Inside: Do you get overwhelmed at the thought of everything you need as a new mom? Is your list of new mom essentials 10 miles long? Learn exactly what you need (no more, no less) with this simple and to-the-point list of new mom must haves.
Pain surged through my body as I wobbled down the drug store aisles. Aching in my body screamed at me to lay down.
At this very moment, I wished I had been smart enough to check everything off of my new mom must haves list before having my baby.
But I didn’t.
And here I was.
- Hauling a 2-day-old into the drugstore while my nether regions literally felt like they were falling out
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What Do New Moms Need Most?
All new moms really need are the essentials:
- Somewhere for baby to sleep
Most of the other stuff people tell you that you need are not essential, or even needed.
But, some products do make your life as a mother much easier – and therefore are a very valid investment.
(Like purchasing a good-quality baby carrier to free up your hands instead of holding your heavy, butter-ball, squirmy baby for hours on end.)
Is It Worth The Money?
Before having my son, I spent hours of my life preparing to have a baby.
I read all the new mom must have lists and spent hours looking for the perfect new mom essentials online.
But it all left me feeling overwhelmed.
With every article I read, I was being told I needed 105 different – new – things, and that if I didn’t purchase these things, my life would be miserable.
Would I really use that wipe warmer that everyone insisted I needed?
(In case you’re wondering, the answer is no, I didn’t.)
It wasn’t until after having my son that I learned the difference between new mom essentials, and things that are “just nice to have” (and then the things that are an absolute waste of money that no one ever would use).
To save you the headache – and wallet-ache – I’ve compiled MY list of new mom essentials that every mom-to-be needs.
If you’re overwhelmed by the plethora of information you’re receiving as a mom-to-be and find yourself wondering:
Then this list is for you.
New Mom Must Haves
These are the things I couldn’t have lived without.
This list is a no-fluff, things-you-actually-need, list of new mom must haves for the overwhelmed mom-to-be.
Below this list I’ve got another list of things that aren’t new mom essentials, but sure are nice to have around.
New Mom Essentials and Baby Must-Haves for First Time Moms
- Pads (you’ll want the thick maxi-pads – or depends – and a lot of them)
- Breast pads
- Nipple cream (if you plan on breastfeeding. Lanolin is the magic ingredient. This brand has it in the cream.)
- Hair ties (you’ll find yourself throwing your hair into a messy pony more often than not)
- Nursing sleep bra (you’re going to leak. A lot. You’ll need a comfy bra to wear at night, and during the day. But especially at night)
- Receiving blankets (bonus points if they can be used for both swaddling your baby and as a burp rag, like these Muslin blankets)
- Diaper bag (I recommend a backpack diaper bag, this way both your hands are free to deal with baby, instead of having to deal with a diaper bag that keeps sliding off your shoulder. Ugh)
- Booger sucker (the NosaFrida is my recommendation. I bet before becoming a mom you never would have thought in a thousand years that you’d be sucking boogers out of another human being’s nose)
- Gripe water (stock up on this stuff. Who do you call when it’s 3AM and baby’s up with an upset and gassy stomach? Gripe water)
- A car seat (it’s true. You won’t be able to leave the hospital if you don’t have one of these)
- A stroller (unless you plan on carrying baby everywhere. Which you don’t, because you’re smart)
- Diapers, wipes, and clothes for babe
Related: How to Get Rid of Morning Sickness
Now that we’ve got the essentials covered, let’s move on to the non-essential, but still super handy to have list of things for new moms:
The Non-Essential New Mom Must Haves
Here’s “all the other stuff” that didn’t make the new mom essentials list, but are still so very helpful to have.
These things will make your life more enjoyable and are worth every cent.
Wiping your nether regions after giving birth? Yeah, right. You’ll know exactly what I mean after you deliver. Having peri bottles on hand (have at least one in each bathroom, and one in your diaper bag) will ease some of the pain of postpartum bathroom visits.
- Nursing pillow
Haven’t had your baby yet? Nursing pillows can make pregnancy easier, too, by offering support for sore backs and helping you get comfortable at night.
After you’ve had your baby, nursing pillows make breastfeeding easier by giving your arms and back a break, as well as helping baby get a good latch and offer your baby support to learn how to sit up (without risking them falling backward and bonking their head).
Many new parents have used melatonin supplements to help their baby fall asleep faster and easier.
Of course, always check with your doctor before giving your baby any new supplements.
When breastfeeding, there’s a good chance your nipples will become cracked and blistered at some point.
Nipple shields stop that from happening and reduce breastfeeding pain.
- Sleep sack
Some babies love to be swaddled, and others don’t. My son didn’t – so we used the halo sleep sack to keep him warm at night without restricting his movements.
Use a glow in the dark binkie to make it easy to find when it goes MIA in the middle of the night.
- White noise machine
This particular machine was specifically made to help babies sleep.
Learn how to help your baby sleep better with the free Baby sleep guide.
