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12 Postpartum Essentials Every New Mom Needs for Herself

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Your baby registry is chock-full of stuff for your little one and the nursery.

But what about you?

You need things that make those no-sleep newborn months easier too.

Here’s a list of true mommy must-haves. Add them to your registry or pick them up yourself.

Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

Related: 5 Doable ways to prioritize yourself as a brand new mom

Related: How to make life with a newborn easier

New mom essentials

1. Dry shampoo

Figuring out how to keep your baby safe, calm, and quiet while you take a shower can be a challenge.

You definitely won’t have a lot of time to blow dry and style your hair. Dry shampoo becomes a lifesaver when you don’t have the time or energy to deal with your ‘do.

My favorite: amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo gives me two extra days before I have to do a shower shampoo.

2. Protein bars

Are you nursing? If so, you have 500 extra calories to eat every day!

But grabbing a bite might seem impossible in the whirlwind of managing your little one’s feeding, pooping, and sleeping cycles.

Don’t skip eating though– It’s more important than ever to get the calories and nutrition you need while nursing.

The solution? Protein bars or any other food you can eat with one hand.

That way, you can eat while you nurse, pump, or are just snuggle with your baby.

I recommend setting one out on a table near where you nurse so it’s there whenever you need it.

My favorite: Kind Bars are great because they’re made with simple ingredients like nuts (for protein), dried fruit (for fiber)– and they’re delicious. The best flavor is blueberry, vanilla, and cashew.

3. Water bottle

Staying hydrated is also important when you’re nursing. To get the ounces you need, keep a pretty water bottle nearby and sip throughout the day.

My favorite: S’Well Water Bottle keeps water cold and comes in great patterns and colors.

4. Hemorrhoid ointment

Pregnancy and pushing during labor can cause hemorrhoids. You’ll need something to soothe the burning, irritated feeling you get.

My favorite: Earth Mama Bottom Balm is a natural herbal blend that calms inflammation and smells spa-like too.

5. Concealer

Consider concealer your secret weapon for looking like you actually got any sleep.

My favorite: The Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment is affordable and will work wonders.

6. Caffeinated beverage

Want to feel less zombie-like during the new born months? Caffeine is the answer.

Stock up on coffee or tea, because anything decaf is a joke. Stir, sip and pretend that you’re at Starbucks.

Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding moms limit caffeine consumption to equal three cups of coffee or less.

My favorite: Tazo Chai Tea Latte Concentrate is a milky spiced tea blend that works well hot or cold with zero brew time.

7. Nursing tank

During the newborn months you’ll be feeding your baby at least every two hours.

If you’re breastfeeding, consider wearing a nursing tank.

It provides easy access for your baby with a fold down front and also acts like a top and bra for you.

Wear it alone on warmer days or throw a cardigan over it for chillier temps.

Wear them as maternity tops before the baby comes, too.

Related: 10 Breastfeeding essentials to make nursing even better

8. Teething necklace

Babies can start teething as early as three months old.

At that point, any jewelry or clothing you wear will get shoved into your wee one’s mouth. Wear a teething necklace and you needn’t worry about what’s within reach.

My favorite: Chewbeads Tribeca Teething Necklace is cute, and it’s entirely safe for your little land shark to gum the food-grade silicone beads.

9. Parenting books

It’s hard to know exactly what information you’ll need as a new parent until you’re in the thick of things-– trying to get a crying baby to just stop or to go to sleep.

That’s why you should at least skim two books that will be clutch in those pull-your-hair-out moments. (They also have chapter outlines with quick tips you can reference in those first few months.)

My favorites: The Happiest Baby on the Block is a must. It gives you step-by-step directions on how to soothe a fussy baby and get your child to sleep more. The second essential is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It provides the deets on how much sleep your child needs and what napping schedules should look like. And, down the road, it helps you figure out how to get your little one to fall asleep on her own.

