Buying as a new or expecting parent can be difficult at the best of times, an infinite array of shelves filled with things that you might think you need, but you don’t know how much of, or things you don’t think you will, but you don’t quite know why.
Whether your child is a newborn, toddler, or still waiting to join us in this big mess of a world, we’ve collected all the bits and pieces you might actually need to keep them fed, watered, clothed, entertained, educated, and more, pretty much everything you’ll need to stay sane, happy, and healthy without spending your well-earned pounds, so why not take a look at everything you could possibly need to prepare for your baby.
[Read more: ‘What Baby Needs vs What Baby Wants’]
This might not seem like the most important of things, but honestly, go on all fours and crawl around your house and you will realise it can be a Ninja Warrior course of dangers for a little one once they’re on the move, so there are some great options out there to buy to keep your house as safe as possible.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors
These are one of the things that will either be top of your list undoubtedly or bottom of your list and forgotten about in a normal situation, but as a parent, something like this could bring you a real sense of ease that, as much as it may be metaphorically, the house isn’t burning down!
They are also extremely cheap, why not take a look at Screwfix’s range of alarms here
- Latches and locks
Simple, effective and easy to buy, locks will be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping baby safe as well as your supplies of much-needed gin and chocolates. By making sure all cupboards within baby’s reach are locked, it means they can’t accidentally knock over anything heavy or sharp, or eat anything they shouldn’t, meaning you can rest assured that they are safe to crawl wherever they like without the risk of injuring themselves.
Why not take a look at B&Q’s range here
- Non-slip pads
A nice and easy one this is. Non-slip pads allow you to make sure any loose rugs can’t slip underneath your child, they can also be a great way to make sure chairs don’t move easily or trays don’t fall from surfaces (or your child’s lap). Very simply these are a great way to reduce the risk of accidents in the home for your little one.
Check out Amazon’s range here
- Corner bumpers
Ah, a pain up there with that of the humble Lego brick, corners can be awful even for adults, so when preparing for a little one these are a great buy. Corner bumpers are simply some extra edge material that takes the edge away from the corners of surfaces, meaning the accidental bumps and scrapes don’t hurt even remotely as much.
Take a look at Amazon’s range here
- Plug Covers
Now you might think that these are a good idea, but trust us, and the Department of Health, that plug covers are a safety hazard and could actually pose a substantial safety risk to your child. Babies and children are far more intelligent than we give them credit for and the safety built into UK plugs are more than enough to keep them from electrocution. Just make sure they can’t get hold of metal items small enough to fit in the sockets and you’ll have no need for such items.
Now then...onto the more well-known bits!
Who doesn’t love baby clothes right? The cute adorable clothes can take place in people’s hearts very quickly, whilst also creating a hole in their bank account in the meantime without them realising. You can buy baby clothes from so many places I’m not going to direct you to our favourites (as we’d be here all day!) instead let me break down exactly what you NEED, to avoid too much unnecessary spending.
[Read more: When is it Too Early to Buy Baby Clothes?]
Ah yes, the somewhat forgotten trend! Onesies are a great option to keep your little one warm and cosy. You will want to buy between 4-7 of these to be properly covered. And the best fit for these would be with an envelope fold over the shoulders (see below).
The return of our old friend the envelope fold! Once again you won’t need more than maybe seven of these, but definitely buy at least four, and once again, try to buy ones with envelope folds. Shirts are an absolute essential, but be warned, you will more than likely be buying loads of these kinds of things over the first few years with your little one.
I’ve mentioned envelope folds quite a lot so far, and as much as an image can show what it is, you may not know why they are there. Very simply, as I’m sure you are aware, some babies can have rather big heads, but equally, many don’t. Envelope folds, therefore, are there to account for this, as they allow for babies of any size head to fit through the hole, without risk of large gaps on the sides, like there may be for some if their head is too small.
Another solution to this problem is ‘snaps’ which, very simply, are poppers that go around certain parts of the clothing to allow easy dressing of your little one.
Anyway, back to the scheduled content…
Another of the absolute essentials, once again probably need no more than 7 pairs but no less than four (are you seeing a pattern emerging yet?) A great option that is slightly different for trousers or leggings would be to get ‘footie’ trousers, which, as the name suggests, also cover your little one’s feet, just to add that extra bit of protection and warmth.
Preferably in a one-piece, pyjamas are another essential that, you guessed it, you will probably want to buy between four and seven, to make sure you are properly covered.
