These are the only items you need for a newborn. According to the experts.

Thanks to our brand partner, Westpac


The range of products available to new parents is never-ending.

Choosing between cots and bassinets is just the tip of an expensive and largely unnecessary iceberg.

Hello Bump hosts Monique Bowley and Rebecca Judd invited Midwife Cath (Cathryn Curtin) onto their pregnancy podcast to find out which items are necessary and which are a waste.

Listen to Cath and the hosts discuss everything from baby gyms to bassinets, cots to cribs and all that’s in between. 

Toys were first to get a rather stern but fair thumbs down. Cath explained she tended to err on the side of less is best when it came to recreational objects for newborns.

“I’m a bit of a minimalist with babies as far as toys as things like that,” she said.

Cath said parents should focus on securing high quality items that aid sleep and mobility.

“You need a good cot and a good mattress, a good pram and a safe car seat that’s been put in by someone who knows what they’re doing,” she said.

“One of those baby carriers, they’re fantastic to walk around while holding the baby.”


Another recommended item was a large padded mat that allowed for the child to naturally strengthen their mobility.

“What I like is a really big mat on the floor for the baby to roll onto. I’m really into floor-time so the baby progressively develops rather than having jingle-jangles (‘walkers’, ‘jumpers’) all over them,” Cath said.

The great debate between whether a bassinet or cot should be purchased was also answered. Cath said it was popular for parents to have both but it wasn’t necessary.


“You can go straight to the cot, if you feel comfortable with a baby in the cot straight away,” she said.

A post shared by Rebecca Judd (@becjudd) on

Podcast host Bec said she used cots exclusively as she feared switching between them would be too disruptive.

“I didn’t like the idea of my babies getting used to the bassinet, and sleeping so well in it, and then all of a sudden, it’s like, ‘okay, we’re getting rid of the bassinet now.’ and then that transfer unsettling them,” she said.


Cath said parents who wanted a bassinet should purchase one with the additional mobility of wheels and the added airflow of mesh.

“Bassinets are great, and one on wheels is really fantastic to have, so there’s good airflow through the bassinet. The ones with mesh are really good,” she said.

Change tables were another point of difference between the hosts. Bec admitted to owning one and an additional mattress for on-the-go changes.

Parents can simply remove the padded mattress and use it elsewhere. Mattresses can also be purchased separately. (Source: iStock.)

Cath warned that change tables posed a great risk of accidental falls.

"What I worry about with change tables is that babies fall off," she said.

"One rule that we were given on day one was that, if your eyes are on the baby, your hands can be off, but if your eyes are off the baby, keep your hand on."

Cath recommended new mothers remove the insert from their table and use it on the floor or low-level furniture such as a lounge.

Listen to the full podcast for further information about what equipment can be second-hand and where to place a baby if you need a shower.

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