Pregnancy is arguably the most exciting nine months you’ll ever experience, but with all that anticipation there’s bound to be a sense of apprehension, especially when it comes to planning for your special arrival.
If you’re expecting your first baby, it’s understandable to worry about not getting everything you need. That’s why we’re giving you a free, downloadable checklist to print out, so you can tick off all the essentials as you get them.
But first, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you figure out what you need and why you might need it.
Essential Baby Clothing
You don’t need to have an entire walk-in wardrobe prepared for your baby’s arrival. Babies are fast little growers, so as long as you’ve got enough clothes to keep your baby warm and cosy, there’s no need to go overboard.
As a starting off point, pick out about six baby gros for both daytime and night-time wear, a few pairs of socks or booties, two cardigans, a couple of vests, a winter hat or sun hat (depending on due date!), some mittens to prevent little fingernails from scratching soft skin, and a shawl or blanket to wrap your little bundle of joy up in.
Materials-wise, always go for cotton or wool over nylon, and avoid heavy materials. It’s best to use a few light layers of clothing to keep your baby toasty and warm. Also, make sure woollen clothing is close-knit, so little fingers and toes won’t get caught in the material.
Naturally, your little loved one is going to need a place to sleep!
Some cot beds convert into a toddler bed, or larger bed as your baby grows, saving you money in the long-run and allowing your little one to keep the familiarity and comfort of their first bed for longer. When your little one starts crawling, and is able to stand up, it's important to have a cot bed with easily adjustable base heights.
It’s important that your mattress fits your baby’s bed perfectly, with no gaps around the edges to eliminate the possibility of suffocation. For the same reason, pillows and duvets should be kept away from your little one.
Other than a place for your baby to sleep, you should also consider purchasing a room thermometer to ensure comfortable sleeping conditions for your child, as well as a baby monitor to keep an ear out for them waking up.
Ensuring Your Baby's Safety
It won’t be too long before your little one starts crawling, and little crawlers are curious things! Therefore, it’s important to baby-proof your home so they are free to explore safely. To do this, you’ll need to install the following:
- Stair gates
- Plug socket covers
- Furniture corner protectors
- Cupboard and window catches
As well as baby-proofing your home, it’s imperative that you have smoke and carbon monoxide testers and ensure they’re working properly, as well as having a first aid kit to hand for those just-in-case moments. You should also consider a medical thermometer for keeping an eye on your baby’s health, and it might be worth keeping a book about common baby illnesses to help you keep an eye out for unfamiliar symptoms.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, there are essential items you’ll need to have ready for those all-important feeding times.
Breastfeeding mums will need a couple of nursing bras, nipple shields and nipple cream. It’s advisable to buy nursing bras that are one cup larger than your pregnant breast size, as your breasts will continue to grow after your baby is born.
As well as bottles, parents who choose to bottle feed should purchase a steriliser to make sure your baby’s bottles are clean and safe to use.
Regardless of feeding method, it’s also handy to have a support pillow for feeding, to keep both you and your baby comfortable as you nurse.
Bibs are also important for feeding; you can get special bandana bibs for newborns, perfect for catching dribble spills. Larger bibs can be introduced at around six months old, when you introduce your tot to the mushy stuff.
Bath Time Basics
Special baths are available to help support your baby as you get them clean. It’s also important to have soft towels to dry them off afterwards, as well as a bath thermometer to ensure the water is the perfect bathing temperature for your little treasure.
As your baby gets older, you might want to consider a non-slip bath mat to allow them to splash around safely.
Your cheeky little troublemaker will learn important life skills through play, so make sure they’ve got lots of toys to keep them entertained and develop their sensory skills. The following are recommended:
- Play mats
- Musical toys
- Light-up toys
- Teething toys
- Bouncy cradles or baby swings
- Textured and mirrored baby books
- Lightweight rattles
Nappy Changing Necessities
Not every parent’s favourite job, but an important one all the same! As well as buying nappies, you’ll also need to stock up on baby wipes, nappy sacks, a disposal system (or nappy bin), and nappy cream.
You’re also going to need a changing mat or tiered changer to make the nappy changing process as stress-free and comfortable as possible.
Download our Free Checklist...
In a hurry? Download our free, printable checklist here to make the process of shopping for your baby as simple as possible.
If you’ve got more time, why not check out our fantastic range of products to help you get ready for the arrival of your new baby?