40 Best Postpartum Essentials For Mom And Baby
When you’re pregnant, you’re so focused on preparing for your new baby that preparing for postpartum essentials may slip your mind! But it’s important not to forget to take care of yourself after your baby arrives.
In this article, our experts at Newton Baby provide a list of postpartum essentials for you and your baby so you both can have an easy recovery during this transition.
Table Of Contents
Postpartum Essentials For Mom
This is a part of postpartum that no one likes to talk about, but it’s super important! And the more you know the better prepared you can be, so here goes...
Lochia is a type of discharge from your uterus that occurs after you give birth. It contains a mixture of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue and can last up to six weeks.
You won’t be able to use tampons during this time, so pads are your only option. Be sure to stock up!
2) Witch Hazel Pads
Witch hazel pads help reduce any swelling, pain, or bruising you may have in your vaginal area after delivery. They can even fight off bacteria, so they’re ideal for helping prevent infection!
Use witch hazel pads by placing them on top of your regular pad and changing them out as needed.
3) Peri Bottle
Another topic many people tend to avoid, a peri bottle is simply a perineal irrigation bottle, meaning it's a squirt bottle for your perineum, the area between your anus and genitals.
This bottle is extremely important for your self-care and hygiene the days after delivery. Not only will it help ease the sting of using the bathroom after giving birth (especially if you’ve had stitches), but it will also help keep the area clean.
To use a peri bottle correctly, fill it with warm water before using the restroom. Spray the water all around your perineum as you urinate to help ease pain and burning.
If you’d like, you can then also spray more water to clean the area once you’re finished.
4) Sitz Bath
If you had an episiotomy or tear during delivery, your entire pelvic area will be sore.
To ease your discomfort from pain or hemorrhoids, reduce swelling, and promote good hygiene and healing, use a sitz bath.
When using a sitz bath, fill the bowl with warm water and soak in it for 10 to 20 minutes. Add more warm water as needed to keep the temperature comfortable. When you’re done, gently pat the area dry with a towel; don’t rub it.
5) Heating Pad Or Ice Packs
Whether you need some pain relief in your vaginal area or on your breasts, try using a heating pad or an ice pack.
Both will help heal and soothe your aches and pains so you can find some temporary (and much-needed) relief!
6) Pain-Relieving Spray
If you haven’t noticed a pattern by now, all of our essentials for mom are about easing discomfort.
Unfortunately, pain is common among new moms. The good news is that it eventually goes away!
Our last postpartum essential to help ease your pain is a pain-relieving spray. This spray helps numb your perineal area and provides immediate relief from any pain or itching.
Because of its numbing ability, this one is a must! Just be sure that you’re using a spray designed for the delicate areas of postpartum moms and, as always, check the ingredients.
7) Nursing Pads
Breastfeeding isn’t every mom’s cup of tea, or it might be something that you’re not able to do. Some women’s bodies simply aren’t able to produce breast milk...and that’s OK!
But for the mom whose milk does come in — whether you nurse or not — you’ll need to use breast pads to protect your clothing from milk leaks for the first few days, if not more.
(Expert Tip: Most hospitals will provide you with all of the essentials we’ve listed here while you’re at the hospital, but you may want to stock up on extras just in case!)
8) Breast Pump And Breast Milk Storage Bags
If breast milk is your baby’s form of nutrition, you’ll need a breast pump and storage bags.
(We’ll let you in on a little secret: most insurance companies will provide you with a free breast pump, so make sure you call and check in with yours!)
A breast pump and breast milk storage bags go hand-in-hand. You’re going to need somewhere to store that liquid gold!
Tip: Be sure to write the date and how many ounces on each storage bag for future use.
9) Comfortable Clothing
Most likely, you’re going to wear maternity clothes for at least a few months after delivery (if you want to be comfortable!). Remember, your stomach may still be swollen and tender for a while after giving birth, so you don’t want to squeeze yourself into tight jeans.
During your postpartum days, you’ll become an expert multitasker, so wear something that’s comfortable for you to do all the things while taking care of your sweet baby!
10) Baby Carrier
A baby carrier frees up your hands so you can get things done while your sweet little baby cozies up on your chest, feeling comfy and secure.
Be sure to choose one that meets your needs and is appropriate for your baby’s age and size.
11) An Extra Pair Of Hands
Really and truly, don’t do all the things. You just had a baby! You shouldn't try to do it all.
There’s no shame in needing more helping hands. And because you can’t simply grow an extra pair of hands, ask for them instead. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a trusted family member or friend.
Nice-To-Have Postpartum Essentials For Mom
When packing your list of postpartum essentials, don’t forget to include any necessary toiletries you think you might need to make yourself comfortable after your little one arrives.
You may not think you’ll want them because you’ll be so focused on your newborn. But, at some point, you’re going to feel like taking care of yourself again — brushing your teeth, washing your face, brushing your hair.
That’s where some basic toiletries come into play.
