Newborn Baby Essentials Guide: Everything you need before your baby arrives

As the old saying goes, it’s important to know what to expect when you’re expecting. There are tonnes of to-dos and ‘to-buys’ when it comes to preparing for the eventual arrival of your little one. From kitting out the spare room and turning it into a brand new nursery to gathering all the gizmos and gadgets for cleaning, feeding, sleeping and everything in-between, babies require a lot of stuff. With a seemingly never-ending list that is sure to keep you busy buying baby necessities - where do you start? Keep reading our blog here at Direct4Baby, as we’ve nailed down the essential items for a newborn baby to differentiate the ‘must-have’ items, from the ‘nice to have’ products. Our checklist of baby items to stock up on before your little one arrives is guaranteed to help save some parental pennies and keep you on track and organised as parents-to-be.

Newborn Baby Checklist

Whilst a baby’s nursery room calls for adorable decorations and accessories, you’ll also be on the market for essential pieces of furniture that will make caring for your newborn baby a whole lot easier. The NHS advises that your newborn baby sleeps in your room next to you for the first six months, so it’s important to be prepared for their arrival. Here are a number of baby essentials to add to your checklist, along with products that aren’t exactly essential, but could be worth investing in if the budget allows: newborn sleeping essentials

Sleeping Must Haves:

  • Moses Basket, Crib or Newborn Bed
We recommend our bestselling Chicco Next2Me Crib (£189), that allows you to sleep alongside your newborn without sharing the same bed, as recommended by the NHS for the first six months of your newborn’s life.
  • Firm, Flat Mattress
Your baby’s mattress should be able to fit snugly within a crib and as a general rule of thumb, the gap between the mattress and crib should be less than two fingers in width. Send your little one off to dreamland in comfort with the Chicco Baby Hug Crib Mattress (£19), designed purposely to fit the Chicco crib. Baby Monitor An essential item that brings new parents peace of mind is a standard baby monitor. It’s worth investing in an efficient, reliable monitor as they allow you to safely and securely keep an eye on your baby during naps, overnight or anytime parent’s need to step away for a moment. Opt for a simple monitor such as the Babymoov Baby Monitor (£29.50), that provides 2 visual and acoustic channels for straight-forward, simple surveillance.
  • Baby Room Thermometer
The baby room thermometer is an extremely popular product amongst expecting parents. Premium Baby room thermometers, such as the Gro Company GroEgg 2 (£29.99), makes it easy for new parents to ensure their little one is resting at the recommended temperature, as it provides an adjustable, nightlight glow whilst displaying the current room temperature.
  • Swaddle Blanket / Sleep Sack
Keep your little one snug, comfortable and most importantly safe, with a specialist sleeping sack or swaddle blanket. Our range of Swaddle Up Blankets (£21.49) are designed to replicate your babies behaviour in the womb, allowing the natural arms up position and movement of their hands to the mouth to self-soothe and emulate a natural sleeping position.
  • 2/3 Crib Sheets
A staple no crib should be without are crib sheets. Invest in a multipack of crib sheets to ensure you’re well prepared for anything your baby might throw at them. Invest in cool, 100% cotton crib sheets to ensure a comfortable and peaceful night’s sleep for your little one.

Sleeping Nice to Haves:

  • Baby Temperature Monitor
The Owlet Smart Sock Baby monitor is an excellent piece of modern technology to go above and beyond to offer parents peace of mind. This monitor comes in the form of a soft, comfortable sock that wraps around your baby’s foot to track heart rate and oxygen levels.
  • Waterproof Mattress Protector
Though not essential, investing in a waterproof mattress protector will block all types of liquids damaging your baby’s mattress, all whilst allowing air to pass through. Be sure to check your mattress protector is hypoallergenic, to ensure complete protection from dust mites, pollens and other bacteria to keep your newborn suffering from allergens.
  • Crib Mobile and Accessories
Purchasing a number of crib mobiles, toys and accessories could help your newborn drift off a whole lot easier. Crib toys can entertain and stimulate babies, but also help them develop positive sleep associations that will help them quickly form better sleeping habits. newborn feeding essentials

Feeding Must Haves:

  • Milk Prep Machine
However, you choose to feed your newborn, either with breast milk or formula, it’s worth investing in a day and night prep machine that will free up a lot of time and effort that you can better spend with your baby. The Perfect Prep Tommee Tippee machine at Direct4Baby helps mothers overcome the tiresome challenge of getting enough sleep at night and makes night time feeding fuss-free. The machine preps the perfect fresh-feed bottle at body temperature in just two minutes, it’s also sleep-friendly, with silent added features designed to make nighttime feeding a whole lot easier.
  • Nursing Bra
If you’re going to be breastfeeding on the move, investing in a nursing bra makes the whole process a lot easier for mother and baby. Nursing bras are purposely built to offer a clip and release feature that provides complete discretion, along with removable pads for extra modesty. After birth, your body will still be going through changes and nursing bras are built to offer support and comfort, be sure to be fitted by a bra specialist to ensure you have the correct fitting nursing bra.
  • Breast Pump Bottles
If you choose to breastfeed, it’s worth investing in a starter set that is complete with all the breastfeeding essentials you need. The NaturalFeeling Starter Set by Chicco, features a range of bottles that are designed to replicate the instinctive way your baby feeds and features an angled teat. This angled teat stays full of milk, reducing your baby’s air intake to help prevent air ingestion, gas and reflux. As well as an assortment of slow flow teat bottles, this affordable starter set comes with a manual breast pump, electric steriliser, soother clip and a variable teat for when your baby starts to grow.

