A dear friend of mine is expecting a little bundle of joy soon and what kind of friend would I be if I didn't help her out in the newborn shopping department?
It can be daunting to begin shopping for your newborn, trying to distinguish between things you'll need immediately vs some time down the line, necessity vs nice-to-have's, cute vs practical, and so on and so forth. So, I thought I'd offer some advice of my own and make a list of the top 10 essentials
HK has 2 baby expos a year at the Wanchai Convention Centre, normally around February and August, where you can find some excellent deals. Some of the items will be available at Petit Tippi, which we will highlight, but if you'd like help or advice please feel free to email us, we'd be happy to help!
1. Moses Basket - your baby won't need a crib in the first few weeks since s(he) won't be moving much and can therefore sleep soundly in a moses basket, or in many cases may end up spending a lot of time co-sleeping with you (please make sure you follow the safety guidelines). What makes Moses baskets great is that you can take them around your home and have somewhere to lay your baby flat where ever you go. You will need a mattress (usually included) and sheets
2. Bath Towels - your baby will be bathed from day 1, so you'll want to have some nice fluffy towels ready to go and washed before baby arrives. Make sure you have several as peepee and poopoo and spit up has a way of finding itself on towels, bedding and clothing and you'll want to have extras handy! Make sure to get a hooded one so that you can ensure your baby's head is wrapped up when s(he) comes out of the bath. We have a collection of gorgeous Malabar Baby towels available at Petit Tippi
3. Bath Tub/Seat - your newborn will need an infant insert or seat in the first few weeks as s(he) won't be able to sit up and you'll need as many free hands as you can get. In HK, it's handy to get one that folds up to save space when you don't need it. We have a stokke, but if done again I would get something else because it doesn't fully open or stay open. We recommend the Snuggle because the base is small so it saves floor-space and allows your baby to sit up in its built-in non-slip seat, so you can bathe your baby hands-free
4. Shampoo/Shower Gel - get a good quality shampoo and shower gel made of natural and organic ingredients for your newborn. His/her skin will be very sensitive and prone to baby acne, cradle cap, eczema and the like, so buy something that is gentle on the skin and that you can trust. If possible, use one that doesn't contain soap
5. Moisturizer - cradle cap, baby acne, diaper rash and eczema can all be combatted with moisturizers, but be sure to choose something that will seal in moisture or let the skin breathe appropriately. For cradle cap, we love All Things Jill's 'Smooth As A Baby's Bum Balm', which is also a cloth diaper safe bum balm that will treat diaper rash. It moisturizes and seals in moisture. For baby acne, we recommend a good, cold pressed coconut oil, which can also be used to aid a bunch of skin ailments. Coconut oil, however, doesn't seal in moisture very well as it gets absorbed by the skin, so it won't help prevent diaper rash though it can help heal it.
6. Diapers and Wipes - you'll want to have a couple packs (no more than that to start with!) of newborn sized diapers ready when your baby comes home, if you're going with disposables. A newborn, in my experience, will go through 10-12 diapers a day in the early weeks and you don't want to be caught short (one of the reasons why having a few cloth diapers on hand is great too!). You'll also need some good quality cotton wipes to wash your baby's bum and face, or wet wipes. As you know, we love our cloth diapers and cloth wipes - we don't think they're any more of a hassle than 'sposies, and certainly better for your baby, but if you want to go disposable part or full-time, we love Bambo Nature for being biodegradable as well as effective! However, we do still recommend getting at least one cloth diaper for cute seedling photos!
7. Swaddles - these can double as receiving blankets and nursing covers, but your baby will love being wrapped up tight in the first few months, so you should try and master the art of swaddling! There are brands that have velcro and zipper options for easy swaddling, but the old fashioned way is the most versatile until your baby can roll (thus undoing the swaddling). Our favorite and the one we get the best feedback on is the ergoCocoon which has a convenient two-way zip, convertible arms that can open up so you don’t have to keep taking it off and putting it back on for naps, and is made of beautiful, organic, stretchy fabrics. Aden+Anais' Bamboo Swaddles are super soft and breathable for HK weather and are also big enough to be used as car seat/stroller canopies or makeshift nursing cover. We also love the amazing designs from Malabar Baby, another one of our favorite organic brands, both available at Petit Tippi!
8. Baby Carrier - avid baby wearers will tell you to get different carriers for different occasions, but most important is to have one that you can take your baby out in that you feel confident in. If you can be convinced to get more than one, a stretchy wrap is great for newborns to wear around the house, especially if your baby is colicky and needs to be held upright for long periods. If you're not very confident in a woven wrap, Ergobaby's new Embrace carrier is soft like a wrap yet buckles with the convenience of a Soft Structured Carrier. A SSC is the most popular choice because it's easy to put on, it's supportive for parents and babies, and comes in some great colors and prints too! We recommend the Lillebaby Airflow and Tula Explore, which is very supportive of your back, is breathable and can be used for ergonomic forward-facing carry.
9. Bottles - whether you're breastfeeding or feeding formula, you'll need bottles. We carry HK’s biggest selection of breastfeeding friendly baby bottles, including Comotomo, Mimijumi, Nuk Simply Natural and others that may help with nipple confusion and support a smooth breastfeeding experience. These are all great for preventing colic as well, with each their own innovative venting systems. We sell bottles in singles so that you can try a couple brands, particularly if your baby is a bit fussy with bottles (as mine were!). As your baby grows, make sure you move onto a faster flow nipple or your baby will tire out from sucking too hard for too long or get frustrated
10. Bottle Sterilizer and Warmer - get a warmer with a timer on it, you won't want to calculate the necessary amount of time and sit there and watch the kettle boil! We recommend Avent or Beaba for both these functions.
ok we need one more...!
11. Clothing - don't buy too much clothing as your baby will grow out of it very quickly. We started with about 6 basic newborn sized onesies since we did laundry very frequently at the beginning and that lasted about 2 weeks before we had to buy new, larger clothing. Your baby will be swaddled most of the time, so stick with simple clothing. You'll undoubtedly receive a lot of clothing from friends, so don't go overboard too early. Don't forget socks and a pair of mitts or your baby will scratch his/her face!
There you have it! I'm a bit surprised we narrowed it down to just 11, but I think we've covered the essentials. Good luck and again, feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
XO Petit Tippi