11 Newborn & Postpartum Items I Wish I’d Known About For Baby #1

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Update: These past couple of weeks (five, to be exact), all I’ve been doing is prioritizing. In other words, all I’ve been doing is cuddling with my little guy. He’s all about skin to skin and eating (and, by that, I mean every hour or two during the day), so my routine has pretty much been focused on his needs alone. I’m lucky if I can even shower most days! The hardest part about new motherhood, the second time, is making sure the needs of both your children are met. Liam has been a bit difficult at times, as we expected, mostly because he senses that we need to “split” our time between the two of them. Making sure he gets enough attention, especially when Joe is working a long shift at the firehouse, has been my biggest challenge so far.

I know I often write posts about items I swear by–and this time is no different–however, this time, I thought long and hard about the items that I really have been using nonstop since Noah has entered our lives. New motherhood is not easy, and it’s comforting to know that I have some staples to depend on at home.

I wanted to make this post about baby, but also about me – because coming into the world is a huge adjustment (obviously), but being a new mom of two and recovering from childbirth is no joke, either. We need all the help we can get – I’m sure that’s something we can all agree on!

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Sometimes nursing bras really suck. High cut, bulky, not really cute… These Caramel Cantina bralettes aren’t actually nursing bras, but are just as convenient in terms of slipping on and off. They also have no underwire, which has become a must for me as a busy mom. I love them!

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I mentioned a while ago that, ever since getting off birth control in 2015 and getting pregnant, I have been experiencing on and off hormonal acne. It’s been tough because, as a breastfeeding mom, I haven’t been able to use anything strong enough to get rid of it once and for all.

Well… now that I’ve found the brand TreeActiv, I’ve been able to prevent most of my “time of the month” breakouts. Their line ranges from skincare to hair and household products, but I can only speak from experience about their Acne Eliminating Facial Cleanser and Acne Eliminating Face Cream. The combo makes for such a deep clean and I’ve become obsessed with both products as part of my daily shower/skincare routine.

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I’ve mentioned our awesome SNOO bassinet before, but this one had to make the list again. This is the sturdiest, most high tech bassinet out there! Noah sleeps so much better with white noise and rocking, and the SNOO covers both of these: it gently rocks your baby throughout the night, and has surround sound with white noise that increases/changes if your baby gets fussy throughout the night. This has really helped me figure out if Noah is just fussy/gassy or actually hungry. The “5 Second Swaddle” system is probably my favorite thing about the SNOO, and has made our bedtime routine so effective. The price is up there, but if you think about it, it’s really just six bucks a day… and you can’t put a price tag on a good night’s sleep. I couldn’t recommend it more!

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Little Tinkers World has us covered with the essentials: a super convenient baby brush set, diaper caddy (I literally swear by this thing!), and cozy baby towels. Noah is super sensitive to the cold, and I quickly regretted buying tiny newborn towels that you can’t wrap tightly around your baby. Their bear, lion, and elephant (ours!) towel is so versatile that it can work for toddlers and newborns alike… and they’re so warm and cozy!

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Having a winter baby is very different from a summer one. I can’t say I’m a fan of having a newborn in the winter months, because I am constantly terrified of viruses going around. When we went for our first pediatrician visit, the office was jam packed with feverish toddlers, and Joe and I couldn’t sanitize our hands often enough. We were so paranoid! When the doctor asked that we come back a few days later for a weight check, we knew it was silly if we could order a scale and do it ourselves in our flu-free home. I’m so glad we found this multi-function digital scale by Intu-MedTime, because it transitions into a kid/adult scale once the baby stage is over. It’s been so convenient, and we’ve used it a handful of times already.

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These are just my favorite nursing tops ever. Chic, simple, convenient. You’re welcome.

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Another caddy because I love these things! This one, by Littlest Sweet, is in our bedroom and has saved me many trips to and from the nursery (Noah is still sleeping with us in our room). It has room to fit literally everything and, with a newborn, we all know that’s a necessity.

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Again, I’ve mentioned our organic cotton SnuggleMe before… but it’s one of my favorites. I bring it with me all around the house as I go about our day (I even stick it in our Snoo for naps!), and Noah sleeps so peacefully because of the bumpers. This one’s definitely a must for all new moms!

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I got these battery-operated fans by Gazeled and Perfect 4 You on Amazon for our May trip to Saint Martin because I know how hot afternoons can get in the Caribbean. The fans clip on to strollers and car seats on-the-go, but can also stand on flat surfaces for nap time or outdoor activities. I know we’ll be using these for both of our kiddos every day!

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Force of Nature has revolutionized the way I clean our home, bathroom, toys, highchair, and, basically everything we own. It is a powerful, all-purpose cleaning system that transforms tap water plus a capsule of salt, water & vinegar into a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner & deodorizer as effective as bleach. It can be used on any surface that gets greasy, grimy, sticky, or stinky, and is proven to clean as effectively as conventional cleaners. Only difference is it contains zero fragrances, dyes, preservatives, allergens or irritants. No gloves or rinsing needed, either! It’s gentle enough for baby gear, so I never have to worry about any toxic residue. This one is truly a game changer.

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Meet the activity gym of the future: one that grows with your baby! Created by child development experts, The Play Gym by Lovevery includes five development zones that reveal or conceal to prevent overstimulation and promote brain and motor skill development: learning to focus, making sounds, how things feel, hiding and finding, and exploring colors. It is crafted using 100% baby-safe materials, including FSC-certified wood and organic cotton mouthable accessories. Bonus feature? It converts into a play fort for toddlers.

Mom win!

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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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