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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Newborn Essentials Checklist

Salaam!


I hope you're all doing amazingly well at the end of this freezing February month.

So when I was pregnant with my daughter I spent A LOT of time looking online and asking friends and family what I need for when the baby comes. My mum being extra cautious and superstitious and all didn't let me do any baby shopping during the Xmas sales and I left everything so last minute that when my premature baby came 7 weeks early all I had was one pink blanket. I wanted to create a checklist for all you guys expecting or know someone who is expecting for the first time and would like to know about ALL the things they may need to or want to buy for their baby.

First off I will just share the checklist with you all which falls into 5 categories:  Sleeping, feeding, clothing, cleaning & traveling because I feel like these are the essentials for a newborn. I will give you information about all the different options available in these areas and then tell you about the things we bought and why.

Sleeping
  • Sleeping pod (like the sleepyhead deluxe pods)/Moses Basket/Cot/Cot Bed
  • Mattress
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bag/Gro Bag
  • Mattress Protector
  • Fitted Bed sheets for cot/cotbed
Feeding
  • Bottles
  • Bottle cleaners (bottle brush)
  • Steriliser (steam/milton/microwave)
  • Breast pump (Medela Swing)
  • Muslin cloths
  • Bottle warmer/Flask for hot water
Clothing
  • 5 Baby vests
  • 5 Baby grows (sleepsuits)
  • Hat & mittens
  • Cardigan
  • Coat/Snowsuit (depending on weather)
Cleaning
  • Nappies (micro/preemie for very premature babies or number 1 for newborns)
  • Cotton wool for cleaning during newborn stages (you may choose to move on to baby wipes for when baby is slightly older)
  • Nappy sacks to dispose of nappies
  • Baby bathtub 
  • Baby bathtowel
  • Baby Flannel
  • Shampoo/Body wash 
  • Oil/moisturising lotion
  • Nail Clippers & Baby nail files
Travelling
  • Car seat (rear facing)
  • Pushchair/buggy 
  • Carry cot
  • Sling
  • Baby Changing bag with lots of compartments 
What we bought and why..

Sleeping:

Sleepyhead Deluxe sleeping pod


We bought this because I had read lots of good reviews about it online and I'm so glad we did. We used some gift vouchers we had been given and bought it from John Lewis. The reason I bought this was because I didn't want to buy a moses basket. As cute as Moses baskets are your baby wont sleep in them for a very long time. Once baby can sit up on their own or starts rolling it's no longer suitable, this can be as early as 4 to 6 months. Moses baskets are pretty big and we don't have the storage space for when our baby outgrows it. I chose the sleepyhead because I could just place it into the cot and once she outgrows it I could put the pod away and she could sleep directly on the cot itself.

Our cot didn't come on time so baby had to sleep in our bed while hubby slept on the floor for the first 2 months or so when baby came home from hospital. In this instance the sleepyhead pod was great because baby was safe on the bed and I wasn't concerned about her becoming suffocated by my duvet or rolling over on her or anything like that.

The sleepyhead is also portable, so when I was in the living room I could take it with me and she could sleep in the living room too. It's also great for traveling, it's really easy and convenient to fit into the car and take with us when we were going to stay over at my mum's or uncles house as she could once again sleep in the bed in her pod.

Cot or Cotbed?

We chose a cot bed because its adaptable as baby grows. There are sides on the cot bed for babies but when your little one becomes a toddler you can change it into a junior bed for your little ones own room. We bought the Rachel cotbed from John Lewis because it's not too big for our room and came at a very reasonable size. Cots are generally smaller than cot-beds so factor the space in your room when deciding which one to get.

Sleeping bags or Gro Bags are great for babies because it keeps them warm at night without you having to worry about baby sliding under the blankets/covers.

gro-store.com
 The guidelines for safe sleeping say that babies should sleep on a firm mattress with no pillows/blankets/duvets until they are one years old to avoid sudden infant death syndrome. So make sure you get fitted sheets that cover round the edges of your baby's mattress.

A mattress protector will prolong the life of the mattress and make cleaning a lot easier as it has a waterproof layer to catch all the little accidents (runny poop, vomit, pee).

Feeding:

Breast is best so all mums should try to breastfeed if they can. Because my baby was in hospital for a month I invested in a electric breast pump (manual ones are rubbish, take my word for it). The best one hands down is the Medela swing breast pump. Breast pumps are also great if you want to teach your baby to breast feed and feed from a bottle so that you can leave baby with someone else if you need to be away from your baby. It's good for when you need to express after your baby feeds directly from you aswell to fully empty. The Medela is the best one for your money, it mimics baby's sucking and is overall just really effective.

