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Baby on the Way? Gear Up with the Essential Stuff Parents Need

Pregnant mother in a nursery

Fifteen years ago, I was a new mom sitting on a hospital bed. I just gave birth 24 hours ago when the nurse handed me my daughter. She was wrapped in a tight bundle, all red in the face but beautiful. A wave of panic swept over me the moment she was placed in my arms. Can I do this? Are you sure you’re trusting me with something so precious? Do I have all the stuff parents need to survive this stage?

I was overwhelmed, sore, and tired. But when those tiny lips opened into the most adorable yawn, I knew I’d do everything to make this work. Two more amazing kids later, I still experienced trepidation after I realized how hard parenting can be. Do you know what helped me navigate the journey a bit better? It is knowing that I have the real essentials in my corner. 

We’ve asked seasoned parents and dug deep into the internet to discover what a new mom and dad need to survive the whirlwind days and sleepless nights. We have narrowed them down to the essentials and practical options. We know that the last thing a parent needs at this point is to add clutter to their busy life.

checklist for stuff parents need

Breastfeeding Essentials for the First-Time Mom

mom breastfeeding baby

Beyond its physiological significance, breastfeeding encapsulates the profound beauty of a mother and baby connection. It can be trying at times, but the benefits are totally worth it. To help nursing mothers navigate this journey, we’ve listed first-time mom essentials for breastfeeding.

Nursing Bra

A mom can’t go wrong with a nursing bra made from breathable fabrics. A well-designed one provides essential support and simplifies breastfeeding with easy-to-open flaps.

Nipple Cream

This soothing balm helps alleviate the soreness that comes with breastfeeding. Lanolin-based or hypoallergenic options can ensure your nipple cream is safe for both mom and baby. 

Nipple Shield

When sensitivity becomes a challenge, a nipple shield becomes a lifesaver. This silicone accessory provides a protective barrier, easing discomfort during breastfeeding. It’s best that moms consult a lactation expert to ensure how to use the gadget properly.

Breast Pump

A reliable breast pump allows mothers to express milk when direct nursing isn’t feasible. There are manual or electric pumps that answers a mom’s preferences and needs. It helps maintain a consistent milk supply, giving her the freedom to navigate the demands of parenthood. 

Breastmilk Storage

The best option are breastmilk storage bags or containers that are both convenient and hygienic. The precious liquid gold remains nutritious and ready for the baby even when mom is not around to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Pillow

A breastfeeding pillow is one of the first time mom must haves that I swear by. This supportive cushion cradles the baby at the perfect height for nursing but reduces strain on the back and shoulders. A pillow with a washable cover is best for an easy clean-up. 

Breastfeeding Chair

Whether a rocking chair, glider, or simply a cozy armchair, the right seat can enhance the bonding experience with the baby. The ideal space for it would be in a quiet corner so mom can enjoy the calm and soothing moments that breastfeeding brings.

Postpartum Recovery Essentials

woman's skin care routine

As a mom settles into her postpartum recovery, she must also take care of her well-being. These first time mom must haves will help them through this chapter, offering comfort and care following the baby’s arrival.

Perineal Care Products

Many soothing perineal sprays or balms contain natural ingredients like witch hazel or aloe vera. They can help alleviate inflammation and promote healing and rejuvenation in the delicate area.

Basic Skincare

A mild, fragrance-free cleanser and a rich, hypoallergenic moisturizer can be a great addition to a new mom’s daily ritual. Remember, the simpler the routine, the better.  

Comfortable Postpartum Clothing

woman wearing a robe

A mother’s wardrobe will change alongside other aspects of her parenting journey. Fortunately, a new mom can now have many fashionable options that do the job. 

Nursing Tops

Nursing tops seamlessly blend comfort and functionality. Designs with discreet nursing openings can provide easy access for feeding. No mom wouldn’t want to be fumbling with buttons while the baby is fussy. Soft, breathable fabrics are a mother’s best friend, especially during the warm months. 

