Baby essentials – what do you really need?
There are very few ‘must have’ items for the early days and remember your baby is unique so just because an item works for others it doesn’t mean it will work for your baby, if possible it may be helpful to see if you can borrow an item to ‘try before you buy’ before you fork out hundreds of £££ on items that barely get used.
Secondly, let’s be honest, your baby doesn’t really care which shop their outfit is from (as long as it’s comfortable) or which celebrity has been spotted with the same buggy so it is wise to shop within your budget. Having a baby doesn’t have to be an expensive time, only if you make it that way and sometimes there are unexpected costs when baby arrives so it’s wise to set aside a rainy day fund.
The only items I consider essential are:
Clothes; sleep suits are often the most practical and comfortable for the early days.
Nappies and wipes; supermarket brands are often rated just as good as the leading brands, you may also want to consider reusable cloth nappies and save yourself £££.
Bottles and a pacifier (for baby to suckle on) if not breastfeeding.
A consultation with a Lactation consultant if you are planning to breastfeed. This is invaluable if you experience any difficulties, check that they are IBCLC certified and expect to pay around £100 for a 1-2 hour consultation.
A sling to carry the baby that both parents/carers feel comfortable wearing, ensure the sling is ergonomic and familiarise yourself with the TICKS guidelines.
Muslin cloths for mopping up spills.
A safe sleep surface for baby; most babies will want to be close to their care givers 24/7 so a cot that is attached to or immediately next to your bed is likely to be most useful.
Swaddling blanket; although some babies do not like to be swaddled so maybe just 1 or 2 to start with.
Cellular blanket; these help to regulate babies’ temperature.
A lamp with a red bulb; red light does not stimulate the brain in the same way a standard bulb does but still allows you to attend to your baby at night.
A car seat if you have a vehicle. (It is recommended that babies spend no more than 2 consecutive hours in a car seat as the position can restrict airways).
A bag suitable for carrying a few bits in if you go out, a back pack is good as it evenly distributes the weight.
That’s about it, babies really don’t need that much, if you do realise you need something most items can be found in 24 hour supermarkets and most online stores offer next day delivery.