Hey mommies! I’ve been casually keeping a list of Postpartum Essentials for Mom and Baby for the past few weeks, and I’m happy to share it with you!
Ahhh postpartum. That strange time in your life when you aren’t pregnant, but you still don’t really feel like your normal, non-pregnant self.
I’m going to admit, those first few postpartum weeks were tough for me. As it is for every new mama! It can be hard adjusting to this period if you don’t know what to expect, or if you’ve got another kiddo or two running around.
I thought I had prepared as much as possible before hand, but I will totally confess that I bought a boat-load of stuff on Amazon in those first few weeks. And, I’m not just talking cute baby outfits (even though I did buy some of those as well!), I’m talking pads, batteries, nipple cream, undies…basically the stuff that I had no idea I really needed…until I actually needed it!
I totally wish I had talked to more of my friends with kiddos and picked their brains about this topic!
I even had a good friend text me a few days after she had her sweet baby, requesting this article be added to my list! Straight from the source, am I right??
These are in no certain order, and I truly hope you benefit from this list! Here we go!
(PS: Any links and/or pictures in this article take you straight to make a purchase!)
Your hospital may give you those super sexy mesh underwear (which are awesome by the way), but it’s also a good idea to have about 7-10 pairs of HUGE GRANNY PANTIES. It’s going to be a little bit of time before you are not wearing a pad, and you don’t want to mess up your normal-nice underwear. These come in a 5 pack!
Stock up! Get the biggest, most absorbent ones you can find.
I know, I know, I already referenced granny panties in this post. I’m sorry, you’re not a grandma once you have a baby. Truth is, some women really like wearing Depends in the postpartum period. Especially in those first few days when your bleeding is the heaviest.
TUCKS PADS/WITCH HAZEL
These may be given to you upon discharge, but not every hospital does provide them. Tuck’s are great for healing and preventing hemorrhoids after you give birth. And, unfortunately hemorrhoids are a common occurrence. Some women prefer to apply witch hazel to a wipe or cotton ball, but I totally love the Tuck’s pads for convenience.
Again, this may be given to you upon discharge. Dermoplast is a spray that is wonderful for relieving pain from vaginal tears, or general vaginal soreness. It contains Aloe, Lanolin, and Menthol.
A MOMWASHER OR PERI BOTTLE
The MomWasher is a super awesome product you didn’t know you needed until you have one. Your hospital will most likely give you a “Peri Bottle” (a little squirt bottle you fill with water to clean yourself up after you use the bathroom/change your pad), but the MomWasher is different because it’s angled, and it has a one-way air valve for continuous, gentle water pressure.
If, for some reason, you don’t receive any peri bottles while you are at the hospital, and you’d prefer to go the cheaper route, snag a few here.
Stock up. I went through a whole bottle and then some during those first 6 weeks.
Goes along with the Colace…if you get to the point where you are so constipated you need a suppository…trust me…you don’t want to drive all the way to the drug store for that a few days after you have a baby (not speaking from personal experience or anything here *sadly sarcasm*). Do yourself a favor and pick one up the next time you go out, (or right here on Amazon) your future-constipated-4-day-postpartum self will be high-fiving you.
Just because you’re not pregnant anymore doesn’t mean you should stop taking your prenatal vitamins! If you are breastfeeding, your doctor/midwife will most likely recommend you keep taking them once you return home. So, just make sure you have an extra bottle!
You’ll have some uterine cramping in the first few days/weeks after you deliver (regardless of if you have a vaginal or C-Section). Heat works great at relieving those cramps, or any back pain/soreness you are experiencing. I personally like the plug-in ones, but I know plenty of mamas are fans of the microwaveable kind too!
***Baby Tip*** I also used to use a heating pad to warm up the bassinet/crib before I put him to sleep! I would put it in there for 5-10 minutes on the lowest setting while I was nursing him. I’d take it out RIGHT before I laid him down so it was nice and toasty warm. He loved it!
Padsicles are fancy little pads you can make before-hand and stick in your freezer. They are WONDERFUL. Read this article by Caroline from Swaddles n’ Bottles to learn how to make them, very easy!
I’ve referenced the Bellefit girdles before in another post! They are super popular right now, and for a good reason! They are awesome for postpartum support, and C-Section recovery. In fact, they have one specifically if you have a vaginal delivery or a C-Section!
Alternatively, Belly Bandit‘s are similar and quite a bit cheaper, too!
PLENTY OF NURSING BRAS, AND NURSING-FRIENDLY ATTIRE
There are so many cute, and comfortable options out there. Here are few of my favorites:
Suekaphin Nursing Bras (Wireless Bra Women’s Sleeping Maternity) – Best bras overall for sleeping/daily. and, they come in a 5 pack!
Gilligan & O’Malley Sleep Bras – If you’re more of a sports bra girl, these are the best! AND they are from Target *WIN*
Speaking of TARGET, most of their nursing friendly tanks/shirts are super cute! (Click on any picture below to go directly to the product page!)
