The Must See Baby Essentials Shopping Checklist

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Preparing for a baby, although an exciting experience, can be a stressful one. Especially if you're expecting your first child!

A newborn baby requires a lot, from the wardrobe to the nursery to the 4 am nappy changes. But you already know this! We've got you covered.

Keep reading for all the ultimate checklist of baby essentials you're going to need to be fully geared up for the little one's long-awaited arrival.

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8 Nursery Essentials Checklist

1. Got The Cot?

    The cot is perhaps the most obvious first purchase when anticipating the baby's arrival.

    However, you must consider cost when it comes to investing in a cot. Designed to last you around two to three years, cots should be strong and durable without any sharp edges. Also, think about whether you would like adjustable sides or wheels on your cot.

    If you're borrowing a cot from a friend or relative, ensure it meets UK safety standards.

    2. Mattress For Baby Cot

      The type of mattress you should get for your baby's cot is more important than it may appear.

      Firstly, the baby's mattress should be firm and not soft! A soft mattress can increase the likelihood of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It should also be flat and offer support as your baby sleeps.

      Check materials in different mattresses, make sure they're breathable for delicate skin and easy to wipe down to prevent bacteria build-up.

      3. Cot Bedding

        Cotton is one of many Mum's all-time favourites for baby bedding. It is an easy material to layer, meaning you can regulate your baby's temperature by removing each one. Make sure the material is soft but also hypoallergenic.

        Some people consider a baby sleeping bag too. These are useful for keeping babies wrapped up warm and preventing them from waking up. This must be a perfect fit, with no choking hazards and meeting British Standard BS8510:2009.

        4. You'll Need A Night Light

          A night light can be a great way of establishing a night routine for your baby and helping them get to sleep. This might also be beneficial for you during late-night feeds to keep the disturbance to your sleep cycle at a minimum.

          Features to look out for include speakers to play sounds to help send baby to sleep, timers that turn the light off after a certain period of time or red lights to help with melatonin production.

          5. Carry Cot Or Moses Basket For The Little One

            Another nursery essential for you and your baby is a carrycot or Moses basket.

            As many people opt for a Moses basket instead of a full-size cot in the first few months, these are easily transportable. You can use the handles to move your baby around the house.

            However, a baby carrier is also a popular option and are sometimes part of a pushchair, meaning they save you money too.

            6. Baby Monitor

              Baby monitors are another newborn baby essential with many different features to offer. Consider which of these matters most to you.

              You can find monitors that double up as night lights for your baby, because why would you buy both?

              Monitors that allow you to talk to your baby are available, as well as some with a room thermometer! Sensor pads are also an option, to reduce the risk of SIDs and notifying you if your baby stops moving or breathing.

              7. That All Important Dummy

                A dummy will help soothe your baby and also help with teething issues as they grow older.

                When considering the type of dummy to buy for your little one, consider factors such as whether you are going to be bottle feeding your baby or not.

                Make sure they're easy to clean too.

                8. A Box For All The Toys

                  Like a lot of these baby gear essentials listed, a toy box is more for your benefit as a parent.

                  Having a newborn baby means lots of new stuff, so a box to keep everything tidy and prevent tripping hazards is a good idea.

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                  4 Newborn Baby Essentials For Playtime

                  1. Mat To Play On

                    Although a playmat may not seem like an urgent item to purchase for a newborn, you would be surprised.

                    Playmats are great for encouraging the development of fine motor skills. Placing your baby on their stomach can help them to develop their upper body muscles and just give them time to get used to their surroundings.

                    2. A Playpen

                      A playpen is a good thing to invest in as it will come in handy throughout your baby's life.

                      Foldable playpens are a great way to save space while giving you complete confidence that you know where your baby is at all times.

                      This may not get as much use in the first few weeks, but is definitely a worthy addition to this list.

                      3. A Fun Mobile

                        Not only a good looking addition to your new baby's room but also a great way to stimulate their mind and send them to dreamland is a fun mobile.

                        When purchasing, it is important to ensure it can be placed securely, at a safe distance to prevent it from falling on your baby and becoming a hazard.

                        Also consider how much you want to spend, whether you want it to play music or how you want it to look.

                        4. Safe And Simple Baby Toys

                          Toys are another obvious feature on this list. Which ones to buy for a new baby can be confusing, however.

                          As previously mentioned, musical mobiles are a great toy for a newborn. Bright colours and sounds stimulate your baby's mind.

                          Toys that help your baby learn colours, sounds and shapes are great. These can include rattles and wind chimes.

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                          8 Baby Feeding Essentials

                          1. Cloths To Clean Up

                            A great alternative to simple baby wipes, muslin cloths are soft and kind to your baby's delicate skin. They also are great for bath time and as burp cloths.

                            Having a baby means having a mess. This makes this an important addition to our shopping list.

                            2. Cover For Breastfeeding

                              If you're looking to breastfeed your baby, a cover is essential for feeding in public places.

                              There are a number of different options to choose from; which one is best depends entirely on your or your partner's personal preference.

                              3. A Feeding Cushion

                                A nursing pillow is a great option for mothers to relax when breastfeeding.

                                Designed to give your arm a rest and allow both you and your baby to sit comfortably during feeding time, there are plenty of types on the market.

                                4. Bibs For The Baby

                                  Bibs are an absolute necessity when it comes to feeding your baby.

                                  Choose from silicone bibs that are easy to wipe, to cotton ones that sit comfortably around your baby's neck. Whatever you choose, these are a must-have for keeping mess to a minimum.

                                  5. Milk Formula

                                    If you're not planning on breastfeeding, milk formula is obviously essential.

                                    There are many types of formula available on the market, and you must do some extra research to understand which one is right for your baby.

