I wanted to share how to prep for baby with you and what I did to make sure I was ready. This is my third baby and I’ve learned a lot with the last two. So far this postpartum season has been so much better than my last two. I definitely credit it to having some experience with my first two. You know what to expect the second and third time around and you’re more aware of what you really need and what you don’t.
I’m going to share what I prepped before the birth and how it’s helped make the transition so much smoother. This is essentially a little of what I would have in my hospital bag, but since I have home births it’s more what I have on hand and ready to go after the birth. But if you are having your baby at a hospital or birth center, this would still apply.
Some of the things I had prepped were products and some weren’t. I found having all of these things on hand has helped me so much in the transition. I don’t have to think about frantically ordering things or having my hubs run and get me something since I know what I will need. I hope if this is your first baby or even if it’s your third or fourth baby this will help you when prepping for your new bundle! Keep reading to find out all the essentials I had ready to go when baby was born.
*I’m going to first outline items to have ready to go for mama and then what to prep and have ready to go for baby.
How To Prep For Baby:
Prepping For Mama-
Chic Bathrobe- This might sound a little funny but for me I knew I wanted to have a maternity/nursing robe that I could wear right after the birth that was chic looking. There are so many pictures taken initially and I wanted something that I could feel comfortable in but also looked pretty. I found just the robe! This would be a great gift for a new mom too. Check out the robe here!
Wish Garden Cramp Tincture- This is an herbal remedy for after birth pains. Usually this happens more after your first baby, not that it can’t happen with your first. But it tends to happen the more babies you have. I had read really good things about how this helped soothe after birth cramps for many women. I love that it’s just herbs. I actually didn’t end up using it because I had lost quite a bit of blood…SJ was 10lb. and 7 oz and so the midwife didn’t want me to take it because she said it actually causes the uterus to relax more and she wanted mine to not relax, since that could cause more bleeding. I still would recommend it from what I’ve read though. After birth pains definitely are uncomfortable. Get it here!
Breast Pads- I use some disposable breast pads in the first month or so as my milk supply is evening out and then I transition to reusable breast pads. I use disposable pads and then once I transition to reusable breast pads I use Marley Monsters. I find I have a lot of leaking the first several weeks when my milk production is just starting and the reusable ones I always end up leaking through. Get the disposable pads here and the Marley Monster pads here.
Pads For Down Under- Yes, after you have a baby you will bleed for a bit. Some women bleed less and others bleed more. I usually bleed for the first couple weeks. In the beginning you tend to bleed a lot more. Especially the first 48 hours or so. I actually used Depends the first several days and they were amazing! I can’t recommend them enough. As silly as it may seem to put on a Depends they work amazingly well. You don’t have to worry about leaking anywhere. I also had some pads on hand for after the first several days. You’ll still be bleeding but not enough to where you’ll need to wear a Depends. Get Depends here and pads here.
Breastmilk Storage- I found it’s best to have all your breastmilk storage equipment figured out beforehand. So have the breast pump, figure out how you’re going to store the breast milk and make sure you have all the products, etc. Your milk usually comes in around day 3 and it typically comes in with a vengeance! I love being able to pump right away to help establish my milk production and to find some relief from engorged breasts. I found for me having my system of pumping and storing my breast milk figured out has helped me a ton. I use this pump, but use these glass bottles to attach to the pump as I’m pumping. Then I store the breast milk in these silicone cubes and then once frozen store them in mason jars. I also would invest in a Haakka. This has literally changed my life this time around! It collects all the let down from the side you’re not pumping on. Making it so easy to collect breast milk without even pumping. It’s pretty amazing. Get it here!
Nipple Balm- This is definitely a necessity for the first several weeks. I always tend to get sore nipples and having an organic nipple cream on hand really makes the difference. I rub this on after feedings to help prevent cracked or dry nipples. Get it here!
Mother’s Milk Tea- This is a definite must in my book when it comes to keeping up my milk supply. I always have this on hand right after I give birth. It helps to promote healthy lactation. Plus, it’s such a soothing drink I’ve found after birth. I drink it everyday. Usually putting two tea bags in a mug of hot water. Get it here!
Water Bottle- This might sound like a silly one but it’s actually really important in my opinion. Staying hydrated is super important when breastfeeding and after birth helping to flush out excess fluids. Finding a water bottle that you love and makes it easy for you to get your daily water intake in is essential. Find what works for you. For me it’s as simple as getting a 32 oz size mason jar and silicone straw. I find I drink more water from a straw. Get a water bottle that holds a decent amount of water and have it ready to go after you give birth. It will make getting your daily water intake in so much easier! Check out what I use here and here.
Nursing Bras and Tank Tops- Having these ready to go and washed is also another great things to have prepped. As I said earlier your milk production comes in around day 3 so it’s nice to have nursing bras and tank tops all ready to go since you’ll be living in them. I found you need to have several too, since the night sweats after birth can leave you smelling less than pleasant and leave your clothes feeling grimy. Plus, sometimes you’re covered in spit up by the end of the day. I really like Target’s options for nursing bras and tank tops. They’re effective but budget friendly. Check out the nursing bras I have here and the tank tops here. For the nursing bras I would tend to size up. You will get a lot larger in the chest then you realize and I always think nursing bras tend to run a bit smaller.
