12 basic essentials for your newborn

21.03.2017 by LadyAlly

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Yes, we are preparing for #littlenugget to arrive so, just thought it was time to make a little list on what to buy. I kind of understand how it feels to want to buy everything you see, and with so many brands, fancy jargons, and overload of information, it gets kind of hard to decide. However, there are some basic essentials you should get, and some you can buy later on as you settle down. Let’s start with the must-haves.

Since this is a rather long post as I explain the reason for each selection and how to choose them, let me give you the list in case you want to just quickly refer.

  • Diapers
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Yu Yee oil
  • Bath tub
  • Bathing toiletries
  • Changing table/mat
  • Newborn clothes
  • Mittens, booties, swaddle, burp cloth
  • Cot
  • Baby car seat
  • Baby detergent
  • Wet wipes, powder


1. Newborn diapers

The temptation to buy in bulk during sales is there, especially if you’re a bargain hunter, but trust me, don’t. Firstly, you’re not sure how big/small your newborn will be and how long he/she will fit in newborn diapers. So far with my experience with my previous two, I’ve only used newborn diapers the maximum of 2 months.. and that is because I don’t want to waste what I’ve bought. So, for now, just buy ONE large pack.

But, which type?? Brand and jargon overload in this department, I’m sure. Here’s the gist of it:

  1. Newborns poop and pee A LOT. So often that you wonder where all the stuff is coming from.
  2. Nappy rash do happen, but if you’re lucky, it won’t be too bad. When it happens, be prepared for lots of crying.. and you definitely do not want that.
  3. You will be changing them while they lie down. So don’t bother with the “pants” type – get the “tape” type instead.

So, in conclusion, don’t buy the cheapest nappy you can find, JUST IN CASE. Some diapers have too much plasticky areas that your baby will sweat, or his/her little butt won’t have enough air circulation, so the tendency for itchy nappy rash is high. Usually, newborns are a little more sensitive, so if you wanna go el-cheapo, wait till he/she is a little older to build some immunity. I usually go for Mamy Poko, but these are a little on the pricey side. Huggies isn’t too bad either; you can go for the Dry version aka blue packaging.

2. Diaper Rash Cream

Some babies do develop diaper rash, and some don’t. But you don’t want to be stranded with a cranky baby, while on the phone with your hubby trying to explain which cream to buy. So, to save everyone the hassle, buy a small tube/tub.

My favourite brands are Sudo Cream and Bepanthen, in case you’re not too sure which to get.

3. Yu Yee Oil

All the stuff you hear about colic is REAL. Newborns have bouts of unexplained crying, and a lot of times it is due to stomach discomfort. From my mom’s time, this oil has been used and somehow it helps a lot. Maybe it is magic. Hahaha. Anyway, you can buy this easily at Chinese medical shops, and if you’re lucky, it is even sold at some modern baby stores. This oil is rubbed on the baby’s tummy to keep it warm and remove “wind”, which is the main cause of colic. Doesn’t smell awesome, but I’ll take herbal smell over wailing anytime.

4. Bath tub

Your confinement lady might be a pro at bathing your little one just in the sink, but from experience, you will need a bath tub. It depends how “pantang” you are, but for my family, we usually bath babies in a tub with a herbal bath. You also don’t want the small fella to catch a cold, so with a bath tub, he/she can be dipped or partially submerged in nice warm water.

Here’s a little photo of #bbquah being bath by #theMister, with instructions from my mom. Haha. To be safe, get a little net that allows you to sling your baby in the tub, because a slippery little baby can be a little tricky to handle.

5. Bathing toiletries

Another thing with too many choices. Eventually you might want to buy more stuff, but at the beginning you will only need 3 basic things:

  1. Top-to-toe wash: Newborns don’t sweat as much, don’t stink as much, and don’t have that much hair. You don’t want to bathe him/her too long, so a 2-in-1 wash is good enough. I usually buy either Johnson & Johnson, or Joelle, or Buds.
  2. Bath towel: You need to dry the baby after a bath of course. Avoid those thick fluffy ones as they take forever to dry, even in our hot weather. Something in-between would be good, and not too big since this is a newborn we’re talking about here. (^_^)
  3. Small handkerchief/bath hanky: I’m not very sure what it is called exactly, but basically, when you shower your baby, you might want to use a gentle little hanky to wash off the soap instead of splashing him/her, which will probably frighten him/her. It also helps when you’re scooping water to rinse his/her hair and the baby gets a little jumpy; so what you can do is place this hanky on his/her chest as a little weight or something for him/her to hold onto instead of flailing everywhere.

6. Changing table/mat

Depending on how much space or budget you have, a changing table is kind of important.. and a mat too. For one, you don’t want to be changing dirty diapers on your bed because boo-boo happens and that will mean more work. Secondly, having to bend over too often to change him/her on your bed will kill your back since the bed is quite low usually. So, to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, try to get a changing table and a mat. You don’t have to get anything fancy. There are people selling them second-hand on Carousel and Lowyat Forums, and the ones at IKEA isn’t too costly. For the mat, you can get one at Mothercare, or even IKEA, unless the seller for the pre-loved table includes the mat too.

