10 Newborn Essentials You’ll Actually Use

We've gathered an essential list of baby products we actually used in the first 6 months. Save some serious money!
Last updated: June 22, 2019

Like most new mums, I brought my baby home from hospital to a house full of baby items. In hindsight, far too many baby items. From gifts to panic buys it’s impossible to know what your baby will use and need  but there are definitely items that I found really helpful and that I would re-purchase or save for a second child.

1. Sleepyhead

The last item I purchased was the Sleepyhead cushion and Im so glad I did. I had been undecided whether to buy this or not – £120 for a cushion seemed ridiculous. But I was 10 days overdue as slowly losing my mind so I caved and ordered it. It was without a doubt my best purchase- my baby would not sleep alone anywhere but the sleepyhead. It meant I could put him down for short spells in the day and go to the loo or make a drink without him crying. It also meant at night I could co-sleep with him safely. He wouldn’t sleep in the next to me crib so I used to lay him in his sleepyhead cushion on the bed and he would settle in this… for an hour or so at least…!

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Sleepyhead Deluxe Plus Pod 0-8m Pristine White
112 Reviews
Sleepyhead Deluxe Plus Pod 0-8m Pristine White
  • The Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Baby Pod is the ultimate pod for your baby ages 0-8 months old.
  • Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Baby Pods are lightweight and portable, allowing for easy travel, from room to room, grandma's house or on vacation. additional covers are available for purchase to match your mood.
  • Designed with love in Sweden and made in Europe. all materials used are breathable, washable and hypoallergenic. Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Baby Pod offers excellent air-permeability.
  • All filling materials are sourced from world-leading suppliers with breathable, hygienic and non-toxic properties. globally patented.

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2. Newborn Clothes

For some reason we only had a handful of newborn clothes but piles of 0-3. My boy was 8lb2oz born, so not a small baby, but 0-3 clothes drowned him. We ended up buying lots of newborn babygrows and vests which he was in for around a month. I think people don’t tend to buy newborn clothes as gifts as they think you’ll get more wear out of bigger sizes but we definitely got our wear out of our newborn clothes. Especially with all those accidents in the early days. 

Mamas and Papas Baby 3 Pack Essentials All in One Bodysuit, White, Newborn Pack of 3
55 Reviews
Mamas and Papas Baby 3 Pack Essentials All in One Bodysuit, White, Newborn Pack of 3
  • Full front, nickel-free popper opening
  • Three pack with printed designs

3. Muslin Cloths

These were so handy in those early days- from covering myself when feeding to lying him down on when changing his nappy. We seemed to permanently have a muslin cloth close by. When I first fed in public I used a muslin cloth to help cover me and my baby while I was still struggling with the latch – it just gave us a bit of privacy to get ourselves sorted. Also when out and about using public changing rooms it was sometimes handy to have a muslin to lay under him or above if it was cold. It was better to use a muslin cloth that to help clear up any accidents and throw in the washing machine than use lots of wipes or a bigger blanket. 

Littleduck 12Pack Baby Muslin Squares 30X30CM 100% Cotton 2 Layler Natural Newborn Towels Soft Breathable Kids Face Wash Cloth with Printed Design
4 Reviews
Littleduck 12Pack Baby Muslin Squares 30X30CM 100% Cotton 2 Layler Natural Newborn Towels Soft Breathable Kids Face Wash Cloth with Printed Design
  • Package includes 12 printed muslin squares .Size:30*30cm
  • 2 layer natural muslin squares cotton face towel for baby up to 24 months
  • Save space and more convenient as travel towels, makeup remover cloth for women and so on.
  • Machine Washable.The Cloth will become softer with washing.

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4. Essentials Caddy

I remember filling the caddy with nappies, wipes, spare outfit, creams and other essentials but wondering if I’d actually use it- well I did! I found this so handy for keeping everything in one place and close at hand. It meant that I could change a nappy without rushing upstairs either with the baby or to get nappies and wipes. It was also really handy for keeping my own essentials close by during the long cluster feeds. 

