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First Time Parents Essential Checklist

First Time Parents Essential Checklist

Our simple checklist to help you welcome your little one to the world with confidence.

It's easy to feel a little overwhelmed when preparing for your new arrival. You may begin to wonder whether perhaps a spreadsheet would be better than a shopping list! Blogs, Mum forums, the brands, the reviews, best friend's, best friend's sister's; they all have their lists of “must-haves”, but what do you really need? If you've found yourself standing in a baby store or scrolling endlessly online (somewhat bewildered) asking yourself, “what is a TOG anyway?” - we're here to help! We've put together an easy reference guide for all types of budgets and lifestyles to ensure you have an effortless and enjoyable shopping experience.


It is recommended that your baby sleeps in the same room as you for the first six months of life, in a bassinet or safe cot with a firm, well-fitting mattress. Bassinets are ideal, especially if you are conscious of space and they allow you to keep baby close for feeding or to check on them easily when unsettled.

TIP: If space is an issue, look for a bassinet with wheels to allow you to easily manoeuvre baby around your bedroom or between rooms.

Cot or Cot Bed
After about 6 months of age, it's recommended that your baby sleep in a safe cot or cot bed as they will have likely outgrown a bassinet. Cots are available in many shapes and sizes and here is where you may like to choose based on the shape, colour and design you prefer. Safety guidelines recommend the top of the lowest side when the drop side is closed should be at least 50cm from the mattress.

Cots that have the ability to convert to cot beds at the right time for your child's development are always a clever way to transition your little one into sleeping in a regular bed at the right age to help prevent falls.

TIP: Make sure the cot mattress fits snuggly on all sides and there is very little space or gaps between the mattress and the side of the cot.

Sleeping Bags
Sleeping bags are a fantastic option to safely sleep your baby in as there is no chance your little one can kick it off during naps or sleep time.

Sleeping bags are available in different TOG's (thermal overall grade) which calculates the thermal insulation of the sleeping bag, allowing you to select the most appropriate weight for the season or time of day. In simple terms, the lower the TOG rating, the more lightweight the fabric.

Knowing the temperature of baby's room is important so you can dress them and swaddle them appropriately. Choose one with a night light setting, so you can use it to gently illuminate the nursery.

Fitted Cot Sheet
You will need likely need a few of these. Fitted sheets are safest for baby as they are not likely to move once in place and come in a variety of thicknesses and fun prints.

Mattress Protector
Spills are inevitable so protect your baby's mattress from damp patches by using a good quality mattress protector.

Baby Monitor
Incredible technology means you can put your feet up and rest easy when baby goes to sleep with a baby monitor that best suits your needs and the size of your home. Baby monitors can range from sound only, to high-definition video monitors that are compatible to with your smart phone. Some monitors also display the live room temperature.

Night Light
Soft, ambient lighting is a great way to keep baby in a sleepy state whilst helping you move in and out of the room safely.


Feeding Chair
It's a wise idea to make sure you have a supportive arm chair to ensure you are comfortable and in a protective position for your back whilst feeding baby. It's also an advantage to feed your little one in a similar spot as it helps with establishing routine.

Nursing Bras and Breast Pads
Who doesn't love things that make life easier? Nursing bra's do exactly that. Specially designed for easy access with handy clips, these bras are especially useful when out-and-about and can help you feed more discreetly.

If breastfeeding, breast pads help prevent breastmilk from leaking through to your clothing. A pack or two should be enough to get you started.

To begin with baby's, need a slow flow for their milk intake and may not take to every bottle. It's wise to have a couple of different brands of bottles on hand, to find the one your baby most prefers.

The bottle teats themselves come in a variety of different flows. For newborn's look for a level 1 teat and then you can slowly increase the flow to 2 from there and so-on as your baby grows. Some brands have also developed teats to mimic the flow of breast milk and only allow the milk to flow as the baby creates suction.

Terry Towelling Nappies
Don't worry, we're not going back to the eighties! These little wonders are your go-to handy wipe towels, ideal for burping baby, mopping up any type of spills and cleaning the vomit off Aunt Mavis's new blouse. They are easy to wash and dry and are incredibly useful in the early days.

Bathing, Toiletries and First Aid

Nappies-a-plenty! It's true your baby will go through many nappies. It's sensible to have at least a pack or two on hand for your newborn but remember babies grow quickly! Don't buy too many packs of the same size until you find out what size best suits your baby.

Wipes are a big part of life from the moment your baby arrives, well into their toddler years. Feel free to stock up on these as they will be a go-to for every type of spill and you may even need a few yourself!

