Must haves

Cot or bassinet

Whichever you choose will be a matter of preference, finances and space. Keep in mind the fast growth rate of newborns if you are considering a bassinet, as any baby that can sit up should be behind the protective slats of a cot. And before considering a second-hand cot, be sure it meets the mandatory Australian safety standards– required by all post-2005 made cots.


Buying a mattress brand new ensures its hygiene and allows you to make sure it fits the dimensions of your cot. For the safety of your baby, mattresses should hold their shape and remain quite firm when depressed.


At a bare minimum your nursery will need two sets of sheets, but ideally more. Bedding and mattress protectors/rubber sheets must fit tight so that they don’t loosen and become a choking hazard. Always have a spare set of each ready to go in case of mess.


Whether buying reusable or disposable, the general tip is: don’t overstock. Newborns grow fast, and before you know it you’ll be needing a larger size. A box of 160 should be enough to begin with – you’ll soon know whether you need more! For cloth nappies, have at least two dozen ready and a laundry bin handy to throw them in. Waterproof nappy covers can be useful for containing moisture.

Changing table/mat

While a changing mat can sit atop a dresser or wardrobe, and certainly comes in handy for other parts of the house, a change table often features compartments or shelves for storage and elevated sides for safety. Make sure whichever you choose that the surface is easily cleaned or washable.


It’s easy to overdo it with clothes, but for a growing newborn it helps to remain practical. Bodysuits, or onesies, are good for keeping baby’s core covered and also don’t bunch up. Try and have at least 6 or 7 bodysuits ready according to the season, along with other essentials such as jumpers, socks or beanies for going out.

Baby monitor

A baby monitor is a good investment not only for night time but also for the day when you’re moving around the house. Keep the receipt for those that work on a radio frequency as they can sometimes interfere with existing household items (some monitors work with the household Wi-Fi, eliminating this problem).

Smoke/carbon monoxide detector

Most households already have one or two of these strategically placed, but it is asbolutely essential to add one to a newborn’s nursery.


Baby dresser/changing station

Baby dressers come with various compartments for organising baby essentials and can often double as a changing table.

Swaddling blankets

Swaddling blankets are ideal for the comfort and warmth of your newborn around the house and out and about.

A bin or hamper for soiled items

Having one of these handy – or more than one for certain items – can make life a whole lot easier.

Room thermometer

Like adults, babies sleep best at a certain room temperature. For assistance in maintaining optimum temperature – paramount for premature babies – invest in a room thermometer.

Night light

Gentle night lights are ideal for midnight visits, and some now come with motion detecting sensors.


Placed above a cot, mobiles can stimulate a newborn during alone time or soothe them gently to sleep.

Baby music

Playing music to infants has been suggested to stimulate mental development and help regulate breathing. Some mobiles play musical tunes, but you can just as easily use a stereo or Bluetooth player.


It’s never too early to start reading to a child – they will connect with the sound of your voice and the words will help in their mental and social development. Having book shelves allows you to start building the library early, plus gives you a place to pass on old favourites from your own childhood.

Feeding pillow/nursing chair

Ergonomic nursing pillows make it easier to find the optimum position for mum or baby, while having a chair handy makes it far easier to feed your baby at all hours of the night.