It’s been almost three years since I’ve started my motherhood journey. Oh boy, have I been changed! And to think that such a tiny, harmless little creature could have the power to make such a huge impact. Mind-blowing! My vision of life and things, and goals …everything changed. And it will forever be different, there is no doubt about it!
We had been planning for a child for over 6 months and when the test was finally positive, we did it again just to be sure! Don’t want any errors there! It was winter and by September our lives had been radically changed. I was so overwhelmed, that I gave up my day job and started working from home. I don’t regret it a single bit!
How to prepare for baby’s arrival
And as you can imagine, I started wondering what baby things to buy, just like you did, I’m sure. Pregnancy stuff, baby stuff, books, maternity outfits and everything in between. I talked to other mums and went on forums to read what is really useful, which are vital and so on.
Of course, I didn’t use most of them. And of course, I forgot to buy some very important ones. Yeap! Live and learn. I do know what to do when the second one comes, though (we’re planning again).
Plan, plan, plan and puff, the baby arrives! Was I ready? Dear Lord, no! But WHAT A MOMENT! The moment his soft warm skin touched my cheek I was in love. I felt I had conquered the highest peak and reached my hand to touch heaven.
Nothing will ever compare to that feeling, no job achievement, love affair, selfless deed, nothing! We called him Radu which means happy. No better name came to mind at that moment!
As for all the lists I’ve made and all the stress over planning everything out, I’ve learnt my lesson. DO NOT STRESS, to sum it up.
Baby things to buy checklists
To help you, first-time moms like myself, expect your baby stress-free, I’ve put together extremely useful lists of which are in fact actual baby things to buy, all of which were tested by me and worked. Just put your name in the form below and instantly receive 6 lists with absolutely everything you need to buy.
Grab this awesome bundle now!
There are sooo many variations to what a maternity bag should include. I made the mistake of packing too many personal items, such as makeup, cleanser and shampoo. I had a C section and I was in so much pain the last thing I wanted to do was wash my hair or put on makeup. What I did use where the toothpaste and toothbrush, hairbrush, shower gel, deodorant and towel.
A more accurate Maternity Bag List today would include:
- disposable knickers
- sanitary pads
- nursing bras
- breast pads
- nipple cream
- nipple shield
- hair ties
- dressing gowns
- open-front nighties
- shampoo and shower gel
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- baby sleepsuits (anywhere between 5 and 10)
- muslin squares
- scratch mitts
- dribble bibs
- going home clothes for baby
I didn’t want to pack another outfit for going home, I simply used the one I had on when arriving. I avoided packing many personal items because there were too many baby things which are absolutely necessary. But in my case, the hospital offered all the necessary baby things, such as nappy cream, cotton pads, nipple shield etc.
Make sure to have the bag ready at least one week in advance so you have plenty of time to go over it again.
Baby things to buy before birth
Now, my main concern was what baby things to buy before giving birth and making sure I don’t forget anything. So, I took small steps and made three different lists: one for newborns, one for weaning and one for developing baby/toddler skills.
The cot and mattress were the first baby things we bought. I chose a natural wood cot bed so that we could use it for a few years and for the mattress we chose a fully breathable and quilted one. Then we bought the pram and some of the clothes. I was so happy with the pram! I loved it!
We chose a 3-in-1 stroller and I really think it was a sensible idea. No need to worry about buying a new one when the baby begins to sit or walk. It was really easy to manoeuvre it, light and quite spacious, both for my baby and for the groceries which always ended up in my basket after a stroll.
And I also made sure it was equipped with all the accessories: rain cover, footmuff, umbrella, cup holder (coffee lovers, you need this)
The newborn essentials list
- baby cot/cot bed
- cot breathable mattress
- cot fitted sheets (at least 3, make sure they are cotton so the baby’s skin can breath)
- (all round) padded cot bumpers
- disposable bed pads/waterproof mattress protector
- cot mobile
- stroller/3-in-1 stroller with accessories (rain cover, footmuff, umbrella)
- car seat
- diapers (not too many, test them first and see how the baby feels)
- wet tissues (try them out first, the same as with nappies, and then stock up)
- clothes (see list below)
- feeding items (see list below)
- bath items (see list below)
- toys (see list below)
Baby clothes list
And now for my favourite part of all the baby things to buy: CLOTHES! I love buying baby clothes, so it was hard to refrain myself from buying everything I saw.
