If you’re like me, sometimes you roll your eyes at yet one more advertised item deemed a “necessity” for baby. Seriously, what more does a newborn need than diapers, a few blankets, and mama to snuggle with, sleep close to, and nurse whenever he wants? I’m not saying some of these accessories aren’t helpful-I have my favorites gizmos that I find to be a blessing (the bouncer and Bumbo being at the top of the list!), but I think we can forget that babies don’t need 101 items in order to survive the first days and weeks. That said, after having my third child earlier this year, I was reminded once again that there are some things out there, that while not necessities, can help in easing the transitions and recovery process during the initial postpartum period. I keep thinking I need to write them down, in order to share them with other mamas-to-be, so here’s my attempt at listing some of my very favorite postpartum items to have on hand:
Note: this list is totally of my own making, and the links given are solely for your benefit-these are NOT affiliate links, nor do I receive any compensation for posting these!
- Depends/Disposable Underwear:
- No joke! This may be the only time in your life when disposable underwear seem wonderful. They are comfortable, keep you and the sheets clean, and make life easier…
- A good quality, comfortable nursing bra:
- It’s been my experience that higher cost = higher comfort when it comes to nursing bras. My absolute favorite is the Bravado! Seamless Body Silk. It’s adjustable, has no wires, is easy to use, and adjusts to your continuing adjusting size during those first weeks!
- Nursing Cups:
- These were new to me, recommended by a client. But I’ve found them to be a life saver during the days your milk comes in and your body is trying to adapt! They relieve some of the pressure, giving you some relief, and make it easier for a newborn to latch on. Depending upon my milk supply and the infant, I’ve used them for anywhere between 48 hours to 3 weeks as we get the latch/supply/demand/initial soreness figured out. If you struggle with inverted or flat nipples, these can also help to pull the nipple out, making nursing go much better. Here’s the ones I use: http://www.amazon.com/Pharmics-0813-0099-00-O-cal-ette-Nursing-Cup/dp/B002UKXLJK
- Wish Garden New Mother’s Salve:
- Nothing beats this salve in being the ultimate for nipple care and repair. Used after every feeding, it helps relieve soreness, heal trauma, and is a general all-purpose healing salve for about anything else, to boot. We keep it around and use it for wounds, bruises, etc. when it’s not being used for a newly nursing mommy! Find it here: http://www.inhishands.com/new-mothers-healing-salve/
- Maxi-Milk herbal tincture:
- Whenever I sense my milk supply is low, a few days of using this supplement always makes a difference. I keep it on hand for those times when baby is experiencing a growth spurt, sleep is in short supply, or when the schedule is unusually hectic. A hungry baby is an unhappy one, which then makes for a stressed mama! Nothing else I have tried works like this stuff does. Order it from: mountainmeadowherbs.com
- Nursing pillow or several extra pillows:
- Having a good pillow handy during those first days of breastfeeding can help get baby in a good position, and keep your back from the strain of bending over…sometimes you don’t even realize you are bending over or getting uptight as you help baby nurse…but this can help you relax and save you from some stressed muscles!
- A few good books:
- The first 2 weeks after baby comes are a critical time for you as a mom to lay low, rest, and enjoy these first days with your baby. I’m always amazed at how long it takes a newborn to nurse those first weeks, and I find that I enjoy having a few good books around from my “reading wish list” to enjoy makes that time feel like a mini-vacation.
- Thank you notes:
- I know, you need to rest those first days, but I find, too, that those first 2 weeks while I have extra help around and meals coming in are the best times to write little notes. Once I start getting back into “real life”, that time evaporates. So I like to be prepared ahead of time, with blank note cards so I can keep from getting behind on writing notes to those who bless us!
- Postpartum Tote:
- Before my baby came, I prepared a little portable tote basket with the essentials I would need, in order to eliminate trips up and down the stairs. It contained nursing pads, salve, diapers, wipes, and a few other items that I might need, and I kept it on the end table by the couch. It saved me many steps, as the rest of the baby items were upstairs!
- Coconut Oil:
- This stuff is amazing for baby skin care! With the antibactieral properties, it helps to keep cradle cap and baby acne at bay, as well as nourishing baby’s tender skin, and adding moisture during dry months. This time I purchased the liquefied oil, in order to make it easier to use, and sometimes I’d add a drop or two of some sweet-smelling essential oil to lather baby with after her bath.
- Bulb Syringe:
- The 2oz. size works the best, in my opinion. Many times your midwife will include one in your birth kit, but they can also be purchased from medical or birth supply companies. These are great for the occasional gagging babies due on mucus, or for cleaning out stuffy little noses so baby can sleep better.
- Muslin Swaddle Blankets:
- I love these! While the name brands do seem to be the softest, the “off brands” work as well! The cotton is breathable, allowing baby to be comfortable while still feeling secure when wrapped tightly. And they make great nursing covers, or sun shades for baby…and they are big enough they can still be used when baby is past the newborn stage!
- Baby Book:
- If I don’t have a baby book ready to write in, then I miss so many little events of those first few days. Plus, the extra time mama has to sit and hold baby also translate into a few extra minutes to jot things down as they happen, rather than trying to remember after the fact!
So, what are your favorite items? Anything you would add, or give to a new mama? I’d love to hear your suggestions and thoughts!