These aren’t from Target, but here are some more cute options!
You want to buy this stuff BEFORE you start breastfeeding. Cracked and sore nipples can happen pretty fast.
IMO, Earth Mama Organics wins the contest of “Best Nipple Cream” out there. They also have a TON of other organic, maternity/postpartum essentials. But the nipple cream takes the cake. I also use mine as a lip-balm. Snag some here, you won’t be sorry!
My number 2 option: Motherlove Nipple Cream Certified Salve
As an alternative, many women find coconut oil as a great nipple cream!
For the leaky booby mamas. Some moms prefer the disposables (my favorites were always the ones by Hey Mama) but you can buy washable pads as well! I’d suggest buying at least 3-5 pairs of the washable kind, so you know you always have a clean pair on hand.
*UPDATE* Here’s a FOURTEEN PACK of washable breast pads for CHEAP!
Nipple shields are ideal for mamas who have flatter, or inverted nipples. In fact, if you know this is how your nipples are already, I would go ahead and purchase them, because you will probably need one in the first few weeks. If you have very normal, or everted nipples, you can probably hold off on buying any, until you start breastfeeding.
Nipple SHELLS, on the other hand are wonderful for any breastfeeding mama. They are basically little shells you can stick in your bra in-between feedings, so that your sore nipples do not touch your shirt/bra. Really, really, really nice. Trust me.
Booby tubes are natural, gel-free breast packs made with organic cotton shell and filled with flax seed. You can stick them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds and use them warm to help your supply, or keep them in the freezer and use them for engorgement. Soooo much better than frozen peas.
THESE are a cheaper alternative, but I will say the booby tubes take the cake! (I’m all about saving money though!)
If you plan on pumping from the beginning, you’ll need a way to store that breastmilk! It’s so much easier to keep milk in bags, instead of using up all your bottles and constantly washing. On another note, these are important to have if you have an over-supply issues from the beginning. Never pump and throw away that breastmilk! You never know when you might have an unexpected dip in your supply and you need to dive into your freezer stash!
Parent’s Choice Breastmilk Bags are BY FAR my faves out there! I’ve tried a bunch of different brands, and for some reason these cheap-o ones are awesome! They sell them at Walmart (but you can get them from Amazon, too, right here!)
A FEW BIG A** WATER BOTTLES
You will be SO THIRSTY as a breastfeeding mama. Get some cute, BIG water bottles to keep IN EVERY ROOM!
A BOPPY OR MYBREASTFRIEND
Ahh, the breastfeeding pillow debate. Boppy vs. Mybreastfriend. I actually had both, and I liked them for different reasons. I think, generally, most women like the Mybreastfriend better (especially in the early days), but a Boppy is nice to have because you can prop baby up on it!
A VARIETY OF SWADDLES
Ok, I PROMISE this one is so important. There’s going to be a night (or many nights) you Google “best swaddle for getting baby to sleep”. I think I went through 4-5 different kinds before I found one that my little one liked.
My son liked the bottom half of his body swaddled, but his arms out so he could suck on his hands. It took a few different trials before we found a good one (after which a few months, we ended up switching AGAIN)
It’s nice to have a few different kinds up front, though, because babies are picky!
Here are a few options that I either personally used, or close friends have personally used:
WOOMBIE ($36 & FREE SHIPPING) : Super snuggly for the swaddle lovin’ baby
ERGO BABY ($25 & FREE SHIPPING) : This one is cool because it has an extra layer underneath that you can swaddle the arms and legs separate, making it easy for diaper changes.
NESTED BEAN ZEN WEIGHTED SWADDLE ($30 & FREE SHIPPING IN US) : ! If your baby sleeps better in your embrace or with your palm on their chest, The Zen Swaddle simulates the pressure from your touch with lightly weighted pads on their chest and sides.
HALO SLEEP SACK (AMAZON) : A popular one among all moms out there!
SWADDLEME 3 PACK (AMAZON) : Loved these because they were cheap and came in a 3 pack! We used them for the first few weeks, but he grew out of them relatively fast.
LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE UP (AMAZON) : When babies are placed on their back to sleep, their natural position is arms up so they can self-soothe at night when they wake up. The Love to Dream Swaddle UP patented design allows for self-soothing, unlike traditional swaddles which hold baby’s arms down and frustrate them.
WHITE NOISE MACHINE OR APP
My son doesn’t sleep without a white noise machine (neither do I). You can just download a free app on your phone for the newborn days, but I would suggest buying one once you transition to a separate room.
I would recommend picking up a small nightlight to have by your bedside for these middle of the night feedings/diaper changes. You definitely need some source of light when changing a diaper at 3am. Having one of these is way easier than turning on an overhead light (and it’s nicer to your sleeping partner too!).
