Playing baby name ping-pong, decorating a nursery and test driving prams, preparing for a new addition is an exciting but busy time. Here’s a selection of newborn essentials — from eco-friendly blankets to portable breast pumps — that can help everyday life run smoother.
Essential Clothes and Cloths for Newborns
One of the most-used baby essentials is muslins. They can be used as a soft protective layer (or impromptu mop) for almost every situation — so expectant parents will want to stock up on these versatile cloths. Those conscious of their carbon footprint will like the Organic Cotton muslins. These eco-friendly baby cloths are made using less energy and water but are still soft and comforting.
Swaddles are a wrappable piece of clothing that encases a newborn, helping to create a calming womb-like feeling. As well as making sure they sleep safely on their backs, swaddling means less chance of babies startling themselves awake. Little Seeds’ self-fastening swaddles are easier to use than traditional swaddles but still let you adjust the size for the perfect snug fit.
Want to know more? Dive deeper into what swaddles are here.
Both practical and comforting, cellular cotton blankets are something new parents won’t want to do without. Designed with small holes to allow airflow, they keep babies at a comfortable temperature to minimise the risk of overheating. So whether little ones are being kept toasty in winter or cool but protected in summer, they will be well used.
Eco-conscious parents can go for the feather-soft cotton cellular blankets, made using less water and energy.
Sleepsuits are the ideal nighttime clothing, and so new parents may want to stock up on a few. Made for maximum comfort, sleepsuits — or rompers as they are also called — often have attached feet and long sleeves for cosiness. Little Seeds’ organic cotton sleepsuits come with a full-body zip and foldable safety mittens for speedy changing.
When it comes to versatile baby clothes, bodysuits come up trumps. Comfortable for both around the house and underneath warmer outdoor clothes, they are a staple. For sustainable baby grows that will last, head to Little Seeds’ organic baby bodysuits selection.
As expectant mums will know, babies are great at wriggling and kicking. This skill can also be used when tucked up in bed, resulting in disturbed sleep due to feeling cold. Baby sleeping bags — also known as sleep sacks — ensure a restful night’s sleep for the little one. Baby sleep bags can also make the delicate job of transferring a baby from a warm spot to their cot much smoother.
One indispensable basic is a quality nursing bra. Making breastfeeding as straightforward as it can be with easy-access panels, the best ones are made of breathable fabric such as cotton and have sturdy straps. Nursing pads can be added within them to soak up any residual milk. Some mothers might need to grab some nipple cream too to soothe dry or cracked nipples when breastfeeding.
Cleaning, Sleeping and Feeding Essentials for Newborns
Sister to nursing bras is the breast pump, which comes with all kinds of benefits, especially if going for a portable option. They stimulate lactation, give relief to sore breasts and can help share the responsibility of feeding — an important bonding experience.
Packed with a range of essentials — including a change of clothes, fresh nappies and the ever-present nappy cream — a change bag will get a lot of use. Be mindful of thermal-insulation pockets (for milk), a separate dirty nappy area and many, many compartments. Space for a small, foldable change mat is also a bonus!
Teats and bottles
A tip for when first shopping for teats and bottles is to buy a few types. Parents can never be sure which the baby will take to — and which they will absolutely hate and refuse to eat from! It is also handy to note that newborns’ bottles are upgraded for bigger ones after a few months. Keep that in mind when buying or asking for baby shower gifts.
For the first twelve months of life, newborns need their milk given in sterilised bottles, and a bottle brush will ensure added peace of mind. Designed to get into all the curves and crevices of bottles and teats, it is important that these are used for bottle cleaning only. Some parents choose to buy a steriliser for their bottle routine, which protects newborns in a fast and efficient way.
Cot mattress protectors and fitted sheets
Although this sounds straightforward, there is a lot to consider when shopping for the right cot mattress. Newborn babies need a very firm mattress for safety reasons, and they should be easy to clean or waterproof. And don’t forget a mattress cover and a collection of fitted sheets to finish.
One purchase for new parents wanting to make their lives a little easier is a bouncer chair. Ideal for those moments, whether it be hopping in the shower or making a quick cup of tea, when you need to complete a task without losing sight of the baby. Easily portable to where needed, bounce chairs strap babies in and let them happily (and safely) kick and bounce to their heart’s content!
A thermometer is always good to have on hand for a quick health check when the need arises. There are many types, so make sure the one you buy is suitable for newborns. Rectal readings are known for being the most accurate, but most parents choose to take the reading from either the underarm, ear or forehead. Be sure to read all instructions before starting to be certain the correct method is used.
Changing mat and nappy pail
Nappies are, of course, a new baby must-have, but so too is a sturdy changing mat. Choose a mat with a soft foam filling and durable fabric, or opt for ones with a washable cotton cover for extra softness. Thinking of the planet and want to invest in reusable or washable nappies? Make sure you grab a nappy pail too to lock the lid on used nappies until they can be washed.
Toys and toy security straps
Expectant parents will undoubtedly want to stimulate (and distract) their new babies with rattles and toys. Head for treats they can grip, chew or be dazzled by, such as a sensory toy. But a top tip for toys is to secure them onto the pram, cot or high chair; otherwise, they can very easily become lost forever! Toy straps can help with this.
Keeping new mothers well, in both body and mind, also deserves a place on the list. Stocking up on favourite oils, eye masks or bath soaks to create a personalised postpartum wellbeing kit is a great way to prepare for this. On a more practical note, adding soothing cold packs and a soft donut cushion for post-birth pain wouldn’t go amiss for a well-rounded postpartum basket!