During my first pregnancy I read every book, visited every website and had every app on my phone going. I wanted to be as clued up as possible about what my body was going through and how my baby was growing. Every source recommended different essentials and I have to admit, I bought most of them. I also used most of them, albeit some more than others.
We attended antenatal classes about 4 weeks before the baby was due and they were very worthwhile. I will be honest and say that I didn’t learn a whole lot but the reassurance was fantastic and they helped me confirm the decisions I had made. I also made friends at the antenatal classes that I see on almost a daily basis now and wouldn’t have got through those first few weeks without knowing we were all in the same boat. Pregnancy or newborn essential, I would recommend going as they really helped me prepare for life with a baby.
My number one newborn essential though is muslin squares. They may not look fancy but they have so many purposes you will wonder how you got through life without them. As well as being a burp cloth I used muslins as a breastfeeding cover, as a crib and pram sheet when D was a bit sicky, as a blanket, a bib, a makeshift nappy and a sun cover for the pram. Talk about useful! I ended up with about 40 for Dylan (maybe slightly over the top) but it meant I had one handy in every room of the house! I will definitely be investing in some nice fresh ones for squish!
Second would be the all important cot. I think Moses baskets/cribs are great but not a necessity. Dylan outgrew his crib by 10 weeks and was so much happier in his cot being able to throw his arms around without whacking the sides. Some babies love the security of a crib but you can always use rolled up blankets either side of them to give some security. We bought a lovely cot-bed which should last him for quite some time.
My third essential would be a sling. A pram is taken for granted and is a huge decision. I am still just as in love with my icandy Cherry as I was when we bought it and think it was a fabulous investment but sometimes baby does not want to be put down. Sometimes you really need to do some washing up, or make a cup of tea and you need your hands free. I had a moby style stretchy wrap and it was brilliant. Later on I accrued a few styles of slings and carriers but for a newborn Moby would always be my number one choice. They are so easy to use and I loved the closeness and cuddles.
As for clothes, my mum wisely told me not to buy too many. When Dylan was born we were inundated with presents, most of them being very tiny baby clothes meaning I did not NEED to buy him anything for months. Being his mummy though I of course WANTED to and loved being able to spend a little extra time and money choosing those gorgeous little clothes. It is lovely to have things that you have picked but you don’t need to fill a wardrobe as people love shopping for a newborn!
We had a rocker chair which we did’t start using until the little dude was about 6 weeks old but we and he loved it. The vibrate function and some powerful rocking would send him to sleep in minutes and it was nice having somewhere safe to put him down where he could see what was going on around him. We had a lovely fisher price zoo bouncer chair and it was used until Dylan was bout 5 months. There are many variations on the bouncy/rocker chair
My final essential is not one you can buy in a shop. Patience is something vital for coping with a baby. There will be nights where you are lucky to get 10 minutes sleep. There will be days when the baby throws up on you so many times you run out of clean clothes but things will get better and a few deep breaths are sometimes all you really need.