SingaporeMotherhood | Baby & Toddler

May 2012

Baby Essentials: Getting Ready For Baby

Congratulations! Once baby comes on board, your life will never be the same again. There’ll be sleepless nights, projectile poop, leaky boobs and much, much more to look forward to in your path towards parenthood and other life-changing adventures.

In fact, the fun begins even before baby appears, as you plan for baby’s grand entrance. The second trimester is a good time to start looking, after the hormonal upheaval and morning sickness of the first tri has eased. Where to go?

Safety takes first priority when it comes to children’s products at IKEA, and all the children’s furniture and products go through careful and thorough testing. The extensive IKEA catalogue for the smaller set also makes this a perfect place to get everything you need for baby’s nursery.


Whatever the size of your budget – or space allocated for baby in the home – you’ll definitely be able to find what you need at Children’s IKEA. The sleek, clean, Scandinavian lines of their designs will also ensure that baby’s first room is a welcoming, safe, and soothing haven for your little one.

Here’s a basic checklist of what you will need. Please note that only the items mentioned from IKEA are available at their stores. You can also get more baby-ready ideas at IKEA online.



Cots provide a safe place for baby to sleep. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), cot slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart (about the width of a drink can). The CPSC has also banned drop-side cots since June 2011 due to suffocation and strangulation concerns so if you are using one, ensure that it is properly assembled. It also makes sense to get a cot that can be converted to a toddler bed when baby is older. You’ll be able to find this at IKEA.


IKEA mattresses perfectly fit their cots so your baby can sleep safely. They have machine washable covers to help you keep them clean and fresh. You can also add an IKEA waterproof mattress protector to take care of those little accidents. Comforters and bumper pads are not recommended due to suffocation dangers.


Some come with lights and music to entertain baby while she’s being changed into clean clothes or a new diaper. You don’t really need all that, as baby will be mesmerised and stimulated by the movement and colours alone. You may hang this over the changing table, or the cot, or get two – the LEKA mobiles at IKEA are very affordable – one for each!

Moses Basket, co-sleeper or bassinet

This can keep your newborn close to you while you sleep. It’s also useful for easy night-time breastfeeding as you will not have to move from your bed.

Changing table

IKEA baby changing units match perfectly with the other children’s furniture, so creating a coordinated nursery won’t be a problem. This means you can also add on other IKEA children’s furniture parts to organise baby’s paraphernalia – wipes, diapers or nappies, burp cloths, cotton balls, diaper cream, and so on. All the parts are tough and durable – just in case you’re thinking of expanding the family again!

Baby monitor

Newer models come with screens and sound so your baby is within sight and sound all the time. Road-test monitors to ensure that they are not affected by – or will not affect – your mobile phone.

Night light

Not absolutely necessary, but this will provide you with light during those night-time feeds and diaper changes. We love the adorable animals in the SPÖKA range at IKEA. Alternatively, use a small bedside lamp whose brightness can be adjusted by a dimmer.

Beansprout husk pillow

These provide comfort to newborns when placed over their tummies as they sleep.



Start off with about half a dozens sets of onesies and/or sleepsuits. It’s easier to change baby’s diaper if she’s in a two-piece, but her diaper will stay in place better if she’s wearing a onesie. Unless your baby is going to be very small, skip newborn sizes and buy 0-3 months ones. They’ll be more cost-effective.

Swaddling wraps

Have three or four of these to bundle baby up in. The womb-like security of the swaddle will help her sleep better.

Other bits

Mittens, to stop baby from scratching herself. Booties or baby socks, to protect those little toe-sies when you’re out. A hat to shade baby from the sun.


Play yard

As baby gets more mobile and active, you will need a space where she can be safely distracted and occupied while you are busy.

Play gym

These usually have a soft, visually-stimulating mat, and colourful toys hanging down from a loop or bridge. IKEA LEKA CIRKUS baby gym is easy to fix and portable, so you can bring it with you wherever you go. The movement, colour contrasts, and shapes of the toy help stimulate baby’s eyesight and imagination.


A bouncy seat props baby up so that she can see what’s happening around her. Some have arches with dangling toys for baby to bat at.

Baby swing

Babies love the back-and-forth motion; it’s fun and stimulating for them. Some parents swear that it can also calm a fussy baby to sleep!


