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I have several lists about must-haves for babies, things you should put on your registry, things to buy moms for their baby showers, and even the most basic list of baby essentials. That’s not what we are talking about today. Today I want to talk about things to buy before your baby is born that you normally wouldn’t see on a must-have baby item list, the things that people don’t really think about, but that are SUPER convenient to have on hand when you get home from the hospital.
The last thing you want to do when you come home from the hospital with a baby is go to the store because you don’t have something you need, and having these things at home is going to be super helpful. Some of these things are for your postpartum comfort and some of them are for taking care of a newborn, but either way, you’ll be happy you have them and they’ll help eliminate some of the stress of coming home from the hospital!
Here are 12 things to buy before your baby is born that you wouldn’t normally think about:
Witch hazel pads. These were probably my favorite thing I got from the hospital when my first two were born. They provide so much relief after your baby is born, and I ran out of the ones they provided me with pretty fast. You just set one or two in your undies on top of the lovely maxi pads you have to wear postpartum and they provide cooling relief you will so desperately crave. Something like these Tucks pads that will last you until you don’t need them anymore.
Stain remover. No matter how absorbent your diapers are or how often you change them, you’re probably going to experience a few blowouts. My personal favorite way to get blowout stains out of clothes can be found here, and it uses OxiClean. The sooner you get it on the stain the easier it will be to clean (but it does work on set-in stains, too), so it’s better to have some on hand. Otherwise you might ruin some of your favorite baby outfits!
Cotton balls. This was a tip we picked up from the baby basics class we took at the hospital before our first was born. When you’re cleaning baby in the bath, using a warm, wet cotton ball (one for each eye, swept from inside to outside of the eye) is a super easy, hygienic, and simple way to clean your baby’s eyes. Babies get a lot of crusties, and this is one way we found to clean them gently!
Diaper ointment. Extra diaper rash cream is good to have on hand no matter what, but if you are having a boy and are planning on circumcising him, you are especially going to want to have some A+D Ointment (and some gauze pads) to take care of his little manhood until it heals up. A+D also makes diaper rash cream, but the kind I am talking about is the prevent kind and not the treat kind. We ran out of the one we got from the hospital really fast, so we are definitely going to have some extra on hand this time.
Stretchy cotton underwear you can throw away. If you don’t know already, you bleed a lot after your baby is born. Like, imagine your worst period you’ve ever had and multiply that by five. And even with those wonderful diaper-like maxi pads in your underwear, you’re still probably going to destroy a few pairs. I have several pairs of cotton underwear (so they’re breathable) that I use only for this period of time because if I end up having to throw them away, it doesn’t even matter to me. Just buy a cheap pack that aren’t too tight and you won’t feel attached to.
Extra maxi pads. Yes, the hospital will probably give you some of these, too, but it’s not going to last you as long as you’ll need them. So buy some extra thick maxi pads (with wings to prevent leaking, even though they are weird and will make you feel old and lame). Ones that are specifically for wearing overnight (like these) are a great idea since you won’t have to change them as often that way.
Soothies gel pads. Besides the witch hazel pads, my absolute favorite thing I got from the hospital was a set of these soothies gel pads. You put them in the fridge and then they get all nice and cold and feel SO GOOD on your tender, sore, aching breasts as you adjust to your milk supply and your nipples toughen up. I was super bummed they only gave me one set, and they can only be reused for 72 hours, so I’m definitely going to buy a few sets of these for when I get home from the hospital. They are heaven.
Nipple cream. Another thing you should prepare for is sore nipples. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s going to take some time to adjust to having a baby suck on your nipples, and if you don’t have any nipple cream, you run the risk of drying out your nipples (sounds awful, right?). Your nipples will probably hurt at first (they shouldn’t after you get used to it), and having some nipple cream to rub on them after every feeding session really helps keep them moisturized. My favorite that I’ve tried is the kind from Lansinoh.
Breast pads. So you probably have heard of this one before, but I still want to include them because you cannot survive breastfeeding without them. And even if you aren’t planning on breastfeeding or end up not being able to, you’re going to want some to prevent leaking as you dry out. You can use washable ones or disposable ones (I much prefer disposable like these from Babies R Us). Either way, you’ll need a lot of these, so get some extras so you don’t have to go to the store for a long time.
Baby mittens. This was one that for real saved us. Both of our babies have been born with tiny claws, and it’s pretty much impossible to cut their nails when they are that little, so having some baby mittens so they wouldn’t scratch their little face up was a must for us. Some baby clothes have them built into the sleeves which is nice, but if you aren’t lucky enough to have them for every single outfit (who would?), have a pair or two of these so your baby won’t get claw marks all over their perfect little face (or yours!).
Baby nail file. Nobody ever told me about this before our son was born, and it kind of relates to the thing above, but filing your baby’s nails is the best way to get rid of those sharp little claws. We didn’t have any idea when Little J was born, so my husband had to go to the hospital gift shop and buy a tiny little overpriced nail file for him. A lot of baby hygiene kits (which are GREAT to register for) have these in them, but if you don’t get one, make sure you have a tiny baby nail file to help trim down their sharp nails when they’re born.
Stool softener. Another sucky thing about having a baby is that you basically cannot use any force to poop for the first week or two without horrible pain. So make sure you have stool softener at home to help you keep things regular. I’ve never experienced this, but I’m sure getting constipated right after having a baby is mega painful, and I’d prefer not to experience it. Just grab a little bottle before you have your baby and you should be good to go.
Well hopefully a lot of that information was new to you and hopefully it really helps make postpartum life with a newborn a lot easier and more comfortable for everyone! And if you really do want one of my more traditional baby must-have lists, check out some of these posts: