Newborn shopping list – the essentials!

Being a brand new mum and being an expat at the same time was not the easiest time in my life. Dealing with all the emotions that come with being a new mum coupled with being so far away from family and friends made it really hard at times. I was away from everything that I considered to be normal and had lost the ability to rationalise.

This isn’t a post about how much I struggled, far from it, but having a newborn in 2011 in Chiang Mai meant that it was difficult to tick off anything on my newborn shopping list that (at the time) I thought were essential! There was no choice for baby products, nothing organic, nothing natural and everything seemed to be cheap, plastic tat!

I learned to be resourceful and by the time Ariya came along just two years later, things had changed considerably. There was so much more available, virtually every item on my original newbornshopping list was now available. However, I learned that much of what was (still is) on the market is really not necessary and more often than not a fad, a waste of money and a way to guilt-trip new parents into spending even more money!

Having a baby is expensive – and that’s before all the gizmos and gadgets that are advertised as being vital to your child’s well-being!

So here it is… a detailed newborn shopping list – of what you actually need and what is really optional.

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Remember babies grow really quickly so don’t overbuy!  If you find you don’t have enough it’s easy enough to pick up some more!


If you’re breastfeeding:

If you’re formula feeding:


Of you are using re-usable cloth nappies:

If you are using disposable diapers:

  • Two boxes of newborn-size diapers (it’s better not to buy too many in advance in case your baby is large or grows quickly)
  • Changing pad
  • Baby ointment (such as Sudocrem/Dermocrem)
  • Disposable wipes/couple dozen washcloths for cleaning baby’s bottom

If you are using a crib:

If you are co-sleeping:

*** Please note. Co-sleeping is not recommended as it does increase the risk of SUDI (sudden unexpected death in infants) including SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and fatal sleeping accidents.***

Other newborn essentials
Non-essentials, but worth considering