Your Newborn Essentials

October 11, 2012

When reading the comments on my Newborn Essentials post from last week I was amazed at how  many things I had forgotten. Though in all honesty, if we remembered every single part of the ‘special’ newborn time we would all be one-child families, am I right? In a nutshell it’s a nipple issues, vomit, paper pants and sleep deprivation.

I had so many great suggestions, links and tips that I wanted to post them all up here for future reference. So if you have a newborn on the way, enjoy:

(Part one can be found here, and my comments are in Italics…)


– iBooks or Kindle for night feeds. Actually, iPhone has been completely essential for me day and night with NCT or other baby friendly friends on speed dial – we set up a Whatsapp group and all send messages at 2/3/4/5am that everyone can see and sympathise with. This is why I love Twitter! 

– We set up a second changing area on the dining table (you won’t be eating together anyway!) so we didn’t have to climb stairs in a poo emergency. Such a good idea; ours is in our hallway.

Widgey feeding pillow – not essential for eveyone but was priceless for us and made feeding so much more comfortable.

– Crop top style nursing bras – perfect for night feeds and so much more comfortable than regular bras (Mothercare).

– Gripe water – buy some cheap 5ml syringes from Amazon so you can squirt it into their mouth gradually to avoid puking. These 5ml syringes are ace, we use them for Elfie’s meds as well as Calpol for Hux.

Ewan The Dream Sheep and Slumberbear – my little one loved the white noise and it also helps us drown out the little grunts that will keep you awake! Have ditched the actual Slumber Bear and just use the sound machine inside – its sound and movement activated so starts up if they are not quite asleep yet…



– Snacks. As well as easy to cook meals, you’ll want snacks you can grab and go with, ESPECIALLY if you are breastfeeding, as that can take hours and hours. Having something to munch on whilst feeding infront of those good TV shows you mentioned. Cake is good, as is flapjack, biscuits, pitta and houmous.


Mrs. B:

– Truckload of terry towel squares for cleaning up all the milk that comes out once it’s gone in!


Tori, AKA my new baby guru:

– Pram: I made the mistake of getting a light colour shade of my Bugaboo Bee and had to buy a black sun canopy so Joseph would sleep in it! Best bet is to get a dark colour, with an interchangeable sunshade for when it is hot. We have the Bugaboo Bee in khaki and it’s THE BEST pram. I wouldn’t recommend any other. 

– Many babies love being swaddled as it makes them feel safe – I tried a number of different ones and found these worked best for me as there is minimal faffing involved.

– Drink lots of water during the day and through the night or you will wake up with a splitting headache that wont go away all day.

– Microwave sterilisers are very useful and don’t take up loads of space. Agree – we have a Tommy Tippee microwave steriliser.

– Babies dribble alot. I use these every day so I don’t have to change tops 4 times a day . They are so easy and cheap to make too.

– With your basics (sleep suits, vests, socks, etc as well as towels, muslins ) get everything in white so you can reuse if you have a second child – H&M are great however the best vests I found were from Next.

– I wouldn’t recommend getting a change table as it is a bit of a waste of space (agree). Better idea is to get a chest of drawers and put a changing top on the top.

– You don’t need a cot bumper or a duvet – just 3 fitted sheets and about 4 cellular blankets and a few sleeping bags (we use Grobag – a bit expensive however they are great). We use Grobag as well as John Lewis’s own brand baby sleeping bags – just as good. 

– Whilst the fancy nappy creams that you will probably get as gifts are lovely, they aren’t nessesary for you to buy. Sudocrem, vaseline or zinc & castor oil will do the job.

– Don’t bother with a baby bath, these are more practical and save your back

– Make sure you get an in ear thermometer as they are the most accurate for when you need to take their temperature, which is surprisingly more than you expect. This is what most doctors use. We have one of these and use it a couple of times a week, though my friend Sara has also pointed me in the direction of this amazing no-contact infrared thermometer… 

For Reference:
– Great website on expressing.
– Great website for feeding, sleep and parenting.
– Books for Pregnancy, Dads, Developmental.



