Since I gave birth to Rhett, I have gotten a lot of questions about what is truly needed in those first few weeks at home. I thought it would be best to compile all postpartum essentials for mom and baby here in this post!
Today I’m covering everything from recovery essentials (mostly for vaginal birth, but some applicable to C-section as well!), things to help with breastfeeding, things that we found to be essential for the babe and more. I hope this is helpful for any new moms or soon-to-be new mamas out there!
In case you missed it, check out my recent post Postpartum Truths That No One Warns You About if you want to be REALLY prepared. ; )
PS: this post does contain affiliate links, which means I earn commission if you purchase something using my link. Thank you for supporting my small business! Most of these can be found on my Amazon page HERE under the “postpartum” or “baby items” list. If you are currently pregnant, check out my “pregnancy” list, also!
In case you didn’t know, you will have a lot of bleeding in the first couple of weeks after you deliver, whether you had a vaginal birth or C-section, as your body rids itself of extra tissue that was needed during pregnancy, called “lochia”. So your baby won’t be the only one in diapers — how fun! ; )
Here are some things that I found to be SUPER helpful during that time.
Yes, you can use the mesh undies + large pads from the hospital, but these are SO MUCH BETTER. They’re extremely comfortable. If I’m being very honest, I would layer a large pad inside of the diaper and then just change the pad throughout the day as needed so I didn’t go through as many diapers. I probably wore these for the first 3 weeks? And then transitioned to underwear (linked below) plus large pads, down to pantiliners, then nothing.
I got small/medium in these, which is my true size. You can also find these at CVS/Walgreens or Target, etc.
Upside Down Peri Bottle:
This one is A MUST HAVE. Way better than the one you get in the hospital. Truly saved my life in the first few weeks.
Perineal Ice Packs:
Take some of these home from the hospital if you can, but if you need more, these are awesome.
Witch Hazel Pads:
These are basically the same as TUCKS pads but I could never find those on Amazon Prime and when you have a newborn and can’t go anywhere, you want things quickly lol. I used these in the hospital and in the first few weeks postpartum at home. You put a few of them in your underwear (or adult diaper) and they are nice and cooling and provide some relief.
This was provided at the hospital, but if you need more, here ya go.
Unfortunately, hemorrhoids are common and they are a real b*tch. You will get stool softener in the hospital but you should 10000% continue taking it at home, haha. (Of course, consult your doctor, but just sayin’.)
essentials for mom: clothing
In those first couple of weeks, all you will want to wear is COZY attire. For me, it was the dead of winter so I lived in sweatshirts, sweatpants, a robe and slippers. Except I also had major temperature fluctuations so sometimes I was in nothing but leggings and a nursing bra, lol. You’ll see. : )
In the first week or so I continued to wear my maternity joggers & leggings, so if you are currently pregnant and don’t already have these, highly recommend. I have my true size small in both. SO SO comfy.
I started wearing these nursing bras during my pregnancy when my normal bras got too tight, and I continue to wear them now while breastfeeding. They are really comfy and affordable, and work great for BF and easily snap on and off. I normally wear a 34D/32DD and I got XL in these.
Now that you’re a mama, you’re going to want this sweatshirt. 🙂 It’s so cute and cozy! Also makes a great gift for any of your new mom friends. I sized up to a large for an oversized fit.
High Waisted Underwear
Once you transition out of adult diapers, get this underwear. So many people have gotten these and absolutely love them, including me! Great for postpartum whether you had a vaginal delivery OR C-section.
Aerie Real Me Leggings
Once you’re ready to move out of maternity leggings, these Aerie leggings are amazing. So soft and comfy AND stretchy. I recommend getting the ones with pockets because when you have a baby, it’s nice to be able to stick your phone, chapstick, whatever in your pocket!
postpartum essentials for mom: food & Drink
I think you will find that the hunger and thirst are REAL in those first few weeks, so you will want all the quick and easy meals, as well as all the beverages to keep you hydrated.
