Newborn Baby Arrival Checklist: What you need to buy for a new baby

Newborn checklist for new parents – what do you REALLY need?!

I remember when planning our wedding myself and my (now) husband laughing at the ridiculous lists in wedding magazines – does anyone actually spend £500 on new knickers for their wedding?! It felt there were so many things that you could spend money on but lots the we really felt was unnecessary.

When it comes to babies it’s even worse because not only are there lists upon lists. But the lists keep changing! That must have baby swing from 2015 that your best friend raved about? No longer available and now you get NASA level gadgets that look and sound frankly exhausting to even think about working out.

You already know you’re going to need a tonne of sleepsuits, nappies and baby wipes but what else?

We are so lucky in Scotland to have the baby box scheme. It contains a lot of the essential you actually need like a sling (SO handy to keep baby nice and snug and close and cosy while you can do bits and bobs and have your hands free) and the bath thermometer – no more too hot/cold guess work.

Family and friends will no doubt want to buy baby gifts so I thought it would be helpful to share my list of must have baby things.  And much like those wedding lists in the magazines you can look over and decide what you feel you really need for your baby.

Things to Buy for Baby’s Arrival:

– cot/snuzpod/next to me – bsaically something for baby to sleep in your bedroom for the first few months.

– baby swing – newborns LOVE movement and ours was a sanity saver! Id take it to the bathroom where he would happily listen to me narrate my shower! The to the bedroom while I dried off and got dressed. Its the one thing I tell all my friends to get!

– baby monitor – optional if you have a small house or flat. We had one, the batteries leaked and we never replaced it as we could always hear him.

– baby change bag – personal prefernce here but I would always go for a backpack which is so much more confortable especially when baby is older.

– baby bath seat – we used the Angel care one which was great until he could sit up properly.

– new face cloths – ideal for bath/wash time as well as quick mop ups as baby gets older. Sticky hands clean up MUCH better with a proper face cloth vs wet wipes and so much more environmentally friendly.

– nail scissors – if you dont already have a pair I personally recommend scissors over clippers as the curve makes irt so much easier to cut. Do while baby is asleep to make the job even easier 😉

– hooded baby towels – these do get outgrown but are very handy as you can wrap baby up and the hood keeps them nice and toasty post bath

– newborn sleeping bags – my favourite were the love to dream swaddle bags.  They are super easy, zip up the front and make baby feel lovely and snug like they are still being held. They do summer and winter weights as well as the standard one.

– nappy cream – you can get this on minor ailments at your local chemist. Remember you only need to add this if baby actually has nappy rash not as a preventative measure! And please read the instructions as some creams should only be used with the tiniest amount so the skin can heal and breathe.

– pram – it’s worth giving them a test drive as some weigh A LOT! Consider where you are likely to be walking with baby. Will you be going up and down hills? Will you be getting on the bus and need something easy to get on and off?

-car seat – I always recommend buying new as car seats have an expiry date!

-muslins – you will go through a lot of these so I recommend minimum of two packs (typically 6 in a pack)

-baby changing matt – ikea does a fab one with removable washable covers so baby isnt cold when laid down.

-nipple pads – even if you dont plan to breastfeed your milk will come in and you will leak so these are definitely a must. One to pop in the hospital bag.

-feeding pillow – no matter how you feed your newborn your shoulders will bear the brunt so the ikea feeding pillow is a must have in my opinion. Nice and firm it supports the elbows and allows you to hold baby in a comfortbale position to feed.

-maternity pads – no explanation required!

– your favourite dinners – if you can make in advance and freeze you will thank yourself later! If friends ask what they can do, ask them to bring dinner! Want baby cuddles? Bring me a lasagne!! Seriously, it is hands down the best gift you can give new parents!


So there you have it, my go to guide for the things you really need for life with a newborn. Think I missed something crucial? Let me know! 🙂


newborn family portrait by edinburgh newborn photographer Beautiful Bairns photography

Now how about something that’s just for you?

You’re pregnant, but you won’t be for long! Soooooooo many new mums tell me how much they wish they had booked a maternity photoshoot. Tell me how much they regret not doing it. So not sure if it’s for you? Let me convince you otherwise!

Click here to find out if a maternity photoshoot with me could be the best gift you give yourself!

Want to find out more about a newborn photoshoot in Edinburgh?

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If you are currently pregnant and would like to find out more about our newborn photoshoots please click here for full details.

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