Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Mom Essentials

It seems like about 80% of the women I know on Facebook are either pregnant, about to deliver, or has an infant at home....myself included. Since my second little guy is a month old already, I thought I would share my thoughts on what the new mom really needs to survive that first month (and beyond) with a newborn and what she doesn't. I figure since I've done this twice now, I qualify as an expert! It's all about survival during those first weeks so this list is designed to help with that effort.

Must Haves: Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 until you have secured these items for your first weeks home with your baby. Trust me, you will be glad you did!

  • Maxi Pads - Get the big ones, baby. If you deliver "the old fashioned way," you will be bleeding for a while.....longer than you might think. Save yourself the hassle and just have these ready to go. While you're at it, buy some TUCKS to lay on top of your maxi pads. You and your hemorrhoids will thank me.

  • Boppy Pillow - If you are planning to breastfeed, this pillow is an absolute essential. It positions the baby perfectly for ideal access to the girls. When it's 3 am and you're needing to feed the baby while you can barely remember your name, this is a life saver. Just lay the kids down, pop 'em on the old milk machine, and doze off for a little while. It might just be the best chance you get to sleep! Oh, and don't forget to score an extra cover for your Boppy. After you've dozed off while nursing and you wake up to a big wet spot where you've dribbled all over your nursing pillow, you'll appreciate having an extra cover handy. (P.S. This pillow is awesome for bottle feeding too!!)

  • Nursing Pads - The nursing mom simply cannot live without these. Once that milk comes in, you had better make sure you've got these on hand and ready to go. Check them and change them often and make sure to adjust their position before you try to go to sleep or you will soak through your shirts quicker than you can say "Lactate!" Buy a TON of these! I literally went through a box of 60 in my first 2 weeks postpartum! (P.S. If you are NOT nursing, you might want to grab a box of these anyway to use when your milk comes in. Engorgement can lead to leaking and you'll want to use these to protect your clothes.) I love the Lansinoh brand. They're soft, discreet, and they can absorb a lot of breastmilk.

  • Mylicon Gas Drops - I made the mistake of only buying one of these the last time I was at Target. My boys both have had issues with getting really gassy after feedings and they will grunt and scream like crazy until I give them this stuff. Safe enough to use at every feeding, I can't imagine life without it. Be sure to get the dye-free variety. The pink stuff stains!

  • Coffee - I think this explains itself.

Skip It: Sure, these things may sound nice, but they are hardly essential to your transition into Mommyhood. Save your money for more diapers, wipes, and Mylicon.

  • Wipe Warmer - I know some people swear by these, but I just don't get it. Perhaps the tendency of our generation to coddle our children begins with this ridiculous contraption. Just use the cold wipe out of the box. Their little butt will survive, I promise.

  • Nursing Pajamas - I seriously thought about getting some sleepwear specifically designed for nursing. After I soaked breastmilk through my third tank top in one night, I realized that would have been completely futile. Just throw on some loose-fitting comfy clothes and you'll be just fine.

That's all I've got for right now. Any of my other mommies out there care to add to this list? What are your favorite essentials for the new mom?

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