New baby buys…
I can’t believe I’m writing this now with an almost 5 month old! I have been jotting down notes on my best purchases over the last few months during night feeds, and I finally have a post to share with you.
You’ll probably remember I had said I was quite anxious about the newborn stage, I really went in thinking it was going to be complete chaos. We really tried to prepare for life with a baby (see post here!) and while I don’t think you can ever truly prepare for something so life-altering, I do think there’s a lot of other things you can do to simplify your life so you can at least focus solely on looking after your new arrival.
Thankfully, life with a new baby hasn’t been as turbulent as we expected. I would say, overall, looking back at it with a hazy, love-drunk memory, I really miss it. It went by SO fast!
And it’s true what they say, things do just click – like how to use a breast pump, how to check your babies temperature or dress them for the weather… a lot of it is just instinct. The rest is down to endless googling, asking fellow mums and sheer faith!
So here’s a few essentials that have helped us with the early days of having a baby. I think when it comes to buying these sorts of items, you have to think about how it slots in to your routine and situation. A lot of it you won’t know until baby is here, so start with the basics and go from there. Most of our ‘most used’ items were purchased after Dahlia was here, so don’t feel panicked if you feel like you don’t have everything you need!
You’ll also find that where someone absolutely swears by an item for their baby, five other people will say they didn’t find it useful at all – it very much depends on the baby and the circumstances.
It’s easier to get to grips with everything when baby is here so don’t panic if this feels overwhelming right now. Have a browse, bookmark some of it for later and remind yourself Amazon Prime exists!
The Start Off Essentials
These are the items I would have ready to go before baby arrives – those essentials for surviving the first few days. I do think the rest can be purchased later, but this lot was pretty handy for us in the first week or so.
This app is so helpful in the early weeks when the days blur in to one. I remember the midwife asking how many times Dahlia had fed that day and I stared at her shellshocked until I remembered I could consult my app.
The feeding feature is so helpful for remembering which side you fed from last, and it’s great being able to stop and start the timer so easily.
I would say it’s good for the first few days when all the days blur in to one, but I think it’s easy to get hung up on how many hours you’ve spent feeding etc. so I would dial down the usage once you’ve established a bit of a routine.
Not as exciting as some of the other picks here but we found these so handy! I had some left over from collecting collustrum and used them when we got home from the hospital to feed Dahlia.
We also used these for gripe water when she got hiccups, and later when she needed medicine too. Grab a few from the chemist in prep.
Tiny Baby Clothes
I did not buy enough tiny baby clothes! I had mostly 0-3month sizes and then had to panic buy a bunch of sleepsuits because everything was too big! I found Next sleepsuits the best, they have First Size (7lb), Up To 1Month (up to 10lbs) and then Up To 3Months (10-14lb) – I bought one set of each size and they did me well.
My advice would be to hold off on buying newborn and even 0-3m outfits – I had bought a few that she never got any wear out of because she was a sleepsuit baby until she was about 2months old! Instead, buy a couple of cute pairs of small size leggings and some nice bodysuits for when visitors pop round, but otherwise sleepsuits and vests (temperature dependant) are best. Every person in your life will buy you 0-3month clothes, especially sleepsuits, so concentrate on getting a few smaller sizes when baby first arrives, and then the fun stuff for when they’re a bit bigger!
If you’re buying baby clothes, shop for 3-6m and 6-9m items as it comes around SO fast and you’ll get way more use out of them, but factor in the seasons/weather for this time.
Snuza Hero MD
I was in two minds about adding this in because it’s a difficult topic to touch upon. The Snuza is essentially a monitor that lets you know if your baby has stopped breathing, it vibrates to rouse them and then sounds an alarm for you to hear if that doesn’t work. You can read more about it here.
Dahlia has worn this every single night since she came home from the hospital, it’s the first thing I pack when we travel and I can’t ever imagine not using it. It really helped my anxiety in the first few months, I got such a better sleep because of the Snuza – I can see the green light flash with each breath and I’m not leaning over her, waking her up to check she’s okay through the night.
Of course, we already do everything we can to practise safe sleeping so this isn’t a stand-in for anything, it’s just an extra step for peace of mind. I know there are more tried and tested devices out there for monitoring heart rate but this is simple and works for us.