7. Newborn Clothes

The urge to splurge on every cute article of clothing you see is very high in this category. However, your newborn will grow out of his/her rompers very fast; so fast that he/she might not even get a chance to wear all of it. What (stingy) me did was just buy 7 sets of romper/onesies, and 3 sets of pajama onesies (long pants, long sleeve for air-conditioned rooms), and wash them regularly. Most of the time I tend to shop for onesie sets from brands like Mothercare, Carter’s, Pigeon, and Anakku. For daytime use, try to go for thinner cotton ones as our weather isn’t that cooling.. unless you plan to put the baby 24/7 in air-conditioned room (which I don’t really agree with since it is quite drying and ventilation isn’t the best, but that’s just me). Do take note that imported brands like Mothercare tend to come in thicker materials since the weather in UK isn’t humid like ours.

8. Mittens, Booties, Swaddle, Burp cloth

There are different school of thought on these things. But I did buy a few pieces, like just 3-4 pairs of mittens and booties, and 2-3 swaddles. If you’re planning to buy mittens and booties, get at least 1-2 pairs that has “ventilation” holes so it is a little more cooling in our humid weather. As for swaddle, I bought 2 because they were cute (yes, I succumbed to cuteness!) and they are usually a little thicker which I use for night time in the air-cond room. For day time, I actually used napkins… yes, those people use as nappies because its thinner, and I buy a dozen so can be used as a burp cloth too – although you can get pretty looking muslin swaddles too. You can buy a few pretty looking burp cloths for when you’re planning to go out or when you have visitors, but when nobody is around to care, its is easier to wash and dry napkins.

9. Cot

Why is a cot important? For one, you don’t want to squash your baby in the middle of the night if he/she sleeps with you, especially when you’re dead tired and KO like a log. Secondly, if you buy a cot with a firm mattress and very tight fitting bed sheet, you can put your baby to sleep on his/her tummy, which will reduce colic and sudden fright from loud noises, without worrying about him/her suffocating. A cot is also a safety “net” of sorts; later once baby can wiggle, you don’t have to worry about him/her falling off the bed. Or when older, you can put him/her in there while you shower, poop, or cook without worries. It is a good investment early on in life. Having the discipline (and heart) to keep the baby in there although he/she doesn’t want to is another article later on. Haha.

You can buy pre-loved ones from Carousel or Lowyat Forums, or even Lelong and Mudah, just to name a few. Or ask around; one of your friends or acquaintance might be dying to get rid of theirs. Just make sure to check that it is safe, sturdy, and not damaged.

10. Baby Car Seat

Personally, I find this VERY important. I know a lot of people don’t bother to buy one because they think babies are too young so it is easier to carry, or they will buy then don’t really use because the child don’t like and will cry. However, it is good to start them young. And in instances when you have to run errands and nobody is around, you don’t have to be stuck at home just because there is no one to carry (which is also dangerous btw, but that is also another article altogether). So, try to get a car seat that can be used from infant till about 5 years old.. value for money that way. And make sure it can do rear facing, since it is better for babies to be seated facing the back for safety reasons. DO NOT EVER PLACE BABY SEAT IN THE FRONT PASSENGER SEAT! EVER!

There are 2 types of configurations: ISOFIX and non-ISOFIX. You will need to first check if your car has ISOFIX. I will blog about this soon since I have both types to compare.

11. Baby Detergent

Since babies have such delicate and sensitive skin, they can’t really use the same harsh detergents we use to wash their clothes. So, you would need to wash their clothes separately from everyone’s and use a gentler detergent. We’ve been using NappiKleen all this while, and we like it because it doesn’t have a strong perfume smell. THIS, you can stock up since you will be using for quite a while.

12. Wet Wipes & Powder

Wet wipes. You really can never have enough of these. Personally, I went for a few brands like Pureen and Tesco Choice because they don’t have any fragrance, and is affordable especially during sale or buying in bulk. However, because newborns poop SO MUCH and SO OFTEN, when I am at home I use cotton balls soaked in water to wash/wipe instead – a much cheaper option. You would also want to powder his/her butt to keep it dry, so I would recommend getting a cornstarch powder like this that is fragrance-free, and a little powder container. I usually chuck the puff that comes with it and use one of those makeup powder puffs instead. Less wastage. (OMG I sound like a super cheapskate. Haha)

OK. I am finally done. Sorry for the extremely long post, but I really couldn’t shorten it anymore. Lol. Will do more detailed posts later on other things, but for now, hope you found this post useful!



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One comment on “12 basic essentials for your newborn”

  1. Ee Lin says:

    That was an enjoyable read, thank you!

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