15th June 2021

Preparing for the arrival of your baby can seem a huge task – and an expensive one too! You will hear from friends and family how they found certain items indispensable and you could well end up dizzy at the thought of the amount of things you need! We are providing you with the essential list for first time parents.

To ease the financial impact and to enjoy shopping for your baby, it is worth buying the items over a period of time with the aim of completing the list by your 8th month of pregnancy as this will relieve any pressure. If you want to enjoy shopping, the relaxing way in the comfort of your home, Stericare has most of the items you will need. Stericare products are quality made, well-priced and perfect for your newborn baby.

Here is our essential list for first time parents:

A workable basic wardrobe


There are some irresistible outfits available for babies and realistically, you are likely to be given quite a few on your baby’s arrival. If you find that you are given lots of gorgeous clothes in either newborn or up to three months, it is well worth changing them for the next size up as you will be amazed how quickly your baby will grow and how some are almost out of the newborn size when they are born!

Practicality is the key word for essential list for first time parents because your baby could need several changes of clothing each day, though this can be minimised by using bibs and burp clothes. Outfits that need little ironing definitely score ten points!

  • 6 all in one suits
  • Cardigans and jumpers - appropriate for the time of year
  • 6 vests that popper between the legs
  • 6 pairs of identical white socks (no problem if one goes missing!)
  • 3 pairs of scratch mitts
  • Hat with ear flaps and warm mitts if yours is a winter baby
  • Sleep bag so you know your baby is snug
  • Bottle of baby clothes washing liquid

Bed and bedding

Babies will spend 16 hours or more asleep every day, so getting the nursery ready is top priority!  Cribs are beautiful, but can only be used for a few months. There are several models on the market that convert from cribs into toddler beds which make them more cost-effective. A popular alternative is to have a carrycot that can be placed in a full size cot. Whichever you decide on, ensure that it has the kite safety mark.

To keep your baby safe, it is recommended that their bed is kept as bare as possible, with no cot bumper, not toys, no pillows and the minimum of bedding.

  • A crib or carrycot with well- fitting safety mattress
  • Waterproof sheet to protect the mattress
  • 4 fitted sheets
  • 2 cotton blankets
  • Plug-in night light – to help you see and to reassure your baby

Feeding time

Breast milk is the best milk but we know this is not always possible, it is well worth having a couple of bottles and teats ready for expressed milk or for using formula, just in case things don’t work out as planned. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you which baby formula to buy. If you are just having some formula as a safety net, some ready-made bottles will be ideal.

If you find that a breast pump would be useful, Stericare gives you the opportunity to rent the Ameda Elite™ Breast Pump 

  • 6 bibs 
  • 6 burp cloths (muslin squares work well) 
  • 10 bottles with newborn teats if you are bottle feeding
  • Baby formula if you are formula feeding 
  • Steriliser unit or suitable large plastic tub with lid
  • 2 nursing bras and box of pads and nipple cream if you are breastfeeding
  • A shawl or nursing cover for privacy when you breast feed.
  • 1 small bottle with newborn teat for sips of water if it is warm weather

Nappies & changing facilities

  • Baby changing mat to use on a bed or dresser
  • 2 dozen reusable nappies 
  • 6 waterproof nappies
  • 1 pack of first size disposable nappies (don’t buy more until you know they are the right size)
  • Nappy bucket and nappy cleaner or 2 packs of disposable nappy bags
  • 1 pack of baby wipes
  • 1 tub of barrier cream to prevent nappy rash 

Bath time

Bathing your newborn baby is a daunting prospect, but once you get the hang of handling such a slippery little body it will be a fun time for both of you. If pennies are tight, you can wash your baby in a wash basin, but wrap the plugs in flannels to keep your baby really safe. As your baby grows, you will be able to find some bath toys to enjoy together either bought or homemade such as old yogurt cartons.  

Getting out and about

It is a very special moment when you and your newborn can enjoy your first stroll together. Prams are certainly very special to have, but prohibitively expensive for many. Top quality strollers are far more versatile – especially those that have a carrycot and multi-position seat – and the big bonus is that they fold to fit in the boot easily. Useful accessories include shopping bag hooks and sun parasols.   

  • A first size car seat is essential as you will be asked to leave hospital with your baby safely strapped in to one. Take time to buy this as it should bear the British Standards Kitemark.
  • A really roomy baby bag with different compartments for carrying all the essentials wherever you go.
  • Baby stroller combination with carrycot and seat as young babies need to lie flat.
  • A baby carrier – one that fits on your front as you can carry your baby around whilst you complete a few jobs and it is perfect for shopping.
  • A suction sunscreen for the car window next to your baby so that he doesn’t get too hot.
  • There are many other baby items that are not essential, but are really useful to have and these include a baby monitor. The modern monitors are Wi-Fi enabled and have a visual and audio display so that you can see and hear your baby as they sleep. A baby bouncer chair can also be a good investment as most babies find them soothing and once you have got the knack, you can gently move the bouncer with your foot whilst you eat your dinner!

Enjoy being new parents as it is a fantastic and memorable experience!