Bath & Room Thermometer
I love this cute flower thermometer, I have it on my bedside table to see the temperature at bedtime and I also cart it from room to room every now and again to check Dahlia is dressed right for the weather.
It can also go in water so it doubles as a bath thermometer, meaning we get a lot of use from it!
Snoo Smart Sleeper*
Every day I feel grateful for the existence of the Snoo! This was kindly gifted to me from the brand but I know I would have bought it regardless. I had seen a lot of great reviews on it and thought it seemed like a luxe baby purchase I could get behind.
The Snoo Smart Sleeper is a bassinet that responds to baby’s cries, rocking and soothing them back to sleep. I use it more to connect Dahlia’s sleep cycles, so we set it to baseline (gentle motion and sound) and if she cries, I tend to get her out and calm her myself, but sometimes I’ll let the Snoo do it’s thing if I know she’ll go back to sleep. It really helped her to get good stretches of sleep in the first weeks.
I was worried she wouldn’t take to it but from the day we got home from the hospital, she has settled in it instantly. I will likely write a full write up about the Snoo when she’s a little older, because her sleeping patterns change a lot at the moment. The r/SnooLife subreddit is also helpful for getting the most out of it too.
Love To Dream Swaddle
Our girl has always been an arms up sleeper so this swaddle is perfect for her. I like that it’s stretchy and lightweight, meaning she can self-soothe too.
Duh. These ones are my favourites!
I always laugh at how often we just wrapped Dahlia in a blanket in the early days. It really is a constant cycle of feeding and changing at first, and convenience is key. We bought a few of these super fluffy blankets and still use them now – perfect for wrapping baby up after the bath, or keeping on hand in the changing bag or car for when an extra layer is needed.
Buy a few packs of basic sleepsuits and vests (long and short sleeves) because you’ll go through quite a few, and you might not have much time to keep on top of the washing.
The zip sleepsuits are handy but I personally prefer poppers, although I do love the Mori sleepsuits!
Nappies & Wipes
Before Dahlia was born, we cleared out our hallway cupboard and stocked it up with nappies, wipes and loo roll. Highly recommend!
Soon you’ll find that you have a favourite nappy brand (I know, exciting right?) but ours have always been the Sainsbury’s own brand. We also love Waterwipes and buy them in bulk when we can.
The Breastfeeding Subreddit
I was really determined to breastfeed and I tried so hard to get over all the hurdles we encountered in the early days – from slow letdowns to fast letdowns, to burping issues and poor latch. I was on this subreddit constantly in the first couple of months, searching for advice whenever I encountered a problem.
A Few Other Handy Items
While this lot aren’t essential from day one, they helped us massively and I still consider them super helpful. I consider this list the items you can add on later if you feel like there’s a gap for them in your life.
Hatch Sound Machine
My friend recommended me this as her “if you buy one thing…” and so I added to cart without thinking whether I actually needed it.
When we got it out of the box on the day we arrived home from the hospital, I thought it was going to be unnecessary since the Snoo already played white noise but Jord set it up and I realised it would be a welcome addition to our night time routine.
It’s a sound machine and lamp so you can pop it on for a soft glow and change the brightness/volume on your phone – perfect for night feeds and for checking on your baby as they snooze. I never wanted to wake Dahlia too much as I fed her through the night so this really helped to keep the nighttime feel without turning on the lamp. I set up a few favourite settings and now I just tap through to find which one I need. Plus, the sound machine meant we could have soothing sounds playing which helped us all!
Very handy, Dahlia loves hers!
Electric Nail File
We didn’t have this at first and when we eventually got it, it was revolutionary! So much easier and quicker than a nail file and less scary than clippers.
When I was pregnant I had such a hard time knowing what we would need – a crib, a bedside crib, a nest, a Moses basket! There were so many options. I had seen the Dock-A-Tot a lot and didn’t really understand what the purpose was – if they can’t safely sleep in it, what do you use it for?
I wasn’t going to buy it until family were insistent on getting us a gift and this was all we could think of. In the end it’s been so helpful, probably one of our most used items! Especially for popping her down in while I took a few minutes to eat my dinner. Dahlia never loved her Moses basket for some reason, but she was always a fan of her Dock-A-Tot, but every baby is different!
