I love lists. Always have. Aside from getting a sense of order out of it, I put my ideas into the universe, “now make this happen for me!”
So needless to say I have made shopping lists for each of my three newborns. For each one the list got sharper…and shorter. I will also have to make a confession here, I still have boxes of baby clothing that never got used. Even when handed down to the third child. I hate to think of the waste!
Fact is, you don’t know what your new routine will be.
I have five baby towels with a hoodie built into them. Never saw the point of that hoodie that a normal towel couldn’t fix. They’re in the box with numerous other items sharing the same fatal destiny (skinny jeans for newborns? Yep, they’re in the box. Let me know if you want them, I’ll add them to your next order).
Good list writing will get you what you need, with a minimum of waste – both in terms of $$ and excess clothing.
And they’re great to give to family and friends that may ask you what you’d like.
New-mum or mum-again-and-I-don’t-sleep-enough-to-remember-what-I-did-last-time (let alone yesterday, like most of us) - this post is for you.
And if you can’t be bothered reading the whole thing, just read the tips for each point. They’re tried and tested by practical parents, hence the very biased view.
Here is the newborn check-list:
The "working outfit"
Although your newborn will not require a closet full of clothes, there are some essentials that will make life much easier for you. The first of this is your baby's "working outfits" - the bodysuit and comfortable pants or leggings. You will use these every day. Every day.
You do not want to run out of bodysuits. Your baby will go through at least two bodysuits a day (what goes in comes out, all the time, all sorts of places). You wear the bodysuit underneath almost any other cute outfit as you know it will not ride up and expose their tummies to cold air.
The bodysuit keeps them warm and protected all the time.
Get comfortable pants or rompers with feet in as basic wear to accompany the bodysuit.
Once the working outfit is sorted you can safely add other more impractical outfits on top (apart from the newborn skinny jeans!)
TIP: this is against their skin, so don’t get anything itchy or synthetic. I got given a baby Batman suit (synthetic, as they are) and had the grumpiest back-sweating little baby.
Those little feet can't keep themselves warm, so be sure to have at least six pairs of socks on hand.
Get some booties. They can be used over socks or alone, but make sure it’s booties that stay on. Too many are focused on design and not functionality, and will drive you nuts when you keep losing them. These adorable organic merino booties work wonders to keep your baby's feet warm, and are still stylish enough to wear for a stroll in the park or a shopping trip with mommy.
TIP: For socks, ONLY get the ones that are high to the knee. Baby will wiggle anything else off (I’ve got another box full of ankle socks).
Ahh, the best investment after bodysuit. We all really want to wear a jumpsuit if we could. Purchase at least 6 stretchy jumpsuits that cover your baby from neck to feet. These are perfect for sleeping, but are also ideal for travelling. Babies love them, and (what’s not to love) - no tightness, just protected baby from head to toe.
TIP: Rather go a size up if possible. If too big you can add a top underneath until they grow into it. You don’t want to restrict movement.
Babies' skins are especially vulnerable to the elements (wind, sun or cold). Since heat is lost out of the top of her head, investing in temperature-regulating beanies is essential to maintain your baby's body temperature.
TIP: get thin beanies so your baby can wear it all the time without the hat being in the way. Get some woollens (NOT itchy) and some cotton ones. Add a winter hat on top if going out in the cold.
Never leave home without them! It’s that simple. Even if you’re not using baby wipes at home, you need one for your travel bag.
TIP: Get the unscented thick ones. There’s just something wrong about wiping perfume on your newborn’s bottom.
Baby skin is super sensitive and prone to rashes and eczema. Make sure you buy an oil (even from the supermarket) to massage on your baby's skin after bathing or at the first signs of dryness.
TIP: Bring the oil to hospital as it’s a great way to work off that first dirty nappy they do. Forgot about that first one, eh? Oil works a treat.
Wrapping a newborn in a swaddle can be very challenging. You feel like a four-year-old trying to wrap a present – lose ends everywhere, tape and glue in the air and not enough hands to hold it all together, and the present always escapes.
Instead of getting frustrated from trying to wrap your baby tight enough, a good wrap blanket will simplify the task and ensure that your baby is snug and comfortable.
Remember, not all babies are into swaddling, or parents. So just ignore swaddle advice if swaddling is not your thing.
TIP: get a blanket with natural elasticity. It will be so much easier to make it snug and comfortable for your baby. Use larger blankets as your baby grows. Or just use a large blanket from day one.
Babies love it. This advice is not to sound like I’m an overly cultured person, but I’ve had great experiences with Baby Mozart - also, the baby songs on repeat does not make me a happier person.
TIP: download Baby Mozart on your phone or iPod and play when feeding the baby. It’s an amazing evening ritual component as well. Baby Mozart with Baby Massage and they’ll sleep for hours.
The next thing you will want to add to your checklist, is essentials for your baby's hospital go-bag, which will ensure that he/she is as comfortable as possible. And importantly, that you are too.
We've put together a shopping list for you here: