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Shopping for your baby: top tips

From essentials to extras, the shopping list for your first child can be overwhelming. But, follow this checklist and you will be fully equipped (but not broke and drowning in baby gear) for the first six weeks and beyond.
The last thing you’ll feel like doing once your baby arrives is making a trolley dash to get all those essentials. So, just in case of an early delivery, head to the shops before 38 weeks and tick these off your list:
Hooded bath towel
Bibs and burp cloths
Nursing pillow
Nipple cream and breast pump if breastfeeding; if not, bottles and steriliser 
Car seat
Moses basket
On the move
It’s one of the biggest baby buys – the pram or stroller. But, it is the one that leaves parents-to-be the most baffled. Check for the following before you wheel your purchase away:
Does it have a lie flat option or carrycot, which is essential for all newborns?
Can you attach a car seat?
Will it fit in your car boot when folded?
Is it easy to collapse?
Does it have a forward-facing option?
Changing time
There’s no getting away from the mountain of dirty nappies – as many as ten per day in the first few weeks. So, start buying early for nappies, baby wipes and nappy cream from the second or third trimester, to help spread the cost. Also, a practical changing mat with a wipeable vinyl surface is much easier to keep clean after you battle against squirting pee at changing time!
On a budget?
Save your cash for the big-ticket items like the pram and cot, and look for ways to save money on clothes and toys. Keep your eyes peeled for seasonal sales, BOGOF offers and second-hand markets. Don’t go overboard with all those cute little newborn onesies, but stock up on clothes in varying age ranges as your little one will grow faster than you think. 
Safety first
Do not scrimp on the all-important car seat. Check that the seat meets international safety standards, and make sure that you have the correct seat for your child’s age and weight; a newborn up to 13kg will need a rear-facing car seat. It’s worth paying extra for a seat with an ISOFIX fitting system – it’ll save you fiddling with seatbelts while trying to calm a screaming baby – and one that can be easily fitted to your pushchair.