– For me it was a freezer full of easy cook food, nipple shields as LC had problems latching on at first.

– Infacol, she had colic until 15 weeks so that was a life saver.

– Paper knickers, yes paper knickers! I had a c-section and a lot of my underwear sat across my scar, these were comfy and they saved all my other knickers from getting ruined.

– A great mum and baby group, it’s hard at first to get yourself out there but it gave me a reason to get dressed and get out the house, the other ladies were fab, they always made a cup of tea when I arrived, sometimes my first of the day and took turns holding LC, I just used to sit and relax, plus the mums knew what I was going through and there experience and wisdom was so helpful and reassuring!



– I’ve found it essential to keep my phone and the numbers of the National Breastfeeding Helpline (0300 100 0212) and Cry-Sis (08451 228669) handy….just in case I feel an emotional meltdown coming on (which is quite frequently at the minute).



– I’d echo the smartphone suggestion (couldn’t have coped without my iPhone) but my top tip would be the Sleepy Sounds iPhone app – it’s white noise and amazing for baby sleep – I blogged about it recently. Agree with this one – I downloaded a white noise app (White Noise Ambience Lite) on the suggestion of Charlotte and am now finding it difficult to sleep without the sound of ‘Rain Of Car’ in the background! 



– For the baby: a shedload of muslin cloths for clearing up all that delightful milky spit swaddle wraps (we had a couple of the Gro Swaddle ones); white noise (we just used a track we found on Youtube!); sleepsuits with integral scratch mittens as actual scratch mittens just fall off; Vaseline for peeling newborn skin.

– For me: snacks, nipple cream, comfy underwear, breast pads, lavender or tea tree oil for putting in the bath with some sea salt (soothing properties for your ravaged nether regions!); Lucozade; feeding pillow for the hours spent on the sofa.



– It’s a bit of a dull one, but cloths, cloths and more cloths. Even though Ramona wasn’t refluxy or a particularly prolific puker, we still got through stacks, especially when teething.



– Sky + and a dishwasher!



– You can get Lanisoh on prescription if you see your midwife/HV. It’s a little known fact but can save you LOADS of money if you really need it. If you don’t need a lot, pop some breastmilk on your nips and let them air dry. Does a pretty good job.

– Reusable breast pads. Saves the embarrassing boob rustle situation. I have had two massive wet patches on my tshirt waaaay too many times. 



– I really wish I had known how much milk would leak out of my boobs at night, I woke up one night absolutely drenched and as a result I still have a minging stain on my mattress so I will definitely be putting a mattress protector on the bed this time!

– Cereal bars always to hand as breastfeeding made me starving.



Is there any more to add to this massive bible-like list of newborn bits?

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  • Reply Liv October 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Lots of cheap vest tops have been great while I’m breastfeeding; I wear loose t-shirts over the top- lift the top layer up and pull the vest top down and you can feed really discreetly! My NCT girls all bought breastfeeding aprons, but I think they actually draw more attention to you!

    Actually, I think I may have learned this trick from here – whoops!

    • Reply alice October 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      SO true – I hate those blimmin breastfeeding aprons! Much prefer a scarf xx

  • Reply Lizzi October 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I did forget to say have some snacks under the bed/bedside table for the mornings. Saves you having to abandon morning sleepy/grumpy/hungry baby to forage in the kitchen or risk making it to lunchtime without having anything to eat. I have stack of boxes of Belvita breakfast biscuits. Mmmmm

    • Reply alice October 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      yes! I loved M&S’s cheese straws for this reason. YUM x

  • Reply HonestMum October 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Great tips!

    • Reply alice October 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Hope you liked! Hope you are all getting on OK – I can’t believe how amazing you look so soon after giving birth x

  • Reply Jayne November 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Brilliant list! I’d forgotten how are essential muslin squares were, I’m definitely going to stock up.

    • Reply alice November 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm

      I still use the muslins 1.5 years on from having a newborn!

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