The Only New Baby Shopping List You'll Need | Modern Mummy

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Only New Baby Shopping List You'll Need

I looooooove writing lists. There's something so satisfying about ticking things off as and when you do/buy them. 

When you get knocked up you are given MILLIONS of opportunities to write LOADS of different ones - The Maternity Clothes Essentials List, The Hospital Bag List, The Baby Names List, The Baby Shopping List. I'm going to write about them all on Modern Mummy over the upcoming months but today I'm going to focus on The New Baby Shopping List. Brace yourselves for a very long post!

When I fell pregnant with Daisy I was bombarded with ready written lists of stuff I HAD to buy. In baby books, pregnancy magazines, on websites. Signing up for the numerous baby clubs resulted in heaps of junk mail being emailed and posted out to me, each advertising the latest baby 'essential'. It is so easy to get carried away and buy one (or more!) of everything when you're a first time mum-to-be. Chances are you still have a decent disposable income and it's likely that, once bambino arrives, your finances will never be quite the same again. If you're like I was and you're not out buying new shoes every weekend anymore, you'll still have the urge to spend your hard earned cash on something shiny and new, and hunting out Baby Stuff can get a bit obsessive.

As a mum of one, and soon-to-be mum of two, I've compiled this list with the help of hindsight - plus the input of lots of people and publications - and genuinely believe it to be the most comprehensive and sensible list about at the moment. If you want a printer friendly version, feel free to ping me an email here and I'll send you out a word document.

I have divided the list into sub-categories and annotated it with some personal comments which I hope will help you make up your mind whether to buy certain things or not.


* Pram/pushchair (suitable from birth) - and raincover
There are SO MANY to choose from, with prices ranging from tens of pounds to thousands of pounds (no joke!). It's entirely up to you which one you go for and how much you spend, of course, but a few things to take into consideration are:
- if you are going to be using public transport a lot, will it fit onto buses/trains etc ok?
- if you are a driver, will it fit into your car boot?
- how easy is it to fold up?
- is it lightweight?
- if you are planning a large family, can it convert into a double in the future?
- how much shopping/luggage can the basket/handles carry?
I would recommend going to a large department store and taking as many prams as you can for a 'test drive' before choosing - and then shop around for the best price. Make sure you do this fairly early on too, as some companies require 12+ weeks notice for orders, particularly on new models that are being released.
Most prams on the market include a raincover, but double check as a few don't. Also if you are buying second hand your seller might not be including one. It's not the end of the world as universal ones are available from department stores and on websites such as Amazon.

* Pram blankets/buggy footmuff  
Very often the matching, branded pram footmuffs are expensive - and they are not essential. You can get gorgeous loose and fitted blankets at a fraction of the price which do exactly the same job. Buggy Snuggle is a great example of a universal footmuff that is available in loads of different colours and patterns to match whichever pram you have.

* Car seat 
Obviously an essential if you have a car; not so essential if you don't! Once you've had your baby, hospitals - quite rightly - won't let you leave in a car without one. 
One related purchase we made for Daisy was a car seat base (a base that is permanently fixed to iso-points inside the car, which means the car seat just has to click into place to be fixed securely, rather than being fixed into place with seat belts every time). I must confess that I thought this was a bit of a gadget originally and, at £100, was a really frivolous spend but it turned out to be one of my best baby buys and saved so much time and stress. Watching friends struggle with seatbelts and worry that their babies weren't strapped in properly made me uber grateful that I splurged on a base.

* Moses basket & stand/crib - and moses/crib sheets 
If you have a friend or family member that can loan you a moses basket and stand, I would defo recommend it. Babies are only in moses baskets for three (ish) months - Daisy was only in hers for a matter of weeks as she liked to sleep in a star shape and it was too small for her. If you are buying your own then keep an eye open for sales and baby events, or even buy second hand - you can always buy a brand new mattress to replace an old one. Moses baskets are handy as it means you can carry a sleeping baby into different rooms of the house - obviously you can't do this with heavy wooden cribs and cots.
It goes without saying that you will also need bedding to go with your moses basket/crib - and it's worth noting that most moses basket sheets also fit the matresses in pram carrycots.