Body Armor Drinks
I loved these Body Armor drinks throughout pregnancy since there were only so many things I could drink, haha. They taste amazing! I go with the “lyte” ones with no added sugar and peach mango is my fav. You can find them pretty much anywhere, and on Amazon.
Daily Harvest Frozen Meals/Smoothies
I have been a Daily Harvest affiliate for a few years now and I genuinely love their products. They are all frozen and made with healthy, whole foods. I especially love their smoothies, bites and harvest bowls. I shared all of my favorites in this post.
My Daily Harvest code is wellnessforthewin for $25 off your order! These are just really clutch to have in the freezer for something quick and nutritious when you need it!
We recently started getting Evolve meal prepped meals and they are honestly a life saver some weeks. Ethan is back to work so these have been great for his work lunches, and great for me on days at home when we don’t have any leftovers to eat and I need something quick. They are healthy and they have tons of options to choose from. We’ve really enjoyed all of them and I also love their granola and “paleo bites”.
Ethan and I have become obsessed with Liquid IV products in the past few months. They taste great and make it easier to get your fluids, and they are extra hydrating. Our favorite flavor is probably lemon lime, then passionfruit, then guava. We have some strawberry on the way and I’ve heard that is amazing, too!
WELLNESSFORTHEWIN gets you 25% off and free shipping. #affiliate
If you are wanting to make any freezer meals before your maternity leave, here are some recipes I think would work great!
- Easy Black Bean Chicken Enchiladas
- Chicken Enchilada Bake
- Lasagna Roll-Ups
- Crockpot Lasagna
- Healthy Banana Bread
- Healthy Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Healthy Carrot Pumpkin Muffins
- Blueberry Pecan Oatmeal Bake OR Pumpkin Spice Banana Baked Oatmeal
Breast Pump: Elvie
I decided to go with the Elvie wearable pump and I have zero regrets. It is amazing and so worth the price for the convenience, in my opinion. I’m working on an Elvie FAQ post, but in the meantime, check it out at the link below and see my “Elvie” highlight on IG.
This was a major recommendation from other mamas during my pregnancy. To be honest, I don’t use this thing nearly enough, but a lot of people have said it has helped them build up their freezer stash. I think I’ll use it more when I go back to work and Rhett is at daycare – I just feel like I don’t have a lot of spare time to stick it on right now, and don’t really find it feasible to wear while BF. But when I have used it, it is a great way to collect a few ounces in a pretty short time with minimal pieces to clean! Not to mention, it’s super cheap.
Trust me, you do not need any burp cloths besides these. They are so soft and super affordable. We have probably 20 of them and they are all over the house, haha. Highly, highly recommend!
Breastfeeding Pillow – My Brest Friend
I can’t imagine breastfeeding without this pillow. It is the BEST. It helps get both of us into an ideal position and also provides back support. Absolutely recommend this to all breastfeeding mamas.
My Brest Friend foot stool
The same brand makes this footstool and someone recommended it to me and I’m SO glad they did. This helps me get him up a little higher so I’m not bending way over and breaking my neck and back every time I breastfeed. Very ergonomically friendly! 🙂 So worth the $25.
At first I was using disposable nursing pads, but that felt super wasteful, so I switched to these and I really like them! They are soft and comfortable and machine washable.
Thankfully we don’t need the nipple shield anymore, but there was a short time in the first few weeks of Rhett’s life that he was really struggling to latch to my left side. I just happened to have a nipple shield on hand that someone gifted to me at one of my showers, and it was the only thing that got him to latch during that period of time. They are so affordable that it doesn’t hurt to have one on hand just in case you need it. Once he got a little bigger and stronger and we had more practice with BF, we were able to wean off of it! (Obviously consider talking to a lactation consultant for help if you can, and for sizing.)
