15 products every new mom needs
It’s no surprise that you’ll need a surplus of diapers and wipes (and that all-important infant car seat) prior to baby’s debut, but that’s not all that’s essential. We’ve rounded up our favorite can’t-live-without-’em products for moms who will soon be bringing home a brand-new babe.
During your pregnancy, your wee one is curled up in the cocoon of your womb. Once she’s been welcomed to her new home outside your walls, she’s going to miss that cozy feeling—and a snug swaddle is the best way to recreate it. If you’re a pro who can work a swaddling blanket like it’s your job, give yourself a high-five, and wrap on, sister. If you’re a regular person who may or may not be able to master the baby burrito, do yourself a favor and buy a wrap that makes the job easy. It’s your best shot at actually getting a little sleep.
As you and baby figure out nursing, your girls are going to go through some major ups and downs—namely in size. You’ll be amazed at how enormous your breasts become when your milk comes in, but within a few days, they’ll shrink a bit, although they might still be larger than they were predelivery. It’s essential to have a few comfy bras that can stretch to accommodate the fluctuation while still offering support. Now is probably not the time for pretty lace and underwire. Go for comfort and easy access. (Bonus points if you can sleep in it, too.)
Mama’s health is just as important now as it was during pregnancy. You’re already in the habit of popping a daily vitamin, so go ahead and continue with the practice—especially if you’re breastfeeding. Remember: You’re the sole source of baby’s nutrients, so you have to take care of yourself! A postpartum vitamin can help increase milk supply, give you a much-needed energy boost and fill any nutritional gaps you might suffer as a result of the sandwich-and-snacks diet many new moms endure.
Your tiny tot will be eating every couple hours, so you’ll be spending about half your day feeding her. That’s a lot of time sitting around holding an infant up to your breast! A nursing pillow will support some of baby’s weight and help you achieve proper positioning, which makes for less aches and pains. (Slumping while nursing can lead to some major backache.) Plus, a nursing pillow adds to the overall comfort of your experience, which can result in better odds of breastfeeding success.
If you thought you were thirsty while expecting, prepare yourself: The desire to down water becomes even more intense while nursing. Acting as the sole provider of a wee human’s numerous meals can quickly deplete your H2O stores. Get in the habit of carrying water around with you during the day and leaving a full bottle by the bed each night. If for some reason you don’t feel thirsty on the regular, it’s still important to make sure you’re drinking enough, so aim to drink an 8-ounce glass every time your infant feeds to ensure that you both stay properly hydrated.
A stack of lightweight muslin cloths might just be the most reached-for item in your mom arsenal. You can use them for just about everything. Throw one over your shoulder as a burp cloth, cover baby when she’s feeling chilly, toss one down for a quick diaper change … they can even work as a makeshift nursing cover in a pinch. Keep a few stowed by your glider and a couple stashed in the diaper bag, so you can readily grab one whenever the need arises—and it will. Often.
aden by aden + anais musy squares, $25 for five
Baby wants to nap in the living room? No problem. You want her right beside you at night but know she needs her own sleep space? You’ve got it. Going away for the weekend and need somewhere for your sleepy sweetie to rest? Done. An easy-to-transport sleep spot is a must in those early days. Because baby will be teeny-tiny, you likely won’t be ready for the crib just yet, which makes a bassinet or co-sleeping device a wise buy indeed.
Labor and delivery can leave a lady a little sore, so hopping up and heading to the nursery every time baby needs freshening up can get old fast. Truth be told, you might change as many diapers on the couch as you do in the nursery. Stock a caddy with a stack of diapers, some wipes, diaper ointment and a portable changing pad for quick-and-easy changes—and once life has settled a bit, and you’re up for heading to the nursery for each diaper swap, you’ll find a million different ways that caddy can continue to come in handy.
Infants create a lot of extra laundry. You’ll not only be washing loads of itty-bitty clothes (thanks, spit-up and poop explosions!) but also blankets, burp cloths, nursing bras, car seat covers and more. And because your bean will spend so much time snuggled against you and your partner, you might also want to wash your clothes—at least your shirts—in the same baby-safe detergent you use to wash the little one’s goods. You’ll reach for it often, so have a couple of bottles in the laundry room before go-time.
Dreft Stage 1 newborn detergent, from $12
Clipping tiny nails can be pretty terrifying for a first-time parent. Some babies are born with surprisingly long finger- and toenails, and while filing them down (or simply covering them with mittens and socks) might be a temporary option, trimming them is the best long-term fix. (You don’t want the poor thing scratching her little face forever.) Don’t be intimidated, though—today’s trimmers are made with both mama’s and baby’s comfort in mind. You can do it!
Fridababy NailFrida trimmers, $13 for set
Until your newborn’s umbilical cord stump falls off, it’ll be sponge baths all the way. But your wee one will still be pretty tiny when she’s finally ready for her first real bath. (The cord usually falls off within three weeks of birth.) A tub that fits in your kitchen sink will allow you to stand while lathering up baby, which your knees and back will appreciate, and they’re also usually shaped to cradle small fries, which can make the experience a bit more cozy for newbies.
Your arms are going to need a break occasionally, and this is where your bouncy seat (or swing, if that’s your preference) will come into play. These laid-back loungers are the perfect place to let your baby rest or play safely on her own; they generally offer gentle sounds, vibrations and other forms of entertainment and comfort. If you get really lucky, your nugget might even kick back in hers long enough for you to take a long, hot shower—which is every new mom’s dream.
Protect baby from the elements—and, let’s be honest, nosy strangers—with a cover that slips over the car seat. You’ll especially appreciate this if she’s trying to nap while you’re out and about, or the guy behind you in line at the supermarket is hacking like he’s patient zero of the next epidemic. Up your game by grabbing one that also serves as a nursing and shopping cart cover. It’s a beautiful example of the art of multitasking, which is essentially what’ll carry you through the next 18 years as a mama.
Sometimes, it’s easier to wear a baby than to carry an infant seat, so be sure you have a carrier that allows you to tie your tiny bean on while running errands. (Or simply living your life around the house, if your bambino prefers to stay close.) A soft, snuggly carrier is your best bet in the beginning—something like a wrap or sling. If you prefer a more structured carrier, some offer infant inserts that make them newborn-friendly. Just be sure to check weight and age recommendations on the carrier of your choice.