If you've recently found out that you're expecting, you've likely got a lot on your mind. From maternity leave, to choosing a baby name, to the nursery, to your baby shower; your exhausted mental wheels never cease to continue turning. As a consequence, it's not uncommon to forget those baby registry items every new mom won't think to ask for because, well, you're a new mom who hasn't done this before and people are giving you unsolicited advice at every turn and you're dealing with the side effects of pregnancy and, like, it's a lot, OK?
When you're acutely aware that your life is about to change in ways you've never imagined, it can be difficult to properly prepare. Thankfully, baby showers lay down a lot of the road work that is the preparation process. Sure, they can be pretty awkward and somewhat exhausting and even a little outdated, but they can also help you prepare for your baby's arrival by way of gifts. While there are some obvious cornerstones to any pending parent's preparation (like a crib and a carseat, diapers and bottles and bibs, and let's not forget about the adorable baby clothes), there are also some things that you, most likely, didn't or won't think to put on your registry; things you'll actually really need and definitely use at some point; things that will benefit you. All-too-often new mothers are told to sacrifice everything for their baby, and leave their self-care at the door, but if you want to be the best mom you can be, you need to take care of yourself.
These items, while not as obviously essential as a carseat, also aren't that expensive, which means putting them your registry can be a guilt-free, proactive parenting act. You'll have the day-to-day items you'll likely need, and no one will break their bank providing them to you. I mean, this is as win-win as it gets. Every new mother deserves to take care of herself. After all, she just carried and birth a human being. Yes, register things for your baby that will directly apply to them (clothes, socks, shoes, toys, etc) but make sure you take care of yourself to, mom.
So, with that in mind, here are 11 items that you will be so glad you've got once your baby arrives. No, you can't be perfectly prepared for a new baby when they arrive, but you can definitely rest easy knowing that, when it comes to the small stuff, you're covered.
Showers are a godsend when you're a new mom. Those precious moments of kid-free peace and personal upkeep are like mini-vacations.
However, showers aren't really the top priority when you've got a newborn to care for, especially if you're at home alone with him or her. So, until you call in reinforcements that can assist you while you wash your hair for the first time in a week, it's good to keep some cans of dry shampoo on hand. Seriously, not only does dry shampoo smell amazing, but it gives the illusion that you've showered within the last five days.
Yeah, so childbirth is painful no matter which route you take. At some point there's a good chance that you will partake in some sort of pain relieving medication. Whether that's an epidural or the pain meds your birthing team offers you afterwards, they're probably going to have an affect on your bowels.
I know, no one particularly enjoys talking about their bowels (at least not that I know of) but I've got valuable information that any new mom could benefit from: that first bowel movement might sort of, well, suck. However, you can be proactive (and save yourself a lot of pain and grief) if you take stool softeners during those first few postpartum days to ease the pain and frustration of your body's adjustment period.
Trust me, you'll thank me later.
A Streaming Service
As a new mom, especially if you're breastfeeding exclusively, you're going to be spending a lot of time at home as your body heals and you get comfortable with your baby. For the first couple of days (and nights) you might be so distracted by learning the ropes of infant care that you don't even turn the television on, but once you've got the hang of things that will probably change.
Spending too much time behind the same four walls can get a bit boring, so if ever there was a perfect time to partake in some binge-watching, it's the weeks after you've delivered your baby. If you have a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, you've got all the entertainment you'll ever need to soothe your cabin fever.
Restaurant Menus And Gift Cards
The last thing you're going to want to do after you're suffering from sleep deprivation, is cook. Even if you love cooking, there's a distinct chance that your exhaustion is going to overtake your enthusiasm. If you have some takeout menus and restaurant gift cards at the ready, an exhausted meal can turn into a nothing more than a quick phone call and a few patient (or impatient) minutes waiting.
Preparation-H. Yes, Unfortunately.
Remember when I talked about those pesky bowels during the first few days and weeks postpartum? Yeah, sometimes they can lead to these other super awesome ailments called hemorrhoids. And in case you weren't aware, they pretty much suck, too.
Thankfully, they're pretty common and treatment can be found at your local drugstore. If you wait until it's too late to get relief, you will immediately regret not being proactive about it, so just go ahead and prepare by keeping a tube of Preparation-H on stand by.
Like I said before, cooking is likely to be at the bottom of the totem pole of priorities after you've birthed another human being. If you've maxed out your takeout budget, it's a good idea to keep some freezer meals on hand. If you don't feel comfortable eating freezer meals, as friends to provide you with homecooked meals that are freezer-friendly, so you can heat up something arguably more nutritious and delicious than a pre-packaged dinner.
All The Stretchy Clothes
Our postpartum bodies take some time to return to their normal state, if they ever do at all (which is totally normal and fine, and definitely not something you should lose sleep over). In the mean time, as you heal and your body adjusts, it's nice to have some elasticity in your wardrobe (keep those maternity clothes handy too, because they're great postpartum).
This one really needs no explanation. You're going to need coffee, and a lot of it.
Of course, if you're breastfeeding you need to be careful about when and how much wine you drink, but a glass of wine can really make a stressed out, exhausted mom feel like a real life human again.
You're going to be getting significantly less sleep than normal. Though you can combat the physiologic symptoms of fatigue, you can't really prevent it from appearing on your face. Eye cream that de-puffs and eliminates circles is nice because, again, it makes you feel a little less disheveled. It is strictly something for your own contentment, not to appeal to others, but it does help a tired mother's ego to look in the mirror and not appear to be an extra from The Walking Dead.
Extra Large Underwear
Don't even tease yourself by trying to rock those itty bitty lacy bits that you wore pre-pregnancy. You just carried a baby for nine months; it's likely going to take at least that long before you're back to your "normal." Extra large underwear doesn't actually make you feel extra large, and they definitely make you feel better than you would if you tried to squeeze into a g-string will.