Preparing for a new baby

At Chapter One Photography we are an expert at handling babies so that we can achieve beautiful photographs of newborns and babies for you to treasure in the years to come. As a result we talk with many families each week and get to see a lot of products in use. So finally we have compiled a list of ites people have said are useful and not so you can proepare for your new baby's arrival.

What do you actually need for a Newborn Baby? The best advice from my many clients with babies from newborn – 2 years and beyond!

Some must haves:

A happy mum with lots of support is the best thing

Milk (which ever way it comes)


A nappy bag – many varieties available to suit everyone including ones that look like a large handbag. Try and keep at least one change of clothes for bay inside, you may need them!

A pram,

A rocker if you have an restless baby

A portable baby change mat.

A change table ensure that it suits the heights of you & partner to avoid to much bending over.

A good breast pump,

Comfy maternity bras

Tops that allow easy access for breastfeeding

A good nappy bag -

A good - and large - washing machine

A nappy bin with a foot pedal so you don’t need to use your hands - when babies start to wiggle you will need both

A mobile (One that you like the music from as it is going to to replay over and over again)

A nice breastfeeding pillow

A bath thermometer

Baby Bath

10 pack terry toweling cloths (for all sorts of uses)

Blockout curtains.

Bucket with airtight lid for nappies Scented nappy bags for disposal

A pram caddy.

An insulated cup.

Winter babies:

One nice solid warm blanket,

Ugg boots for you

A cosy dressing gown

Baby clothes, BabyGrows, Clothes and Sleeping Bags

When you’re buying onesies - go for zips over press studs. Remember that you’ll be changing a squirming babywhen you’re half asleep, in the dark. Zips will save your sanity.

Stretchy swaddles and muslin wraps – babies settle so much easier when wrapped up.

Swaddles / sleeping bags from Love to Dream are highly rated.

If you are going to be out later night when they’re older get a sleeping bag with the holes for the car seat belt so you don’t need to take them in and out.

Don’t get too many clothes beforehand! Babies can come early and ended up being the wrong size/season, or can come larger than expected and skip the tiny sizes!

Singlets and socks you can never have too many of.

Sleeping bags are the best thing ever invented. Safe and convenient. Many suggest Ergo and then move to Grobags after 6 months.

Wondersuits for the two way zip

Zip up swaddles (for when you're too exhausted to get the swaddle right)

muslin wraps (min. 120x120mm),

Bonds zippies.

Also sleep nighties (drawstring or elastic around the bottom hem so no undoing legs to change newborn nappies)

Some criss-cross baby jumpsuits (snaps at the front to make changing easier) from Uniqlo

Little shorts and things look cute, but if you have to take an entire outfit off to do a nappy change it's just not practical and won't be used.


Make sure your pram is easy to get in and out of your car.

Don’t spend big on a pram (go second hand) but make sure you get a really durable and ergonomic umbrella stroller. You will be using it about 5 times longer than a pram, per child.

Baby carrier

Ergo or Manduca seem to be the moist recommended. Many suggest Ergo360 carrier.

Find one with good support where the weight is on your hips and baby’s hips are in the right position. Its a lovely way way of transport and they generally sleep and gives you freedom to get out and about.

You can also look out for a local babywearing group - most have libraries you can borrow from to find what works for you.

Some people choose a baby sling followed by a backpack, because in some inner city locations a pram is difficult.

For the car

Spend your money on a good car seat and have your car seat fitted professionally.

A safe car seat (that meets Aussie Standards, and is installed correctly),

Find out (probably from the council) where you can get your car seat properly fitted


The courage to ask for help when needed.

A good sense of humour and an ability to laugh at yourself and poo a must. Knowing that if boobs don’t operate as per instructions there are alternatives.

Remember to fill your cup first, it's the best thing for the baby and you.

Keep well fed, rest when you can and keep your sense of humour.

Surround yourself with supportive people if your goal is to breastfeed,

Remember it is ok to ask for help. When someone offers to help (with the baby, with housework, shopping) accept the offer.

Don’t read too many blogs about sleep or feeding written by range of parents. Every bub is so different. What works for one mightn’t work for another.. Follow your gut instincts and your babies needs without too much help from Google.

Have the number for a call out doctor handy. Many suggest this one which comes to the home and is bulk billed:

Nappies / Nappy bag

Nappies that fit (fit is more important then the brand), choose based on the baby’s weight

A pack of terry towel nappies - for clean ups, not to use as a nappy.

A wipeable, detatchable mat so baby can always be changed hygienically.

Breastfeeding If you want to breastfeed, the contact of a great lactation consultant, hydrogel discs in the fridge,

4 big water bottles with a straw stashed around the house (Camelbak are great-no spill and you don’t have to lean back to drink).

