New Baby Must-Haves: Ideas From Moms!
I feel like there are a lot of babies being born around me right now. When I was practicing full time as a doula, I was constantly around newborns, so my perception was off kilter, but even now I’m seeing gorgeous baby bellies and tiny babies everywhere!
Since another pal just had a baby this week, I’ve got newborns on the mind — which bring me to the reason for this very post! Many of my friends have graduated from baby no. 1 and are growing their families beyond a threesome, but being that I’m not yet 30, many are having their first babes right now and I love chatting with them about all of the wonders and tribulations of life with a newborn.
Since I think any mama is keen to help other moms out during this time, I asked a few pals what they would consider a MUST-HAVE for a new baby. And they had SO MANY great ideas to share — in addition to all the normal baby gear, clothing, and such!
Here are some of the things my friends call their new baby must-haves!
A sling or baby carrier of some kind.
I should tell you that this (and my breasts!) are what I would say if someone asked me personally for my new baby must-haves. My daughter lived in our stretchy wrap for the better part of her first year and it got us through some tricky times. I loved snuggling close with her! Many of the folks I asked said a wrap or carrier was a must for them, including a pal who has sweet twin boys at home. It’s the perfect way to free up your hands or get in some lovely bonding time!
I still keep that black wrap on hand for when I’m helping friends with their little ones! I love it and we got so much use from it. Versatile, simple, fantastic.
Self care products for mama.
A few friend mentioned the Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray by name, so it’s worth sharing with you for sure! This is a spray that’s meant to help your tender bottom area after birth and it’s made with ingredients that are soothing and healing — just mist a little after using the washroom or when you need a little relief. Nipple cream was also on many lists — keeping your nipples good shape is crucial when you’re learning to breastfeed and the right cream can help you heal any cracks or ailments that come your way.
Nursing tanks, comfortable pajamas, and “granny panties”.
Most friends mentioned the desire for comfortable clothing to hang out in during the postpartum period. I know I spent must first weeks in a nursing tank and bra combo (my breasts were so sore they couldn’t go free-range as I’d have preferred!) and yoga pants. For mamas who have had a c-section, clothing that doesn’t rest on their incision is helpful for healing and staying comfortable. Also, opt for REALLY big panties that’ll go on easy and contain those lovely big pads you’re wearing to contain the flow!
Nose sucker apparatus.
Several of the mamas who answered said they loved their Nose Frida or the Hydrasense aspirator, both of which are gadgets use for getting those snotty noses cleared up so babies can breath and therefore suck and eat again! (Steph says she recommends the Nose Frida “for when your 6 day old gets their first cold, ask me how I know.” Oh no!) These are magical items and a total must because kids don’t tend to master the whole nose-blowing thing til WAY later in life.
Bouncy chair or a baby swing.
Both the perfect place for baby to hang out when you need a moment, both your hands, or heaven forbid — you need to go to the bathroom or have a shower. Lots of pals said their babies would only sleep in swings or that the bouncy, vibrating chairs for the first few months — another bonus and a wonderful bit of relief for your tired mama arms! For myself, I used to plop my daughter down in her little bouncy chair while I had my morning coffee and I’d sit across from her, pretty amazed at the fact that I’d created a little human! I would also drag her chair into the bathroom when I was having a shower so I could keep an eye on her. Mama surveillance.
She loved it! I swear!
Simple snacks and a water bottle.
Mamas need to take care of themselves BIG time when babies are at their tiniest. You really do have to make sure that YOU are cared for, as well as baby. One pal said “one-handed snacks” were a must-have, which is totally true. Anything you can grab on the go, or reach for while wrangling a newborn with the other is perfect fare. Don’t forget to eat and please keep a water bottle nearby for ultra-hydration! Jill recommends “a great water bottle with a tall bendy straw”! Perfection!
Ok, this might seem like a non-must, but I’m going to agree with the handful of pals who deemed this worthy of their list! With a teensy newborn in your arms, on your boob, or within arm’s reach at all times — you’re going to get a little stir crazy without some entertainment. Also, once your partner heads back to work, if that’s your situation, you might find yourself pretty desperate just to hear another adult voice. When my daughter was fresh and new, I watch entire seasons of DVDs borrowed from friends — this was pre-Netflix or Hulu or any of those fancy things. Friends, Gilmore Girls, Sex and the City… I watched it all and to this day I catch my daughter singing the GG theme songs. Where you lead, I will follow…
Family, friends — your support system.
My favourite item on many people’s lists was their support system. It really does take a village, so when you have your people by your side, helping you through the tough bits — everything feels better. My friend Caroline had this to say: “I had so many people around me helping and assuring me. They all knew the goals I had set about the birth and postpartum and worked with me to make those happen where possible.” Love it. Keeping the like-minded folks close can only do good! Another pal Rylee said, “Family. Seriously, round up those near and dear and let them help!” Love it!
There are lots of things that you might feel you need to have on hand when a new baby is headed your way, but in the end, it’s your love and the love of the people around you that make all the difference.
Wishing you well, mamas-to-be! I’ll leave you with one last baby pic, since apparently this was a trip down memory lane for me! Thanks for coming along.
These two are still BFFs today — at age six!
What are your new baby must-haves, friends? Feel free to share ideas in the comments!