Feeding Nice to Haves:

  • Nursing Pillow
Nursing Pillows, such as the Ergobaby range of nursing pillows are designed to aid breastfeeding and support your baby’s head in a natural position to make nursing as easy as possible.
  • Bottle Cleaning Brush
As baby bottles typically tend to be a small, contorted shape so a baby can easily take grip, they can be difficult to clean. Investing in a baby bottle cleaning brush can help parents reach hard to clean places when it comes to sterilising bottles and teats.
  • Feeding Muslins
Muslin cloths are great to have at hand when you’re feeding your newborn. Look to purchase a number of muslin cloths that are 100% cotton, to ensure that they’re soft and gentle on baby skin when you’re mopping up spillages and milk dribbles. on the go essentials

On the Move Must Haves:

  • Baby Carriers and Swaddles
For those times when you need your handsfree, babywearing carriers and swaddles will be invaluable to a new parent in the early stages of your newborn baby’s life. The Izmi range of Stretchy Wrap Carriers can be used right from birth to give parents the ease of complete carrying freedom. The stretchy wrap carriers are designed to adapt to both you and your baby, giving you a snug and supportive hold which ensures your baby is both safe and comfortable, as the organic, bamboo fabric hugs to your baby’s natural shape.
  • Portable Changing Mat & Bag
Be prepared for on-the-go nappy changes with a portable changing bag and mat. Arguably one of the most essential items you may need as a new parent, investing in a portable changing mat gives parents the freedom to change their baby as and when they please, providing a comfortable, clean place to lay your baby down when you’re on the move as busy new parents. Direct4Baby would recommend investing in a purpose-built changing bag, such as the Pink Lining range of changing bags, as they are both stylish and functional. The assortment of patterned bags has a water-resistant lining, elasticated pockets for nappies, thermo-insulated inserts for baby bottles, dummy fobs and much more. The bag itself comes with the Pink Lining signature portable changing mat and zip wet bag, as well as being sold individually, so parents can easily replace their mat if ever necessary.
  • Newborn Pushchair
If you missed our previous blog post discussing the differences between a stroller and a pushchair and which is suitable depending on the age of your child, then you should know that your main concern for a newborn baby is to make sure your baby is safe, supported and secure during this stage of development. Direct4Baby would recommend a pushchair that provides excellent suspension to make for a smooth, jostle-free ride, such as the Silvercross Pioneer - the pushchair that has an added soft drive feature, along with a fully reclining seat, which is the recommended position for newborn babies.
  • Car Seat
Arguably the most important product for on the move, right from the journey out of the hospital, is a car seat. By law, all newborn babies should travel from birth in a rear-facing car seat. Investing in a pushchair system such as the Silvercross Pioneer also provides an adaptable carrycot and car seat within the bundle, so you’re covered when it comes to taking your precious newborn out and about. For further information on UK laws and regulations on car seats, read our blog post ‘what are the laws on child boosters and car seats’.

On the Move Nice to Haves:

  • Carrycot
Unless you’re investing in a pushchair where the seat lies reclines to be completely flat, then a carrycot is the safest way to transport your newborn baby from A to B. Many carrycots come at a variety of price points with added features, but at Direct4Baby, we would recommend investing in a carrycot such as the Egg Carrycot (£219). AS this carrycot can be used in single and tandem mode, along with being safe for occasional overnight sleeping, which is handy if you’re planning on visiting friends or family
  • Toys & Books
In the early stages of your babies life, your baby will love colourful and noisy toys that they can look at and listen to. Try opting for toys that play soothing sounds and gentle melodies as these are among the best ways to entertain a newborn baby in the early stages of development. newborn cleaning essentials

Changing and Cleaning Must Haves:

  • Changing Mat
Having a comfortable, changing mat for your baby makes changing and cleaning a more relaxed and enjoyable experience for both newborn baby and parent. The CuddleCo Comfi-Love Bamboo Mat provides a fusion of naturally soft bamboo with the supportive properties of memory foam, to provide both comfort and ease.
  • Baby Tub
Investing in a baby tub helps make bath time stress free and fun. The Shnuggle Baby Bath comes with a foam backrest and is suitable for babies right from birth up to 12 months plus. The clever bum bump supports your baby and helps them to feel safe and secure whilst bathing.
  • Baby Wipes & Lotions
For obvious reasons, having a packet of baby wipes and specially formulated baby lotions are advised must-haves when it comes to cleaning your baby. Be sure to check your baby lotions and wipes are dermatologically tested and paraben-free, to prevent your baby’s skin from drying out and keeping it both soft and supple whilst cleaning.
  • Nappies
Whether you opt for reusable nappies or simple, disposable nappies, having an assortment of birth-sized nappies stocked up ready for the arrival of your little one is an essential item to put on your checklist.

Changing and Cleaning Nice to Haves:

  • Bath Supports
Bath supports are recommended for newborn babies but are not essential. Your baby reclines on the bath support, so that they are not completely immersed in water, but can still be washed easily. This is particularly useful for a newborn who may not like the sensation of being fully immersed in water.
  • Nappy Disposal System
Although not necessary, purchasing a Nappy Disposal System makes for odour-free, quick and efficient nappy disposal. The Korbell Nappy Bin uses a triple-sealing system to lock in odours and features an easy-to-load cartridge, so disposing of nappies is a quick and simple process.
  • Hooded Towels
Hooded towels enable your newborn babies to be fully wrapped up and cosy after bathtime. Though this market is heavily saturated, the Shnuggle hooded towel, rated #1 best baby bath towel by IndyBest, features a unique design that makes the towel wearable, easy to release and the perfect shape to simply wrap up your baby. Make sure to check out the Direct4Baby site to browse our whole range of baby products that are suitable for newborns, right up to toddler ages. Discover our collections of toys, gifts, nursery items and much more. If you’re a new parent looking for expert advice and information, take a look at our informative articles on the Direct4Baby blog page, or simply use our live, online chat service and our team of experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have.