Birth Doula - Medway, Kent & south east London

Essential items for a newborn - what do you need for a new baby?

I must have read the whole internet when I was pregnant. Every single list on what to pack in your hospital bag, what to do to prepare for a baby and - what to buy for a newborn. 

As a parent to be we want to do the best for our child. We are uncertain, apprehensive, even scared, about what will happen when we head home with a baby. We are looking for a way to look into the future and prepare ourselves for the change. Because we can't do that, not really, we instead buy things that tell us they will help us, that allow us to imagine how our days will be structured. 

If we buy a swing seat that has multiple settings with different music options, we are thinking - so there is a fast setting with heartbeat music that you can set for 20 minutes, I guess that means my baby will spend some chunks of time in there being soothed gently to sleep. If we see a bottle warming machine that tells us it will heat our baby's formula to the right temperature every time, maybe we think it is a complicated thing to do without a machine? A bath thermometer, because no one wants to burn their baby and if they make thermometers it must be an exact science.

I made so many presumptions as a pregnant first-time mum. There are so many things that I didn't buy, I believed I had been pretty reserved in collecting baby "essentials". But when I look back at what we've used and what we haven't, I could have forgone so much of what we bought. 

I wish I had read something that had given me the real deal, but then of course, perhaps my baby is a bit of an oddball and didn't like/want/need the things on a conventional baby essentials list! 

What you might need: 

  • Self belief
  • Patience
  • Time
  • Lanolin or some kind of baby ingestible nipple balm - start using it a few weeks before your due date and before feeds as well as just when it starts hurting.
  • 5 baby vests
  • 5 babygrows
  • Nappies of choice 
  • Wipes (check out reusable cheeky wipes - so good at cleaning)
  • Car seat, if going in a car
  • A couple of soft cotton hats
  • Blankets

Stuff I used lots, but could be forgone or replaced:

  • sling 
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • bottle you can drink from at different angles, when you get stuck lying down and need a drink
  • Angel bath insert (until 6 months ish) 
  • Haakaa silicon breast pump, excellent at collecting letdown from other breast when feeding (I only had this for the first few days and then no more leaking - just depends on you)
  • Cooling nipple gel pads
  • Infacol
  • Dummies
  • Grow egg room thermometer
  • Music

Stuff we bought/were given and didn't (really) use and wish we hadn't bought:

  • Bedside cot
  • Sleepyhead
  • Steriliser
  • Playmat and dangly gym
  • Travel cot
  • Baby swing
  • Bassinet for the pram, didn't really use the pram until 5 months
  • Baby shoes 
  • Baby monitor with movement sensor
  • Bath thermometer, think I can just stick a finger in next time
  • Changing mat
  • Nappy bin
  • electric nail file
  • Whisbear white noise machine
  • Baby towels

How about you?