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Ah, postpartum life. Nothing like sore everything, sleep deprivation, and new baby sweetness! So much bleeding…so many emotions running high. For me, the first few months after having a new baby are always so wonderful and awful at the same time- wonderful because of all the love a new family member brings, and awful because of the stress and sleep deprivation. Seriously, sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on my brain!
While I can’t do anything for new moms to help with the sleep deprivation, I would like to recommend a few products that have made my life easier with every baby. Here I go into controversial territory, since there are so many opinions about parenting and baby feeding! Please don’t take anything I recommend as a criticism of anyone else’s parenting. There are many right ways to parent.
Products for new moms: Infant feeding
Again, there are many right ways to parent, and many opinions out there about breastfeeding and formula feeding. My opinion (for whatever it’s worth) is that both breastfeeding and formula feeding are great options for feeding a baby, and moms should feel free to choose the option that works for them.
I was never super successful with breastfeeding, but I attempted it for the first few months with each of my babies and used some products that made my life easier.
- Dr Brown’s feeding bottles are by far my favorite brand of baby bottle, whether for feeding with formula or with pumped breastmilk. The unique design of the bottle, with a reservoir inside, helps to channel air bubbles away from the liquid so baby isn’t drinking air. They have more components than other baby bottles, but I feel that the extra steps in putting the bottle together (which don’t take a ton of time) are worth the benefits of a baby without gas.
2. Lansinoh Mommah is my second favorite baby bottle. I used these bottles for baby #3, who had a lip tie and some minor issues with feeding. For whatever reason, the shape of the Lansinoh bottle nipple just seemed to be more comfortable for her. The NaturalWave nipple is designed to help reduce nipple confusion and encourage optimal sucking for breastfed babies.
3. Speaking of formula, I LOVE this article on the types of baby formula. It was very helpful to me when my baby struggled with dairy sensitivity and we had to troubleshoot a few different formulas. This formula has been our favorite, so far, for sensitive-tummy babies. It’s very similar to Enfamil’s Gentlease, but costs half as much, and you can get it at Kroger grocery stores.
Products for new moms: Breastfeeding
As I previously mentioned, I was never super successful with breastfeeding. Despite all my efforts, it never seemed to be in the cards for me. But I pumped quite a bit in the process of attempting to breastfeed, especially with my twins. I used several different breast pumps, depending on which one the insurance would pay for at the time.
4. My favorite (non-hospital grade) of the different pumps I tried was the Ameda Purely Yours. The tubing doesn’t get water backing up into it like the Medela systems tend to. The Ameda pump, for being relatively inexpensive, seemed pretty powerful and effective compared to other pumps I tried. The other reason I recommend Ameda is for their customer service. I went through two or three pumps after the twins were born. I ran those things into the ground (I pumped a lot those first seven months!), and kept wearing them out. The customer service was so quick and responsive. I think they replaced the pump at no cost to me at least once. They were also super helpful any time I ran into issues with the pump.
5. Microwave sterilizer bags were also a huge thing for making my life easier when I pumped for my twins. I pumped 7-8 times a day, so being able to sterilize the pump/bottle pieces in the microwave (rather than having to handwash them or run the dishwasher 8 times a day!) was a huge time-saver.
Products for new moms: Baby sleep
6. The Halo sleep sack is my favorite swaddling blanket. The zipper design on the front of the blanket keeps the blanket secure on the baby (unlike other swaddling blankets that just have the Velcro; my babies would always find a way to wiggle out of them!). The Velcro flaps can be wrapped over baby’s arms, and can also be wrapped underneath the arms as the baby starts to transition out of swaddling.
7. Here I go again, into controversial territory. Again, there are many right ways to parent. Everyone has their own opinions about sleep training infants. If you are interested in a resource to help you get your baby on a feeding/sleeping schedule, I recommend the Babywise series. The information in the first book, On Becoming Babywise, helped us get our babies on a schedule within the first few weeks after birth. All of our babies slept through the night on their own around four months old (and no, we didn’t need to do the cry-it-out method). Chronicles of a Babywise Mom is a great resource for additional suggestions and ideas for Babywise, with sample sleep schedules.
Speaking of sleep, I really really value sleep. I feel it’s extremely important for my family and me to get adequate sleep so we can be functional people. For this reason, I don’t think anyone should be hesitant to hire a sleep consultant if they are struggling with teaching their child to sleep. As an example, Marietta (Little Dreamers) is wonderful. I have attended a few of her free Q&A’s to get help for some questions about getting my toddlers to sleep. She is extremely knowledgeable and has some wonderful resources on her website.
Products for new moms: emotional health
Having a baby is so wonderful and also so stressful. It can be very difficult for new moms. Be kind and patient with yourself.
8. If you need help coping with the stress, I recommend considering a therapy app such as Talkspace. This app allows you to connect with a licensed therapist and talk with them over the phone, video chat, and/or text. This can be very helpful for moms who don’t have access to a babysitter, or aren’t physically well enough to go to a counseling appointment.
9. I’ve recommended Jody Moore before, and here I go again. This podcast episode was incredibly helpful to me as I navigated the changes that came with a new baby.
The above products have DEFINITELY made my life easier when having babies. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you are an expecting mom or a new mom, take a minute to remind yourself you are awesome and doing a wonderful job! Because we moms are great at being hard on ourselves. Check out these products to see if they help make your life easier, and while you’re at it, leave the mommy guilt at the door. You’ve got this!
For products that helped make my life easier during pregnancy, check out this post.
For my take on gestational diabetes, check out this post.
Which products have helped you in your journey as a new mom? Share in the comments!