The final thing you will need up to seven of, but arguably the most important. Socks are great protection for your little one’s feet, or some ‘booties’ to help them around the house. One thing that needs to be remembered is that you won’t need to buy shoes for your little one until they have started walking.
A summer essential, you won't need many, at most three maybe, but hats will be essential to keep your little one safe in the sun, as well as keeping them warm and toasty in the winter. For summer you will want something wide-brimmed for optimum protection, whilst in winter you will want something that is able to cover their ears, whether that means flaps or a soft cap.
[Read more: Keeping Your Little One Safe in the Sun]
Nothing cuter than seeing your little one wrapped up in a warm coat in winter, but always good to partner it with a pair of mittens to make sure their hands are nice and warm. As newborns, ‘no-scratch mittens’ are also essential as they can stop your baby from scratching their face with their ever-growing nails.
- Coats/ Jackets
Another thing you won’t necessarily need loads of, but a great way to keep your little one toasty. Always try and get ones that are front buttoned as trust me it will be much easier for you. Other options you could buy also could be sweaters or ‘wearable blankets’ to add some extra warmth on those especially cold days.
[Read more: Keeping Safe in Autumn and Winter]
Ah, isn’t this where it gets fun, painting, decorating, and filling it with nice new stuff, this, then, is also one of the main areas people get drawn into overspending, so if you are looking into doing your nursery on a tighter budget than most, I am going to refer you to one of our bloggers for her tips on how to do this.
[Read more: Decorating a Nursery on a Budget]
So anyway, here are the absolutely essential bits you’ll need to buy (and know) for your nursery!
- Crib, Cradle, or Moses Basket?
This is a question that many parents will ask, and as much as I am not going to explain the full list of differences now, the simple pros to consider are that the rocking motion of a cradle can be a benefit when getting babies to sleep, cribs have the longest usable lifespan, and moses baskets are nice and snug for baby, as well as being the easiest of the three to take them in and out of. You will only need one of these, but making the right choice could have huge benefits for you when it comes to your much-needed sleep.
The mattress you choose should be firm and flat, they should also fit snugly into the crib (or other sleeping option). An easy way of working out if the mattress is the right size is that you should not be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the edge of what it is inside.
As with any mattress, you will need sheets, more specifically fitted ones, so there’s no possibility of it coming loose and the baby getting tangled. Make sure to buy at least four of these to make sure you are properly covered for any unexpected accidents that may happen.
[Read more: Sleep Safety Guidelines for Babies]
- Baby Monitor
Baby monitors are something not many people will know loads about, but they are an absolute essential for your nursery, not just so you can always hear your little one, but to put your mind at ease that nothing is wrong in their room, if you don’t know what is best for your house, why not check out Philips range of monitors here to give you a great insight into what these monitors can offer.
- Changing Table
A lifesaver when it comes to the unexpected and sometimes explosive situations for your little one. Make sure it’s in a place which you can reach quickly and without risk of accident for you or your baby and changing times will be a piece of cake!
[Read more: Hacks for Nappy Changing You Need to Know]
Ah yes, this is where the fun begins! The messy world of changing nappies and explosions of unspeakable things, this is where there is little to buy but you will end up buying it in massive quantities!
[Read more: How Many Nappies Will I Need to Buy?]
- Cloth or disposable?
There are benefits to both types of nappy, but either way, you will need to make sure you are well equipped. If you opt for disposable nappies, consider buying at least three large boxes, or more if you are unable to buy the larger packs. If you opt for cloth or reusable nappies, then consider buying around ten to make sure you are properly covered.
[Read more: Reusable Nappies, Explained]
- Baby Wipes
Something you will never stop buying once you become a parent! Baby wipes are something that will be a godsend for anyone in an accident-related crisis. Therefore, it is a good idea to make sure you have at least three large packs before your baby comes home.
Quick side note…
With both nappies and baby wipes, there is a chance your baby’s skin may react badly to certain brands or types. Therefore it is a good idea to find a brand that is effective for your little one and then stick with it if possible. If your baby develops a rash as a result of their nappies or even as a result of an accident, it is recommended you buy nappy cream to help it heal, therefore buying a couple of tubs before the baby arrives is recommended.
[Read more: Nappy Rash Symptoms and Solutions]
- Nappy Bag
Very important to have one of these in case of a sudden need to change nappies in the middle of your weekly shop. Why not take a look at one of our favourite options from Amazon here.
