From nappies and wipes to changing tables and a baby buggy, there's a lot that ends up on the baby shopping list but you don't need to stress out. Our handy list will guide you through the best selection of baby essentials with or without a budget!
The ultimate list of must-haves for your little one
When you’re expecting a baby, shopping for your newborn can quickly become overwhelming – especially if you’re a first-time parent. Remembering to buy everything that you need is one thing, but with such a big selection of items to choose from it’s easy to assume that your shopping list is endless. Here at Metanium HQ we want to help ease those stresses and that’s why we’ve put together some handy tips on shopping your baby essentials with a budget and without!
Nappies are an essential item that every pregnant mum- needs to stock up on for when your baby arrives. There are currently lots of different kinds of nappies on the market: from disposable to biodegradable and own brand to high end. It’s important to remember that the price tag doesn’t always reflect the quality! Some mums swear by supermarket own brands, whereas for others, brands such as Pampers are best. The budget for nappies can start at just a few pounds to £10 or more.
Metanium Tip: 12 nappy changes a day are a rough guide for the amount of nappies you’ll need to begin with. So, plan accordingly!
Wipes also have various categories: reusable, water wipes and cotton wool ones are some you can choose from. The most important thing to have in mind is that your wipes are alcohol-free!
Metanium Tip: Baby wipes are usually no more than a few pounds, but if you’re a savvy shopper who’s always looking for a bargain, it’s worth looking out for multipack deals and bulk buy savings.
Nappy Rash Cream
Nappy rash cream for your little one is another item that you need to add to your shopping list. As all of our Metanium mums know, nappy rash is common in babies and toddlers so it’s really important to be prepared. We would recommend you start with our Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment which helps protect from nappy rash - it’s so gentle it can be used at every nappy change!
Metanium Tip: One of the best things about Metanium is that it’s quite affordable. As always, we’re here to help!
Onesies are the basics of baby clothing and you can choose between short and long-sleeved ones. You will need quite a few because you will change your baby frequently, but perhaps avoid buying in bulk because they grow out of them really quick! It’s a good idea to also invest in a few separates, such as pants and vests. When it comes to clothing, we know how easy it can be to splurge when hitting the shops for a baby wardrobe. There are plenty of designer and boutique options out there but checking out high street sales is a perfect way to nab yourself some nice bargains.
Metanium Tip: When it comes to baby clothing, you need plenty as you will end up changing them several times a day, however, your baby will grow very quickly so it will only be wearing the same thing for a few months. Perhaps rethink splurging on pricey items if you’re going to end up passing them on a few months down the line.
Breastfeeding can be an incredibly rewarding experience but it can also be extremely hard, especially in the early days. It’s worth stocking up on nipple cream and breast pads. Then, if you want to express milk so that your partner can feed your little one, you will need a breast pump, bottles and sterilising equipment. As a reference, breastfeeding items can range from around £20 to way over £100.
Metanium Tip: See how breastfeeding goes for you and make any purchases after you’ve had your baby and in to a comfortable routine with feeding.
Finding the right formula for your baby can take some trial and error. Ask friends and family for any recommendations. If you are unsure, speak to your midwife or GP for advice. Similarly to nappies, formula can start at just a few pounds and go up to £20 or more.
Metanium Tip: There isn’t one type of bottle that’s better than others – we would recommend to try out a few and see which one is easier for your little one to feed from. Make sure that bottles, teats and all feeding equipment is washed and sterilised before every feed.
Cots & Cribs
Choosing the perfect cot or crib for your baby is really important. Cots can really differ in price and can cost anywhere between £70 from Argos to £600 plus if you choose one from Naturalmat crafted from sustainably sourced wood, or a John Lewis one which can be converted to a bed. However, don’t let price tags overwhelm you - baby furniture can be expensive, but websites such as eBay, Gumtree or Shpock are perfect second-hand alternatives – just make sure you purchase a new mattress.
Metanium Tip: If you are trying to cut back on the pounds, why not check out our Metanium Everyday Advice page for more tips on how to save on your baby budget.
Finding the right changing table for your nursery can also take some research. Some parents will be happy with a changing mat which start at around £6, though others will want a piece of furniture since the baby changing station will quickly become a vital area for your little one. A changing table can cost anywhere between £50 from Ikea to £300 or more if you go for a unit with cupboards and drawers from Mothercare for example.
Metanium Tip: Consider your lifestyle and available space before purchasing a changing table: Do you prefer a piece of furniture where you can keep everything neatly stored or a nappy mat and caddy which you can hide behind the sofa? It’s entirely up to you!
Similarly to finding a cot or crib, a buggy is equally important and also depends on your lifestyle: do you use public transport? Then you need something you can manoeuvre around easily. If you are more likely to store it in your car boot, then you may want to choose a more practical and foldable buggy.
Metanium Tip: High street shops like Argos sell buggies from as little as £40, whereas prams from John Lewis can cost upwards of £500 (some costing upwards of £1,500!). Check out product reviews and online forums to explore different options and don’t forget to visit our must-read article on solving the pram minefield!
Baby carrier/ sling
Some parents swear by ‘baby wearing’ and would happily use a sling or baby carrier instead of a pram any day, but if this sounds like a daunting maze of options, find your nearest sling library where you can try and hire different options for a small amount of money. This is also a great place to meet other parents!
Metanium Tip: The sling should fit your body and be tight enough for you to be able to kiss and view your baby at all times, with your little one’s tummy and chest pressing against you.
It’s obligatory to have a car seat for your newborn to go home in – they’re mandatory from the moment you leave the hospital.
Metanium Tip: Car seats can be pricey so have that in mind before heading off to the shops but even if you are buying second-hand, make sure it meets the latest safety government specifications.
Great to have
Since we have covered the basic essentials, here are some items that aren’t necessities but are great to have nonetheless:
- Play mats - activity centre
- Toys - chew toys/ cuddly toys/ comforters
- Book collection - to start reading bedtime stories to your little one!
- Bath seat
- Mobile to hang above the changing table/cot
- Bouncer chair
Overall, with some careful research, planning and assistance you should be able to find all of the essentials that you need at a price that suits you. When you are preparing for life with a newborn, there is so much to look forward to, so try not to worry too much and just enjoy your pregnancy journey!
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