Spotlighting practical products that have all been tried and tested by Vogue mums, this guide will ensure you have everything you need to navigate those first foggy yet magical months with a newborn. From choosing a cot to deciding which car seat to buy, no item has been overlooked.
Anita Worlidge, the founder of Anita’s House, a consultation service that has become a go-to for thousands of parents seeking advice on what they need to buy for their baby, acknowledges that shopping for a new baby can be overwhelming. “You can feel bombarded with information from friends, family and the internet,” she says. “It is so easy to over buy, or buy products that just aren’t quite right for you and your new baby, or miss essential items that you didn’t even know you would need.” She points out that getting your baby essentials right from the start means you’ll avoid buying twice, but it will also save you time and stress, leaving more room for you to enjoy life with your new baby.
Newborns might be small, but they require a lot of equipment. SNOO is a smart cot that rocks your baby to sleep, keeping them settled for longer. It also compiles data, allowing you to track your little one’s sleep patterns. Consider a bedside crib to keep baby close to you during night feeds, and a sleep pod for daytime naps.
Bedding is key to creating the optimal sleep environment for a better rest for your baby (and you). Invest in soft, temperature controlling sleeping bags, and extra layers of blankets and muslins for sleep on the go. Make your muslins go further by buying swaddle size – that way they can serve as a blanket, swaddle, milk sick protector or a nursing cover when needed. It also cuts down on the amount of stuff you need to think about packing in order to leave the house.
A baby bouncer is crucial as a safe place for your baby to sit early on, and another base for them to be positioned in. The Baby Bjorn Bouncer is one of the originals and best. Simple, comfortable and foldable, it’s a staple, and as your baby grows, they’ll work out they can rock themselves by kicking their feet.
There’ll be many moments when you need your hands free, but baby does not want to be put down. A good supportive baby carrier can help to solve this conundrum. They’re not just for walks or buggy-free trips to the shop, baby carriers are a lifesaver if you have a baby that needs calming, a contact nap or soothing during the “witching hour” at home.
Invest in a pram that will grow with your baby, serving as a bassinet in the early weeks, and later a comfy chair for walks, naps and daily journeys. Your stroller should be compact enough for your car, and must be able to handle the environment in which you intend to use it. (The Babyzen YoYo is a good choice for frequent travellers who need a pram that will slide easily into an overhead compartment.)
Whether you intend to use them for breast or formula milk, making sure you have a supply of baby bottles from the outset will ensure you’re prepared. Not only does it allow for someone else to help out with feeding, it gives you more feeding options – essential when you don’t know how a day is going to pan out.
Until your baby turns one, it’s important to sterilise bottles, breast pumps, and dummies if you use them. This will kill lingering bacteria that’s potentially harmful to your baby and their immature immune system. Along with the classic microwave and electric steam sterilisers, UV sterilisers are becoming more popular, largely because they can be used to sterilise more than just baby products. They use ultraviolet light to sterilise, meaning they’re chemical-free as well as fast.
Investing in a changing mat (or two for use in different locations in the house) is important. It should be comfortable and hard-wearing – you and your little one are going to be spending a lot of time using it. Bumbo’s changing mat is shaped so that it supports baby’s neck and head, and the raised side walls and ergonomic shape ensures they won’t roll off. Its soft foam is not only easy to clean, it isn’t cold to the touch either, so more comfortable on your little one’s bare skin.
Dummies can help to settle cranky babies, and teething toys can soothe irritated gums. Personal choice comes into the equation here, but if you’re shopping for soothers, start with these simple, BPA-free teat-shaped dummies.
You’ll get through a lot of nappies. Make sure they fit well and are soft on your baby’s skin, to make them as comfortable as possible. Equally as important is the changing bag you keep the nappies in when you’re out and about. Lots of storage and compartments are key.
Your baby will live in cosy, comfy babygrows for the first year and, to be honest, you’ll wish you could too. Look for zip-up or popper styles like those from John Lewis and Jojo Maman Bebe, for quick and easy changing at night.
Breast pumps, nipple cream and feeding pillows are all worth considering to help you with feeding. The Elvie electric hands-free breast pump has revolutionised pumping with its discreet design and smart app. It stores data so you can track things like the time since your last pump, and the amount of milk you pumped in a session.
Baby monitors have come a long way in the last couple of years. Video monitors are now capable of gathering data that allows you to analyse your baby’s sleep like never before. With crystal clear video, and added extras such as temperature and motion and breathing alerts, a good monitor will give you peace of mind once you’ve put baby down for the night.
From white noise that can help send your baby off into a deep sleep, to buggy rocking devices that will keep them snoozing as you finish your coffee, these gadgets are potential game-changers.
Daunting territory at first, but arm yourself with the right equipment and bath time will become one of the nicest parts of your day with your baby. A key piece of equipment is a baby bath or support, which will also eliminate back pain for you, as you won’t be huddled over the bath holding your baby. It’s also crucial to get the temperature right – a water thermometer makes this a breeze.
It’s become the classic Instagram post: leaving the hospital with the new bundle of joy in their baby seat. It’s not just a photo prop though – you’ll find you can have one that fits to your buggy, one that grows with them, and even one that converts into a stroller, which is perfect for travelling as it’s two pieces of equipment in one.
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