Preparing for a new baby is very exciting but it can be really expensive if you don’t shop carefully. You will need quite a few of these items before your baby is born because you’ll need them straight away. Don’t be misled into thinking that you must buy everything on offer for your baby. Every parent you know will have bought at least one expensive item that they hardly used – if ever.

We’ve asked mums and dads to put together a checklist of items you may need for the early months.

Some are essentials, some are luxuries and others can be replaced with cheaper ‘make-do’ alternatives.

Click the list below to find out what items are needed, the different kinds available, the features you should be looking for and at what stage you need to be thinking about buying them.

Better still, why not add your own comments and tips on what you really needed and what you forgot, then we can build an even better list!

One last tip – get the basics together NOW! Since baby can arrive at any time, it might not be  a good idea to spend the first day rushing around trying to impulse buy everything – especially at 3 AM on a Sunday!

factsheets on what to buy