It is important to remember that a new-born baby’s needs are very simple, they do not need designer buggies or photoshoots. What they need most is love, affection, food & nourishment, a safe place to sleep and of course a clean bottom. You really only need the essentials the first few months, things like highchairs can be bought down the line. Remember when buying clothes for your baby the season your baby is going to be born in etc, so you buy clothes appropriate for the weather. If you are lucky enough for people to offer to buy your something, why not ask them to buy you something practical like a thermometer or baby bath etc. My siblings actually clubbed together and bought me a tumble dryer when my first was born and it truly was a gift in Irish wet winters. When shopping in store or online make sure you buy products the meet the E.U. safety standards and follow the manufactures instructions.
So what do you need?
Cotton baby- grows or onesies in various sizes. Cotton is delicate against a new-born’s skin, avoid denims or tight clothing, especially in first few weeks.
Vest (short sleeved for summer, long sleeved for winter). You can view this product here
Cardigans (the ones that granny knits are great as they are breathable, avoid heavy clothing and things with hoods or strings around the neck).
A hat for outdoors (sun hat in the summer months).
Mittens (mainly for outside in cold weather, or at night if baby scratches their face, but babies also need to learn to feel and grasp things, so not recommended for other times of day).
Somewhere Safe to Sleep.
Always follow HSE Safe sleep guidelines.
Moses basket, crib or cot.
Your baby should be in a Moses basket or cot with a mattress that meets E.U. safety standards, it is not recommended to use a second hand mattress. The mattress should be firm and flat. It should fit the cot correctly and have a removable, washable cover.
Cellular blankets (the ones with holes in them), these are recommended for safe sleep.
A car seat is essential if you are going in a car.
The Road Safety Authority in Ireland have comprehensive information on choosing & fitting your baby’s car seat. www.rsa.ie
A car seat must be safe and suitable for your baby’s weight and height.
Don’t use a second hand car seat unless you are completely sure of its history, i.e. if you took it from your sister or friend its ok, but do not buy online as you never know how old it is or if it has been involved in a crash already.
Check out www.rsa.ie for more details.
It is important to remember that new-born babies should only be in buggies or prams that recline fully.
Slings or Baby Carrier:
Most carriers or sling, baby is carried in front of you and this is important with new-babies so you can insure their head is supported and their airway is free so they can breath easily. The www.lullabytrust.org.uk have recommendations on how to use slings or carriers safely.
To take a baby out you will need one of the these options, a car seat, a pram or a baby carrier. It is important you become familiar with their instructions. Always follow manufactures instructions.
A changing bag:
A changing bag does not have to be designer but they are very useful for holding the nappies, wipes and anything else you need when leaving the house. Changing bags generally come with small reusable changing mats.
For trips outside the house, you’ll need:
- cotton wool or wipes (do not use wipes until your baby is 4 weeks old)
- nappy bin or paper nappy bags (keep plastic nappy sacks and bags out of your baby’s reach – they are a suffocation risk)
- a spare change of clothes
- a towel or changing mat
Bring antibacterial hand wash with you if you’re out and about with your baby, so you can wash your hands before and after changing them.
It depends which way you decide to feed them.
If you are breastfeeding, you will need very little equipment. You may want to make sure you have:
- nursing bras. You can view this product here
- breast pads. You can View this product here
- nipple balm or cream (make sure it does not need to be washed off before your baby feeds)
As your baby grows, you may want to express milk when you are going to be away. It may be worthwhile investing in a breast pump. I would personally wait until after your baby is born to buy this. Electric pump is great if it is something you are doing regularly but if only very rarely expressing a hand pump is perfect and are very inexpensive.
If you are formula feeding, you will need:
- sterilising equipment
- a bottle and teat brush
You’ll also need :
- muslin cloths
- burp cloths
- baby bath (or clean kitchen sink)
- hooded baby towels
- baby monitor
- room thermometer.
If you use second-hand equipment or equipment that you used with an older child, it must meet current safety standards. Make sure it is undamaged and is in perfect working order.
When buying and using equipment, make sure:
- it meets current EU safety standards
- it is in perfect condition
- you assemble, install and use it correctly, as per manufacturer’s instructions
I hope you find this post helpful.
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Lorna, Midwife & mom of 4.