One of my sister’s best friends is having a baby soon. Yay! So my sister asked me for a list of absolute essentials. This is tricky because for your first child, one always wants to get everything. I mean, everything looks so cute. And it feels like it is an absolute need.

Sleep:

Cot

Cot mattress

Cot sheet (Can use receiving blankets)

Blankets

Receiving blankets

Mattress Protector

Some people do not get a cot for a new born baby. They sleep with the baby. Cots are not the cheapest so if you get a cot, get one that will last you for years to come. Do not be fooled by price, most expensive does not always equate to most useful.

The Mattress is equally important, if not more. Get a good durable mattress. As the baby gets older, a mattress protector will also be a necessity. Truth be told, sheets are a nice to have and expensive. You can use receiving blankets that you wash every other day.

Baby born in winter? Get soft warm blankets to keep baby warm.

Bathtime

Bathtub

Towels

Cotton wool for bathing baby, can also get a cloth

Newborns do not need much in terms of bathing. I do not believe they are that dirty (my husband would disagree). Water is the most important, as well as extremely gentle ‘soap’ to wash off sweat. Cotton wool or your hands for washing baby. You really do not need to be scrubbing baby. Super soft towels or even receivers for drying off baby work well. You do not need a fancy expensive bathtub. For my daughter we got a slightly expensive tub with a ‘thermometer’. Turned out that the ‘thermometer’ was a sticker and came off after a few washes. And we also figured we really did not need it, you can use your hand to gauge the temperature of the water. It became a burden when we had to travel. It meant either getting tonnes of disinfectants or carrying a bath tub or buying a new tub at our destination. With my son, we bought a nice portable bath tub, stokke Flexi Tub and boy was it a life changer. Expensive but well worth every penny.

Toilet

Diapers

Wipes

Bum cream

I didn’t know what to call this section, hence a simple ‘toilet’. Well, Diapers are important. And there are so many brands out there. We (the older folk) were born in the era of cloth diapers, aka napkins. They were amazing for the environment and on the pocket as well. You paid once and you had them for months if not years. They worked, but there were a lot of work. For starters, you had to wash them regularly. Which is not a problem if you have people around to help you. I was on my own, my mum came for a few weeks to help, I was not going to let that time be filled with washing diapers.

I went for disposable. My initial brand of choice was Pampers and I stocked up, I think I had 2 per size for a few months. Then I stopped as I was afraid of buying the wrong sizes and having to run around after exchanging sizes was not good use of my time. Well, baby came earlier and was way smaller than we had thought. And guess what? Pampers New born diapers were super big and frustrating. Huggies which I had not really given much thought had super cute and fitting new born diapers and I was sold.

Over the years I have stuck with Huggies, though their current unisex diapers are absolute crap. I tried to go to Pampers with my boy but he reacted to them and I went back. I have heard amazing reviews from other diaper brands, so do your research and don’t just buy brand or label. If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay to try another brand.

Bum cream is a lifesaver, though I am not sure if my mother used bum cream or simply ‘aired’ our bottoms. She is not a believer in babies being in diapers all the time. Again, don’t simply go with the most expensive and think it is the best. Choose what works for you.

Clothes:

Rompers

socks

Vests

Hat/Beanie

Honestly, here, go wild. Baby clothes are super cute. Just make sure you buy appropriately. Example, if you child is born in winter, when you buy summer clothes, but clothes for the age your child will be in summer. Go for comfort. And remember that they grow up so quickly.

Oh, people love touching and kissing baby hands, we bought mitten precisely for that.

Out and About

Baby carrier

Pram (Not needed for the first couple of months though)

Baby car seat

Pram and baby carrier are both cute and adorable, get what you can afford and what will make you and baby comfortable. Once my kids started learning how to walk they didn’t want to be in the pram anymore so we didn’t use them past a year and a half. Keep that in mind when you are buying a pram… short life span.

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