What a newborn really needs...
Babies are born so small and helpless that it seems almost incomprehensible that they come with so much ‘stuff’. Everywhere we look there are people trying to sell us something or other to excite the baby, make Mama’s life easier or with extra functions that we never knew we would need. Houses often end up taken over by a baby long before he or she arrives and there are very few parents who can honestly answer that they used or needed everything that they bought.
Whether you are doing baby on a budget, are tight on space or just don’t want all the ‘stuff’ that you don’t need, we wanted to make our own version of the baby essentials, the very basics...
Milk – And for most mums this is as basic as just you. You may decide you want to pump, combination feed or switch to an infant formula later down the line but if you are planning on breastfeeding then the only thing that you actually need is boobs, and they don’t cost a penny (although they may take up more space than pre-baby)
Somewhere for baby to sleep – There are so many variations now that it can be hard to choose; cot, crib, co-sleeper, moses basket, box, your bed. You may want to skip the smaller bed and either co-sleep for the early months or put baby straight in a cot from birth. Having a safe sleeping environment is important though so choose which fits best in your house and for your family.
Nappies – May we recommend our own? Somewhere to store them is pretty essential too, either a lidded bucket or wet bag for dirty ones.
Wipes – either resusable or disposable. If you choose cloth then having a wet bag for clean wipes out and about is also helpful.
Clothes – Babies sleep the majority of the day and we love nothing more than a baby in a sleepsuit. A handful of vests and sleepsuits, a couple of cardigans and hats and you are pretty set for those first weeks
A Car Seat – an infant carrier or rear facing seat suitable from birth is an essential. Even if you don’t drive you will want one to get home from hospital and for travelling in friends and relatives cars.
A mode of transportation – You may opt for a sling like our Papoozle or you may want a pushchair. You may want both but as a basic either one is ideal for getting a newborn out and about.
A blanket (or 3) – Not only to keep baby warm, but to provide a softer surface to lie them down on to have a kick and stretch. There are hundreds of different playmats and activity centres but for a small baby just the new perspective from being on the ground and the opportunity to have some tummy time is enough. Toys are lovely but if you don’t want to go all out just yet then household objects provide enough stimulation for a baby and you will probably find as they grow up that they prefer whatever they aren’t supposed to have anyway.
Books – Even in the womb babies can hear your voice and a great way to reassure, bond with and comfort a small baby is to read or sing to them. Buying a few stories or fairytales makes a good start on a book collection that will grow with them and can help with a bedtime routine too.
And really, that is all you need. Babies can be bathed in a sink, or in with you. Toys can come later, we have 24 hour supermarkets for essentials and as long as you are providing food, comfort and warmth, you are doing well.