12 Must-Have Items for Baby and Mom

Mankoana Nhlebela

A Fond Memory

Preparing for a baby, especially as a new mom, can be quite overwhelming. Looking back, I do recall being pretty much consumed with getting all the right items, that would make the transition to mom as easy as possible.

With so many options, but no experience for reference, I was very much guided by internet searches, friends, family members and the friendly store assistance who tried their best to advise on what most moms-to-be came to purchase.

Showered with Love

Four years down the line and I still feel truly grateful to have had family and friends who showered us with a variety of gifts, and the majority of which got us through the first few months after birth.

I absolutely love buying all the cute and cuddly baby clothes. But in hindsight, I now know that there are some non-negotiable items that every mom needs, especially to make it through the first few months.

I will be attending a friend’s baby shower in a few weeks and I too have to think of the perfect gift to buy. With some experience on my side, this time around, I thought I would share a few items. I believe these will help a new mom, mom-to-be or even as you decide to purchase a gift for the next baby shower you attend.

List of Must Have Items for Baby and Mom

For Baby

1. Swaddle Blanket


The transition phase is not only for the mom who awaits her bundle of joy. A newborn, being used to the confinement of the mom’s womb, will appreciate a similar comfort. The swaddle blanket is the perfect way to soothe your newborn as they adjust to the new world.

2. Cot


You have a new addition to the home and they too will need a place to sleep. With that said, when it comes to cots there’s always the debate of getting a stationary cot or mobile camp cot. I truly think it’s a personal choice as both have their pros and cons.

As a guide, there are a few considerations. Consider room space and the frequency of travel away with the baby. The flexibility of having the baby sleep in another room during the day and also how important the aesthetics of your baby room are to you may also guide your choice. I personally also love the convenience of the co-sleeper cot which makes night feeds much easier. In using a cot, make sure to follow all the safety and precautionary measures to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

3. Travel System


The cost of shopping for baby items can escalate quite quickly. So, if I can get a 2-in-1 buy, I’m all in. I appreciate the travel system as it gives the option of a baby seat and stroller in one purchase. Definitely items that every mom will need.

Make sure to try it out to see how complex or simple it will be to assemble and also how much boot space it requires.

4. Baby Carrier


The combination of a crying baby while trying to get certain things done will quickly have you appreciate the baby carrier. Freeing up your hands while letting you comfort your baby will help you carry your baby hands-free as you go about your day, whether it’s meal preparations or shopping.

5. Medical Kit


These are small buys but are quite essential to support your baby’s health needs. These include a thermometer, medicine dispenser, bath thermometer, saline spray, nasal aspirator, teething gel or powder, antiseptic wipes, surgical spirits for cord care and colic drops.

I opted for Colic Calm. It worked wonders, in comparison to various options I tried, and also for the fact that it is a homeopathic medicine.

6. Humidifier

A stuffy nose seems to be quite common in newborns. This can be brought on by various reasons, including low humidity in your baby’s room. The humidifier will add moisture to the air to prevent dryness and alleviate nasal congestion.

Baby essentials that also go without saying include; diapers, bum cream, wipes, baby bottles and sterilizer, feeding bowls, baby bag, and disposable bags for soiled diapers.

For Mom

1. Breast Pump


You will not always be in a position to feed your baby from the breast. In these cases, a breast pump will assist you in meeting your baby’s nursing needs. Pumping can also help with stimulating your milk supply.

Consider a pump that is effective but also gentle enough for your breasts. Milk storage sachets will also provide you with the option to store additional milk stock.

2. Nursing Pillow

A nursing pillow will provide you with support as you feed your baby. You can also double it up for sitting support during your baby’s sitting milestones.

3. Nipple Cream

Breastfeeding is a beautiful experience, but make no mistake it can also get quite sore. Sore nipples are very common during breastfeeding and nipple cream can help soothe and protect sore cracked nipples.

4. Nursing Bra


Breastfeeding without having to remove your bra makes breastfeeding so convenient and gives easy access for baby wherever you may be. While you are at it, invest in some breast pads for any breast leaks.

5. Night Gown

Breastfeeding during the night is a reality. So, make sure to have PJs or a nightgown that opens easily, and preferably down the front, to give your baby easier access.

6. Cabbage Leaves 

Yes, you heard correctly. We live to learn, and in the process of sore nipples during breastfeeding, I was advised of the wonders of cabbage leaves. Wet the leaves in cold water or place in a fridge until they are cooler. Then place on your nipples for relief of soreness.

Trust me, at the verge of wanting to give up from the unbearable pain, cabbage leaves gave me relief and saved my breastfeeding journey.

All You Need is Love

There are so many essentials a newborn baby and mom-to-be needs, but the greatest and most priceless is the love you will give and receive from your baby.

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Mankoana Nhlebela
Mankoana Nhlebela

Kids Editor

Mankoana Nhlebela is an Entrepreneur, Transformational Speaker and Mentor. With a creative flair, she’s the owner of UKARA, a fashion and lifestyle brand, and Co-Founder of Motherly Love Baby Shower, a non-profit organisation that aims to support underprivileged mothers-to-be. With a span of multiple roles, including a corporate job in Telecommunications, one of her favourites is that of parenting. As a mother of two, and a women empowerment enthusiast, she firmly believes in the power of affirmation and intentional parenting.

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