Advanced search

Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

What items are essential for a new baby?

(29 Posts)
BexJ78 Sun 06-Sep-09 20:37:04

Title says it all really. Am due in December with DC1, so have just started getting a few bits for the nursery, but not sure what I absolutely have to get and what are going to ultimately be unnecessary purchases.

Also, on another point, at what stage should you start bathing your baby? DH said that for the first few weeks you just wash them, but I thought you could give them a bath from the start?

Very grateful for any help - am soooo clueless unprepared for all of this! blush

amarantha Sun 06-Sep-09 21:46:55

Hi, I'm wondering about this too. My mum keeps telling me not to buy anything as we'll be given loads but I don't want to count my chickens esp as sil promised us loads and now is pg and won't be able to.
So far I've got a pram/pushchair, a cot and mattress (present from mil) and that is it. I think I'll get a pack of sleepsuits and scratch mitts, nappies, bedding, change mat, bath and a hat. What more can w baby need immediately? Hope this helps

CurlyQueen Sun 06-Sep-09 21:47:49

Granny Weatherwax says babies are simple: you put milk in one end and try to keep the other end as clean as possible.

LargeGlassofRed Sun 06-Sep-09 21:51:46

muslin cloths and bibs, I get through about 6 of each a day with my newborn twins

LargeGlassofRed Sun 06-Sep-09 21:54:44

btw still bathing my 2 in a washing up bowl, easier an less heavy than a baby bath.
I've bathed mine every eve from about 2 weeks old.

colditz Sun 06-Sep-09 21:57:20

6 sleepsuits, 6 vests, 6 bibs, 2 pairs scratch mitts, 2 hats, 2 cardigans, and some nice little blankets, preferably cotton. If you are breast feeding you don't need any bottles, steriliser and all that jizz.

DOn't use any bath products - just water for bathing, but you can bath pretty much straight away - your dh is right that you don't NEED to though.

Unless you are hell bent on using a sling for everything, you do need a pram, and believe me, the baby changing bag is heavier than the baby for at least 6 months!

Don't buy...

Special towels
Nappy wrapper
bottle warmer
weird talking stuffed toys
huge bundles of baby clothes under 6 months old (they GROW)
ANYTHING dry clean only
Changing mat (use a towel)

cece Sun 06-Sep-09 22:02:07

Of course you can bath a baby!

I would suggest;

pack of muslins
half a dozen baby grows
half a dozen vests
winter baby will need a coat, hat and gloves
somewhere for the baby to sleep (I use a moses basket for the first few months but some people use a cot from the beginning)
fitted sheets for cot/basket x3
sleeping bag (I find these better than blankets)
changing mat
some sort of way of transporting the baby - buggy/sling
Ialso find a feeeding pillow useful

oh and if you bottle feed then you need lots of stuff for that but afraid I can' help you wiht that!

Currently have a 15 week old so still fresh in my mind.

cece Sun 06-Sep-09 22:07:10

I don't use a baby bath. I bathe mine in the normal bath using one of the lie back things for them to rest on.

Don't buy

loads of clothes - you will get given loads, honestly you will.
toys and teddies
a huge and heavy buggy, you will have to replace it once you realise it is to big and heavy
changing table, safer on the floor
bibs - I never use them till they start solid food
nappy wrapper devices

Your mum is right, don't buy much and wait to see what you actually want/need once baby is with you. The shops will still be open you know!

Heated Sun 06-Sep-09 22:10:07

2nd the wipes. I know they say use cotton wool & water, but my god that first sticky poo... you need wipes.

And if you are unsure about feeding, you can just buy some prepared formula in cartons, a couple of bottles and some milton tablets so you can sterilise them if you need to.

mananny Sun 06-Sep-09 22:11:08

You won't need half the stuff you think you will so don't waste your money on things like a wipes warmer (WTF - babies won't get hyperthermia from a cool wetwipe on their tushy!), breast buddy pillow (WTF, just use a spare bed pillow), baby bath (use the kitchen sink, it'll save your back!), etc...