Baby carrier or sling

The easiest way to bring your baby out: just strap her to your front! It also leaves both your hands free to deal with anything else – the diaper bag, for instance.

Diaper bag

There’s no need to buy a specific diaper bag, but the specially-made ones usually come with a matching baby changing mat so you do not have to buy one. Diaper bags also come with the right-sized compartments to stash baby necessities: diapers, wipes, bottles, and so on.

Car safety seat

You will need one to bring baby home from the hospital. Buy an infant car seat which can be used with your stroller as part of a travel system, or get a combination one that will grow with baby. See here and here for tips on how to choose one.


Newborns need to be in one that can be adjusted flat, as they cannot sit up. Look for a stroller which allows that, and which is lightweight and easy to fold.


Bath tub

Some come fitted with a net for baby to lie upon while she’s being bathed. The LÄTTSAM tub at IKEA comes with slide protectors to ensure that the tub stands steady, keeping baby safe within.

Baby shampoo and bath

Choose the gentlest sulphate- and paraben-free one as newborn skin is delicate and easily irritated.


Small muslin squares are perfect, as they are non-abrasive and will not scratch baby’s skin as you are washing her.

Baby nail clipper

Some have mini-magnifying glasses attached so you don’t have to fear nipping those tiny digits.

Cotton wool balls

For cleaning baby’s face, umbilical area, and genitals. Just dip into cooled, boiled water and gently dab.

Baby wipes

These come in handy when there are bigger messes to clean up. As babies have more sensitive skin than adults, get wipes that are unscented and free of chemicals.

Diaper cream

Essential, to prevent or to treat diaper rash.

Baby massage oil

All babies love being touched and stroked. A gentle massage soothes them and calms them down. Give baby a massage after her bath, and she will settle down to sleep more easily.

Hooded towels

Normal towels will do the job as well, but babies look absolutely adorable in these! As well as helping to keep baby’s head covered after a bath and a shampoo, these can later be used post-dip in the pool or at the beach. We like the hooded towels for baby at IKEA, which come in bright colours, soft fabric, embroidered motifs, and plastic press studs for easier dressing and undressing.



Electric steam sterilisers are the most convenient. Sterilising takes between six and 15 minutes, and the items inside remain sterilised for up to 12 or 24 hours, as long as the lid is closed.

High chair

You won’t need this until baby can sit upright independently, at around six to eight months. When not being fed, baby can sit in it and be entertained by the things going on around her. Choose from the basic IKEA ANTILOP, which is easy to disassemble and carry along, or the modern LEOPARD high chair, with its organic lines and bold red-black combination of colours.

Breast pump

There are lots to choose from: single pumps, manual pumps, electric pumps. Ask around and do your research before buying one. You can also rent one to test before buying.

Bottles and teats

Look for BPA-free ones. Newborns don’t drink that much so a 4 oz bottle is enough. But most babies start guzzling in a matter of weeks so you can opt to skip the smaller bottles and just use 9 oz bottles from the start.

Breast milk storage bags

Seal, label, and store properly. Your stash of liquid gold is precious.

Bottle warmer

Useful especially when baby’s screaming for milk in the middle of the night. But make sure that the milk has cooled before feeding. Put a few drops on the inside of your wrist to test.

Baby bottle and nipple cleanser

Baby brands have vegetable-based, chemical-free ones.

Bottle brush

Change this every few months, just like you’d change your toothbrush, to prevent a build-up of bacteria.

Baby bibs

To collect the drool, the milk, and all the other fluid that baby ejects. The KLADD bibs at IKEA fasten easily with velcro, and are just as simple to take off.


Baby thermometer

Ear thermometers are the quickest and the easiest. Choose one that will signal – by sound or light – when a reading has been taken. It should also remember the last reading taken. This is useful when you need to track baby’s temperature through a fever episode.

Baby laundry detergent

These are usually free of scents and other chemicals that may potentially irritate baby’s skin. But as long as your baby does not have any sensitivities or allergies, it is generally okay to use whatever the rest of the family is using.

Alcohol wipes

To clean around the umbilical cord area. Usually, the hospital will give you some when you go home.

Only items mentioned from IKEA are available at their stores. Explore IKEA online for more ideas on preparing for baby.

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Baby Essentials: Getting Ready For Baby