Top essentials for newborns 0-3 months Eat, Sleep, Health, Hygiene, Work / Play / Leisure, Clothes, Transport Suitable for stages: 0 - 3 Months
Whilst practical items sound very boring as potential gifts, they are the essential tools that you'll be thankful to have on hand to help make early parenting life run more smoothly.
A great way to gather everything you need is to become a member to start adding items to your BabyPeg page, then begin to share with/invite friends and family. If you are here because you are looking for gift ideas for a special pregnant person or new parent in your life, let them know about BabyPeg and read on for loads of great and useful gift ideas.
Creating a BabyPeg page when you are pregnant is a great way to communicate both what you have collected so far, and what you still need. Don't underestimate just how many nappies, wipes, food and laundry you will go through. Whilst some items you will not want 'double-ups' of, extras of the essentials will always come in handy and having plenty of offers of help will make life so much easier when you are getting to know your baby in the 'fourth trimester'.
Here's our list of essential items to start adding to your 'nest'. We would love to hear from you if we have missed anything, so make sure you are logged in and you can comment at the end of the article. Here goes...
Nappies (Cloth Modern Cloth Nappies/Cloth squares/eco/disposable or any combination of these)
The first thing you need to figure out is how you want to manage your baby's nappy hygiene needs. Check out our Nappies buying guide to discover and know what you need. If you are using disposables, start with a large box of newborn nappies, but be careful not to over-buy the newborn nappies, they grow so fast and you would rather the nappy be too big than too small. If people want to buy you nappies, they are better to buy you the next size up that can be grown into.
If you are loving the idea of a cloth bum, this will take some trial and error to find the best brand and fit for your baby. This will be worth it though to build your stash that can last for years and across all your children. Even if you don't use cloth nappy squares as nappies, these are perfect-sized absorbent towels for multi-purpose uses including spit-ups, spills and mopping up nappy explosions. Best to always have these on hand...
Wipes (reusable/disposable or combination)
Wipes will be your new best friend as a parent, and they come in handy for all stages of parenting. There are options when it comes to wipes, including eco disposable and eco reusable options. To help figure out what you will use, check out our Wipes Buying Guide. You can add your favourite brand and type of wipes to your BabyPeg page to help grow your stash and help your village know what you use.
When introduced early, and where the carrier is comfortable for you and your baby, a baby carrier can be an absolute god-send. These are the saviour of parental tired-from-carrying-arms and the 'nap-trapped' unable to get anything else done times. If you don't discover the freedom a good carrier can give you for your first baby, you will definitely discover or rediscover the carrier benefits for your next baby/ies. When you have more than one, you are too busy and are needed in too many ways to not have a carrier.
Carriers have a multitude of benefits for your baby and are a great alternative to them spending too much time in 'containers' such as swings, bouncers, moulded seats or prams (which can be great for certain circumstances but should only be used sparingly). The first thing you need to do is decide on the type of carrier that will suit your needs, then when you buy your first carrier, it may be that you later consider buying more than one for different uses. Make sure you can safely use it from the newborn stage, then introduce it when your baby is happy. Most babies will love the cuddle, the sound of your heartbeat and the movement.
Padded surface for changing and tummy time
You'll need to put your baby down to change their clothes, and nappy and to give them playtime including time on their tummy. It certainly helps keep babies comfortable if you have a padded but firm surface to put them down onto. When at home, you might want a dedicated change table with a padded change mat on top, or you can just buy the change mat and use it on a table, bench or on the floor (whilst you kneel down in front). It could be handy to have more than one change station set up in the house such as one in a bedroom or bathroom and another in a living area. You'll want to set up these change stations with everything you'll need to change the nappy - here's where a good nappy caddy can come in handy.
When out and about, you never know when you are going to need to change nappy or soiled clothes, for this, a Portable/Travel Changing Pads/Mat is invaluable to have on hand. For tummy time or floor play, a padded surface in the form of a play mat will get heaps of use. This will get spewed on more times than you would like to think is possible, so make sure it is easily wiped down and/or washable.
To look after that soft (and sensitive) baby skin, you need a good nappy cream that is going to form a barrier against urine and number 2s on baby's skin. After trying most of the zinc barrier creams on the market, the one we kept going back to was Desitin but there are so many on the market which come highly recommended including WELEDA Calendula Nappy Change Cream. Check out the below topic links and the amazing natural products available.
