Must Haves For New Borns
During pregnancy I was so focused on preparing for baby and figuring out what I should expect for labour and delivery. In the end, I found that labour was much better than I anticipated which was a nice surprise. The not so nice surprise was how incredibly painful and challenging postpartum was.
I knew it would be uncomfortable but I thought that was the extent of it. For me, my unexpectedly difficult postpartum really had an impact on the way I envisioned and planned on caring for my newborn.
In my mind, I would confidently care for my son. I’d get up every morning and dress him in the cute little baby clothing I had carefully placed in his drawers. I’d rock him and put him in his bassinet at bedtime. I was totally unaware of all the things I would personally need and the things I’d need in order to “mom” through pain.
While my experience is not universal (every birth is different), I wanted to discuss some of the products that became must-haves for me in order to cope with my recovery and provide the best care possible for my baby.
Co-sleeping wasn’t my plan. I was going to have my baby sleep in a bassinet for the first few months and then transition to a crib. Easy. What I didn’t expect was that my baby would not like his bassinet and would in fact, refuse to sleep anywhere but my chest for the first 2 weeks of his life. I didn’t consider that I would have one of the many babies who really, really needed to be close to mom.
Since my birth injuries were significant, I couldn’t get up and down all night to get my baby to sleep on his own. So I changed the plan and explored safe bed sharing options. I knew the traditional co-sleepers wouldn’t work because he needed to feel like he was sleeping right next to me.
The Snuggle Nest was the perfect option for us. I goes right into bed with you and is almost level, making baby feel close and secure. But it offers a hard surround that will help prevent any potential accidents. It also had the added bonus of being super portable and affordable!
Get The Snuggle Nest here.
2. Change Station
Many moms told me I wouldn’t need a change table because I would just end up changing baby wherever I was. For me, this couldn’t have been further from the truth. I found my couch too small and “squishy” for changing diapers and I wasn’t able to get down on the floor in the first days postpartum.
Luckily, I had a changetable attachment on my crib and one attached to my playpen. The playpen has it’s own little diaper storage area and I added a simple diaper depot to the side of my crib. It made it easy for me to change diapers without having to venture too far from wherever we were since my apartment is very small. (Even walking was a challenge!)
Having the changetable as an attachment to an existing piece of furniture or baby gear that you know you’ll use anyway really makes it a no-brainer. If you happen to be one of the moms who don’t use it, it’s really no loss.
Get Our Crib Here.
Get Our Playpen Here.
3. Nursing Pillow
If you’re planning to breastfeed this is probably already on your list. However, no matter what your feeding plan is for baby, it’s something you should consider. I happened to have a large newborn weighing in at over 9lbs. He was cluster feeding and beyond that he just hated being put down. If I wanted to be able to do anything, including eating, I needed a place to comfortably rest him in order to use at least one arm.
It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. I am exclusively breastfeeding and still went with a super simple, affordable pillow and it works perfectly. Even with the pillow I ended up with carpel tunnel from holding him so much so seriously - make the investment.
Get My Pillow Here.
4. Large Water Bottle
Despite my difficult recovery, my husband was not allowed more than a week off work after my son was born. My family lives far away so from very early, I had to figure out how to do it alone. Staying hydrated and nourished proved to be one of my biggest struggles, especially as a nursing mom.
We have plenty of water bottles but they’re all basically standard size and getting up to refill was painful, not to mention challenging when baby was nursing all day long. I ended up lining up several to try and get the 3 litres of water my midwife recommended. It was definitely not practical.
Getting yourself a large water bottle and lots of easy, quick snacks will be a huge help in the early postpartum days. Obviously it needs to be small enough to handle easily but getting the majority of your water for the day into one bottle is the goal. Most stores that sell water bottles will carry some variation of a handled 2 litre bottle and that works perfectly!
Get a 2L bottle Here.
Every journey is different. We can all try to be as prepared as possible but no matter what, things will catch you by surprise. The most important thing is to ensure you have a solid support system for the first few days who can help you with anything that you need along the way. Above all else, remember the newborn days are numbered. It’s incredibly hard but do your best to focus on the amazing baby and soak up every beautiful moment.