What do you need for your newborn? Hospital and beyond

What are the real essential purchases needed for your newborn?

Planning for your new arrival is exciting. You may well feel there’s a lot to learn about babies, and it’s true that life as a parent involves pretty much non-stop learning. But rest assured it’s of the amazingly rewarding kind!

There are so many products for parents to make use of, helping ease both baby and you into your new life together. The only problem is, all this choice can make working out the essentials vs. the ‘nice to haves’ vs. the ‘stuff I might never end up using’ frankly bamboozling.

At Little Angels, we may live and breathe baby gear but we never advise parents-to-be to buy more than they need or spend more than they can afford.

In this guide we clue you in on the essential newborn items you really need for life with a little one, beginning with at hospital through to starting life together at home. This way, you can shop feeling armed with knowledge about what you do and don’t require. 

Essential newborn items

Pram travel system
A travel system makes journeying with your baby simple, whether on foot, by car or a mix of the two. Travel systems include a carrycot for your newborn baby and a pushchair for use from 6 months right through toddlerhood. It will also be compatible with a selection of Group 0/0+ car seats for easily transporting your baby from car to pushchair without disturbing her.

Rear-facing car seat
Car seats for young babies must be rear-facing by law, and comply with European safety standards. You’ll need a  Group 0/0+ car seat in order to bring your baby home from the hospital, even if you don’t have your own car. Our car seat guideexplains more.

Car seat base
Most parents choose a car seat base to fit their Group 0/0+ car into with ease, knowing they are safely secured. You can, however, use your car’s seat belt to secure the car seat, but the majority of cars are fitted with ISOFIX bars which enable you to use a base that keeps your baby safely in position.

Crib or Moses basket
Your newborn baby can sleep next to your bed in a crib or Moses basket. Cribs are bigger so can be used for longer, and cosleeper cribs can attach to your bed frame. Whereas Moses baskets cost less and can be moved around the house easily. This guide explains more, including pros and cons of both. Once you've decided, you'll also need fitted sheets for your crib or Moses basket and some baby blankets.

Baby monitor
Although guidelines recommend that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first 6 months, there will likely be times you won’t be in the same room. This could be because you’re doing some chores while she naps or grabbing a shower -- either way you’ll want to be able to hear your little one if she wakes and needs you.

Baby swing or bouncer
Before your baby can sit up or move independently, a baby bouncer or swing may well become your new best friend. You can pop your little one in it securely, giving you some hands free time and them an alternative view and entertainment source! Most parents choose either a swing or bouncer to avoid taking up too much space at home.

Car seat adaptors
Car seat adaptors fit to your pram frame/chassis and allow the car seat to be fixed onto it for shorter trips with your baby. Depending on your chosen travel system, car seat adaptors may be included, or added in as part of a bundle package. Just ensure you check when you make your purchase. If buying online, included items and accessories should always be listed on the product page.

Changing bag & mat
Having a baby means temporarily waving bye bye to your compact handbag, but the good news is there are dozens of stylish and smart changing bags on the market that look great as well as having room to stash all of your baby’s essentials. Changing bags also come with a travel mat to let you change your baby’s nappy on the go in comfort.

Feeding equipment
If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, an electric breast pump can be a big help, although you can always purchase this once your baby is here as you may not need it right away. Hospitals have breast pumps for use if you need one there. If you are planning to formula feed, you will need to buy a bottle steriliser, bottles and teets. 

Items for hospital - you and your newborn

Your hospital bag for labour and beyond:

Below we’ve listed the items you’ll be glad you’ve gathered to make your stay in hospital as comfortable as possible.

  • Toiletries bag with toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, comb, shower gel, hair bands/grips, hairbrush, moisturiser and make-up (if you like).
  • Lip balm (gas and air can cause your lips to feel dry).
  • Towels and face flannels
  • Flip flops plus slippers, depending on the time of year
  • Dressing gown and front button pyjamas or nightdresses
  • Maternity pads
  • Breast pads, nursing bras and nipple cream
  • Phone charger
  • Cash/change in case needed for the car park or snack machines
  • Some light snacks and drinks, e.g. cereal bars, Lucozade and water
  • Regular medication
  • Birth plan and maternity notes

And you’ll enjoy packing these tiny items to your hospital bag for when your precious new bundle arrives!

Essential items for your newborn:

  • Babygrows and vests (approx 3-5)
  • Newborn nappies
  • A hat to help prevent your little one losing heat 
  • 2 blankets
  • Scratch mittens (for baby’s hands)
  • Cotton pads and baby wipes

At Little Angels, we’re here to support you on your parenting journey. For help and advice with essential items for your newborn baby, you can visit us in store, call us on 01159305772 using option 2 or get in touch online.