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Bumps and babies, babies and bumps. We’re in another season where text messages come flying at any and all hours of the day with progress reports and stats. And fortunately, I’m in the season of my life where centimeters and decibels are just part of life, especially when a new life is involved.
I mean, yes the new life of the baby… but also the new life of a new mom!
For me, when both of my children were born, it felt like there was something new and magical that happened. I mean, I was still me, but I wasn’t the same me that I was only hours before. We have the obvious: I’m a mom. I’m responsible for someone else now! I have this teeny, tiny creature who relies on me, and I have to take care of them!
But at the same time, it’s more than that responsibility. Sure, there are hormones and bodily changes and a whole host of other things… but I felt as though my worldview shifted once I became a new mom. I can’t quite explain it but to say same, same but different.
As texts and well wishes start to come in, I know that a lot of new moms think they have their new mom essentials at home: they have possibly everything they’ve registered for waiting for them at home. They have the monitor that was highly rated by Consumer Reports. They have the car seat that has great safety ratings. They have the embroidered onesies that their crafty friend with the Cricut made (or found from an awesome shop on Etsy, and they’ll never tell you which). They have mountains of stuff for a new baby, waiting for them at the ready.
But how often do we think about new mom essentials? And by that, I mean things that new moms need for them, not just for baby.
Often, a new mom’s focus is going to be on the baby, and we, as a community, need to help make sure we’re taking care of the new mom! Those first weeks are a flood of new emotions and hormones and changes, and for some, it can feel like a cacophonous overwhelm… and in those moments, we have the precise time to take care of these new moms with some new mom essentials!
And let’s be real for a second: I’ll often tout the importance of self-care and meditation if you can swing it, but honestly? I don’t remember putting me on the priority list in those first few weeks and months as a new mom. There were so many other things that needed my attention… and I came kinda last.
As did showering.
I think I’m still apologizing for that one.
Regardless, I now have the expertise of hindsight. From what I can remember from those days, I can pinpoint times that there were certain things I needed and were crucial to me as a new mom – new mom essentials, if you will – and there were some things that stayed packed away. With all of that being said, I’ve put together a few of my favorites that I relied on either time and time again… or found to be really useful the second time around and probably new just a little bit more (I finally had the expertise of the BTDT Mom!).
New Mom Essentials Kit – Some of My Favorite Products for New Moms!
1. The Boppy Nursing Pillow. I used the same Boppy for both of my children, and it was, by far, one of my favorites! Having a Boppy made it very easy to nurse both of my children, especially my daughter who required the football hold in those early weeks (hint: the Boppy wrapped around my body easily and helped keep my daughter supported). It was comfortable for all of us to use, and I loved the support that it gave both of my children. Plus, it helped to free up some of my limbs so I wasn’t completely strapped down. The Boppy also transitions really well as your baby grows and helps them with tummy time and sitting.
2. Hydro Flask Water Bottle. Oh, sure, you’ll come home from the hospital with the giant, plastic water cup… but that always drove me nuts. It’s completely a matter of personal preference, and I wanted something that I could take with me outside of the home easily. And those hospital cups are not them. Plus, I found that they sweat pretty quickly, and I wanted to have cold water! Enter the Hydro Flask. This stainless steel water bottle can hold up to 40 oz. of water, and it can help your water to stay cold for hours. Drinking a lot of water is crucial for new moms, especially those who are breastfeeding (not to scare you, but dehydration can negatively affect your milk supply).
3. Baby K’Tan Baby Carrier. There are so many baby carriers on the market, and a lot of them come down to personal preference and what works best for you and your family. Some praise the joys of ring slings, and others, the convenience and easy of soft-structured carriers. For me, the Baby K’Tan worked every time. I was honestly too intimidated by the Moby Wrap, and the Bjorn felt too structured for me… but the K’Tan worked well enough for both of my kids! When my son was a newborn, he loved being all snuggled up next to me (and this was the only way he napped while I was home on maternity leave!), and my daughter loved the hip sling transition as she grew older (a lifesaver at the grocery store!). The K’Tan transitioned well enough for all of us, and it gave me some much-needed limb freedom to do some of the things I desperately needed to do as a new mom, even if it was just walking around the house.
4. Coffee. All the coffee. After my husband and daughter would leave for the day, I would wrap my son against me in the Baby K’Tan, and we would begin our daily walk down to the nearby Starbucks. There, I would sway and silently enjoy my coffee a bit before walking back home, newborn babe still snuggled against his mom’s chest. The coffee was a mandatory reprieve for me as my newborns liked to be awake a lot at night, and, in hindsight, that daily jaunt got a little expensive! Were I a new mom this time around, I would absolutely take advantage of roasted-to-order coffee delivered straight to my door. I am personally anxiously awaiting the delivery of Birthday Cake (I am also more than a little intrigued by the flavor) and a restock of Rainforest Crunch (which perfectly complements my butter coffee!).
5. Rejuvenating Eye Cream. While we’re on the subject of things I wished I had had when I was a new mom, it’s this eye cream from Beautycounter. I have been plagued with under eye circles as long as I can remember, and the sleepless nights of motherhood have not been kind on this preexisting condition. I have tried virtually every under eye cream or miracle cure on the market, and this eye cream – this eye cream! – is the only thing that’s helped to reduce the puffiness around my eyes (also critical and important when you have that crying jag of oh my word what have I gotten myself into and who in the world thought it was a good idea to let me be a new mom?!) and reduce the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. I’m not saying this should make its way into a gift basket… but maybe be sneakily added to the new mom’s bathroom counter.
6. Depends. Recommended to me by several doulas and midwives, this is an essential item for new moms. Trust me.
While there are a few more items I came up with for my new mom essentials kit, I’ve put them together in a handy kit right over here. I invite you to take a gander and let me know in the comments what you would add to this new mom essentials kit!