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Diaper Caddy Organizer, Baby Diaper Caddy, Nursery Storage Basket Bin and Car for Diapers and Baby Wipes, Nappy Bags for Mom, Toys Storage for Child
14 Reviews
Diaper Caddy Organizer, Baby Diaper Caddy, Nursery Storage Basket Bin and Car for Diapers and Baby Wipes, Nappy Bags for Mom, Toys Storage for Child
  • FRIENDLY MATERIAL: This diaper caddy organizers contains no hazardous content for human body. We know that this product is for baby-related purposes and may directly touch their sensitive skin, so the production process is ensured that no chemicals left in its cloth
  • INTELLIGENT PORTABLE DIAPER CADDY: 3 removable inserts help you adjust this diaper caddy to meet your own needs. You can remove the inserts to have a new Toy Bin, or make it a new car organizer.
  • EXCELLENT AND FASHIONABLE DESIGN: Talented designers pick color grey for this baby diaper caddy in order to provide an item that can perfectly fit any clothes you are wearing when holding, any room or environment you are in. Grey is the perfect color for both moms and dads and never goes out of date and can be taken to anywhere with their beloved newborn babies!
  • ONE-FOR-ALL BAG: Yes! This diaper caddy organizer can help you store different essential stuffs, namely baby wipes, toys, all of your breast pump and breast pump parts, store all those bath products or place bedside to make things easier to find

5. Shnuggle Baby Bath

Bathing a newborn is scary- they’re so small and slippery and they cry… the whole process can be quite overwhelming but we absolutely loved using the Shnuggle bath. The slopes back meant that our baby was supported in a sitting position which he much preferred. There’s a raised section at the bottom of the Shnuggle bath that allows them to sit without slipping further down. The bath is relatively light meaning we could put it either on the floor or a table. There is a specific stand available to purchase additionally but we were fine without this. 

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Shnuggle Baby Bath with Bum Bump Support and Cosy Foam Back Rest
1,112 Reviews
Shnuggle Baby Bath with Bum Bump Support and Cosy Foam Back Rest
  • Beautiful design with smooth curves and flowing roll top
  • Baby Bath Tub is suitable from birth up to 12 months
  • Integrated Bum Bump for support and hands-free bathing
  • Large, warm foam backrest & grippy non-slip feet

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6. Baby Sling

Thank goodness I bought a sling! Newborns want to be held- all the time. Maybe some newborns are content being put in their pram or Moses basket… but our baby certainly wasn’t. I remember walking to my mums (a 5 minute walk) when my little boy was 2 weeks old and he just screamed. After that, the sling and baby carrier became my most used items. I was desperate to get out the house or just have my hands free in the house but obviously didn’t want my baby to cry and be so unsettled. All babies are different of course but I’m yet to meet anyone that says their babies didn’t like being held close to them. Now that my boy is bigger, I look back at that time and I’m so glad I held him close in the sling on our first few months of walks- it was a special time and something you can’t do for all that long. 

Lictin Baby Wrap-Baby Carrier Adjustable Breastfeeding Cover Cotton Sling Baby Carrier for Infants up to 35 lbs/16kg, Soft and Comfortable to Use CE Certification with Storage Bag (Dark Gray)
29 Reviews
Lictin Baby Wrap-Baby Carrier Adjustable Breastfeeding Cover Cotton Sling Baby Carrier for Infants up to 35 lbs/16kg, Soft and Comfortable to Use CE Certification with Storage Bag (Dark Gray)
  • Safe and practical to use:With CE CEN/TR 16512:2015certification,sturdy fabric holds your baby safely and securely
  • Allow your hands to be free: free your hands with this baby sling; wash dishes, go for walks, go shopping or walk your dog while quieting a restless baby
  • Enhance the bond with babies who all love being close to mommy; Stay close to mom's heart, a baby can hear your heart beating and feel the warmth from your body in the sling where he can feel peace of mind
  • Say goodbye to shoulder pain and back strain; The baby wrap carrier surrounds you and your baby's spine, making it easy to counteract the baby's weight with your back; No longer get tired or get any sore muscles

7. White Noise Teddy

I’m not sure if this helped my little one to sleep or me. We had bought Ewan the dream sheep after hearing such good things about it from friends. Perhaps naively, I expected the noise of Ewan to be enough to calm and help keep my little one settled… of course the reality was only I could calm and settle him but I used to put Ewan on as he was falling asleep and it’d stay on as I fell asleep- perhaps it helped me to relax? We’ve carried on using Ewan and I’m hoping it’ll provide some comfort and familiarity when we finally get to the stage that my little boy moves into his own room. 

