Okay I know there are a million lists on Pinterest and I am sure you’ve probably looked at them all, I know I did. But here is my list of lifesavers for mom and baby! I hate seeing the long lists of expensive baby items that I had no idea if my baby would like. So these are my personal must haves that helped me through the newborn days and transitioning into motherhood! Some of these are items, some are tips or habits and I’ve also included some save vs splurge options for you!
1. Two way zip sleepers!! I know knotted gowns are all the rage but if I’m being honest I was not a fan. It would bunch up and trying to adjust it would bug pack and he grew out of them SO fast because he was (and still is) a super long baby. I still have him wearing these two way zip sleepers that make it so you can unzip from the bottom, change your baby without completely undressing them and then zip them right back up! I love these ones from Old Navy, I mean $8? Yes please! They also have them at Walmart for $5.44 – Pack has quite a few of these (the sharks are my personal favorite)
2. Swaddles! Your baby might fight it at first but oh wow, its so nice to have them swaddled when they sleep. Especially at night they wont flail their arms and wake themselves up, you wont wake up with every tiny movement if they are in your room. And it’s an amazing way to sleep train! We started out with these ones from Walmart (don’t sleep on Walmart guys its one of my favs) honestly they worked great! Down sides were when I changed him it was loud because of the velcro and he would wake up. He also out grew it super fast (long, chunky baby problems). Around his 6 week mark we switched him to a Halo Baby swaddle. Oh man. More expensive but I think it was worth every penny. It’s essentially a sleep sack and it zips from the bottom (yay!) and it has velcro straps for the arm swaddle. I loved this because I could literally keep him swaddled and change his diaper, most of the time he didn’t even wake up!
3. A routine for mom. I totally get it, you’re tired, in pain and just want to snuggle this perfect little human that you made. BUT I can tell you right now just having the goal to change your clothes (even if its from pajamas to sweats) and wash your face will make a huge difference. I am by no means saying that you need to get ready and act normal. But do something small to make you feel more like you. After baby goes down for a nap take a minute, change your clothes, wash your face and take a nap (you deserve it mama). At night after baby goes down, do it again. This helps you feel there is a start and an end to the day, everything wont just blur together to the point where you can’t remember how long you’ve been wearing your sweats (yes, that happened to me and Bayley made me go take a shower) – I honestly can’t emphasize enough how important this is. If you get one thing out of this post, it should be this!
4. HYDRATE – especially if you are breast feeding, your mouth will feel like the Sahara desert on the sun. You will be absolutely parched. I drink more water when I use my tumblers (yes I am obsessed). I am a Stanley Brand junkie and have two of their regular tumbler for the house and the flip straw tumbler I keep in my diaper bag. I completely get if you don’t want to spend the money on the Stanley or if they are sold out when you go to get one (I hate that). This target brand one is also amazing and is basically a much cheaper dupe! I would keep these all around the house full of ice water. There was always one in the living room (where I spent most of my time) and in my bedroom on my nightstand. BONUS – it became my husbands job to keep them full. There is very little these poor dads can do in the first few weeks, giving him something that made him feel like he was useful and was a huge help to me made our adjustment easier. ( keep your eyes peeled for my post coming soon that will include more ways dads can help postpartum!)
5. Everyone does it different, I personally had Pack sleep in our room at night in a bassinet next to me for the first 10 weeks, at 8 weeks I transitioned him to naps in his room and 10 weeks he was sleeping in his room full time. I got this bassinet on amazon and I think it is worth every single penny. You can adjust the height of the bed to match yours, you can put the side down so its easier access to baby and it’s on wheels so I would take it from room to room with me while he napped. It was just SO convenient! But let’s be real, convenience isn’t cheap. I think the next best thing is getting a pack n’ play set up like this one, where you can essentially convert it into a bassinet and keep baby next to you! I think this is the most multifunctional option and one that you will use through your baby’s life rather than just the first few weeks. If I were to go back and do it again, I’d probably go the pack n’ play route! But if you’ve got the money to spend and want the bed to be more mobile then I’d recommend the bassinet for sure!
6. A an electric heating pad (or a rice bag would totally work too!) This is a must for me. Did you know that you have contractions for a week or so after delivery? It happens when you breastfeed and it’s the literal worst. Using a heating pad of some sort helps SO much! I would also use it on my chest when my milk would drop and it would get painful. I used it again when I got mastitis and it helped with my clogged duct. – still useful now that my body is back to running on regular cycles and I have cramps again. A multi-use product for sure.
7. My diaper caddy. I LOVE this thing. It’s small enough that I could carry it around to every room with me but holds enough that I would only have to restock it every few days. It held everything I needed, diapers, wipes, baby frida (so gross but works so good for little noses), lotion etc. I have this one from amazon, I think its cute too so I don’t feel the need to hide it when I’m cleaning!
8. Okay this is another one you might think is funny, but hair training! This is something I would start before baby comes if you can! Being able to go 5 days without having to wash is SO nice! Makes it easier for you to be able sneak in a quick shower while baby is napping so you feel clean without going through the whole process of dealing with your hair.
Having been to hair school, I am a product snob. But let’s be real – better product = better hair = easier hair training. These are the products I personally use! If they don’t fit in your budget but you want something good for your hair just message me and we can find the right fit for you! When you start training your hair it’s all about the basics, a good shampoo and conditioner, I love using this scalp brush in the shower (helps with PP hair loss) a boar bristle brush, this is only for when your hair is dry, this pulls the oils from your scalp through to the rest of your hair to keep it conditioned), wet brush – for when your hair is wet its one of the most gentle, leave in conditioner – you put this in while your hair is still damp and last but not least some type of hair oil and a dry shampoo– you use these to refresh your root and condition your ends in between washes!
How to hair train – start by pushing your hair one day longer than you normally can – if you wash every day – start going every other etc. Every night before bed brush your hair from scalp to end to distribute oils and then end with putting a small amount of hair oil on your ends. Sleep with a loose braid or low pony using a silk scrunchy. After you feel like your hair has adjusted – push another day or two using dry shampoo as needed! Keep doing this until you’ve trained your hair to where you’re comfortable! I personally go five days, but I know people who have gone 20+! @Jasmineraehairco on instagram is amazing and gives more in depth tips for this too!