeding


If you’re bottle feeding your baby, make sure you have a few bottles with teats and caps. For newborns, you only need small bottles, as they tend to feed little and often. And opt for teats with a slower flow, as it prevents baby from swallowing too much milk too quickly.

Steriliser – more newborn essentials:

It’s important to sterilise all your feeding equipment to ensure it’s clean and prevent your baby from getting a tummy upset. There are a variety of sterilisers on the market including microwave ones and electric ones. Do your research and choose the steriliser that most suits your needs and lifestyle.

Muslin cloths:

You’ll need lots of these, but they come in very handy for cleaning up dribble, snot and baby sick. Keep one in different areas of the house so you always have one to hand. They’re also great to cover your modesty if you’re breastfeeding in public.

Newborn essentials… Now you are well-equipped

Tick off each item on our shopping list and you’ll be well equipped to welcome your bundle of joy home.

Don’t forget that your new baby is likely to be showered with gifts from friends and family, so be prepared for an influx of teddy bears and cute outfits.

It’s a good idea to think about the practical things you might need and ask for those as gifts. After all, it’s much better to be able to get use out of a present than to receive something that you know you just won’t use.

Having a list also means you’re less likely to receive multiples of things.

We hope this helps.

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