I have been asked to compile my new baby checklist. Lorraine’s email went like this:
“I am around 9 weeks pregnant, it is my first time and my husband and I have read various lists of what you need before the little bundle of joy (currently nicknamed Minion) arrives.
“Would you be able to do something on the blog?
“If you could it would be brilliant to hear it from the voices of experience as opposed to people trying to flog you their products :0)”
I think it’s safe to say that Lorraine and I are quite different. When I was pregnant, I didn’t actually finish packing my hospital bag until my waters had broken and even then I definitely took a whole lot more than ‘the essentials’. The midwives asked me if I was moving in I had that many bags!*
Despite this, I DO know what I needed and what I didn’t, and despite my disorganisation for the hospital trip, everything was sorted in time and ready at home too. I have also asked the good people of the Mums’ Days Facebook page for their opinion on what was essential for their new baby checklist. You’ll see the answers on Facebook vary massively, so I’ve distilled this down to the bare basics and then gone on to say what’s nice to have and luxury essentials, which I wouldn’t buy until after baby is here.
Things that stand throughout:
- If you are offered things for free, bite their hand off! You can always give back what you don’t need.
- Go for quality rather than quantity – you’ll be doing a lot of washing and you want your stuff to last! (I like the organic range by Polarn O. Pyret for much of the bare essentials – you have time to look out for the sales they have on too)
- Don’t get too many newborn sized clothes or nappies as they grow out of them fast. You’ll be wanting 0-3 months in no time!
New Baby Checklist – Bare Essentials
- a pack of vests
- a pack of sleep suits
- 2 cardigans
- 2 blankets
- muslin squares (although check out the tea towel selection as they’ve been said to be more absorbent! Also, I had muslin envy for the people with the Faye and Lou rainbow muslins!)
- somewhere for baby to sleep safely
- changing station with changing mat, nappies, cotton wool and/or wipes – one station is enough
- a little hat (no more than 2 for summer babies, you only really use it in the first few days in the hospital or if it’s particularly cold)
Nice to have
- cute outfits – but you will be given loads so don’t go crazy!! And don’t get anything with buttons (they’re a pain), things that button up the back or need hand washing!
- moses basket – Reuben slept in his until he was around 3 months. Other people don’t rate them at all. I think the consensus is accept a 2nd hand one (as we did) or don’t bother!
- baby bath or top and tail – only if someone gives you this. The sink/bath/a bowl with warm water really is good enough!
- baby sized towel – any towel will do really but a cute baby towel is, well, cute!
- a rocker chair – you can get all sorts of fancy ones that buzz but we had a basic one in the bathroom, which was very helpful for putting baby in when you need the loo or want a shower!
- the sleepyhead deluxe was suggested by one mama (who I trust) as being amazing for getting little ones to settle independently – maybe get someone to gift it to you though!
- a swaddle wrap has been recommended by another mama. I think I would invest in one next time as it was the only way Reuben would sleep – I used a mesh blanket and it kept coming undone. Wait to see how your baby settles first though!
- a tumble dryer!
- an angel care baby monitor – loads of people recommend this. We just had a bog standard one but if you’re after peace of mind I can definitely see the benefit of getting one of these. They are expensive and you won’t need it immediately as you’ll probably always have baby by your side in the early days.
New Baby Checklist – Feeding
- breast pads
- nipple cream – Lansinoh is the best (not sponsored!)
Nice to have
- steriliser – I started my breastfeeding life using nipple shields. I wouldn’t recommend it. I was so happy to have a steriliser though! You can get microwave ones very cheaply.
- breastpump and bottles – so I could get some rest Mike would feed Reuben a bottle of expressed milk from a week old. I would express in the morning. Not for everyone though and you have time to decide after baby has come along and you have established breastfeeding.
- nursing cover – I just used a muslin but you can buy proper ones!
- steriliser – I would probably get a plug in one that stands on your bench as you’ll be using it a lot!
- formular dispenser for when you are out and about
New Baby Checklist – Going out
- changing bag – doesn’t need to be fancy, mine wasn’t and we got on fine. Other people advise spending more as you use it so much, so really it’s up to you and your budget!
- changing mat
- car seat
- pram – the advice is to invest in a good one! We were given a silver cross travel system, which was massive! In fact I used the car seat bit rather than the pram bit because it was so much smaller and easier to manoeuvre. So think about the size of your car and ease of assembly. Plus longevity; will it be convenient at 6 months as more of a buggy?
Nice to have
- baby wrap or sling – this is totally subjective. Some people couldn’t live without them. I spent a fortune thinking it would solve all my problems and it didn’t! So wait until after baby is here then go to a sling library and try before you buy. If someone gives you one though, take it! Especially a moby wrap.
- star fleece baby wrap – we actually had one of these and didn’t use it very much. However, some of my friends absolutely loved them. I think it depends what pram you have!
Am I missing anything? What would you recommend in your new baby checklist (other than sleep!)?
*I actually have a video somewhere of me packing my hospital bag, I’ll try and dig it out so I can share it with you and we can all have a good laugh!