Now that I’m in my 2nd month of my postpartum journey, I wanted to share some items you may or may not think of that I found SUPER useful in my first month as a mama. Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list, but these were my favorites for sure! Item names linked.
I also want to note that everything I share about my pregnancy, labor, and postpartum journey are my experience, and my experience alone. I certainly don’t speak for all mamas, but I do want to share information that could have helped me.
Items for Mom
After the first 2 weeks, there’s been exactly ZERO days and ZERO hours that I’ve been able to wear a maternity bra without breast pads because I leak like crazy… and you might too! My friend Lauren sent me the pads I linked and I absolutely love them and that they stop the milk from leaking through (plus the cute bag that they come in). It is really nice to be able to throw them in the wash and environmentally sound of course! That being said, they are kind of thick and depending on what I’m wearing they can be seen, so I also linked some disposable nursing pads here that I really like and are definitely thinner and less visible.
I heard a lot about wearing sanitary pads and disposable underwear — so I had them on hand — during the postpartum period right after birth (which by the way, my bleeding lasted for a full 6 weeks), but it wasn’t until I had actually given birth that I realized I didn’t want to deal with underwear and pads when the adult diapers were significantly easier. I did have 2 friends who told me right before I went into labor that I may want some diapers, so Lauren and Sara, THANK YOU for the heads up… I made sure to have a few on hand before my son arrived. I linked my favorite pair (HAHA, who knew I’d have a favorite type of diapers?!) that felt the most comfortable, kept leaks from happening, AND were nice and high waisted which felt great on my post baby tummy.
Peri bottles are given to you at the hospital and even came in my home birth kit, but they’re not as great as the one I linked. Again, who knew I would have a preference on peri bottles?! This bottle is great because you hold it upside down and you don’t get any liquid on your hand and can hit all the angles. I’m going to leave it at that, but if you have any stitches, hemorrhoids, or just a sensitive undercarriage… this will be needed.
I’ll be honest, I was legitimately naked besides an adult diaper for the first 2 weeks… I was a vision HAHA. But after that, once clothing came into play and my breastmilk was truly free flowing (like milk everywhere), I needed a nursing bra or tank and this one is a combo PLUS the material is just tight enough that it gives you a little bit of compression which feels nice on a soft post-baby tummy. The brand’s bras aren’t my absolute favorite, but this tank is wonderful and while I have a couple, I very likely will get more.
I put this in the Mom section because even though I did use it for nursing and it absolutely can be helpful, I most used it to sit on in my first month. I believe that lots of times hospitals will give you a “donut pillow” to sit on because your vagina and booty will need it after giving birth, but you can absolutely use the Boppy pillow to sit on and adjust it based on whatever feels most comfortable. Basically, this pillow is far more multi-use than I expected and I’m so glad we had it on our registry. I linked the pillow and cover that I got that match our crib sheets.
Items for Baby
Since I had a home birth, I was given some of these in the birth kit I had to buy… and they’re quite multi-use. Chucks/underpads are basically absorbent, thin pads with a plastic backing that keeps any type of liquid from going through onto the next surface. They were of course used during the delivery, but after they were also utilized in my bed to catch any milk leaks (and any other bleeding.) But the reason I most love them, is for changing diapers. Especially in the first month my baby LOVED to pee while you were changing him and sometimes the poo was…. nuts, so having him laid on a surface that we could simply throw away should he pee all over himself (because, I’ll be honest, that happened quite a few times) or if poop somehow ended up leaking outside the diaper (because that too happened many a times), we were covered. While I understand that these are throw-away items so some people may not like that aspect, for us it was and still is a godsend (yes, we still use them every single time we change him though we only throw them away once they’re dirty so generally speaking we get lots of use out of each one.) The chucks in my birth kit were far superior softness-wise than the ones I linked but it is hard to find soft ones that aren’t GIANT. The ones linked are about the size we like… you could go slightly bigger but that certainly isn’t necessary.
Baby’s are born with sharp nails and while I actually LOVE the nail clippers I got — they’re super easy to use and take the stress out of clipping teeny tiny nails… linked here — even cut and filed nails can be quite scratchy. We still use mittens every single day and have many colors. They stay on, aren’t too big or too small, and the elasticity is spot on… not too tight unlike others I’ve seen. Mittens are especially important for babies who bring their hands to their faces a lot because they don’t have the awareness to be careful and not scratch their faces. Have the mittens on hand before baby arrives because seeing your baby cry in pain because he scratched himself in the face is actually gut wrenching… 10/10 would not recommend.
I’ll admit, we didn’t think we needed this but ended up deciding to get one due to a baby class we took, and we are THRILLED we did. There’s so many options but the one we got is small, can be used as a night light, has the option of being timed, and has different noise options. We use this at nighttime, for naps, and even on walks. It is truly soothing to baby’s to listen to white noise because when they were in the womb they constantly had the noise of rushing blood, food digesting, etc.
Add this to the list of items I didn’t think were THAT important but that we actually use every day. I added this item to our registry and wasn’t certain we truly needed it, but it was one of the first gifts we got from our friends Zohra and Emal, and we were really excited. Even though I spent all of the first 2 weeks in bed and a good amount of the next 2 in bed or on the couch, the DockATot has actually been used daily. It is a perfect place to lay baby down as almost a portable crib or bassinet. Now, there are warnings to not let baby sleep in it unattended and it isn’t meant to be a bed, but I was always next to baby so I felt comfortable letting him sleep there and loved that even if he was in bed with me, there are borders/a barrier to keep him safe. When my mom was visiting we even put the DockATot on the coffee table but because it is soft for the baby, we weren’t worried about his comfort or safety. Later when baby is bigger, DockATot also makes bigger versions.
There’s a lot of swaddle options — including just using a muslin cloth or baby blanket — and even though we got a Halo SleepSack from our friend Drew that we use now that baby is bigger, for our newborn we decided to get a really easy, lightweight option. Because we live in California and it was still in the upper 80s, low 90s when baby was born, we wanted something that wouldn’t be too hot and that we could simply lay him in and wrap up really easily. Traditional Chinese medicine suggests a very warm home in postpartum recovery, so in the first 2 weeks our house was around 80 degrees and we knew he didn’t need something to keep him warm so much as bundled. I found a 3 pack that we actually still use and absolutely love because they’re easy, wash like a dream, when one gets dirty we have extras, and they were inexpensive compared to other options.