[disclosure] If you’re wondering what the real must haves are for a baby and postpartum period, here is a list from a second time mama who likes to keep things as simple as possible! In this list there are items for baby, mama, and siblings, too!
When I was stocking up for my first son’s birth, I had really no idea what I needed. At the time we were living with my parents, so I decided to basically get clothes, diapers, and a place for him to sleep.
I got very little other than the absolute essentials! As time went on, if I felt like we needed something, we’d purchase it along the way.
For my second son’s birth, I didn’t have to really buy anything for the baby since we already had the things we needed and wanted from our first son. We bought some new clothes, thanks to a box of newborn clothing completely disappearing, and obviously diapers, but otherwise didn’t need anything new for him.
Instead, I focused a lot on thing I might need for the pregnancy, birth and postpartum recovery period. And also some things that I wanted to get especially for Camden.
I think it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with all the stuff you “have to have” for babies. But they really don’t need all that much! Especially at the beginning. I wanted to share some of the things I really used and relied on during the first few weeks after my son was born!
These are the things I really found to be useful, coming from a second time mama who likes to keep things simple and minimalist when possible! Some of these items are ones that are better versions of what I used with Greyson or are things I didn’t know about but wish I had had the first time around!
Postpartum Must Haves For Baby:
I feel like I can really credit my lack of complete sleep deprivation with both boys to this bed. I highly, highly recommend somewhere to sleep that is close enough to the bed that you don’t have to get out of bed to get the baby.
I didn’t know about this with Greyson, but it has been a life saver with Camden. And on the subject of boogers (real life here), the is the best invention ever.
With Greyson, we just swaddled with a blanket which was always a pain to do. We took a newborn sleep class this time because I knew I needed to better prepared for dealing with “sleep training” (for lack of a better phrase) especially because we plan to have the boys share a room eventually. This NuRoo Swaddler has been amazing! Only occasionally has Camden been able to squirm one arm out of his swaddle but usually he stays snug in it all night and during naps. His sleep is 100% better in a real swaddle than swaddled in a blanket. Plus this type of swaddle is much safer!
A sound machine is definitely necessary for a newborn but I really love this one! It has a bunch of noise and light settings. I keep the light on the lowest setting for nursing overnight. I also love that there is a schedule feature so we will eventually use this for an “okay to wake” clock.
Postpartum Must Haves For Mama:
I got this water bottle for Christmas and I am not exaggerating when I say that I take it EVERYWHERE. I love that it keeps my water cold (in fact, we left it outside for two days once – in the Arizona heat – and it was STILL cold!), it’s big enough that I’m not filling it every hour, and it has a straw which is a MUST for nursing/laboring. This water bottle is in so many of our birth photos because I was drinking out of it constantly.
These were a MUST for pregnancy, but I also LOVED them for the first few weeks while I was at home. I have tons of Lularoe leggings also but they just didn’t feel as comfortable with my postpartum belly that was so sensitive. I loved having leggings that were super loose around my waist, but didn’t go up over my now squishy belly.
This was something I didn’t do a great job of preparing ahead of time. The first two weeks (week especially), I was doing a lot of nothing which for me felt so foreign. I am not a napper, so I didn’t want to just sleep while Camden slept, but I also did not want to be doing work. Having a few good books to ready, whether paperback or on my phone was super helpful!
I love reusable nursing pad for later on but in the first few months, your milk supply is so unsteady that disposable nursing pads really are the way to go. Disposable ones really absorb the milk better and at the beginning when your supply is establishing you really want the pads to be absorbent so that you don’t run the risk of thrush or mastitis.
Ring Sling or Fabric Wrap
I didn’t put Camden into a carrier until he was 2 or 3 weeks old but man, once I did it was game over. I loved being able to actually get something done around the house or eat dinner with both of my hands free. Of course this is an item you can continue using for months and months! I really love my Happy Baby wrap especially at the beginning.
Even though I really don’t like having excess stuff, I have found with my two babies having both a wrap and a ring sling is necessary. The ring sling is amazing for running into the store or anytime you need to be able to get the baby in and out a lot. But the Happy Baby wrap (or another fabric wrap) is great for traveling or when you’ll be wearing the baby for a few hours or more at a time. It distributes the weight a lot better and doesn’t hurt my back as much!
Thankfully I didn’t need this for nursing this time around BUT this was so helpful for diaper rash for Camden! I’ve also used it for my feet and for dry skin on both of the boys. So it’s one of those things I am totally happy to buy for postpartum needs because there are tons of uses for it even if you don’t use it for nursing.
Postpartum Must Haves For Siblings:
I never really used a Bobby Pillow for breastfeeding but I loved having it available for Greyson to be able to hold Camden in those early weeks when Camden had zero head support. It’s also great for propping the baby up for the sibling to be able to interact with the baby!
There is no shortage of books in our house, but it was so nice having them close by so that I could read to Greyson while I was nursing Camden in bed. He is obsessed with this book right now!
A New Toy
We don’t buy toys really at all for Greyson because he gets so many from family for holidays. But I wanted to have something new and exciting for him to be distracted by while I was busy with Camden. I grabbed one of these and it’s become one of his absolute favorite things to play with! We also had an unopened wooden train set from IKEA that we opened while Steven was on paternity leave. I think having some new things to play with helped him adjust to the new routine!
These are the things I found most useful during the first few weeks with a newborn. Would you add anything to this list?!