Top 10: New Mama Must-Haves

 I read the books, I talked to friends who have been there, done that, I scoured the internet... but nothing truly prepared me for the first week of motherhood.  It was an amazingly beautiful, wonderful, crazy, chaotic zombie trance-like week that I can barely remember, but will never forget.

Settling into life with a newborn is tough.  With the help of my wonderful husband, family and friends... and the items listed below... we made it through!!

1.  Earth Mama Angel Baby New Mama Bottom Spray

In those first few days post partum, to say I felt like an NFL kicker had taken a shot at my lady bits with a steel toed boot is an understatement.  And I didn't even have a tear... I can only imagine how horrible that would feel.  Anyway... sensitive, painful, tender, OUCH... doesn't even begin to describe it.  This glorious spray felt cool and refreshing.  It contains natural ingredients to help soothe your poor privates during the aftermath.  I don't know what I would have done without it.
*EMAB also makes a New Mama Bottom Balm, which I bought, but never used.  If it's anything like the rest of their products, I'm sure it's awesome too!

2.  Gilligan O'Malley Nursing Tanks

I lived in these.  I knew I wanted to breasfeed and thought I would be proactive and purchase a few nursing bras during the last month of my pregnancy.  I *thought* I bought the right size... I mean... I had ballooned up several cup sizes already... how much bigger could they possibly get?  Boy was I clueless.  When my milk came in, I was busting out of everything I *thought* would contain them.  That's what I get for thinking, right?  See the good thing about the nursing tanks is that unlike bras which are sized pretty specifically (34D, 36DD, etc)... these are small, medium, large, etc.  The tanks are no where near as structured and have a lot more stretch to accommodate engorgement without sacrificing support.  They are wonderful!

3.  Gilligan O'Malley Nursing Sleep Bras

Another Target wonder product.  As fabulous as the tanks were, in the middle of the night when you are in a trance because you have been up every hour on the hour to nurse... the last thing you want to mess around with is trying to make sure you can get your nursing tank clipped back together before you hit the pillow for another quick 15 minute nap.  These sleep bras are very similar to sports bras, also have tons of stretch and are super simple to nurse in.  All you have to do is pull the material to the side, whip it out and feed that baby.  By far the best thing to sleep in when nursing!

4.  Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter
The first few days/weeks of nursing are painful.  Seriously.  Nobody really warned me about this.  I can say that it gets better, but in the meantime finding something to soothe your nipples is really important.  The hospital provided some samples of lanolin- which worked great... but I definitely preferred the Natural Nipple Butter and was happy to switch when my samples ran out.

5.   Reusable Nursing Pads

It took me one outing in my disposable nursing pads to realize that I hated them.  I don't like panty liners or pads, so I don't know why I thought I wouldn't mind plastic-y pads on my boobs.  During my first trip to Babies R Us after Kennedy arrived, I picked up a package of reusable nursing pads... then came home and ordered a bunch on Amazon.  I have acquired a few different kinds, but my favorites are the cotton ones that came with my nursing cover.  So much softer on the skin then the pastic sposies.  Blech. 

6.  Mesh Hospital Panties

Yep.  Seriously.  Take them.  Take as many as you can get your hands on.  Take them all.  Whether you have a c-section or vaginal delivery, the first few days/weeks post partum are umm.... messy... and these disposables are awesome!!  Let's face it... nobody wants to wash that kind of a mess and tossing out your granny panties by the dozen doesn't exactly seem practical either.

7.  Always Infinity Pads

Speaking of messes... these are about as good as they get at containing them.  I am not a fan of wearing panty liners, let alone pads (ahem diapers), but post partum you really have no choice.  It was a trial and error process to find a pad I could actually tolerate and these were the winners.  May I suggest stocking up on pads... lots and lots of them... in advance.  The amount that you will go through in the first few weeks is pretty absurd.

8.  Pandora Radio

For some reason I thought singing lullabies was one of those innate motherly instincts.  I figured I would somehow just *know* the words to all of those traditional little songs and I would sing softly while my sweet babe drifted off to sleep.  HA!!  I have learned that not only do I not know the words to lullabies... but when I am super sleep deprived and baby girl is screaming, I can hardly remember the words to my favorite country songs.  Andplusalso, how many times can you sing "Rockabye baby in the treetop" before you are ready to stab yourself.  Enter Pandora.  Specifically the Rockabye Baby channel on Pandora.  This channel plays classic rock music (think Journey, Aerosmith, AC DC, Metallica) in lullabye form.  It's great!  I turn this on in the middle of the night and jam out softly to "Don't Stop Believing" and "Dude Looks Like A Lady" while we nurse.  Love it!

9.  Garnier Nutrisse Skin Renew Eye Roller

Let's face it... sleep deprivation does not do good things for your appearance.  Vain as it may sound, I did not want to sport the stereotypical "new mom" look... you know sweats, messy hair, dark circles and big bags under my eyes.  Umm... no thanks.  I did hang out in yoga pants, tank tops and a pony tail for a while... BUT... I did manage to throw on a little makeup before I left the house (most days at least).  Even if I didn't have time for my normal makeup routine, I did manage to swipe this wonder product on.  It's a concealer with (drum roll please) caffeine in it, which helps to not only hide those dark circles, but gives your skin a little pick-me-up.  Definitely a must have! 

10. Keurig

Speaking of caffeine..... I may or may not be slightly obsessed with my Keurig.  I loved it before... I even blogged about it when Kevin bought it for me last year (and may or may not have pictures hugging and kissing it, lol)... but now I REALLY love it.  I am pretty awful at making coffee anyway, and now I certainly don't have the time or patience to mess with a full pot... so K-cups it is.  Lord knows I need my morning cup o' Joe now more than ever.