Postpartum Stash

No matter when your baby is due, you are probably thinking of all the things you need to get ready for your baby’s first weeks at home.

(Whether you are actually doing it is another thing–PROCRASTINATORS UNITE!)

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 The Breastfeeding Café!

I’ve compiled this list of things mamas wish they had and things they are glad they had. Nothing makes you feel crappier with a newborn (pun intended!) than finding out you’ve run out of wipes or toilet paper.

Here are the top ten things The Breastfeeding Café mamas declared essential:

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 (mealtrain.com).

Snacks
After giving birth, most moms said they were 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, fresh fruit and vegetables, 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, smoothie drinks and kefir. (Skip the artificial colors though–it’s a myth that blue Gatorade makes more milk.) 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!

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 so they are accessible.
(As a Lactation Consultant, I go into people’s homes to help them with breastfeeding. Before I start, I always wash my hands carefully while looking at the damp and well-used hand towel hanging by the sink. IMHO…Paper towels in the bathroom are a thing everybody should have. I do bring my own hand towels to appointments, so don’t worry on my account.)

Soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion 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 believe me, after having a baby, most of the time you will not be thinking of shaving, but if you do, it will be possible.

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!

Paper plates, cups, napkins, and foil pans
It’s not ‘eco’ or saving the planet, 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.

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 be doing dishes again.

Garbage and kitchen trash bags and ziplock bags, snack, sandwich and gallon
It’s shocking how much garbage a tiny baby generates. 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 twice a day.)

Free and clear laundry detergent and stain remover
Especially if you have houseguests or older children, you will be doing laundry day and night in the early weeks. Most first-time mamas laundered with Dreft and most second-time mamas just stocked up on their favorite “Free and Clear” detergent. Nothing against Dreft, but “Free and Clear” is just fine for tender newborn skin. Consider the fact that dryer sheets leave a waxy residue on clothing that may bother some babies and will definitely wreck your cloth diapers.

Sibling bling and learning toys
Siblings 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 library and 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 brother/sister gift like a bike or Waldorf baby doll.

This stash of household items will alleviate stress and unwanted trips to the store with a newborn. As an added bonus, if you start stashing during pregnancy, you have time to watch for sales, find coupons and save money while you are at it.

Here’s the copy/paste quicklist:

Freezer meals, sharpie marker, plastic containers
Cheese, hummus, yogurt, kefir
Smoothie drinks, coconut water, yummy drinks, juices
Nuts, nut mix, dried fruit, instant oatmeal, granola
Tortilla chips, crackers, protein, nut or granola bars
Chocolate bars, teas, decaf coffee
Smoothie mixes, dried seaweed
Wine, beer
Toilet paper, paper towels, light flow sanitary pads and wipes
Soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and razors
Toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste
Paper plates, cups, napkins, foil pans and ziplock bags
Garbage bags, tall kitchen bags, small bags for individual diapers when away from home
Laundry detergent, dish detergent, dish soap, sponges
Stain remover
Sibling bling and learning toys

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