Consider including items such as:
- Hairbrush or comb
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Face wash
- Shampoo (dry shampoo can be a lifesaver if you aren’t quite up for a shower after labor)
- Flip flops for the shower
- Towel (the hospital may provide one, but you might prefer your own)
- Lip balm
- Shaving supplies
- Hair products
- Nail products
Getting back into the daily ritual of self-care can help you feel more like yourself again and give you the energy to provide plenty of love to your new bundle of joy.
13) Nursing Supplies
At first, nursing your newborn can require a lot of supplies. You’ll whittle it down as you gain experience, but for the first few days postpartum, it can be helpful to have plenty of nursing gear on hand in case you need it.
We already talked about a breast pump and breast milk storage bags, but you may also want to include the following on your list of postpartum essentials:
- Nipple cream
- Plastic nipple shields
- Nursing bras
- Nursing tank tops
- Breast pads
- Breastfeeding book
- Nursing cover
The right supplies can make breastfeeding easier, but keep in mind that all your baby really needs is you and plenty of love and patience.
At home, a robe may be an afterthought. In the hospital after giving birth, it can be a lifesaver.
A robe is easy to put on and take off in pretty much any position. You can get into it quickly for a trip to the bathroom. Or, you can use it to cover your PJs when you go for a walk.
You can even include a robe as part of your nursing supplies and process — it’s super easy to position so your baby can latch on while still keeping your shoulders covered and warm.
If you don’t currently use a robe, give it a try. You may find that it’s the piece of clothing you didn’t know you were missing.
15) Prescription Medications
Many new moms and their babies can go home the next day. Sometimes, though, one day stretches into two, three, or four. You just never know, so it’s a good idea to be prepared.
Pack several days’ worth of prescription medications in case your doctor wants you to stay in the hospital for a while after your little one arrives.
If you don’t need the extra meds because you’re discharged 24 hours later, you can always take what you packed over the next few days at home.
16) Empty Bag
Including an empty bag on your list of postpartum essentials can help you find space for everything when it’s time to leave the hospital.
You may not think you’ll need it, but the hospital may give you blankets, diapers, wipes, and creams to take home. You may also get gifts from friends and family while you’re in the hospital.
Having an extra bag — or, at least, room in your main suitcase — can make it easier to pack up and leave the hospital when it’s time to go home.
Walking is one of the best ways to help your body recover after your baby arrives. However, hospital floors can be cold and slippery.
Include a pair of slippers with a non-skid sole or non-slip socks on your list of postpartum essentials to keep your feet warm and help prevent accidents when you want to get a bit of exercise at the hospital.
As we mentioned earlier, you may be released from the hospital 24 hours after delivery, or your doctor may want to keep you and your little one just a bit longer.
Pack some type of entertainment — a book, e-reader, iPad, or laptop and headphones — for the times when your baby is sleeping and you want to relax.
19) Outfit To Wear Home
In addition to the robe, slippers, and other comfortable clothing you’ll wear at the hospital, make room in your postpartum essentials for an outfit to wear home after the hospital discharges you.
If you’re not sure what size clothing will fit you once your baby arrives, pack a dress or pants and a shirt that you wore during the end of month six or seven (your second trimester).
Those will likely be the perfect size for an outfit to wear home.
Your favorite pillow isn’t absolutely necessary, but it can make a great addition to your list of postpartum essentials.
The pillows that the hospital provides might not be the most comfortable — especially if you prefer something on the firm or thick side.
Getting a good night’s sleep after your delivery can help speed recovery and put you in the best frame of mind to care for your newborn. Your favorite pillow can help make that a reality.
If your partner is spending the night with you, don’t forget to bring one for them as well.
21) Device Chargers
You may only plan on being in the hospital for a day, but, as we’ve discussed several times already, you just never know.
Yes, you’ve packed your phone and your tablet, but do you have the chargers that go with them?
Few things can be as frustrating as missing those first few pictures of your precious little one because the battery in your phone ran dry.
Be sure to pack all the necessary device chargers — they usually don’t take up that much space — so you can keep everything powered and ready to go when you need it.
Postpartum Essentials For Baby
22) Bassinet Or Crib
Both options have their benefits. Check out our article Bassinet Vs. Crib: What’s The Difference And Which One Is Best For Your Baby? to help decide which of the two is right for your family.
Choose wisely when it comes to your baby’s sleep surface. Even if you go with a bassinet for those early days at home with your baby, they’ll eventually end up in a crib.
Our Crib Mattress is a safe option because your baby can breathe straight through it!
24) Mattress Cover
Keep a spare mattress cover, like Newton Baby’s Extra Crib Mattress Cover, on hand for quick late-night changes because, well, accidents happen. A lot.
And just like our mattresses, our mattress covers are breathable, too! Another great thing about our mattress covers is that they’re so soft and breathable that you don’t even need to add sheets.
(Tip: If you still like the idea of having a fitted sheet on your baby’s mattress, check out our breathable, organic cotton sheets!)
Swaddling a newborn baby has many proven benefits for their sleep: keeping them comfortable, helping them fall asleep and stay asleep, and promoting safe sleeping habits.
