What to Buy and What not to Buy!
We really recommend that you do not rush out and spend thousands on baby gear. So many mothers find themselves buying things that sound fantastic and end up never using. So we have compiled a list of essentials and a few extras that we recommend you buy. We have put a star * next to items we think are really important.
Most these items are available for purchase from JohnLewis.com or other online retailers. If you don’t have time to shop in store, or you do not live near a John Lewis thenorder everything online and get it delivered to your local Waitrose!
You do not need to wash your new baby clothes – it is fine for your baby to wear them straight from the packet. We think it is a great idea to keep some things in packaging and hold onto receipts in case your baby is bigger than expected or even a different gender!
For Your Pregnancy
Waterproof Mattress Protector *
- - we suggest that you put this on your side of the bed, under your sheets, so that your mattress is protected if your waters should break in bed. Later, when the baby is born you can use it in their cot. Modern waterproof sheets are made from Cotton and not plastic. John Lewis do a really good one.
Pregnancy Support Pillow
- - many women use one or two normal pillows to place between their legs or wedge themselves onto their left-hand sides. There are also a huge range of specialist Pregnancy Pillows in different shapes, designed to support your stomach and your legs. We like the Dreamgenii pillow and the regular V Shaped Pillows.
Maternity/Breastfeeding Bra *
- - In our opinion, Heidi Klum do the most attractive and most comfortable bras on the market. We suggest getting fitted whenever you feel your breasts getting bigger and your normal bras start to feel uncomfortable. A lot of women find that the bras they buy during pregnancy are a fine size for breastfeeding too.
After the Birth
The Infamous J Cloth pants *
– we sell these at £1.50 per pair. Or 10 pairs for £12. These are the ugliest knickers you will ever come across but you will grow to love them whether you have a natural birth or a C-Section. They are made from a soft mesh material allowing you to breathe “down below” whilst you are healing. If you have had a C-Section then they will also allow your scar to breathe. We suggest 5-10 pairs. Trust us, you will be so thankful for them when the time comes.
Cotton nighties with buttons down the front *
- - we suggest you buy some cheap nighties or pyjamas with stretchy or easy opening vest tops. This is to make night time breastfeeding easier. You may be bleeding heavily in the first few days or weeks and the likelihood is that they will get stained and need chucking out, so don’t spend lots of money on these.
Maternity Pads *
- - We really recommend Optimama Pure Maternity Pads. These are available on Amazon. They are the brand that the hospitals use and cannot be bought in Boots or any other chemist. They are so padded and really comfortable for the first few days when you may be feeling very sore. We have tried all the Maternity Pads from all the well known Supermarkets and Chemists and we did not like them. We would recommend you buy 2 or 3 packets.
- - When the bleeding slows down you could move on to ordinary “Heavy Flow night-time” sanitary towels.
Breast Pads *
- - We really like Johnson and Johnson’s and Lansinoh. Many of the other brands have plastic inside and are sweaty. One box should be fine for the first week or so.
Tea Tree Oil/Lavender Oil
- - It can be really soothing to put a few drops of these oils in your bath if you had a natural birth and are feeling sore
Moses Basket/Crib and Mattress/Sheets x 3 *
- - If you have an inherited Basket or Crib then you will want to buy a new mattress. babymattressesonline.co.uk will make you a mattress and sheets the exact size you need. (Not expensive)
Cot and Mattress and x 3 Sheets *
Waterproof Sheets x 3 * (as above)
Swaddling Sheet *
- - we suggest you only buy one of these – preferably in brushed cotton or a muslin material. Aden and Anais do very popular ones that double up as muslins. Although swaddling is back in fashion, some babies hate to be swaddled so if you do buy more than one then keep them in the packaging just in case!
- - old fashioned cellular blankets are great.
Sleeping bags/Gro Bags
- - invaluable, especially for wriggly babies who do not like swaddling. Best for after 3 months. Jojo Maman Bebe has a great one with detachable arms and a hole in the crutch so you can use it in a car seat or buggy if you are out after bed time.
- - There is a huge range of monitors, but we really recommend the BT 150 as it plays music, tells you the temperature in the baby’s room, has a long battery life and is two-way, allowing you speak to your baby. (This is very handy when they are toddlers!)
Ear Thermometer *
- - We recommend the ones that most doctors use, the Braun Thermoscan.
- - never say never!
Changing and Bathing
Newborn Nappies *
Nappy Bags *
Changing Mat *
- - If you have a house (rather than a flat) you might like to get 2 changing mats, one for upstairs and one for downstairs. Make sure you do not get one with any towelling on as the mat will be pooed on and weed on a lot! If you are worried about the baby being cold then put a muslin down for him to lie on.
Changing Table or Waist Height Chest of Drawers with Mat on Top
- - we recommend you get a chest of drawers with a mat on top rather than a special changing table. You can keep nappies and wipes etc in the top drawer.
