Hey, friends! I hope y’all are staying safe out there during this time of quarantine (and trying not to get too stir crazy)! Since I’m on my maternity leave, I was already staying at home with Porter but the silver lining is that now my hubby gets to be home with us. Porter turned 5 weeks old this Wednesday and I can already see how much he’s grown! In today’s post, I’m rounding up some of our most-used postpartum and newborn essentials that have gotten us through these first few weeks. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, just a few things that I have found helpful during this time. Ps. In the next few months I’ll be working on a more thorough baby registry guide so be on the lookout for that as well!
HANDS-FREE PUMPING BRA
One thing I regret not bringing to the hospital was a pumping bra. Some babies are able to latch right away but in our case, Porter was on the small side and was a little early so it ended up talking a few days to get the hang of it. They had me pump after every feeding to stimulate my milk supply and no need to bring your own pump, the hospital should supply one. Well, I didn’t do my research on this and had to literally hold the pump for 15 minutes each time which was no fun. You will definitely want a hands-free bra anyway and just do yourself a favor and put it in your hospital bag. I really like this one because you can easily adjust the band size with velcro and it zips up the front.
ALWAYS DISPOSABLE UNDIES
So much better than the hospital mesh undie/pad situation. I was surprised how comfortable these were and you can’t see them through your clothes. Highly recommend for that first 1-2 weeks postpartum!
If you’re breastfeeding, you have to grab a few nursing tanks and I’ve really liked these from Target. Great to wear around the house or layer under a cardigan or jacket when you’re out and about.
MOTHERLOVE NIPPLE CREAM
This is 100% a must-have if you’re breastfeeding. Thankfully I haven’t had any cracking or bleeding but definitely some discomfort at times and I’ve been applying this a few times per day both after nursing and before pumping.
BREASTMILK STORAGE BAGS
Stock up on these if you plan to pump or work on a freezer stash for the future. I’ve been using these from Lansinoh.
HOT/COLD GEL PACKS
Another must if you plan to breastfeed. You may or may not experience some discomfort throughout your breastfeeding journey. I’ve already had one clogged duct but luckily it resolved within a day thanks to warm compresses. You could use a regular gel pack or this breast therapy pack which has round gel pads that can easily fit in your bra.
OVIA PARENTING APP
I previously used the Ovia Fertility & Pregnancy app and now use the Ovia Parenting app to track my nursing sessions, bottle feeds and diaper changes. It’s super useful and perfect for first time parents. I also like scrolling through the articles during late night nursing sessions and tracking developmental milestones.
You need some type of swing for the newborn stage. You don’t have to get the Mamaroo (it’s a little pricey) but I found mine secondhand on Facebook marketplace so we decided to try it out. We have used it most days since we brought Porter home and he loves it! You can control it through an app on your phone but we typically just use the buttons. It has several different movement settings and can also play white noise. I also go the newborn insert to offer a little more support.
Some type of baby pillow is essential to keep in the living room when you’re watching tv or moving about the house. I like having multiple contraptions to place him in throughout the day so he’s not in one place for too long. I like that this one has a handle on the top so it’s easy to move around plus it’s super affordable!
Most babies love being swaddled because it makes them feel like they’re in the womb again. I have to admit, Ryan is way better at swaddling than I am but I’m working on it! You definitely want to use something with velcro or a zipper instead of swaddling with a blanket that can become undone. We’ve been using the SwaddleMe and Happiest Baby Sleepea swaddles. Ryans is better at the SwaddleMe but somehow when I do it he always gets a hand out. I think the Sleepea is easier because it zips!
PACK & PLAY
We got the 4moms Breeze Playard and I’ve found that I really like their products. I think a pack & play is important to have, especially if your have a two-story house. We keep ours in our living room and I like how this specific one is more sleek looking than others, it blends in with our decor pretty well. We use the bassinet for daytime naps and changing station religiously so we don’t have to constantly run up to the nursery.
I love this one from Milk Snob which has many uses including car seat cover, nursing cover, and shopping cart cover. It has made me feel more at ease when taking Porter out & about knowing that he has some protection from the outside world. I got the “Soho” color and love it!
ZIP-UP & KIMONO ONESIES
This may not be the case for everyone, but Ryan & I discovered that we hate the onesies that you pull over the head. Granted, Porter wears footies most of the time but I highly recommend getting kimono-style bodysuits/onesies instead of the the kind that pulls over… so much easier! These from L’Oved Baby are a fave.
BOON LAWN DRYING RACK
This one is a must!! I know I could wash Porter’s bottles in the dishwasher but honestly it’s just easier and faster to hand wash and this is the perfect space to dry everything. The white one blends in with our countertops and we also got the twig accessory for nipples and smaller bottle parts.
The first few nights we had Porter in our room we didn’t use the sound machine, but after we started we noticed he was sleeping better. We like the Hatch Rest Sound Machine because it has a nightlight, has several different sounds from white noise to lullabies and you can control it all from your phone! We also have the Baby Shusher which is awesome! We love it for middle of the night diaper changes- as a parent you will be making the “shh” sound more than you think so this thing comes in handy. It also has a 15 and 30 minute timer.
FRIDABABY NAIL CARE SET
This is definitely something you’ll need the first few days of your baby’s life. Their little nails can be long and sharp and some babies tend to scratch their face. Luckily Porter didn’t have this issue but he definitely had a few hangnails and peeling nails so the file has been super useful. I will use the clippers as he gets older.