- Disposable change pads
Getting a pack of disposable change pads is a good idea for those away-from-home diaper changes where you don’t want to put baby directly on the public change table.
- Rocking chair
Our rocking chair has seen hours (upon hours) of use.
- Side bed
If you plan on cosleeping, this is the safe way to do it.
- Loads of onesies
Some days you’ll feel like you’re changing your baby every 10 minutes thanks to blowouts, spit-ups, and everything in between.
You’re going to want lots of onesies on hand.
- Zip-up jammies
Fighting with buttons on a button-up sleeper at 3 am is not the definition of fun. Do yourself a favor and grab some zip-up jammies for baby instead.
A travel bed is a small, compact, portable bed for baby so they can sleep comfortably, anywhere.
- Baby bath
This bathtub has “wings” that wrap around baby to keep them from getting the chills while bathing.
- Disposable pee pads
Road trips are 1000% more pleasant with disposable pee pads. Line baby’s car seat with a pad so that spit-up and blowouts don’t seep into the car seat materials.
- Breast pump
If you plan on breastfeeding, a breast pump is something you do not want to skimp out on. A good-quality pump will allow you to pump efficiently and pain-free.
I used this one and loved it.
If you want to be able to pump hands-free, this is the pump for you.
It doesn’t have any cords and doesn’t need to be plugged in – the Haakaa is a silicone breast pump that uses suction to pull the milk from the breast.
If you travel or just want a simple, easy-to-use breast pump, the Haakaa is your best bet.
- Breast milk storage bags
You’re going to need somewhere sanitary to store all that breast milk.
Breast milk storage bags will keep milk safe for baby to drink for anywhere from 6 to 12 months, when stored in the freezer.
Teething generally starts between 4 – 6 months, though it can happen earlier or later. Expect a long teething period.
Sophie was designed to be easy for little, uncoordinated hands to hold and offers many different angles to chew on. It’s no surprise that it’s the best baby teething toy around.
- Travel system
When your baby falls asleep right as you’re turning into the grocery store parking lot, a travel system allows your baby to continue sleeping while you do your shopping.
- Umbrella stroller
Having a small, compact stroller for going to the mall or anytime you don’t want to lug a big stroller around is a good idea. They don’t need to break the bank, either.
Newborns typically want to be held a majority of the time, which can make new moms feel couch-bound and useless.
Using a baby carrier allows you to hold your baby while giving you the ability to be mobile and have two free hands to get stuff done with.
Plus, this particular one grows with your baby – so you can use it from the newborn stage all the way up until your babe is 32 pounds.
- Board books
Reading to your baby has endless benefits.
Not only that, but board books are great toys for young babies since the pages are easy to flip.
- Happiest Baby on the Block
This book is a must-read for new parents. It will educate you on motherhood as well as everything you need to know about the fourth trimester, for both you and baby.
Don’t know what the fourth trimester is? You need this.
This cover is great. It acts as a car seat/stroller canopy, a nursing cover, a shopping cart cover, and a scarf.
- Heating pads
The first few weeks postpartum is going to be tough. A heating pad will ease some of those aches and pains.
- Mattress cover
There will be a lot of new leakage happening after childbirth. From postpartum bleeding (which can last up to 6 weeks postpartum) to leaky breasts, using a mattress cover – or even one of these – will save your bed.
- Baby nail clippers
Most babies come into the world with long nails that are razor-sharp. Baby nail clippers make managing those nails a bit easier.
Things New Moms Need for Themselves
Now that we’ve covered the list of everything new moms need for the newborn stage, here’s a quick list of everything new moms need to keep their sanity intact.
A solid support group
Having a community of moms who are in the same stage of life as you is vital. You need adult interaction.
Spending all day tending to your new baby’s needs is going to drain you. Find moms who can relate and support you.
Yes – even before your baby can “play”.
Trust me, even if I didn’t do them for my son, I would still do them for me. Playdates aren’t just for the kids, they’re for mama too.
Getting out of the house with small children is exhausting, but it’s so, so, rewarding.
A good book
Chances are, you aren’t going to have a ton of time to read, but when you do get a chance to sit down, make sure you have a good book to keep you company.
Moms need breaks.
I’m going to say it again. Moms need breaks.
And no, having dad take the kids so you can do the dishes, make dinner, or catch up on work is not a “break”.
You need a break where you can do something you enjoy, or nothing at all.
Have dad or a trusted friend or family member watch baby even just for an hour, and don’t feel bad if all you want to do is crawl into bed and catch some Zzz’s.
An eye-cover for sleeping
After having a baby, even if you used to have a difficult time napping, chances are you’ll be exhausted enough now that you’ll be able to nap anytime, anywhere.
In the rare case that you still struggle to sleep when it’s light out, keep an eye covering in your night table for daytime naps.
Keep them at the foot of your bed to easily get at during all those nighttime feedings.
Related: How to be a Good Mom & Not be a Drag
New Mom Essentials… Your Turn
Now it’s your turn, what do new moms need? What is something on your new mom must-haves list that you couldn’t have lived without? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below!