You can find lists of items that you must have for newborns all over the internet and Pinterest but it doesn’t seem like Moms get as much love. So I thought I would share the items that have helped me survive the first few weeks with baby N.
1.Free stuff from the hospital – I’m not sure how much of it’s really ‘free’ because I’m sure I pay for it somewhere but I try to leave the hospital with as much stuff as I think I will use. I try not to be too greedy but if I feel like I’m gonna need those giant diaper pads then I take those. This trip they even gave me some new items such as a spray for down there, some foam and some witch hazel pads. On top of those new items, I also took the removing smaller pads, extra pair of mesh underwear and a few ice packs just in case. Taking as many items from the hospital keeps me from having someone run out and get similar items for me and I don’t have to spend the money on them.
2. Pajamas – Prior to going to the hospital I bought myself some new pajamas for both the hospital and after. The first set of PJs that I got was a matching top and bottom short set. I got these because I liked the ease of being able to nurse in them but still be able to cover myself up. Being blessed with larger boobs and then knowing how large they will get once my milk came in I knew that some of the more traditional breastfeeding sleep tops weren’t going to work for me. So the buttons allowed me access and coverage. The other set of PJs that I got was a sleeping gown, again this isn’t necessarily a nursing gown, but it has worked out amazing and I was raving about it before I even left the hospital. The length is really nice and I liked the coverage up top. Because it was more structured up top I am able to wear nursing pads at night with it and not have any leaking issues.
3. A giant water bottle – Especially when you are nursing you need to be drinking a lot of water and one of the easiest ways I’ve found to make sure I drink a lot of water is to have a cup that holds a lot of water. I’m not always the best at refilling my water bottle. I like to use the large 30 oz mug that they give you at the hospital. It’s huge has a straw and is pretty sturdy so it doesn’t get tipped over all the time. But my absolute favorite water bottle is the RTIC thermal water bottle. It keeps the water ice cold and for a very long time like over a 12 hour. I have found that I drink more water when it’s colder and this bottle does the trick.
4. Sweatpants – Like many nursing mamas out there I did quite a bit of online shopping during the late nights up with N and I stumbled across these sweatpants and oh my they are so comfy. They are super soft and feel like a little step up from my black leggings that I wear most of the week.
5. Breastmilk bra pads – I like to use two different kinds of these pads. I like to cotton/ washable ones for during the day. I feel like they are more comfortable, hid your nipples better (we all know about this problem) and costs down on waste. I do, however, like to use to the sticky, throwaway kind at night. I don’t like to wear a bra to bed and in these first couple week and months when your supply is all over the place and you leak like crazy. These are great for sticking to the inside of whatever shirt I’m wearing to bed to help with the leaking. The cotton ones don’t seem to stay in place as well when I’m not wearing a bra.
6. Meal Train Meals – After the birth of N, I was very lucky to be part of a meal train from my MOPS group. Five women from my group made and brought meals to me and my family the first couple weeks after N was born. I am so very thankful for this because it really allowed me to focus on other things and not have to worry about a big kitchen clean up or what I was going to make for dinner. If you aren’t part of a moms / MOPS group maybe you can organize something with your friends so you can take care of each other after a birth. If you aren’t part of a group of friends that you can set up a meal train with, I would highly recommend doing some frozen meals but it doesn’t have to be just casseroles. Get creative!
7. Switching off Early Mornings – I have very lucky in the sense that Wes was able to take almost a month of paternal leave from his firefighter job. It gave us a month of where he didn’t have to rush off at 6:30 am to get to the station so we were able to switch off on who was waking up with the kids in the morning. Being able to sleep in (till 8) felt amazing especially on the morning where I was up for hours in the middle of the night with N.
8. Lowering Your Expectations – This is probably the biggest Mommy must have for your first few weeks with a new baby. I feel like it’s easier to have lower expectations with your second pregnancy vs. your first because you already know what to expect with a newborn. You already know about the rough nights, how tough the first weeks are and how demanding a newborn can be. Somedays you will have the house perfectly cleaned and dinner on the table by 6 and other days your biggest accomplishment is that you got dressed that day aka took of your PJs and put on some leggings. Having lower expectations isn’t bad, it’s just realistic and will lead to more enjoyable and less stressed first few weeks.
9. Nursing or Baby App – Knowing that I was having to tend to two little humans and their demands I knew I was going to need help in remembering the little details that the doctor will ask at her first doctor appointment aka how often and how long is she eating and how many dirty/ wet diapers does she have. I knew that I couldn’t remember it on my own so I download an app that would keep track for me. I like the Baby Nursing App – it’s simple to use but holds a lot of information. There are a lot of these apps out there and you just have to find one that works best for you.