I wasn’t super partial to any particular nipple creams to be honest. I used some little sample packets of lanolin that they sent home from the hospital with me, as well as the prescription ointment because I definitely needed that in the first week or two. I also did like this Earth Mama organic nipple butter and it was highly recommended to me also. Thankfully at about 4 weeks on I didn’t really need to use anything on my nipples anymore. If you’re in the first couple weeks, I promise they will not feel raw and painful forever!!!
Breastmilk Freezer Bags
These are the breast milk storage bags I’ve been using for my freezer stash. I really like them because they are really strong and seal securely. However, the measurements on them are way wrong. I just use one of his bottles to measure the ounces before pouring into the bag, which is easy enough.
postpartum essentials for baby
Below I am listing a bunch of items that we have found essential in these first few months and use on a daily basis.
Surprise! You need a sh*t ton of diapers — pun intended. ; ) Especially in the beginning when they go through like 12 a day. Rhett was in newborn diapers for 4-5 weeks I think? Now he is 8 weeks and still in size 1, but might be moving up soon.
We love Huggies the most, but recently tried the diapers from ALDI and actually LOVE those, too! Super soft and stretchy. Pampers is not my fav, personally.
Again, tried the Little Journey wipes from ALDI and really liked those! They are 99% water and hypoallergenic. Our other favorite wipes are Water Wipes. I buy this huge pack on Amazon.
ALL you will want to put your baby in the first few months is sleepers with a zipper. Rhett was either in a diaper covered with a blanket, or in one of these outfits. So easy and they come in lots of cute styles! Most importantly, they’re super affordable. I’d just get a few 4-packs of these in newborn size and then a few in 0-3 month. You do NOT need a ton of newborn clothes because they don’t last long.
These are also the best because they have little fold over mittens, which is super nice in beginning to protect them from scratching their little faces!
Check out my Baby Registry post here for links to these other items below.
- Loungers: we have the Snuggle Me organic and the Boppy lounger. We love and use both. Sometimes it depends on his mood as far as which one he likes to lay in. If you just want to go with one, I’d choose the Boppy, but we do really love both.
- Bassinet: we have and love the Halo
- Baby monitor: we LOVE this one. The picture is super clear, the screen is big, it’s easy to use, good battery life.
- Sound machine: get the portable sound machine AND the Hatch (which you can control from your phone – so nice!). We use the portable sound machine in his bassinet at night and the Hatch is in his crib in the nursery
- Swaddles: he sleeps in the Halo swaddle overnight and Love to Dream swaddle for naps during the day. He really likes both!
- Burp cloths: mentioned above
- Dr. Brown’s bottles: these are the only bottles he’s ever used, but we have never had a problem with him taking them. A lot of my mom friends recommended them to me during pregnancy and said they were the only ones their babies liked, so that’s what I decided to go with and thankfully it has gone well! (We introduced bottle at 3 weeks after BF was well established per our ped’s recs!)
- Baby bum brush + Aquaphor baby: I use these to put on his bum to prevent diaper rash
- Diaper pail
- Pack & play: we haven’t used ours much yet since he sleeps in bassinet overnight and naps in his crib now during the day, but this will be very nice to have for travel!
- Lovevery play gym: we use this every single day and he loves it!
- Electric nail trimmer – this thing is amazing! You need it. Doesn’t hurt them at all, so no tears ever when trimming his nails!
- Swing – my brother and SIL let us borrow their swing and we absolutely love it. Or I should say, Rhett loves it. It’s a life saver sometimes when he is super fussy! And this is a lot more affordable than other swings out there.
- Bath tub
- Baby carrier – this one is super comfortable, affordable and easy to put on
- Car seat/stroller – we’ve been really happy with ours!
- Backseat mirror
- Dresser with changing station and/or portable diaper station
- ALLLLLL of the books! Our faves are Brown Bear, Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You!?, Goodnight Moon, 8 Silly Monkeys, and lots more!
Check out my “baby list” on my Amazon page for links to tons of items in case I missed anything!
I hope this list of postpartum essentials for mom and baby is helpful for those of you trying to prepare for motherhood! 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions!