The birth of Mae began my second adventure into “newborn life,” and I’m learning so much. I knew it was true, but there is nothing like having two babies of your own to prove to you that every baby is different!
Mae is her own person, and being a little more relaxed this time around is allowing me to enjoy learning her and figuring out what she needs with more ease and confidence than I had as a brand new mom. Part of this process has included identifying some key items that have become “must-haves” for us, and when I find something I love, I gotta share it. There are SO many items out there for Moms and babies, and sometimes it’s helpful to have a friend help you wade through the masses to pick out a few treasures.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of ALL the things you need in newborn/postpartum life (although here’s a little tip—what you actually need is most likely less than what you think you need); I simply want to highlight the items that are either new favorites or have become trusty go-to’s with both babies for us. I’ll say it again, every baby is different, so you have to figure out what works for you, but my hope is that each Momma will be able to find at least one gem from this list!
I think I will get this nightlight as a baby shower gift for people from now until forever. This thing is amazing! It’s chargeable (and the charge lasts for days/weeks depending how often you use it), portable, and touch-activated making it incredibly convenient. It has two different light temperatures and is dimmable, too. It’s wonderful for late-night feedings and diaper changes when you might not want to make a lot of noise or have a lot of light. It’s also great to travel with if you’re unsure what kind of lighting situation you’ll have.
We have loved the Boppy Newborn Lounger with both babies. It’s lightweight and has a handle so it’s easy to take from room to room or on a trip. It’s a cozy spot for baby with a slight incline so their head is lifted and they can see what’s going on around them. Mae sits in it happily while I’m getting ready, cooking, pumping, you name it! Because it’s so easy to put anywhere, it allows me to be close to her when I’m not able to hold her, and that’s something we both love. I really can’t imagine newborn life without it.
I also wanted to give an honorable mention to the Dock a Tot. We’ve used it with Mae, and so far it’s been great. It’s a pricier item, so we were thankful when a friend offered to loan us theirs. It’s lightweight and easy to transport just like the Boppy lounger, and it’s nice when you need a portable, convenient sleeping spot or to let the baby lay flat and kick around. I don’t think I would pay full price for one, but since we got to borrow this one, I am glad we have it.
covered goods four-in-one cover
This four-in-one cover is one of my favorite items. Both my babies were born in cold weather months, and this is wonderful to put over their car seat to protect them from the cold air and germs. I imagine I would use it in the summer too because it would block out light and any hands that want to reach in to touch baby. Also, it’s a lightweight nursing cover that I take everywhere. It took me a while to get used to using it with Fox, but with Mae it’s been so helpful. Someone actually referred to it as my “magic striped blanket” because every time I pull it out she gets calm (a.k.a. she gets to eat)!
burt’s bees burp cloths
These burp cloths are so soft and ideal in size. With Fox, I had all different kinds of burp cloths, and I ended up only wanting to use my favorites. This time, I have 12 of the Burt’s Bees and I never have to question if I’m getting a “good one” or not. It removes any decision making and keeps me well stocked with burp cloths (a MUST in those early months!).
my brest friend nursing pillow
As cheesy as the name may be, this has truly been a good friend for me with both my babies! I like this nursing pillow because the firmness of the pillow gives me and my baby quality support, the buckle helps it stay in place, and its soft. The pad around the back is so comfortable, and especially as my babies have gone from newborn to bigger babies, the My Brest Friend gives me much needed relief for my back, shoulders, and neck during nursing.
solly baby wrap
There are many baby wraps out there, and I’ve heard positive reviews of many of them, but the Solly Baby Wrap has been the winner in our home. I wasn’t very confident using it with Fox so I only used it a handful of times, but I’ve already used it dozens of times with Mae. It calms her down when she is fussy, and she takes a nap in it almost every day. It’s also really helpful as a mom of two because it gives me free hands to love on and care for my toddler while also keeping Mae content and getting little newborn snuggles. I love getting to be near my girl while having the option to have my hands free.
Sleepers with hand covers
Newborns tend to have fast-growing, sharp fingernails that are hard to cut, and these sleepers make protecting them and you so easy! I especially love using these at night when she might scratch her face the most, and they’re also nice when nursing so she doesn’t poke me with those sharp little nails.
zutano baby shoes
After two months of tiny little socks falling off Mae’s feet constantly, I finally bought these Zutano booties with an Amazon gift card we were given, and they’re fabulous! They stay on her feet so well and keep them warm. I got the fuzzy style for her first pair since it’s winter, and I plan to get the cotton ones for spring/summer.
A friend recommended this pump, and I was very intrigued because she said it helped her express more milk and was quieter than other pumps. I still had my pump from Fox, and figured if I wanted this new one, I’d have to buy it or receive it as a gift. Then, a friend who saw it on my baby registry told me she got the same one and it was covered by insurance. After looking into it, I was so delighted to see that my insurance covered it, too. With her recommendation, I ordered it through Aeroflow, and it was a pleasant, streamlined experience. I love this pump for many reasons: it has a massage mode and expression mode to help simulate how your baby eats, a handle for easy transport, a timer to see how long you’ve been pumping, a nightlight, and two options for adjusting the frequency and intensity with which it expresses the milk. Also, it doesn’t hurt that it comes in pretty colors.
gilligan & o’malley nursing bras
In my second season of nursing, I have been much more savvy with my nursing bra situation. I have lightweight bras to wear at nighttime and more structured bras with better coverage for daytime. But, my favorite one by far is this one by Gilligan & O’Malley of Target. It is comfortable enough to sleep in, but also has enough coverage and structure to wear with clothes (and I think the color is pretty!). It appears they have limited quantities remaining, but I’d recommend this brand overall for comfort and price point.
A friend and fellow Momma who happens to be a nurse gave this Witch Hazel to me at my baby shower for Fox, and it’s been a staple for me both pregnancies and postpartum. Its very helpful for postpartum healing (specifically for a vaginal birth), and it’s an overall great way to clean and soothe sensitive areas. I have used both the bottle and these pads (which are the same ones they gave me in the hospital).
rainbow light prenatal vitamins
These are an obvious item on a pregnant and postpartum woman’s list, but I just love this brand so much I wanted to share. I have used them in both my pregnancies and postpartum, and they’ve worked well for me.
no bake lactation bites
I think I ate my weight in these lactation bites after I had Fox, and I’ve loved them with Mae, too. They taste delicious, have ingredients to help with milk production, and are great snacks when you’re starving but don’t have time to eat much or its the middle of the night and you need something small and quick.
gap-fit maternity leggings
Postpartum clothing could be a post in and of itself, and honestly, its so subjective. It depends on how your body changes, if you go back to work or stay home, what climate you live in, what time of year your baby is born, and plenty of other factors! But for me after having Mae, these Gap leggings have been my uniform. I like them because the fabric is comfortable and breathable and nice enough to wear out and about. The maternity panel isn’t too big so it provides good coverage and support postpartum without falling down. I ended up getting two pair, and I’m so glad I did because I haven’t managed to get back in my regular laundry routine just yet. ;)
So, there’s my list! I imagine it will be ever evolving, but I hope it’s helpful. I’d also love to hear any favorites you have that I should try!
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