Some of the items are obvious and simple, while others involve me second guessing everything we did the first time around. Let's be honest, there are also things I don't even remember about the first time around, so I'm reaching way back in my sleep deprived brain to try and make this list .
1) Mama Cloth- Yes, I'm starting with mama on this one. Forget that new screaming infant for a minute. I had no idea what to prepare for after birth last time around. Nobody warned me. Well here I am warning you. I will not endure the surfboard sized disposable pads and itchy disposable underwear again. I even ended up using some of my husband's old boxer shorts after my first delivery because I was out of hospital supplied mesh panties, but not ready to open my own underwear drawer yet.
Pink Lemonade makes a variety of reusable cloth pads in minky, bamboo velour, and cotton velour. They even have a 13 inch postpartum pad that I'm going for along with a few overnights and smaller pads for when things eventually taper off (and I promise they will...eventually).
2) Nursing Pads- I already started with mama, might as well stick with it right? Again, naive first time mama version of me didn't know what to expect in this category either. I had a pack of disposable nursing pads that a friend had passed on to me, but I also endured several nights of waking up to a wet pool of sour smelling breastmilk on the bed. Reusable nursing pads are so much more absorbent, comfortable, and cost effective. The Nicki's Diapers Stay Dry Nursing Pads are my favorite and come in a set of three pairs.
3) Newborn Cloth Diapers- Like many new cloth families, we didn't get brave with the cloth right away. We waited until the umbilical cord stump fell off and she had grown a bit to dive into the cloth world. Little did we know how addicted we'd be and never want to touch a disposable diaper again.
We're excited to try the Imagine Newborn Stay-Dry All in One since we know the fleece will keep baby feeling dry so that they hopefully sleep a bit longer (please baby sleep!). While we are snap lovers with our older daughter, hook and loop is a perfect option for quick changes with a squirmy newborn.
4) Diaper Bag - Yes, we already have one (or thirteen) of these, but two children in cloth diapers means we need more space! I tend to be an over packer, planning for the worst even when we're making a quick trip to the grocery store.
The Ju-Ju-Be Prepared is the ultimate over packers dream! The inner pockets are even color coded for multiple children, which feeds right into my obsessive organizational needs. I also love that they come in cute prints so that I can pretend I'm a stylish millennial rather than an overtired mama.
5) Baby Carrier- Baby carriers are another item that we only came to appreciate a few months after our first was born. There were days when she needed the close touch of mama and the only way anyone else in the house was going to eat dinner was if I was wearing her. With baby #2 on the way, we know that walks for a while will consist of wearing one child while the other is in the stroller and many play dates with our firstborn will include the newborn snuggled on my chest.
For the tiniest of babies, a wrap is the perfect option for keeping baby securely snuggled in so you can be hands free. The Boba wrap is a great example of this since its designed for babies 7-35 pounds and there are no buckles, straps, or buttons to mess with. The learning curve of tying it on is easy and you'll become a pro quickly.
Once the baby is a little older and has a little more head control, a soft structured carrier is perfect for baby wearing. Most options like the Tula or Lillebaby can be used for both front and back carry. Some brands also have an infant insert so you can start using them even younger. They distribute the weight evenly over the parents shoulders and hips enabling you to wear them for long periods of time with no discomfort.
6) Bamboo Swaddling Blanket- Yes, we already have lots of blankets and could probably get away without a new one. But have you felt these?! They've all already been claimed in our house because they are so soft and snuggly. Just like I think every new baby deserves a special coming home outfit, Imagine Bamboo Swaddling blankets have been added to my list of new baby must haves. They are light, breathable, adorable, and did I mention soft? Whether you use it to actually swaddle baby or not, cuddling with this blanket will keep everyone happy.
7) Cozy Plush- Remember, I still have an older child that needs love and attention during the transition, so this one is for her. I now cringe when I think of the times I went to friend's houses to visit a new baby, gift in hand for the new little, completely forgetting the older child. A cozy plush is a stuffed animal that can be warmed up in the microwave for extra comfort on these cold winter nights and smells like soothing lavender. We plan on giving this as a gift from our new baby to our older one when she comes to the hospital to meet her.
What else am I forgetting? I'm sure there's plenty that I've forgotten about those first few sleep deprived weeks and many of you have already gone through this transition. Help a mama out and leave us a comment with your tips and advice!