Babies require an awful lot of stuff! That’s not to say you need one of every new fangled gadget or gizmo on the market – the following essentials should get you started.
Most hospitals are insistent about baby leaving in a car seat. Make sure that you know how to correctly install yours. It’s definitely worth getting to grips with how to put it in and out before baby is born.
Your baby will need to be in a rear-facing seat initially. They can face forward from six to nine months, depending on their weight.
ISOFIX car seats are fixed to the actual structure of the car, making them very secure.
It is recommended that baby sleeps in your room for the first six months, so the amount of spare bedroom space you have might influence your choice of cot. Some styles attach to the side of your bed so that you can safely co-sleep with baby and have them within reach to breast feed at night.
You might like to consider a cot with a drop down side; they stop you having to strain over the top to pick up or put down baby and can protect your back. Cots that become beds can also be more cost effective in the long run.
As well as the cot you will need a mattress, mattress protectors and fitted cotton sheets. Make sure you have some spare so that there is always a clean dry sheet available.
Your baby won’t need duvets or pillows for a while yet but you might like large muslin squares for swaddling and tucking in.
Always put baby to bed in the feet-to-foot of cot position. This is to prevent them wriggling down underneath the baby blanket or muslin that you have used to cover them.
As with many pieces of kit there is an overwhelming choice that can seem more of a hindrance than help when trying to make a decision.
Cost and personal preference are likely to be your initial guides but consider how easy they are to collapse, whether they will fit in your car, and whether they come with different attachments so they can grow with your baby and their changing needs.
You will want to lie your newborn baby down flat so make sure a seated version can be lowered right back, or comes with a carry cot that can be clunked in. Pushchair frames that come with a car seat are called travel systems and are a useful way to transport baby in and out of the car without disturbing them.
Consider the terrain of the pavements you will be pounding. Solid plastic wheels can be more hardwearing than rubber ones, which can be prone to punctures.
Although you should never leave your baby unattended in a bouncy chair they are very useful when you’d like to remember what it was like to have two hands to complete a task.
Some styles have a detachable bar with toys that increases the play value for slightly older babies.
Because they are lightweight and portable, the bouncy chair can move with you from room to room, and are useful when you start weaning too.
Vests and babygrows are your baby’s capsule wardrobe items. You’ll probably go through a couple of changes a day so stock up! Baby’s grow so quickly that teeny tiny outfits don’t get much wear and local groups often have a thriving second hand market that can be useful to tap in to.
Short sleeved vests are easy to take on and off, they popper over a nappy and are worn under a babygrow.
Babygrows with poppers all the way down the front are the easiest to put on and take off. Other styles can be tricky to pull over baby’s head.
Outfit choices will be weather dependent but as a general rule dress baby in one more layer than you have on, as they are not very good at regulating their body temperature. Hats and soft light blankets are great for adding warmth.