What I recommend to my new mums for the first four crazy weeks are:
-10 onesies
-10 sleepsuits or those little newborn gowns, so easy to change nappies at all hours of the day and night
-loads of muslins
-socks and scratch mitts and a couple of hats
-a couple of wool cardigans
-at least 250 nappies (will be changing nappies at least 10 times a day for the first few weeks and you don't want to run out at 3am!) or at least 15 washable nappies plus all the paraphernalia that goes with them
-several hundred wipes (fragrance free)
-cotton wool
-sudocrem in case of sore bottoms
-any bottle feeding stuff you plan on using, get enough to last 2 days of feeds if you can afford it
-any breastfeeding stuff you'll need if you go down this route
-dummies whether you think you'll use them or not, they can be a lifesaver at 3am
-a bassinet/crib
-pram/pushchair with lie flat seat
-a few soft but non fuzzy cotton or wool blankets for swaddling

Really, even with very little preparation, baby will survive. Save your money to get a weekly cleaner in, and have food delivered a couple of times a week, to help keep you sane. Baby does not need an all singing all dancing high tech life in order to thrive! Just love them, feed them, keep them warm and dry.

pookamoo Sun 06-Sep-09 22:15:40

Top tip:
Get an insulated mug with a lid.

It's not for baby, it's for you. So you stand an outside chance of drinking a warm cup of tea in the first three months after the baby arrives!

You will find that you need to see to the baby immediately you have made yourself been given a cup of tea, and it will be cold by the time you get back to it! Insulated mug. Problem solved grin

As for baby, I agree with the others above! Also, try nearly new sales for the things you do decide to get, as you can get lots of bargains.

You can bath your baby if you want, but you don't have to. DD is usually bathed once a week and she's 9 months old. Unlike the previous posters, I do use a baby bath. We were given one, and DD is still bathed in it, as it saves so much water. I just put it in the big bath and fill it using the shower head.

Good luck and congratulations! smile

cece Sun 06-Sep-09 22:30:56

I wouldn't buy too many nappies. My boys were so big that neither of them fitted in the size 1 nappies and went straight into size 2. Get a couple of packs in to start with till you know how big your baby is.

mcflumpy Sun 06-Sep-09 22:38:10

I'd also suggest a steriliser of some sorts even if you are planning to bf. My DH had to go get one at 2am first night home whilst I was sat in bed in tears as my nipples were bleeding. If you are planning to bf, suggest getting some Lanisoh cream, worked wonders for me.

mcflumpy Sun 06-Sep-09 22:40:15

Oh and our DD was a bit early so we were totally unprepared on the clothes front, everything was massive on her, DH had to go buy tiny baby clothes as i optimistically only bought 0-3 months had no idea how small new babies are. Just buy cheap stuff from tesco or asda as the are pooped or puked on fairly instantly....

smallone Sun 06-Sep-09 23:09:23

Depends on your definition of essential. You can make do with alot of things.

A carseat if you've got a car.
A cot and bedding
Nappies, cotton wool
Nursing bras and phone number of support if bfing
Bottles, steriliser and formula if not
A few sleepsuits to get you started
A couple of hats

We bathed dd in a plastic crate we already had, or she came in the bath with me. We were given tonnes of johnsons stuff that I'm still trying to get through. You don't need it in the first couple of weeks, just water will do.

We changed on an old towel

Didn't need any extra clothes coz was bought shed loads.

I bought a breast pump when she was 4wks which came with its own microwave steriliser and bottles, wouldn't bother buying it in advance tho coz you don't know if you'll want it or not.

Lansinoh saved my boobs when bfing but at £10 a tube its an expensive thing to not need. (MW sometimes have little sample sachets if you're desperate)

Pushchair, think about what you're going to be doing post birth tho and get one suitable. ie if you walk a dog in woods daily you'll benefit from a robust off road type, but if you catch the bus into town and want to whip round the shops then a small lightweight one would be better IYSWIM.

A small bottle of milton or similar will see you though any sterilising emergencies and its handy for general disinfection that comes with parenthood.

Any old rucksack/large handbag will do as a changing bag.

Oh and check out the bounty website coz you get free samples of stuff when the baby is born, the little pot of sudocreme I got in there lasted me the nappy years and fitted in my changing bag beautifully.

Then after baby is born and you've worked out which way is up and sorted through what everyone has got you/baby.

