The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist (according to new parents)

The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist (according to new parents)

Are you a pro at pregnancy by now and close to giving birth? Or does shopping for baby make your early pregnancy feel more real? Wherever you are on your journey towards parenthood - you are not alone. We asked 1000s of new parents like you about their most prized baby buys. We then combined their answers to list out everything you will need for your new arrival.

We’re here to get rid of the noise and help you enjoy the most memorable shopping list of all! So that you can focus on what’s most important: celebrating this incredible milestone. 

The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist

Changing & Cleaning

“Having the nappies ready to go was amazing. I’d bought two packs and we went through them so fast.” Sapphire M.

“We bought a nappy caddy and travel change mat which was great for us as we live in a three story house. Saved our legs a lot in the early days!” Debbie R.

“Probably our nappy subscription. It was great not having to worry that we would run out of nappies.” Catherine C.

The one essential newborn change time item? You’ve guessed it. Nappies. On average, newborns need 8-10 nappy changes a day! If you’re unsure about whether to go for disposable or reusable, you can learn more about both options in our Ultimate Guide to Reusable vs Eco Nappies. Considering using a combination of both? You are in good company! Many parents use reusables while at home and disposables at night and when out and about. Whatever you choose to do, here’s what you will need:

  • Nappy cream
    Our Magic Salve works wonderfully as a barrier cream on baby’s bum, but also treats dry spots all over the body.

  • Changing mat

  • Changing bag

  • Bath or bath support (to use in your big bath)

  • Thermometer

  • Nail kit

Optional:

  • Gentle baby toiletries
    In the early days water alone is just fine. You can start using natural baby care products at 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Towels & washcloths

  • Bath thermometer

  • Hair brush

The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist

Clothing

“Onesies with integrated scratch mittens!” Sharon S.

“Baby sleeping bags. He refused to be swaddled so sleeping bags meant no worry about loose blankets.” Hattie P.

“Heaps and heaps of muslins! A friend advised us to get twice as many as we thought, and we still ended up buying more…” Leo G.

In the early days of dressing a newborn, it’s practicality above all else. With babies spending so much time sleeping, we recommend you stock up on super comfortable onesies. Treat yourself to 1-2 teeny tiny outfits for fancy days out - because we know it’s impossible to resist them altogether. Pro tip: The stretchy envelope neckline on baby vests is designed so you can take them off by pulling them down your baby, rather than over their head. You might not appreciate the gravity of this insight right now, but you will quietly thank us later 🤓

  • 10 vests
    For layering. Long or short sleeved, depending on season.

  • 10 onesies/sleepsuits with integrated scratch mittens
    Ours are made from 100% organic cotton and come in stylish unisex prints with fold over feet. They also feature an easy zip-up front for extra easy night time changes.

  • 2 summer/winter hats
    Our organic cotton knit hats are perfect for Autumn to Spring and they come with adorable bear or bunny ears

  • 2 blankets

Optional:

  • 2 cute outfits
    For special occasions.

  • 2 dummies
    Advice from the NHS: “If you do use a dummy, do not start until breastfeeding is well established. This is usually when your baby is around 1 month old.”1 

The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist

Travel

“Baby carriers! Our little one loved being held and carried around.” Lisa D.

“Sling - amazing for a baby who didn’t want to be put down.” Kelsey H.

“A wrap sling, great for skin to skin and moving around hands free!” Leanne K.

“Sling to help baby sleep in those first few weeks but have hands free for other things!” Emily L.

Many parents in our community consider their sling or baby carrier completely indispensable. 

When it comes to prams, most parents recommended a model that allows for your car seat to be clicked into the pram’s frame. When purchased together as a set, this is known as a travel system. Some pram brands allow you to buy adaptors to fit a number of car seats by different manufacturers. If your baby falls asleep while on the go, this means that you can run quick errands without lifting them out of their seat and waking them unnecessarily. 

For longer outings however, the NHS recommend lying your little one down in their carry cot: “Your baby should not be in a car seat for longer than two hours at a time.”2

  • Pram & pram blanket

  • Sling or baby carrier

  • Rear facing car seat

  • Sun shade

The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist

Feeding

“Freezer meals!” Charlotte B. 

“Some ready meals and snacks that required no effort.” Vicky S.

“Good quality frozen ready meals.” Naomi S.

Once baby has arrived, we seemingly spend entire days feeding them. So much so that we sometimes forget to feed ourselves.

Pro tip from our community: Stock up on high-quality frozen meals to keep exhausted parents happy and healthy. We recommend our friends at COOK for putting sustainability and animal welfare first. And because their meals are just delicious!

Your feeding requirements will differ greatly depending on whether you are planning to breastfeed or bottle feed. So we’ve made two separate lists for you. The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist

Breast feeding

  • Breast balm

  • 2-4 nursing bras

  • Breast pads

  • Loose tops or breastfeeding tops

  • Breastmilk freezer bags

Optional:

  • Feeding pillow

  • Breast pump
    If you are not planning to express milk you won’t need a breast pump. Sometimes you might feel engorged and while you are learning to hand express it will be good to have a simple pump at hand. Silicone suction cups are inexpensive and easy to store. Haakaa is the most well-known brand with a focus on broadening their range of eco options. 

Bottle feeding

  • 5 bottles

  • Steriliser

  • Bottle brush

  • Formula

Optional:

  • Prep machine

  • Steam steriliser

The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist

Furniture

“Next To Me crib!” Vicky P. & Carly D.

All that you will REALLY need is a safe place for your baby to sleep. Many parents in our community were relieved to have chosen a bedside cot rather than a traditional cot. Bedside cots can be attached to your own bed so that your baby is always next to you at night while still having their own, safe sleeping space.

Cot beds are also worth looking into. They are bigger and come with a detachable side, so your little one can sleep in them until well into toddlerhood.

A changing unit is optional. Many parents simply use an existing dresser, others prefer the floor to make things easier with a wiggly baby.

  • Somewhere safe for baby to sleep
    cot, cot bed, moses basket or bedside cot

  • New mattress

  • Bedding

  • Dresser

  • Night light

  • Baby monitor

  • Nappy bin

Optional:

  • Feeding chair

  • Changing unit

The Ultimate Newborn Essentials Checklist

Play

“Our velour playmat, somewhere soft to safely put our little one down and so easy for us to attach age appropriate things to.” Laura P.

Any toys are completely optional at this point. Baby’s eyesight will begin developing after a few days and they will become more inquisitive. Babycentre.co.uk say that “High-contrast toys in black, white or red help your baby pick out the differences in shapes and patterns, stimulating her visual development.”3

After a few weeks, many babies enjoy me-time on their play mat. Attach their favourite sensory toys like rattles, baby mirrors or high contrast animals and watch them play while enjoying your well deserved cup of coffee!

Optional:

  • Play mat

  • Rocker / baby swing

  • Comforter toy

  • Mobile

Keeping it simple in the early days means you won’t feel overwhelmed with lots of items your baby might never need. Get the basics. And as you get to know your little one it will become obvious to you what else might be useful. We wish you all the very best for those next amazing few months! 

Thank you so much to those of you who helped create this list by sharing your wisdom in the Kit & Kin Family. If you have found reading this helpful, we would love for you to join us and become part of our amazingly supportive community of new parents. We will continue to listen to you and update this article over time. 

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1
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/caring-for-a-newborn/reduce-the-risk-of-sudden-infant-death-syndrome/


2
https://elht.nhs.uk/services/maternity-and-newborn-services/keeping-your-baby-safe


3
https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a544905/toys-for-newborns

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