I know it can be very overwhelming to get all of those baby essentials for the first 3 months when you are a first-time parent.
That’s why I put together this 2-part blog series: where to buy & what to buy. I want to help you save you time on your search and give you the resources you need to cross as many items off your to-do list.
If you are searching for a list of WHAT baby essentials for the for the 3 months you need to buy, then start with this blog post.
If you want to learn WHERE you can find these baby essentials for the first 3 months, keep on reading below.
Locations where you can find baby essentials for the first 3 months
I listed shops in England and France as I know my blog has readers from both countries. And because I was pregnant in both countries.
My eldest was born in England, so I learned about all of my favorite baby shops there. We moved from England to Toulouse in the south of France when I was expecting my second baby. So I have had the chance to discover my favorite places for clothing, toys, shoes, etc, in Toulouse and online shops you can purchase items anywhere in France.
The list below includes a mix of large shops you can find online or in stores plus local shops (Toulouse).
Types of baby shops
There are many places you can shop for baby essentials for the first 3 months, including:
- Baby stores: These stores specialize in baby products and typically have a wide selection of gear, clothing, toys, and essentials.
- Department stores: Many department stores have a baby section with a selection of essentials, including strollers, carriers, nursery furniture, etc.
- Online retailers: Many online retailers sell baby products, including large e-commerce sites like Amazon. Shopping online can be convenient, as you can often find good deals and have the items delivered to your doorstep.
List of baby shops
These shops are great if you’re searching for those everyday essentials first 3 months, like baby carrier, stroller, sound machine, etc. If you’re still trying to figure out what are the “must-have baby items” you need to purchase, you can look at my minimalist list in this blog post.
- La Redoute
- Aubert (online + local shops)
- Bambinou (local boutique in Toulouse)
- Lindex: I love their PJs and kimono bodies. The price-quality ratio is great (UK website | France website)
- Zara: great option for cute outfits for pictures (UK website | France website)
- H&M: mixed quality but cute outfits for pictures (UK website | France website)
- Jacadi (UK website | France website)
- Petit Bateau: for bodies and sleeping bags only; the price-quality ratio is not good for clothing in general as they don’t last long (UK website | France website)
- Next: great price-quality ratio but not so many neutral-colored options (UK website | France website)
- Baby Mori: good option for organic clothes (UK website | France website)
- Happy Skin: for babies with eczema (UK website)
- Jojo Mama (UK website)
- Mamas and Papas (UK website)
- John & Lewis (UK website)
- Sargent Major (France website)
- Blanc de Falaise (local boutique in Toulouse, France)
- Etoile de Songe (local boutique in Toulouse, France)
You don’t really need to buy shoes until much later. But in case you’re already thinking about shoes, this section might be helpful.
Our babies have been always barefoot whenever possible. We only started to put shoes on them when they started to walk. Except during the winter when we used some soft boots, like this one, just to keep their feet warm when we took them out in the winter time.
It is the overall recommendation to leave babies and toddlers barefoot unless they are already walking outdoors. You can read more about on this blog post by NCT on when and how to select toddler shoes.
These are my favorite brands for toddler shoes after they start to walk: Clarks and Naturino.
- Clarks (UK | France)
- Decathlon: for water-resistant boots (UK | France)
- Naturino (France website)
- Nat & Nicolas (local boutique in Toulouse)
Baby toys & books
The truth is, newborn babies don’t really need many toys and books, if any. After two babies, the main takeaway I learned from my personal experience is that what a newborn baby really wants is affection (lots and lots of it), closeness, breastfeeding, proper sleep, having their nose cleaned frequently whenever they get sick, and timely diaper change and responding to their cry. Their needs are pretty basic.
Their natural curiosity for toys and books will come much later, when they start exploring the world around them. But, if you already want to get your little baby some supplies, you can find some suggestions below.
I should note that in our home, we follow a more minimalist approach to purchasing toys. We buy them with intention. We value good quality, educational, and a variety of materials and types to enrich our children’s everyday explorations.
I actually did all of my academic training all the way up to a PhD in education and psychology in Paris, Harvard and Oxford with a focus on early childhood development. So, my recommendations are not only as a mom, but as a professional in the field. In these blog posts, I share my list of recommended toys and books.
Here are some of the shops I can find nice toys and books for your little one.
- Bonhomme de Bois
- Moulin Roty
- Nature & Découvertes
- The Bookshop: for books in different languages (store in Toulouse)
Criteria I used to write this baby store list
Here are a few criteria I considered when coming up with this list:
- Quality vs. quantity: I value quality over quantity and have a somewhat minimalist approach to buying. So, I typically prefer spending more on a product that will last longer and for multiple children. Instead of having too many items that will end up in the trash soon after their first use. The only exception to this rule is baby clothes. I purchased a mix of high-quality items, especially those that can be used for a long time and for more than one child (e.g., jackets, shoes). And a mix of high- and mid-quality items that can be easily damaged due to baby blow outs and self-feeding no matter how well you care for them (e.g., shirts, PJs, and bodies/onesies).
- Budget: I included shops to meet various budgets.
- Convenience: As much as I love shopping in the actual store, once you start having children, going out shopping feels more like a luxury than a necessity. Online shopping has been a huge source of time-saving, so I tend to opt for shops where there is a good online selection, free shipping, and simple return policy.
A note on those “must-have” baby items
Finding out where to shop is only part of the job. You also need to figure out what baby essentials for the first 3 months you need to buy.
As a mom of two small children, I have learned to shop for all sorts of essential and non-essential items for babies and toddlers.
When I was pregnant with my first, I watched countless mommy Youtube videos on those “must-have” baby items.
Those lists were often overwhelming. And now have gone through two babies, I know that a lot of those products are, well, useless.
So, my best advice is to keep purchases to a minimum. You can always get additional items as you need them.
Because the truth is, you can easily go without many “must-haves” products! If you’re still figuring out what items you might need, I wrote a blog post with my top favorite baby essentials. Those that we have regularly used for both of my children. You can read the blog post here.
What to do next
Here are some helpful resources for you if:
- You’re still trying to figure all of the baby essentials for the first 3 months you need to buy, this blog post will help you.
- You’d like to take beautiful, professional-looking photos of your baby, then this FREE resource is perfect for you!
- You’re searching for a maternity photographer or a newborn photographer