Ask an expert: what will I need to buy for my new baby?

22nd Sep 17 | Family

Maternity nurse Sarah Norris advises mums-to-be what they really need to buy before their baby arrives.

Baby with clothing and infant care items

I’m pregnant with my first child and don’t have much money. What are the essentials I really need to buy for when my baby’s born?

Maternity nurse Sarah Norris, author of  The Baby Detective (Orion Spring, £14.99), says: “Once a baby’s on the way, the instinct is to start buying, and there’s certainly enough baby paraphernalia available. But while there’s plenty of choice, the prices can be eye-wateringly expensive.

“The truth is, you don’t actually need 95% of the things you see around you, especially if you’re struggling financially.

“A newborn baby doesn’t need very much at all, just comfortable clothes, somewhere safe to sleep and clean feeding equipment.

Mother with her newborn baby son, sitting on bed in her bedroom (Thinkstock/PA)What does my baby really need? (Thinkstock/PA)

“You’ll probably be bought gifts when baby arrives, so just equip yourself with the very basics, enough to last you a couple of weeks.

I’d suggest:

– 6 longsleeved and 6 shortsleeved cotton newborn sleepsuits

– 12 muslin squares (around 70cm square). They double up as furniture covers, clothes protectors, swaddles, changing mats, playmats, and bibs.

Newborn baby in a moses basket (Thinkstock/PA)Moses basket: essential (Thinkstock/PA)

– The cheapest moses basket you can find. Secondhand is fine, you don’t need a stand. (You will need a new mattress to reduce risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – SIDS)

– A brand new, cheap, but safety marked, mattress (you can use muslins, clean T-shirts/tea towels as sheets)

– 1 cotton pram-size blanket – but you can use cotton towels and adult jumpers or shawls, just make sure they don’t have tassels or holes to trap little fingers.

– A microwave steriliser – although sterilising tablets, or a pan on a stove, do a great job of sterilising breast or bottle feeding equipment.

– Dummies or pacifiers if you want to use them, 2 basic bottles, plus 4 bottles of ready-to-feed stage 1 formula. Even if you plan to breastfeed, make sure you have these with you in case things don’t go as planned because hospitals won’t provide them for you. Be prepared.

– A cheap notebook to write times of feeds, which breast you started on, when baby poos etc because the lack of sleep makes it hard to remember accurately.

“This will keep you going until you find your feet.”

© Press Association 2017