What do you REALLY need the first few weeks home with a newborn? Some people think NOTHING 🙋♀️.
Other people think if they need every possible thing or they’re not prepared (I admire those people).
Therefore, this list will differ depending on your personality type bahah!
I’m not a perfectionist, you’ll likely find typos… hopefully you can read through them like a 4th grade teacher.
I like to consider myself a minimalist, I don’t want extra stuff I don’t need, but will pay top dollar for the things I do need.
Less but better.
With that being said, this is what I’ve found to be the essentials in that first month:
For the Babies:
1. Food (your boob)
I went the breast feeding route so I was able to skip the bottles… for now. But I had to get the nursing bras and the boob pads and a few other things (found in the mom section).
I put 2 outfits on my registry and have an entire closet full of clothes until about 6 months. People always want to gift outfits even if you don’t ask for them because BABY CLOTHES ARE SO GD CUTE!
There are also lots of people who are trying to giveaway their entire lot of baby clothes when they’re done having babies. If this happens to you, like it did for us, make sure to pay that forward! Lets be honest, even “used” baby clothes (if they don’t have poop stains) are basically brand new.
For the registry, I used babylist.com because I could add something from ANY store.
See something cute on Insta? Add it.
Target? Add it.
Amazon? Add it.
You can even sync your Target/Amazon lists with your babylist, here’s an article on how.
I didn’t do that, I just went 100% with babylist. PLUS they have seriously helpful guides on anything you’re trying to learn more about, car seats, strollers, high chairs, etc!
3. Diapers and wipes
We will be cloth diapering eventually, but we wanted to start with disposable and take on the cloth when we felt we had a grip on the rest (I don’t even know if that’s a real expectation). Apparently breastfed poops are water soluble so “clean up” is literally an extra load of laundry.
People will tell you pampers through infancy are worth the extra $5 over off brands because of the amount of liquid they’ll hold. I’ve tried both now and I don’t notice a difference.
We use sensitive skin wipes… just because… and we don’t use a wipe warmer it hasn’t really been an issue for us. I’ve heard the warmers are great when you’re home but create an absolute baby monster when you’re out and about without it!
The amount of things I’ve used a burp rage for…
A friend gifted me my favorite ones so I asked her where she got them.. surprise AMAZON. Here’s the link.
5. Somewhere to sleep
This is different for everyone, are you co-sleeping? Having a bassinet next to the bed? Crib? All of the above?
We’re co sleeping with a snuggle me organic to start. This can be a cultural and controversial topic, but for us it works. Please do your research so you do it safely or decide if it’s right for you and your family.
I also picked up this bassinet because it swivels over the bed and the side comes down to easily get her out. I grabbed mine off FB marketplace because they’re a little pricey and they can only be used until about 6 months (or until they show signs of sitting up).
I got this tub because the sling is so great for an infant and keeping that belly button dry (you need to keep it dry while its on and for about a week after it falls off).
Con is that it’s not compact AT ALL.
I also got baby washcloths from my registry, but totally not necessary if you want to use regular ones. I usually use an adult towel bc it feels warmer to me, she’s always so cold when coming out of the tub! But… also the baby hooded towels are cute af (registry item maybe). You decide.
We also have a “Blooming Bath” flower thing for the sink that we’ll use once her belly button is totally dry and healed up and she can sit up on her own!
Okay, what about us… the moms?
First thing is first, how did labor go, and how are you feeding your baby?
These will make a big difference on what you need after baby is born.
First, I had a vaginal birth with a second degree tear + labial tear.
PS tearing was my #1 fear and I can honestly say I wouldn’t know if they hadn’t told me.
Second, I’m choosing to breastfeed exclusively to start.
So with that information this is what I NEEDED for the first week:
This was literally listed on my registry as “the gift I wish I didn’t need” and I was SO grateful I received it. It’s like $100 but I’ve used everything inside.
Some things inside the kit:
You’ll likely have some of those magic disintegrating stitches so you will not be wiping any time soon, instead you’ll essentially use a hand held bode. The hospital gives you one, the frida mom gives you a better one. If you don’t buy the frida mom kit, at least buy this squirt bottle.
I think the reason why they’re so good is because they are not compressive and are more of a “boyfriend” fit which makes them sound cute.. they’re not. But they allow the GIANT diaper pads to stick with ease. I’d say you’ll need about 10. One a day for about a week plus a couple extra.
Girl, the ones the hospital gives you are actual diapers… I can’t even comprehend them lol GREAT for when you use them but HUGE.
