Whether you're just escaping the first trimester fog and nausea of your pregnancy journey or you're a newly minted parent, one thing is for sure, you've probably already started to notice the sometimes* crazy amount of things we recommend new parents have or buy to raise a tiny human. Or what's even crazier, is that we completely leave out the needs of the new parents themselves!
So I'm going to give you a short and sweet list of 8 things I actually used (read worth the investment) during the fourth trimester and beyond. Have these things along with the handful of other necessities you're probably already stocking (like wipes, cloth/disposable diapers, etc) and I really think you'll be well on your way to finding a new normal for you and your new family.
Haakaa Silicone Pump
- Hands down, a must have for postpartum. Easy to use, easy to clean, and easy on the wallet! The biggest plus is that you can catch all that liquid gold from your leaky boobs (yup, they're going to leak) and start your going-back-to-work or partner-feed-the-baby freezer stash.
A baby carrier - Also a must have. By now you've probably started to notice that we have a bit of container syndrome here in the US when it comes to our babies. They (the collective) like to recommend parents have a million and one things to put the baby in: a stroller, a swing, a bouncer, a rock n play, a pack and play... And then parents are completely thrown for a loop when their baby arrives and they don't want any of these things. They just want them, and they just want to be held. And because we got to keep it real, they're going to want to be held a lot and it's completely normal. It truly is the biological norm for your baby to want you. That's why a good carrier is such a necessity. You get the sweetest snuggles and wrap naps, two free hands, and a little help feeding based on cues and increased levels of some key players when it comes to meeting your breastfeeding goals - oxytocin and prolactin. Your baby gets to spend more time in a quiet state of alertness, a reduced risk of SIDS, closeness for help transitioning during the fourth trimester, and early speech and language development just to name a few.
- Not a lot of explanantion needed for this one, but I know the struggle can be real when it comes to finding one that's comfy and doesn't break the bank. I love and live in this one from good ole Target.
Own Your Motherhood Mug
- New parenthood can be amazing. It is also really hard and even isolating somedays. You won't be the person you were prior to pregnancy or even during, you'll be learning to feed and care for a tiny human and also learning to be a whole new you. Find something that'll bring you joy and add it to a daily ritual. For me, I always like to have a cup of coffee (yup, that's ok while breastfeeding) and it feels good to enjoy it with a mug that's special to me. You can find a mug like this one here
, but the big message here is don't be afraid to treat yourself. Seriously, why as parents do we so easily splurge on headbands and tiny mocassins but we wont buy a coffee mug or dare I say it, nicer underwear or a better nursing bra (you know I'm right). You deserve it.
- I must've been living under a rock with my first two boys, because I only just discovered this amazing baby bath product. It's portable, easy to store, fits in the sink, and it has a great minimalist look. I am here for it.
A village - This is so insanely important, literally, if there's one thing you take from this blog let it be this. Postpartum and finding a new family normal is such a distinctive season in life and it's a time when we really benefit from feeling seen, heard, and supported. The best way you can practice a little self-care and set yourself up for success is to say yes to support. Request hot meals and help cooking or caring for other children from family. If you prefer to limit family visits or need to protect your mental health, utilize the skills and wealth of knowledge offered by local postpartum doulas. I promise a good doula is worth their weight in gold plus some!
The Ollie World Swaddle
- I'll preface this with, not every baby likes or benefits from swaddling. In fact, my first two weren't fans at all. My third little guy was easily startled from sleep during the day, so he absolutely loves and benefits from this swaddle. It's really become a great part of our daily naptime routine since I introduced it at three weeks of age. Swaddling itself is actually really great for a few reasons including: reducing sudden wakes (due to Moro Reflex), improving quality of sleep, and maintaining the recommended sleep position just to name a few.
- I can't promise that every baby will love this bottle, sometimes it takes a bottle or two to find the perfect match, but this one is definitely worth a shot! I'm a huge fan of the glass bottle since it doesn't retain odor and the nipple design, made specifically with breastfeeding babes in mind, was also a bit hit for us. #praisebe If you've ever had a bottle picky babe, you know the struggle.
Is this list exhaustive? Aint't nobody got time for that. Nope, but like I said it is full of things you'll actually use. XO