This post has been compensated by Acorn Influence and Huggies® Brand. All opinions are mine alone.
I can’t believe I’ve been a mom now for almost six years. That said – I’ve experimented and tried out so many products and brands for babies and mamas. Even more so over the last year that I’ve been training to become a Doula! I feel like something new comes out every day, so it’s been difficult to keep up, but I like to have an idea of what is available in the industry. Being a first time mom, or even a mom of 5, there’s always experimentation that needs to be done because every baby is different and so is every child-parent relationship. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting about what has changed from Carmen to PJ to Graham and it got me thinking about all the products I’ve switched around throughout the years. I wanted to share my recommendations, as I would for my Doula clients,for products that can help make your life easier, more comfortable, or more efficient. Use this list as a guide, or checklist if you will, for the ultimate list of products you need to support your way through this amazing journey of motherhood.
**Let me just tell you right now that the most important thing you will need is a solid supply of wipes and diapers! Huggies® Natural Care™ Sensitive Wipes are featured below and are my top choice for an easy-to-source, affordable option that is free from parabens, fragrance and alcohol. Partnered with a Sam’s Club supply of diapers – you will be prepared for any spontaneous mess or creation!
Essentials For Mom:
Maternity or Nursing Pajamas: They fit nicely and are super roomy. They are usually also nursing-friendly for those first few weeks when you are figuring things out at home. Get an extra pair so you can always have one available when one pair is in the wash.
Lactation massager: this is a great tool for improving milk flow and relieving any pain due to breastfeeding. I found this to be helpful for reducing any clogs that were forming too.
Baby Wrap: it’s so much easier to get work done with two hands, so baby carrier is amazing for those hands free tasks. I’ve had several kinds – that grow with baby. I usually start with more of a wrap/sling, and then move into the type that has buckles and more support as baby gets heavier.
Nursing Bras: I always recommend ordering a few different kinds to try at home and return those you don’t like. Nursing bras are so different and ultimately up to your comfort level, so experimentation is a must. This is something you’ll be living in – and need multiple of – so make sure you really love what you purchase. I typically find the more basic bralette style to be the most versatile, comfortable and easy to use and wear. By the way, if you don’t want to purchase specific bras for nursing and postpartum – I also love finding all cotton bralettes with minimal support, no wires or padding, that easily fold down for nursing. And this way you can use them after!
Sitz bath: This is basically a water bath that fits in any standard toilet, with specific postpartum healing herbs to take away some of that discomfort after birth.
Postpartum Doula: You can search on DoulaMatch.net to find a Postpartum Doula near you. A Postpartum Doula is a support person in your home who helps mom spend some time on herself. That means that we are there to talk out your birth story, discuss how you are feeling, cook you healing foods or drinks, lightly clean up the house, play with siblings, or just hold the baby so you can take some time to go shower and refresh. This is something I never knew I could invest in until I started studying it myself!
Nursing Pillow It just makes the process easier and more comfortable.
Nipple Cream For the initial discomfort – this is great to have for any cracking or irritation. I recommend the more natural options with soothing herbs and formulations.
Breast Pump/Portable/Haaka If you have insurance, it will likely pay for one pump. Everyone will have their favorites but I always look for one that is battery operated so it’s able to be moved from room-to-room (or car!). Also, look at reviews and talk to friends to find one that is comfortable. Yes, some are great and some are not so much! You can also consider the super portable options that go directly into your bra. And lastly – the Haaka, which does a great job of suctioning to the breast you are not pumping or feeding on, to catch any of the milk from that side.
Steaming bags: Your dishwasher can work as a sterilizer, but you may want to also have some of these bags on hand. They are multi-use and amazing for disinfecting products like breast pumps, bottles, pacifiers and cups.
Lotion: There is a lot of wear and tear on your body as you go through birth and postpartum. One of the simple luxuries you can give yourself is to make sure you are totally moisturized from head to toe. It will help you feel more comfortable – and I suggest finding something naturally-minded and thick enough to make a difference. Also of importance is that you choose something with little to no fragrance so that you don’t disturb baby / nursing.
Essential Oils I had essential oils with me in the hospital and throughout my postpartum bubble. They help to bring me calmness, peace, and joy (and some for sleep!) – so I suggest you find your favorite scents and get yourself a diffuser in the room you will spend the most time.
Breast Pads I’m all for the reusable option here, but truthfully I have never found them to be practical enough for me. They usually slip around in my bra or shirt and I end up leaking through. The throwaway breast pads have a sticker on the back so you can stick them into place and not have to worry about doing the extra laundry. That said – the reusable options are softer and more comfortable.
Diaper Bag: I’d recommend finding one that you don’t mind doubling as your purse! One that is stylish while also being practical to carry everything. Chic bookbags are something I am always a fan of because they keep your arms free to hold children or …things!
