Newborn Essentials List

For first time mothers and fathers,  this would be very precious moments knowing that the anticipation will all end very soon.  This is the time also, that you must begin to prepare for the coming of the baby.  The baby will be solely dependent on the mother and father for the first few weeks. That doesn't mean buying every piece of high-tech equipment and adorable baby outfit under the sun before baby is born, but you will need to make sure you have a few basic essentials (see newborn essentials list below) from day one.


Once the baby arrives, there will be very little time initially to spend as a couple.  You will also experience a lot of sleepless nights because of your baby.  Take time out to have an afternoon nap and sleep well.  If possible take a short holiday in the second trimester it may be a holiday for a while. Go for a pre-delivery holiday.


Other preparations include getting the house ready for the baby.  First things first.  You have to decide on the sleeping arrangement of the baby.  Here are some points to consider. 


1. Is the baby going to sleep with you?


There are 2 schools of thoughts on this.  Most Eastern cultures then to have the baby sleep with them whereas, the Western culture would generally advocate that the babies be kept separate from the parents.

There are pros and cons either way.  For starters, if you are planning to sleep with your baby, you may want to do a bit of reading in your bed before sleeping.  This may disturb the baby's sleep. Or, you may find that her every grunt, wriggle and squeak can keep you awake. And sleeping in a room that is warm enough for a newborn baby can be somewhat claustrophobic. There are advantages, however. Sleeping with your baby means that you know you'll hear her when she wakes and you don't have to stagger far to feed her (especially if you are breastfeeding, because you want to disrupt your sleep as little as possible). The baby will feel more secure knowing that her mommy is beside her, and be there for her when she needs some comfort.


2. Newborn Essentials List



Until your baby is about size months old, or unable to sit up, he can sleep in a Moses basket, carrycot, pram body or cradle. Anything, in fact, that she feels secure and comfortable in and which protects him from draughts. Whatever your choice, make sure that you baby sleeps on a firm mattress and non-wobbly surface.



By about size months of age, or when he can sit up, your baby will need a full-size cot. This should have a safety catch to prevent the sides being let down; and the vertical bars should be spaced close enough together to prevent any chance of the baby getting his head stuck. The cot should be sturdy enough to stand up to vigorous shaking; there should be no harmful inner projections and no horizontal bars which could be used as a step-ladder for climbing out! Any paint used should be lead-free. In this cot, you will need:

  • Mattress

  • Waterproof sheets

  • Bedding

  • Blankets

  • Continental Quilts

  • Sleeping bags (for travelling)




When choosing a pram, it is necessary to consider a few points. Firstly,  where you live (in a house or in a walk up apartment, how old is your baby, where would you take the pram.

If you live in an apartment or a hilly area, you should pick a pram that is relatively light to push and void of any heavy parts. You should also choose one that has smaller wheels. You may want to pick pram with big wheels if you stay in an area with lots of roads to cross.  Of course the overhead is that the pram would be on the heavy side.


Other things to consider are the height of the pram.  If you pick a pram that is higher, the chances of breathing in dust or pollution  from the road is less. It is also easier to attend to the baby and keep away over friendly animals.


You will also need to consider how easy is it to close and open the pram.  Dismantle and fix the hood.  Choose a pram that is light and easy.  However,  remember that a light weight pram may not be the most comfortable for the baby in the long run.  the lighter the pram,  less suspension and more bumpy.


Also, you may want to consider a pram that is capable to face you.  (Some prams do not have this capability)


Do also consider the safety aspect of the pram like can the brakes be reached easily? how is the road holding with one hand (can you push with one hand).  Harness attachments must be safely anchored and the pram must be strong enough not to tip over when rocked by a baby. If you expect to carry heavy shopping, then look for a model which will safely support a pram tray. The harness should be designed to go over the baby's shoulders and fastened so that he cannot stand up. Are the pram and harness large enough to use until your baby is ready for a pushchair ?


Here are some prams in the market that are on sale.




All the items mentioned above and on the page can be bought secondhand through advertisements in local newspapers, clinics, through friends. Always remember to look at the goods carefully, looking for safety such as splintered wood, flaking paint and the possibility of needing replacement parts.



Choose the purest kind of toilet soap, perfume, and always rinse it off with water. There are plenty of choices in the market today.  For safety sake always try a little on the arm first, to see if there may be any allergic reaction. To start out the items for your baby's bath time,  these are some of the items that you may need to consider: 


baby shampoo
cotton-wool for cleaning the face and buttocks
soft towels
cotton swabs for umbilicus
cream for buttocks.
Talcum powder is not essential and dangerous if a toddler inhales it.


A new baby needs to be dressed in several layers of light clothing rather than a few bulky garments.

A basic layette consists of:
2 dozen nappies
3 pairs of plastic pants
3 stretch suits or long gowns
3 cotton or cotton and wool vests
2 cardigans
2 hats
2 pairs of mittens (for cold weather)
1 shawl
2 angel tops
2 blankets
3 cot sheets
3 pram sheets and z pram blankets 
6 terry-towelling bibs

When choosing a layette, avoid garments that are made entirely of man-made fibres. These cutoff the supply of air, do not allow a baby's skin to breathe, cause perspiration and are not as warm as natural fibres. Stretch suits are fine but make sure that they are roomy enough for the baby to move freely. Choose simple, shift-style nightgowns with raglan sleeves. Choose cardigans made from a closely worked pattern which button all the way up. Avoid jumpers until your baby is happy to have things pulled over his head.



Even if you are breastfeeding, you will need at least two bottles for. the occasional feed,  and for water.  if you are
bottle-feeding, you will need between four six bottles . See Newborn Baby for more information on bottles, teats and sterilizing equipment needed.

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