No matter when your baby is due, you are probably thinking of all the things you need to have done for baby’s first weeks at home.
Whether you are actually doing it is another thing..."PROCRASTINATORS UNITE!" But, stashing these household essentials before baby arrives will make you feel like you’ve got your sh*t together even while you’re fumbling around with your newborn baby.
***BFF ALERT*** (If your BFF is a new mom, you can bring her these instead of ANOTHER newborn outfit.)
Take a tip from the seasoned mamas at Café Mama!
We've compiled this list of things they wish they had and things they are glad they had! Nothing makes you feel crappier with a newborn (pun intended) than discovering you’ve run out of wipes or toilet paper! And we've included a copy/paste list at the end.
Here’s the top ten things Café Mama mamas declared essential:
1. Freezer meals
Even if you don’t have a deep freeze, you can still prioritize and pack a lot of food away. Make double meals and freeze half. One mom did this and had over twenty meals stored away in a deep freezer before her baby arrived. Adding what friends and family brought, she didn’t have to cook for a month! PRO tip: Buy a pack of sharpie markers and a box of 60 or 100 multi-sized food containers. Label EVERYTHING.
If you aren’t into cooking (or don’t have time,) find a few favorite frozen meals from Sam’s Club or your favorite supermarket. Or ask for frozen dinners on your registry.
Another idea is setting up a Meal Train. Meal Train is a website where you can specify what you like to eat, and when you want it, and your family and friends can bring it.
After giving birth, most moms say they are even hungrier than while pregnant! And you don’t have time to eat, either. Buy a variety of your favorite snack foods for second breakfasts and middle of the night snacks. And if you have older kids, get their favorites too.
Mamas listed sliced cheese, crackers, nut mix, dried fruit, granola, dried seaweed, tortilla chips, hummus, yogurt, protein, nut or granola bars, kefir, chocolate bars, smoothie mixes and some yummy drinks.
Recovering from birth and breastfeeding makes you thirsty and many mamas appreciated a treat like coconut water, Bolthouse drinks, chai, chocolate milk and kefir. (Skip the artificial colors though--it’s a myth that blue Gatorade makes more milk.) And picking up a case of water is recommended. (Yes, I know you have a very nice S'well. But, it doesn't fill itself.)
A nice bottle of wine or beer is a classy way to toast your significant other for a job well done! And yes, you can have a drink and still breastfeed!
3. Toilet paper and wipes
All those yummy snacks and drinks ^^^^ mean you need toilet paper. And guests like it too. Bring those big ol’ packs and a couple of rolls of paper towels right into the bathrooms where they are accessible.
(Note from Donna: As a Lactation Consultant, I go into people’s homes to help them with breastfeeding. Before I start, I always wash my hands carefully and then dry my hands on the damp and well-used hand towel hanging by the sink. IMHO...Paper towels in the bathroom are a thing everybody should have.
And tissues. You will be very emotional and crying. Buy an 8-pack of those little square tissue boxes, one for each room.
4. Soap, shampoo, conditioner and razors
The MOST depressing thing in the world is when you need a shower more than food or sleep, the baby obligingly falls asleep, and you hop into the shower only to find you don't have one of these things. And the Café Mama Mamas agree that after having a baby, most of the time you will not be thinking of shaving, but if you do, it will be possible.
5. Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Imagine feeling totally triumphant when you present your mother-in-law with a brand new toothbrush and her very own toothpaste, because she forgot hers!
"Yesssss! Organized New Mama for the win!"
6. Paper plates, cups, napkins, and foil pans
It’s not 'eco' but something’s got to give. It’s a short time in your life and unless you have a maid, nobody’s got time for dishes.
7. Dishwasher detergent and soap
At some point, the paper plates will run out, or you will feel guilty about the forests and landfills, or you will miss your favorite coffee cup and you will wash dishes again.
8. Garbage and kitchen trash bags and ziplock bags in snack, sandwich and gallon sizes
The amount of garbage a tiny baby generates is shocking. Between disposable diapers, gift wrapping and product packaging, you will have lots of trash. Ziplock bags have a multitude of uses like organizing your diaper bag, sorting small toys, packing snacks and storing breast pump parts in the fridge between pumping (so you only have to wash them once a day.)
9. Free & clear laundry detergent and stain remover
Especially if you have older children, you will be doing laundry day and night in the early weeks. Most first-time mamas launder with Dreft and most second-time mamas stocked up on their favorite “Free and Clear” detergent for the whole family.
10. Sibling Bling
They are excited about a baby! And after they understand the new rules, you may be hearing things like, "Mommy, I'm bored!" and "When is the baby going home?" Browse the dollar store for books and bling to entertain siblings. Pack up their "I'm-bored-with-this" toys for a well-deserved rest until after the baby comes. Pick up a few things at garage sales and consider investing in a much-deserved "Big Bro" gift like a bike or baby doll.
This stash of household items will alleviate stress and unwanted trips to the store with a newborn.
While it may seem like a big cash outlay all at once, If you start stockpiling during pregnancy, you have time to wait for sales and find coupons and and save money while you are at it.
Here's the copy/paste quicklist:
Freezer meals, sharpie marker, plastic containers
Cheese, hummus, yogurt, kefir,
Bolthouse drinks, coconut water, yummy drinks and water in case packs
Nut mix, dried fruit, granola,
Tortilla chips, crackers, protein, nut or granola bars,
Chocolate bars, tea, decaf coffee
Smoothie mixes, dried seaweed
Toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and wipes
Soap, shampoo, conditioner and razors
Toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste
Paper plates, cups, napkins, foil pans and ziplock bags
Garbage bags, kitchen bags
Laundry detergent, dish detergent, dish soap, sponges