Hydrogel pads / disks (store in the fridge) or Multi-Mam Compresses - when you put one on a sore nipple the relief is phenomenal (sold at Chemists).

A place next to where you plan to feed for your water, book, phone and chocolate

If you plan on breastfeeding, Lansinoh is often recommended. Put it in your hospital bag – it helps prevent cracked / sore nipples.

If you're going to express, don't buy a whole heap of bottles in the same brand- some babies won't accept certain teats/flow

A breast pump, Medela and Spectra have been recommended as best brands of breast pumps.

Breast pads,

Pawpaw ointment also recommended as a natural treatment for mother and baby

The ABA have a 24-hour helpline:1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 268), staffed by amazing & experienced volunteers who have had lots of lactation & counselling training as well as personal experience.

Bottle Feeding

If you are bottle feeding consider buying a bottle warmer - makes warming a bottle much easier and avoids needing to boil water to heat bottles in the middle of the night.

Don't buy a whole heap of bottles in the same brand- some babies won't accept certain teats/flow

Apps – download before going to the hospital:

A free app to track feeds and nappy changes.

Sound Sleeper App (white noise), or any white noise machine/white noise on your phone.

Chairs for Breastfeeding:

A comfy chair many have recommended the Poang chair and footstool from Ikea - just enough bounce, and easy to get in and out of with a sleeping baby in arms.

Other than that consider comfort number one and also ability for the chair to glide so that you can move when baby finally falls asleep you will use it right through the toddler years as well.

Some say a fitball works really well if you don’t have a rocker. You can get a gentle bounce going and it’s pretty comfortable.

Mothers Group

If you don't gel with your health centre's mother's group you might get along with the ABA mums. Or both. Being around other mums feeding like it's a normal thing to do (cause it is) is great, especially when you think you're failing.

The ABA have a 24-hour helpline:1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 268), staffed by amazing & experienced volunteers who have had lots of lactation & counselling training as well as personal experience.

Don't be frightened or dismissive of mothers' groups. A support group is really important, people you can talk to who are in the same mental place as you!

You can also find some on Meetup

Cot stuff

Cot mattress protectors are a must buy a couple

With the sheets.... layer them on the cot - one waterproof, one fitted sheet, one waterproof, one fitted sheet etc. Then if baby has a poo explosion or is sick, you only need to strip the top layers and not remake the whole thing.

If you don’t want to buy cot sheets you can use single bed sheets folded in half - and then when bub progresses to a big bed you don't need to buy more stuff.


Best to have one on hand whether you agree with them or not. Sometimes they can be a lifesaver.

If baby doesn’t like the fancy orthodontic one try the cherry shaped one.

In Northern Europe, they are starting to recommend dummies as a SIDS/SUDI prevention tool. The theory is that the dummy may assist keeping the airway open should bubs find themselves flat on their face. Australia hasn’t put it into their guidelines because there’s still some debate about dummies and breastfeeding/nipple confusion.

Prepare before baby:

Stock up on podcasts, kindle books and Netflix for late night feeds Some easy, not too emotional things to watch and/or read while feeding and settling.

Get the Kindle app on your phone and download a couple of novels you’ll look forward to reading at night when you’re feeding.

And for hospital for yourself take a little kit with things like chap stick, moisturiser, etc.

Wireless headphones so you can watch trashy TV during night feeds.

Make snacks you can eat with one hand and put them in the freezer - protein balls are good for this. You will be permanently hungry!

NEVER used - Some people suggested these items were not worth having:

A bumbo,

Jolly jumper

Baby bath - just bathed in the laundry sink or the regular bath with just a few cms of water

A bassinet. Most babies grow too quickly for this to be truly useful. Maybe buy a second hand one?

Baby shoes- don't waste your money- the child will never wear them

Don’t buy any 0000 or 000 clothes, you’ll get lots as gifts/hand me downs and really little babies only need a few suits and singlets anyway

NO BABY POWDER. No longer recommended by health professionals as it can damage baby's lungs.

Other Ideas

Some people hire the box on wheels from the hospital for the first few weeks rather than a bassinet.

Never underestimate the power of a warm bath for fractious babies (and mothers). Get in with them if you can.

Allow Grandparents or substitutes of your choice to help

Try the local buy nothing group and with the money you save get a cleaner to come once a week

And finally remember - All you need is love Love is all you need.

Also dont forget to book your newborn Photography session with Chapter One Photography prior to having your baby. Obviously babies don't arrive on schedule and so if you have a prior booking we will juggle the days so that your baby has a spot with 7-10 days of being born. This period of time is perfect to catch the tiny details of your baby and provide a relaxed, minimally disruptive session for baby and you.

For more information please email: