If you’re here I anticipate that you are expecting a little one so CONGRATULATIONS!!!! My son, Julian, is now 2 years old and full of SO MUCH ENERGY. When I was pregnant with Julian I looked up and asked for essentials ALL THE TIME. So this one is for the first time mamas who find it overwhelming and always thinking what the heck do I buy for myself and my new baby. I’m going to keep it straight to the point for you!
When you’re pregnant you’re constantly preparing for a baby, but what about for you mama? These are the 6 essentials (in my opinion) that you will need for yourself as you prepare for your postpartum journey.
- Snacks. Lots of snacks!!!!!!!! Let me just say you will always be hungry as your hormones change. Mostly hungry for sweets, but a mix of all snacks is necessary. My sister also helped me with this because she has 3 children 3 and under. When I think of snacks I think of literally grab and go with an exception of smoothies. So my favorite snacks in the postpartum period are protein bars (larabars), chocolate, crunchy snacks like chex mix, dried fruit, and fresh fruit. For my smoothies I preferred simple ones like a banana peanut butter protein smoothie or a fruit smoothie. I use a couple Herbalife products to get my protein in. You can do the same, use a protein you like, or omit the protein. For my fruit smoothies I like to buy frozen fruit and put fruit in individual bags so they are ready to go and the smoothie making process is that much easier. My sister also said make cookie dough and freeze it so when you have a crazy sweet tooth just pop some cookies in the oven! I wish I would have known this tip when I was postpartum because I have a huge sweet tooth.
- Freezer meals are also a must. I recommend making some of your favorite meals that you can throw in the crockpot or air fryer so it doesn’t take much time to prepare. Let’s be honest, you don’t have the energy or time to prepare a full meal. Hello takeout! Other options are pre-made meals from Sam’s Club or Costco. These come in bigger portions and make great leftovers for a couple days. This takes some planning ahead but, wow, it will be so worth it for you in the postpartum period. Here are a couple of my favorite meals- chicken tortilla soup, lasagna soup, tater tot casserole, and crockpot crack chicken. I hope you enjoy these meals!
- Breast pump. Okay no more food talk, except for feeding the baby. I breastfed my son for almost 2 years. Breastfeeding is not everyone’s top choice, do what’s best for you and your child! However because I breastfed this was an essential for me, so if this is your plan then it will be for you too. Pro tip: many times insurance will cover a breast pump or give a discount on a breast pump if not covered fully. Check with insurance before buying a breast pump. I had to go back to work 12 weeks after having my son so I had to build a supply before sending him to daycare and also pump at work. I actually had 2 pumps- one for home and one for work and that was great. I used the medela in style, but now there are even hands free pumps. I really like the medela in style pump. One thing about that pump is that it is pretty loud, but if that doesn’t bother you then highly recommend it! The Haakaa pump I feel like is also necessary because if you are breastfeeding you can just attach this to the other side and you’re good to go or if the baby is sleeping and you don’t want to pump then the haakaa pump is perfect.
- Perineal care. Postpartum “down there” care is a MUST for healing! This is what I recommend- make a basket with all of your supplies and set them by the toilet so they are all in one place and easy to grab. This includes tucks (witch hazel pads), perineal spray or a bottle to fill with warm water, pads and adult diapers. There is a fridamom kit that you can purchase that has some of these items. You can get all items from Target, Walmart, or Amazon. You can also get perineal spray, nipple balm, and some other postpartum products at Tiny Human Supply Co. Before you leave the hospital take all the pads, adult diapers, and perineal care products that are in your room. These are the essentials that I used that I think are a must. Start with simple things and if you need more than you can add it.
- Adult diapers and pads. After I delivered my son I used the adult diapers in the hospital and when I got home I used maxi pads and oversized underwear. If I were to do it over again I would use adult diapers at home and still have the pads on hand.
- A water bottle. One that you do not have to fill up frequently and that you will enjoy drinking out of. This may seem like overkill, but buy a half gallon water bottle. I personally like the drink out of a water bottle that has a straw. Amazon has so many options to choose from. When you are postpartum you are always thirsty plus if you are breastfeeding you need to stay very hydrated. Here is one recommendation.
