The Things You Really Need To Buy When Having A Baby

My name is Chloe, I’m a stay-at-home mum of four living in London with my husband Lee. 

Our newest arrival Darcie is 11 weeks old and things have changed a lot since having our first child almost nine years ago. I can’t believe the number of new products available! 

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To separate the wheat from the chaff and to prevent you from buying things you’ll either use once and resign to the back of the cupboard or never use at all, I’m going to go through the products I found essential and the ones I felt were not quite necessary. 

Pregnancy Products

A great pair of jeans was essential to my maternity wardrobe. I preferred the high waisted type with a stretchy band and pretty much lived in them during my winter pregnancy. I also needed a maternity coat this time round and I loved H&M for both. For items like jumpers, vests and tops, I found I could wear some of my old clothes and/or just buy a bigger size in standard clothes

A pregnancy pillow was a lifesaver during this pregnancy, I would definitely recommend using one.

Using good creams during pregnancy was also important to me; I got quite itchy if my skin got dry and wanted to do whatever I could to products prevent stretch marks. My favourite was definitely the Mama Mio range.

The Tummy Rub Butter is a thick and moisturising and my kids had fun gently rubbing it into my belly for me. Post-pregnancy I am a fan of Megamama, I feel like it’s helping my skin to replenish itself and return to its former elasticity. The Nipple Balm has been fab post-pregnancy too; I am breastfeeding and use it daily and haven’t needed to use any other products.

Since we already have three children I had a good idea of what was really necessary and which products I’d like to try that weren’t available when I had my previous children.

Sleep

With my other children I had a Moses basket and while these are lovely I always felt like my babies outgrew them very quickly, especially my first weighed 9lb 1oz! I decided to go for the Chicco Next2Me this time - it’s a great size and attaches to the bed, meaning baby can be close to you. As Darcie is breastfed, she ends up in our bed most nights but the Chico Next2Me is a great size and fits the sleepyhead inside.

Speaking of the Sleepyhead. This is one of those products that parents rave about and I felt like I ‘needed’ it. It’s attractive to look at and very versatile as it can be transported easily around the home and used for napping or tummy time. Darcie naps in it sometimes during the day but isn’t a fan at bedtime. She is still young so we will persevere and hope she’ll like it in the future.

Buggy or Carrier?

This is a debate I see quite often, should you push or carry your baby? I think both are equally important. A buggy is great for longer trips, when you have other things to carry and when the weather isn’t great but I also love baby wearing as baby can be close to you, it’s nice and easy to go on public transport and the baby is usually more content being close to you.

I chose the Bugaboo Cameleon as our pushchair, mainly because I was in love with the colour - Grey Melange. It is a dream to push, lightweight and manoeuvres really well.

I also got a stretchy wrap made by Fornessi Studios which is easy to put on and I felt like my newborn baby was very safe and secure. Darcie slept happily for 2 hours against my chest meaning I could get on with the washing up and making World Book Day costumes!

I also have an Ergo Baby Carrier which I have been using recently, it’s very supportive and I can baby wear for hours without my back hurting.

Feeding Essentials:

Breast pads and lots of them. I find most brands are equally good. I wish I’d invested in some reusable ones now as I’m still leaking 11 weeks postpartum.

A supportive bra. When my milk came in my breasts definitely increased in size.

Suitable clothes. I prefer shorts which you can unbutton easily for breastfeeding access and they look great with a pair of skinny jeans. On colder days I wear a jumper with a vest underneath and do the “one up one down” trick so baby can get access to my breasts. On warmer days I prefer tops which have a wrap front, buttons or are stretchy to pull down. 

You can’t have too many muslins - they are great for draping over your shoulder to cover yourself when feeding (if you want to), you can use them to mop up baby sick and /or as a comfort for baby. I have a beautifully soft muslin set from Fofolino – made from double-weave, 100% white cotton making them ever-so cuddly and soft while hard-wearing and durable enough to withstand the spills and thrills of motherhood.

A question lots of mums ask is what do I dress my baby in? The weather is forever changing, since Darcie was born in February we have had minus zero temperatures, snow and very hot days of 29 degrees Celsius!

My essential items for a new baby are:

  • Sleepsuits – buy lots as your baby will be in them the majority of the time
  • Vests – as above 
  • A snowsuit - especially if your baby is born in the colder months 
  • Beware of getting suck into the cute outfits trap. Unless you have a special occasion to attend, where is your baby going to wear said clothes? When my first was born I bought lots of cute outfits and didn’t use the majority of them as comfort comes first.
  • Shoes on non-walking babies are rather pointless, if we were going to a wedding or special occasion I might put some soft pram shoes on my baby but they can’t walk so the shoes are a bit of a waste. 
  • Sun hat - this is something that didn’t really cross my mind. Darcie is 11 weeks old and in her buggy when we’re out, but when I use the baby carrier it’s very important to protect her head from the sun. 
  • Blankets - I bought a lot of cute blankets but Darcie has decided on a favourite and I’ve bought two more of those since she’s been born.

Darcie is only 11 weeks old and she has started teething already! These are the products we have used:

  • Gummee gloves - absolutely amazing, they have little rubber dots on them to massage the gums and protect their hands from getting wet with dribble. 
  • Sophie le Giraffe - so adorable! My son had one of these 8 years ago and they’re as popular now as they were then.

I also have teething necklaces to wear but haven’t needed them yet as she’s too young to be grabbing for things. 

It’s very hard to not go overboard when buying for a new baby. Everything is so cute and you will want the best for your child but remember it is not always necessary. You can always buy things once they are born and you know a bit about them, for example they may settle really well, to be swaddled or like white noise but you can purchase these items once they are born. 

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