Bringing a new life into this world is a beautiful and transformative experience. But, as any new parent will tell you, it can also be incredibly challenging, especially during those precious first few weeks postpartum. As night nannies with years of experience, we’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of being prepared for the postpartum period. Below we share a list of essential items and practices that can make a world of difference in helping new parents navigate the early days and nights with their newborn.
1. Meal Prepping Pre-Baby’s Arrival
Let’s start with one of the most critical aspects of postpartum recovery and survival: food. After the birth of a baby, meal prepping becomes a lifesaver. Cooking meals from scratch is often the last thing on new parents’ minds, so having a well-stocked freezer filled with nutritious, pre-prepared meals can be a game-changer. Consider preparing and freezing a variety of dishes like casseroles, soups, and lasagnas that can easily be reheated in a pinch. Don’t forget to include plenty of easy-to-grab snacks like protein bars, yogurt, and fruit for those hunger pangs between meals or late-night feedings.
2. Comfy Clothes are a Must
While it’s tempting to want to bounce back to your pre-pregnancy wardrobe, comfort should be your top priority during the postpartum period. Invest in a collection of loose-fitting, breathable, and soft clothing. Think cozy pajamas, oversized T-shirts, and stretchy leggings. Nursing mothers should consider getting a few nursing bras and tops for easy and discreet feeding. Comfortable footwear, like slip-on shoes or slippers, is also helpful for those late-night feedings and diaper changes.
3. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key to postpartum recovery, especially if you’re breastfeeding. A giant water bottle, the kind with a straw and a handle, can be a lifesaver. Keep it filled and within arm’s reach at all times. Having a designated water bottle means you won’t have to constantly search for a glass and risk spilling it in the dark. Staying well-hydrated can help boost your energy levels, support milk production, and speed up the healing process.
4. Create a “Feeding Cart” for Convenience
When you’re waking up multiple times during the night to feed your baby, convenience is crucial. Create a “feeding cart” that you can roll from room to room, stocked with essentials like diapers, wipes, burp cloths, and a changing pad. Having everything within arm’s reach will save you from multiple trips to the nursery, and you’ll appreciate this organization in the bleary-eyed hours of the night.
5. Invest in a Good Breast Pump
If you plan to breastfeed, a high-quality breast pump is a must-have for new mothers. It allows you to express milk for those times when you can’t be with your baby or need to relieve engorgement. There are many options available, from manual to electric pumps, so find one that suits your needs. Also, consider a hands-free pumping bra to make multitasking easier.
6. Stock Up on Diapers and Wipes
You can never have too many diapers and wipes during the early days of parenthood. Babies go through an astonishing number of diaper changes, and you don’t want to find yourself running out in the middle of the night. Buy diapers in various sizes to accommodate your baby as they grow. Opt for unscented wipes to minimize the risk of irritation on your baby’s delicate skin.
7. Don’t Forget Self-Care Items
In the midst of taking care of a newborn, it’s easy for parents to neglect their own well-being. Prioritize self-care by stocking up on items like soothing bath salts, essential oils, and skincare products. A warm bath or a few moments of quiet pampering can make a world of difference in reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
8. Enlist Help and Support
Last but certainly not least, remember that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Enlist the help and support of family and friends who are willing to lend a hand. Whether it’s cooking a meal, doing laundry, or simply holding the baby for a little while so you can rest, accepting help can make the postpartum period much more manageable. Here at Indy Night Nanny we are also available to assist with the night time schedule to help everyone get the rest that they need.
The postpartum period can be a beautiful yet challenging time for new parents. By preparing for the journey ahead with these essential items and practices, you can make the transition smoother and more enjoyable. Remember that every family’s needs are different, so adapt these suggestions to fit your unique circumstances. And above all, savor every precious moment with your newborn, as they grow up faster than you can imagine.
Follow along with us @indynightnanny.
Follow along with us @indynightnanny.