As baby Austin approaches his second month of life, I am reflecting on some of the experiences I have had postpartum- the most useful items I have needed for myself and for baby. We had THREE baby showers, and between my and my husband’s family and friends, we were (thankfully) gifted soo many baby things! Every baby is different, but there are certainly things that have came in SUPER handy these past four weeks, and other items that I haven’t really needed to use (yet). I figured sharing my thoughts could some folks some time, and maybe money too.
Best Items for Mommy:
- Tucks Witch Hazel Pads
- Dermoplast Spray
- Overnight Panties (aka adult diapers)
All of the items above were ABSOLUTE necessities in the first two weeks after birth. I delivered vaginally and suffered minor tearing (I only needed two stitches), and was in absolute agony going to the bathroom or moving around too much. Using the witch hazel pads+spray every time I went to the bathroom helped. I recommend the “panties” because frankly, you are going to be bleeding too much and be too sore and exhausted to change a pad every hour or so. (If you DO wear pads, CHANGE THEM THROUGHOUT THE DAY!) Wearing the “panties” helped me only need to change once or twice a day.
- A good breast pump
If you are breastfeeding or pumping, a good pump set-up is so crucial. I currently have an electric pump from Medela which works well, but I am still figuring out ways to make it simpler. It truthfully is a very time consuming and exhausting process, so finding something that works and makes your life easier is priority. I am also currently looking into nursing bras so I can pump hands free, so I will update y’all on that. (Spending a few HOURS a day pumping boobie juice adds up and I realize I am just not using that time efficiently right now.)
- Moisturizers for everything
But seriously. My skin and lips have been super dry since I gave birth. I also have much less time lately for a full beauty routine every day. The best thing I have done is keep lotion or butters (shea and cocoa) everywhere. Upstairs, downstairs, in my purse, in the car, even at my moms… It makes remembering to put on moisturizer easier. I also hope this helps to reduce the appearance of my stretch-marks over time…My entire pregnancy I used moisturizers almost every day, specifically always on my stomach hoping to steer clear of stretch marks. Unfortunately, I still developed quite a few on the center of my stomach around my belly-button during the third trimester of my pregnancy. Hiss boo.
Best Items for Baby:
- Not being afraid to use formula
I am not able to produce enough breastmilk to feed Austin, so we supplement with formula. When I was in the hospital after birth, a lot of the nurses were very adamant on him breastfeeding exclusively. However, I realized that it would be impossible for me to sustain a pumping schedule for that… I also really find it difficult to transport breast milk whenever I am on the go with baby. Formula just makes life a lot easier, and I do not feel bad for doing what is best for both me and my baby.
- Gassy meds
ALL HAIL MYLICON, an absolute lifesaver on days when baby is especially fussy. Austin has been fine for the most part, but we have had days where he is very gassy and upset and won’t stop crying. Gassy meds work almost immediately and I can tell that they help little Austin a lot. I think they are sooo necessary for any newborn.
- A bassinet (or something similar)
You need somewhere to put your baby (duh), but Jose and I did not realize that Austin’s actual crib was going to be basically unusable until he is at least a few months old. We have found that a portable crib or a bassinet is needed in order to stay sane. Baby needs a place to safely be put down and sleep, and parents need a way to catch a break every so often. The particular bassinet that we have actually has WHEELS so you can roll baby around with you (aka when you go to the bathroom), and holds extra diapers and clothes in the bottom for easy access.
- Burp rags everywhere
Babies spit, cough, drool, cry, spill… they are literally helpless little mess humans until they get older. So yes, you will need LOTS of burp rags to put everywhere you can imagine. Bedroom, kitchen, livingroom, bathroom, bassinet, diaper bag, car, grandma’s house…you name it. Being caught in a mess of spit up with no towel is not a situation you wanna be in.
- A sink bathtub. Omg.
My husband and I were gifted both sink bath tubs and bathtub seats to bathe baby in. We attempted bathing baby in the bathtub for the first few weeks until we finally got around to using the sink-style tub. The sink tubs are SO much easier, especially because baby Austin is so small and weak right now. Baby is confined to a smaller space and has less room to wiggle around, and the set-up and clean up is much easier because the tubs usually have a drain on them that you can unplug right in the sink.
- Coconut Oil
We also have an use baby lotion, but pure coconut oil has helped Austin a lot with baby acne and dry skin. We use it on his face and body after every bath, and we keep it around so we can use it when we see more dry spots pop up. I have found that it absorbs super well into his skin, so there is no greasy residue.
Listen, I know some moms try to steer clear of pacifiers because getting babies to give them up can be very difficult. But Jose and I have chosen to use them because I literally think that baby would never stop crying without them. Austin calms down significantly when we give him a pacifier when he is fussy, and to me, it is better to have a calm and happy baby than to worry about weaning him off a pacie.
Overall, motherhood has been a lot of fun so far. A lot of my day is consumed with worrying, stress, and lack of sleep, but those seem like fair trade-offs for having such a beautiful little boy to love and raise.