Robe

Amid the frenzy of mom duties, a robe can be a comforting embrace. The best options are lightweight, breathable pieces that effortlessly accommodates the changing body. Whether momma’s attending to her baby’s needs or indulging in moments of self-care, a robe becomes a versatile companion.

Real Essentials for a Day-out with Baby

woman breastfeeding

A day out with the baby can get pretty chaotic. Hauling all the stuff that baby needs can be a daunting task. The following tools can make the trip to the park or grandma’s house as manageable as possible.

Stylish Diaper Bags

Gone are the days of utilitarian diaper bags – enter stylish companions that effortlessly blend fashion and practicality. Sleek backpacks or elegant totes, with ample compartments can carry essential baby gear with flair.

Nursing Cover

With their stylish patterns and lightweight fabrics, these thoughtfully designed covers provide a graceful cocoon for mother and baby. A nursing cover allows moms to nurse confidently while maintaining privacy.

Baby Carrier

Carriers with breathable fabrics that can cradle the little one securely are the best options. From vibrant wraps to structured carriers, these accessories redefine mobility. It allows first-time moms to carry their babies gracefully while keeping their hands free for the tasks of parenthood.

New Mom Must Haves: Entertainment Essentials

two women on a podcast

I have breastfed for a total of 7 years. One of the things that I learned during my journey is that one feeding session can last for hours. When the baby is awake, it’s the time to look into their eyes or talk to them. But it’s a different story when they fall asleep. This pocket of time is an opportunity to get entertainment, learn something new, or relax.

Podcasts

This platform can be an excellent companion during those long feeding hours. It’s entertainment and information in one auditory package. Here are some of the podcasts that I love listening to. 

Marriage and Martinis

Moms who miss hearing stories about married life from their fellow parents over margaritas would love this podcast. The hosts, a married couple, and their guests humorously dish out the ups and downs of marriage. 

NPR’s Life Kit: Parenting

As parents, we have a myriad of concerns – from difficult topics such as infant illnesses to lighthearted ones like baby toys. This podcast serves as a parenting guide of sorts. Created by child and parenting experts responsible for Sesame Street, it offers scientific-backed insights on various issues close to our hearts.

The Mom Hour

It can be comforting to know that we’re not alone in this parenting journey. This podcast offers sincere encouragement and practical advice mothers would appreciate. The hosts, moms with kids from preschoolers to teenagers, share their triumphs and struggles. They also interview guests who are experts in this parenting game. 

Books

book on parenting

One of my sources of entertainment during my breastfeeding journey was reading. I remember going through a whole box of old Reader’s Digest while nursing my babies to sleep. I also devoured the What to Expect books from cover to cover. In today’s digital age, it helps to allot some time to enjoy books. The long hours of breastfeeding will help moms do just that.

The Wonder Weeks

This book will help moms unlock the secrets to a baby’s behavior and brain development. It gives insights into milestones and the challenges that go with them, such as sleep regression. Parents may also want to check out the 2019 edition which includes the first 20 months of a child’s life.

Enough About the Baby

Mothers go through so many changes the moment she finds out she’s pregnant. Adjusting to an unchartered territory with a newborn can really take a toll on any woman. This book offers the real deal on motherhood, the raw truth and all. No topic is off-limits as it covers everything from constipation to intrusive relatives. 

What to Expect the First Year

My companion during all my pregnancies was “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. I remember reading it from cover to cover. So when my first baby was born I knew I had to get “What to Expect the First Year”. It became my go-to resource even if the internet was just within my reach. I don’t know why, but this book gives me comfort – it’s like having a child development expert over for tea.

First-Time Dad Essentials

dad using a baby carrier

Navigating the uncharted territory of fatherhood is an extraordinary journey. First-time dads require a toolkit that goes beyond the conventional. As they step into the role of caregiver and bonding buddy, specific essentials tailored to their needs become pivotal. Let’s explore the must-haves that are practical and stylish, perfect for the first time dad.

