When you are expecting a baby, it is completely overwhelming when it comes to choosing and buying the items that will be essential for your newborn when they arrive! With so many available options, doing research helps to know you are making the right choices to suit your lifestyle, and once you buy them you can use again for future babies too!

If you sign up to our Complete Birth Preparation Course, you get access to our discount pack, including amazing discounts to some of our favourite brands we have used ourselves as mothers! To help you prepare for your baby’s arrival, we created this post to explain some of the top items you will want to get your hands on.

If you would like to download our newborn essentials checklist, then subscribe to our email list here for an instant free download!

  • Do I need to buy it all now?
  • How can I keep costs down?
  • How do I know how to choose?

Nobody wants to buy too much, and we dont believe you need to have every single item ready before baby arrives! It is always helpful to remember that in this day and age, there is always next day delivery and plenty of places to get last-minute items so dont worry too much if you dont have it all in advance!

We would say the best time to begin researching the items for your baby and their nursery is around 24-28 weeks. Some big items have a bit of a delay for delivery, so you should allow around 8 weeks if you are buying your buggy/ furniture brand new.

First tip is to download the checklist linked above. It is filled only with the must-haves.

On top of avoiding the temptation to buy everything John Lewis sells, there are some other ways to keep costs down. Firstly, you don’t need to buy everything new! Some items are good to buy second-hand like furniture, bouncers, slings. A lot of items can be washed/ sterilised so don’t forget to check out eBay or local Facebook buying/selling groups.

Another really useful resource is Sprout Perks, where you can sign up to get access to a range of discounts. We have even included a discount to this membership with our Complete Course package!

Finally, have a good think about when you will need the essentials, and if it will coincide with any sale times, such as Black Friday, January sales etc. You can often save an extra 10-15%, or consider attending the baby shows.

We have broken down some of the big purchases into important considerations to help you choose. If you get a chance to road-test some of the items by viewing them in person, this is always helpful and local baby stores can be useful places to visit.

If you want to know what to pack in your hospital bag for birth, check out this blog post.

SLEEP ESSENTIALS

MOSES BASKET/ BEDSIDE CRIB

There are a variety of options for newborns to sleep in. A moses basket is really helpful if you want something that can be moved around the house from room to room, but they tend to be low and quite small so don’t last very long. On the other hand, bedside cribs come in various forms.

A popular option in recent years is the idea of getting a bedside/ next-to-me style crib where one side can drop. These options can be particularly helpful if you have had a C section, where bending or twisting to lift the baby for night feeds can be a challenge. However, remember you should always lift the side back up again when the baby is sleeping in the crib.

NAPPY BIN

No changing area would be complete without a good smell-proof nappy bin! There are many options, but those that can be twisted can be used to seal off the smells from the rest of the room.

NURSING PILLOW

Pillows can be helpful for comfort during the feeds, and also to help position the baby to the breast. We love the bbhugme pillows, especially the compact nursing one, and included a discount code in our discount pack!

FURNITURE

This can definitely be expensive when it comes to buying the wardrobe and changing tables. You generally wont need the cot until baby is over 6 months old, but a wardrobe and changing table are useful items from the start. When planning the wardrobe, it can be helpful to have a mixture of drawers and hanging space, but most of the baby’s clothes don’t need to be hung initially!

Look for a cot that can convert to a cotbed for extra flexibility, and even a changing table that can function as a standalone set of drawers once you no longer need the changing function, so you can make sure the furniture lasts for many years!

BREASTFEEDING NIGHTLIGHT

A night light like this one from VAVA is really useful to feed during the night without disturbing your partner, or waking the baby too much! If it can be recharged, you can move it around if you feed in different rooms or even use it as a kids nightlight when they grow older.

BATHTIME

A popular choice is the Shnuggle baby bath which allows an easy way to bathe baby without hurting your back, and they can sit upright even from newborn and kick their legs.

Another useful item when baby grows bigger is the Angelcare bath seat, which is used in the main bath.

MUSLINS

There are so many uses for muslins, from cleaning sick, to swaddling baby, for discreet breastfeeding, wiping runny noses and more! Some favourite brands of ours include Little Blue Nest, Aden & Anais, Little Bamboo and MADPAC.(code included in our discount pack!)

It’s also useful to go to Primark/ John Lewis for extras that you don’t mind going in the washing machine frequently.

OUT & ABOUT

The choice of buggy could be a whole blog in itself. Important considerations include:

-Do you want to use it as a travel system, by attaching the car-seat to the buggy
-Do you do more country walks or city strolls
- Are you likely to fold it up and put it in the car on a frequent basis, so require it to lie flat and small in your boot?
- Do you need it to convert into a double buggy if you are planning to have another baby soon after
-Price of course is a very important factor
- Look at size of the shopping basket and weight of the complete buggy

CHANGING BAG

This is such an important purchase, as you will probably use it every single day! These bags are often divided into compartments so you can easily find anything you need, and many include a free travel changing mat. We love the look and functionality of the Jem & Bea bags, and have included a discount code in our pack!

BABY CARRIER

At The Birth Collective we regularly talk about the benefits of babywearing, especially during the fourth trimester when the baby can be unsettled unless close to a parent. You may choose different slings as your baby grows, from a soft sling like the Fornessi wrap for a newborn, to a more structured sling like the Baby Bjorn One or Ergo Baby carriers.

Make sure you try your carrier out, so it’s a purchase that can probably wait until your baby arrives so you make sure you pick the right one for you!

CAR SEAT BLANKET

One of the trickiest parts of having a winter baby is working out how to dress baby in the right amount of layers! It’s even harder in the car seat because the child shouldnt wear thick puffy jackets as it can impact the function of the seatbelts. Therefore a car seat blanket is the perfect answer – it can stay permanently slotted into the straps so doesnt fall out, and does up outside of the seatbelts so doesnt impact the safety of the seat!

We love this grey one from Kura Organics which is super soft on the inside and has poppers to keep baby snug!

PLAYTIME

Newborns dont need too much in the way of toys. However a few key items are essential as your baby grows and develops to allow you to provide the stimulation baby needs!

PLAYMAT

These allow baby to lie on the floor, exploring colours and hanging toys, encouraging them to develop their vision and motor skills

BOUNCER

Having somewhere to sit the baby slightly upright gives a new perspective, and baby can bounce themselves which can help settle them when mum needs a shower! There are many options available, and these can certainly be found second hand but we are big fans of Baby Bjorn bouncer which has an easily removable and washable cover.

These are just some of the top items we found useful! For the full checklist, don’t forget to check out the link above and subscribe to our newsletter.