Asleep in cot

Five essentials you need before your baby is born

1) Somewhere to sleep

It might be hard to believe but newborns will spend around 19 hours a day asleep (albeit not consecutively). If yours is anything like mine they will mostly prefer to spend the time asleep on you. They are supposed to spend their time sleeping in the same room as you to reduce the risk of SIDs. If you can persuade them into a sleeping vessel then there are a few different choices. Moses baskets don’t last long (a matter of weeks if you’ve got a big baby – there’s a reason there are so many on selling sites). Cosleeping cots are a good compromise – small, easy to put the baby in and out during night feeds. I love the Chicco Next to Me. If your house is big then you could get a cotbed that turns from baby crib into toddler bed and will last for ages. Stokke’s Sleepi solution is pricey but beautiful and there are no nasty corners for your little one to bump themselves on.


2) Somewhere to play

Newborns don’t really play with much. As they become more aware a playmat is a great choice. As they can lie flat on their back they look up and see attractive toys – boosting their vision and encouraging them to reach out and grab. They’re great for tummy time too – to save your precious baby from getting floor germs! Because their sight isn’t developed they tend to see high contrast the best so black and white books are the best. And anything that rattles is a good thing.


3) Somewhere to sit

Sitting is a skill. Bouncers can encourage them and keep them safe. A swing is also a good option as the rocking motion is calming. Fisher Price do a cheap option, but many babies seem to love the less garish Baby Bjorn.

This time we also got the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair with newborn insert. It’s pricey so I found mine on Facebook selling site Mummy’s Gin Fund. It means the baby can sit at the table for meal times and toddler crafts and the chair grows with them – lasting until your little one is 18 or older. (Yes, really!)


4) Something to wear

Fancy clothes are uncomfy. Avoid anything with buttons on the back. The general rule is that the baby needs to wear one more layer than you. Around 10 vests, 10 sleepsuits and one outfit for best are probably all you’ll need unless you get a really sickly baby.


5) Some way to travel

You’ll spend a long time choosing your travel system – buggy, carrycot and car seat. But be warned you’ll probably ditch it within months for something far less bulky. I went with the Maxi Cosi Mura three – big wheels for dog walking, adjustable handle and easy to steer. It’s lovely but I’ve seen smaller tanks. My Maclaren Quest may not be parent facing but it’s very small, light and has umbrella fold so you can do it with one hand. And it’s suitable for newborns.

My best travel buy has definitely been my Ergo 360 with newborn insert. It keeps the baby close, he loves sleeping in it and it’s so supportive. To find a sling to suit you visit your local sling library.