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What Do I Need for my Newborn?

What Do I Need for my Newborn?

If you are expecting your first baby, the list of things to buy can seem overwhelming....and at a time when you're about to lose one income!

The large baby chain stores will give you a long list of their so-called 'essentials'. Of course they will tell you everything is essential - it's in their best interest to help you spend large sums of money on baby products!!!

From our experience, as parents of 4, we believe you don't need half of what big baby stores will try to sell you. And we're firm believers in buying items that make a difference to your baby's well-being, rather than just stuff to fill your house with. The amount of stuff a baby can accumulate is just unbelievable....if you like minimalist decor, don't have a baby!!!


Download our Baby Essentials Checklist or view the below:


Baby's bedroom furniture


  • Bassinet and/or cot - You may want your baby sleeping in your bedroom for the first few months, so we recommend choosing a folding bassinet to take up the smallest possible space. (This will also then fold flat for storage if you are planning another baby at some point!). If you are buying a cot, ensure it meets the NZ standard.

  • A Moses Basket is a great alternative to a bassinet, as they are cheaper and can sit inside your cot or be carried around the house.

  • A change-table is a good idea, as it saves straining your back leaning over. However changing nappies on the floor is also fine and takes away the risk of baby falling off the change table! A nappy caddy and change basket is a great

  • Night-light so you can easily do your night feeds

  • Room thermometer - we love the gro egg, which doubles as a night-light

  • Purchase a new mattress if you are borrowing a cot or bassinet


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Baby Bedding

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 or merino wool. 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!).

  • Sleeping bags 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.


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Swaddling wraps

We recommend all babies are swaddled until they start to show signs of rolling. This will help your baby cry less, fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.

We recommend the following:


  • You will need at least 2 swaddles, as there is not enough time to wash/dry between newborn sleeps.

  • Miracle Blankets are highly recommended for helping babies sleep the longest at night and being easy to use, layer and transition.

  • Consider muslin wraps if your baby is born in summer and you are worried about over-heating. Merino blankets are also good for year round use as they are breathable and newborns aren't good at regulating their temperature. Merino blankets are highly versatile and can also be used as a buggy blanket and more.

  • As your baby grows, our Sleep Store stretch wraps are big enough for babies over about 10 weeks.


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Baby Clothing

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 gowns - look for a decent size head-hole and few or no 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 are ideal for helping to regulate temperature.

  • 2 x stretch n grows (onesies)- good for out and about, when using your car-seat etc.

  • 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.



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Useful sleep and settling accessories



Out and about


  • Stretchy wrap, ring sling or soft structured carriers - 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. Great for hands-free at home.

  • 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 helpful to have, but not essential

...depends on your budget and your baby!