Sweet Dreamers, Ewan the Dream Sheep, Grey - Baby White/Pink Noise Machine and Sleep Aid Toy with Night Light.
912 Reviews
Sweet Dreamers, Ewan the Dream Sheep, Grey - Baby White/Pink Noise Machine and Sleep Aid Toy with Night Light.
  • BEST-SELLING UK BABY SLEEP AID: With over 950,000 ewans sold globally, ewan is working hard to monitor and help babies and toddlers sleep peacefully - which of course means Mum and Dad get a great night's sleep too!
  • REAL WOMB AND HEARTBEAT SOUNDS: Super cute and cuddly ewan the dream sheep replicates the comfort of the womb with a selection of soothing sounds, including actual recordings of Mum's womb and heartbeat, to help lull your newborn or toddler into a peaceful slumber.
  • WHITE & PINK NOISE SOUND MACHINE: ewan also has a choice of 3 further mesmerizing sounds including Rainfall, Harp Melody Music and Vacuum Cleaner, all combined with Mum's resting heartbeat, to provide an effective shushing toy for settling restless babies and infants. What's more, these sounds have also been proven to help ease COLIC induced pain - see, we told you Ewan really does have magical soothing powers!
  • COMFORTING NIGHT LIGHT: Unlike intrusive projector toys, ewan's soft pink night light glow mimics the womb environment to help comfort and soothe your little one, whilst his magical sounds and plush nightlight feature a 20-minute timer with automatic shut off - saving you the inconvenience of having to get out of bed to switch ewan off!

8. Changing Mat

So we had the beautiful changing station all set up in the nursery… but in reality it was the £10 plastic changing mat that we ended up using for 90% of nappy changes. It was so much easier to just take this with us to the room we were feeding in rather than heading upstairs each time we needed to change him. Easy to wipe clean and easy to store away at the side of the sofa. I think there’s a tendency to want to buy fancy items, especially when pregnant with your first, but when it comes to changing the nappy of a newborn… you just want something you can quickly and easily lay them on to change them. And ideally something you won’t be too upset about getting dirty as that’s the reality! 

Baby Changing Mat - Grey Bee - One Size
  • Baby Changing Mat - Grey Bee
  • Sweet little bee print with flight path and little flowers all over
  • Approx size 79 x 46 cm
  • Perfect for a spring or bee themed nursery

9. Black and White Toys

We noticed quite early on that of all of the toys, teddies and books- anything black and white caught our little boy’s attention. We had a large black and white patterned blanket that he would often stare at or be distracted by. We also had a zebra cuddly toy that used to keep him distracted during the dreaded outfit changes. Apparently black and white toys help your baby’s ability to focus their attention and also aids their levels of concentration. For us, we were just happy to find something that focussed and calmed him.

Baby's Very First Black and White Little Library (box set)
93 Reviews
Baby's Very First Black and White Little Library (box set)
  • Stella Baggott
  • Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
  • Board book: 40 pages

10. Memory Book

The whole newborn phase went so quickly – it was so hard and at the time you feel like it’ll last forever but in reality it does just pass by so fast. I’m so glad I took lots of photos and videos of my little boy when he was so tiny. It’s hard to take it all in when your whole life has been turned upside down so it’s nice to have all those images to reflect on how much your little one has grown and changed and how far you’ve come. I certainly didn’t have the time to complete a memory book when he was tiny, but I kept notes on my phone and those (along with the thousands of photos) have allowed me to reflect and document the whole phase in a lovely keepsake memory book. 

very hungry caterprillar memory book

When you’re pregnant with your first, it’s inevitable you will buy or even be gifted items that you don’t end up using with your baby. You’ll also no doubt find yourself buying items once they arrive despite thinking you had everything you could possibly ever need. Hopefully this list will provide you with some ideas for items that may help you and your newborn or even offer some reassurance that you really don’t need thousands of pounds worth of items for your little one. 

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