Baby product essentials
In the last few months or weeks before your baby is born, you'll probably be busy stocking up on the nursery and baby products you'll need for those first days and weeks after your little one arrives.
Read our list below to make sure you've armed yourself with all the important bits and pieces.
Baby equipment you'll need from day one
Baby car seat
You may well need a baby car seat to take your baby home from the hospital after birth. This can be either a Group 0+ baby car seat or one of the newer i-Size baby car seats.
Both of these are suitable to use from birth up to either 13kg, or 15 months of age.
It's vital to check that the baby car seat you want will fit in your car, and any other car you plan to use it in. Our advice is not to buy one online. Instead, go to a store and get it expertly fitted.
Don't just rely on recommendations from friends or forums - we crash test every car seat we review.
Pram or a pushchair suitable from birth
Whether you call it a pram, a pushchair or a buggy, you'll need to choose one that's suitable from birth. This means it needs a seat that reclines far enough back to create the flatter position considered suitable for newborn babies.
Some pushchairs don't have this kind of seat. In many cases they'll come with a carrycot instead, which is ideal as it creates a truly lie-flat position.
Keep an eye out for pushchairs that are travel-system compatible. This means you can swap the sear for a baby car seat.
Every pushchair we review is tested for strength, stability, durability and safety. Don't be swayed by fashionable names or plush fabrics.
Our pushchair reviews cover all the latest , pushchairs and travel systems. If you're confused by the sheer range of products available, head to our guide to to help you pick the right model for you and your new baby, and avoid a costly mistake.
Moses basket, crib, cradle, cot or cot bed
You'll need to choose a cot, cot bed, Moses basket or crib for your baby to sleep in.
- Moses basket (£40 to £80) - compact, portable and cosy, but only usable for the first few months.
- Crib or cradle (£50 to £150) - rocking motion may help baby to sleep, but these tend to be more expensive than a Moses basket.
- Cot or cot bed (£80 to more than £400) - cots come in all shapes and sizes. Our guide tells you how to find one that suits your baby.
Mattress and bedding
The average baby goes through between six and 12 a day when they're first born, and will use around 4,000 nappies before they are potty trained at around 18 to 24 months old.
We pitted brand-leaders Pampers against own-brand nappies from Aldi, Lidl and supermarket retailers such as Tesco and Morrisons.
Baby wipes aren't for everyone, especially more environmentally conscious parents. But, if you do plan on using them, you may well be buying them for as long as your baby is in nappies. Costs could stack up.
There are significant price differences between supermarket own brands and big-brand names. It's worth trying the own brands - if they suit your baby - as you could save some cash here.
Look for a soft towel just for your baby's use.
Changing mat or changing unit
Nappy changing mats are padded and have slightly raised sides to prevent your baby wriggling off the mat, while a changing table enables you to change your baby's nappy at a comfortable waist height.
Muslin cloths and bibs
These can protect your baby's clothes from spillages and accidents. A muslin over the shoulder will also protect your clothes if you're winding your baby after feeding.
These are to stop little ones from scratching their faces.
Helpful with a range of cleaning and care tasks.
Shawl or blanket
Can come in handy when you're out and about with your baby.
Choose between washable, disposable and even thermal breast pads – you'll probably need to use them even if you're not breastfeeding your newborn baby.
Essential baby equipment if you're breastfeeding
Look for a comfortable and supportive bra that has a bit of give so it can stretch to a larger size as milk comes in. It should never constrict your breasts, as this could make it easier for ducts to become blocked. Obviously the cups need to open and close easily, leaving plenty of room for your baby to feed.
Don't buy too early, as your bra size may change - look to get two or three in the last month of pregnancy. For help knowing what size bra to get, contact the NCT on 0845 8100 100 for a free personal fitting.
A breast pump can be a quick and easy way to express milk for your baby. Choose between:
- - quick, durable and easy to use, but are dependent on a plug socket
- - cheaper, quiet and compact, but can be slower and tiring to use.
It's sensible to invest in five or more bottles and teats so you've got a ready stock. You'll need these whether you're going to feed your baby breast milk that you've expressed, or you're bottle feeding. Take a look at our for more advice on what and where to buy.
This is to ensure your baby equipment for feeding is completely clean and germ-free. There is a range of sterilisers out there, including microwave sterilisers and electric steam sterilisers.
Essential baby equipment if you're bottle feeding
Formula milk, baby bottles and sterilising equipment
Aptamil, Cow & Gate and SMA are among the bestselling brands of baby formula milk on the market. See above for bottles and sterilising equipment.