Reusable coffee mug or warmer: If you are like me, you’ll want your coffee to stay hot while you do a million other things in the morning. Bonus is that these also do well as a keep-cold option for happy hour.
Large reusable water tumbler: The body is depleted – hydration is key! Especially if you are nursing. Having a large, lidded tumbler around at all times will ensure you see if and take sips. I love to throw in half of a lemon with juice to keep it tasting fresh.
Bathrobe: For those first few mornings postpartum when you don’t have much energy to get dressed and want to keep things as simple as possible – a large, comfortable bathrobe is a fantastic backup option!
Comfy blanket: Pick one that is extra comfortable to cozy up with or to keep you warm during late night feeding sessions.
Wipes free from fragrance for sensitive bums: I’m a big fan of products that don’t add fragrance or ingredients our skin (and baby’s skin) doesn’t need. These Huggies® Natural Care™ Sensitive Wipes are awesome! They’re amazing for providing that gentle clean for soft and delicate baby skin – they contain 99% water and are paraben, fragrance, and alcohol free. Not to mention Sam’s Club carries these wipes and diapers for every phase of diaper wearing both in-store and online so you can stock up in BULK. Seriously, you will go through so many wipes. I recently ordered these online and drove right up to our local Sam’s Club for curbside pickup which is so convenient.
Diapers in bulk: Buying in bulk is one of my #1 tips when shopping for anything baby, including diapers. You’ll save money and always have the essentials on hand. Huggies® Little Movers Diapers (available in sizes 3-6) provide incredible leak lock that allows for up to 12 hours of protection, which is key!
Baby Bathtub: Technically you can get away without this but my goal here is to give you the essentials to make your life easier. Having a solid surface for baby to lean against helps free your hands to play and clean!
Sleep Swaddles: One that’s easy to wrap! The last thing you want is to be struggling with it in the middle of the night. Honestly, buy 3 different kinds and try them all. Whichever one works best for you, get a few more.
Changing Pad: I suggest the curved ones with raised walls! Keeps baby safe and comfortable while also making sure the baby doesn’t roll off or fall. I love the option that can be wiped clean so you don’t have to worry about doing laundry with each poop explosion.
Basic Bodysuit/Onesies: Easy and comfy, and all you really need if you are spending a lot of time at home, or snuggled up in a seat or wrap! You’ll likely get a lot of clothing as gifts, and personally I find it is more efficient to buy more clothes when baby is doing more than sleeping and eating.
Pacifier: Try out different brands here too! I recommend buying 2-3 of 3+ different brands and seeing which one works best. Not all babies like the same pacifiers. And some won’t like them at all.
Bottles: Same with pacifiers, try out different ones to see what works for your baby. Because these can be expensive, I’d try 2 and choose from there.
Nightlight & Sound Machine The nightlight will help you with middle of the night feeds and changes, and the sound machine will replicate the sounds in the womb to keep your baby cozy – as well as drown out any sounds from the rest of the house while they try to sleep. You can find sound machine apps for your phone while you are on-the-go, or invest in a travel option as well for the car.
Stroller (or two!): I’ve always found it helpful to have a heavy duty stroller for the newborn phase as well as a lightweight and collapsible one for once they get a little older.
High Chair: Make sure to get one that wipes down! The super soft and plush ones are great until there’s a spill and it’s a hard mess to clean up. Honestly, this thing is going to get so messy – the less expensive the better!
Car Seat: When you purchase your car seat – make sure you research current safety standards and check for recalls, PLUS – make sure it will fit in your current car set up.
Car Seat Strap: Keeps baby’s toys from falling on the floor, so you can get in a drive to the store and back.
Baby mirror for car: Since your babe will be seated backwards, this helps you to see their face and know they are safe, asleep, etc.
Humidifier: This will help add moisture to the air which helps relieve dry skin, mucus build up, and makes sure your baby is sleeping in the best conditions. If you are into essential oils, your diffuser can do double duty.
Bouncy seat: needing a little break from holding? These are amazing for keeping your baby occupied for short periods of time. Like when you want to take a shower!
Baby Lounger: On that note, these are another awesome surface to put baby down on and can double as a (supervised) nap area.
Wipe Warmer: Not 100% necessary, but sometimes those cold wipes can jolt baby awake. For middle of the night changes, these warm wipes aid to keep them somewhat asleep.
Diaper Bin: Find one with a charcoal filter and double lock help to keep diaper odors locked inside until emptied. Bonus points for adding a cotton ball with essential oils!
Crib: I wasn’t going to say this but I guess I must state the obvious too! Baby needs a place to sleep. If they are with you in your room for the first couple of weeks or months, you’ll also want a bassinet.
Pack n play: These are compact and great for traveling and can double as a crib or a place to put baby down to safely play in another location of the house.
Baby monitor: You’ll be hearing phantom cries for the rest of your life so it’s nice to know if they are really happening LOL.
What’s something you would add to this list? What made your life easier, better, or more comfortable? Tell us below!