5 things...every new parent needs for baby

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first son Reuben, we went shopping, and boy did we shop! We went to our trusted stores and pretty much bought one of everything we came across. I guess we assumed if they sell it, you need it! Of course that wasn't true then and it isn't true now.

Parents often worry that if they don't have everything then they're not prepared for baby - well let me put your mind at rest, no matter what you buy you will not be prepared for baby! It's a whirlwind, but it's worth it. So don't worry too much. Here's 5 things that you really need for baby to save you time and money.

1. Travel system

I realise I'm cheating a little, a travel system is really made up of 5 things itself: a car seat, a pushchair frame, a basinet, a pushchair seat, and usually adapters to make it all interchangeable. Of course it's true (in the UK at least - I'm not sure about elsewhere) that the hospital will ask to see your baby safely strapped into its car seat before they let you take little one home so a car seat is a must. The most common and popular car seats e.g. those made by Maxi Cosi, Graco etc. are compatible with a variety at pushchairs and all modern cars have ISO fix anchor points. 

As for choosing a pushchair don't be afraid to do some internet research and have a look at some brands you may not have heard of before. I'd also recommend going to one of the big Baby & Toddler Shows where all the pushchair companies will have their latest models for you to test - and some good discounts too. 

For what it's worth with our first son we bought a Baby Jogger City Mini GT and when our second son Theodore was born we bought an UPPAbaby Vista. We have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and these are the only two pushchairs we've ever needed so let me know if you'd like a review of either and I'll put something up.

Baby Jogger City Mini GTUPPABaby Vista

2. A bassinet or moses basket

Parents have been putting their little ones to sleep in moses baskets for many years. Available in most high street baby stores and online, basic moses baskets are usually lined with cotton and will come with a mattress for which you'll need to buy a fitted sheet. You can choose to buy a stand for baby's basket which is advisable if you have pets. 

A good tip is to look out for travel systems where the basinet (the baby bed which attaches to the pushchair) is also rated for night-time sleeping. This means that baby can sleep safely in the basinet which comes with their pushchair. This obviously saves money but is also very convenient if you're short on space and for when you go on holiday. It also means that when baby falls asleep while you're out at the shops you don't need to worry about having to move them and wake them up when you get home.

Moses baskets have also come a long way in the last few years. I particularly like the award-winning Moba, it's contemporary design is made from safe moulded plastic in the UK with a very low carbon footprint and the eye catching design is lovely. I haven't got a picture I can include here but I'd encourage you to take a look at their website www.mobauk.com. 

3. Baby clothes

It's easy to get carried away with baby clothes so be clear about what you're buying because you need it and what you're buying because it's so adorable you can't do without it. Both are ok but prioritise if you need to.

Also be wary of buying clothes that are too cheap or poor quality. It's common for mums to think they're making a better choice buying cheap baby clothes - the common mantra is that babies grow so quickly that they're barely in them so why should you spend anymore. But it's not that simple. You can buy very cheap baby clothes made from 100% cotton which look beautiful. But it's a case of buyer beware because those clothes can be poor quality and may not survive the many many many washes you'll need them to withstand. They also usually come in restricted size ranges 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 is common. This means you'll be buying 4 new sets of everything in baby's first year. In contrast better quality brands will last longer, wash better and often come in better size brackets such as NB, 0-5, 6-12. This means if baby if born early or is small you might need 3 new sets in baby's first year, otherwise you'll only need 2. You'll buy less and it will last longer - better for baby and better for mummy's purse!

I'll do another post about the difference between a romper, playsuit, babygrow, and sleepsuit. Safe to say baby will need the option of 4 layers depending on the season:

  1. A vest which can be long or short sleeved but usually will not have any legs;
  2. A romper, baby grow or sleepsuit which will cover their arms, body and legs;
  3. A cardigan or button-up jumper (young babies don't tend to need a coat like older children because their never exposed to the elements, always inside or protected by their pushchair) and a hat; and
  4. A blanket to tuck them in and keep the draft out.

I'd recommend you buy at least 4 of each piece of clothing...one to wear, one to wash, and two spares, and 2 blankets. Some people also swear by muslin clothes for wiping up spills and dribbles - you can get some amazing bamboo and organic cotton ones which are kind to baby's skin.

Natural Little Green Radicals Vest Long SleevedBlue Elephant Pigeon RomperSeaside Seahorse Pigeon Knotted Hat

4. Nappies and wipes

Whether you've decided to go for reusable or disposable nappies and wipes you'll need to have them immediately baby is born. Don't worry if baby surprises you and you forget to take them or haven't got them yet, the hospital will give you a few but you should bring your own to the hospital as soon as possible after baby is born.

5. Bottles and steriliser

Bottles and a way to sterilise them are very important; whether you're feeding baby formula or storing breast milk you'll want to know baby's things will be nice and clean. You can also use special bags for storing breast milk and I include those within this suggestion.

And that's it, 5 things every new parent needs for baby.

I can hear you say now, that's great Amy but what about a change table, a cot, a play mat, toys etc. Well you can choose to buy all those things, but you don't need to buy them before baby is born. Change baby on a clean towel on the floor, you might want a change table at some point but you don't need to have it straight away. Baby won't be sleeping in a cot in his own room from some time. It's recommended that babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first six months, as this is known to reduce the risk of cot death. A simple throw or blanket on the floor is perfect play mat...and as for toys, very young babies don't actually really play with toys so you've got 1-2 months to choose just a few nice ones and you'll probably be given some as gifts too.

Here's a FREE handy checklist for you to print at home so that you don't forget anything important. You can also find a version on Pinterest @hazelboustore to save on your phone.

FREE handy list of the top 5 things you should buy for baby's first weeks for you to print

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