Cotton Wool for topping and tailing *
Dish for topping and tailing
- - we love Water Wipes for when you are out and about or for the first few Black Poos when cotton wool will not cut it.
- - for nappy rash. If you prefer, there are many other brands with Organic offerings. If nappy rash gets very bad, Metanium is amazing!
Soft Sponge *
- - ordinary towels are fine. Some people like the hooded baby towels to keep the baby’s head warm
- - Many people buy one and then realize they could easily have done without. If you have had a C-Section then leaning over the bath may be uncomfortable so it could be a good option. You could easily wait and see until the baby is born as he or she does not need bathing in the first week.
Baby Wash *
- - you do not need to use anything on your baby’s skin for the first few weeks, but when you do start to use something, chose a gentle cleanser like Infacare or Childs Farm.
- - great for if you feel nervous about getting the water temperature right.
Soft Hair Brush
- - helpful if the baby has cradle cap, or lots of hair! Not much use if the baby has none!
Baby Nail Scissors/Emery Board *
- - the latter we found much easier for trimming the baby’s fine nails.
Clothing for Baby
Baby Vests x 5 *
- - 0-3 months is usually quite big for a 7lb baby, many brands do a “newborn” range.
Baby Sleepsuits x 5 *
Baby Cardigans x 2 *
Scratch Mitts x 2
- - we did not use these but many people like them.
Hat – Sun Hat/Wooly Hat *
- - depending on the weather
Socks or booties
- - good luck getting these to stay on! Baby Gap do the ones with the best staying power.
Snowsuit or jacket *
- - depending on the weather
We don’t recommend bothering with any special “outfits” for the first few weeks at least! Try dressing a newborn in Baby Jeans or a Sailor Suit and you will see what we mean! Although no doubt you will be given plenty as gifts!
Out and About
- - This is often the most expensive baby-related purchase. So here are some tips on how to choose yours.
- - Consider the kind of life that you lead and want to lead when the baby is here- do you want to be able to jump on the train or tube and spend the day in Soho?
- - Are there lifts at your local station? Will you be able (and willing) to carry the buggy up and down flights of stairs if necessary- you will need a light buggy if this is the case?
- - Do you imagine you will stay closer to home and only ever use the car when you go out? If so you need a buggy that folds up quickly and easily and fits your boot.
- - If you spend time in the countryside you may want to get a more sturdy buggy that you can take off road.
- - If you want to jog with your buggy you may want a three-wheeler.
- - Some buggies come with a separate carry cot or bassinet, if so, will you have room to store it afterwards? Other buggies are designed so that you do not need a carry cot, these are ideal if you live in a smaller flat or house.
- - John Lewis have an excellent service where a dedicated buggy expert can talk you through all the options available. You can make an appointment for this service which is advisable if you are going there at the weekend.
- - It is worth considering a second hand buggy if you want to make a big saving. You can buy a new foot muff or lining instead.
- - We really love Bugaboo! The Bugaboo Bee is small and great for City Life and the Chameleon is good if you are looking for a bigger buggy for out of town use!
- - Essential if you have a baby that does not like to be put down. Put him in the sling whilst you walk around the house going about your day! We really rate the Baby Bjorn one.
- - this does not have to be a special changing bag, you could use an ordinary bag, but buy a travel changing mat to go in here. . These are invaluable for when you are out and about and need to change the baby’s nappy on a pub floor!
Car Seat- suitable for newborn. *
- - You will need this to take baby home from the hospital. Make sure you or your partner know how to install and secure this before you go into labour.
- - You might want to buy adaptors which allow you to fix your car seat to your buggy.
Baby Bouncer *
- – For those nights or days when the bay just won’t sleep. You will be so pleased to be able to rock them with one foot whilst you eat or watch TV!
- – we really rate the Baby Bjorn one
Baby “Gym” *
- - very useful from about 6 weeks- will keep the baby occupied for hours!
Nipple cream *
- - Lanisoh is highly recommended for cracked nipples. You can also just use Vaseline!
Hot/Cold Gel Pads
- - for engorgement when your milk comes in.
- - most women we speak to really rate Medela. Their electric and hand pump are both brilliant.
- – you can never have enough especially if you have a pukey baby!
- – buy one, just incase, even if you intend to breastfeed.
Carton of pre made formula
- - just in case. . If you have a crisis in the middle of the night – or something happens that prevents you from feeding your child, it can save you a trip to the 24hour Tescos!
- – if buying a microwave one, check that it fits your model.
And here is our list of the Top 10 things NOT to buy!
We have asked hundreds of mums..they always come up with the same answers!
- Heated wipe dispenser
- Nasal aspirator
- Bottle warmer
- Special top and tail dish (can just use any normal dish)
- Outfits for newborn
- Nappy bin
- Big pram/buggy
- Toys/Stuffed animals for newborn
- Newborn size bottles
- Baby shoes
Have we missed anything out? Let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our ultimate guide for packing your Hospital Bag