Newborn Essentials List: Everything You Need To Buy
I still remember when I was pregnant with Lauren (first pregnancy), I walked into a local baby store and walked straight out. I had no idea what I was looking at. It felt like I was on another planet. Why are there so many different kinds of teats? What the heck is peristaltic and why should I pay more?
If you are a first time expecting mom, this baby shopping list will give you a comprehensive view of everything you will need for your newborn baby. I consider them must-haves and I’ve also included a few extra nice-to-haves that are in absolutely no way essential.
Feeding bottles & teats in different flows – I bought a range from Pigeon and was given a whole lot of different brands of bottles and teats from Tollyjoy and Avent as gifts. I found them just as good. For some reasons, both Lauren and Georgia have no nipple confusion with both latching on and different teats.
Bottle and teat brush – For effective cleaning of your bottles, this is a must-have. Here is one from Tollyjoy.
Breast pump – I have a Medela Freestyle which is a hand-me-down from a friend since we had Lauren and I’m still using it for Georgia now. So I guess it lasts pretty well. All I have to do is to buy some replacement parts that aren’t very expensive.
Milk storage bags – These save a lot more space in your fridge/freezer than using bottles to store milk.
My Brest Friend pillow – I absolutely love it. It makes breastfeeding much easier by propping your baby up to your breast level. Hello hands-free!
Breast pads – I use Pigeon Honeycomb Disposable Pads. Full review here.
Nipple cream – Just in case you need them. Alternatives: Organic coconut oil or lip balm would work too.
Steriliser – We got ourselves a Pigeon sterilizer for milk bottles, pacifier, toys and everything else that could fit in it. However, just blanching them in hot water immediately prior to using works just as well.
I heard good reviews about Avent Microwave Steriliser too.
Nursing cover – I never got one. Lauren used to be in the sling most of the time, so I just use the extra cloth from the sling to cover up.
Milkies milk saver – I’ve only recently found out about these milk saver that catches let-down milk from the non-nursing breast while you are feeding your baby with the other breast. The tight-arse in me absolutely love the idea that no milk is wasted!
Nursing bras and tops – I didn’t buy any of these, I just pull the strap of my tank top down when I need to nurse. Yes, I basically lived in my strapless bras and tank tops during the first few months.
Formula – My milk didn’t come in until a week later for Lauren. Some moms just can’t produce enough milk when baby is going through growth spurts, so instead of stressing over your baby going hungry, do yourself a favour and have some formula milk on standby.
Cot, cot linen, cot mattress & protector – We got the whole set from IKEA.
Swaddle – Lauren used to break out of her muslin swaddle, so having a few velcro/buttons-fastened ones really helped keeping her swaddle in place. We love Aden Anais Easy Swaddle; they are available in a whole range of cute prints.
Black out blinds – I sleep better in the dark, so make sense if you do want your newborn to sleep well, no? We bought the fabric from a local fabric shop, and had ours custom made.
Moses basket & linen – These are so pretty. It is also handy if you live in a big house and want to bring your baby with you when you hang out in another room besides the nursery. However, babies grow so fast, you won’t get much use out of it for very long.
Baby monitor – Great to spy on babies when they are in another room. Get one with video if possible. God knows how many time new parents need to check if their babies are still breathing. I did it a LOT!
Snuggle Nest – Lauren used to sleep better in one, but she out-grew it very quickly too. We passed it on to some friends and they swear by it too. With Georgia, we pretty much did the same by placing small pillows by her sides (not right next to her head though).
Cot bumper – It is not advisable to put a bumper in the newborn’s cot, as it may cause suffocation. It is useful for me when Lauren was old enough to sit up and sometimes rotates herself sideways while sleeping. It prevents her from hitting the hard railing of the cot.
Pacifiers – It helps babies soothe themselves and stay calm during car rides and while on outings. Too bad Lauren didn’t like it. She prefers the real thing (my boobs).
Mosquitos net – When Lauren was born, there were many cases of dengue fever in Singapore. So to be safe, we got one.
Nappies / Diapers – Whether you decide to cloth diaper or use disposable, just remember to have plenty on standby. Don’t buy too many in newborn size though, as your baby will grow very fast! Here’s my review on Merries and Drypers.
Baby wipes – We use organic, unbleached bamboo wipes, Cloversoft. It is thick and gentle on baby bum.
Nappy cream – For diaper rash, we use Desitin. It comes in such a big tube, I’m looking for other ways to use it. Suggestions, anyone?
Cotton pads – In the first month, we use wet cotton pads to clean baby’s bottom. I find it gentler than using baby wipes. We also use them for wiping baby’s face, mouth and nostril.
Baby bath tub – I love Puj Tub. You can easily put it over any sink. It cradles and comfy enough for newborn baby to lie in, allowing you to wash baby with both hands.
Towels – I’m not fussed about towels, as long as they are made from 100% cotton. There are many cute ones that can be purchased online, like this one.
Baby oil / lotion – We use California Baby Moisturizing Creme.
Baby nail clipper – For some reason, I find ours wasn’t sharp enough and ended up using adult ones, and it actually works fine.
Emery boards – I know moms who are afraid they might accidentally snip off their baby’s skin off by using nail clipper and opt to file instead. Whatever works for you, I’d say!
Baby sling – One of my absolute must-have! I used to wear Lauren even when we were at home. She didn’t like laying down by herself, so it was the only way I can get anything done at all. She tends to fall asleep easier in the sling too. It was how Nick survived the 4 days I went on vacation with my sister when Lauren was just 6 months old. Mine was a gift from The Birth Shop.
Baby carrier – Very useful for older baby especially during holiday. I love my ERGO Baby Carrier because it is super comfy. It has padded straps that go over both shoulders and it sits on the hips, so the weight is distributed really well. It is also comfortable for your baby as she has a wide support that covers her butt and thighs, instead of hanging off the groin, which can be bad for your baby.
Infant car seat – Maxi Cosi infant car seats are fantastic and easy to use. You can also get a frame to turn it into a stroller, which is great for travel. Borrow one if you could, because babies grow so fast and very soon you’d find yourself shopping for a bigger one. I’m lucky to have friends with older babies, and happy to pass theirs on to me.
Pram / Stroller – It is the first thing I bought when I found out I was pregnant. But we didn’t use it until Lauren was almost 6 months old and able to sit up properly. Of course, there are those catered to newborn too. For more info, check out my post on how to select a stroller here.
Changing mat – Very handy or else you’d find yourself wiping down public change table every time your baby needs changing. I find it useful when I’m at friend’s place as well – I won’t risk soiling their sofa or bed.
Nice to have
Diaper bag – I actually didn’t get one. I just use a slightly bigger boho bag to store my belongings and baby items. I’m also one of those moms who pack very light when we go out.
Ear thermometer – Easy and fast for accurate reading.
Muslin cloth – You can use it to swaddle baby (the lightweight material is perfect for the hot wether here in Singapore), as burp cloth, as cloth nappy, line the cot, etc.
Yu yi oil / Ban Kah Chai Zhui Feng Su Ho Oil (You can get this from Chinese medical shop) – We rub this onto baby’s tummy, back and the sole of her feet after each bath. It is supposed to expel wind/prevent colic and keep her feeling warm.
Gentle laundry detergent – I like Tollyjoy Baby Laundry Detergent because it is anti-bacterial, smells great, has a mild and gentle formula for sensitive skin, yet effective enough for stain removal. Oh, did I mention it smells so nice I keep inhaling my baby?
Baby bottle washing liquid – Again, you wouldn’t want to use harsh washing liquid for your baby’s bottles and utensils. Tollyjoy has a baby accessories cleaner that is good enough for washing vegetables too!
If you like a print-out of this checklist, go here.