Make sure you have all you need to welcome your baby home - use this checklist to ensure you have all the basics.
During the first few weeks babies grow very quickly so it's best to buy basics rather than lots of expensive outfits.
- Some all in one stretch suits for both day and night
- A couple of light wool or cotton cardigans - light layers are best for keeping your baby warm
- A shawl or blanket to wrap your baby in
- A wool or cotton hat (depending on the time of year) scratch mittens, and socks or booties for when you take your baby outdoors
When it comes to washing your baby's clothes, you'll need to use a non-bio detergent or powder as these are less likely to irritate your baby's skin - make sure that you rinse your newborn's clothes thoroughly.
For the first few months, a Moses basket (a light, portable bassinet) is recommended.
You will need:
- A firm mattress that fits the cot snugly without leaving spaces round the edges
- Sheets to cover the mattress – make sure you have a few as they will need to be changed often!
- Light blankets
Don't use pillows or duvets, they aren't safe for babies under a year old due to the risk of suffocation.
When it comes to buying a pushchair or pram, shop around and look at what's available and what might suit you best - chat with other mums to see what they might recommend. You might also like to look at baby carriers (also called slings), which are attached to you with straps so that you can carry your baby in front of you.
If you've got a car, you'll need a car seat suitable for a newborn baby. Your baby must always go in their seat, including when you bring them home from the hospital. The best way for your baby to travel is in a rear-facing infant car seat on the back seat. This is held in place by the adult safety belt.
For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life