From the moment you find out your expecting your first child, life suddenly becomes a whirlwind of activity to prepare for the new addition to your family.
Even just thinking about what newborn essentials you will need can be overwhelming. When I was pregnant with my first child, shopping for supplies was daunting. I didn’t know what to buy, or, where to buy it.
If you’re a new expectant mum, don’t worry, I know exactly how you feel. Throughout my years as a newborn photographer in Canberra, I have had the unique opportunity to interact with many mums and to get their opinion on this topic.
So, based on my experience (from shopping for three babies), and the experiences of the mums I have interacted with, I have compiled a list of the top 5 newborn essentials that you will need.
Plus, I have also listed a few of my favourite baby shops in Canberra that stock these items, to make life just a little bit easier for you.
Top 5 Newborn Essentials and Where to Buy Them in Canberra
Immediately after your baby is born, you will need to put him or her in a nappy. Buying nappies can be a little overwhelming. Do you want to go disposable or cloth? What are the best brand? Which ones give baby rash and which ones don’t? Will they leak? Are they the right size?
Different parents swear by the brand of nappies they buy for their babies, which can be very confusing. But the fact is, the only way to know the brand you prefer is by testing different brands and finding the right one for you and bubs. Just make sure that the brands you buy meet Australian safety standards.
Having said that, below are some tips for buying nappies:
Start off with sample packs. This way, you can test for quality and observe your baby’s reaction. Once satisfied with a brand, you can go for jumbo packs.
Buy the right size. Disposable nappies come in a range of different sizes as well as options for both boys and girls. Depending on the size of your baby, they may be in the newborn size for a while or jump straight to the next size up. If you are considering getting modern cloth nappies, there are options that grow with your baby. These options can work out to be very cost effective.
Avoid overstocking. Your baby will grow really fast especially during the first 6 months. If you buy too many newborn nappies, you may find your baby has outgrown them faster than you can use them. In later months when your baby’s growth has slowed down, you can stock up on nappies to last 2 weeks to a month. This will allow you to take advantage of quantity offers.
Where to Buy:
Disposable nappies can be purchased in any supermarket or chemists. It can be worthwhile to shop around for packs on sale.
For cloth nappies you can find a range at Baby Bunting
Swaddles or Muslin wraps are definitely essential items for newborn babies. Swaddling helps newborns adjust to their new environment. Swaddling is also good for restful sleep as it immobilizes their little arms, preventing your baby from making rapid arm movement during sleep.
Baby swaddling is a recommended practice until your baby starts rolling over onto his or her stomach. This is usually up to 3 months, although some babies may need to be swaddled until they are 6 months old.
Tips for buying baby swaddles:
Swaddles, like nappies, comes in all sizes and materials. You may want to buy a few different ones to find the best fit for you.
Avoid swaddles that are made of a thick heavy material. As your baby will be in other layers of clothing, they may overheat.
Buy swaddles made of breathable and absorbent material. 100% cotton or muslin is always a good choice.
Where to Buy:
There are so many gorgeous swaddles available to buy, it can be hard to choose just a few. I love these Cam Cam Copenhagen Muslin Cloth wraps from Tip You’re It. As well as the Aden and Anais 4-pack classic swaddles from Lellow.
3. Baby clothes
As I’ve earlier mentioned, your baby will grow so fast during the first 3 months. So, when buying clothes for a newborn, you want to make smart choices so that your baby grows into them. It’s better to buy a size larger and roll up the sleeves and pants legs than to buy clothing that bubs will quickly grow out of.
Tips to buying baby clothes:
Bodysuits, rompers or onesies are definitely a go to clothing item for baby. They can be worn both day and night, have easy access for nappy changes and come in both summer and winter options. I recommend buying at least 5 onesies to begin with.
Singlets are also a staple baby clothing item. They help keep bubs warm under clothes in winter and can be worn on their own with just a nappy in summer. I would get at least 5 of these as well.