A snow suit is handy

I liked having a moses basket, we moved it round the house with us and just took her up to bed with us when we went.

smallone Sun 06-Sep-09 23:20:44

Oh and scratch mits never stay on, and baby nail clippers are a smaller version of adult clippers,IMO not necessary, baby nails tend to peel when the get long and when they've toughened up a bit I used to file them, much less scary than taking clippers to them!

I never found baby brush and comb any use either. I used to smooth it down when wet and then when it got long enough used one of those small travel brushes on her.

ScummyMummy Mon 07-Sep-09 00:02:31

Somewhere to sleep- your bed or a cot or a basket or a drawer. Blankets and sheets, or grobags.

Stuff to catch and clean the poo- a pack of disposable nappies in newborn size will start you off. If you know you want to try washables you'll need 8-16+ nappies, depending on the type(s) you choose, and a bucket. Either way you'll need cotton wool and/or wipes and a changing mat or towel. Nappy rash cream.

Clothes to keep them warm and funky looking- 3-6 envelope neck vests, 3-6 sleepsuits, hat, cardigan, coat/snowsuit for colder weather.

Eating accessories- nursing bras, pillows and cushions if breastfeeding, (a specialist cushion is not essential but can be useful, imo) bottles, steriliser, formula if not

Transportation- buggy or sling (both are nice), carseat if you have a car


Places to put the baby down are handy- baby play mat, bouncy chair or sheepskin

BexJ78 Mon 07-Sep-09 12:38:59

Thanks so much for all your comments! It is really helpful to know what we need to get and what we should let someone else fork out their hard earned cash on!

Thanks again everyone

Reallytired Mon 07-Sep-09 12:47:19

You can get a lot of baby stuff in good condition second hand. The only thing you really need to buy new is a cot mattress or a carseat.

What one person sees as useful another would consider junk. Its worth seeing what you want when the baby is actually here.

Its worth looking in newpapers or charity shops or ebay for useful non essential items like a moses basket, activity gym or mobiles or bumbo or bouncy chair.

If its a first baby you will be given loads.

mumbot Mon 07-Sep-09 12:51:27

Hi, I would stock up on infacol, gripe water and most importantly a bottle of witch hazel for you after the birth - oh the relief grin

Reallytired Mon 07-Sep-09 13:31:19

Your baby might not need infacol or gripe water. Not all babies get colic.

My little girl has not had colic at all. Every baby is different.

I would prepare plenty of meals in the freezer that can be microwaved when you are too tired to cook.

NewbeeMummy Wed 09-Sep-09 13:04:27

I found it was very worthwhile joining my local freecycle, I got loads of bits for free, including my pram, which was retailing at £200.

Comma2 Tue 15-Sep-09 15:11:48

Freecycle is great for baby stuff, you can get just about anything you want for free there...

NewbeeMummy Tue 15-Sep-09 16:41:13

even if you're going down the reusable nappy route, disposables are always handy if you're visiting family/friends (especially overnight) and don't want to carry around your dirty nappies.

So far I have discovered that Bounty do a free pack with Asda (it includes wipes and a pair of quite cute socks) the details are in your pack or should be on the website, and if you got to, you'll go to the pampers site and if you set up an account there, you can get a free pack of new born nappies from Sainsbury's

I probably sound really cheap, but if I can get it for free I'm going to take it, and I can spend the money on more important things

jaype Tue 15-Sep-09 18:10:29

Lots of sleepsuits in second size (0-3 mo) as it doesn't matter if their clothes are a bit big but it DOES matter if they are too small or all covered in milky sick at the same time. Two or three cardigans (again, 0-3 with sleeves rolled up will do and save cash)

Two packs of nappies in different brands (all babies are different shapes and some brands of nappies will always leak on yours - the puzzle is finding which ones, usually at 2am!), plus loads of wipes

Enough bedsheets to always have two spare sets and one on the bed (see stuff above about sick) - you'll need lots if you don't have a tumble dryer

Car seat, cot, pram, something for baby to lie / sit in when you're not holding them.

Breast pads, bottle, couple of packets of ready made formula. Then you're prepared either way the feeding goes and your partner will just have to run out to get extra of each depending...

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: