Essential Buys for a New Baby

what to buy for new baby
newborn items
essential buys for a new baby

Updated May 2019. When I was pregnant for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the essential buys I needed for my new baby. I spent a lot of time comparing reviews because I wanted to buy products we would use. Also, I wanted to know which products were a waste of time and money. I really appreciated all of the advice from other mums and found it really helped me. So I decided to write my own list of items I have used and loved. I hope you find this useful and find some products that make mum life that little bit easier.


  • Baby car seat group 0+ – I have used the Maxi-Cosi infant car seat for two babies and it’s still in great condition. I love Maxi-Cosi I think they are reliable, great quality and comfy for your baby. I have also used the next two stages of car seat from Maxi-Cosi because I like them so much.
  • ISOFIX – this was essential for me because it makes sure that the baby seat is safely and securely attached to the car. This is really reassuring to a new mum and is worth every penny.
  • Travel system – I purchased the Quinny Mood and I have used it with two children and still love it. I also love that my 4-year-old still rides in it when we go out and he gets tired! I also really love the Doona Car seat stroller I think this is a great idea. It would save me so much time and stress loading and unloading the travel system from the car while I have two children waiting.

Baby carrier – I bought the Babybjorn carrier and I have got so much use out of it. It gave me my sanity back to be able to pop baby in here and have two hands to get on with life – do the washing, hoovering, make a drink or a sandwich and so much easier to do the school run with! this one also comes in lots of lovely colours.


They grow out of newborn clothes within weeks or quicker if you have a bigger baby. Remember you will get lots of gifts too, people love to shop for tiny clothes! Socks and scratch mitts are not essential buys for a new baby because you can buy sleepsuits with them attached. I bought a starter set for both of my two newborns, they usually have a sleepsuit, vests, hat, bib and a little outfit that all match.

  • New baby sleepsuits x 6
  • New baby vests x 6
  • Cardigan/jacket/jumper x 2
  • Blanket – I love the aden + anais swaddle blankets they are so soft and wash really well. They also come in such cute designs.
  • Muslins– you can buy reasonably cheap packs of these which is handy if you need a lot because of reflux. I do really like the aden + anais muslins that match the swaddle blankets. They wash really well and have lasted for two children.
  • Hats – winter or summer
  • A nice outfit or 2 for visiting or going out.


  • Bottles – I bought a huge starter set but my baby wouldn’t use them. Whichever bottles you choose buy one or two and test them first to see if they like them. I found the best bottles were Dr. Browns as they were great at reducing colic symptoms.
  • Steriliser – I used the Philips Avent 3in1 steriliser. I liked it so much we purchased it again for our second baby. It is a good size (fits 6 of the larger bottles) but doesn’t take up too much worktop space. It takes 6 minutes to complete a sterilising cycle, so it is quick if you suddenly realise you are out of bottles.
  • Breast pump –They are great for encouraging your milk supply to increase and to give you a break by allowing someone else to feed your baby. I had the Philips Avent Single Electric breast pump. It is a compact size and an easy design to sterilise and keep clean. I found the pump was good but quite noisy. I also bought the Avent reusable milk storage cups to use with it.
  • Nursing bras and breast pads if you are planning to breastfeed.
  • A nursing chair – I bought a gliding chair with a footstool. It made it easier when I was sitting up in the middle of the night and helped to soothe him when he was teething. I am now using it with my daughter, but my son still loves rocking in it and having story time or even a nap.
  • Boppy pillow – great for supporting the baby while you are feeding them, but they have lots of other uses. You can lie baby in it while you are playing with them, it can help support them when they are starting to sit up and it can be used during tummy time.
Essential buys for a new baby


  • A changing table – I bought a nursery set with a changing table because I liked having everything in one area. I also bought a really useful Skip Hop mini changer for taking on holiday and keeping in the car.
  • Changing bag – I was bought a Pacapod with my first pregnancy and I loved it. I am reusing it with my second baby and it looks like new. It has so much space and everything has its own compartment. I can also just take out the changing pod or the feeding pod.
  • A nappy bin –I wasn’t sure about buying one of these but I’m still using it 5 years later. It took me through the newborn stage all the way through potty training and now I’m starting again! The nappy bin keeps the smell in and holds plenty of nappies.
  • Stock up on nappies size 1 and 2 – babies go through a lot of nappies and you don’t want to run out in the middle of the night. I waited until the nappies were on offer while I was pregnant and got several packs in size 1 and 2. They grow out of size 1 quite quickly so don’t buy too many of one size.
  • Nappy cream –I cannot recommend Metanium nappy rash ointment enough. If my baby has a red bottom I can put this on at night and know that by the next morning it will be completely better.
  • Baby wipes –stock up on when they are on offer.


  • Baby monitor – I am using the Angelcare Baby movement monitor with sound. I chose this because it has the sensor mat that goes under the mattress, this senses the baby movements and shows you by a ticking pendulum on the parent monitor. If the baby stops moving for 20 seconds it alerts you with an alarm. The temperature of baby’s room is also displayed on the parent unit which I found really helpful when I was dressing the baby for bedtime. If you need a room thermometer the Groegg is a lovely design and makes a cute nightlight.
  • Cot, crib or Moses basket – I had a Moses basket but neither of my newborns would sleep in it for long. They were not great sleepers until they went into their cot in their own room. One item I would have liked to try is the next2me as I have read some great reviews on it. It allows baby to sleep safely next to you but in their own crib. If you need advice on safe sleeping visit the Lullaby Trust website.
  • Mattress, sheets or blankets for the cot or crib
Childbirth the complete guide

If you have enjoyed reading this check out the complete guide to childbirth. I share my packing list for your hospital bag, how to prepare for labour and my experience of labour and delivery. 

Bath time

  • Baby bath or bath support – I like the Angelcare soft touch bath support as it securely holds the baby while you wash them and play with them. It also takes up less space than a baby bath.
  • Thermometer – this essential with a newborn and worth investing in a decent one. I’ve been using Braun Thermoscan thermometer and I love it. It has a button that you press to adjust the thermometer to the right age. This gives an accurate reading when it takes the temperature as it can tell you if the fever is too high for that age. The screen displays the temperature and is also colour coded which makes it easy to understand. Red means it’s a high temperature, yellow is elevated and green is normal. I also like that it stores the last nine temperatures.
  • Baby nail scissors – their nails grow really fast
  • Hairbrush – a baby brush with soft bristles
  • Baby bubble bath, shampoo, and sponge – I use Child’s Farm for my children as they have mild eczema. I haven’t had any problems with their skin since I started using this.

Getting all of the essential buys for a new baby can be overwhelming and very expensive. Reading product reviews and finding out what other mums recommend really helped me to make some good choices. All of the products on this list were chosen and paid for by me. They have been used with my two babies and have been good value for money. I hope this list helps you to decide on some of your essential buys for your new baby.

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