Amazon.co.uk

If you decide to solely breastfeed and your baby takes to it well you will only need some muslin cloths to help mop up spit up or just wipe around babies mouth once they're done. We went through a lot of these when my daughter was a newborn and they come in very handy so get yourself between 5 and 10 muslin cloths.

Sometimes babies don't breastfeed or you can't breastfeed, in this case you will need a few other things.

Baby bottles

You need to chose the best bottles that suit your baby but also your budget. Sometimes it can be a bit of trial and error to see which bottles your baby takes to.

My daughter started off on the Dr Brown's preemie bottles so she carried on with them as she grew. These bottles come with a vent to avoid swallowing air and developing colic, they are a nightmare to clean but alhamdulillah my daughter never suffered from colic and learned to feed in the neonatal unit with these bottles.


Argos
Sometimes you can get bottles in a set with a steriliser, bottle brush among other things. However, the problem with that is your baby may not take to all the products that come in the set, which is what happened to us. We bought Philips Avent set and only ended up using the steriliser and bottle brush with our Dr Browns bottles, because she we didn't feed her with the Philips bottles or use the pacifiers and things that came with it.

We bought enough bottles for a full day. At the start she was feeding every 2 hours so we bought 12 bottles, this might sound excessive but because our baby was in hospital we couldn't keep up with the washing and sterilising whilst having enough at the hospital for her. When she moved on to bigger bottles we bought 6, as her feeding is more spread out. The number of bottles you buy is totally up to you. We did spend a lot but it means we only wash all the bottles once a day. You could buy just 2 and keep washing and sterilising and using the same 2.

Steriliser

There are different types of sterilisers but we used a steam steriliser which came with our Philips starter kit. We now also have Milton tablets for travel because its easier than taking the steriliser with us.

Bottle Warmer/Flask

If you bottle feed you will need to make the formula up with hot water, you can either use a bottle warmer or a flask. We use a flask with boiling water, make up the milk and then cool it down.

Clothing:

Newborn babies don't really need a lot of clothes, they don't sweat or get really dirty, you will also notice your baby outgrows his/her clothes very quickly so getting lots of one size is generally not a great idea. 5 vests and baby grows should do you ok.

Mittens or baby grows with built in mittens are great to stop your little one scratching his/her face accidentally.

Your baby will need a baby hat to help regulate body temperature whilst they are very small.

Cleaning:

As I said earlier babies don't sweat or get very dirty so at the start you can just wash them with plain water. As they get older you may want to start using a mild body & hair wash. We use the Aveeno baby body & hair wash as well as the Burts Bees shampoo which is great for cradle cap.

For moisturising we use olive oil and I found this to be best on delicate skin because it's natural and keeps the skin moisturised. My daughter developed a bit of dry skin on her chest and arms so I started using Aveeno baby eczema therapy cream which has really helped alhamdulillah.

Baby nails at the start are really delicate and don't need cutting so you could just file them with baby nail files (don't use adult clippers or files) to file them down so they are not so sharp. As they grow you can use baby nail clippers designed for little fingers & toes.

Travelling:

To bring your baby home from the hospital you will need a rear facing car seat suitable for newborns. In the UK you will not be able to bring you baby home without a car seat, even if you don't have a car, so this should be a priority. Please research this area and invest a little more in your child's safety than in other areas.

Pushchair/buggy/carrycot

There are a huge range of buggies and pushchairs out there and it really depends on how you get around. We bought the whole shebang and only ended up using the carrycot twice. If you walk or use public transport a lot then a carry cor might be more useful for you. Babies should ideally spend most of the time flat on their back so a carrycot is good for that reason.

We use the car a lot so used mainly used our car seat. Our Mama's & Papa's buggy came with adapters so that we could put the car seat directly on the buggy without taking the baby out and putting her into the buggy. This is great for when she falls asleep in the car and we don't want to wake her and take her out. (review on our buggy coming soon)

Mama's & Papa's

Baby sling

I bought a cuddlebug sling off Amazon when baby was coming home. This was great for when she was really little because it meant I had my arms free and she was always so cosy inside it that she wouldn't fuss and would fall asleep really easy. The downside to the sling was that in the summer it got very hot and sweaty, also as she grew and got heavier it wasn't the easiest to put her in and take her out.


Baby changing bag

I bought a pretty cheap one online and used it for a while but always felt like it was never big enough, so hubby ended up getting a bigger one from Cath Kidston. It's pretty big but I still feel like it's not big enough for all her things. I guess no bag is ever big enough when it comes to changing bags.

I hope this post was useful in helping you decide what to buy for your newborn. I will be doing another post on what you need for your hospital bag/new mum essentials.

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