*Cot/Cotbed - and sheets
Once your small person has outgrown his or her moses basket or crib, they will need a cot. I would recommend spending a little bit more and getting a cotbed (a cot with removable sides that turns into a toddler bed and will last until he or she is five years old). Otherwise you will have the additional expense of purchasing a bed once your child has outgrown his or her cot. For us this was at eighteen months, when madam worked out how to scale the sides but hadn't mastered the art of landing on the bedroom floor gracefully. We made the decision to remove the cot sides so that she couldn't climb out and hurt herself in the middle of the night.
Again, bedding is essential - and a cot bumper is a good idea to prevent bumped heads in the event you have a little wriggler on your hands. 

*Changing bag and travel changing mat
We truly are spoilt for choice when it comes to changing bags. And why not? A woman with a handbag addiction is blatantly going to be interested in changing bags and prepared to spend a fortune. But the truth is, you don't have to. The Boots Parenting Club give you a free one when you join, which is perfectly adequate, albeit a bit ugly. 
My personal opinion? Treat yourself. It will become your new handbag; there's no point in carrying both around. You will have it with you all day, every day. So make sure you choose something durable and something you like! I made the mistake of going for a plain black iCandy one (to match my purple iCandy pram) when Daisy was little. My reasoning? Himself wouldn't want to carry a Cath Kidston stylee one around. Errrrrrrr, needless to say I shouldn't have worried. I can count on one hand the number of times he went out with the changing bag. This time round I am going GIRLIE.

* Baby Monitor
Daisy is two and a half and I still use mine. After much research at the time, I opted for the Angelcare monitor with movement detector (although I never actually set the movement detector mat up!). I have spoken to lots of new mums recently and this still seems to be the monitor of choice.
Monitors can be quite pricey but aren't essential from birth as baby will most likely be sleeping in with you for a good few months. Keep your eye open for deals and if you don't come across one when your due date is looming, hold tight! You will be so dissapointed if you discover you've missed out on a half price sale and the monitor you bought a few months previously is still in its box. 

FEEDING ESSENTIALS (for bottle feeding mamas)++
++I bottle fed Daisy and so feel unable to advise adequately on breast feeding. For more information on this feeding method, please visit my lovely friend Shannon's website, Birth Origins. Shannon is a neonatal nurse, as well as being a registered Doula in the US and is very passionate and knowledgeable about breast feeding.

* Bottles, bottle brushes and sterilisers
For bottle feeding mamas, obvs, plus those mamas planning on combination feeding. 
Surprise surprise, there are loads out there to choose from - lots of long established, well known brands that your mums will remember, as well as lots of new brands with new, well researched theories behind their main selling points. Some people suggest buying a selection of bottles to see which ones your baby prefers, although I didn't and we didn't have any problems. 
If you are planning on combination feeding, teats that resemble your bosoms (mmm!) are a good idea (there are lots on the market) so that your mini me doesn't get confused when alternating between breast and bottle.
When it comes to sterilising, you have a choice between using steam (electric or microwave sterilisers), cold water (using tablets such as Milton) and boiling your bottles, so you don't actually have to buy a steriliser when you buy your bottles, although it definitely is the quickest and easiest option.
There are ALWAYS sales and deals on that include bottle and sterilising kits, Boots and Mothercare in particular have regular half price sales! If you want to try different bottles out before forking out on a full kit from the same brand, there are plenty of universal sterilisers out there too.

* Muslins and/or bibs
From a personal point of view, I much preferred muslins to bibs, pre-weaning. They are bigger, easier to put on your baby when feeding, and can be used for so much more than just to protect clothes from milk spillages and baby sick! I would recommend buying lots - I had about twenty and always had some in my changing bag. Supermarkets seem to be the cheapest place to buy them; although they are priced at less on some websites, by the time you take postage into account you would be better off picking a couple of packets up next time you're doing the weekly shop.


* Clothes
Most websites recommend 6 of everything (I have no idea why!). I recommend 14 of everything!!! Never underestimate the destructiveness of sick and poo! You will most likely get through two or three outfit changes a day, on a bad day it could be twice as much. My shopping list will include 14 babygros and 14 vests (the extra layer is essential for winter babies), a snowsuit or two, a cardigan or two, hats galore (both woolly for outside and soft cotton for inside - you lose most of your heat through your head and this counts for teeny tiny babies that have been used to 99.86 degree farenheit heat inside your womb too).

