Preparing for the arrival of a baby is no easy feat, especially if it's your first. Nine months may seem like a long time, but it will disappear in the blink of an eye – there's just so much to get done! Whether you're compiling an all-encompassing baby checklist or just want to double check you've thought of everything, our baby essentials list will help you tick all the boxes before your little one arrives.

White wooden baby cot

Setting up a nursery is a truly enjoyable part of preparing for your newborn, but cross off the essentials before moving on to toys and accessories. There are plenty of options to consider when buying a cot, but uppermost in your mind are probably safety and functionality. Most cots come with drop sides to allow you to get your baby in and out with ease, and there are stringent manufacturing standards that make them very safe. If you choose a bedside cot with a removable side, you can position the cot directly next to where you sleep.

The great thing about most cots and cot beds is that they are very adjustable. You can set them up for a newborn baby with protection on all sides for the first few months. As they get a bit bigger, lower the mattress and keep the sides raised to stop your toddler adventuring out of bed in the middle of the night. Once they've grown up a little more, remove the sides completely to make it more like a bed.

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Mother with baby

There are plenty of products that can keep your little one safe throughout the night and will give you peace of mind. Small bedside cots are more suited to newborn babies as they leave less room to move about and are relatively easy to position in your own bedroom.

Make sure your little one is as cosy as possible by stocking up on baby blankets and cot bedding. They're likely to get spoiled so it's wise to have plenty of spares. Save yourself from heading to the laundry room in the middle of the night and keep a stash of clean sheets and bedding close by.

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Pink and Blue clothes basket

If you've argued over wardrobe space as a couple before, make investing in storage for your baby's things a priority. Leaving storage items off your shopping list is a no-no – you'll simply end up sacrificing your own space. You need a separate place to keep all the new blankets, nappies, toys and onesies that you'll acquire in anticipation of the new arrival.

Buy several storage boxes to help you keep everything organised. They can slide under a bed or cot when not in use, and provide the perfect clutter-disguising system. If you have unexpected guests, simply throw all the dirty blankets and toys into the 'to wash' box and deal with them later.

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Boss baby bottles

When it comes to feeding time, there are a couple of accessories you will need. If you're not breastfeeding, you'll need an army of baby bottles and dummies to keep your little one happy, as well as a steriliser. Don't forget to stock up on baby bibs, as these will make cleaning up after mealtimes a whole lot easier.

Even though your baby might be tiny, they can still sit at the table on a highchair while you eat your own meals. Once they move on to solid meals you can start exploring the wonderful world of children's plates, beakers and cutlery. Here comes the aeroplane!

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Baby pram

It's a wonderful feeling to take your baby out into the big wide world. But you won't get far without a few travel-related baby necessities. When shopping for a pushchair, look for features like rain covers and sturdy wheels which mean you won't be hindered by poor weather. The extra storage space on large pushchairs is also useful, helping you carry all those baby essentials you need for long days out.

You can also keep a sense of order to your baby pushchair by loading it up with different packs and bags for separate things you may need to do throughout the day. You can carry one bag with all your feeding gear, one bag with all the changing gear, and one for spare blankets and accessories.

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Patterned baby grow

If you're becoming a parent for the first time, you're no doubt excited to pick out clothes for your baby. There are so many products out there, it pays to know what you should be looking for. Generally speaking, cotton is the best choice for baby clothes because it is soft, absorbent and gentle against skin, unlike synthetic fabrics which can feel scratchy and cause irritation.

Baby grows and onesies are super practical, easy to wear and will keep your baby warm from top to toe. They're also really functional thanks to the snap button closures which make them easy to whip them on and off. Little ones are known for trying to take their socks off, so buy some more secure booties instead to help keep their toes nice and toasty.

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Whatever you do between now and the baby arriving, don't be afraid to ask for advice. Talk to friends and family who've been in your position – they'll no doubt be eager to share their parenting 'hacks' with you, and might even offer to help out while you take a much-deserved rest.