Bringing your baby home is such an exciting time for you as parents. There are essentials mamas really need when bringing your baby home that you’ll want to have on hand to make your life easier. Whether this is your first baby, or you have had one before, it is a time for celebration.
If you’ve never had a baby, there are so many checklists and resources that can help you determine the must-haves for your first baby. My list includes the essentials that helped me as a new mama during the first six weeks. I include some things for breastfeeding as well as general items to help you manage the first several weeks.
- Good company and a strong support system: You’ll want to ensure you have people around you that will support you and baby the first six weeks as you heal and you and baby learn each other.
- Healthy food, snacks, and LOTS of water: If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll never feel more thirsty in your life! Make sure you have whole foods, and healthy snacks on hand as well. You’ll be very hungry those first weeks especially. Grab a basket, load it up with water and snacks and keep it by your favorite nursing chair.
- Sound machine-: This will be especially helpful when you have a cranky/fussy baby that you can’t seem to calm. You can also buy songs via your music app on your phone with womb sounds, heartbeat sounds, and others to help soothe your baby. A sound machine is also a helpful tool to help you sleep. It will drown out noises and allow you to sleep restfully (and you’ll need lots of sleep!).
- Nipple butter or coconut oil: If you’re breastfeeding, and don’t have a proper latch, your nipples will feel very sore the first few weeks. For us, it was even longer because our baby had a posterior tongue and lip tie that prevented him from getting a deep latch. Nipple butter or coconut oil can help soothe sore nipples if you’re waiting on help. But, don’t wait too long- reach out as soon as you feel something isn’t right. It’s better to be assessed and everything be fine than worry about fixing something later!
- Lactation help: Hopefully, you’ll receive a couple of days of lactation support while you’re in the hospital. Once you get home, if you’re still having issues with breastfeeding, don’t give up! Either find a La Leche League, lactation counselor like me, or post-partum doula with breastfeeding experience. Lean on them for support- it’ll be worth it, I promise!
- Nursing pads: Nursing pads are helpful when your milk first starts coming in because your body is trying to regulate your milk production. It may take up to three months for your body to regulate. Even after 19+ months of breastfeeding, my breasts still leak from time to time if they are full, and especially at night. I really don’t enjoy waking up to a wet bed or a wet shirt so I always use nursing pads. I prefer the organic cotton round ones over the disposable kind. The disposables never stayed put and soaked pretty quickly. If you find yourself leaking from one side while breastfeeding your baby on the other, try using a milk saver breast pump, hakaa, or something similar to catch the leaking milk. You can save this milk for your baby to drink, use it in a milk bath, or as a skin ointment.
- Nursing bras: These are essential when breastfeeding! You will want the kind that clasps for easy access to nurse your baby. These make it super easy and can be done with one hand.
- Large sanitary pads: While this doesn’t sound pretty, it’s a necessity after having a baby. Make sure you stock up on large sanitary pads or adult diapers before your baby arrives. You will be bleeding a lot during the first few weeks after having your baby.
- Large underwear: The first few weeks after having your baby, you will want large, loose underwear that gives you plenty of room to put in large pads and allow you to heal properly. Tight-fitting clothing will not be comfortable during this time and could cause mastitis or engorgement if your milk flow is restricted.
- Spray and wipes: You’ll want to buy perineum spray to help in the healing process. Also, buy witch hazel wipes just in case you get hemorrhoids and need to use them.
- Baby wrap: After the first couple of weeks with your new baby at home, you will be ready to move around and do a few things around the house. A baby wrap is a perfect solution to be more mobile and keep baby comforted and soothed. Your new baby wants nothing more than to be close to you, so wrap him/her up and enjoy your mobility! Just remember not to overdo it because your body is still trying to heal itself.
I hope this list of essentials helps as you stock up on things you may need as a new mama before your baby arrives! Be sure to read my other post about healing your body after having your baby here.
Are there other must-haves on your list for bringing your new baby home? Drop them in the comments below- we’d love to hear your thoughts!