So, the clever thing I did was: I made a list and brought my husband along (he will surely stop you from spending too much).
So, my Newborn Clothes List included:
- 10 newborn sleepsuits/footies
- 5 pairs of pants
- 5 long sleeve bodysuits with attached mittens
- 2-3 jumpsuits for cold days outdoors
- 5 soft cotton hats
- 10 dribble bibs
- 10 sleeveless /short sleeve bodysuits
- 10 pairs of shorts
- 3 blankets
- 10 muslin squares
- 1-2 swaddles
- 5 outdoor outfits (jeans/pants/overalls with matching tops)
- 2 jackets
- 4-5 cardigans
- 2 snowsuits
What did I learn?
The list above is quite accurate now, post-baby experience, my list was a little bit different. But the experience taught me that the easiest way to dress a newborn is if you use sleepsuits and since they sleep most of the time, it seems like the perfect option.
All of the sleepsuits were footies and so I didn’t need socks. The same goes for all the pants I bought. Socks will eventually end up everywhere, but not on your baby’s feet.
I didn’t find much use for the scratch mittens either, but maybe you will. I tried to cut my baby’s nails as often as possible to avoid harming himself. But because babies move their arms and legs so much, they will eventually drop socks and mittens, so maybe avoid them altogether.
Instead, I bought bodysuits with attached mittens and used them.
I also learnt that you don’t need more than a swaddle because your baby might hate it and sleep better without it, mine did! So first buy one, try it with your little one and then decide if you need more.
Baby things you need plenty of
What you will need plenty of are muslin squares and dribble bibs because your baby will regurgitate and dribble a lot. I also used muslin squares to wipe my baby’s mouth, put on my clothes when regurgitating him, covered my son with them when it was too hot for a blanket, you will discover so many uses for them that you should consider buying a lot.
Bath essentials list
Bath items should also be on the essential list, starting with the baby bath. We bought a three-stage bathtub, that had a smart sling attached to be used between 0 and 3 months.
Then you could use it between 3 and 6 months because you could roll the sling up into a comfy little seat. When the baby was old enough to sit, you simply remove the sling and there is plenty of space for your little one to splash around.
Although at about 7 months we transferred him to our bathtub and we bought a bath seat.
Another baby thing which is really necessary is the changing unit. We didn’t buy a bath unit because we found it useless and indeed there was no need for it. Also, I am glad I avoided the portable ones. After his bath, my baby would get really sleepy and moody and would move so much! So a portable changing unit would have been very dangerous.
In terms of accessories, I loved the whale rinser that we had, so soft and cute, my son loved it and I loved the way it sprinkled water all over him. Other necessary items are the sponge, we chose an extra soft one, but for the first months, we used muslin squares and cotton buds.
As for the hair and body wash, make sure to choose them according to your baby’s skin type. If they are extra sensitive like my son was, you might have to pay a little bit more for an organic one.
Let’s not forget the towels, hooded ones of course. We bought 6 to make sure we had enough. You give your baby a bath every day and add to this the nasty nappy change wash, you find yourself without clean towels in two days.
The bath essentials list
- bathtub/3-stage baby bathtub with smart sling
- baby bath seat
- 5-7 hooded towels
- soft bath sponge
- hair and body wash according to skin type
- changing unit
- bath toys (any soft, colourful toy would be great for your little one, splashing makes everything fun)
- bath thermometer
- nail clippers and hairbrush (if needed)
- body cream/oil
- nappy cream
Feeding essentials list
Even if you plan on breastfeeding, you would still need a breast pump in the house for the moments when you need to leave the house without your baby. But most importantly, you need a breast pump to relieve engorgement and help establish your milk supply.