NEWBORN AND SIZE 1 DIAPERS
You never know how big baby is going to be until he/she comes out! 9lb+ babies don’t fit so well in the newborn diapers, so make sure you have at least a pack of size 1’s in case baby turns out to be a wee bit bigger than you anticipated!
***UPDATE*** Maybe buy a pack of size 2’s just in case
Sometimes simple newborn onesies and sleepers get missed as an item to put on your baby registry. Everyone buys you all the cute outfits, but you really just need some simple onesies/sleepers for the newborn period.
Formula feeding mamas are probably like, “Well DUH!”. True, DUH! Even if you plan on breastfeeding, I would plan on having a small can of formula at home, for emergencies. Many times the hospital will discharge you with a can or two regardless of your feeding plan. I remember the discharge nurse telling me the importance of this. I’m ALL for breastfeeding, but, there may be a day when you just have had enough, and just need to give your baby a bottle of formula. It’s ok! Stick it in the back of the pantry for emergencies.
Gripe water is very popular nowadays. I had some, but I never needed it because my son had a pretty good tummy. It’s an all-natural supplement you can give baby if you suspect they have tummy troubles (as an alternative to gas drops). It contains organic ginger and fennel, both of which aid in digestion, relieve gas, and calm little bellies.
I should really put this FIRST on the list! I may be slightly obsessed with this thing. If you’ve never heard of it before, it may seem gross at first, but I PROMISE IT’S NOT. Works 1 million times better than the blue bulb syringe. All hail the almighty snot sucker!
FEEDING APP ON YOUR PHONE
To keep track of not only feedings, but poops, pees, and sleep!
Baby Tracker is the best one out there in my opinion.
Babies have a tendency to have super sharp nails that grow FAST and become hangnails FAST. Get a good pair of nail clippers, and I promise it’s not as scary to cut a baby’s nails as everyone says it is! Once you do it a few times, you get the hang of it!
I LOVE AQUAPHOR. I put that stuff on everything! (diaper rash, bug bites, scratches) It’s absolutely your choice as to which kind of butt cream you use, and some kiddos do better with different brands. You’ll just have to do a trial and error. I will say, Aquaphor (or any petroleum-based cream) is great for the meconium days because it helps decrease the bum-stickiness. I have heard good things about Butt Paste, too!
Along with the nail issue, hand mittens are nice to have so your poor baby doesn’t get any face scratches. I’ve also heard socks work just the same (or better).
DREFT OR ANY BABY DETERGENT
I don’t use baby detergent anymore, but I LOVED the smell of Dreft! There are a few different brands out there, but it’s definitely a good idea to use a baby detergent for a few months on that sweet baby skin.
Ok, I’m a nurse, so I’m supposed to say “wash your hands after every diaper change”. Yes, DO THIS. However, if you just can’t do it every time, use some hand sanitizer!
Just make sure you have some extras on hand. You will be cursing if that baby swing dies during naptime.
Cluster feedings come with lots of couch time. I remember literally sitting on the couch attached to my son for DAYS. Since you’re stuck sitting there, might as well get a good Neflix show in!
All moms need Amazon Prime. Seriously. I LOVE IT, and it’s so worth it. Sign up now to receive 30 days for free!
I found Instacart while I was on maternity leave and I still use it! It’s a grocery delivery service! It’s $150/year for free unlimited delivery. Sounds expensive at first, but if you think about the gas and time you will save…$150 is NOTHING. The app is super easy to use and it seriously saves me SO MUCH TIME!
Use promo code LTEEN1DA to get $10 off your first order!
***If you have Amazon Fresh in your area, that’s a great grocery delivery service as well!***
If you’re one that talks to family/friends on the phone a lot, you’ll want one of these! You need your hands for baby-related activities!
*No caption needed*
LOTS OF SNACKS
I referenced above that you will be very thirsty if you breastfeed. You will also be very hungry, ALL THE TIME. You may wake up in the middle of the night hungry. I had fruit snacks stashed in my bedside table for this reason (they may or may not still be there).
And, honestly, if you don’t decide to breastfeed, a girl still needs some extra snacks on hand.
Stock up! You are not going to want to cook anything for at least a month (or three).
Also a great suggestion for visiting friends and family, if they ask “What can I bring?”
Okay, so did I just overwhelm you? I’m sorry. That was totally not my intention! Reading back over this list, I DO REALIZE THAT IT’S VERY LONG! Who knew there was so much stuff out there than can help you during those first few precious months with your little babe?
The reality is, when you’re up every 2-3 hours feeding your little one, it may seem like this period you’re in will never end. Unfortunately, it actually goes too quick! I blinked my eyes and my child was ONE. I remember him being so small and frail in the beginning and now he’s A CHUNK, eating cheese and scrambled eggs like no one’s business.
I’m asking the vets out there, what’s one thing on your list that you absolutely recommend for new-postpartum mamas? Leave me a comment!
Also check out a few postpartum symptoms that you may be experiencing after delivery!
Founder, Labor Teen