There are so many different lists available for what you “need” for your baby, some of which are great, some not so much.
Here are some of my suggestions to make the fourth trimester a little easier for both you and baby.
The images will links you to Amazon for purchase, includes affiliate links.
Books to prepare
This book outlines the need for postpartum support for new moms in our culture (which is severely lacking). It has an abundance of resources and personal stories that can all help normalize the postpartum period.
There are lots of baby books out there on the market. This is the “baby book bible”, it has amazing information (based on the most up to date research and recommendations) for both babies and mothers. It outlines what to expect during the first year, including breastfeeding, baby sleep, baby temperament, and when to seek professional help. I recommend all families have a copy of the most up to date edition of this book.
If you are planning on breastfeeding, it’s best if you educate yourself (and your partner) on what it entails. This is a great book that explains (with pictures) different positions, common misconceptions and pitfalls, and ways to navigate *most* situations while maintaining your breastfeeding relationship. It also explains how breastfeeding works and how it can break down.
Products to help baby sleep
During the fourth trimester, babies crave the womb-like environment they grew to love the past 9 months. The Dock A Tot recreates this experience, keeping baby cozy and snuggly as it sleeps. This can be used in a crib, bassinet, co-sleeper, or bed.
This bassinet is a great investment. One wall comes down, so you can stay in bed and care for your baby. The bassinet can lower or go higher so it rests directly next to you as you sleep (most babies just love to be close to mom). It’s mesh sides allow baby to see, smell, and hear you if you place it close enough to your bed.
This Rock N’ Play is a good option if moving the bassinet around your house isn’t going to be easy (remember, you will be recovering from birth – so no hefting heavy items). It provides that close, womb-like environment that babies crave the fourth trimester. In addition, it rocks, mimicking the swaying from the past 9 months in utero.
A white noise machine is a must with a newborn (and baby and toddler). This one plugs into the wall (battery operated ones can die in the middle of a beautifully long stretch of sleep – oh no!), and has a handful of different sounds you can experiment with. There is no timing out on this one, so it can stay running all night long.
These muslin (100% cotton) blankets are so versatile. They are large enough to tightly swaddle a newborn, cover a car seat (keep those germs and nosy neighbors away), cover yourself breastfeeding, or even act as a burp cloth in a pinch. These just get softer and softer the more you use and wash them. These are the baby blankets you will use the most.
If you plan on breastfeeding
This pillow is a Godsend for all moms. Whether you are nursing or not, feeding a baby can be hard on the arms – using this pillow can help support baby so you can relax into the feeding. In addition, this pillow can be used for tummy time and supported sitting as the baby grows.
If you plan on breastfeeding, having an efficient pump is important. Most health insurance companies cover pumps now, so check with what they offer first before paying out of pocket. I highly recommend this pump. This is an efficient double electric pump that can help you increase your supply, stock pile a breast milk stash, or take when you need to be away from baby.
Things I couldn’t live without
The Moby wrap was my savior with all my babies. They all loved to be snuggled in from day one. It was soft and comfortable for both me and baby. It takes some getting used to tying it, but once you get it down you will be surprised how quickly you can do it. In addition, you can use this for newborns through the first year.
In addition to the Moby, I used (and still use) my Ergo Baby carrier. This is a versatile and comfortable carrier that can accommodate infants through toddlers. It’s handy top cover is perfect for keeping those nosy strangers away from a sleeping baby, and the large pouch is perfect for stowing keys, your phone, and a burp cloth.
The Nose Frida has a permanent home in my house. This is the best boogie sucker on the market. It’s more gentle than the traditional bulb suckers (and you can clean this one better, too). It does an amazing job of clearing the nasal passages during cold and allergy season. Remember – babies need to breathe through their noses to suck to feed. A stuffed baby is usually a very unhappy baby.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself – Products for Moms
These herbs can be added to a relaxing sitz bath to aid in postpartum recovery. Perfect during the first couple weeks after birth.