On August 6, 2015 my life changed, I became a mom to a beautiful little girl named Thea. She is perfect and everyday I look at her sweet little face and thank god for bringing her into my life. She is now almost ten months old and growing like a weed. Everyday is an adventure and a struggle. As we enter her mobile stage (she is crawling and wants to walk so bad) I am taking some time to reflect and pass on my words of wisdom (ha ha) to future moms.
While you can't necessarily be prepared (motherhood is after all a challenge unlike anything you will haven taken on before) you can have a few things on hand that will help you out. Please keep in mind that this list does not touch on the must haves (somewhere for baby to sleep, clothes, diapers, car seat), I think those are a given. What this list contains is some other items that I found were super useful in those first few months/ days that could be overlooked. Many of these items can be made yourself.
Sarah's Must Have List for New Mom's
Warning: Birth is a natural but pretty messy business. This list does talk about some of the less than glamorous aspects of birth, you have been warned.
- Freezer Pads: After birth you are going to want some freezer pads. Likely some will be available at the hospital but it is nice to have some waiting at home for you as well. Take the time to make these up before the baby comes. Here is what you need to do:
- Open up some overnight pads and lay them on a cookie sheet.
- Make up a healing solution (witch hazel, lavender essential oil, aloe - about 50/50 for witch hazel and aloe with 4-5 drops of essential oil), give it a mix and then put it in a small spray bottle.
- Spray each pad until it is moist but not soaked.
- Put in the freezer. If space is limited in the freezer, once the pads have frozen they can be wrapped in tin foil and stacked.
- When needed, use it directly from the freezer so that you can enjoy some nice cold healing relief.
- Any remaining solution can be put in a spray bottle to spray yourself down after you pee.
- Closet Dividers: Babies grow fast and nothing can be worse than digging through boxes of baby clothes to find something that is the correct size. Save your sanity by sorting clothes as you get them: Newborn, 0-3 months, 3 – 6 months and so on. I washed everything in advance and hung it in the closet. As everything was ready for me I was able to grab bigger sizes as things got too small. Don't want to purchase these, make them yourself with some cardboard and pretty paper.
- Lavender Epsom Salt Bath: After birth you are likely going to feel a little sore. Take some time to have a bath. Not only will the relaxing bath give you some much needed “me” time, the salts and lavender will help heal up the damage that baby made coming into the world. You can make this up by mixing lavender essential oil with Epsom salts.
- Breast Pads: After birth your breasts will start leaking milk. Better to be prepared with breast pads than to soak through your shirt. You can purchase cloth ones or disposable. If you go the cloth route make sure you have enough for multiple sets as likely you will go through at least one set per day in the early days.
- Stain Remover: Without a doubt your beautiful baby will have the biggest poop of their life the day you put them in that crisp, white, brand new outfit. Save it with stain remover, make sure you have some on hand. I found one from Rocky Mountain Soap Company that I used and it works great, even after items had been put through the wash first. Follow directions carefully, this is to be used right before washing.
- Baby Bum Spray: Another great find from Rocky Mountain Soap Company. Your little ones bottom is pretty sensitive after birth, keep the harsh chemicals found in wet wipes away from your baby with the use of this multipurpose spray. Not only does it clean, it can also keep away diaper rash by giving the bum a quick spray after a changing. Good for mom too as it has antibacterial properties in it so can act as a safe hand sanitizer. I used this mostly when out and about. Water worked fine at home but when you are changing the kid on a park bench in the middle of a field having a spray was very useful. I sprayed first, wiped with a cloth to clean area and then gave a quick spray before putting a new diaper on. I then sprayed my hands to clean them. Fast and easy!
- Baby Whisperer Book: We know you are busy and likely sleep deprived so it is fine if you don’t read through the whole book, here is a link to what is really important: How to recognize baby cries. This book can be a lifesaver in the middle of the night when your baby won’t stop crying and you have no idea what they want.
- Laundry Washing Bag: You know those mesh laundry bags that you can find at the dollar store? Get one, they are perfect for little ones. Never loose your little socks again, simply put them in this bag prior to washing. Works great for any other small items you need to wash as well (hair accessories, small stuffed animals, slippers, etc.)
- BPA Free Rings: I found some of these at the dollar store as well. They are simple plastic rings that clip together. Attach these to your diaper bag as an easy to carry toy that will distract your baby for hours (well until they find the buckles/zippers on your diaper bag).
- Lighted Spin Globe: This is the perfect way to distract your baby when they are fussing at doctors’ appointments or just won’t stop screaming. Particularly useful in the early days before your baby can focus on objects as the lights and spinning motion can catch and hold their eye. This is a MUST have. I don't know how many kids I have stopped screaming at play dates by turning this on in front of them. Great for travel as well as it doesn't make noise, just flashes.
- Cute Bibs (this is an optional item that you don't need but might want): Yes this is a pretty common item that you are likely already getting but splurge a bit on this one and get some fashionable bibs. When little ones are teething they drool something crazy. My daughter never left the house without a bib for a couple months. Get some bandanna ones or something with a cute design. These are not eating bibs, they are to catch drool. Looking back at pictures in the early days I wish I had done this. Thea looks adorable in her cute dress but then there is this ugly bib on!
So there you go, my list of items that every new mom should have. So what do you think I missed, add your items to the comments below.
For baby shower ideas or items for your bundle of joy be sure to check out our baby section. We may even have some new mom survival kits in stock that contain many of the items found above. Inventory is always changing so check back soon.