                                    Consider whether you would like dry powder formula or liquid formula.

                                    You may also need backup formula, even if you are breastfeeding. If you're unsure about which is best for you, seek professional medical advice.

                                    6. Feeding Bottles

                                      Of course, feeding bottles are one of the most significant items on your list.

                                      You should have smaller bottles at the ready for young babies, while larger bottles should be purchased for when your baby gets to around four months.

                                      7. A Breast Pump & Storage Bottles

                                        Bottles with lids that screw on securely are good for storing breast milk in the fridge or freezer.

                                        When purchasing a breast pump, you should read reviews and features to determine which one will be best for you. Consider your budget, how easy it is to carry around and comfort too! When it comes to buying a breast pump, research is key.

                                        8. Bottle Warmer & Sterilising Tools

                                          A warmer is the safest way of getting your baby's bottle to the right temperature. It is easier for you and does all of the work whilst maintaining all of the nutrients that are in your baby's food.

                                          Sterilising tools are just as important, and there are many available on the market today. Steam sterilisers are popular; a bottle brush is also a great way of cleaning your baby's bottles.

                                          4 Nappy Changing Essentials

                                          1. Table For Changing & Changing Mat

                                            A table for changing your baby's nappy is a great addition to your home when you have a new baby.

                                            You can choose from tables with drawers and storage space for all types of baby products. Not only do they look good, but they're useful and accessible.

                                            However, you can simply opt for a waterproof changing mat alone.

                                            2. Nappies - Of Course

                                              This one is a given. Babies poo. A lot!

                                              You can never have too many nappies.

                                              There is a great amount of choice out there, do a bit of research on different brands to decide which ones will work best for you. Look out for nappies that are good for keeping your baby dry overnight if you like your sleep!

                                              3. Baby Wipes

                                                As previously mentioned, having a baby is a messy experience.

                                                Wet wipes that are unfragranced and are sensitive to your baby's skin are essential. If you're looking to be kinder to the environment, look for biodegradable wipes or use a muslin cloth as an alternative.

                                                4. Cream

                                                  Nappy rash is an unfortunate part of life for every baby. There are a number of cream options on the market, such as Sudocrem and Bepanthen ointment.

                                                  You should certainly have this ready before the baby comes.

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                                                  5 Wardrobe Essentials For The Baby Checklist

                                                  1. Baby Hats

                                                    Top of the baby wardrobe essentials list has to be baby hats.

                                                    Coming from a nine-month cocoon of warmth, just like the other parts of their body, your baby's head will feel chilly and should not be neglected.

                                                    2. Mittens/Gloves

                                                      Next on the list of newborn baby essentials, may not be such an obvious one.

                                                      Mittens and/or gloves are important to not only keep them warm but also to prevent your baby from scratching their faces with their sharp nails.

                                                      3. Bootees To Keep Warm

                                                        Little boots for your baby's feet, especially in the winter months, are imperative.

                                                        A baby clothes collection is not complete without a cute pair of booties to keep them looking good and feeling snug.

                                                        4. A Babygrow

                                                          Another obvious one - a babygrow is a long-sleeved bodysuit that works great as a first or only layer for your baby (depending on the time of year).

                                                          Not only do they look adorable, but they're also an absolute must for keeping babies warm and cosy.

                                                          5. Snuggly Vest or Jumper

                                                            Even if you have a summer baby, a snuggly vest or jumper should be purchased before their arrival.

                                                            If you live in the UK, you will never have to worry about it going to waste. You can never have too many winter clothes for your little one.

                                                            5 Baby Bathtime Essentials

                                                            1. A Baby Bath

                                                              Although some people feel a bath is not worth purchasing, it can make bathtime much easier for you and your partner. Don't put your back out by leaning over a large bath; simply place it on the floor.

                                                              You will need one of these until your baby's old enough to bathe in an adult-size bathtub. However, many people opt for a bath seat instead, mainly used for newborns.

                                                              2. Towels

                                                                Extra soft towels are a great item to add to this list.

                                                                Don't use your old, rough towels on your baby's sensitive skin. Be prepared for bath time.

                                                                3. Cups For Water

                                                                  Cups for water in the bathtub are important as they allow you to pour water over your baby's body without submerging them far into the water.

                                                                  Use this for rinsing any soaps or shampoos from your little one's hair and body.

                                                                  4. A Washcloth

                                                                    Muslin cloths, as previously mentioned, make a great washcloth for bathtime with your newborn. Gentle on their soft and delicate skin, this allows you to clean them properly without irritating them.

                                                                    5. Moisturising Cream

                                                                      Babies can get dry skin just like us, and just as we would use moisturiser, we should also use it on them too.

                                                                      There is a comprehensive range of different lotions for babies on the market today, which protects their sensitive skin whilst hydrating it after bathtime too.

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                                                                      What are the most important baby items?

                                                                      The most important items to purchase when preparing for your new baby are feeding equipment, a cot and a baby car seat.

                                                                      Everything on this list is important, but if you must narrow it down, those are the basic necessities.

                                                                      What essentials should I get first?

                                                                      As you should always be prepared for anything, especially in the third trimester of your pregnancy, the basics should be ready months before your due date.

                                                                      Bottles, a cot and a car seat, should be ready for sudden labour.

                                                                      Are baby essentials expensive?

                                                                      Of course, purchasing the essentials for your first baby can be a costly process. Purchasing second hand when it is safe to do so, as well as investing in high-quality products, can help save you money.

                                                                      You don't have to go to the fanciest baby shops to tick everything off your baby checklist.

                                                                      Check out one of our must-see articles on the top gender-neutral names for your baby.

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