Health and Bathing
Nice and simple this bit, here are all the things you’re going to need to keep your baby happy, healthy and clean during the early stages of parenthood, without all the added explanation that, let’s face it, we all probably know!
- Baby Bathtub
- Shampoo and body wash (that is appropriate for babies)
- Baby towels (hooded or normal)
- Baby nail clippers
- Baby thermometer
- First aid kit
See, simple right? All of these things are reasonably easy to come across, the only one you may have some difficulty with is the bathtub, in which case, why not check out Argos’ range here, otherwise you should be able to find everything at your usual healthcare and beauty shops, so get buying, as there can never be too much body wash when it comes to babies so why not stock up early to avoid constantly buying later on?
Ok, this one is a bit more complex, see what you will need depends on whether you choose to breastfeed or to use formula, therefore I am going to split this up a bit to make this easier to see which you need depending on your approach.
If you are still deciding whether or not to breastfeed, why not take a look at our blog ‘Breast vs Bottle’ here.
If you are breastfeeding
- Breast pump
Very simple, does what it says on the tin, despite this, however, there are loads on the market, so choosing one can be difficult. Instead, why not take a look at Philips’ range of breast pumps here to see all there is on offer.
- Milk storage bags
Again, quite a simple idea. Storage bags are an absolute must when it comes to breastfeeding as it allows you to pump large amounts of milk at once, and then store it so that you can use it over a number of days, rather than repeatedly having to pump.
[Read more: Expressing and Storing Breastmilk]
- Nursing Pads
An easy and effective way to avoid accidents while expressing, nursing pads allow any excess or leaking milk to be soaked up to avoid any embarrassment or ruined clothes, making them a key part of any breastfeeding kit.
- Nipple Cream
The most effective way to counter dry or cracked nipples as a result of breastfeeding, nipple cream is an easy way to keep your nipples moisturised and healthy during the breastfeeding process making it a must-have for mums.
If you decide not to breastfeed, then very simply you will need to make sure that you have adequate amounts of formula to last. This is something you will regularly buy and so finding one that your baby reacts well to is a good idea to make the buying process easier for yourself.
[Read more: Breastfeeding 101]
In either case, the other things you will need to ensure you buy for the feeding process are…
Buying bottles is key, you will want to get bottles of both four and eight ounce capacity, as well as nipples for both. For both capacities, you will want to buy around eight, to ensure you are properly covered.
- Burp Cloths
Something not all mums may be aware of, a burp cloth is a great way to ensure no clothes are ruined when you have to burp your baby, as well as reducing the possibility of needing an additional shower on top of your other accident related showers after having a baby. You will want around eight of these to ensure you have one at all times and are not without when you most need it.
Keeping table cloths clean as long as anyone can remember, a bib is a must-get for any expecting parents wanting to restrict the extra washing load! Providing an easy way to clean any spillages, you will want to buy around ten of these to make sure all possible messes are covered.
- Bottle Brush
An essential to keeping your bottles sanitary and clean for use, bottle brushes have been around for years and it’s a great idea to make sure you keep one around the house so you can properly clean your baby’s bottles after use.
- High Chair
Whether it’s to get your little one involved in dinner time conversations, or to make it easier for parents to feed them, high chairs have an untold amount of benefits to families and so are a definite buy for any expecting family.
[Read more: Breast Vs Bottle]
Keeping on the Move Essentials
Keeping on with a somewhat normal life can be difficult with a little one, so here are our essential bits you will need to keep your life as smooth as possible.
- Prams, Strollers, Buggies...which to choose?
It’s an important question, there are so many out there it can be difficult to choose the best option for your needs, so why not, instead, take a look at ‘Our Top 10 Prams & Buggies of 2020’ to see a great selection of the best here.
- Baby Carrier
Baby carriers are a great way to keep close to your little one whilst not impeding your ability to carry all the other shopping you’ve missed during pregnancy, they can be made for a variety of ages and sizes so why not take a look at the different options ErgoBaby offer here.
- Car Seats
Car seats are an interesting one, there are millions out there but most times only a select few will fit your child, coming in all different shapes and sizes, these are the optimum way to keep your child safe in your car, so why not take a look at our tips on ‘How to Choose the Right Car Seat’ here, and then head down to your local seller and take your pick!
[Read more: How to Choose the Right Travel System]
And there you have it, you’re ready! Stick to our list and you will be sure to have an easier (and cheaper!) introduction to parenthood than you may have expected, but I wonder what other essentials you may have found? Why not let us know!
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