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Newborn essentials every parent needs

The Newborn Essentials Every Parent Needs

When it comes to buying things for a newborn baby, the list of choices and questions can feel endless. With so many products on the market and plenty of conflicting advice — it’s no wonder many people feel daunted and confused before the baby is even born! That’s why Hello Charlie researches and reviews everything before we stock it, so that our customers can be assured everything is eco-friendly and non-toxic.

To help new parents decide what they really need before the arrival of their bub, we have teamed up with Noble Oak to compile a definitive list of newborn baby essentials.

The biggest mistake expectant parents make when they’re choosing products for their baby is assuming that the baby needs everything straight away. Keep it simple. New babies really don’t need that much stuff, and parents often buy way too much that then doesn’t get used!

The most common question we get from expectant parents is how they can make sure that they’re choosing non-toxic products for their new baby? Unfortunately, it’s not easy. There’s so much greenwashing and misleading marketing out there, which is why we have such strict guidelines regarding what we will stock in our store. We research and review every single product before we’ll stock it. If it’s on Hello Charlie, you can be assured that it’s non-toxic.

To help new parents, we also publish our research through our famous cheat sheets. We’ve got cheat sheets on everything from nappies and wipes, through to baby skincare and eco-friendly toys.

The Newborn Essentials Every Parent Needs

Our top 6 essential products for newborns

Baby Clothes

Onesies and rompers: Ideal newborn onesies or rompers should be soft, breathable fabrics with snap closures for easy nappy changes. Ensure they have no loose buttons or small parts to minimise choking hazards and prioritise comfort for the baby's delicate skin. Hello Charlie recommends the Merineo Baby Bodysuit. This baby bodysuit is made from 100% superfine merino wool, which is very soft and has been medically proven to reduce child eczema.

Nappies & Changing

Eco disposable nappies: Considering nappies sit right against your baby's skin, it makes sense to be picky about what's in them. Eco disposables skip perfumes, lotions, and nasty chemicals, making them the safer choice for your little one. Hello Charlie recommends Bambo Nature, Moltex, and Muumi. These nappy brands have independent eco certifications that are guarantee safety and sustainability. 

Cloth nappies: At Hello Charlie, we suggest using eco disposables for the first month as you adapt to your new routine and get accustomed to handling the laundry from piles of nappies. However, you can use cloth nappies on newborns from the get-go, even in the first few weeks. The right kind of cloth nappy brands are gentle on baby skin and eco-friendly, so there is no need to wait! We recommend Pea Pods one-size nappies. Get to save thousands from these reusable nappies, as they’re ideal to use from birth to toilet training!

Biodegradable eco baby wipes: We see so many cases of nappy rash that we could have prevented by using baby wipes with good ingredients instead of the toxic, fragrance-filled wipes that cause rashes on sensitive baby skin. Hello Charlie recommends Wotnot wipes, Noopii and Joonya wipes. These unscented (or naturally scented) and biodegradable wipes are gentle, safe, and perfect for wiping your baby's bottom, face, or hands.

Change mats and nappy bags: Parents of newborns need change mats and nappy bags to handle on-the-go messes easily. When choosing a mat, look for PVC-free and wipeable fabrics. For nappy bags, pick durable materials for a safe and easy baby care routine. It's all about convenience in the chaos! Hello Charlie recommends the Pea Pods Travel Change Mat and Pea Pods Nappy Bags, which are handy, compact, and perfect for nappy changes anytime and anywhere.

Nappy creams: Nappy rash creams are helpful for newborns to treat and prevent nappy irritation. Choosing creams that contain natural ingredients like calendula or chamomile can be a gentler option. While it's not an absolute essential for every baby, having a natural nappy cream available can benefit those seeking more sensitive-skin-friendly alternatives. Hello Charlie recommends nappy creams and balms from brands such as Nature's Child, Badger, and Weleda. These baby products help to nourish, soothe, protect, and prevent soreness and reduce redness.

