My son turned one a few weeks ago, and it’s gotten me thinking about my first few months postpartum and what was really helpful for me. I’ve already written about baby essentials, so I thought I’d talk about new mom essentials today. Everything on this list will be specifically not breastfeeding-related, as I’m planning a whole future post about breastfeeding essentials. I’m hoping stuff on this list will be super practical and a little unconventional, as there are enough posts out there already about the benefits of padsicles and Bamboobies (neither of which I used). So enjoy, and I hope this helps some of you out!
New Mom Essentials for Moms Who Are Not Breastfeeding (Continue Reading…)
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New Mom Essentials: Self Care and Body Care
1. Comfy Clothes & Loungewear
The first few days, you might still wear some of your maternity clothes, depending on how much weight you gained in your pregnancy, how much you lost as a result of giving birth, whether you had a cesarean, etc. But you might hit a really awkward stage where your maternity clothes are too big or unflattering (or uncomfortable!) but your pre-pregnancy clothes are too small. Enter comfy clothes and loungewear!
I recommend a cute pair of joggers or harem pants or comfy leggings and some loose, comfy tops. I hung out in racerback tanks for a good month because it was summer, and they were loose and light and easy to nurse in. If people come and visit, you’ll look cute, comfy, and put together.
2. Jeans in Your New Size
I have pretty severe diastisis recti from pregnancy, which means I have a bulgy, squishy mummy tummy that I’m in the process of trying to heal (more about that in a future blog post!). I’ve lost all but about 5 pounds of baby weight now at 12 months postpartum, but I’m definitely a different shape because of the diastisis, which meant that I needed new jeans. I got a cheap (like $15) pair from Old Navy on sale a few weeks postpartum, and then as I continued to heal and recover and my weight settled, I got a nicer pair from Gap. I’ve worn the heck out of the Gap jeans this year. I worked three days a week and had to get some workwear (mostly from Marshall’s and Target), but I wore my jeans on most other days.
Don’t wait and try to hold out until you’re back down to pre-baby weight and can wear your old jeans. Even if you’re the same weight as you were before, your body has been through a lot, and you might want a different style or cut than you had before. If you’re like me, getting back into non-maternity jeans will help you begin to feel a little more human again.
3. Help for Diastisis Recti
4. Easy Food
After giving birth, I was a ravenous beast. I was constantly starving, and I had zero energy to cook. Our amazing friends and family organized a Meal Train for us so that we would have a hot, home-cooked meal delivered every other day in the first month after our son was born. It. Was. Awesome. It was delicious and nutritious and I will never forget how wonderful of a thing that was. If no one offers to organize this for you, ask a friend or a family member to do it. My sister-in-law organized ours and posted it on Facebook so lots of people could see it and sign up. Best of all, if you have food allergies or dietary restrictions or food aversions, you can let people know.
If you’re amazingly organized, you might be able to make freezer meals ahead of time for yourself, but I was nowhere near that organized (chronic illness during pregnancy and a baby who came two weeks early left no room for that kind of forethought and preparation). But this post has a ton of info and recipes for pre-baby freezer meal prep if you’re interested in giving it a try.
Another helpful food thing is food delivery! This is becoming more and more common across the US. Meal delivery services like UberEats, GrubHub, or DoorDash can be a huge help, as can grocery delivery services.
5. Dry Shampoo
Real talk: moms talk about how hard it can be to get a shower when you have a new baby. That’s true in more than one way: sometimes it’s hard to get a free moment to hop in the shower, but other times you’re just too tired to use your free moment on a shower (a common feeling for my spoonie friends anyway, right?!). It’s times like these you need a hero, and sometimes that hero comes in an aerosol can. Dry shampoo can help you look human when you’re not quite feeling it. It’s a new mom’s bff!
6. Long-wearing Lipstick
In my opinion, nothing makes you look instantly more put together than a little lipstick. Do you need to look put together? Nope! You’re a new mom! You brought a new human life into the world! In my book, you get extra credit for changing out of your pajamas at some point during the day. But if you want to go out and want a little confidence boost, lip color might be just the thing.
I love a good long-wearing lip color because I’m addicted to baby kisses and don’t like leaving lipstick marks all over my son’s face. This is what I use all the time because I am a makeup plebeian, but my fancy sister swears by this one if you like something a little nicer.
New Mom Essentials: Stuff That Makes Life Easier
7. Somewhere Comfy to Hang Out
My mother-in-law and sister-in-law pitched in and got me the glider of my dreams with a matching gliding ottoman for my shower (similar here). It was awesome having that little corner of our living room set up with everything I needed—phone charger, a portable diaper changing station, a side table for food and drinks, blankets in case I or my son got cold, a comfy chair, and a place to put my feet up. I considered it my home base.
8. A Streaming Subscription
Netflix/Hulu/Youtube TV/Amazon Prime Video/something else—you’ll want entertainment of some kind that is hands-free and doesn’t require a ton of attention or commitment from you, and TV is excellent for this.
If you’re avoiding screens, maybe spring for an Audible subscription and listen to some awesome audiobooks! Use this link to sign up for a 30-day free trial, and you can download two free audiobooks!
9. Baby Log App
I was weird and kept a log of every pee, poop, feeding, and nap in the Notes app on my iPhone. Don’t be like me. There are apps for that! I’ve heard great things about these ones:
Eat Sleep Poop: Simple to use and designed with parents in mind (in other words, designed for thumb tapping and easy to use with only one free hand!), the Eat Sleep Poop App logs everything you need to keep track of!
Baby Tracker: Another track-all app, Baby Tracker one analyzes your data for comparison and even puts it into graphs, if that’s your thing.
Sprout: Sprout is like Baby Tracker in its data collection and analysis, but it adds medical profile information like growth tracking, immunizations, health and illness tracking, and milestone tracking. You can even upload pictures to celebrate milestones, and you can export them later to eBook format. Talk about bells and whistles!
10. Bottle Brush with Stand
If you’re using bottles, do yourself a favor and get a bottle brush with a stand. There’s no reason not to! Here’s a great one.
11. Bottle Drying Rack
I loved having a dedicated drying rack for bottles and pump parts, and this one didn’t take up too much space and was nice to look at and easy to use. I could sterilize all my pump parts at the end of the day and put them out on the grass to dry overnight. It worked great!
12. Sterilizer Bags
This was a game changer for me. I figured I’d save the environment and some money and just boil my pump parts and bottles on the stove at first like Ma Ingalls or something. THAT WAS DUMB. For some reason I assumed that sterilizer bags were single-use and that it would be silly and expensive to get in the habit of buying and using them. I was wrong—SO WRONG, and I was never so glad to have been wrong.
I pumped two-to-three times a week, and we went through not even one full box of six sterilizer bags in the whole school year. Say what?? That’s because each bag is good for up to 30 uses. THIRTY! You wash your bottles or pump parts, toss them in the bag with a little water, microwave for three minutes, and you’re DONE! It’s so much faster and easier than the stove method, and there’s no pot to clean and put away when you’re done. The bags even come pre-marked with thirty check boxes so you can mark it each time you use it and keep track of when you need to switch to a new bag. And they’re super inexpensive!! Seriously, this was one of my best purchases as a new mom. Don’t hesitate.
I hope you found something here helpful, especially if you’re currently pregnant or a new mom! Let me know what your new mom essentials are or will be in the comments, and give this post a share if you liked it!
You may also like:
- 9 Parenting Secrets I Learned in My First Year of Being a Mom
- What to Do When Your Baby Refuses to Eat Purees
- Essential Baby Gear for 6 Months and Under
- Holding Fast: Fairy Tales and Wrestling My Baby to Sleep