New mum essentials: our top 8 must-have buys for mum and baby

If you or know someone who is about to become a parent, we've listed out some new mum essentials which can help you to prepare for the new arrival

new mum essentials: eve sleep cot bed mattress
(Image credit: eve sleep)

Planning for your new arrival is super exciting, albeit a little daunting  – especially if you're expecting your first. Friends and family don't seem to hold back on advice on what to get so it can get pretty overwhelming. But don't worry: I've been there. In fact, I am there with just a few weeks to go now until I welcome my first child into the world, so hopefully you'll find these new mum essentials helpful in some way.

Admititably I have listened to what (most) of my friends and family have advised to get, but have also chosen a couple of things on my own which I feel could be really useful pre and post-birth. You needn't spend a lot of money and often the things you buy -can be reused as you expand your brood over the next few years. Friends may even end up coming to YOU wanting to borrow certain items so you'll totally get your monies worth.

Here's what I wouldn't be without right now. There's bound to be more but these eight products would certainly be a good start to your new adventure.

  • Shop Argos   – save on selected baby and nursey 
  • Shop Amazon  – find Ewan The Dream Sheep, and more
  • Shop Boots  – for all your feeding, bathing and pregnancy needs
  • Shop eve sleep  – cot bed mattresses and mattress protectors
  • Shop John Lewis & Partners  – clothing, bedding and more
  • Shop Kally Sleep  – pregnancy pillows and more
  • Shop Rem-Fit  – for mattress protectors, mattresses and pillows

1. Kally U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow

Kally U shaped pregnancy pillow

(Image credit: Kally)

It's a really big pillow but I wouldn't be without it. I've had it since the 2nd trimester whilst updating our best pregnancy pillow guide and although it's not as versatile as some of the other pillows out there, the Kally U-Shaped Pillow has been super supportive for bump and my back. 

Things to note
The removable cover is easy enough to take on and off but it is pretty thin and attracts fluff quite easily. You'll also find that it takes up most of the bed, even in a kingsize.

Kally U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow | £54.99 at Kally Sleep

Kally U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow | £54.99 at Kally Sleep
Get the full-body support with this U-Shaped pillow which is perfect for side sleepers. You'll get FREE delivery and can trial is for 14 nights if you're not too sure.

2. REM-Fit Cooling Mattress Protector

REM-Fit Cooling Mattress Protector

(Image credit: Rem-Fit)

It's no secret that you're going to feeling a lot warmer day and night, and waking up during the night is becoming somewhat of a nightmare in itself, too. A mattress protector which can help to keep you cool is a MUST, and this one is amazing. It is cool to the touch and stays cool throughout the night. It's even waterproof so if there's an accident or your water break during the night, your mattress will be protected.

Things to note
It's cool, yep, but it does feel a little slippery and plastically, too. It's also a little pricey BUT this mattress protector comes with a 15-year guarantee, and is a lot cheaper than buying a mattress topper or new mattress.

REM-Fit Cooling Mattress Protector | from £179.95

REM-Fit Cooling Mattress Protector | from £179.95 £89.98 at Rem-Fit
Save a mega 50 per cent when you buy this mattress protector. It's suitable for all mattress types.

3. Opti Gym Ball – 75cm

Argos opti gym ball

(Image credit: Argos)

Technically a gym ball, this is something which I've had bouncing around the home on since first trimester. Not only is it a comfortable alternative to sit on at the desk, but it also doubles as a useful foot rest and means of exercise. I've heard it can be useful when in labour, too. This was the biggest ball I could find at the time and, actually, it's okay for what it is - especially for less than £10.

Things to note
It's a bit of effort to pump up so ask a friend or your partner to help. I also ordered this for same day delivery and was very impressed with the service.

75cm | £8.99 at Argos

Opti Gym Ball  – 75cm | £8.99 at Argos
A very versatile (and essential) part of pregnancy, this gym ball is worth every penny. I would totally recommend same day delivery, too.

4. Little Green Sheep Natural Quilted Moses Basket & Mattress

Little Green Sheep Natural Quilted Moses Basket & Mattress

(Image credit: Little Green Sheep)

I wasn't sure if I wanted a moses basket to start with, just because there's SO much alternative choices out there, but I'm so glad I did. It's going to be super useful as a napping space in the lounge, and it looks so lovely. It was important to me that it was made from natural materials  – inside and outside  – and came with a stand so I had everything ready. The palm leaf basket arrives with the cotton quilted liner already in place and which is secured with a couple of cute little bows between the handles. And the mattress sits snuggly in place which is recommended to be turned regularly.

Things to note
The stand needs to be assembled. There's various bits and pieces to it and although there are some instructions, you may need some help to hold certain pieces together as it's all screwed together.

The little mattress is also water resistant NOT waterproof so it's recommended you use a waterproof protector to keep it clean and dry. And don't forget a fitted sheet, too.

