Don’t go crazy when shopping for your new arrival! Instead, bring it back to basics, and just invest in the essentials that will see you through…
Pram: Take your time choosing this, really think about everything you want from a pram and look at other babies in prams to see how comfortable they look. Go to an independent store to view a large range like John Lewis, Mothercare or the Corstorphine Pram Centre in Edinburgh
Ask yourself a few questions e.g. What’s important to you style or practicality? Do you want to be able to put it down with one hand? How big and heavy is it, will it fit in boot? Do you like a style that can be used from birth or do you prefer a carry cot and buggy set up? Do you want a nippy city slicker or a more sturdy one that can take on country lanes and paths?
Top tip: No one pram does everything so we suggest investing in one that will suit you most of the time, and then perhaps buying a second one more cheaply for weekends away/Granny’s house
Baby Carrier: Babies love to hear the sound of your heartbeat and feel your warmth, which is why a baby carrier is such an essential. Some of the big labels might look good, but they put a lot of strain on your back and don’t grow with your child. You also need to be aware of their weight restrictions as this dictates when you start – and finish – using them
We both opted for the ERGObaby baby carrier. Designed to allow baby’s legs to splay in a natural sitting position, this versatile little number can be used on your front, back and hip and has a thick, padded waist belt to offer you more support. There’s also an Infant Insert which means you can use this sling from 7lbs, all the way up to carry a heavier toddler of 45lbs
Car Seat:  You may have bought a travel pram system which has a car seat. If not, ask if the chassis of the pram is compatible with a particular type (you’ll need adaptors to fit the seat onto the pram). Beyond this it’s a matter of personal taste and a case of what fits in your car – before buying one make sure it fits in your car and works with your seat belts…it’s a good idea to go somewhere like John Lewis and Halfords as they offer a fitting service
Whichever car seat you go for you’ll need to find a way of fitting it in the car. Moat car seats can be secured with a seat belt. However, you can go for an ISOfix (if you car’s compatible) it enables you to click the seat in and out of the car easily. It’s worth baring in mind before you spend the money that it’s only compatible with certain infant (and front-facing) seats
Cot: If you have the room, a cot bed will last longer but you will eventually require a bed so it’s not saving you money. You do not have to use a Moses Basket or Crib – a baby can go straight into a cot (see our ‘Nesting Instinct’ post on how to create a secure environment for them – however, many people like to buy one as it fits them snuggly (and by your bed more easily) and also can be taken from room to room.
NB. If you have borrowed a cot or ought secondhand always replace the mattress
Changing Mat: This can be placed directly on the floor or you can get a Cot Top Changer or Changing Table
Feeding Chair: OK, so this is not strictly essential as a bed or a sofa will do, but providing you have the space, it’s ideal to have somewhere comfy to sit and do your evening feed. IKEA’s POÄNG armchair has a good position for breastfeeding
Bedding: 3 fitted sheets, 3 flat sheets, a cot blanket and two giant muslins for swaddling
Monitor: A basic one will suffice for most homes, but if you have especially thick walls or lots of stairs you might need a specific type. You can get a monitor which doubles up as a night-light and room thermometer which comes in handy as does a sensor pad if you’re looking for added peace of mind… you need to pick the one that’s right for you, but it was the Angelcare Movement and Sound Monitor AC401 that came up trumps for us
Baby Uniform: 5 white sleepsuits and 5 white long-sleeved vests if winter short-sleeved if summer, two cardigans and a pram suit/snowsuit. Again, when it comes to their core uniform, supermarket-own brands are just as good as many more expensive labels. However, we found that John Lewis newborn basics became our go-to choice. Their packs of plain white newborn vests and sleepsuits offer great VFM and are super-soft
Breast Feeding: 20 muslins (so versatile and great for mopping up mess), Lanisoh, breast pads, expressor and sterile milk storage bags
Bottle Feeding: 20 muslins (so versatile and great for mopping up mess), 6-8 bottles (NUK and MAM are the mummyyears’ brand of choice), steraliser (electric, steam or cold water – once you’ve picked a bottle brand it’s easier to buy the same brand of steraliser to ensure that your bottles fit), bottle brush and plastic basin
Playmat: from a basic one to an all-signing-all-dancing one – it’s up to you
Bouncy Chair: the Baby Bjorn is a good one as it’s positioned at a good angle, has a removable arch (which saves you dangling toys about them to keep them entertained!) and a head support and fold flat. The Chicco Mia Bouncer is also a firm favourite
Bath: you don’t need a separate baby bath, instead a bath support which goes straight in your bath is a space-saving option
And don’t worry if you don’t have a bath, a kitchen sink works perfectly well for a new baby – as do the tummy tub baths
2 hooded towels and a pack of face cloths
Bathroom Essentials: Metanium for bad nappy rash and a barrier cream (we love Waitrose’s Bottom Butter), hand gel, cotton wool pads, wipes, nail scissors or clippers, thermometer.
And remember, you will get a lot of gifts often clothes so wait until you know what you need before you buy!

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