A cardigan or jacket is essential for the colder months along with other accessories such as beanie, mittens and booties.
Don’t forget Bibs! Another essential that you should stock up on. You’ll go through a few of these.
Shopping for baby clothes can be very addictive, especially when faced with so many cute and adorable options. But keep in mind that the cute tutu or gorgeous overalls may not be so practical on a baby. Good for special occasions, not so good for day to day wear.
Where to Buy:
Tip You’re It, Bokbo, Lellow Kids and Seed Heritage all stock a wide range of baby clothes that are both practical and fashionable. I would share my favourite, but we’d be here all day! There are too many adorable choices (but if you were to twist my arm, the rompers at Tip You’re It are so so cute!).
4. Baby furniture
Baby furniture is absolutely must have newborn essentials items. There are so many pieces of furniture that you can buy for a baby’s nursery but a cot, a bath, and a changing mat or change table are the most essential items.
Tips to buying baby furniture:
A baby crib or bassinet is a nice to have furniture item but not essential. Babies can grow out of them very quickly. Your newborn can sleep in a cot using a baby nest such as this one.
Consider how much you will use the baby furniture. If you plan on having more children, it may be a better choice to invest in high quality furniture that is going to last through several babies.
On the other hand, it’s perfectly fine to borrow baby furniture from friends or relatives to save on costs. A new mattress is always advisable though.
Whether you buy or borrow, make sure any furniture you buy or use adhere’s to Australian Safety Standards.
Don’t go overboard on the blankets and accessories around baby, especially when they are sleeping.
Stock up on at least two lots of cot linen and blankets as well as a good quality mattress protector.
Just like baby clothes, make sure the furniture you buy is practical and works for you and bubs.
Consider also getting a nice comfortable chair that you can sit and feed bubs or just sit and snuggle together.
Where to Buy:
Tip Your It has some gorgeous unique baby furniture available. As too does Baby Bunting, who stocks popular brands.
5. Travel Items
An ‘newborn essentials’ list is not complete without travel items. Being able to take your baby out safe and securely is a must. So, you will need to invest in a good quality pram and car seat.
Australia has very strict laws around the use of baby car seats, and rightly so. Your newborn will be the most precious item you will transport around, so it’s important to get a good quality pram and car seat that meets the Australian Standards. All reputable baby stores will know these standards and only stock items that comply.
Tips to buying travel accessories:
Depending on your lifestyle, budget and preference, you can try different types of car seats such as ababy capsule or a convertible restraint.
Always make sure your car seat or capsule is fitted in your car correctly and is facing the right way for your babies age. (reverse for newborns).
Take your time to test out both the car seat and prams available before selecting the best one for you. There is a wide variety of options and, next to your baby furniture, they will be your most used items.
Look for prams that are easy to use, easy to fold and will fit in the boot of your car.
Get advice from the shop attendants as they are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things prams and car seats. (all things baby for that matter!)
Where to Buy:
Baby Bunting stocks are large range of both prams and car seats. You might want to schedule at least half a day (multiple times) to review and try out the different brands and styles.
A complete list of newborn essentials. Everything you will need to welcome your baby into the world. Of course, there will be other little items that will be helpful for when bubs comes. But in the early days, if you are breastfeeding, newborns really don’t need that much.
If you decide not to breastfeed for whatever reason, adding bottles and formula will also need to go on the newborn essentials list, otherwise, with the items listed above, you are good to go!
When shopping for items for your newborn essentials, remember to go easy on yourself and consider these final tips:
You don’t have to buy everything at once; break down the shopping into several shopping trips.
When it comes to baby shopping, the earlier the better. You may find yourself lacking in energy during the last months of pregnancy. So, start early.
And finally, don’t forget to consider booking in for a maternity or newborn photography session. This time in your life is so precious and capturing these moments may just be the greatest gift you buy yourself and your newborn.
Get in touch today and let’s talk about your options.
Until next time,