The first time I became a Mummy I thought I’d thought of everything. Baby’s bedroom was bursting with beautiful new baby grows and accessories galore. I’d stocked up on enough nappies, wipes and cotton wool to see our little human through to pre-school and I’d purchased enough Jelly Cat toys to start my own travelling puppet show. But there was one thing I’d forgotten in all the new baby hype and excitement…me.
Having spent the best part of a year taking such good care of myself whilst cooking our sproglett, the moment she arrived all my energy was thrown into taking care of her and I didn’t have any time to look after myself. When your first baby arrives, your life as you once knew it really is flipped upside down and it took me a while before I realised that I just needed a few simple things to make this whole process a bit easier. Having spent a considerable amount of time thinking about what I wanted to do differently this time around, particularly knowing that I have a cheeky little toddler and a previous run in with PND to contend with, I wanted to make sure that this time around I was a little more prepared to take care of me. So here’s my list of New Mum Essentials that I hope some new Mummas find useful.
Cushions, Cushions & More Cushions
Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you’re going to be spending a lot of time snuggling, cuddling, recovering and of course feeding your new little bean so it’s important to feel as comfortable as possible, particularly during the early days and for those long, long, long nights.
As I write this post, baby Billie is propped up whilst on my boob on my Widgey Donut Nursing Pillow. It’s a little more in the pricier range of nursing pillows, but I absolutely love it. The fabric is super soft and I’ve washed and tumble dried the cover loads and it’s still really soft and comfortable for both baby and mummy. I took my cushion with me into hospital, so used it as a bump pillow before labour, a support cushion during labour and then to feed baby from that point onwards.
I also have the Widgey Pregnancy Pillow which was a life saver during both my pregnancies when sleeping and I’m currently using it as a support cushion during our night feeds. Both cushions can also be used for baby at a later stage when propping them up to play or supporting them whilst they nap.
A Life Saving Sling
There comes a point when you just want your arms back. Even if it’s to sort some washing out or put a bit of mascara on, you’ll know when it get’s to that point where you’ll try anything to free up your hands and a sling could just be your thing.
Some babies don’t particularly like being slung in a sling so it’s definitely worth borrowing a friends for an hour or two or visiting your nearest sling workshop before investing in one. I tried out a friend’s sling for just an hour and instantly knew it would be one of the most invaluable purchases I’ll make throughout this baby stage. I purchased the Boba Wrap in navy and I pretty much used it every single day until Elsie got too heavy for my back and then I switched to a Baby Bjorn carrier once she was about six months old. Billie has already been in it just so that I can get Elsie’s meals prepared and so far it’s working a charm this time around.
A Beauty Box…
This might sound a odd, but one of the first things that was neglected pretty quickly when we brought our first baby home was my skin and nails. I was lucky if I had time to shower and brush my teeth each day in the early days, let alone cleanse, tone and moisturise even once a day. It took a few months to realise that I needed to have a little collection of quick and easy products that would not only help me freshen up my knackered state, but remind me of who I was once was too.
This time around I was prepared from the start. I put together a little basket of essentials such as hand cream, hair bands, a nail file, nipple cream, lip balm and a couple of easy-to-use beauty products. A few weeks before Billie arrived, the lovely people at La Roche Posay to see if I wanted to try out their Toleriane range of which I’d heard amazing things about, particularly for sensitive-prone skin, already so course I scrambled over the keys to accept.
The Dermo-Cleanser is light and milky and it easily glides across my skin cleaning up any makeup or grim from the day with ease leaving it feeling so fresh and smooth. I follow the cleanse in the morning with the Ultra Moisturiser which again is so light and refreshing, it literally does soothe my skin and it absorbs really quickly. At night I’ve been using the Ultra Overnight Moisturiser to hydrate my skin, which is very much needed after pulling all nighters with two under twos.
It’s been a while since I’ve been treated to any new products and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve found my new favourite brand. My skin has been absolutely blooming amazing since I started using this stuff. I’ve been waiting for the post-birth hormonal outbreaks to hit me full force and even though I’m eating chocolate hob-knobs as if they are going out of production, so far my skin is continuing to be the clearest, healthiest I can ever remember it being. This range is perfectly made for postpartum skincare and as a bonus, this skin care range is super affordable so during a time when all your pennies are needed for nappies and wipes, you won’t feel guilty about looking after your skin post-pregnancy.
A friend suggested this to me and she was blooming right, best investment ever. Not only is this amazing for the whole family- with movies, box sets and music on tap and free speedy delivery on a whole range of essential stuff you’ll need forever, but the main perk of this membership is for those ‘oh crap I need nappies asap’ moments. Life will be so much easier having those huge heavy boxes of nappies and wipes delivered straight to your door and you can even Subscribe and Save on these baby essentials where they arrive on selected dates so you don’t even have to worry about running out. Best subscription ever. Not to mention Peppa Pig on demand at stupid o’ clock and The Walking Dead to watch if your baby ever goes the heck to sleep.
A Notebook & Pen
Perhaps the simplest and handiest thing on the list, but it’s a good idea to have a notebook and pen to hand, particularly if you’re old fashioned like me and can’t get into the habit of using your notes application on your phone. I use mine for jotting down things like gifts so that I can thank family and friends in more detail at a later date, as well as thing like feeding times and lengths in the early days as the days and times can be a real blur whilst you try to adjust to keeping your new tiny human alive post-labour on pretty much sod all sleep.
It’s also handy to jot down any questions or concerns you have to ask your visiting midwife or health visitor as they usually arrive as the most random of times and you forget everything you wanted to ask in your I’m sorry I’m still in my PJ’s knackered state, (FYI, they honestly don’t care if you’re still in your PJ’s so don’t stress yourself out unnecessarily!)
A Support Network
They say it takes a village to raise a child and in my experience it takes a whole flipping community of family and friends, both online and of course in real life. It took a few weeks after Elsie was born to realise that I wasn’t being realistic when I thought I could manage the life we had before and our new baby. Asking for help just wasn’t me and when it was offered I was a little embarrassed.
It was if I looked like a failure when Mum arrived to change our bed, tidy up the flat and leave with bags of washing. I felt as if I looked lazy with my Mother in Law arrived to cook us dinner with piles of ironed clothes leaving with bags more to do. But this is normal and if it wasn’t for the oodles of help that we got back then and continue to receive every single day I honestly don’t think we’d be doing half as well as we are today. If someone offers to help, take it gracefully and enjoy it. Adjusting to this new life is hard and the less overwhelmed you are with the everyday stuff, the more you can focus on your recovery and take care of that all important new bundle of pure squidgy love.
If you’re about to embark on this crazy wonderful new parent lark for the first, second, third, whatever time, wishing you all the love and luck in the world. Remember to look after yourself and know that even though it doesn’t feel like it most of the time, you’re doing blooming amazing.
Thank you so much to La Roche Posay for your kind gift. As always, all opinions are my own and I only share things I honestly love and believe others will too.