This is an area you can spend a fortune on and can easily end up with a lot of things you don't need. Stores are filled with frilly duvets, padded cot bumpers and lots of things which are impractical and in many cases dangerous for newborns.
We recommend you only use natural fibre for baby bedding, either cotton, wool or bamboo is also gaining popularity.
Here's what you need:
Cotton sheets, at least 2 sets to cover washing. Muslin is lovely and cool for the summer.
Mattress protector or underlay, or use a woollen blanket
Wool or cotton blankets - We recommend buying your bassinet size before baby is born and wait until later for cot size. You may decide to use sleeping bags with your baby instead of blankets, meaning you potentially won't end up using the cot size. Choose machine washable blankets if you think you will be short of time (and most of us are!!).
Safe T Sleep - very useful for keeping baby in a safe sleeping position, great for peace of mind if you are worrying about SIDS or a flat head.
Sleeping bag x 2 - once your baby is no longer swaddled, we recommend using a baby sleeping bag rather than sheets and blankets. This means your baby stays warm all night (less likely to wake) and there is no loose bedding to come up over your baby's face.
We recommend all babies are swaddled until their startle reflex wears off, which is usually at 3-4 months. This will help your baby cry less, fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. So this is not an area to cut corners on!!
We recommend the following
You will need at least 3 swaddles, as there is not enough time to wash/dry between newborn sleeps.
1-2 Miracle Blankets, as these are easily the best wrap for helping babies sleep the longest at night
- Consider muslin wraps if your baby is born in summer and you are worried about over-heating.
As your baby grows, our Sleep Store stretch wraps are big enough for babies over about 10 weeks.
We recommend you don't buy a lot of baby clothing to start with, as it's the most common thing you will receive for baby gifts. Unless you know you are having a very small baby, buy your clothing from 000 and bigger. The 0000 or newborn size will only fit for a few weeks.
Look for practical garments that are as simple as possible to dress your baby in. Babies often hate being dressed and undressed, and will likely be screaming at this point, plus it will take a few weeks for you to be confident with getting those little arms and legs inside.
As with your bedding, choose items made from cotton, merino or bamboo. We do not recommend dressing your baby in fleece or polyester, and definitely do not use synthetic clothing when your baby is sleeping, as they are more likely to overheat. Use light layers of clothing rather than thick garments. Remember to keep your baby's head uncovered when baby is sleeping.
By the time your baby is a few weeks old, you will be busting to go shopping and get a few more items, especially if you didn't know the sex of your baby!
Here's an idea of what you will need:
3-4 bodysuits, choose long-sleeve for winter and short-sleeve for summer. Cotton or merino is great for winter. Styles that wrap across the body rather than over the head are easier to put on.
2 x night-gowns - look for a decent size head-hole and few buttons/domes. Gowns are far easier to put on and change nappies with than stretch n grows, and are best for sleeping. Merino or cotton.
2 x stretch n grows- good for out and about, when using your car-seat etc.
2 x cardigans - apart from mid summer, your baby will need a warmer layer at night and when you are out. Choose a light wool for your outer layer. Machine washable is essential!!!
Bibs are handy for spilly babies as it reduces your washing!
Socks or booties that stay on. Get several pairs in the same colour/style, so you can always find a pair.
Hats - close fitting beanies are best, look for soft merino or cotton. You will also need a sunhat with a brim in summer.
Sleep and settling accessories
Out and about
- Stretchy wrap, ring sling or front-pack - useful for carrying baby in places where a pushchair won't fit, or if you have a baby who wants to be carried and cuddled a lot.
- Pushchair - find one that lays flat, so you can use it when your baby is tiny.
- Baby Capsule - only worth buying one rather than renting if you plan on more than one baby!
- Click n go wheels for your baby capsule, so you don't need to carry your baby capsule around (they are heavy and will wreck your back!!).
Other things which are useful but not essential
...depends on your budget and your baby!
Play-gym for baby to lie under and roll round on
Baby bath - essential if you don't have a big bath, but babies love to go in the bag bath with mum or dad.
Click here to read more about useful products for settling newborn