One thing is for sure, you don't have enough hands as a parent - not ever! For keeping the essentials handy when travelling or visiting different places, you are going to need a bag. A bag that you can carry on your back, rather than off one shoulder is always going to work best when your hands are full and ultimately give you fewer hassles. You can keep it basic and opt for a regular backpack, or spend a bit more and get a nappy backpack which would usually have a lot more pockets and compartments to keep everything to some degree of organised (as much as possible when you have your hands full with a baby). Consider choosing a unisex colour so that both you and your partner feel comfortable wearing it when out and about.
In those first weeks post-birth, you need nourishing and healing foods but are likely to have nil desire or energy to prepare meals. You can live off snacks for only so long and it is not recommended when you are recovering and trying to establish a milk supply. Why not ask for a meal train for those first weeks to a month? Your friends and family can nominate dish/es and delivery dates so that meals arrive at different times. If you don't want to ask this of friends and family, there are some great meal services you can order and have on hand that only need re-heating. You can go with a mainstream family meals service option or a service that specialises in post-partum meals. Click on the below image (make sure you are logged in) to add the "Homemade or ready-made Meals Help" peg to your page.
Babies have so many tiny clothes that they soil through so fast for many leaky reasons. You yourself might find that you go through many more clothes than usual for postpartum leaky reasons too. Seeing the laundry pile up whilst you are developing a bond with your baby and recovering during those first 3 months particularly, can challenge your sanity and mental health. Don't be afraid to ask for help with tasks such as laundry so you can prioritise your and your baby's health. What help you actually want with your laundry will look different for each new mother and will depend on:
- your laundry set up: in-house, external laundry, or shared laundry space
- If you have family or a paid service nearby that you trust to take the washing away and bring it back or a drop-off/pick-up service (you may want to make sure they use a laundry powder/detergent suitable for sensitive skin)
- Or if you prefer to just have someone come over to help with parts of or all of the laundry process at your place. If this is the case, it could be handy to prepare a washing instruction sheet for someone unfamiliar with your set-up. This would be especially useful if you are using cloth nappies, as they need a good wash routine including pre-washes.
Whatever the help looks like, you don't know what is possible until you ask. Consider what paid services are around that you can tap into as needed, or regularly such as a nappy laundering service, general laundering service, or a paid cleaner who will do laundry tasks as part of their duties.
Click on the below image (make sure you are logged in) to add the "Laundry Help" peg to your page.
Safe sleep surface
A bassinet is not something you must have, and they will grow out of it before you know it, but it is great to have for the newborn up to mobile baby stage. Once they are mobile, it will be time to upsize their bed. Bedside bassinets keep baby close at night as reassurance for baby as much as parents and are great for encouraging a continued breastfeeding relationship. Check out the below topic articles and save the bassinet item to your member page as a reminder to pick out the bassinet option best for you.
Waterproof/absorbent pad (for floor/bed/car seat)
One thing is for sure, babies are leaky! Having a newborn is also a cause of leaky mothers too. For this reason, it is worth investing in waterproof and absorbent protectors for your mattresses, fabric furniture and carpeted floors. Investing in a protector or two will save you time, anxiety and money in the long run. It's always good to have at least one spare per bed which you can layer up in case you need to strip the bed in the middle of the night or to have one in the wash.
In the newborn months, your baby sleeps and wakes a lot and has poor body temperature regulation when not in-arms. For their comfort and warmth when asleep and out and about, it's handy to have a collection of wraps and baby blankets that you can use to cover and swaddle your baby. These also double as shade covers for the pram (only if well-ventilated), nursing covers for breastfeeding in public and to mop up spit-ups and spills as needed. The thickness of the fabrics you choose will be dependent on the season and your climate. For summer babies, the Aden + Anais wraps are lightweight, soft and breathable. For winter babies, you may opt for warmer fabrics such as wool or flannelette/brushed cotton.
Before going out and buying fitted swaddle sleeping bags, test out how your baby tolerates being wrapped using a traditional wrapping method. If your baby immediately settles, invest in some good quality fitted swaddles, if they cry-fuss and won't stop moving until they Houdini out of there, consider following their lead and go for a looser sleeping bag for sleep times. Swaddles are often marketed as being beneficial in inhibiting the startle reflex which is known to wake and unsettle babies initially. Consider, however, there is also an argument for letting the startle reflex activate naturally so that this primitive reflex can fully integrate and resolve.
