Everyone says babies just need their mum and love…which is true but here’s some stuff they’ll also need:
1. Clothes. All the prenatal tests tend to be a bit inaccurate about exactly how small your small human will be so it’s a good idea to have some new born onesies as well as lots of 0-3 months. Baby clothes are really expensive for the amount of time they fit in them (and the amount of poo explosions that you’re going to have to mop up) so I recommend buying second hand, or having friends with older children.
I made the mistake of buying cute outfits that Tiny hardly wore – vests and onesies are definitely easier for the first 3 months. Whatever you buy needs to be really easy to take on and off, poppers not buttons and any fastenings on the front not the back! I mean just look at the state of this…
2. Pram and car seat. You’ll probably want a pram that is suitable from 0-3 so it has to be able to go flat and hold the weight of the toddler. If you’re driving or taking a taxi home from the hospital you’ll need a car seat. Tiny had a Cosatto Giggle 2 in the previous seasons colours so we got it for a great price including a car seat. We also decided to get an ISO fix base as it was just soooo much easier than faffing with seatbelts every time. And if you don’t drive I’d recommend one with a big basket… it’s one of the few things I don’t like about the Cosatto.
3. Changing mat. You might want at least 2 of these. We had a “changing station” in the living room with a mat, wipes, nappies and outfits. A new born can poop anything up to 12 times a day (No, really) so you’ll want your changing things near by. I really appreciated this after the C-section.
We didn’t have any changing stuff in our bathroom at the time as it was at the back of the house and freezing cold. But we did have another changing station in the nursery for late night poops. You’ll use your changing mats more than you’d like to so it’s important to buy a decent one. I really liked the mat we were given by Venosure.
4. Small bath or bath seat. Or both. We bought an awesome collapsible bath as our bath was also our shower and there wasn’t space to store a baby bath. This not only saves on water but feels safer (and more comfortable) as baby is raised and you’re not leaning so far over the side of the bath.
Tiny really didn’t enjoy baths until we bought her an Angel Care bath seat. She seemed much happier without having to rely on us to hold her!
5. Wipes. You’ll use thousands of wipes with your small human so it’s worth investing in some Cheeky Wipes. They’re cost effective, better for the environment and you can take them out with you. There’s also no chemicals just essential oils but midwives do recommend nothing but water for the first 6 weeks.
6. Nappies. So many nappies. Probably at least 10 a day to start with but it does get better. We used disposable nappies until Tiny was about 8 weeks old and then switched to reusable nappies as much as possible. We used reusable until Tiny was 2 and started to complain about them being too bulky. You can read my review of Tots Bots if you’re thinking of going cloth.
7. A dummy. Don’t feel guilty if a dummy helps to soothe your small human. We were repeatedly told that babies stop drinking when they’re full. This is a lie. A lie on the scale of C-sections being the easy option.
Tiny drank until she threw up consistently. It didn’t matter if it was boob, expressed or formula – except that I only cried about the expressed milk. She just liked to suck so introducing a dummy made life a lot easier (And a bit less messy) for us. I suppose it’s unlikely that 2 years of pretty great sleep was solely due to the dummy but it certainly helped. We made sure she only had the dummy for sleep and were able to get rid of it when she was 2.5 years without too much difficulty.
8. Somewhere to sleep. We went for the traditional Moses basket because we were given a second hand one by family so it made sense financially. We just bought a new mattress, some sheets and a stand. Tiny slept beside our bed until she was about 4 months old and then we moved her to an Ikea cot in the nursery. A couple of months ago we took the side off and it’s been transformed into a little bed.
9. Changing bag. Babies can poop (and puke) anywhere, anytime so if you’re planning on leaving the house at all you’ll need a changing bag. Tiny is 2.5 and I still use mine a lot. Here’s what’s in mine.
10. A Feeding pillow. One of my the best things that I discovered at a baby fair was a La Millou feeding pillow.
A lot of feeding pillows are ugly and get shoved in the loft as soon as you stop breastfeeding but my La Millou hen pillow still lives on our couch. It’s soft and squishy and machine washable. It was perfect for supporting Tiny when we did feed and now it’s just a great cushion.
11. Muslins. We still use muslins a lot. They’re great for protecting your shoulders from the inevitable vomits. They also wipes noses and faces and work as bibs when you’ve forgotten to back one. And when your small humans are older you can use them as dusters, or unpaper towels!
13. Bibs. I’ll admit that I actually got a bit carried away with bibs. We definitely had too many. I just couldn’t help buying handmade bibs in really funky materials – they’re the ultimate baby accessory. I recommend bibs that have poppers as Velcro sometimes doesn’t wash well and can loose its stickiness if you’re washing them a lot.
14. Metanium. This stuff is magic. I’ve not found anything better for clearing up nappy rash quickly.
15. A sling. We had a Moby wrap, and a Baby Bjorn. My favourite was definitely the bjorn. It was easy to use and Tiny felt secure. I thought the wrap was a massive faff and I never felt confident that Tiny was fully supported.
16. A playmat. You need somewhere to leave the baby when you go to the loo and eventually they’ll take an interest in the dangly bits. We bought one from Ikea and added extra dangly bits.
17. A Gro Egg Room Thermometer. You too need an angry red egg that gives you stink eye all summer long because it’s a million degrees in your child’s room and there’s literally nothing you can do about it.
18. A digital bath thermometer. Otherwise you’ll second guess yourself into giving your baby nothing but lukewarm baths for fear of boiling them like a lobster.
19. Toys. They don’t really get into toys until later but Lamaze do some lovely sensory creatures that are perfect for hanging off buggies. Tiny was given a pink Jellycat bunny from her grandparents which became her favourite toy ever. We have a spare in the loft for worst case scenarios.
20. Bottles and sterilising stuff if you plan to formula feed or express. I heard rumours about babies being fussy about certain types of bottles so I collected lots of different types. It turns out that she was happy drinking from almost anything. Our favourite brands were Nuby, Munchkin and Nuk. I had a microwave sterilizer which I found a bit useless. I ended up buying Milton tablets and a 5l container and it was brilliant as everything fitted in it and stayed sterile for 24 hours.
There’s probably more things that I’ve forgotten but 20 is such a nice round number that I’m going to leave it there.