Newborn Essentials: What You Really Need
Newborn Essentials: What You Really Need

With the growing amount of baby equipment and accessories on sale, it would be easy to go all out when it comes to buying for your new arrival. HILARY PEREIRA offers advice on all the essential and non-essential items you’ll need for baby’s first few months.

Other Possible Essentials

Baby listening device: If your baby will be spending any time in a separate room from you, a listening device is reassuring. And if anyone whose hearing isn’t what it used to be will be caring for your baby, it’s more of an essential item.

Bottles, bottlebrushes and steriliser: Unless you’re breastfeeding exclusively you’ll need bottle, bottlebrushes and a steriliser of some sort. They’re essential if you’re going to express any milk to feed to your baby later or if you’re going to mix breast and bottle. A steam or microwave steriliser is quickest to use, although coldwater systems are cheaper.

Formula milk (if you’re bottle-feeding): Baby milk manufacturers agree that breast is best, but for those mums who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed, formula is an adequate alternative. Ask your midwife for advice on which milk to start your baby on.


Baby wipes: Cotton wool and water are perfectly adequate.

Top-and-tail bowl: Any two plastic bowls will serve just as well for washing your baby in the early days.

A nappy disposal system: Although they’re handy for disposing of dirty nappies they aren’t necessary.

A baby bath: A better buy would be a baby bath seat that fits inside the bath.
A baby changing station: You would probably do better to save the space.

Dummies: If you can manage without you won’t have to wean your baby off them.
A baby sling: Admittedly it’s very useful, especially if your baby prefers to stay close to you, but it’s not essential.

Cot mobile/activity centre: A newborn won’t gain any benefit in the early days. maybe you could ask for one as a present?

Cot bumper: These are thought dangerous by some experts, as the strings could unravel and strangle your baby.

Baby toiletries: All you need to keep your baby clean in the early days is warm water.