Diaper Bags for Dads

Diaper duty takes on a new level of sophistication with bags crafted specifically for dads. No longer relegated to the sidelines, these carryalls are functional and stylish. There are several options, including sleek backpacks and messenger bags. Most of the time, these designs have compartments and sturdy handles for on-the-go diaper changes. 

Organizing Pouches 

Organizing pouches can streamline the process of diaper changing. Specifically designed for dads, these pouches provide designated spaces for creams, wipes, and other essentials, ensuring that every item is within arm’s reach. No more fumbling amid diaper duty; these pouches offer a solution to keep things organized and stress-free.

Dad-Friendly Baby Carriers

Fathers can forge an intimate bond with their little ones through babywearing, and dad-friendly baby carriers make this experience seamless. Ergonomic pieces with adjustable straps, and neutral colors are perfect for stylish, hands-free bonding.

Dad’s Chair for the Nursery

In the nursery, a dad chair becomes more than just a piece of furniture – it’s a sanctuary for bonding with the baby. A great option would be a comfortable, supportive chair that can last until the child’s older years. 

Nursery Stuff Parents Need

As first-time parents, it can be exciting to embark on creating this sacred space. A thoughtful selection of nursery essentials transforms a room into a haven of comfort and security.

Changing Table

The changing table can be a hub for countless diaper changes. Parents should opt for a sturdy, well-designed model with ample storage to keep diapers, wipes, and creams within easy reach. 

Storage Solutions

Storage solutions can tame the ever-looming clutter beast. From charming baskets to practical shelving units, these storage options ensure that toys, clothes, and baby essentials find a designated home. They can be an organized oasis for all the stuff parents need so mom and dad can navigate the nursery with ease. 

Diaper Bins

The humble diaper bin can help maintain freshness in the nursery. A bin with odor-trapping features can banish unwanted odors, transforming diaper changes into a pleasant experience for both parents and baby.

Baby Monitors

Baby monitors bring peace of mind to first-time parents. A reliable monitor can provide both audio and video surveillance. This gadget can keep a vigilant eye and ear on the little one, fostering a sense of security and connection.

Baby -proofing Essentials

Parents can extend the shield of protection with nursery baby-proofing essentials. It’s best to install baby-proof locks on drawers, secure furniture to walls, and cover electrical outlets. These subtle yet crucial measures safeguard the home and create a secure environment as the baby grows.

Stuff Parents Need: Technology

mom using a phone

Between caring for a baby, managing a household, and work, parents have tons on their plates. It’s easy to overlook and miss out on things. However, tasks like going to the doctor or taking medicines should be on top of the list. The good thing is that mom and dad can organize their lives with a gadget that we almost all have: our phones. 

Google Keep

This app is for people who live for notes and lists like me. It is part of the Google Suite so it’s free and easily accessible. It enables note-taking and categorizing. For example, one can have a folder for “baby,” “finances,” and “home”. Parents can include lists, texts, audio files, and images and share them with other users.  

Todoist

This popular “to-do” list app allows users to write down their tasks and nest them within one another. It can separate work and personal duties. Mom and dad can set -up recurring tasks like doctor’s visits or tummy time. Parents can get a reminder for all the tasks they have set up ensuring there are no missed appointments or bills. 

Pocket

Moms are excellent researchers. They can get to the bottom of things using their exceptional internet sleuthing powers. On the other hand, dads love a good article about anything under the sun. However, having so much information(and bookmark tabs) can be overwhelming, This app allows users to save and organize articles, recipes, and think pieces in one place. Gone are the days of sending links to oneself just to save a good read. 

Get Ready With Us

As new parents stand on the brink of a remarkable parenting adventure, they must remember that the stuff parents need is not just tools. They can also be sources of comfort, joy, and connection. They are the silent witnesses to the beautiful chaos that is family life. 

So mom and dad, we invite you to dish out your experiences, thoughts, and must-have essentials with our vibrant parenting community. The journey awaits, and we’re here to walk it with you!

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