For those of you soon to be welcoming a new baby into your family you will undoubtably be thinking about what you will need as a parent or useful gifts for soon-to-be parents. In a market with every conceivable baby product it is hard to know what is essential for these newborn days: we can honestly assure you - not a lot!
Sustainably produced baby products
Below we outline what we consider to be newborn essentials. We have included some sustainably produced products available online from Antipoda Co and other businesses in Australia who share our approach to beautiful, toxin-free, high-quality products that are produced with great consideration for babies and parents, the environment and the people who make them.
Newborn Essentials List
1. Baby Clothing
Bodies & Sleep Suits
Baby fashion is big! But honestly, all a newborn baby needs is a few bodies and sleep suits, season dependent of course. We can't wait for Garbo&Friends new baby clothing range, sneak peak above. But in the mean time, we love the super-soft, toxin-free, cotton Growsuits and Kimono bodies from Susukoshi.
It's pretty amazing how such a tiny baby can get clothes grubby but explosive poo and milky reflux see to this - we recommend a few of each item in newborn size. They'll grow out of them in a flash but high-quality cotton and gorgeous neutral colours can be passed on or saved for future siblings.
2. Baby Care
Nappies & Wipes
Not the most exciting item but, nappies! Disposable or reusable cloth nappies are a newborn essential. We like EcoOriginals 90% biodegradable, non-toxic, breathable and importantly, very absorbent nappies. They also make plant-based compostable wipes which are practical for when you are out and about. At home just add water to reusable cloths like these Bubby Gump Bamboo Baby Wipes - great for wiping bottoms, faces or surfaces and can be thrown in with your regular washing.
We like to have a nappy rash cream to hand, especially one that is multipurpose like BEING Bootie Balm - it is made from natural ingredients and great for a range of baby skin concerns; nappy rash, cradle cap and dry skin to name but a few.
We recommend setting up a change station at home, it'll get a lot of use in the early days and having somewhere at a comfortable height with everything to hand is helpful. We like the Charlie Crane Noga folding change table. Shelves for baby products and a changing mat all in one neat design. It is wall mounted so you can set the perfect height too.
3. Baby Transport
Carseat & Pram
If you're planning on taking your baby in the car then a carseat is a must. And a pram is practical for hitting the shops and long walks. You'll find no end of pram combo systems on the market, something we are not going to go into detail on in this post. However as far as eco conscious and non-toxic materials go some brands in Australia worth exploring are bumbleride, Joolz and Stokke.
Be it in a carrier, sling, or wrap, baby wearing is an increasingly popular way of getting out and about. And for good reason - hands free, convenient and soothing for many babies. We are excited to welcome the innovative baby carrier clothing brand Mama Hangs to Antipoda Co later in the year. Mama Hangs clothing cleverly adapts to allow for baby wearing and even breastfeeding - check out the Mama Hangs Out sweatshirt in action above.
In our experience, an ordinary bag with a change of clothes and a portable mat like these Garbo&Friends Travel Changing Mats is a must for being out and about. Tuck some nappies and wipes inside the envelope folded change mat and you're off. We also recommend a little wash bag for used nappies, breast pads etc.
Always travel with a blanket! Whether its to throw on the ground to stretch out on on a warm day or to wrap a little one up when the weather is chilly. We have lots of beautiful Garbo&Friends Blankets in stock - the organic cottons feel so soft and they are all toxin-free as well as being sustainably produced.
4. Baby Play
In the newborn days there isn't much playing going on, however tummy time and taking in one's surroundings are on the agenda. A floor mat or quilted blanket is great for this kind of activity.
The Charlie Crane Tami Play Mat provides a perfect cushioned base for babies to practice tummy time and later learn to sit alone. The padded 1m square play mat is covered in a wonderfully soft cotton and is machine washable.
Another newborn essential for the team at Antipoda Co is a baby rocker. A portable hammock-like chair that babies can relax in during their newborn days, freeing-up parents arms to do the chores or simply enjoy a hot drink. We love the elevated position the Charlie Crane Levo Rocker provides - you may have heard us mention it once or twice before ;)
5. Baby Sleep
Cradle / Bassinet
Even if co-sleeping, it is useful to have a baby cradle or bassinet in the house - newborns sleep a lot! We love the Charlie Crane Kumi Cradle for its cosy nest-like design with airy mesh and cord sides and natural wood finish.
A couple of sheets for the mattress of the cradle or bassinet and additional bedding depending on the time of year, a sleeping bag or swaddle. This Fawn fitted sheet for the Kumi cradle, a collaboration by Charlie Crane and Rose in April, is just so sweet.
Many babies love to be swaddled. The bonus with these gorgeous swaddles from Garbo&Friends is that even if the newborn doesn't love the swaddling the large muslin cotton squares can be used as a light blanket, breastfeeding cover-up or enormous burp cloth - we love a bit of multipurpose!
If you plan to use dummies, check out Cub & Bear Co's natural latex rubber dummies. The soft dummies are made from a single piece of rubber with a large shield that touches baby's nose to help emulate the feeling and comfort of breastfeeding.
6. Baby Feeding
If you're planning on bottle feeding, bottles are of course essential. We like these glass ones with natural rubber teats from Hevea.
If breastfeeding, we recommend a stack of washable breast pads to avoid milky patches on bras and tops. Natures Child organic reusable cotton breast pads come in a range of different sizes/absorbencies and are really soft on sore nipples - an inevitability in those early newborn breastfeeding days.
A few muslin cloths are also super handy for feeding, cleaning up reflux and throwing over your shoulder to protect your own clothes. Take a look at these beautiful 3 piece Burp Cloth Sets by Garbo&Friends.
Newborn Essentials - Our Sustainable Selection
So this isn't an essential, it's a recommendation based on a small personal regret. A baby journal. To record all those "firsts" and moments that will pass by in the blink of an eye, lost in amongst the day-to-day. A beautiful keepsake to look back on and pass onto little ones when they are grown.
What else is on your newborn essentials list? Or as a parent already, was there something you couldn't do without? Let us know in the comments below.
Image credits: 1. Emily Slotte for Garbo&Friends, 2. Lauriane Bueb for Charlie Crane, 3. Mathieu Vilasco for Mama Hangs, 4 & 6. Fran Jorgensen, 5. Minty Magazine.