December 14, 2011 by Gina
What does a new mom need? That’s a BIG question but there are a few things that I think all new moms need. Here are the top ten from my perspective. Other than the first one, these are in no particular order.
1. A support system: As a friend of mine says, “Build your village!” and this is so true. Whether it’s friends, family, your pediatrician, your doctor, lactation consultant or neighbor, you need support all around you! You may think you have a great support system, but as a new mom, you most likely will need to build on the support you already have. One of the best things I ever did was take a “New Mama Class” from Amma Parenting Center. There were 9 women, all of us new moms and all of us learning together. Many of us still get together and we all stay in touch. In fact, this is really where Carin, Melissa and I really got to know each other and they are a HUGE part of my village. I would also recommend Moms Offering Moms Support (MOMS) Club – they are an international organization with local chapters everywhere. My group of about 45 women is incredible and we support each other through all types of situations, mom-related or otherwise.
2. A good swaddle: I’m partial to the Miracle Blanket, but there are lots of different ways to swaddle a new baby. Whether you use a large blanket and learn how to swaddle your baby or use something like the Miracle Blanket, your new baby will probably sleep better wrapped tightly. Brian is notoriously cheap (and I mean that in a good way!) and he said he would have paid a lot more than the $30 we invested in the Miracle Blanket to ensure our kid(s) slept better!
3. Nipple Cream: If you are breastfeeding or pumping, you need a good nipple cream. I think Mother’s Love is the best – it’s olive oil based so it smells good, is soft and isn’t harmful to your baby.
4. A good pump: You especially need a good pump if you are working and breastfeeding. This is something you’ll use every 2-3 hours so you want a double pump that can get that milk out quickly and efficiently. Even if you aren’t working, you may need a pump if your baby isn’t able to fully breastfeed or if you are producing alot of milk. Both of my boys were lazy suckers (literally!) so I had to breastfeed, pump and then bottle feed the breast milk for weeks until they could totally do it on their own. I use a Medela Pump In Style but there are many great brands out there.
5. Onesies and cute pajamas: Whether you are having a boy or girl, you are having a baby and they mostly where onesies and cute pajamas at first. My heart melts when I see my babes in fleece pajamas – they are just so darn cute!
6. Burp cloths: I’ve said this before, but with spitter-uppers, I could have a million burp cloths on hand and still need more. The best burp cloths are ones I make (see the Burp Cloth post) or those white cloth diapers you can buy at any baby store. Regardless of what you use, get a whole bunch of them and make sure they are absorbent.
7. A thermometer: Get a good one (or several) right off the bat! I thought I had a decent one with our first son and then found myself running to Target (twice!) to find an accurate, reliable thermometer when Finn was clearly sick. Don’t be afraid to spend the money for a good one – it will pay for itself and you’ll know if your little one has a temperature or not.
8. A carrier: If you plan on “wearing” your baby (and there is alot of research out there that shows the benefits of wearing baby) or just want two hands free, get a good baby carrier. I’ve used both the Moby Wrap and the Ergo Baby and like them both. I like the Moby for when they are newborns and the Ergo for 4 months and up. Alot of my friends have the Baby Bjorn and love it. Just find something you like and try out a friend’s before you invest in one.
9. A great stroller: This is a tough one because I’ve yet to find the perfect stroller. After Getty was born, we bought the Phil and Ted’s Explorer which is an in-line stroller and can be a single or double stroller. I do love it because it is lightweight and small (we have a Honda Fit so it’s got to fit in a compact car). I can fit both my newborn and toddler in the stroller and Finn (the toddler) loves the second seat! If you can’t decide on a stroller buy the Graco Snap-n-Go – your carseat snaps right onto this lightweight frame and has an ample basket underneath.
10. A good diaper bag(s): The diaper bag is like the stroller – hard to find the perfect one. But, at least these are cheaper so you can buy a few of them. I really like handbags so I have 4 diaper bags – a black, basic backpack that my husband feels comfortable using, two SkipHop ones – a black one and a brown one and a trendy JJ Cole red one. Most of these don’t necessarily look like diaper bags but have lots of pockets and room in them. It doesn’t have to be a diaper bag – just get a great bag you love that has alot of room because you’ll literally be bringing the kitchen sink with you.
There are alot of products and things out there for new moms, but you don’t need them all. The most important thing is to find the products that work for you and go with it. If you find something you can’t live without as a new mom, let me know!