10. Nipple cream

Do you plan on breastfeeding? Then get a tube of nipple cream.

During the early days of nursing, your nipples will feel tender and chapped. To soothe irritation, apply a lanolin-based salve to your nipples after each nursing session. (Learn the secret to successful breastfeeding so you can master it ASAP.)

My favorite: Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve is all-natural and safe for your baby, so there’s no need to wipe it off. Plus, you can tuck these mini tubes into your purse, diaper bag, and nightstand. (Insider tip: Use this nipple cream on your lips too as a moisturizing balm.)

11. A diaper bag you love

Don’t make the mistake of buying the cheapest diaper bag.

This tote will be with you for the next several years, and you’ll want something you love (and that’s functional). Not a bag that’s a big black hole or so overcrowded that it falls over the minute you set it down. Or, one that you hate to carry because it’s so ugly.

My favorite: The B.F.F. Diaper Bag is awesome for so many reasons: insulated bottle pockets (so liquids stay cold or warm), a memory foam changing pad, and a crumb drain (so snack crumbs don’t pile up inside). It also converts from a shoulder bag to a messenger to a backpack and is machine washable. The bonus? It comes in black and white herringbone, polka dots, or stripes that go with everything.

12: Amazon Prime

Life as a mom can be hectic and trying to shop with a baby in tow can be more of a hassle than it’s worth.

Amazon Prime lets you shop millions of items– Diapers, shoes, more burp cloths!

All from the comfort of your couch while you little one naps. Your stuff usually gets delivered to your door within two days. The best part? There’s no shipping charge.

There is an annual fee (or you can choose monthly), but the convenience makes it worth it.

You never have to run out of what you need. Set up a regular delivery day to have goods like diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food, and baby shampoo dropped off.

And it’s Amazon, so almost anything you could want is there including most of what’s on this list.

My favorite: Amazon Prime gives members access to free Kindle books, movies, TV shows and music.

While it’s great that you’re already in mom mode (thinking of your child’s needs above your own), it’s important to not forget about yourself. You deserve some new mom essentials to make your job as a parent easier and let you focus on what matters most (cuddling with your baby, of course!).

Save for later? Share these new mom essentials with other moms by pinning!

Eva Gallant

Thursday 9th of June 2011

Where were you with this list when I had my kids?? Oh, wait, you weren't even born! What a great list it is and I'm sure lots of moms will benefit from it!

Just stopped by from SITS to say hi. Hope you find time to do the same.


Wednesday 8th of June 2011

Krista, I may just have to steal some of your suggestions for a post I'm writing with tips for working moms who nurse. I didn't know about the pump wipes and that would have come in handy at work. Also, where exactly did you put all those pillows? Did you build a permanent breastfeeding nest?


Wednesday 8th of June 2011

Pillows. Lots and lots of pillows. I spent the first week trying to nurse using just the boppy until a dear friend of mine came over after a tearful phone call to show me that I should just surround myself pillows. The difference it made on my back and arms! And attitude!

Breast Pump Wipes were ESSENTIAL to me. If I had to pump in the car I was able to clean the parts, still. It also saved me time at work by not having to carry them to the sink after every pump and then having to find a place to let the parts air dry.


Wednesday 8th of June 2011

Ooh, eyelash tint is a good one Wendy. I would advise to get that before you go into labor - eyelash tint, bikini wax and a pedicure. Get a blowout if you're having a c-section. All this beauty prep for the post-labor pictures!


Wednesday 8th of June 2011

SO yah I agree that the birth plan is useless but a must have list is essential!!! My 5 must haves would be.1. Protein bars for sure!2. Hemroid cream for sure3. An expensive, comfortable, soft nursing brathat is functional but doesnt give you uniboob4. For me it was the baby bjorn. it gave me the freedom to do the things I wanted...hands free5. Eye lash tint. Since you dont get around to make up that often with a newborn, it helps to have some perma make up!