My Newborn and Postpartum Essentials

I finally wrote this post! Luca is 8 weeks old now (can you believe it?) so I feel quite confident in this list of newborn and postpartum essentials for new moms. It covers everything from postpartum recovery to nursing to sleeping, diapering, hanging out, and everything in between.

Postpartum Recovery Essentials for Moms:

FridaMom Mom Washer– The squeeze bottle from the hospital works but this one is much more effective. It’s all about angles!

Witch Hazel Healing Foam– My sister gave me a bottle of this and it was awesome. It’s much easier to spray on a pad than using cooling pads. I switched to the foam after day 4 or 5.

Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads– These are also necessary, however, for the first few days. You will probably get them at the hospital where you deliver, but I’d have some on hand to be safe.

Pads of Different Sizes- I used really thick overnight pads for the first week then thinner and thinner for the next three weeks.

Dermoplast– It stings when you first spray it on but then numbs you up. It saved me a few times when I was in lots of pain.

Colace- Or any stool softener.

Breastfeeding/Pumping/Bottle Essentials:

Lansinoh Soothies– With both of my babies I got bloody cracked nipples for about a week and these gel pads saved me. My sister recommended them and I used them all day and night for the first two weeks until the pain stopped. Just note that you can’t use nipple cream with them, they have to be used on their own. I’d suggest buying two packs and seeing if you like them before you buy more. Each pack lasts 2-3 days.

Nursing/Pumping Bra– I bought three of these because it’s all I’ve been wearing. It’s nice to not have to change bras for nursing and pumping. They’re not the cutest but they do a good job and they’re comfortable enough to sleep in. If you have a better nursing/pumping bra suggestion please leave it below!

Boppy Nursing Pillow– I’ve tried a few brands of breastfeeding pillows that were handed down to me and ended up coming back to the Boppy again this time around bc it is the most comfortable. They have tons of cute cover designs to choose from as well.

A good pump- I got mine through insurance and ended up with the Spectra S1 which does the job but I have nothing to compare it to. If I did it over, I’d probably get a hands-free pump like the Elvie, especially if it’s your second baby, so you can move around more freely. Pro-tip, buy an extra set of flanges (great word!) so if one set is dirty and you’re too exhausted to wash them, you can still pump.

Milk Storage Bags– You don’t need any of the fancy milk storage contraptions, in my opinion. I bought this 50-pack of bags for $7 and I don’t produce enough that I’ll need more than that at any point. This is a great resource to learn more about storing, freezing, and thawing breastmilk.

Newborn feeding Essentials:

Bottles- Amalia used Dr. Brown’s bottles because she had a sensitive stomach but they’re a giant pain to wash so we started Luca on Philips Avent bottles and he took to them right away. We use the glass version. You’ll probably have to test different bottles to see what your baby likes though! The Babylist Bottle Box is a cool concept because you can buy one box with one of each popular baby bottle.

Bottle Sterilizer- We have the Baby Brezza Sterilizer and Dryer but any of them are fine! You just need to have one to sterilize bottles, nipples, and pumping equipment if you pump.

Boon Lawn Drying Rack– This has held up for both kids. We just added the tree to it for extra storage.

OXO Bottle Brush with Nipple Cleaner– This one doesn’t look too terrible on the counter either.

Babyganics Bottle Wash– I like that it’s easy to pump and scent-free. We buy large refill bottles to save on plastic.

Nice to have: Formula Pro Advanced– This is definitely not essential but if you’re giving your baby formula, this machine, basically a Keurig for baby bottles is so helpful. You can make a bottle from your phone in the other room and it will heat it up to whatever temperature you choose.

Transparency note: this product was gifted to us.

Newborn Sleeping Essentials:

SwaddleMe Swaddles– Every baby likes a different swaddle apparently but these have been a Godsend for us with both kids.  They are the only ones that really keep them swaddled for us. I recommend buying the size small (NOT small/medium) for the first few weeks for the best fit.

Soothie Pacifiers– Amalia never took a pacifier but the Avent Soothies have been so helpful for Luca when he’s fussy and can’t go down.

Vava Baby Monitor– Our old monitor crapped out so I put Anel in charge of finding a new one. He did a lot of research and landed on the Vava. The picture is really clear and you can move it around from the remote if your baby scoots around in the crib like Luca does.

Monitor Clip– We’ve always had a hard time figuring out where to put the monitor camera but Anel also bought this clip that can go on a bookshelf or the crib itself (until they can grab it)

FridaBaby Humidifier– But any humidifier will do.

Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine– Amalia uses this and we got one for Luca too. We know it will be able to grow with him. You can change the sounds, volume, and light color from an app in the other room which is a nice feature.

Nice to have: SNOO Smart Sleeper Bassinet– I wrote a review of the SNOO when Amalia was a baby. We absolutely love it and now they have a rental option which is at least a little more affordable.

Transparency note: this product was gifted to us when Amalia was a baby.

Newton Baby Crib Mattress– This mattress is 100% breathable and makes us feel really safe. The cover comes right off for easy cleaning! Use code JULIA50 for $50 off.

Transparency note: this product was gifted to us and I have an ongoing Instagram partnership with the brand.

Newborn Hangout Essentials:

Boppy ComfyFit Baby Carrier– This is one of my top recommendations. It’s the only carrier that I find both comfy for me and the baby AND easy to put on and take off. Everyone I share it with loves it too. The baby can face in at first and when he or she gets bigger, they can face out. I can’t recommend it enough!

Boppy Newborn Lounger– I got this as a hand me down and thought it wouldn’t be that helpful but Luca loves to sit in it both inside and out. We put him in it while we eat dinner or Amalia plays outside. It props up his head enough so that he can look around.