I breastfed and I needed to leave my baby with his granny for the very first time when my son was three weeks old. It was terrible, I came back home in two hours! Buut, even in those two hours, my son fed.
So, I had to use a very good breast pump to do it painlessly and quickly. My advice would be to have a very good electric breast pump, not a manual one if you are in a rush. I truly loved my Medela breast pump, but there are other out there just as good.
Prepare for weaning
Other baby things I bought from the very beginning, before birth, were feeding items to use when weaning my son. It seemed much easier to do it beforehand.
So I wouldn’t have to add such worries to the stress and panic of being a first-time mom. And I am glad I did! Granted, some things were useless, some I didn’t know I needed to buy. But I will give you the post-experience list.
Feeding essentials lists
0 to 6 months
- electric breast pump
- nipple shields
- breast milk storage bags
- large electric steam steriliser (or cold-water steriliser)
- anti-colic 0 to 6 months baby bottles (about 6 of them)
- 2 insulated bottles bags
- bottle and teat brush
- milk powder dispenser
- teat tong
- bottle and food warmer
- bottle dry rack
- 3 sure-grip plates
- 3 sure-grip bowls with lids
- 2 sippy cups
- 3 coverall bibs
- 5 soft tip weaning spoons
- 4 snack pots (for packing food when strolling around town)
- baby food steamer and blender
- juice maker
Toys and baby development essentials
My absolute favourite baby things to buy were baby toys. I was planning on buying tons of them, but I am lucky I didn’t. There are so many toys he will receive, and so may more you will be adding month after month and pretty soon you will start giving them away.
However, buy smart and according to age and skills. Therefore, the must-have baby toys your little one will need are the large colourful one he can look at, gently touch, nibble on and listen to. T
hree months later, consider buying practical toys that will help your child develop his first skills, such as head control, self-awareness, sitting, holding, grabbing, rolling, hand-eye coordination. I will add to the list the most useful toys we bought and made the most of.
Baby’s first toys list
- baby gym with loops and hanging toys
- plastic rings
- teething toys
- squeeze toys
- board books
- felt books
- musical toys/musical instruments (piano, xylophone, maracas)
- soft blocks
- play table(with or without legs)
- stacking rings/cups
- baby shape sorter
- push toy (to motivate standing and walking)
Additional baby things to buy
Nowadays most women prefer to use a baby carrier, not only because of the positive effects it has on the newborn but also because of its practicality and convenience. Even if you don’t plan to carry your baby too much, I think having a sling or a baby carrier is a good investment.
However, it does seem overwhelming to choose one with all the offers on the market at the moment. There is no right one, but before buying, read about what elements you need to take into consideration according to the baby’s age. You can find here a variety of options recommended by other parents.
That was my strategy when I felt confused by the variety. I searched for other parents’ opinion on my specific carrier choice myself.
There are many other items which ended up on my additional items, some of which I bought, such as a sling, a nappy disposal bin and some others. Many items are something you can live without, but they do make your life easier, so perhaps take into consideration all aspects before buying them.
One option would be to try some DIY variations or other simple solutions to avoid spending extra money. Some examples could be: use a storage box for a laundry basket or make your own storage boxes, even repurposing household objects for diaper organizer.
Additional Items List
- sling/baby carrier
- Moses basket
- nappy disposal bin
- diaper caddy organizer
- storage boxes/baskets
- changing bag
- baby laundry baskets
- baby monitor
- bouncy chair
- air purifier
Preparing for your little one’s arrival can be overwhelming, I know! But I have learnt from my experience and I am very happy to help you get through it stress-free.
By using these checklists that have all the baby things to buy before birth, you will quickly get all the things you need and use the rest of your time enjoying the pregnancy and the baby.
With this must-have baby bundle, you make sure you tick all boxes and don’t have to worry about buying anything else once the baby arrives. So just download the checklists and shop away!
Looking forward to receiving your comments and tips on what to add to the list to update it so everyone can make the best use out of it.
Make sure to read this heartfelt confession of a first-time mother’s experience with her newborn.
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Hi. I am Monica, an experienced ESL teacher and early years student, mother to a preschooler and passionate reader.