First off, I’d like to wish the biggest congratulations from the bottom of my heart to my good friends Adam and Amanda who welcomed their first baby on Feb. 13! The new family of three is the inspiration behind this post.
It’s hard to believe that only six months ago we were in the same boat; amazed and terrified at the little human that came out of me and started making demands. The focus immediately shifts from mom to baby. With all the preparation involved in making sure baby is ready, there are quite a few things that mom needs too.
I remember relying heavily on these items with Tavish as a newborn and some of them even now. It’s yet another one of those “nobody tells you” situations.
I’ve included links to some of the exact products I used below. This is a gear idea for a care package for mom, so check them out on Amazon.
Breast/Nursing Pads: If you’re like me and able to feed a village, you’re going to need these so you don’t er…milk the bed. I tried a few brands but the Johnson’s Baby Nursing Pads, 60 Count were by far my favorite. Consider them as essential as maxi pads, only for your boobs. On that note…
Maxi Pads: C-section or Natural, you’re going to bleed for a few weeks – keep a steady supply of these on hand because there is no way you’re going to want anything inside you in the weeks following birth. I used Always Maxi Long Super with Wings. They were super thin and relatively comfortable by comparison to the hospital pads. It was a huge adjustment since I haven’t used pads since I was a teenager so prepare your adult self to visit your teen self, trying to ignore the crinkle every time you walk…
Side Note: I’ve heard that “Padsicles” are a godsend and I made about three dozen in preparation but never actually used them. Even the family members who had babies were all sections so I ended up throwing them out without really appreciating their usefulness. Below is the recipe I used, so if anyone is brave enough to try, please let me know how it worked out!
- Open pad up without removing sticky back.
- Squirt Aloe Vera along the centre of the pad and add a few drops each of witch Hazel and Lavender.
- Fold the pads back up and stack in a large freezer bag.
- Freeze for 24 hours and use as needed.
Tank Tops: Nursing tops are expensive. Either that, or I’m cheap.
If you can afford to splurge, go for it, but honestly, all you need is a tank top with those loose, stringy straps. You want something that is easy to wriggle out of one-handed when feeding time comes. I usually managed to slip one strap off and over my arm or just ended up pulling it down to get the goods out. I’ve been told button ups are also useful to ‘ninja’ in a fed when you’ve got company, but if you’re home alone, who cares?
Nursing Bras: Get at least three of them. If you have time to plan ahead, ask for gift cards/money at your shower to put toward them. You can soak through them pretty quick and they’re not cheap. I got mine from Thyme Maternity – the Seamless Nursing Bralette and the Full Coverage Nursing Bra were staples for me.
Netflix or some other streaming platform: Despite what your family and friends tell you, newborns can be boring. A lot of the time they just want to either eat or sleep and that leaves you glued to the couch. Might as well make the most of it and get into a new series, or three.
Crock-pot and Freezer Meals: A godsend. If you don’t have a crockpot, buy one, better yet, get one that you can program like this 4-Qt Crock-Pot Slow Cooker. The last thing you want to do with a baby is think about cooking. It’s the worst and feels like the biggest time-consuming chore. Find a few recipes for freezer dump dinners online and stock up. Toss them in the crock-pot in the morning and your dinner prep will take you five minutes. Go super mom!
I’ve pinned a number of recipes I used on my Pinterest board here. Be sure to follow me – I’m still relying on these and updating them even six months in.
Dry Shampoo: Showering is not impossible, but it’s not easy either. If you feel like crap and need to freshen up, dry shampoo is the way to go to get your hair feeling less greasy and get you to normal.i swear by Dove Refresh + Care Volume Dry Shampoo.
Drugs: Advil Liqui-Gels, Aspirin, Colace and Papaya Enzymes – You’re going to need these for Post-Partum Pain and Poops (see what I did there?). I mentioned drugs are super important after a section, but regardless of delivery method, they are critical to taking the edge off and staying sane when you’re caring for baby.
Water Bottle: Breastfeeding makes you thirsty! I don’t know if it’s the massive amount of fluid you’re losing or just the sound of big gulping swallows, but you’re going to want to have a lot of water nearby. I love these Brita Water Filter Bottles. They have a built in filter so you can fill up anywhere and they really make any old tap water delicious. Great for on the go.
Bluetooth Headset: These are the BEST when everyone is trying to call you and you’re juggling a baby and a phone. The LG Tone Bluetooth headset syncs up to your phone and sit around your neck which makes it super easy to pick up and hang up calls with the touch of a button. It also has a nifty feature which will buzz whenever you receive a text or email.
Smart Watch: When Tav was new, I would set a timer for everything he did – how long he cried for, how long he ate, etc. Having something like the Samsung Gear Fit 2 is an easy way to keep track of these things and check the messages, emails and social media updates from your wrist. Some models out there have the ability to pick up calls and have voice-to-text options too.
If you like to over-prepare, this list should keep you occupied. Alternatively, if you’re putting a care package together, these are great additions.
Let me know what you think or if you have anything to add in the comments below!