Today on Amica we are lucky to have guest blogger Samantha Bamford share her top 10 newborn essentials. You can follow Samantha on her blog mamasambam.
Before those hazy newborn days become a distant memory, I wanted to share my top 10 newborn essentials that I wish I had when Master Tom arrived nearly 7 months ago! I hope it comes in handy for all the soon to be Mama’s out there that I know of at the moment.
1. Nipple cream. I found Lansinoh to be the best and most soothing cream (and I did try many). However some well-meaning midwifes said breast milk and air drying in sunlight is the best treatment for sore nipples. I agree that this remedy is good if one does not leak constantly and it’s not freezing cold outside!
2. Cloth nappies. Not to be used as nappies, but as spew rags, especially if your baby has really bad reflux like Tommy did and still does to this day. You can never have too many of these around the house.
3. Nursing pads. The best I have found so far are Johnson & Johnson ultraform nursing pads. They are approved by the Australian Breastfeeding Association and don’t stick to you when you have cracked and bleeding nipples. That is the last thing you need. I didn’t want to use disposables because they are expensive when you go through a packet every 2-3 days and add to landfill but I couldn’t use all the cotton/bamboo ones I bought as I leaked through every time, and still do seven months later.
4. Swaddles. No doubt you will be given many varieties; however I found that Big W has the best cotton wraps on the market. So big and soft and just the right thickness. A bargain too at something like $15 for a pack of three. We then moved to halo wraps that have a zipper and velcro which made it so easy for anyone looking after Tommy to do up, instead of figuring out how to actually fold the swaddle so he couldn’t break free. You would hate to know how many YouTube videos I watched to try and find the best swaddling technique!
5. Nursing bras. Unlike before you were pregnant, when buying a bra was all about ‘shape’ when it comes to nursing bras, it’s all about comfort. I made the mistake of buying bulky t-shirt nursing bras, when what I really needed was a thinner and softer material so it was easy to pull down and not get in bubs face. I love Elle Macpherson’s intimates nursing bras. They are amazing.
6. Nursing tops. This was one of my major problems for a number of weeks. I had no tops that I could breastfeed effectively from. When coupled with the nursing bra issue, you can picture how difficult it was to feed in a semi discreet and respectful way when we had visitors to the hospital and house in the early days. Thankfully I’ve since found Ripe Maternity nursing tops. They are the easiest and most comfortable tops to feed in. I will probably continue to wear them once the little man is weaned.
7. Bath thermometer. Pretty self-explanatory. Although I often doubt the accuracy of mine.
8. Room temperature thermometer – This can double as a bath thermometer depending upon which brand you get, however I find this essential as I still to this day (especially with the colder weather coming on) wonder what the best clothing combination is for sleep time. The thermometer helps me decide what to put Tommy in as many of the sleeping bags on the market also come with a handy “what to wear” guide based on the room temperature.
9. Nappy rash cream. It’s really scary how quickly babies get nappy rash. Just after a few days of wearing nappies Tommy developed nappy rash so I was glad that I had Destin and Bepanthen on hand which instantly improved things.
10. Electric breast pump. Whilst not essential for everyone, it was an essential item for me. When Tommy was two weeks old I had a break from breastfeeding for 24 hours because of cracked and bleeding nipples. To be honest, I felt like a new woman afterwards. I was so incredibly grateful to my friend Anna who recommended that I purchase the Medela Swing electric breast pump. Whilst it was expensive, I am still using it today when I want to go out somewhere or express some milk for Tommy’s rice cereal in the morning. One word of advice though is to read the instructions and learn how to use it prior to having your baby. I was so foggy, in pain and distressed at not being able to breastfeed comfortably that David had to do this for me. It was great that he could do it, but at the same time his natural competitive streak also took hold and he had me pumping like I was training for the Olympics! This is what probably contributed to my massive oversupply issue that took about three months to calm down. We clearly didn’t know the basics of supply and demand when it came to breastfeeding!
There are many more things I could list but these were the key items that have stood the test of time.
Thinking of all of those nesting soon-to-be Mums out there x