Everyone has a list of baby products you need when you’re expecting, but this is meant to supplement a more comprehensive list (like this one from Pregnant Chicken). LISTEN UP!
1. Pumping bra
The inventor of the pumping bra is basically the Diane Von Furstenburg of functional breastwear.
I pumped at the hospital to initiate my milk supply while my babe was in the NICU, and I had to manually hold both pumps to my breasts for 15 minutes every two hours. I thought this was the only way to be.
Enter Amazon. When I discovered this hands-free pumping bra, it was like discovering programmable coffee machines with timers for the very first time: such a thing exists to make your life that much easier?!
2. Comfy nursing dress
I lived in my nursing dress the first month after giving birth. I don’t care how matronly you feel like you look; you’re gonna want to be comfortable and have easy access to your breasts when your newborn wants it every two to three hours around the clock. And dress is a lot more cozy than wearing a tank and pants. Because who wants to wear pants when they’re home?
3. Tinted sunscreen
Washing up in the mornings is frantic when you have a newborn—even if your newborn is sleeping. Because if your newborn wakes up while you’re dawdling around you’re going to feel like you need to drop your toothbrush/hairbrush/makeup brush and cater to him in an instant.
Using tinted sunscreen made me feel even-toned and protected and youthful for the first few nerve-wracking weeks as a first-time mom even though I had no time to glam up. I’d slather it on, tie my hair into a tight top-knot and feel put together. I call this self-care.
4. Waterproof changing pad
Technically, you can change diapers anywhere. Who says you can’t use the floor or the bed? The problem is your baby will probably projectile poop at some point, and you don’t want that lingering in the ultra-fine fibers of your carpet or sheets. (If you have a boy, good luck keeping your furniture dry when his penis turns into a garden sprinkler. Into your face.)
A changing pad, therefore, although a modern luxury, is necessary. Keep your stuff clean and make clean-up a breeze.
5. Bottle cleaner brush
I took a breastfeeding class and read at least five books with breastfeeding chapters and nobody mentioned bottle cleaning. Maybe because it’s common sense? Apparently not to me. Most of us already have bottle brushes for regular dishes, but get a separate one for your baby lest you contaminate his bottles with your gross week-old lasagna.
6. Lactation consultant*
I would’ve never thought someone who specializes only in breastfeeding could make a viable living, but now I humbly understand: they are CRUCIAL. Because they are not just breast experts. They are not milk experts. They are experts on how to GIVE LIFE to your newborn baby. Most lactation consultants are a few hundred dollars for 60-90 minutes, but they’re worth every penny.
I was lucky enough to have a postpartum doula who had lactation knowledge and coached me until my baby was feeding efficiently. But if she wasn’t around I definitely would’ve hired a lactation consultant. Don’t cringe at the cost—just do it. Trust.
7. Postpartum doula*
For the above reason. But also if you value sleep and would like some in the first week or two.
*These are people, not items. I know.