Postpartum Checklist: What You Really Need After Having a Baby

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What you really need on postpartum checklist, mom with newborn baby in Seattle

What even is a postpartum checklist?

A postpartum checklist is those things that you may want for after baby comes. Things for you mama, that will help make the recovery and bonding with baby more comfortable.

When you are having a baby there is plenty of focus on what to pack in your hospital bag, or even what to add to your newborn registry. However, what about you mama?

A lot of postpartum checklists will include feminine hygiene products. I highly recommend waiting until after your birth to buy most of those things. One reason is that you never really know what you might need as each delivery can vary.

I had six babies with six very different birth experiences, one of which a surprise emergency c-section as we learned our baby had flipped breech while in labor.

Another reason to wait to purchase feminine hygiene supplies is because many hospitals provide plenty of these items for you. Stock up while in the hospital and then you can always send your partner out once you’re home, settled, and know what you’ll need.

So what do you really need those first few weeks after having a baby?

The first item on my postpartum checklist is a nursing bra for daytime and nighttime.

Breastfeeding, in the early days, is already challenging enough. As you’re learning how feed baby, a good nursing bra will help you feel more comfortable. I also found that when I’m nursing I cannot go without a bra at nighttime. Therefore, investing in a nice bralette or two are more comfortable for sleeping while offering a bit of support (and something to hold your nursing pads in….see below).

My favorite nursing bra is the Kindred Bravely Sublime Pumping Bra as you can wear as a regular bra or a hands free pumping bra. It is so convenient if you do not have to change bras simply to pump. Plus the extra flap adds extra support.

For nighttime I like the Kindred Bravely Sleep Bra.

(Bonus, pack these in your hospital bag. You won’t regret it!)

The next item on the list are reusable nursing pads.

Once your milk comes in you’ll be leaking milk. Often. One good baby cry and you’ll find yourself having to change your shirt, for the third time that day.

Nursing pads are big life savors. Reusable ones are not only better for the environment but they are more comfortable than the disposable nursing pads.

Imagine, disposable pads have a sticky side to attach them to your bra. While this is supposed to help it stay in place, what ends up happening, is they detach off and end up sticking to your chest. Enough said? I think so.

A Stainless Steel Coffee Mug is a must on the postpartum checklist.

You will be spending plenty of time sitting and nursing a baby in those first weeks (months). Instead of having to constantly be reheating your coffee, a quality stainless steel tumbler will keep your coffee warm for hours. (Your partner will thank you for having this one, as they will likely be the ones reheating for you!).

The Yeti Travel Tumbler is great as it fits into regular cupholders in the car. As your coffee drinking days are likely to only increase as your infant turns into a toddler, I’d suggest one that you can bring with you.

Postpartum Checklist, Robe for mom with newborn

Another postpartum checklist item is a robe.

A robe might feel a bit “extra” however, I found it golden those first weeks. Plus, I brought my robe to the hospital to make my stay more comfortable.

A robe allows you to nurse your baby easily, while keeping you warm and covered. You can even tuck baby in, giving nice skin to skin time. I wear my robes still even when not nursing.

Copper Pearl makes beautiful robes that are comfortable and keep you warm without being overly heavy. They also have plenty of print options for every taste.

Tank tops are a must have for a postpartum mama who is nursing.

A good tank top can turn any shirt into a nursing shirt. Simply layer a shirt over a tank top, and you can pull up the top layer, pull down the tank top and bam, comfortable and easy access for baby. I also love tank tops with a cardigan (when leaving the house or having company) or my robe (see above again for why I love robes!).

The beauty of tank tops is that they do not have to be nursing friendly, just have a low enough neck that you can easily pull it down. Maternity tanks often work well as they have a little more stretch to them for your postpartum body.

The final item on my postpartum checklist is a few loose tops for newborn photos.

After baby comes, the last thing you’ll want to do is be out shopping for something to wear for your newborn photography session. You will also find yourself feeling unsure of your “new” postpartum body. Those form fitting tops that hugged your baby bump may not be as flattering and comfortable now that baby is here.

Before shopping read more on What Mom Should Wear for Newborn Photos.

In short, have a loose fitting top or sweater with a tank top. Another great option for newborn photos is a flowy, maxi dress.

Bonus tip, have a couple of options just in case. Whether you’re not comfortable in something you thought you’d love or baby spits up during your session, you’ll be glad to have a backup option.

Anything else for your postpartum checklist will completely depend on your delivery and your lifestyle.

These items can wait. There isn’t much you can’t get on Amazon quickly or by sending your hubby to Target to grab! You never know what might work best for you, but hopefully having a few of the things above will help make the transition with a new baby a little easier, or at least more comfortable, for you.

Be sure to checkout my Hospital Bag Checklist at the link below!

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