I can hardly believe it, but I have almost wrapped up my first year as a mom! It has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding years of my life. When you become a new mom, there is definitely a learning curve, but you slowly figure out what works best for you and your baby.
In light of Mother’s Day coming up, I would like to share some of my favorite items during my first year of motherhood. These are the things that helped me get through, survive and keep my sanity.
- Mother Love Nipple Cream: This stuff is the tits! If you are breastfeeding or thinking about breastfeeding, you need this cream for your boobs. Your nipples will crack, bleed, dry out and take on a new shape within the first few weeks of breastfeeding. I applied this cream a few times daily in those early weeks. It was recommended to me by a lactation consultant and we purchased it in the hospital gift shop. You can also purchase it on Amazon.
- Breast Pads: These are a must if you are breastfeeding your baby. I learned the hard way and woke up one night soaked in milk from my leaking breasts. I tried a few different breast pads, but my favorite is made by Lansinoh, because the pad fits perfectly in my bra cup and soaks up a lot of milk.
- Padsicles: If you are planning to have a vaginal birth, these padsicles are essential for postpartum recovery. You keep them in the freezer, so they stay nice and cool. They feel amazing on your healing girl parts. Two weeks before Silas was due, I decided to set up a station in my kitchen and make the padsicles. I packaged them up in aluminum foil and threw them in the freezer, not knowing my water would break that night and I would be needing the pads a lot sooner than anticipated. I was so happy I made them in advance!
- Gap Nursing Sleep Tops: I live in a cold climate and need to wear long-sleeves at night. These tops from Gap are my favorite because they are so incredibly soft and comfortable. They also make breastfeeding in the middle of the night a breeze. Whip out the boob and away you go!
Note: If you have a larger cup size, you will definitely want a nursing bra you can wear at night. I purchased these ones from Amazon, because they were inexpensive and gave me some extra support.
- Extra Long Phone Charger Cord (Android / iPhone): I don't know what it is about having a baby, but for some reason, your phone is always low on battery. I think it is from the mass amount of pictures and videos you take to document all of their firsts. It could also be from the large number of texts, phone calls and social media notifications you get right after having your baby. I constantly had my phone plugged into an outlet in the living room, where I set up shop for the first few weeks postpartum.
- Manual Breast Pump: Why I didn't purchase this sooner is a mystery to me. Around the time Silas was nine months old, Seth and I went to Nashville for an adults-only weekend. Because I was still breastfeeding, I needed to pump on my trip. I planned to bring my electric pump, but I did not want to haul it around to the bars with us. Someone recommended I get a manual breast pump and it was a lifesaver. While we were out and about, I would occasionally slip off to the bathroom and use my manual pump. I didn't have to worry about plugging anything in or hauling around a big bag. The manual pump is small and doesn't take up a lot of room in my purse.
- Hands-Free Pumping Bra: If you are pumping, you will want a way to use your hands to multitask. This bra is awesome, as it holds your pump pieces in place so you can eat food, scroll your newsfeed or simply pet your dog at the same time. (I might add, this was Calvin and Winnie's favorite first-year item too!)
- Baby Wrap Carrier: This was another hands-free favorite. Babies love to be swaddled and close to their mommas during those first few weeks, and this wrap does the trick. This one is soft and really easy to use. Silas was able to snuggle up and stay close to me, while I got a few things done around the house.
- Ergobaby Carrier: Another carrier that we loved during the first year and still love today! This one is a little more durable and better for trips outside of the house. It also can be used longer than the cloth carrier, because it is adaptable to a growing baby. When the baby is an infant, you wear them in the front. As they get bigger, you transition them to the back. We used this carrier when we went to Basilica Block Party (an outdoor concert), the X Games and the Minnesota State Fair. You need the infant insert for younger infants who have limited head and neck control.
- Coffee. An endless supply of coffee. And a glass of wine doesn't hurt. :)
There you have it! I'm sure I will continue to edit this list as I think of things (Mom Brain is REAL, people!). If you are a mom and reading this, please comment with some of your favorite first-year items. Knowledge is power!
Stay tuned for a list of my favorite first-year baby items!
Photo Credit to the amazingly talented: Gabe Photography
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