I also used it a lot to just place her in quickly while I went to the loo or grabbed something from the kitchen. I always wondered what you did with a baby in those moments, and I remember asking the midwife how to safely leave her for a minute. It’s super sturdy and she loves being in it, and it saved us in those early, frantic days.
I also pop her in here for playtime, we do a bit of tummy time or I chat to her while she’s awake. She loves being in it and it’s just such a handy item – probably our most used out of this list!
I knew even before Dahlia was here that I would always babywear, it makes so much sense. I got a sling first (perfect for newborns, and wearing in the house) and an Artipoppe carrier* now she’s bigger. Both are great and will last us a while – the sling is super cosy and handy, and I still wear this in the flat if Dahlia wants to be on me, and the Artipoppe carriers really are SO comfy!
I also got Jord his own carrier, I wanted him to be equally involved so this seemed like a good way for him to bond with Dahlia. He takes her out most days in the carrier, he’ll go for a walk or run errands with her – and because she always sleeps in it, he doesn’t have to worry about feeding her when he’s out for a walk. You can absolutely share a carrier, we are the only people I know who have their own.
This is one of those things I bought without really knowing what it was, but I ended up getting it out of the box when I had some milk issues in the early days. I used it to catch letdown and also to help when I had a fast milk flow at first – this will make more sense once you’re a week or so in to breastfeeding, I promise!
Infacol & Gripe Water
As above, I had no real idea what these were used for but they came in handy one night feed. Babies are windy!! Of course, speak to your midwife first if you’re unsure.
This has a thermometer, small hairbrush (we use it to wash her hair in the bath), nail file, clippers and more – very helpful for regular grooming etc.
I bought baby Aveeno and some Johnson’s bedtime products thinking that would do the trick, but Dahlia’s skin was so sensitive to everything except Weleda and Child’s Farm. We use the Weleda Calendula range for bath and body, and the Weleda White Mallow Face Cream too. We had the dreaded baby acne around week 5-8 and the Weleda Face Cream came in so handy in helping to clear this up!
Cosy wosy! We use a pramsuit every single day, they’re so handy for ensuring baby is warm and they work great in the pram and the carrier.
I mainly breastfeed but I wanted to have the option of giving Dahlia a bottle, both to take some pressure off me and to give Jord a chance to bond with her during feeds. Because I only needed to express once per day and build up a small freezer stash for emergencies, the Elvie has been great – I wanted something small, easy and portable and it fits the bill! If you’re exclusively pumping, you might want something with a bit more power but this works for me.
Breastmilk Storage Bags
If you’re breastfeeding, you may be able to get a little stash on the go – for emergencies, for your partner to bond or do night feeds, or just for backup. This post is really great for information on expressing and storing milk. It isn’t something to worry about right away, but I thought I’d include it as it helped me when I wanted to start to build up an emergency freezer stash!
Pram & Carseat
Of course, you’re going to need these too. I didn’t include any specifics on these as I think there’s so many factors that come in to play when purchasing your pram and car seat.
We’re not really pram people, we usually always use the carrier, but we will take it on trips so we have quite a lightweight one – the Babyzen Yo-Yo with the Newborn Attachment. It’s teeny, folds down easily and can be taken on the plane!
As for our carseat, we got the Doona for ease. Again, we are convenience addicts so this has really helped us out. Living in the city, we needed small, effortless options for day to day use. They both suit us perfectly!
Hopefully this gives you an idea of what you may need without being too overwhelming. We skipped out on a lot of stuff because we just didn’t think we needed it (and we don’t have the space for it anyway!) and I feel like we managed fine, but you’ll have an idea of what will help you out when the time comes.
A lot of baby items are obsolete after a few months so search Marketplace and Vinted for secondhand finds – they’ll often seem brand new.
I’ve put everything I think is essential for the newborn stage in my Amazon shop, so add what you need to your baby registry and tick them off as you go!
And remember, it’s a phase – newborns aren’t newborns for very long. The first few weeks or so is just constant troubleshooting, you’ll spend almost every waking moment googling something new. But you’ll be fine, I felt like we were through the toughest times after six weeks, and then again I felt we turned a corner at three months and everything felt a lot more manageable. Of course, this is just my experience but hopefully it gives you a bit of an idea of what to expect!
Good luck! xo.