I've recently been hearing about a lot of women finding out they are pregnant or nearing the end of their pregnancies, so I figured I would compile a list of my favorite must have items for new moms.
1. Moby Wrap or Sleepy Wrap. These stretchy material wraps are perfect for your tiny newborn. The jersey material keeps them snug and secure and close to you. I found my Moby Wrap extremely useful when Elijah didn't want me to put him down anywhere but we were both oh so tired. I am sure it's not recommended, but he would nap in the wrap and I would doze off on the couch and I didn't have to worry about him rolling off my chest. This will also allow you to be hands free so you can do things like get something to eat or even go to the bathroom!
2. Earth Mama Angel Baby Breastfeeding Support Kit. Those first couple of weeks can be tough. You and baby are both learning how to breastfeed so sometimes things can get a little sore. This kit is wonderful. The nipple butter will soothe your sore or cracked nipples and help them heal quickly. The Booby Tubes will be great for getting that milk flowing or helping with any engorgement pain. This kid is a must have for any mom. When my milk came in the hot shower was my best friend, I wish I had some Booby Tubes.
3. Reusable nursing pads. Some women don't need them after the first couple of months, but if you are like me then you still need them 7+ months later. I recommend some organic wool or cotton. These ones by Better For Babies are a super soft merino wool and not bulky! It's best to stock up on an assortment.
4. A Food Tree. Here's a little how-to guide on how to set one up. My friend set one up for us and it was the MOST AMAZING THING EVER! I was not prepared, the last thing I wanted to do the last few weeks of my pregnancy was make a ton of freezer meals, so it just didn't happen. Instead I obsessed over strawberry muffins and made tons of them until any urge of wanting to cook or bake went away (and it's still gone, I don't remember the last time I cooked something that wasn't spaghetti). People basically sign up to bring you food. You can list your preferences like vegetarian, no dairy, etc. You can say whether you want people to hang out or just drop food off. It's all up to you and people will bring you stuff that you can just heat up. It's a lifesaver and it will keep you fed.
5. Pull on skirts, sleep nursing bras, and larger underwear than you normally wear. It's all about comfort those first few days, or even weeks, home. I lived in the same two pull on jersey skirts for a long time. They were easy and they made me sorta look like I tried to look presentable. Sleep nursing bras are great because you don't know if you're going to have to wear nursing pads at night or not. I do, if I don't then I will wake up in a soaking wet bed, so a sleep nursing bra is comfortable to wear. Finally, larger underwear. I mean, you just had a baby, I know I preferred underwear in one side larger than I normally wear, just to accommodate the extra supplies I was sporting.
6. Cloth Diaper Assortment. I suggest doing a trial program like this one at Jillian's Drawers if you are unsure about cloth diapering at all, even if you aren't, it's better to try out an assortment with no obligation to keep them if you don't love them than to buy a whole stash to find out you absolutely hate that brand. Cloth diapers are easy. I think everyone should seriously consider trying it out! It will save you tons of money in the long run too. If you really aren't sure you can try gDiapers with the biodegradable inserts, if you decide you want to switch to cloth you can just buy a package of the gCloth inserts or even use some infant prefolds (I do love their inserts though, I have been using them in a lot of my other diapers). P.S. I have a gDiapers giveaway up right now here, perfect for anyone who is expecting!
7. And finally my last one of the night because it's way too late for me to be up, an account somewhere like the Mothering.com forums. You will probably have a million questions if this is your first baby, or just need some other moms to talk to! I was a member of the July 2009 due date club at Mothering and I met some really great mamas! Everyone there is super nice and there's a place for any question you might have. They have a breastfeeding and breastfeeding challenges forum, life with a babe, co-sleeping, babywearing, reviews, you name it. It's a great resource!