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Newborns are wonderful. Newborns are hard. Some of the most joyous and exhausting times have in my life have been when I had a newborn. I have cried tears of joy when my sweet baby smiled at me the first time, and tears of tiredness when I had been up for more hours than I can remember.
Sometimes I look back and wonder how I made it through. The answer is amazing friends and few fabulous items that made life a little easier. I have two sisters-in-law that are currently pregnant and I have been thinking about what they need to get through the first couple of months. Here are my must haves for a new mom survival kit.
Hand Sanitizer — After experiencing a sick newborn, I become fanatical about hand sanitizer. I had it by every single entrance to my house with the last baby. People seem to forget just how easy it is to get a newborn sick. I thought I was vigilant, until my sweet baby ended up with a cold. Then I started to see just how many people were holding my little one without washing their hands well enough. I LOVE making these personalized sanitizer bottles. It gently reminds people to take more care with your newborn, without being pushy.
To make this cute bottle:
- Remove the labels from a bottle of hand sanitizer. This is the toughest part of the whole project. I usually use some sort of goo remover and then rubbing alcohol to get the surface clean and smooth enough for vinyl.
- Cut with a cutting machine the words.
- Weed out the negative vinyl and using transfer tape, transfer the words to the front of the container.
- Cut out random sizes of polka dots and apply randomly on the container.
Breastfeeding — Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. In my head, I always thought that meant it would be easy, but it wasn't for me with either of my girls. Now it has become easy with my baby, but in the beginning there were tears, milk supply concerns, cracked nipples and lots of pain. If you want to help a mom through the first couple months of nursing these are must haves:
- healthy mama® Make the Milk! Herbal Tea: With my first baby, breastfeeding teas were almost IMPOSSIBLE to find. I am so glad healthy mama® has a version that is easy to find. I found this by my pharmacy at Target. Make the Milk! Herbal Tea supports milk supply. I drink a cup a day when I am first nursing to establish a good supply for my baby.
- Nursing Pads: I like reusable bamboo pads because I think they are softest on sore body parts.
- Nipple Cream: There are tons of different brands of nipple creams out there. I like a few different kinds, it is definitely an essential.
- A pump bra: I didn't really plan on pumping very much, since I work at home, but I ended up having to pump for awhile because of supply issue. My pump bra saved me. I could still answer emails or read a book. I didn't have to completely lose all of that time pumping. I took a sports bra and made small slits in it for the pump. It worked great!
- Breastmilk storage bags: It is always helpful to have some extra milk for your baby in case you need to step out for a little bit at some point. I like to use storage bags and freeze my extra milk so I have it if I need it.
Medical Needs — Being a new mom is hard. You have just been through labor and delivery – probably one of the most difficult things you have been through. You are sore and tired, but you have to keep going. You will need some things to help.
- Overnight Maxis: I found these so much more comfortable than the GIANT pads the hospital gives you. It made me feel a little more normal.
- Witch Hazel and Witch Hazel Pads: I can honestly say I had never used Witch Hazel before I had a baby. I didn't even really know that it existed. Oh how glad I am that it does! It helps take away a lot of the pain.
- A Hot/Cold Pack: I love my water bead pack. I can freeze it or warm it up – whichever I am feeling like I need at the moment.
- Baby Medical Needs: As far as the baby goes, I love using saline drops with a bulb syringe for cleaning out the baby's nose. Bulb syringes are almost a necessary evil, but they work much better accompanied by saline. You also need a really good diaper rash cream, and tweezers – preferably with a magnifying glass attached – to protect those little finger when trimming baby nails.
For Mama — When I have a little one in the house, things often fall by the wayside, even with the best of intentions. I combat that with these items.
- Dry Shampoo: I try to find time for a shower everyday with a newborn, but sometimes it doesn't happen and that's OK. I use dry shampoo to help me feel like myself.
- Cute headbands: I want my hair up and and out of the way when I am a new mom. Cute headbands make me feel good about myself while still being practical.
- Makeup remover wipes: My beauty routine takes a hit when I am a new mom. These help me stay more on top of it.
- Notebooks and pens: Sleep deprivation makes it easy to forget things, so when I am a new mom I write down everything.
healthy mama® Boost It Up Energy Drink: I can't tell you how many times with a newborn I wished I could just knock back a massive energy drink to help combat the sleep deprivation. I don't usually drink highly caffeinated energy drinks at the best of times, but I certainly don't do it when I am breastfeeding. I am borderline obsessive at what I put in my body when I am nursing and breastfeeding. I want more energy, but I don't want my baby to pay for it.
The healthy mama® Energy drinks are fabulous for this. They use protein energy instead of caffeine, giving your body what it needs to help you feel better without a caffeine crash later. It also helps reduce nausea which is a huge plus for pregnant mamas. healthy mama® products are meant for nursing and pregnant women, so I can take them with confidence.
What else would you put in a New Mom Survival Kit?