I’m 36 and a half weeks pregnant with my fourth child and, while there aren’t many big necessities looming, there are definitely some expecting mother must haves on my list. Here’s how to help you get what you need to help survive the newborn phase.
I am not a big collector of stuff. I don’t think I need a lot. I don’t hoard. I like to buy, use, consume, and then either donate or throw away.
However, there is just no denying that the arrival of a new baby brings with it certain needs. In order to fully enjoy those first few weeks and months, it’s best to be prepared and have what you need on hand.
Registries are a great way to ensure that you get all you need, and have something to refer your loved ones to who are looking to help get your family ready for the baby’s arrival.
Particularly if you are a new mom and have a few showers lined up, creating a registry at an easily accessible store is pretty much the easiest way to go about it.
So without further ado, here’s my must have list. There are other things, but after 3 babies (in my humble opinion) these are the essentials.
1. Lansinoh. This is pretty much the best thing you can get if you plan on breastfeeding. To prevent cracking, soreness and discomfort (and to heal it) this lanolin cream is recommended worldwide. I’ve had 3 babies in 3 countries and yet to find anything better.
2. Nursing pads. Breastfeeding takes some adjustment. Both in getting your rhythm down and in milk supply between the baby and the mother. Unless you want everyone you meet to know you breastfeed because – well – it shows, then you’ll need nursing pads.
3. Nursing tank tops. Not all clothes are created equal during the breastfeeding phase. Nursing tops are a huge convenience while you’re still getting used to everything.
4. Burp cloths. I always seem to think I don’t need these Then I end up going through two or three shirts a day. Or I don’t… and that’s even worse.
5. Breastfeeding friendly bottles. Though you’ll be primarily breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to introduce the bottle to your baby earlier rather than later. You may not need this, but if you will have to be away from your baby from time to time longer than a few hours it’s good to have the right bottle and know how to get a breastfed baby to take a bottle.
5. Eye mask. Hopefully in the initial phase after birth you’ll have some help around you. That means you’ll probably be feeding, changing diapers, and sleeping. An eye mask is a great way to help you get some sleep even if you have to catch it at noon. I was given an eye mask with my first pregnancy and have never looked back.
6. Night gown and robe. Whether you wear this in the hospital or in the first week at home when you don’t leave the house much, a new nightgown has a way of making you feel better. Instead of a ratty college t-shirt (not that there’s anything wrong with that) you’ll at least feel less guilty that you didn’t get dressed all day.
7. Favorite snacks. When you’re nursing or spending time cuddling your newborn, snacks are a good thing to have on hand if you don’t feel like preparing a whole meal. I always want a nice drink and something yummy when I sit down for a feed.
8. Comfy intimates. After birth you’ll likely not fit into your 40 week panties, nor fit back into your pre-pregnancy ones. I’ve found the best way is to buy intimates especially for this period that are comfortable. Nursing bras and underwear in your “new, but hopefully not for long” size help you to remain comfortable.
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9. Diapers and wipes. Diapers are obviously a must have. Even if you plan on doing cloth diapers, that doesn’t usually get started until around 3 months so you’ll want a big stash. In my registry I included Pampers® Swaddlers. When people pick up diapers for us they always seem to ask which brand, so it’s a good idea to know what you like so you get diapers you’re happy with.
10. Swaddle. You gotta swaddle that baby. From day one! This is my favorite swaddle I’ve used with all four babies. I know some mamas say their babies didn’t like to be swaddled, but I swaddled all mine from birth and they’ve loved it. Every one. Plus it really helps in establishing good sleeping patterns with newborns.
11. Car seat. Depending on how long ago you had your last child – and definitely if you’re a first time mom – you gotta have a car seat. Requirements often change so it’s best to be sure that the one you have meets safety requirements and, if not, to upgrade.
12. Pack-n-play. Each family is different, but I always keep our baby in our room until they are sleeping through the night. This occurs sometime between 3-4 months. Because I usually have their crib in their own room, we keep a pack-n-play in our room where the baby sleeps through the night. This is also great for when you are away, or when you’d like the baby to be able to nap well at someone else’s home.