Newborn Essentials

Newborn Essentials: What do you really need for the baby?

Everyone wants to give you advice, but what do you really need? It is a minefield working out the essentials.

What are newborn essentials? When I was pregnant I found it all a bit of minefield.

University friends would claim one thing was the best invention since sliced bread. My sister-in-law would claim something else was the next best thing. And then someone completely random, normally some worn out female City worker mum on my train home from work, would claim that product z was the one thing I had to buy. It was a bloody minefield.

Seriously working out what is necessary is hard. Everyone has their own idea on what is really and truly necessary. I thought it might be an idea to write, postpartum, about what I found handy. I am no expert. But just a mummy that is, in reality, crying in the shower because she doesn’t feel good enough {seriously}. But hopefully, my suggestions my assist some of you.


It is funny isn’t it. Before Bump arrived I used to think it would be easy to make a baby sleep. I mean, we all sleep just about anywhere if we are tired, so why wouldn’t a baby, right? Well lots of friends decided, pre-birth, they would set up different places to sleep. Crib in the bedroom, Moses basket in the lounge, Sleepyhead in the kitchen, Maxi-Cosi for the car. You get the gist. Of course, guess what, the little sprig arrives and it won’t sleep anywhere but on you! Skin on skin sounded so amazing at NCT but the reality…well that is entirely different!

I have digressed.

My husband and I were both put down to sleep in a chest of drawers  and it served us well. Of course we were both Generation X (just) children and that was the sort of thing that was done “back in the day”. So that is what we did with Bump……… of course, we did not. Bloody hell, who are we kidding. If Mr John Lewis tells us we need something because it will make Bump a more rounded individual then, being the suckers that we are, we are jumping on that bandwagon.

The other amazing discovery that we made was the Baby Box. This is a Finnish thing. Apparently anything from Scandinavia is trendy. So by default, having access to a Baby Box is trendy. I seriously didn’t realise this was the case until I did an Instagram post about our Baby Box. Que numerous enquiries about how I’d been so lucky to get my hands on a Baby Box. I seriously felt like I had the one and only iPhone X in my hand.

The West Berkshire Baby Box, filled with lots of goodies.

The reality was not quite so cool. It turns out our local NHS Trust is offering Baby Boxes to all expectant Mum’s in the area provided you complete an online course. I did the course and four weeks later the box arrived. Bump loves it. To be fair, I wouldn’t bother spending dosh on a Moses basket. If your local NHS Trust offers a Baby Box just use that. If they don’t offer one, just go and get a cheap Moses basket and brand new mattress etc. off Amazon.


I have written before {see here}  about how Bump was our rainbow baby. I therefore didn’t get too excited and run off purchasing bits and bobs for Bump once we passed the twelve week scan. As the weeks progressed though it was just too tempting to purchase cute baby clothes.

We didn’t know the sex of Bump, so we were helped by the fact that gender neutral clothes are less common in shops than your traditional boy/girl colours. Anyway we did go over board, looking back, on the number of clothes we purchased.

What I hadn’t appreciated was how many people would buy us clothes for Bump! He is very lucky. Not only that we have had clothes passed to us by friends too. We have been gifted lots of clothes for 0-3 months, 3-6 months and some for 6-9 months. Which all works rather well as we focused our buying on newborn.

One place I would recommend checking out is your local NCT nearly new sale. Where we live we have an excellent sale and we managed to pick up some great bargains (hello Little White Company jumpers purchased for a £1).  I am beginning to realise though that he won’t be in any of his clothes long, they grow so quickly!

Check out local nearly new sales, we shall be heading to our next NCT one in November.

BOAM’s Top Tip for clothes is just don’t buy too much because lots of people will buy you (well the baby) clothes and in my opinion there is no need to spend too much given how quickly they grow out of them. Also do check out nearly new sales, such as those run by the NCT.


This is one area that we did spend a fair chunk of money.  You can’t really avoid paying lots really, your baby’s safety is the main priority.

I will be honest here, we did the typical middle class thing, saved our pennies, and decided to go with the top of the range items. We were,I guess, suckered in by the marketing, the fact that we (stupidly) thought that by buying the top of range that you are buying a much safer and better product.

I fully appreciate there are loads of options on the market and that people have different budgets. Something that I should have remembered is that all these items go through rigorous testing. So the £1,200 latest Bugaboo will be just as safe as a less expensive high street equivalent.

The buggy

We went for a Bugaboo. I wasn’t even present when this was purchased. I happened to be visiting my best friend and my husband was visiting his parents. He went shopping to John Lewis and was lucky enough to find an ex-display Bugaboo Cameleon 3 in navy. Now we didn’t know what Bump was but we decided that navy was pretty gender neutral. They took the buggy hope me that day. Apparently, my husband then spent the rest of the cleaning the bugaboo and polishing it so that it didn’t look like it had been sat in a shop for months being poked and prodded by expectant mummies.

The Bugaboo Cameleon 3 which we purchased, but they all do the same thing.

BOAM’s Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask if the display model is for sale. We have had a lot of success with this approach. Not just with the buggy but also with large items of furniture we have purchased for our home. If you time it right (normally at the end of a season (yes there are seasons for buggies…who knew)), you will find shops wanting to bring in new display models and selling off previous display models on the cheap.

Car travel system

What a mind field car seats are. ISOFIX, ISIZE, Base this, seatbelt that. My mind was blown.

I won’t lie it took us a couple of months to actually understand all the terminology. We decided that as an investment (if we are to have more children), we would ensure the car seat met the most recent legislation requirements.

I appreciate there are a lot of brands making car seats but being ever so predictable we ended up going down the Maxi Cosi route.I don’t really have much to say about the car seat if I am honest.

We opted for the Maxi-Cosi but they all have to meet the same standards so it really comes down to personal preference.

Please though ladies, don’t go buying second hand off Ebay. You don’t know the history of the car seat. It really isn’t worth it.


Anything else? (ignoring cots and Moses baskets)

Ultimately, if you really think about it, you don’t really need anything else. There are, admittedly, lots of things that might make your life easier, for example, changing mat, muslins, toys, baby gyms, the list could go on.

We realised after a trip to the baby show, that there are lots of companies out there who are geared towards selling you everything under the sun that you think you might need. And I have to admit that we have bought lots of the other extras but does Bump know, no, does it make our life easier, yes.

Everyone is different and I guess each person will prioritise, in terms of extras, what is important to them.

What did you find that was essential? Did you get something that you then never used? What did you buy that you then found was invaluable?

Penny x

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