10 New Mom Essentials Not on the Registry
Last year one of my good friends was having her first baby and after having three children of my own I was pumped for her to join the mom club. I wanted to share all my wisdom with her, but I also remember being overwhelmed with the advice right before I gave birth to my children. So I contained my advice as much as possible, but I did send her a list of 10 items that aren’t on a registry, but she should think about getting prior to the baby being born (or in our case babies!). I shared this list with lots of new moms and thought others would enjoy this list as well.
#1 Baby Memory Book & Birth Announcement
Pick out the baby book and birth announcement out prior to the baby arriving (even if you don’t know the gender of the baby) and then order in the first week or two of the birth. If you have any dreams of filling out a book for them you need it in your hands pretty immediately to make sure you stick to filling it out as those milestones start to pile up. Same thing goes with birth announcements if you are doing one. Have the birth announcement picked out and bookmarked so that all you need to do is drop in the picture of your new baby when they arrive. If you have these items picked out prior it can help with motivation to actually get to these tasks during the exhaustion of taking care of a baby. Memory books that I have enjoyed are Pearhead Baby Memory Book, C.R. Gibson Baby Memory Book, and Modern Baby Memory Book. For birth announcements, PrinterPix has some awesome new baby announcements
Smartphones will probably be what you are using 90% of the time, but there will be those more formal occasions that you wish you had a better camera to snap some photos of the memories. For us, our vacations, newborn pictures, holidays, the first day of school, family gatherings are times when we utilize our more formal camera. Make sure it is lightweight and not too bulky as you will most likely throw it in a diaper bag or purse and be on the go with your camera. Nowadays camera can make it easy to upload the pictures to social media or share pictures with others and I would recommend a camera with this feature. Some of the favorite cameras are Canon PowerShot G9X Digital Camera, Nikon Coolpix L340 Digital Camera , or a cool GoPro HERO5
#3 Streaming Video
Whether it is Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime (any of these would work, but I would recommend Netflix). I used Netflix frequently on maternity leave, my children use it for their screen time, and we utilize it for date night movie watching at home as well. In those early weeks of having a baby, you want to get your surroundings situated with all that you will need with your baby (including the remote to binge watch a show). This kept me entertained when my babies fell asleep on me and I was able to cuddle them while binge watching Gossip Girl or Gilmore Girls. PRICELESS!
#4 Post-Baby Clothes for You
I was given this advice before having my first child and I found it extremely useful. I purchase both loose clothes and some tighter fitting clothing for the transition after birthing a baby. The looser clothes were used as pajamas, loungewear around the house and our walks close to home. I lived in these looser items clothes as I got adjusted to my new body after having a baby. I also bought a few high waisted structured yoga pants that helped me feel more confident during outings as they sucked it all in for me. The structured pants also helped in those first few days with recovering from vaginal deliveries as there is a lot going on and it kept everything firmly in place. Sometimes the maternity clothes could help out with transitioning my outfits, but I still recommend getting a few items to help transition in those early months when maternity clothes are too big and your old clothes do not fit yet.
#5 One Step Meals and Snacks
I found I was too concerned about what my baby was eating that I needed food to be very quick and easy for me to make time to eat. My rule for food in that first month was that it had to be a one step process to eat either the meal or snack. For instance, getting yogurt and berries out separately were too many steps. A mason jar of yogurt, granola, and berries out and all I had to do was twist the top was perfect. So, before you have the baby take some time to think about your favorite meals and snacks to have and how you can create a one step meal/snack for these items. Making a smoothie didn’t work for me, but I would treat myself to Naked juices during the week when it was just myself. It is great to cook large batches of meals before the baby gets here, but I recommend portioning out the meals into single size containers so you can just heat up and go (again, one step). A bonus to these one step meals is if the meal could be eaten with one hand.
#6 Soft lighting / Night Lights
Turn off all the lights in your house at night and then take a walk from where you baby will sleep to the changing area, bottle area (if you are using them), and bathroom. Then assess where you need lighting and that lighting should be soft lighting. Once you figure out where you need lighting getting night lights for those areas is key as you will not want to utilize overhead lighting so that it is an easier transition for you and your baby to get back to sleep. This can really help if your baby has their days and nights reversed as you can train them to switch their sleep schedules by switching to soft lighting in your house around 8pm-10pm depending on your night feeding schedule.
#7 Bulk Saving Store Member
If you are a mom who is going to be using disposable diapers, wipes or formula then finding ways to save on buying in bulk is important for your budget. These items need to be budgeted into your grocery bill as they will be reoccurring and can be very costly. At first, we would use Costco and then through my work I was able to utilize BJs. This helped us save hundreds each month from these expensive items (especially when we had twins!). Now we use Subscribe and Save for the convenience of items delivered to our door. Find ways to cut your grocery bill in order to afford these new baby items that will be part of your family budget for years.
I wore minimal make-up in the early months of having a baby. One of the main make-up items I quickly found out would be so helpful was a good concealer. I used the concealer to hide the sleepless nights with dark circles and puffiness. Prior to having a baby, I would rarely wear concealer, but now as a mom, I can’t live without some in the morning. My two favorite concealers have been Urban Decay Naked Concealer and Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer. For those early days getting out the door put down those brushes and beauty blenders and find easy ways to get a 5-minute quick beauty routine down. I would take only 5 minutes and put on a tinted moisturizer, curl my lashes, put on concealer, tinted lip balm (dab some on my cheeks for colors too!) and that helped with getting the “you look so tired” comments that every mom gets in those early days.
#9 Picnic Blanket
This one was a surprise to me, but even after five years, we are still using the same picnic blanket as soon as the nice weather comes to New England. They key is to get one that is waterproof to get the longevity out of the blanket. We realized quickly that we needed a blanket to hang out with our baby so that she wouldn’t eat the leaves and dirt on the ground. I found this Outdoor Blanket and now we make sure we take it wherever we are on the go. Our kids don’t sit on the picnic blanket for long, but we sit on it and we use it for their snacks and drinks. I even find as they get older sitting on it to read a book while my kids play in the yard with each other.
#10 Book a Recharge Day
It is hard to leave your newborn in those first few months, but it is so essential to recharge to be the best mom possible. Even if you can’t imagine an entire day really try to be gone for 2-3 hours. I did this for my first child and when I had my twins I made sure I did the same because it truly was life changing. It really helped my mental state in those first months so I encourage all moms to take for themselves. For my day I got a coffee, had my haircut while reading a magazine, got a manicure and pedicure, and finished with a facial around the 6-week mark post baby. IT WAS SO AMAZING. It felt so good to feel myself again and it helped me realize I can leave my baby for a little bit of time and still be a good mom. If it would be hard to budget for these items then I would definitely put some Gift Cards on the registry or tell some close friends and family as it would be great to get as a gift. This recharge day was around the same time I got the clear from the doctor for having sex and so feeling good about myself helped me regain confidence in that area as well.
What are your new mom essentials? Anything you would add to this list?