Little Green Sheep Natural Quilted Moses Basket & Mattress | £99.95 at Little Green Sheep

Little Green Sheep Natural Quilted Moses Basket & Mattress | £99.95 at Little Green Sheep
Available in a selection of five colours and with or without a mattress protector, this moses basket is just perfect for your newborn to a four-month old. Delivery is free, and so are returns if you change your mind.

5. Sweet Dreamers Ewan Deluxe Baby Sleep Aid with Cry Sensor

Sweet Dreamers Ewan deluxe

(Image credit: Sweet Dreamers)

My friends (and colleagues) absolutely rave about Ewan. Not only is he super soft and simply adorable, he replicates the comfort of the womb with a selection of soothing sounds, including actual recordings of the womb and heartbeat along with the calming Shush of a real human voice. White and pink noise is also a thing to help settle little one. And the smart cry sensor and comforting night light is mega handy for helping to resettle them. I think we're going to be best friends, me and Ewan.

Things to note
You'll need three AA batteries to power Ewan. It' also one of the best selling baby soothers which will make a really lovely gift.

Sweet Dreamers Ewan Deluxe | £39.99 at Amazon

Sweet Dreamers Ewan Deluxe | £39.99 at Amazon
It's a small price to pay for a decent night's sleep. Suitable from birth. Available in grey or purple.

6. Medela Swing Flex 2-Phase Electric Breast Pump

Medela Swing Flex™ 2-Phase Electric Breast Pump

(Image credit: Medela)

The search for a breast pump is NOT an easy one. There's so many to choose from – manual, battery or electric powered – and it's SUCH a personal decision. I might get two to see how I get on (since I can't use it pre-baby arrival) but for now this electric pump from Medela is on standby. I like it because it has a breast shield which adapts to how the pump fits you and the technology is supposed to mimic how baby latches on. The more natural, the better (in my opinion). Being easy to use and portable is a good thing, too. Plus it's in the mid-price range which always helps with planning budgets, etc, for the new arrival.

Things to note
It can be operated via battery OR mains. It requires four AA batteries if you opted for this, which won't need to be removed if using plugged in.

Medela Swing Flex Breast Pump | £139.99 at Argos

Medela Swing Flex Breast Pump | £139.99 at Argos
Compact, portable and easy to use, this breast pump will help with those very first feeding challenges. Need it quickly? Opt for Same Day Delivery at Argos.

7. Chicco Next2Me Air Bedside Crib

Chicco Next 2 Me Air Bedside Crib

(Image credit: Chicco / John Lewis)

I'm really looking forward to using this and, strangely, setting it up as I've not done this yet. I feel that once the Next2Me is in place, baby can come (exciting). We bought this as an sleeping option because we were sold on the fact that it will adapt to our sleeping needs; attach to the side of the bed for safe co-sleeping, use as a stand-alone crib or as travel crib (it has a travel bag included). It's really versatile, and super light yet sturdy.

Things to note
It arrives with a mattress but you will need a waterproof mattress protector and bedding to use with it. It's also only suitable for up to the age of six months, so baby will need to be moved on to his / her own cot for more space to grow.

Chicco Next 2 Me Air Bedside Crib | £179 at John Lewis & Partners

Chicco Next 2 Me Air Bedside Crib | £179 at John Lewis & Partners
Always have your little one next to you as you sleep with this fab crib. It's proving popular. Delivery is FREE.

8. Eve cot bed mattress

eve cot mattress: best cot mattress

(Image credit: eve)

Thinking ahead to when baby is about six months old, they'll need to go into a cot. I'm planning on using my cot which, okay, is 30+ years old which is in good nick but was keen to get a new mattress for obvious reasons. Having been working across several lovely mattress brands I spotted that eve sleep has a mattress which would fit the bill (cot) nicely. And to be fair it is featured in our #1 spot for the best baby mattress. It has a lovely and soft antibacterial mattress cover which encases a waterproof protector plus a luxury foam layer and pocket springs  – this provides a firm base for little on to lie on.

The cloud-patterned cover can be easily removed by a zip which goes half-way round the mattress and washed at 60-degrees, which is really helpful. And it has the iconic eve sleep yellow edging around the side of the mattress which is a nice finishing touch.

Things to note
It's light so you can easily move the mattress into position and turn heat to feet. There are also two sizes to opt for  – 60x120cm and 70x140cm – so be sure to measure as accurately as possible prior to ordering, bearing in mind that the gap between the mattress and the cot should not exceed 3cm in both directions.

the cot mattress | £149 at eve sleep

the cot mattress | £149 at eve sleep
Available in a choice of sizes, this little mattress from eve could see your child through to toddler age. Delivery is free, it comes with a 30-night free trial and a 5-year guarantee. 

Jennifer Oksien
Jennifer Oksien

After returning to Future Publishing in February 2020, Jennifer has been working on our appliance and mattress content to showcase the best in class examples which are available to buy for your homes. When she is not scouring the web for deals or reviewing products for your pursuit, she can be found hanging out with our three guinea pigs in her Victorian terraced home which she has lovingly (patiently) been renovating with her husband over the past few years. Jennifer also likes tea and homemade cake, very much.