*Nappies and wipes etc
Whether you have opted for disposable or reuseable, you will need a stash of these ahead of your baby's arrival. I wouldn't go too crazy buying one brand, in case you or your baby don't get on with it.
I would recommend unperfumed wipes for sensitive skin (most are ,but double check) and once you've found your favourite then buy in bulk. The more you buy, the cheaper a packet works out as - and this is outside of special offers. Pampers Sensitive are £2.49 a packet in Tesco, or twelve packs for £14.99. During the Baby & Toddler Event, you can get two boxes of 12 packs for £20. Super bargain.  Especially when you realise just how many of these bad boys you get through.
Some people prefer to use cotton wool and water, which I did for the first few weeks, but was a useless combination when out and about!
Nappy sacks are also an essential. Milk poo stinks. Much worse than you can possibly imagine!++

++ For more info on cloth nappies, wander over to The Petit Mom. Helen, the Official Modern Mummy Cloth Nappy Correspondent, is a self confessed cloth nappy addict and THE person to speak to with any questions you might have! 

After my car seat base purchase, my discovery of Gro-bags and subsequent investment in MANY was definintely one of my best baby buys. Gro-bags are like little sleeping bags for your baby's body and legs that are worn like a dress, with head and arms poking out. These are a lifesaver when you have a wriggly little monkey that likes to kick his or her covers off during the night and as a result wakes up chilly (and disturbs your limited sleep too!). For all those due at the same time as me (November) - NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY! I have already found three in the end-of-season sale at TK Maxx, originally priced at £32 and down to £7 each.
Gro-bags (which is actually a brand name by the way - but are also made by many other companies) come in different togs, like duvets, so make sure you are buying the right one for the time of year.

(For baby, not you).
There are so many toys out there, most of which are a complete waste of time for newborns. I would suggest getting a play mat with lots of lovely, dangly things for your baby to look at and grab (apparently black and white toys are preferable for younger babies as they help them learn to focus. Bright, bold colours are great for six months plus. Lamaze Toys have a wonderful selection and are available everywhere!
Also, DO NOT LET YOUR HUSBAND/BOYFRIEND/PARTNER CONVINCE YOU THAT SOPHIE LE GIRAFFE IS A RIDICULOUSLY OVERPRICED GIMMICK. Every single mother I have met has bought their child a Sophie and every single child has loved her.

There are loads of things that you are told, and would THINK, are vital but really are not. I'll leave it up to you to make your mind up! In my opinion, these include the following:

*Pram sunshade
Certainly not necessary when you are using a carrycot on your pram chassis and something I used on the buggy once. Precariously placed muslins/blankets work equally well and fitting and angling them to the right position is much less time consuming! 

* Pram-carseat attachments 
These are the attachments that enable your car seat to fit your buggy chassis in place of the carry cot/seat. Very often these are thrown in, in pram deals, and they can be handy to move a sleeping baby from car to pram without disturbing them but I much preferred to risk waking Daisy so that she could lay flat on her back in her carry cot.

* Bouncy chair 
EVERYONE told me I HAD to buy one. And I did. An all singing, all dancing, music playing, vibrating one, no less. Which cost me a small fortune. Surprise, surprise Daisy hated it. HATED IT!   

* Scratch mitts
The biggest waste of time ever. They don't stay on, end of. I do, however, appreciate their purpose, and would recommend babygros with cuffs that fold over to cover the hands instead.

As has probably become apparent in this blog post, my two main pieces of advice when it comes to baby purchases are:

1. Shop around for the best prices
2. Open your mind to universal products - everything can be so overpriced when branded. I know it's nice to have everything matching but it's not a necessity - especially when you are on a budget.

I hope this is helpful..... I will cover Mum-to-be Essentials in a separate post. Feedback most welcome xoxox



  1. WOW. Now that is an extensive list!

  2. Shopping for your newborn baby is an exciting and fun time. But sometimes we hog wild, and bought too much stuffs. One thing that you should remember that newborn baby grows very fast. If you buy too much for newborn baby, you will notice that your baby does not have a chance to wear gorgeous clothes that you bought for him/her.

  3. Great...!! Along with all above it is good if you go for online shopping. This way you can save a lot of your budget by using one day sale offers.

  4. I still use honest diapers - my son is wearing big ones now - and will use them until he is potty trained. As for the scent of the diapers, they smell like baby powder. Other diapers have an unpleasant odor to me.

  5. Hello,

    Thank you. That is a great list you have. On top of that I could recommend to read a couple of blogs and to shop online. By shopping online you can not only use one day sale offers but also compare way more better.

    Good luck.


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