MrsShilts’ must have baby essentials list


Every new mum-to-be does it, scouring the parenting and baby magazines looking at recommendations for ‘must haves’ for your newborn. I admit it, I’m one of them. I bought several magazines (complete with their free gifts) offering articles on their ‘Top 10 buys’ and their ‘essential baby products’ lists. I also joined a couple of forums soaking in the advice from other experienced mums and listened to family and friends who offered their ideas on things that we’d definitely need. Of course, these items suit their lifestyles and sometimes didn’t appeal to us.

7 weeks on and here’s our list of ‘must have’ baby essentials we have found to be worth every penny making life with a newborn that little bit easier.

1) Bottle warmer – If you’re bottle feeding, the latest advice is that you should make every bottle fresh but at 4am with a screaming baby in your arms, a bottle warmer is a god send. We make up a couple of bottles in advance with boiling water and then fridge them for when we need them; pop the bottle in the warmer whilst you’re changing little ones nappy and the bottle will be ready for baby to drink.

Ewanatwork2) Muslins – whether you’ve got a sicky baby or not, you will use muslins to mop up dribble, spilt milk and sick; use them as make-shift curtains to darken a carrycot and wiping off excess water from warming up bottles. Our favourite muslins are from Boots, Asda and Aldi. They wash really well, are good quality and relatively cheap. We have some from Mamas and Papas but were disappointed as they were a bit pricey and shrunk to half their size in the wash!

3) Bath Sponge – I’m not talking your regular bath sponge here. We bought a big sponge with the shape of a baby cut out of it for less than £4 (You can buy similar ones here) and it is brilliant. Olly isn’t keen on his baths but we’ve progressed from hysterical screaming to gurgling now with the use of this sponge. You pop it in the baby bath and then lay baby on top, making bath times a whole lot more manageable.

4) Ewan the Dream Sheep – Believe it or not, babies are used to noise so when you settle them down into their own crib at night in silence, it can be a bit unsettling for them. Ewan is brilliant, he comes with 4 different soothing sounds (womb, harp, hoover and rain) combined with an actual heartbeat sound and a light in his tummy which acts as a night light. Each sound lasts about 15-20 minutes and magically sends baby off to sleep. Olly settles in his crib to the rain setting, even at 4am in the morning and I’ve got to say it’s probably helped me drift off to sleep too!

5) Baby sleeping bags – When Olly was in hospital, the midwife swaddled him but he always managed to get his arms out. He loves sleeping with his arms up by his head so after many failed attempts to swaddle him at home, we put him in his sleeping bag to sleep. You can buy different varieties; we’ve got a Mamas and Papas Dreampod and a Grobag and they come in different togs to suit the seasons. We’re currently using a 2.5 tog and Olly is sleeping in a short sleeve vest and sleepsuit. It’s important to mention that you must ensure that baby’s head cannot slip under the fastenings to prevent any accidents and some brands recommend that baby is a certain weight before using them.welovevests

6) Travel dummy steriliser – this mini portable steriliser is perfect for those who like to get out and about and worry that their little one is going to project the dummy across dirty floors or if you’ve got dogs at home who like to run off with your little one’s things. Pop the dummy in to the steriliser for 15 minutes and the dummy is sterilised and ready to use again.

7) Vests – Plenty of them. We were incredibly lucky to have been blessed with lots of lovely gifts for Olly, mainly outfits ranging from newborn to 9-12 months. We didn’t however have enough vests to go under said outfits. I’m guessing it depends on what time of year your little one is born but being a February baby and born in the midst of the coldest Spring for a long time, Olly wears vests under his sleepsuits and outfits. We have found Tesco, Asda and Boots own brand vests are the best. They wash well and are a good size.

So there’s our list of must haves so far which I’m sure we will add to over the next few months. Don’t just buy something just because a friend raves about it, think about whether it’ll fit into your way of life and if you’ll actually use it. For example, we’ve never bothered with a nappy bin, we just a small waste paper bin which is emptied on a regular basis. We use cheap nappy bags (300 for 35p at Tesco) to dispose of used nappies. Hope our list helps!

P.S This isn’t a sponsored or review post in any way, just a list of some of the items we have bought, have used well and would recommend.


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  • Reply Helen 01/04/2013 at 9:34 am

    Have to second a few of these suggestions, as a third time mum now i think you buy less and less for each child, as you start to learn what you can do without! (and of course you have some items left over from previous babies!)
    Sleeping bags are a godsend, my toddler is just out of hers now tho she could have had the next size up, but she wanted a quilt like her big sister! I think the weight has to be 9lb to start using them….john Lewis’s are good and wash well.
    I never bothered sterilising dummies, just put them in boiling water. If you have a good dishwasher, that is good enough too. (i quickly learned that kids put everything in their mouths and you can’t sterilise the cat)
    Muslims last forever and can be used for loads of things. I havent bought any new ones this time, but i did cut up a flannel sheet that had shrunk in the wash and we use that for mopping up and wiping down thoo!
    The only other essential i can think of is a matter of choice i guess but it is a sling. Couldn’t have got through teething with Tig without it, and little man has already been worn a few times and he’s just 2 wks old. You can borrow them from sling meets to try them out, but in my experience they hold their value and resell, and are worth the layout. (my moby was £40 but i’ve used it for 2 kids so worth the money imo.)

  • Reply Lauren Jewhurst (@laurenbigeejit) 01/04/2013 at 3:03 pm

    Great post. Bookmarking for future reference ;)

  • Reply Megan 05/04/2013 at 2:41 pm

    A lot of parents are so excited that they already buy a bunch of clothes and diapers months before their baby is born. This is a great list and a good guide for parents so they will know the other essential items that they must have beside cute little clothes. It is really hard especially if this is your first born, like me before and I need to ask my mother all the time. Good thing that there are plenty of sources online, just like this one to help every mother out there.

  • Reply Kerry Lou 06/04/2013 at 9:13 am

    Oooh I feel organised in that I have most of these sorted!

    I’m going to look into the dummy steriliser for the doggy reason – I reckon Dakota will love dummies!

    I’m also going to go and buy lots of vests :) We actually bought some gorgeous ones on offer in Mamas and Papas on Wednesday – 7 for £9 :D But they only had 0-3 months so we need to stock up on newborns.

    Your blog is becoming essential reading for me!

  • Reply Monica 13/12/2015 at 10:09 am

    Its so very easy to buy loads of unnecessary stuff, thanks for the list, its great!

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