Babybjorn Bouncer– This bouncer is one of my favorite newborn items. I put him in it while I take a shower (we have a glass shower so I can see him) and it gives me the 10 minutes I need to do that without any childcare. Yay for self care and baby bouncers!

Dockatot Deluxe+– This is another one of our favorites. We used it for Luca and Amalia for hanging out when they were really tiny and for naps right next to us in those early days. Now he naps in the SNOO but at the beginning, he’d sleep in this next to me all day.

Transparency note: this product was gifted to us and is not intended for nighttime sleep.

Playgym– We have the best play gym ever from a collaboration between Fisher-Price and Jonathan Adler. They don’t make it anymore but there are a ton of great play gyms out there. I linked one with a light on it because that is what keeps my babies the happiest.

Doona– We don’t have this but I wish we did! It’s an infant car seat that turns into a stroller without having to put together or take apart anything. Every mom I know who has one swears by it. If I were doing it over, I would get one, but we already have two strollers and two car seats.

Newborn Bathing Essentials:

Anglecare Baby Bath– We got this as a hand-me-down and it’s great because it’s small, you can hang it on the wall, and it’s easy to clean. It says you can use it for up to 6 months so we should be good for a while.

Munchkin Shampoo Rinser– I use this for Luca and Amalia. It makes bathtime just that much easier

Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo & Wash– This smell reminds me of Amalia as a baby. I wish they would make it into a perfume for me!

Hooded Towel & Washcloths- Any brand is fine. We like PB Kids and Aiden & Anais.

Newborn Diaper Essentials:

Diaper Genie– People also love the Ubbi. Either one works just fine but you def need a diaper pail.

Keekaroo Changing Pad– I had a changing pad with a cover for Amalia but as a boy mom, I’m so happy I got the Keekaroo. It wipes clean without having to put anything in the wash and looks sleek in the nursery.

Hello Bello Diapers & Wipes– If you’re a first-time customer, use code LEMON for 20% off at this link.

Newborn Clothing Essentials:

Footie Pajamas– Having a pair of PJs that zipped up from the top and bottom was clutch. I bought a size newborn and a size 0-3 of these for Luca and he wears them all the time. He even wore them home from the hospital! Kyte is also 100% organic cotton and so so soft.

H&M Baby Onesies– Both of my babies were born in warm months so they lived in short and long-sleeved onesies for the first two months of their lives. I like H&M’s because their sizing is on point. They have sizes 0-1 month, 1-2, 2-4, etc.

In my experience, that’s all you really need for everyday wear when they’re first born… PJs and onesies. But if you want something cute for photos, go for it! They grow out of newborn size and 0-3 size so quickly it’s not worth it to spend a lot on clothes at this age, IMO.

Newborn Walking Essentials:

Stroller- I don’t know what the hot one is these days but we have the UppaBaby Vista and still really love it. It pairs with our car seat, the Mesa, and I have no complaints other than that it’s huge!

Clip-On Fan– If you have a baby in the summer, this is so helpful for walks. We just bought this one that is easily adjustable.

Muslin Blankets– For covering the stroller when it’s hot and sunny and for covering the baby when it’s colder.

Travel Noise Machine– We actually don’t use this for Luca on walks because he seems to be able to sleep through anything, but Amalia was a light sleeper and it helped a lot.

Transparency note: I had a paid partnership with Hello Bello on Instagram earlier this month.

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  1. Katherine said:

    Love the list! My second is 3 weeks old and love following your journey with two!

    6.10.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Congratulations Katherine!

      6.16.21 · Reply
  2. Jackie said:

    YES to the Momcozy pumping bra – my fav and I have tried several!

    I also love to recommend the disposable baby changing pads (aka dog wee-wee pads haha). I lay several stacked on our changing pad so if any poop or pee get ours while we’re changing, I have less laundry to do. These also worked wonders for a friend who’s baby has reflux – she lines the bassinet and boppy lounger to catch any spit up and reduce laundry.

    6.10.21 · Reply
  3. Lisa said:

    I great post, Julia! Have you found sealable caps for the Phillips Avent glass bottles?

    6.10.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I just use the plastic caps that come with the bottles. Is there something else I need??

      6.10.21 · Reply
      • Lisa said:

        No, I was just curious if you had found screw-on, flat caps for the bottles that would allow for milk storage in the fridge or freezer. My internet searches haven’t yielded anything.

        The caps and nipples the avent bottles come with are great for feeding in my opinion!

        6.11.21 · Reply
  4. Julie said:

    Try the Larken-X nursing/pumping bra! Company was started by a friend of mine (supporting small businesses!) Bra is super comfy, I have three and still wear them even though I’m done breastfeeding. Can’t recommend enough – can buy on Amazon or direct through their website .

    6.10.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      So many people have recommended this, thanks!

      6.16.21 · Reply
  5. Andrea said:

    Re:nursing/pumping bras, check out Larken!! It’s been a game changer https://shoplarken.com/products/the-larken-x?variant=31581660053549

    6.10.21 · Reply
  6. Sarah said:

    Quick note to say that this list is great! You actually only need to sterilizer your bottles daily if you have a preemie or are on well (non chlorinated ) water. Otherwise , according to our ped, you just need to sterilize new bottles and then use hot soapy water to clean.
    I would love to hear more about your experience with Snoo

    6.15.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Oh good to know! I do mine once a week… Will be asking my ped about this at our appt tomorrow because it’s a PITA 🙂

      6.16.21 · Reply
  7. Caitlin said:

    My daughter is a few days younger then Luca can you talk about the dockatot vs boppy lounger. We love our boppy lounger, but my daughter is super tall and quickly outgrowing it. Considering the dockatot. Would love your thoughts. Thank

    6.16.21 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      The dockatot that I have also isn’t super long but I know they have a bigger version that might fit her.

      6.16.21 · Reply