I’ve read so many blog posts about what to pack in your hospital bag or baby registry lists, and consequently, I felt very informed in those departments. However, the first two weeks home were rough because I really wasn’t prepared for the new mom and baby life and lack of freedom to leave the house. Surprisingly there were a lot of things I needed that would have made my life so much easier had I had them from the start. Thank heaven for Amazon Prime and a husband who was willing to run a few errands! Even then, I realized shortly after birth I could have prepped so much in advance if only I’d known what as a baby’s essential’s checklist for those first weeks at home!
Postpartum Mom’s Recovery Must-Haves
This is such a nice thing to have for every bathroom visit! You’ll want this in the hospital and use it well into a month after birth.
Everyone will tear differently, and coming from a girl who had it minimal I’m telling you that you want these ready! Many hospitals provide some, but you’ll likely want and use more when you return home for some serious relief in your pained areas.
I had a friend inform me this was the way to go and I’m glad they did! Instead of wearing bulky hospital pads my entire recovery, I swapped out these a few days after coming home while I was still bleeding consistently. It helped me feel like I was wearing normal underwear and started my own feeling human again process!
I had nurses make me these in the hospital and tell me to go ahead and make one for the first few days I was home. Essentially take one of your baby’s clean diapers (we loved these best), soak it in water, and stick it in the freezer. You can also split a side and stuff ice in there in a pinch, but it’s a lot more comfortable to freeze the water. I’d have 2-3 prepped for when you get home and plan to freeze another 4 or so to get you through the first few days. After that, it’s not recommended by doctors. But those first few days when swollen these feel amazing!
You know how a hot bath or shower feel amazing after an intense workout? Your body just went through the most intense workout of its life and it’s going to hurt in random places. One of the worst was the back, contractions take a toll and it’s amazing to lie down on your back at night and relax some very sore muscles with a heating pad.
Muscles will ache, pain will be present, and you will either op out of doctor prescription or run out of it. You’ll need some Ibuprofen now and then for a few weeks after. Be prepared (and enjoy that you can take this again)!
Okay, this may not be 100% essential, but I found a cheap one I thought was worth a try! In a week I was back in most my pre-pregnancy dresses and I think this is to thank! Lots of bloggers link to a $50 version, I couldn’t stomach that price tag, but I could stomach this cheap one! I didn’t have a c-section, but I’ve heard it really is a must if you do. I bought one knowing I was at risk for one, but I’m so glad I did because it helped me feel put together, helped my posture, and helped with recovery. Skip the expensive one and buy a cheap one, it does the trick!
There’s a lot of debate about what you actually need for the hospital, but I’d say to make sure you have some comfy pajamas no matter what- hospital or for home. You’ll spend a few days struggling to even shower, and having some pajamas you can live in and feel comfortable in are a must! If you’re nursing be sure they are nursing friendly, and see my section below for some good ones that won’t break the bank.
I hesitated to put this on the list because to each their own and this is something lots of people say you should have. I do think it’s important and I nearly wore my two out. Pick your poison with this one, short, long, silk, cotton- up to you! I loved a cotton one since hot flashes often occur while nursing. Really it’s an awkward body time and you may only live in a robe and underwear for a few days. It’s easy to cover up when people come and still look somewhat put together. It’s also easy access for you to clean yourself up when you’re using the bathroom or redressing anything that may need it. I ordered a cute long one off Etsy (fair warning, it didn’t come in time even ordering six weeks early, but they refunded and shipped it for free later and I do love it best), and also got this cheap one off Amazon when my original didn’t work out with timing.
Postpartum Must-Haves FOR BREASTFEEDING MOMS
I make no exaggeration in saying these things literally saved me from so much pain and so many tears! When nipples are tender in those early days sometimes a soothing pad- that also acts as a shield and protection against thrashing newborns- are the best thing ever! I tried a few kinds but loved the Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads, which are quite a bit cheaper on Amazon! Get some in advance, be prepared, but also ask for some from the lactation specialist in your hospital. I went through a few and I’m so glad I got the first pair free! Seriously, it took me about three weeks to be able to live and get dressed without these babies, and a few sets were needed. This is the first thing I sent my husband to the store for.