Nursery & Sleep Items

Swaddles: Healthcare professionals often recommend swaddling as it can soothe infants and improve sleep quality. Using breathable and lightweight materials is important to avoid overheating and ensure a safe swaddling experience. Hello Charlie recommends the Merineo Newborn Swaddle Bag, which has thermoregulating properties to keep babies comfortable in any weather, making it a great year-round companion.

Muslin Wraps: Muslin wraps are considered essential for newborns due to their versatility. Beyond providing a snug swaddle, they serve multiple purposes, such as a sunshade, burp cloth, and even a discreet breastfeeding cover for nursing mothers. Hello Charlie recommends the BIBS Baby Muslin Cloth Set and Tikiri Giraffe Teether & Organic Muslin Wraps - Baby Gift Set. These lightweight and durable fabrics are easy to fold, store, and take anywhere.

Sleeping Bags: If you feel your baby is ready to transition from being swaddled to sleeping with their arms out, consider using a sleep suit or baby sleeping bag. This will provide a comfortable and safe sleep environment while allowing your baby greater freedom of movement. We recommend the Merineo Baby Sleeping Bag, which features armhole press studs that enable increased mobility while maintaining the sleeping bag's comfort level.

Thermometer: When it comes to newborns, it is essential to keep an eye on their body temperature, as they are more sensitive to temperature changes. A thermometer is a must-have for this purpose. You should go for a user-friendly one with quick readings, gentle use, and additional features like fever indicators and memory recall to keep track of your baby's health. Hello Charlie recommends Cherub Baby's 4 in 1 Infrared Digital Ear & Forehead Thermometer V2 and 5 in 1 Touchless Thermometer for accurate temperature monitoring at your fingertips. These thermometers are easy to use, hygienic, and comfortable for babies.

Feeding Essentials

Baby bottles: Whether you choose breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, prepare for feeding by having newborn-friendly baby bottles and teats. Bottle feeding offers a valuable bonding opportunity for family members, providing mums with a well-deserved break. Be patient in discovering the right bottle, considering safe materials such as glass or BPA-free, safe plastics, as some babies may be picky and require different options. Hello Charlie recommends the borosilicate baby bottles from Haakaa and BIBS. These are durable, hypoallergenic, and won’t leach flavours or toxic chemicals to your baby’s water or milk.

Breast pads for mum: It's also important to take care of mum, and choosing gentle and natural personal care products for her to use can make a big difference. Go with organic and reusable where possible. Check out the Nature's Child, Luvme, and Pea Pods brands. These brands offer nursing pads that are soft, absorbent, and washable, making them an eco-friendly and sustainable choice.

Bathing & Skincare

Unscented baby soap: We don't recommend using fragrances on babies, as their skin is delicate, and perfumes can hide some nasty ingredients. It's essential to use mild, unscented soap for washing everything, including your hands. So always choose a gentle, unscented one with natural ingredients. Our bestseller is Dr Bronner's castile soap, which is available in liquid and bar form and works great. We also recommend using Jack N Jill Baby Bath Wash, which is nourishing, hydrating, and suitable for sensitive newborn skin.

Baby moisturisers and oils: Paediatricians generally recommend using mild, synthetic, fragrance-free moisturisers and oils on newborns' skin to help prevent dryness and irritation. However, it's essential to consult with a paediatrician before introducing new products to ensure they suit the baby's specific needs. Hello Charlie recommends the unscented oil from Weleda and the natural baby lotion from Jack N Jill Kids. Both products help nourish, soothe, and protect delicate baby skin.

Toys & Enrichment

Toys for newborns: Newborns don't require a wide variety of toys. Their primary needs revolve around basic care, bonding, and sensory experiences. To support their sensory development, you can gradually introduce simple items like soft rattles, high-contrast black-and-white toys, and textured objects. Hello Charlie recommends the rattles from Tikiri, high-contrast baby books from Mesmerised, and textured natural rubber toys from Oli and Carol. These toys help promote sensory exploration, stimulate cognitive development, and enhance fine motor skills.

If you'd like a hand with choosing eco products for your new baby, the friendly team at Hello Charlie are here to help. Email us and we'll be able to point you in the right direction!

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