Supplements- Now is not the time to stop your supplements just because the baby is out. In fact it’s even more crucial to continue taking your prenatal and anything else your doctor may have recommended during pregnancy. From what I’ve read you should continue supplementing up until 6 months after birth. Your body is going to be depleted from just having a baby and needs the extra nutrients. Plus, you are still giving out so much if you’re breastfeeding. I also would recommend seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or Functional Doctor right before having baby and getting a blood draw. This will help you to see where your levels are right before birth and then you can get your blood drawn again in 6 weeks to make sure you are not getting depleted in a certain area. Mom’s tend to not take care of themselves and focus on the baby. You still need to take care of yourself! Find a functional medical doctor in your area here. I love Seeking Health’s Prenatal Supplement and B Complex, Probiotic, and Magnesium. I take Elite Fuel’s Vitamin D3+K2.
Meal Prep- It might seem obvious but it’s definitely something most women I find don’t do in prepping for baby. I didn’t with my first two. I shared how I meal prepped and planned for baby #3 in this video. I went over the recipes I made and how I did it, plus how I didn’t store in plastic. This has been one of the best things I did! Not having to think about what I am going to make for dinner and having things I can easily reheat that are nutrient dense has been a game changer. I can’t recommend meal prepping enough! Ask a few family members or friends to help and make a day out of it. Check out my meal prep video here.
Prepping For Baby-
Onesie- Having some onesie’s or clothes on hand that are washed and ready to go is definitely good. Since I didn’t know the gender of the third baby I just made sure I had some of my girl’s old onesie’s and then I bought a boy onesie’s. Knowing I had at least one outfit made me feel at ease. This is the onesie I got for SJ.
Bouncy Ball- This is what we’ve used with our last two and it’s been so clutch. It’s just the big balls you use for working out but instead we just use it to hold and bounce the baby when they’re a little fussy. You know the witching hour that tends to happen during the day. Well, this comes in handy for those exact times. Instead of having to stand and rock them, you can sit and bounce on the ball. The baby loves it! We always make sure we have ours filled with air and ready to go before baby arrives. Check them out here!
Pacifier- I know some people don’t like giving their kids pacifiers but I’ve found it’s been nice to have one on hand for our kids. Sometimes you can’t just keep feeding them and they still want to suck and so these come in handy. I’m ok giving them to my baby as long as they seem like they have a good latch when nursing. It hasn’t been a problem for me. These are the ones I got for SJ.
Swaddle- You can either swaddle them in a swaddle blanket or get a specific swaddle product. They have so many swaddle products now to help make swaddling babies easier. I found the swaddle blankets are ok but not as effective as the swaddle products. I love the Ollie Swaddle. My friend gave it to me and it’s been amazing. It’s super easy to use and really helps them to sleep so well! Check out the Ollie Swaddle here.
Baby Bed- Figure out what you’re going to put the baby in initially. How is the set up going to be, etc. It can seem silly but having something to put your baby in that’s ready to go makes all the difference in the beginning, especially when sleep can be harder to come by. I have used this for all my kids on my bed for the first 6 weeks or so and it’s been great. I put it on my bed in the middle. I love that I can see them easily and that they’re elevated a little. Check it out here.
Night Light- Another thing you might not think about but I find is nice is a night light. Whether you use your phone’s light, have a bedside lamp, a literal night light or even a salt lamp, it’s nice to have something for those late night feedings. No one wants to turn on a bright light in the middle of the night. I have a salt lamp that I used in the beginning but now I’ve been using my phone’s light. It still works even when you’re phone is on airplane mode.
Boppy Or Breastfriend- I had the poppy with Finley and the breast friend with Gracie and I like the breast friend better. It makes nursing so much easier, especially in those first several months when they are smaller. It can be hard to get the right position and you can feel like you’re becoming a hunchback but with the breast friend it helps to bring the baby up to you and give you just the right position. It will make breast feeding more enjoyable. The boppy tended to move around a lot on me. I prefer the breast friend. Get it here!
Wipes- Obviously you want to have wipes on hand. These are my favorite wipes. They’re ingredients are amazing and they aren’t too wet or too dry, just the perfect consistency. Plus, I love that I can buy them by the case from Amazon! Get them here.
Diapers- Another obvious is diapers. I really like Bambo Nature, and Pamper’s Pure. Honest diapers are good too, I find they aren’t as soft. I have a new brand that I’ve been testing out and really loving called Nest. They are completely compostable. My guidelines for a diaper are they must be fragrance free and chlorine free. The face that the Nest is compostable is definitely a added bonus! Check out the Nest diapers here.
Wrap- I think a wrap is really nice to have, especially in the early months. Sometimes the only way they will sleep is on you and mama has to get things done. I really like the Boba Wrap and the Sakura Ring Sling. They both have been awesome for wearing baby. I also have the Ergo Carrier and love that as well. It works with newborns too but I find I use that as they get a little older. Check out the Boba Wrap and the Sakura Ring Sling here.
Blanket- Shocker you need a blanket! I love having a couple on hand in case one gets dirty or has spit up on it. I recently bought this one from Amazon. It’s 100% organic and jersey knit. I love the print options they have as well. Check them out here.
I hope these prep tips have been helpful for when you’re getting ready for baby! Obviously there are a lot more things you could have but I’ve found these are the essentials when I’m thinking about how to prep for baby. Sometimes less is more too.
What are some of your favorite things you prep for baby?