You’ll need some support at night, not to mention something to hold in the nursing pads and soothies. I found this inexpensive Sleep Bra on Amazon and bought it in two sizes. It runs a little big, so go down a size if you can, but the bigger one still worked great for me during the first few days of being engorged. I lived in these the first two weeks and during my time in the hospital! I still use them every night.
I’d heard not to go crazy with underwires, but I also needed a little more support than the sleep bras and nursing tank I bought offered. I went out a week after birth to find one that had some support and either a side wire only or was a sports bra. This is a great option if you plan to exercise soon, and this is great if you want one you can wear when you’re washing your favorite nursing bra you’ll transition into after a few weeks of having your baby.
I loved Earth Mama Nipple Cream– Oh how it saved me from so much pain and it was an awesome natural cream that I didn’t have to wipe off each time I fed baby.
One day your milk comes in, and you’ll feel completely out of control of what’s going on! These nursing pads really work so you don’t leak out the front and can feel confident with visitors and that moment you return to the public!
There may be blood, there may be pain, and there may even be detachment. Ask your lactation specialist for a nipple shield, and be sure to have a backup. There were days I couldn’t bear to nurse without it and these saved me from quitting!
One of my first shocking moments came when I went to put on the old t-shirt and pajama bottoms and realized that I wasn’t going to be able to feed the baby in the middle of the night very conveniently. Fortunately, I’ve done a few girl’s weekends where I’ve purchased a button down top pajama set in the sheer name of vanity and looking cute for friends, and the two I own have saved me! I wear these almost every night, and even as a minimalist I’m going to tell you that you want at least two sets. Babies love to spit up on your precious comfy top. I own a pair almost exactly like this pair and it’s my favorite! Sometimes hot flashes come those first few weeks and I love the short sleeve option and that knit stretch while I was still looking a little pregnant and swollen the first weeks. I own a pair of these and am loving them, and then in the cooler months, this set and this set are great options too!
First Week’s After Baby Essentials Checklist: FOR BABY
I had no idea this was a thing, and a thing most parents need to try the second week of baby’s life! They start to figure out eating and their little stomachs are still processing food- typically slower than they are able to eat it. This helps so many parents and it’s safe to use from birth. If I could do it all over again I’d have a bottle ready to try so I didn’t spend that entire day crying the second week of baby’s life when he was so upset and in pain. We’ve used several bottles already, and we love that it instantly takes away the painful hiccups that really make our guy cry!
I tried to go minimalist thinking baby could just use ours, and we found our kid had red sensitive skin each time. An extra soft set of washcloths help with the sponge bath phase the first couple weeks, and are great to use when they start taking immersion baths. I love this set we ordered from Amazon.
As a new parent, I failed to know that the umbilical cord would need loose clothes that weren’t a onesie. I had cute jammies and cute outfits ready to go and completely mom failed neglecting what they actually wear is a wrap shirt and a pair of pants the first few days. Some hospitals hook you up, but I’d have a few on hand just in case. Here’s a few cute ones in boys and girls if you want to mix up the white.
Boy moms beware if you circumcise, you’ll use a ton of this stuff and change every diaper with a large amount. Be sure to have some on hand- and get the kind you can squeeze out!
I thought we’d need about three of these total. Little did I know babies spit up all over these, and sometimes you go through more than one a day! I hate to admit this one, but we did fall in love with an expensive set that we were gifted and will likely buy again in girl patterns if we have a girl. We love our Aden + Anais set best- soft, breathable, great texture, and the perfect size. These get grabbed from our pile first and keep our baby fast asleep and warm. Lots of my friends swear by the Miracle Swaddle too, but our little guy was always a little too tall for it and still wiggled his way out. I think we’re the only ones who experienced this, seriously, it’s worth looking into!
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