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The First Few Weeks: 10 Essentials for Both Mom and Baby

Having a few essentials can make the early weeks much easier!

It’s amazing how in just two short weeks I already feel like somewhat of a seasoned veteran with this whole baby thing.  When you’re whole day revolves around making your baby happy and healthy, you learn quickly what works and what doesn’t.

When I was pregnant I constantly asked experienced moms for advice on baby gear and essentials.  While every baby and mom duo is different, there were more than a few things that were recommended by almost everyone.

And while it’s true that babies don’t actually need much at the beginning – mostly just boobs and a bed – there are definitely things that can help ease the transition into parenthood for both mom and baby.

Here are my top ten essentials that got me through these first two weeks…


  • A nursing/tracking app 1 of 10
    A nursing/tracking app
    I use an Android app called Baby ESP, but there are many options out there for various phones and preferences. This is a good thing to download ahead of time so that it's one less thing to do once the baby arrives. Having an app to keep track of feedings makes the first few days and weeks of breastfeeding much easier to track and manage. My phone never leaves my side now!
  • A reliable camera 2 of 10
    A reliable camera
    You definitely want to make sure you have a way to document all of those precious firsts and milestones. You can never have too many pictures of baby's first moments.
  • Pain relief 3 of 10
    Pain relief
    For me personally, one of the biggest surprises of childbirth has been the recovery process. Over two weeks later, I am still sore and swollen. Stock up on Advil or Ibuprofen so you have a supply waiting for you when you get home from the hospital. You won't want to run out and get it afterwards!
  • Nipple cream 4 of 10
    Nipple cream
    Even though all the books I read said that breastfeeding should not be painful, I don't think there is any way around the soreness of those first few days. I would not have survived week one without slathering on Lansinoh around the clock. I actually have two tubes - one for the bedroom and one for the nursery!
  • A nursing pillow 5 of 10
    A nursing pillow
    Whether you're a Boppy girl or you prefer My Breast Friend, a nursing pillow will save your arms and back as you adjust to nursing every two to three hours. Mine follows me all around the house.
  • A wrap carrier 6 of 10
    A wrap carrier
    I am a huge fan of babywearing, and I strap my little boy on as often as I can. The Moby wrap is especially good for wee little newborns. There is no better feeling than a snuggly little baby all cuddled up on your chest.
  • Swaddle wraps 7 of 10
    Swaddle wraps
    Whether you prefer blankets or wraps (we use the Swaddle Me!), swaddling is truly a miracle. It is amazing how quickly it calms a fussy baby, and it's a good idea to have a few options available until you figure out what works best for your baby. For trickster babies like mine, wraps with velcro are essential for avoiding breakouts.
  • Newborn sleepers 8 of 10
    Newborn sleepers
    When I was pregnant, everyone told me not to bother buying any newborn clothing because babies outgrow it so quickly. So imagine my surprise when I got home with my 8.5lb baby and discovered all his clothes were WAY too big! We had to run out when he was 3 days old and stock up on newborn outfits to get us through the next few weeks. Onesies and sleepers are best until the umbilical cord falls off.
  • A swing or chair 9 of 10
    A swing or chair
    Like I said before, I'm a big fan of babywearing and carrying/snuggling the baby as much as humanly possible. But there are going to be times (like dinner!) when you need a place to set your baby down. Having a swing or newborn chair is a good idea for keeping baby safe and comfortable, and for freeing up your arms from time to time.
  • A night light 10 of 10
    A night light
    My sister gave me this mushroom night light after telling me she used it every night with her little boy. I never would have though of it, but she was totally right! A dim nightlight is perfect for keeping in the nursery or your bedroom - wherever your baby is sleeping. You can nurse, change diapers, and check on the baby using the night light, without turning on a bright overhead that will wake up the baby.

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