Try our Organic Swaddle Blankets and give your baby breathable comfort!
Baby Care Essentials
26) Diapers And Wipes
Diapers and wipes are a necessity for all parents! You can never have too many.
Keep a stash of diapers and wipes in your car and diaper bag for when you’re on the go. And for quick and easy diaper changes at home, keep little baskets throughout your house filled with diapers and wipes.
27) Diaper Rash Cream
Your baby will go through quite a bit of diapers during the first few weeks postpartum. To protect their delicate skin from all the diaper changes, cover their diaper area with a safe and effective diaper rash cream.
28) Nasal Aspirator
After birth, your baby may still have some extra mucus in their nose. You may even notice your newborn sneezing quite a bit once you bring them home.
You can easily use a nasal aspirator to suck out any mucus or secretion and help keep your newborn comfortable.
29) Baby Soap
Once your baby’s umbilical cord completely falls off, you’re free to give them their first bath! When washing your baby’s skin, keep in mind that it's delicate, so choose a gentle baby soap.
Feeding And Clothing Essentials
30) Formula And Bottles
If you’re not breastfeeding your baby, stock up on formula and bottles! Your baby will eat anywhere from eight to 12 times a day during the first week or so after birth.
Although they’ll only take a few ounces at a time, you’ll still go through quite a bit of formula and bottles.
31) Zip-Up Nighties
Be mindful of the type of nighty your little one wears.
If their nighty has a lot of buttons, it may make middle-of-the-night diaper changes challenging. Zip-up ones, however, can make those sleepy-eyed changes just a little bit easier!
32) Hand Mittens
More than likely, your sweet little baby will have long fingernails when they’re born. Instead of trying to cut their nails right away, put hand mittens on your baby’s hands to protect them from scratching themselves.
Just like diapers, your baby will go through quite a few onesies. This is because your little newborn can sometimes make a big mess!
Plan to change your newborn’s onesie at least two to three times a day.
34) Pants And Socks
Your baby’s internal thermometer hasn’t quite warmed up to their new environment outside of your womb. Keep a stack of pants and socks handy to help keep your little one warm and cozy.
Other Postpartum Essentials For Baby
35) Baby Wrap
Babies need lots of physical contact and want to be held quite often. But, sometimes, you need both hands free to get something done — even in the hospital.
For those times when you need to keep your newborn close and focus on another task for a moment, a baby wrap, sling, or carrier can make things easier.
Babywearing has been around for a long time and offers lots of benefits; not just for babies, but for moms as well.
Consider starting the process early by including a sling or other baby carrier with your postpartum essentials gear and keeping your baby close at all times. Then, continue the activity when you get home to help your little one stay happy and comfy as much as possible.
36) Car Seat
One of the most important items you’ll need when it’s time to leave the hospital is a car seat.
Without one, the nurse who wheels you out won’t let you drive away. In fact, it’s a law in every state that a baby up to a certain age and weight be strapped into a car seat anytime they’re in a car.
Include a car seat on your list of postpartum essentials, and you’ll be ready to get on the road when the time comes.
Not only will the nurse who escorts you out verify that you have a car seat, they’ll likely inspect it to see that it’s installed properly and then supervise as you secure your little one to make sure you’re using it correctly.
If they see a problem with the seat itself or the way you’ve strapped your baby in, they’ll help you correct it, but you won’t be able to leave until everything is safe.
37) Burp Cloths
Burp cloths are some of the most useful items to have with you once your precious newborn arrives.
They can be used for their intended purpose — to catch the spit up after your baby eats — or as an emergency changing mat, blanket, or rag for other spills.
Include plenty of burp cloths on your list of postpartum essentials, and you’ll be better prepared for any situation that comes your way.
38) Sound Machine
If you have trouble sleeping in a new environment, a sound machine can help mask the sounds of activity around you and allow your mind and body to relax.
Babies can also benefit from a little ambient noise in their environment as the constant whirring or whooshing mimics the sounds from the womb that they’ve grown accustomed to over the past nine months.
39) Nursing Pillow
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, a nursing pillow is a lifesaver!
These pillows come in all different shapes and sizes, provide extra support for you and your little one, and help you keep your baby in the ideal position to get the most out of feeding time.
40) Baby Tracker App
Have trouble remembering how often your baby eats, how long they nurse for, or how many diapers they go through in a day? A baby tracker app can help.
Your little one’s doctor will likely ask for these important numbers, and you don’t want to have to rely on your memory (especially when you’re sleep deprived).
You’ll already have your phone with you in the hospital anyway for pictures and the like. Put it to use tracking your little one’s schedule, and you’ll be ready for any questions your doctor asks.
A Healthy And Enjoyable Postpartum Experience
Your body will go through a lot during pregnancy and birth, so prepare ahead of time for your postpartum journey. Make sure you have the right postpartum essentials for your baby — like a breathable Crib Mattress — and don’t forget to take care of yourself!
Being prepared will help you and your baby both have a healthy and enjoyable postpartum experience!