now that i’m almost to the other side of the first six weeks of motherhood, i feel like i can look back with clear eyes (albeit tired eyes), and really see what were the things that helped me get through the most.
some of my recommendations are for specific products, but mostly i just wanted to talk about the general things that are so helpful in those first, blurry weeks, and what makes life a little more enjoyable. also, if we’re being honest, i kind of hate when a must haves post includes only specific products, because i feel like it somehow tricks me into thinking that the specific product being talked about is the only product that you can get. and that’s just not the way it is. so this is my version of a must haves post instead.
not included in this list are my amazing family and friends, because we could not have gotten through the first six weeks without all their help, meals, love and support. and as always, i think everyone needs to get themselves their own Mister Man. he’s the best slash i would not be sane and thriving right now without him. that’s real.
1. all the coffee: yes, i drink coffee while i breastfeed. no, i don’t drink a whole pot of it. so keep the judginess in your pants. coffee helps wake me up so i can survive a day full of unknowns. will she cry all day? will she be an angel and nap and be awake in even proportion? will something entirely different happen? will the 5 hours of intermittent sleep be enough to survive? coffee helps with all those things. and because there is a loving, benevolent God above, five days after amelia was born i received a free keurig 2.0 from influenster to review*. the keurig 2.0 can make both k-cups and a 4-cup carafe of coffee, which is perfect for when Mister Man is traveling and i only have one hand to make coffee (going without is not an option). we used to be totally opposed to the idea of a keurig, but the 2.0 has been a lifesaver and we have been converted. don’t even get me started on the fact that i can make my pumpkin spice coffee without annoying my husband now too…
2. nursing tanks: all i wore the first few weeks with the little one were leggings, nursing tanks and either a cardigan or a flannel shirt. i didn’t even own a regular nursing bra, because it seemed too daunting for me. nursing tanks are amazing, because they give a bit of support while being super easy to unhook to feed the baby. and ease is SO IMPORTANT when you are learning those first weeks. my favorite are the nursing tanks from target, they fit well and since they’re inexpensive, you won’t mind getting milk and spit-up all over them.
3. nursing bras: i waited probably too long to get an actual nursing bra, but i’m really glad i did. i had no idea what size to get until about two weeks after the baby was born. to be honest, it’s hard to find a good one, especially when you’re top-heavy (what’s new?). my favorite one so far has been this one from destination maternity*. it’s big enough, it’s SO COMFORTABLE, and it’s really easy to clip in and out of. also, the size guide on the destination maternity website is the best i’ve seen. win all the way.
4. hulu/netflix/amazon prime: you will spend a lot of time feeding your baby, whether by bottle or breastfeeding. and as much fun as it is to just gaze lovingly on your child, you just can’t do that all day and night long. so i highly recommend having a queue of shows/movies lined up on your computer to pass the time. mindless shows like “real housewives” and “dance moms” are awesome because you barely need to pay attention.
5. bath salts: in the first few weeks, you will be a little sore, not only from giving birth but from constantly holding a decent sized human all the time. make time for yourself to take a bath every few days (everyday if possible). if you can add some soaking salts or epsom salts to it, even better. it’s amazing what a soak in the bath, even a short one, can do for your mood and energy levels, even on very little sleep. you can buy epsom salts from your local health food store, and i think target may even be carrying them now.
6. squirt bottle: i mentioned this in my “what to expect after baby” post, but i’ll say it again. the squirt bottle they give you at the hospital is going to be your best friend for a little while, because going to the bathroom is kind of a production and it will make you feel safe. and i’m not going to get into too much detail here, but your other best friends are going to be dulcolax, ibuprofen, and preparation-h pads. sorry about it.
7. yoga pants: i’ve talked before about my favorite athleta pants, but they have never been more amazing than in those first postpartum weeks. i’m not kidding; i live in these now. it feels like i’m living every single mom cliche, but i don’t care. i can throw on these pants with any top, and they’re nice enough that i can leave the house in them, but also comfortable enough that they feel like pajamas. highly recommend. (and now i think maybe i need one of the iwyp shirts to add to my outfit repertoire, what do you think?)
8. quick get-ready routine: if you didn’t have a get ready routine you could do in under ten minutes before you had the baby, this will be a tough one. if you haven’t had a baby yet, this is me warning you: figure out how to get ready and look presentable (whatever that means to you) in under ten minutes. i am really lazy so my normal routine is actually only about 10 minutes, but i need to do it if i’m going to see people, such is the curse of bad skin. trust me on this, you will feel so much better if you feel like you look like the pre-mom version of yourself; it really gives you energy! pro tip: include some good under-eye concealer in that routine…you’ll need it.
mamas out there: what saved your life in the first few weeks with a newborn? i’m still living them, so leave some suggestions in the comments!