Hopefully you can take the recommendations from the mama section during your postpartum journey! As always you can message me on instagram or send an email for any additional questions. There are so many baby care and mama care essentials that it was so hard to narrow it down. These are the baby care essentials that I think are most important aside from the obvious car seat, stroller, clothes, and diapers and wipes. Let’s jump right into it!
My favorite place to create a registry was Amazon. There is such a wide variety of products, plus you get discounts, and returns are so easy. Create your amazon registry here and start adding your favorite postpartum and baby products to your registry.
- Boppy. A boppy can be used from birth to 9+ months. You can use it for them to lay propped up, tummy time, to work on sitting, and for sensory play time. A boppy has so many uses including a use for breastfeeding. This was my most used pillow for breastfeeding. We actually still use it as a pillow for road trips!
- Baby frida kit and medicine kit. Okay this part can be extremely overwhelming. There are so many different types of teething gel and butt cream and gas relief. Here is what I recommend to keep it simple. Get the baby frida kit- it comes with gas relief, comb, nail clippers, and snot sucker. So worth it! I did a mix of natural and other remedies. My go to’s for a medicine kit: baby tylenol, Tiny Human Supply Co. diaper rash cream (use code simplykristi for a 15% discount.), zarbee’s baby cough and cold medicine, zarbee’s teething gel,and boogie stuffy nose kit. You can actually buy the majority of these products at either Target or Walmart. This is perfect to put on your baby registry or if someone asks what you are wanting give this idea!
- Wrap or carrier. After you heal and you start to do more around the house or even going on in public a wrap or carrier is a must. Now, I do not have a favorite to tell you. I had an infantino 4-in-1 carrier that was not my favorite. The reason I did not care for it was because I felt like his little legs were too far apart and it was not that comfy. He was 19.5 inches long when he was born, but I felt that the carrier just looked so uncomfortable. I did not care for the wrap because I could never figure it out or keep it tight enough. That is just my experience! My sister loves her wraps and slings. I know others who use wraps all the time. There are hundreds to choose from so pick the one that you think will be best for you. My son ALWAYS had to be held so I used the carrier a lot while doing house tasks which was a life saver.
- Snuggle me organic or doc a tot. With my son I bought snuggle me organic infant lounger, but now they also have a toddler lounger. This is a product I feel is used for a short period of time but it is well worth it. You may be thinking “why would I need that”, so here is how I used it- In the bassinet during naps, on the couch, or in our bed while I was folding laundry or if I wanted to nap as well. The snuggle me organic is designed to hug the babies full body to keep them calm and comfortable and it really does do just that. Plus, you can also fit it to an aesthetic if you’re into that!
- Burp rags. Okay, you may think you need the cutest burp rags but honestly don’t waste your money. I used cloth diapers for burp rags. Honestly, I get that this sounds weird, but these make the best burp rags. I used the gerber baby reusable cloth diapers in white from target. My son is 2 and we still use them obviously not to burp him, but to wipe up messes or to take in his diaper bag as a “just in case” item. Don’t get me wrong I used cute burp rags too, but if I did it over again I wouldn’t spend the money. Pro tip: have a diaper caddy or cart in the most used space in the house with your mama essentials and diapers, wipes, burp rags, etc so you aren’t hunting things down when you need them.
- Baby bath. I know that the blooming flower baby bath is all the rage and it is super cute. I recommend that you get a baby bath that your little one can grow into. Again, there are so many options so choose what would work best for you and your situation. This is the exact Infant bathtub I had and used it up until my son could sit in the bath safely which was around 12-18 months.
Mama, this is a lot of information and hopefully I broke it down and mapped it out for you well. I would love to hear from you with any comments or questions that you have! Good luck with your pregnancy and well wishes on your delivery and beyond. Don’t miss my next blog post highlighting the things I wish I knew as a first time mom!