Sure, a wipes warmer and a diaper caddy are nice baby shower gifts, but those things aren’t what you need. Your baby registry is chock full of stuff for your little one and the nursery. But what about you? You need things too that make those no-sleep, newborn months easier.
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.
#1: Dry Shampoo
Figuring out how to keep your baby safe, calm and quiet while you take a shower can be a challenge. And 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: Wella EIMI 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 snuggling with your baby. Set 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 are 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: Ear Plugs
If your husband is taking a shift so you can catch some shuteye, you’ll need ear plugs. Why? Because your mama senses will be at their peak. Every little baby squeak will make your heart pump faster and question whether your SO knows what he’s doing.
My favorite: Mack’s Silicone Ear Plugs are soft and mold to your ears. Unlike foam ear plugs, your ears won’t ache after wearing them.
#5: Hemorrhoid Ointment
Pregnancy and pushing during labor can cause hemorrhoids (swollen veins around the anus). You’ll need something to soothe the burning, irritated feeling you get.
My favorite: Earth Mama Bottom Balm is an all-natural herbal blend that calms inflammation and smells spa-like, too.
Consider concealer your secret weapon for looking like you actually got any sleep. Make sure you use a heavy-duty cover up – it’s the only thing that will mask those major black circles. (Check out 5 Tricks to Look Rested for more tips.)
#7: Caffeinated Beverage
Want to feel less zombie-like during the new born months? Caffeine is the answer. Stock up on K-Cups or black 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.
#8: 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.
My favorite: Mirity Womens Seamless Nursing Tank two-pack is a steal. And, it comes in multiple color combos. Wear them as maternity tops before the baby comes, too.
#9: 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.
#10: 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 (for the love of God!) 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.
#11: 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 key 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.)
#12: Designer Diaper Bag
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. 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: 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.
#13: 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 clothes! – from the comfort of your couch while you little one naps. Your stuff gets delivered to your door within two days. The best part? There’s no shipping charge.
There is an annual fee, 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!).
P.S. Want to make life with a newborn easier? What about labor and delivery? Girl, I got your back! Just grab my free (and printable) Due Date Checklist to find out what you need to do during the third trimester to be fully prepared. Also, be sure to check out my post on 9 Secrets to Make Life With a Newborn Easier.