Newborn and Postpartum First Week Must Haves

You’ll find thousands of these lists online, but I figured I might as well share mine too! I was so grateful for these items, I’d like to think I might help out even one other person with this list.

I was lucky to have friends share some useful tips with me, I also read many lists online that gave me an idea of what I might need, so this is compiled of a mixture of the two.

These are the things we found integral in the first few weeks and months of Maisie’s life, divided into things for baby and things for mum. The things for mum are mostly to do with the first days postpartum with the bleeding, the milk production and the pain, so if you’re squeamish, skim over those parts.

Things for baby:

Velcro swaddles (I loved the Halo sleep sack and the Summer Infant swaddle -it took a while for Maisie to settle into them but once she did she wouldn’t sleep at night without one!)

Bassinet (we borrowed a Halo swivel bassinet in Vancouver and then a Chicco next to me bedside crib in Southport and loved them both!)

Swivelling car seat (we now have the Maxi Cosi Pebble 360 after having an older [non 360] Maxi Cosi car seat in Vancouver, and it’s so good! It’s pretty tricky as a newbie getting car seats in cars with the angles you have to work at – this takes that element away by being able to load the car seat in facing you then swivel it into position. Ideal for the early days with all the aches and pains, and awesome for when babies start getting heavier too!)

Stroller (choosing a stroller [/pushchair/pram/whatever you want to call it] absorbed me for many an evening during pregnancy – I wanted to make sure we got what was best for us as it was going to be something we would use for years! We went into a baby store and had a tour of all the different brands and models and got to look at basket size/weight capacity/handle height etc It was really helpful as one that was high on my list was on sale, but seeing it in person we found out it had a low crossbar that Tom kicked every time he walked! We settled on the Uppababy Cruz V2 and are so happy with it. We got the infant snug seat insert which meant we could use it from day one, and it’ll fit Maisie til she won’t need a stroller any more, so it’s a long term investment! It’s really comfy to push around, was awesome at the airport, and Maisie is generally pretty happy in it, so top marks!

Beluga baby wrap (I love how stretchy and breathable it is. I’m a hot bodied person and it turns out Maisie is too. But she loves being cuddled and this wrap enabled me to do things with her still being right there with me. Was a great way to get her to sleep in big crying moments too.

Cushioned change mat (friends gave us a high sided cushion change mat that had a fleece cover – during the first couple of weeks, Maisie wasn’t keen on sleeping, she’d only sleep with my hand on her chest and woke frequently. I ended up sleeping on the sofa with her a few times, and she’d sleep on the change mat. Now we love the high sides because she ROLLS when we try and change her and this kind of makes it easier…)

Kimono gowns/onesies/body suits (dressing Maisie in the early days was hard – she hated clothes, particularly when they were going over the head! We discovered kimono style tops and onesies and they were so so much easier to get her into. I loved these Parade organic ones.)

Receiving blankets / muslin squares / burp cloths (we were gifted a bunch of these and I thought it was over the top how many we had, but Maisie was a very spit up-y baby, and I very quickly realised we needed all of them! Having them to hand at all times was integral.)

Things for mum:

Maternity bras (I swapped to these around 6 months pregnant, I tried Bravado and have stuck with them so far. I like this one for night time, and these ones for day time. I’ve never worn a bra at night, but with the milk leakage, a bra is a must to hold the breast pads in place!)

Breast pads (I initially bought some cotton reusable ones, but they had no waterproofing so they just soaked through. I swapped to Avent ones, then in the UK to Lansinoh. Now that my milk supply has levelled out, I’ve found some reusable ones that work pretty well!)

Disposable undies (for the first week or two there’s quite a lot of bleeding, I found it was so much more comfortable to just wear disposable undies rather than having to use pads – purely for the absorbency. I used these Always ones!)

FridaMom padsicles (I bought one pack of eight the day after we got home and they turned out to be such a relief-giving treat! They’re pricey so I just used one a day, but I HIGHLY recommend them!)

Tucks pads (there’s mixed reviews on these online but I figured I’d check them out. They’re witch hazel so offer some relief from swelling. I’d recommend them for when you don’t want to snap open another Padsicle!)

Peri bottle (the hospital provided us with one but it was just a squeeze bottle, I bought a FridaMom one and it was so much better. I used it pretty much every time I went to the loo for the first two/three weeks – such a necessary item in the postpartum bathroom!)

Sitz bath with Epsom salts, witch hazel & eucalyptus essential oil (a friend gave me all the bits for this, and the hospital gave me a sitz bath and OH MY GOSH, postpartum would’ve been so much worse without this. I used it after a shower and before bed and it just brings so much pain relief. Highly highly recommend.)

Ibuprofen, paracetamol/acetaminophen & stool softener (these are given to you at the hospital and the nurses make sure you’re taking them at the right intervals. I cannot stress enough how much you’ll want to carry that on once you leave! I had stocked up on the painkillers but doubted I’d need the stool softener, so we ended up going to a pharmacy the day after coming home because I was so nervous about how painful it was going to be… just get the stool softeners and take them – it’s one of those where it’s better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them!!!)

Suction breast bump (I’m not sure I used this in the first few weeks but the first time I got a blocked duct this was the saviour item – filled with warm water and a few spoons of salt, and applied to the boob, repeated a couple times a day, it quickly unclogged the duct. It’s also great for building a small supply of breastmilk for the fridge or freezer – it’s not recommended to use an electric pump til you’re about 6 weeks pp so this is great! The haakaa is the original brand but I have a Dr Browns one which came with a bottle and it’s great!)

Netflix/Disney +/Apple TV (highly recommend Ted Lasso, Moana & Derry Girls for middle of the night wakings & daytime feeds. I watched SO much tv in the first few months because I spent so much time feeding and having my newborn sleep on me I had to keep myself awake/occupied somehow!)

Baby prep classes (this one is a personal choice but we signed up because we felt a bit clueless as to what to expect in labour and the first weeks at home, and this was such a valuable investment! Not only did we learn a lot about what to expect in labour & delivery, we also got to meet a bunch of other people in the same position and we have a WhatsApp group now where we still chat about where our babies are up to and ask advice from one another. Unfortunately we had to do it on zoom due to the pandemic, but we enjoyed the class we took.)

Huckleberry app (this is a free app with the option of subscriptions unlocking extras. In the first weeks I used it to monitor every wet/dirty diaper and also feeds – how long and which side. This was so helpful as I didn’t have to remember how many wet diapers Maisie was having each day or which boob she last fed from which is really helpful when you’re sleep deprived! After about six weeks I started using it for Maisie’s sleep too and then we decided to pay for the extra features because they give you sleep consultations every month. I still use it to track feeding and sleep and find it really handy, simply because it’s one [well, two] less thing[s] I have to think about!!!

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