While I was pregnant I did a ton of reading. I read a lot about pregnancy, but didn’t spend much time reading about what to expect postpartum. While every baby is going to be different, it’s nice to have an idea about this transition. I’ve provided a list of some of my favorite books that include information about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and child development. Please don’t feel like you need to read all of these. More information isn’t always better when it comes to motherhood. If you trust your gut on most things, you’ll be great.
My midwives gave me a list of items to have on hand for the postpartum period. Thank goodness they did, because things like sitz bath spray and maternity pads were essential in keeping me comfortable. Here are a few of my favorite products that may be beneficial for you to have on hand after baby arrives. This way you can spend more time relaxing and enjoying your new addition instead of running last-minute errands.
When (and if) you have time to clean, I recommend products that use plant and mineral-based ingredients without harsh chemicals. I personally use the line of products from Branch Basics. I love their multi-purpose soap concentrate that can be used for virtually anything, including laundry detergent.
Branch Basics Products (25% off your purchase with this link)
Once you have a handle on what you’re putting in your body, it’s a great idea to consider what you’re putting on your body. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Like your diet, you want to choose beauty products that are as close to nature as possible.
Acure Organics (skincare)
Fat Face (skincare)
TastyFace Organics (skincare)
100% Pure (cosmetics)
You’ll want your baby’s car seat installed well ahead of time, and ideally properly inspected once installed. Purchasing a car seat is something you’ll want to research. Some families choose to skip the portable infant car seat and only buy a convertible car seat. Below are the car seats Melissa and I purchased, along with some other travel essentials I found helpful.
Your newborn will typically sleep around 16-17 hours a day. Since they spend so much time time sleeping, this was an area where I decided to splurge. We went with organic and less toxic (free of flame retardants and other harmful VOCs) sleep gear. You can spend a fortune on a beautiful crib, but you really don’t need to. We chose a less expensive crib and spent more money on an organic mattress and sheets. Regardless of your choice, you’ll want a comfortable place to let your baby rest while you rest.
Many babies will sleep best when snuggled up close to mom. I wore my son all of the time when he was little. In fact, he took most of his naps in the Ergo the first few months. I was able to get some “me” time in by taking a walk while he slept. Wearing your baby can help you get work done around the house and may be a necessity if you have more than one child. As a bonus, it can even be a strength workout! There are so many options out there for babywearing devices. The best option for you will depend on things like your height, weight, and the size of your baby. While I loved the Ergo, the Moby wrap is a great option for newborns and lots of moms swear by the Tula. See if any of your friends or local shops have carriers you can try out before making a purchase.
You’ll want to have a mini health kit ready for your little one. Here are a few of the products I had handy when Otto was born. I’ve also added a few helpful teething products.
There are many great options for bottles and breast pumps, but here are the items I found to be the most helpful. This list includes products for the first few months of infant feeding, along with products that I loved for introducing solids.
We used disposable diapers (Honest Company during the day, Bamboo Nature at night due to higher absorbency) during the first few months and then switched to cloth. I wanted to reduce any extra work during the first few months, but ultimately wanted to reduce the long-term cost and excess waste associated with disposable diapers. Since I wanted to keep things as easy and cost-efficient as possible, I chose an all-in-one, one-size diaper that would fit my baby for an extended period of time. I’ve also provided a list of other diapering products that are more natural and perfect for sensitive skin.
Honest Company Diapers ($10 off your purchase with this link)
Your baby’s favorite toy is you, so you won’t need a ton of toys. Tummy time is key, so I’ve provided an example of the activity mat we used. I’ve also included a few swings and bouncers as these nice options to soothe your newborn and give you a well-deserved break.
We waited until Otto’s umbilical cord stem fell off to bathe him. The first few baths I actually got in the tub with him and held him close. Here are two great options for your baby to bathe independently as well as my favorite baby soaps and lotion.
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