You’ve seen the lists before – registry must haves! Don’t forget the bottle warmer, and the diaper caddy, and the swing, and the bouncer, and toys, and the 50-something newborn size onesies that will last 5 seconds.
As a first time mom, you don’t know any better. It’s all new and you don’t know what you really need. You won’t know until you live through it… or until you read this blog post! I’ve broken it down to must haves for baby and mom, because mom’s often get overlooked on registries and postpartum. It’s important to remember to be able to take care of baby you first have to take care of mama.
Now, don’t get me wrong there are things that should be put on registries. Then there are things that you could live without, but that would be nice to have and worth putting on the registry to see if other people will buy them for you!
Now, I am completely going to avoid obvious necessities like a crib, stroller and car seat. I’m not here to tell you about the best brands, I’m here to tell you about what you need!
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Prenatal yoga, prenatal chiropractic care, and prenatal massages are at the top of my list for necessary self care during pregnancy. Pregnancy is hard! There are a lot of changes going on not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. For a mother to be able to prepare to care for baby she must also care for herself.
Not only that, but prenatal yoga and chiropractic care has been proven to relieve back, joint, and pelvic pain, reduce nausea, higher chance of a smoother labor with less need for induction, better sleep for mama among just a few of the benefits. This care also sets moms up for an easier recovery period.
Every pregnancy, in my opinion, needs a doula! There are different types of doulas both pre and postnatal depending on what you feel comfortable with. A doula is your advocate during pregnancy and labor, and will help you process birthing pain, keep you focused and motivated, and also provides support for both the birthing person and their partner. Doulas can help make sure your birth plan is implemented and help you process feelings if say a c section or other medical intervention is recommended. and YES, you can put doulas on a registry like Be Her Village!
While breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed our baby, it doesn’t always come easy. There are many factors that play into the success or difficulty of breastfeeding such as tongue and lip ties for example. Some new mothers are simply not educated on these obstacles and therefore get discouraged and stressed when trying to breastfeed their newborns. Lactation consultants usually make rounds in the hospital but that quick meeting is never enough to diagnose real issues. A lactation consultant can save a new mom a lot of pain and tears by working with you while you feed your baby. In my opinion, this is a valuable resource that not enough moms know about, or take advantage of.
A Good Baby Carrier
Now, good is subjective. But a baby carrier will save you a lot of grief in the early days. For me, I really loved the Solly Baby wrap carriers for the newborn stage. Once my baby got older (and heavier), I got the ErgoBaby 360 and we both love it. Me, so I can have more freedom and him because he’s always close to me.
It’s important to note there are many different brands and styles of baby carriers. There are the baby wraps, the more structured carriers, ring slings. It all depends on your comfort and the age/weight of your baby. Newborns tend to do better in wraps, while they may be too small for more sturdy carriers (or require an insert). It may feel weird at first, but this is the only way you will get things done those first few months, and then make it easier to be on the go as your baby gets heavier to carry. As a mom of multiples, a baby carrier is a must with a newborn and a toddler always on the run
A Sound Machine
I realized this 3 months later, and it probably could have saved me many sleepless nights. In fact, we used a sound machine from day one with our second and he’s been the best sleeper! Sound machines are equipped with white noise and similar sounds like fans or vacuums. These sounds almost mimic what babies hear in the womb, thus provide a sense of comfort as they get their bearings. It also helps when you have noisy neighbors or dogs, as the white noise tends to block out outside sounds. My personal favorite is the Marpac Dohm, it is powerful and the volume level is adjustable. Using this also sets a good bedtime routine, and will make your baby realize it is bedtime and wind down.
Another trick that helps baby feel as comfy as they were in the womb, swaddles keep babies snuggled up and gives them a safe feeling. Not only that, but they help with the moro reflex – which is when babies limbs jerk suddenly, often waking them. As they begin to grow and roll over, sleep sacks are the better alternative. They are also used in the place of blankets, because as you know babies should not have anything in the crib with them – including blankets. There are even weighted sleep sacks like our go-to Nested Bean, which help baby feel more secure!
Nice + Necessary Things Postpartum
Postpartum is hard, really hard. Whether it’s your first or fourth baby, it’s a period of adjustment. Learning who your baby is, learning their likes and dislikes, maybe learning to juggle multiple kids, and learning who you are as a mother. There are things that can make it so much easier. If there is a new mom in your life, you can gift some of these as well!
Food Delivery Gift Cards – UberEats, DoorDash, and other similar food delivery services are a new moms BFF in those first days and weeks because who has time to cook when you barely have time to eat. While freezer meals are a nice idea, sometimes it’s hard to even heat things up
A Manual Pump – Whether breastfeeding (exclusively or not), or pumping a manual pump is a must. Sometimes the electric pumps just don’t work that well, sometimes you need to work harder to get your milk in or unclog a duct. In my opinion, manual pumps work way better than any electric one I have owned. It’s also great for being on the go. My favorite is Lansinoh’s Manual Pump, because of the ergonomically shaped handle, your hand won’t get tired.
A Moses Basket – Moses baskets (or similar baby lounge products like the Dock-A-Tot) are a great thing to have. It helps keep the baby close on a safe surface while mom and dad can rest a bit. While these should not be used as cribs and unsupervised, they are great to have as long as you are near your baby and have it on a safe surface like the floor.
Peri-Bottle – Many hospitals do provide this for the postpartum period. It essentially is a water bottle that you spray when you use the bathroom. Whether you had an episiotomy, stitches, natural, or c-section – it may be hard to wipe down there. This on-the-go-bidet will help clean you up without hurting. I also used my peri bottle when I was 8-9 months pregnant and it got harder to twist and wipe.
Nursing Pillow – This is another product set up to make your life so much easier. Nursing pillows help bring the baby closer to the breast when breastfeeding and in the optimal position. It is also great for c-section moms like me to be able to breastfeed without the pressure of the baby’s weight on your abdomen. I personally like the Frida Adjustable Nursing Pillow.
It’s hard to fully prepare for pregnancy and postpartum. However with adequate prenatal care, prenatal education, and plenty of support new parents can be set up for success. After all, they won’t be sleeping much, at least they can be prepared!