When I got home I had SUPER DUPER pads super duper long for over nights and others that were laughable because they were so thin.
Well let me tell you, you don’t need long pads. But I’d still stick with the extra absorbent for about the first week. Now I can use the thinner “9 hr protection” ones.
5. Witch hazel pads
Witch hazel is supposed to help with recovery. I used some of the witch hazel circle pads they give you at the hospital, then when I was out of those I used FridaMama’s witch hazel full length liners (80 count with the hospital ones, 24 with Frida Mama).
OR you can make “Padsicles!” this is AMAZING for recovery! Get some witch hazel with Aloe and spray it right on the pad, throw them in the freezer for at least an hour and you’ve got yourself a padsicle!
6. Numbing cream
I got 2 tubes from the hospital and then one extra lidocaine from target normally used for hemorrhoids.
So lets review:
1 Spray yourself off instead of wiping with the peri bottle
2 Wear your mesh underwear
3 Stick a pad to it
4 Lay down a few witch hazel pads
5 Put a line of numbing lidocaine before you
6 pull it all up.
PRO TIP. Hang on to the front and back of the underwear when you pull up, otherwise it all falls out and when it hits the floor you must start over.. and likely your baby needs you by this point.
Epsom Salt is typically pretty cheap at Target. Get the original and add some essential oils or grab this one with lavender already in it! If you have any sort of tearing from birth, this is an amazing thing to (try) and do for 10 min/day. I was told 3-4x/day but that wasn’t realistic for me, I got about 1/day.
The magnesium in epsom salt baths makes your muscles feel SOOO MUCH BETTER!
Make your own (mentioned above) or buy FridaMama’s
I have a whole freezer full of milk and have never used my electric pump. I just throw this on one side while baby nurses on the other and it catches all of the mlk that is let down!
I recommend THIS set up, with the suction on the bottom of the haakaa so it doesn’t spill and a lid incase you’re out and about… or even just on the couch.
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I tried 3 different kinds and my favorite was an organic kind from earth mama.
I liked the way it smelt, the consistency of it and that you didn’t have to wipe it off before baby feeds (but I did anyway).
If you’re determined to breastfeed you must endure the first 2 weeks of raw nips. It’s just the way it is. I remember choosing which side she’d nurse by which was LESS damaged.
I’d recommend buying 2 of the smaller size so you can have one at your breastfeeding spot and the other by your bed, or in the diaper bag etc.
I went through one small one, and needed to get another and wish I’d just bought 2 from the start.
Your nipples leak… are you surprised by anything anymore?
One side leaks when baby is feeding on the other, they leak when you put on nipple butter, the leak when you get out of the shower, they leak all night, you get the idea.
I’ve tried two kinds these bamboo ones which are soooo comfortable and another that were not made from bamboo, a smaller circumference a had a seam down the middle making them extra uncomfortable.
However, the ones I love only give you two pair. I use oe at night and one during the day (and was doing laundry every day just so I had these clean), I found this bamboo pack that I haven’t tried but they have 7 pair instead of 2 and might be worth trying!
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I thought a nursing bra was something I could go without. But at week 4 I realized how I was living in my house during covid, was not how I could live in the real world… I’d have to be much more discrete
Also, because I plan on nursing for… a while. I think this is an obvious investment for easy nursing. 90% of the nursing bra recommendations were for Kindred Bravely so thats who I went with! My favorite is the sublime nursing bra! I think I love it because it’s something I’ll wear even when I’m done nursing!
Please talk to a lactation consultant in the hospital or at your pediatric appointment about breastfeeding. The tips they gave in the beginning made all the difference.
Sometimes I uses this pillow other times I just use a regular pillow so for me this is hit or miss.
LIVINGONAONEWAY gives you $10 off.
I know what you’re thinking… WTF!
I just pushed out a child why are you talking about fitness?!?! I can hardly get myself out of bed! But this was SUCH a huge part of my healing!!
Expecting and Empowered is owned by two sisters. One is a physical therapist and the other is a nurse and the first 6 weeks of “workouts” are pelvic floor rehab!
I started in the 3rd trimester and continued into postpartum.
I think being fit helped with my labor (I arrived at the hospital at 11pm 6cm dilated and little lady was here at 230a). I also had a lot of separation in my abs and now almost 7 weeks postpartum I have noticed the gap has SIGNIFICANTLY closed because of the workouts in the guide
As an ambassador I have a discount code for you!
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Quick note, most of these links are affiliate or referral links meaning I make (a small) percentage of each sale. What this also means is I’d be so grateful if you do decide to buy, you click these links to purchase!