I’ve been a new mama four times, to four sweet babies, and when I think about “must-haves” for new mamas, I don’t think about the same things that I used to. I used to come up with a list of baby products that were helpful or fun, but since having done this a few times, there are some things that stand out in my mind. If you are a new mom, try to get these must-haves. And if you can supply some of these not-as-obvious things to a new mom, it will make her days getting to know her brand-new baby a little better. In no particular order:
Not-So-Obvious “Must-Haves” For New Moms
1. Mom friends. Support from family is obviously a must-have, and you are so blessed if you have a good support system! But I think something that new moms forget about sometimes is the benefit of having friends who are moms. It’s just nice when you aren’t the only person you know who is sleep-deprived, and knowing moms with older kids reminds you that the nighttime feedings, and the sweet newborn snuggles, won’t last forever. Not sure where to find them? Start with calling churches in your area to see if any of them have a moms group.
2. A break. The newborn days are some of the sweetest, and you should soak up every moment, but when you reach that point where you need some time without a baby strapped to you, ask for a break. Grandmas are usually thrilled to take the baby for a while. Husbands want to help you, even when they don’t always know-how, and this is a great way they can pitch in. Even some of your friends might be happy to get their baby fix while you shop alone (or just shower alone)! If you feel like you need it, ask for a break.
3. Some sort of ban from using Google. Google can be helpful at times, such as for finding more information about an illness. But it can become a problem if you get too concerned about googling milestones that your child might be missing, or if you let it convince you that eczema your baby has might be scarlet fever. If you recognize yourself in that last sentence, assign the googling to someone who is less likely to think the worst!
4. Freezer meals. Freezer meals really do make everyone’s life easier, especially during that first week home from the hospital. You can make your own in preparation for your baby—there are tons of resources on Pinterest! For those of you who need a gift idea for a friend who just had a baby, bring a freezer meal. I haven’t met a mom yet who didn’t appreciate it.
5. Whatever baby item you might want to try (within your budget). You know that thing that you didn’t get at your shower, but that you think about every now and then with longing? Give that baby squeak-toy, teether or cool nursing cover a try! New motherhood is such a limited window in your life, if you think something might be helpful or fun, I say go for it.
6. Baby books. People always forget about baby books amidst the rest of the exciting baby items, but as your baby gets older, you’ll want to have some handy. Even before your baby understands the words, they will love to look at the pictures and hear your voice vibrating against their back as they sit in your lap. Books always make a unique baby shower gift too (it’s very unlikely someone else will buy the same book for their present). Check out God Bless Our Baby, an adorable baby book that will help older siblings thank God for the new addition to your family!
And, most importantly…
7. Time with the Lord every day. It’s really hard to make time for Bible reading and prayer during the newborn haze when you feel like you can barely fit a shower in, but it’s so important to make sure your relationship with Jesus doesn’t suffer amidst the adjustment. With my first couple of kids, I used the first nursing session of the day for my quiet time. With the second couple of kids, I snuck it in wherever it would fit because I knew I needed that refreshment for my soul. It doesn’t even have to be at the same time every day (though that helps to make sure you don’t forget), but try to remember to spend time with Jesus, Who blessed you with this sweet bundle in the first place. As a related bonus “must-have” – some pretty Bible verse printable (like the printables for new moms I made here) can be a good reminder to lean on the Lord during these tiring, sweet, stretching and precious days with a new baby!
What do you think is a “must-have” for new moms?