Convertible Car seat - you could go for a dedicated rearward-facing seat, but your baby will grow out of it within the first year (as a general rule). For longevity, a convertible seat will get you through to the booster seat stage, with some also working as a booster seat until age 8. Keep in mind that the 0-4 car seats, will fit better during the younger years and from 4 years onwards, a booster seat is relatively inexpensive to buy new and easy to swap between cars as needed. If you know what type of car seat you will be going with, why not peg the related topic article while you narrow down your search for the perfect seat?
When you are preparing to meet your baby, the first thing you might think of buying is a new set of wheels! Generally, the pram is where the dads can enjoy getting involved to work out the best wheels and suspension to get for the baby. Whilst a great pram can be valuable, it will depend on your lifestyle and where you live as to how often you will actually use it. You may get more use out of a wrap/baby carrier, and find that your baby prefers to be carried rather than in the pram. If you think you will need and use a pram from day one with baby, it's worth getting this ahead of the birth, however, alternatively, it could be worth waiting, having a great carrier first and then taking baby out pram shopping. Prams/strollers can get very expensive so it's worth doing the research and knowing what features you need before putting your money into it. If you find the perfect pram, why not add it to your member page? You never know who might want to contribute a share to help you get it home faster. Check out the below guide to help you get started on what to look for to match a pram to your lifestyle.
Exercise balls or swiss balls, are great for pregnancy, birthing, newborn settling, fun exercises to do with baby, and are just fun to play on and work on core strength at any age. You will use this ball as a family many times over, and won't regret buying a good quality one.
Other miscellaneous buys/ideas
The list of things you can use when you have a newborn is basically endless and what you actually use will depend on how you like to do things, your baby and their temperament, and the environments you move through and live in. Some of the low-cost and handy items you may want to add to your BabyPeg page might include:
- Breast pads - these will save you a heap of washing, including to help your bras last longer between washes and make it easier for you to freshen up after you have leaks
- Water bottle - if you thought you were thirsty during pregnancy, the first months post-birth can be just as bad. To help your body to heal and for a healthy milk supply, you'll need a constant ready supply of water. The best way to get it is to have a reliable water bottle you can keep refilling which is easy to clean. Keep your bottle with a healthy supply of snacks, and you'll be winning.
- Baby bottles - Even best-laid plans for breastfeeding and even with full-time feeding, it's a good idea to have a baby bottle or 2 on hand. There might be times when baby needs to have pumped milk or formula from a bottle and it may need to happen at short notice, so you want to be prepared. Lots of baby bottles have interchangeable tops, so the same bottle can be used across multiple stages, including the range from Cherub Baby. Another option is to go for a Haakaa silicone breast pump with a compatible bottle top.
- Lactation consultant - One thing is for sure, breastfeeding is a skill and there are many pitfalls that can challenge any breastfeeding relationship and success rates. Having access to the right help at the right time is invaluable, which is why saving the below info so you can find it quickly when you need it, is highly recommended.
- NoseFrida/nasal aspirator - when baby has a blocked nose, you'll want to help them clear it to get back to their natural state of nose breathing. That's where a nasal aspirator comes in. At least have a manual option on hand such as the NoseFrida by Fridababy or you can opt for a battery-operated option which many users swear by.
- bucket/baby bath - You'll need something to bath baby in, but you may not need to buy a baby bath - see our related article for ideas on where to bath baby and what you might need
- nail scissors/Snail Nail - baby's nails grow incredibly fast and they can be very sharp despite their innocent appearance. You'll need to keep on top of the nail cutting when baby is still small as they have a knack for scratching their faces when they sleep or are upset. See our related article for ideas on what to buy to manage baby's nails.
- Rattles/black and white toys - there are all sorts of cute baby rattles and toys available from newborn age onwards. Make sure to check the label and description to ensure it states suitable from 0+ years. Newborns have poor vision at first and it is easier for them to discriminate black and white, so always look for high-contrast colours for your newborn toys such as Sophie La Girafe Teether. Check out the following retailers to find a huge range of baby toys: Lime Tree Kids, Toy Universe, Toymate & Oz Game Shop. Also check out our article below for more ideas:
And this list could go on and you can have fun picking out items for your baby, but this should get you started and give some ideas for those wanting to buy Mum and Bub something for the baby shower or to celebrate the birth.
Keep in touch, we'd love to hear how you go. Let us know if this was helpful or leave a comment (available option when you are logged in) to let us know what your essential items include.
Please note: Above all, any information on this website aims to provide general ideas for informational and educational purposes only. We encourage users to investigate several information sources, including, where necessary, independent individualised medical advice before making any decisions that could affect you or your child’s health or wellbeing.
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