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Having a baby: what you need and when

Newborn baby

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Newborn baby

Once your newborn arrives, life will get pretty busy. Here's a quick rundown of useful products that could make your life as a new parent easier.

 

Baby bath 

It's not essential that you give your baby a full bath in the first few weeks - you can just 'top and tail' them using a bowl and warm water - so it's also not essential to buy a baby bath. However, as newborns aren't able to keep their heat for long, having a portable and lightweight bath that you can move into a warmer place might be an advantage. 

If you're keen to get one, our baby bath first look reviews will show you the pros and cons of the latest designs. Also take a look at our for a checklist of what you need for bathing your baby, plus safety tips.

Baby toys and play equipment

All children are different, but in order to choose the best toy that's most likely to entertain and educate them, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with a baby's stages of development. 

You can also take a look at our guide to baby bouncer brands, including advice on whether or not to buy a baby bouncer, our guide to baby walkers and advice on playpens.  

Helpful apps

With feedback from parents and children, we've rounded up 10 useful apps for parents and kids - including ones to track your baby's activities and development, find childcare near you, offer healthy recipe ideas and keep your child occupied - so you can navigate the world of parenting with ease.

High chair

There are high chairs available from birth, but most aren't recommended for use before your baby is around five months, which is when they should be starting to sit up. Our guide to buying a high chair, along with our high chair reviews, will help you find the best one for you and your baby.

We've lab tested more than 30 high chairs to assess how safe and durable they are and how easy they are to use, so you can find the best one. You can unlock all our reviews and find great prices online by taking out a £1 trial subscription to Which?

Six months old is also around the time that you might start weaning your baby from milk to food. All babies are different, and there is no right or wrong way to wean. To know when your baby is ready, watch out for signs such as them sitting up unaided, or becoming increasingly interested in what you're eating. 

With a range of baby food and baby feeding equipment out there, it can be daunting. Visit our guide to baby feeding products, from  to bowls to bibs, and check out first look and to see what real parents think of different products.

Creating a family home

As well as the essential baby products, there are a few home buys worth considering for when your baby arrives to make life as stress free as possible. Check out our guide to the to see what we've picked as being the ideal home appliances for you if you have little ones. 

Some key things we have considered are:

Vacuum cleaners

Quietness and efficiency are key, and the vacuum cleaners we've tested vary dramatically in these areas - take a look at our video on what makes a Best Buy vacuum cleaner and you'll see what we mean. 

Washing machines

A generous capacity will help you keep on top of the washing, and quiet cycles will ensure your baby isn't disturbed. As you'll be using it a lot - we all know babies make a lot of mess - you'll also want to find one that is efficient and cheap to run. See what we've picked as being he best for parents on efficiency, noise and running costs.

Dishwashers

If you want to sterilise bottles in your dishwasher, make sure it has a programme at 80°C or higher. Also, as with a washing machine, make sure you choose an energy-efficient model. You can use our energy costs calculator to work out how much various home appliances will cost you to run.

Microwaves

Look out for microwaves with baby-bottle holders if you want to sterilise bottles this way - several Whirlpool models include cradles to heat bottles that are too tall to be stood up. A decent microwave will have auto heat and defrost options, so you don't have to keep going to and fro to check if your food is ready.

Fridges, freezers and fridge freezers

Look for a model with a discreet thermostat dial out of kids' reach, so they're not tempted to play with it. With baby milk and food to store, capacity is also key, as well as how well the fridge or freezer keeps food cool. Check out our Best Buy fridge freezers to find a suitable model for your family.

Food processors

If you want to purée meals for your baby, you'll want a food processor that prepares recipes quickly, easily and with little noise. Visit our Best Buy food processors to find the best one for you.

Ovens

Pyrolytic self-cleaning programs can save busy parents the arduous job of cleaning the oven - you can use our compare features and prices tool to find the best oven with this function.

Family car

Lastly, if your considering changing your current car for a more family-friendly version, check out our top 10 family car buying tips

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