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Becoming a mom is a wonderful, magical thing. It can also be a very overwhelming life event!! With all the baby gear out there these days, it can be difficult to decide what is most important and what you will find most useful. I’ve teamed up with Angela from Mommy Diary to share our favorite items that make life easier after having a baby. (Check out her ultimate gift guide for new moms here!) Some of these items I used nonstop and others I wish someone would have told me about. So I’m sharing them all here so that no one misses out on the good stuff!
- Solly Baby Wrap – This thing was my saving grace. Charley always wanted to be held and be close to me. Wearing him allowed me to make myself something to eat, go to the bathroom, and to get him to sleep. I loved this especially in the early days since he fit so nice and snug in there as a newborn; I always felt he was safe and secure. I’ve heard that it’s hard trying to fit newborns into structured carriers and those newborn inserts. Not only is it a hassle to set up, you have to purchase the insert separately. It all sounded too stressful to me, so I just didn’t mess with it. These wraps are so lightweight and the material is breathable. They are so easy to pack, too, which is a huge plus! As Charley got older (maybe around 3-4 months), we started using our Lillebaby carrier and we use it to this day. I love it! So comfy, so easy to use, and there are multiple carrying positions. I basically wear him every time we go grocery shopping. He enjoys being close to me and isn’t tempted to try to climb out of the shopping cart (*insert eye roll*!). Definitely money well spent on both of these carriers.
- The Ollie Swaddle – There are a ton of swaddles and swaddling blankets out there, but if you want the easiest to use and one that you don’t have to worry about your baby overheating in, get this one. Charley wasn’t a huge fan of swaddling, but he slept horribly if he wasn’t (go figure!). This one was nice and snug, helped him stay asleep (you know that moro reflex where your baby can wake/startle themselves?! yeah, no bueno!), and was easy for us new, sleep deprived parents to use. With all that being said, I’m still a big fan of the beloved Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. They are lightweight, breathable, and big enough to wrap/swaddle properly. They can also be used for just about anything else, which is so helpful! As a mom, I’m always looking for things that can simplify my life and have multiple uses. These are definitely worth the money and they have the sweetest designs that makes new moms happy 🙂
- DockAtot – This is something I wish someone would have told me about! This is a comfy little cot you can bring around the house with you that offers a soft and cozy spot to place your baby. Although we didn’t have the DockAtot, we did have a Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper that we loved. It was so nice to have a place to set him down and I liked that it was off the floor.
- Sound Machine – We have always used a sound machine to sleep, but when we discovered that Charley was calmed and soothed by water sounds, we decided to get another one just for him (ours is just white noise). Actually, for awhile we just used an app on our iPad and played that while he slept. But that was inconvenient since we couldn’t use the iPad if he was sleeping! (For anyone wondering, it’s called ‘Rain Rain’ and the two sounds that helped us the most were ‘Sink Faucet’ and ‘Car in the Rain’). We’ve loved this sound machine; it’s low profile, has great sounds and you can adjust the tone for each sleep sound. I’m all for anything that helps my baby sleep, so this is a must for a new mom, especially if she has an alert baby like we did. Charley would always perk up at the smallest sound. We’ve gotten to the point where we take our dog’s collar off while she’s inside so the jingling doesn’t distract him from falling asleep or wake him up!
- Owlet Baby Monitor – Speaking of sleep, it’s not only hard to get sleep because of how often baby wakes to nurse, but because you’re scared your baby has stopped breathing!!! I’ve always been a deep sleeper, but when I had Charley sleeping next to me at night, I would wake up so much to check on him, even when he didn’t cry. I think many mamas can relate, so that’s why the Owlet Baby Monitor is so awesome. It gives you peace of mind! It’s basically a pulse oximeter (like the little finger probe they place on your finger when you go to the hospital) and it measures baby’s heart rate and oxygen level via a little sock. If it falls below a safe level, you will be alerted via a base monitor and via an app on your phone. Such a simple design, but so important and gives moms and dads peace of mind!
- Pretty Nursing Bra – Your underwear can make or break how you feel that day. Even if you’re sporting the same t-shirt and leggings as the last two days if you have something on underneath that makes you feel pretty, it can really boost your confidence. If you choose to breastfeed, I suggest trying Mother’s Milk Tea and some Mrs. Patel’s bars. These both include galactagogues that can help support and increase a woman’s milk production. I’ve relied heavily on the tea and I’ve read amazing testimonies on how Mrs. Patel’s bars increased ladies’ milk supplies. I like that they even offer a gluten free/vegan chocolate option! Also, fennel and fenugreek have been crucial for me in maintaining a healthy milk supply. You can buy these as supplements or they’re in both the tea and bars. For awhile when I was really struggling, I got this supplement and took it frequently (you can get it in capsules, too…it’s more money but it does have a very strong taste, so get the capsules if you can’t handle it!).
- Bottom Spray and Nipple Butter – You may not feel comfortable giving this as a gift, but I can tell you that as a new mom, you will love receiving these! You probably only need one of each, but they are life savers and provide so much relief in the immediate postpartum period. You may even need to pack these in your diaper bag, mama!
Anything I missed?! If you’re a mama, what helped you the most as a new mom?! Would love to hear in the comments!