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Saturday 30 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# parents panel
9 essential baby buys to make the first few months easier, according to new parents
Here are the essential items for life with a new arrival.

WHEN IT COMES to being pregnant, or parenting a newborn, everyone’s just figuring things out as they go. That’s why it can be so helpful to hear how other people are getting through the mess of it all, from the first nappy change to the countless sleepless nights.

Our Newborn and Baby Parents Panel is made up of parents and parents-to-be, all raising little ones aged up to 24 months.

This week, we asked our panel for the purchases (or gifts, or hand-me-down items) that were lifesavers when a newborn baby came along.

What’s one essential buy for those first few months with a newborn?

Here are some of the best responses…


The Clevascoop for measuring baby formula is an essential: Rather than having to count out each scoop, you set it to the number you need, then just scoop and pour into the bottle of water! When you’re bleary eyed it’s an absolute lifesaver. Before we got it we had to throw out so many bottles because we couldn’t remember how many scoops we’d put in!

- Amy Molyneaux

We have a co-sleeper for the bed: It’s so nice to have my baby beside me, I can just put out my hand or turn my head and she’s there. I used it for my little boy too (ours is a Chicco Next 2 Me co-sleeper) and I loaned it to my friend for her two babies so it’s been well used.

- Valerie Murray

The second hand changing station has been a lifesaver: We bought it after the birth as a result of an unplanned C-section with the aim of reducing my need to move around. It’s second hand, bought online €50. I would have really struggled to change and dress our baby without it while I was recovering. It has handy storage underneath too.

- Lisa Quinn

I get a lot of use out of my Bubba Baby cover: This is a material cover so shades your baby against sunlight, bright lights, rain, germs, etc and what’s great is that it can double up as a breastfeeding cover too. It’s ideal for use in shopping centres or out walking. 

- Flora Buckley

Basic babygros that you’re happy to throw out if needed: Forget any notions you had about little suits and tutus with tights. Just buy vests and babygros. Cheap ones. There are times when you will resort to cutting the vest off them and dumping it straight into the bin. Disposable fashion is key for the explosions that come at 0-3 months (and beyond!)

- Aisling Fitzgerald

A supply of those pre-made hospital formula bottles: I would highly recommend purchasing some of these before leaving the hospital with a little one. They do not need to be refrigerated, there’s no washing or sterilising involved and they last for an hour from the time they are opened. They were our absolute lifesaver in those early days of adjusting to life with a newborn after an unplanned C-section. I still have a few left over and I always pop one in the changing bag when we go out.

- Claire Kodjo

shutterstock_136385837 Shutterstock / herjua Shutterstock / herjua / herjua

Buying a baby wrap gave me use of *two* hands again: It took me three weeks to rediscover that I had two hands, I was like my infant when he discovered his own hands at a few months old. I could make myself food, and drink hot tea, it was amazing! I lived in my Boba wrap for the first four months, it was my favourite “shirt”. Seemed intimidating first learning how to wrap it, but the YouTube videos are easy to follow, even when severely sleep deprived.

- Jess Mushanski

A large bath sponge that your tiny (slippery) baby can lie on: New mom nerves made bath time terrifying, and my baby didn’t enjoy being held over a basin. A friend suggested this sponge that baby can lie on in the bath to stop him slipping around and it was a game changer. It’s made bathing a more enjoyable experience for both of us. I will definitely be giving this as a gift to any friends who are having babies in the future. 

- Martha Mernagh

A removable fleece liner for the car seat (great for winter driving): Our little one was born in November and with Christmas coming up we had lots of travelling around to do – I found the Wallaboo (basically a fleecy liner for the car seat) a godsend for hopping her in and out of the car and for out walking when I put her in the carseat on the buggy. It meant I didn’t have to wrap her in multiple layers, I could just pop her in in her babygro without any faffing with blankets, jackets etc. All she’d need would be a hat and maybe a cardi. It’s toasty!

- Kevin Sheridan

More: 9 childbirth secrets nobody tells you about beforehand, according to new parents>

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