Hi everyone, we are pleased to share with you our essential item checklist to help when preparing for the arrival of your little one. As I am expecting my first in November, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the essential items that I have purchased. I have also listed a few of the items that I have purchased to give you some inspiration.
I should point out that these items are all based on my own personal research. This was based on information from health care workers / new mum websites and of course my yummy mummy friends and family members.
Be sure to pin this list on Pinterest as a resource and if you have a friend or family member who is expecting, be sure to pass along the link!
It all depends on the season you will be having baby in which decides some items such as snow suits / pram suits or sun hats. You will likely receive a lot of baby clothes at a baby shower or just as gifts when the little one is born.
Washing your baby’s clothes
There’s no evidence that using washing powders with enzymes (bio powders) or fabric conditioners will irritate your baby’s skin.
For the first few months, you’ll need a cot or Moses basket (a light, portable bassinet). Your baby needs to sleep somewhere that’s safe, warm and not too far from you. The NHS advises that baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first 6 months so the item you purchase would depend on the room you have.
Baby nests are not suitable for your baby to sleep in when you’re not there because of the danger of suffocation.
If you are borrowing a crib or a cot, or using one that has been used by another of your children, you should buy a new mattress. If you can’t do this, use the cot mattress you have, as long as it’s firm (not soft), flat, fits the cot with no gaps, is clean, and waterproof.
You will need:
- a firm mattress that fits the cot snugly without leaving spaces round the edges, so your baby cannot trap their head and suffocate
- sheets to cover the mattress – you need at least four because they need to be changed often; fitted sheets make life easier but they can be quite expensive, so you could use pieces of old sheet
- light blankets for warmth
- Pillows and duvets
- Don’t use pillows and duvets – they are not safe for babies who are less than a year old because of the risk of suffocation. Duvets can also make your baby too hot.
- Sheets and layers of blankets tucked in firmly below your baby’s shoulder level or a baby sleeping bag are safe for your baby to sleep in.
Cot safety tips:
- Your baby will spend many hours in a cot, so make sure it’s safe. If you’re buying a new cot, look for the British Standard mark BS EN 716-1.
- The mattress must fit snugly, with no space for the baby’s head to get stuck.
- The bars must be smooth, securely fixed, and the distance between each bar should be not less than 25mm (1 inch) and not more than 60mm (2.5 inches), so your baby’s head can’t get trapped.
- The cot should be sturdy.
- The moving parts should work smoothly and not allow fingers or clothing to get trapped.
- Cot bumpers are not recommended as babies can overheat or get tangled in the fastenings.
- Never leave anything with ties, such as bibs or clothes, in the cot as they might get caught around your baby’s neck.
- The safest place for your baby to sleep is on their back in a cot in the same room as you for the first six months.
For more information on safe sleeping, see Reducing the risk of SIDS. You can also visit the Lullaby Trust website, which has lots of information on safe sleeping.
We opted for the East Hudson Cot Bed £139.99 The cot bed grows with your child and has three base heights. This particular model was ideal for hubby as he already has a bad back. This model requires a cot bed mattress 140 x 70cm. It was also really easy to put together I even managed to do it on my own.
Out and about with your baby
Spend some time looking at what’s available for getting around with your baby. Think about what will suit you best before you make a choice, and ask other mums what they’ve found useful.
Before buying a pushchair or a pram, check that:
- the brakes are in good working order
- the handles are at the right height for pushing
- the frame is strong enough
Pushchairs, also known as strollers and buggies, are only suitable for young babies if they have fully reclining seats, so your baby can lie flat. Wait until your baby can sit by themselves before using another type of pushchair. Choose a light pushchair if you will be lifting it on to trains or buses.
Prams give your baby a lot of space to sit and lie comfortably, but they take up a lot of space and are hard to use on public transport. If you have a car, look for a pram that can be dismantled easily. Consider buying a pram harness at the same time, as you may need it to strap your baby securely into the pram.
Three-in-one travel system
This is a carrycot and transporter (a set of wheels) that can be converted into a pushchair when your baby outgrows the carrycot. Shopping trays that fit under the pushchair or pram can also be very useful when you’re out.
Hauck shopped SLX trioset Travel system in aqua/caviar £299.99 We liked the ease of putting it together and popping it down for transporting in and out the car. Plus I love the colour.We purchased the
Car seats for babies
If you’ve got a car, you must have a baby car seat. Your baby must always go in their seat, including when you bring them home from the hospital. It’s illegal and also very dangerous to carry your baby in your arms in a vehicle.
The best way for your baby to travel is in a rear-facing infant car seat on the back seat, or the front passenger seat as long as it is not fitted with an airbag. The car seat is held in place by the adult safety belt.
The following advice should help make sure your baby’s car seat is as safe as possible:
- Make sure the car seat is fitted correctly.
- It is illegal and extremely dangerous to put a rear-facing infant car seat in the front passenger seat if your car is fitted with an airbag.
- Ideally, buy a new car seat. If you’re planning to get a secondhand seat, only accept one from a family member or friend so you can be sure it hasn’t been involved in an accident. Don’t buy one from a secondhand shop or through the classified ads.
Although we got a car seat with the trioset we decided to get another one that was more permanent i.e. didn’t have to keep taking in and out of the car. We purchased the Joie i-Anchor Advance 01 in two tone black, available from Kiddicare for £169.99 What appealed to us was that the car seat is great from birth to 4 years old. It can be rear and forward facing and is part of the new I-size product range. The only downside is you have to purchase the I-base advance separately at a cost of £124.99
I will share more items I have purchased in follow up blog posts so make sure to keep coming back.