The day is drawing nearer. You’re feeling nervous and emotional, but you’re ready. It’s almost time for your little one to make an arrival.
(You’ve perhaps also experiencing swollen ankles, constant heartburn and feeling as if you’re about to pop, but let’s try not to focus on the downsides!)
Preparing for birth: What you really need
Getting ready for the birth of your baby is an exciting time for sure, but you’ll need to be prepared.
There are certain newborn essentials that you’ll need to buy in advance, so you have them on hand. After all, you won’t probably feel like going shopping in the days after birth!
Now, there’s a lot of advice out there already about the latest gadgets or gizmos that make life as a new parent easier. But in this post, I’m only going to list those items that really are a ‘necessity.’
It’s sometimes difficult to see beyond clever marketing ploys, isn’t it?
It can feel like everyone’s got something to sell or they have an opinion about the newborn essentials you need. Midwives, our own mums, well-meaning friends who are already parents – everyone has their own tips to share. It can quickly become overwhelming!
So, we’re here to help!
Things you need for a new baby
Here at Kingshill Studios, we see so many families in the first days, weeks and months of their child’s life, so we get the opportunity to chat about all-things-baby related day-in, day-out.
While we help mums and dads like you to document their baby’s arrival with beautiful newborn baby portraits, we also get an insight into your world – what items have helped you in the early days and what has been a waste of money.
With this valuable insight, here we have compiled a list of newborn essentials which we hope will be useful for every parent-to-be. These are must-have items as recommended by local experts – mums and dads of Aberdeenshire, just like you!
So, if you’re awaiting the arrival of a baby, and especially if it’s your first, make a cuppa, settle down and see what parents like you consider to be newborn must-haves.
Ready? Let’s go!
Newborn Essentials: A shopping list for new parents
These are a simple square of cloth but are oh-so-versatile and so incredibly helpful in those early days.
You can use them to wipe up milky sick and drool, pop them under baby’s head to keep their bedding clean, fashion a bib out of them or even spread them out to create an impromptu changing mat if you’re caught short (pop them in the wash afterwards, mind!)
2) A comfy mattress
‘Sleepyheads’ got several mentions when we asked our community of mums and dads for their best tips on newborn essentials. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re mattresses with a thick, padded edge and your baby sleeps in a cosy hollow cocoon in the middle.
These are not the cheapest purchase, but the parents of Aberdeenshire are big fans! There are lots of brands out there with similar products at different price points – no need to buy the Sleepyhead necessarily. You might also be able to pick one up second-hand.
3) White noise
Babies love it, parents love it. White noise, at just the right volume level, is background sound that will lull baby, and perhaps you, off to sleep!
4) Nasal Aspirators
So many of you mentioned nasal aspirators when we asked for your newborn must-haves. These are a little device to draw the snot (sorry!) out of your baby’s nose.
I don’t even think these existed when I had my boys, but they make so much sense. A blocked nose is miserable for a baby, affecting their breathing, sleep and, of course, their feeding. With an aspirator, the problem’s solved!
5) Bottle prep machine
Another fairly expensive purchase, but a bottle prep machine like the Tommy Tippee Perfect Prep got lots of mentions from bottle-feeding mums. It makes up babies’ bottles in no time, and just at the right temperature for a baby to drink.
6) Nipple cream
If you’re breastfeeding, coconut oil or Lasinoh cream were all recommended time and time by the local mums we asked. Sore nipples are no joke, and these can help soothe and calm the skin.
7) Breast pump
To encourage breast milk production, many of our mums suggested the Haakaa breast pump. It was considered a ‘life-saver’ by several, so sounds like it’s worth checking out!
8) Room thermometer
The GroEgg room thermometer was also popular with our parents since it’s important to ensure that your baby’s room is set at the appropriate temperature. It indicates whether the room is too cold or too hot.
Another brilliant feature is that it provides a low-level light for night time feeds. This is really helpful when you don’t want to put on the main light which would disturb your baby, but you don’t want to be scrambling around in the dark either!
When choosing babygros, the parents we surveyed suggested that you look for ones with easy to open poppers. (Marks & Spencers have ones with one coloured stud to help you match them back correctly up after a nappy change – genius!)
Plus, choose babygros with integrated foldover mits to prevent your baby from scratching themselves - particularly when they’re tiny and don’t have much control over their limbs.
10) Mum essentials
Let’s not forget that mums need things too! Our panel of Aberdeenshire mums recommended having a water bottle, lots of snacks (easy to grab and go!) and an insulated cup (you’ve got to get a hot cup of tea somehow!).
11) Photos, and plenty of them
The days with a newborn can feel long, but the weeks and months are short, they really are! Before you know it, your little baby will be toddling around. They will have changed so much in just a matter of months.
Because of this, some of the parents who shared their newborn essentials tips with us very kindly suggested a newborn photo session here at Kingshill Studios.
12) Finally, and most importantly, HELP.
Don’t be afraid to ask for some support. A new baby in the household is a huge change for even a seasoned parent, and sleeplessness plus hormones are a heady combination!
Make sure you look after yourself and take advantage of any offers of support. A coffee and a chat with a friend or family member go a lg way!
What newborn essentials have we missed?
What other baby essentials for the first three months would you recommend? We’d love to hear from you and if you have any other must-have items that you think we should add to this newborn baby shopping list, please get in touch with us.
Also, if you know someone who is pregnant, please share this article with them. If they aren’t sure what to buy before their newborn baby arrives, they’ll probably thank you for it!
Interested in a newborn photoshoot? Get in touch to find out about our availability for around the time of your due date. Please remember to book as early as possible to secure your slot – ideally around 20 weeks of your pregnancy.