Nappy Barrier Cream
The answer to almost any nappy-rash complaint, keep a good nappy rash cream on hand to soothe red, irritated skin or skin complaints.

Baby Thermometer
A good quality baby thermometer will be an essential part of your kit from newborn right through to toddler. It's essential to have one on-hand to help alleviate worry when baby is unsettled and to help you easily identify if you need to be concerned.

Nail Clippers
Tiny nails need tiny nail clippers. Baby's nails tend to grow at quite a pace, so it's important to have some baby nail clippers on hand to help you with this delicate task. You will need to clip baby's nails regularly to ensure they don't scratch themselves by accident.

Bath Support or Baby Bath
If you already have a bath at home, a bath support is a very helpful aide. Whilst baby is supported in the bath, it allows you to wash your little one with both hands and helps baby have a relaxed and restful bath.

If you don't have an in-built bath or large sink at home, you will likely need a baby bath to bathe your little one safely.

Bath Thermometer
Bath thermometers are essential to ensure the temperate of the bath water is optimum for bathing your little one. Bathing babies is recommended at between 37-38 degrees Celsius. A good bath thermometer takes the worry out of guessing.

Baby Shampoo
A gentle baby shampoo is all you need in the early days to bath baby. You can wash their entire body with a good quality baby shampoo.

Face Washers
A pack of fresh face washers are the perfect way to help gently wash baby's whole body and help to gently remove dirt from under arms, around the neck and wash the hair and head.

Hooded Towel
Keep a few hooded bath towels on hand as they keep baby warm from head to toe between bathing and dressing. (And they're pretty cute)

Travel and Transport

Pram or Pushchair
Investing in a good quality pram or travel system will enable you great flexibility when it comes to transporting your newest family member from A to B. If you plan on getting out and about, going for walks or running errands with your little one, a travel system can cover all bases. Most complete travel systems consist of a base, carry cot for newborn babies, an upright pram seat with various reclining positions, and a car seat.

If you already have a car seat and perhaps only need the pram, look for a pram that reclines fully and is suitable from newborn onwards. For further guidance on the different types of prams, strollers and push chairs available see our article on how to buy a push chair.

TIP: Some baby capsules can attach to your pram wheels with special adapters.

Baby Capsule or Car Seat
From 0-6 months, when travelling in any vehicle, your baby must be restrained in an approved rear-facing car seat. When it comes to car seats there is a great deal of variety and degrees of functionality. You may either prefer to buy a stand-alone capsule that can be also be used with your pram base, or a convertible baby seat that will cover your car seat needs from 0-4years. For more information on buying the ideal car seat for your needs see our article on buying a car seat.

Baby Carrier
Keeping baby secure and supported whilst allowing you to move around with your hands free is a big advantage, that's why baby carrier's or slings are a very popular choice for parents. They don't take up much space but allow great freedom of movement and are especially ideal when moving through crowds, during airport transit, or simply popping down to the shops or local cafe.

Change Station
On-the-go style change stations will be your new best friend. Usually made with a mat for resting baby on with additional pockets for wipes, nappies, nappy bags, and a spare change of clothes. It's worth investing a good change station as it will likely go with you whenever you leave the house.

Muslin Wraps
Your go anywhere, multi-purpose companion, wraps are essential not only for swaddling but can be a great shield from the wind or sunlight and can be used to place on the floor for baby to lay on, or as a cover for yourself when feeding out-and-about.

Pram Clips
You may be surprised how many uses you find for these little gems. Pram clips are ideal to keep on- hand for attaching wraps to the pram or capsule to shield baby from the sunlight or wind.


Bodysuits and Sleep Suits
This is the fun part! All-in-one bodysuits are purpose built and provide baby with comfort as well as making it easy to change them. Available in sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve and a large variety of thicknesses as to be prepared for any conditions. Bodysuits are a popular choice for parents because they are a breeze to use and keep baby covered securely with snap buttons for easy changing at the gusset. You will likely cycle through them quickly, so make sure you stock up on plenty of these, between 5-10 is probably a good number.

Sleep suits are again a very useful item that you will need a few of. Perfect for well…sleeping! Sleep suits are designed to fit closely to baby's body, ensuring no part of the suit can ride up or fall off while baby is resting. They also allow for easy nappy changes and are available in a variety of different lengths and designs.

Socks & Mittens
Your little one may not need any shoes for the first few months but you can keep their tiny toes cosy in the cooler weather with socks.

Whilst baby is developing body control, they tend to accidently scratch themselves, particularly in and around the face. You can help prevent this scratching with some mittens.

TIP: some baby sleepsuits have built in socks and scratch mittens and can be used with or without them.