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10 First Time Mom Must Haves To Make Postpartum Life Easier

New mom lying in bed holding her baby up above her head and smiling




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

So, you're about to embark on the incredible journey of motherhood for the first time, and with all the advice, checklists and baby gear options out there, you're likely feeling a bit overwhelmed. This list goes beyond the strollers, baby bouncers, and diaper bags, but focuses on those crucial items you need when you bring home baby for the first time. With my first born, in my final weeks of pregnancy, I was pretty stressed about still having a ton of items left on my baby registry. I didn’t really know what products I needed to have stocked immediately and what things could wait. Aside from the obvious infant car seat that we all know you must have to leave the hospital, I struggled to understand what from my massive baby registry should be prioritized.

10 First Time Mom Must Haves To Make Postpartum Life Easier

This dilemma seems common among soon-to-be new parents: what do you actually need for a newborn?

I surveyed a whole lot of moms on our Instagram community to find out what items were actually essential to them in the first month home with their new babies. The results were surprisingly unanimous. Here’s what they said:

  1. Baby Lounger: A safe, snug spot for your little one to chill while you grab a quick shower or a much-needed cup of coffee.
  2. Nursing Pillow: This versatile pillow offers support for both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, making it a must-have for all new moms.
  3. Milk Collector: Don't let that liquid gold go to waste when your body is overproducing in those early days.
  4. Dr. Brown's Bottles & Formula Mixing Pitcher: If you are considering formula feeding, this will revolutionize your experience. The pitcher allows you to make multiple bottles at once without air bubbles, and the bottles help reduce gas and colic.
  5. Bamboo Onesies: You can never have too many of these. Trust me on this one!
  6. Bathtub and Baby Shampoo: Bath time can be tricky, especially for first-time moms. A designated baby bathtub and gentle shampoo will make bath time a lot less stressful.
  7. Baby Carrier: Sometimes, you just need to get stuff done while holding your baby. A comfortable and sturdy carrier will allow you to do just that.
  8. Easy-to-use Velcro Swaddle: Because mastering the traditional swaddle can feel like rocket science in the middle of the night!
  9. Portable Sound Machine: This little device works wonders in helping your baby fall asleep (and stay asleep!).
  10. Support: Perhaps should be at the top of this list. Prepared meals, a stocked fridge, house cleaning – anything to clear your mental load.

These items might not be on your radar yet, but trust me, you won't have a complete list without them.

First Time Mom Must Haves

Newborn Loungers, Baby Bassinets & Baby Bouncers

Let's dive right into the world of baby loungers, the ultimate relaxation station for your little one. After all, which mom doesn't appreciate some hands-free time?

Baby lying in a crib looking up at their parents. First Time Mom Must Haves
Photo by Anna Shvets

SnuggleMe Organic Lounger

Next up is the SnuggleMe Organic Lounger. I purchased the SnuggleMe over the DockATot for a few reasons: it’s cheaper, it’s prettier, it “hugs” your baby providing a cozier spot to set them down (something that newborns particularly like). But what sets it apart as an essential is its organic, hypoallergenic materials. Because let's be honest, there's nothing quite like the peace of mind that comes from knowing your baby is nuzzling in a non-toxic, safe environment.

*Note by 4 months old we preferred to lay Caden and Willow down on the activity mat during wake window or in the crib for naps and rarely used the baby lounger anymore. This really is an essential item in the early days, so I still recommend it, but want to be honest that this isn't going to be a long-term use kind of item.

Halo Bassinet

This is a less fancy, cheaper alternative to the Snoo, but many moms find comfort and convenience in this bassinet. This bedside bassinet rotates, making it easy for you to access your newborn without leaving your cozy bed. And, it has a nightlight, soothing sounds, and vibrations to help settle your baby on restless nights.

Chicco LullaGo

For a budget friendly option for parents who want their baby to have a safe space to sleep in their room, meet the Chicco LullaGo. This bassinet is the perfect blend of simplicity, portability, and affordability. It's easy to dismantle and comes with a convenient carrying bag, making it an ideal solution for travel or small spaces. If your bedroom is on the smaller side, this will surely fit.

Baby Bjorn Bouncer

This is the MVP of baby necessities from 2 months until your baby can confidently sit up on his own (between 6 and 9 months). This bouncer literally came everywhere with me when my babies were little – road trips, quick visits to friends houses, vacation, even all the way to Italy! 100% a must have. If you plan on traveling with it, be sure to grab the travel bag… it fits in the overhead bin of the airplane.

Breastfeeding & Formula Feeding Must-Haves

Feeding your little one for the first time is a journey that every new mom embarks on with a sense of anticipation. It's a beautiful bonding experience, filled with little hiccups along the way. But, the right feeding essentials can make this journey a touch easier, a bit more joyous.


Selecting the perfect bottle is one of the most critical decisions one makes as a new mom. After all, it becomes your baby's companion for their meals.

Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Original Bottle

Here's our top pick – Dr. Brown's Natural Flow Original Bottle. Renowned for reducing feeding problems like colic, spit-up, burping, and gas, it's no wonder these bottles top the list for many new moms. They feature an innovative vent system that creates a paced flow for easy digestion. Plus, they're BPA free, so your baby only gets the best.

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottle

This was my chosen bottle for both Willow & Caden. With its unique, breast-like shaped nipple, it's designed to make bottle feeding more like breastfeeding—fantastic for those of us who had our little ones playing the ‘bottle-or-boob' lottery during those first weeks of feeding. A lifesaver, really! Plus, it's got an anti-colic valve that reduces excessive air flow, so your little munchkin can gulp down their meals without any discomfort. Simple, effective, and easy to clean – it ticks all the boxes.

Other Feeding Essentials

Dr. Brown's Formula Mixing Pitcher

Another item that can make life as a new mom a breeze if you are formula feeding – Dr. Brown's Formula Mixing Pitcher. If you're planning to formula feed or supplement breastmilk with formula, this mixing pitcher is a godsend. With the capacity to mix and store up to 32 ounces of formula at a time, it simplifies your feeding routine, especially during those late-night feeds. The adjustable mixing blade ensures that the formula is mixed thoroughly, eliminating any clumps. This is a great option to use instead of investing your dollars and kitchen space for the Baby Brezza (although if you are exclusively formula feeding, I know several moms who love this).

Burp Cloths

Don't forget about burp cloths – the unsung heroes of the feeding time. They might not make it to the top of your registry list, but trust me, they are invaluable. Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, one thing is certain – your baby will spit up. And, when that happens, you'll want a burp cloth on hand to protect your clothes and wipe up any mess.

Nursing Pillows

Since we've got feeding covered, let's move on to a quality nursing pillow. Now, you might be wondering, “But why do I need a nursing pillow? Can't I just use a regular pillow?” While that's a valid question, a good nursing pillow, unlike a regular pillow, is designed to provide the right kind of support during those lengthy feeding sessions.

My Brest Friend

Loved by mothers who participated in our survey, My Brest Friend is known for its firm, flat front cushion and a wrap-around design that supports your back and arm during feeding.

SnuggleMe Feeding Pillow

Next up on our list is my preferred choice, the SnuggleMe Feeding Pillow. This one boasts a unique ‘C' shape that fits snugly around your waist, offering comfort and support while you nurse. Made from organic cotton, it also is soft against your baby's skin. This pillow literally has been all over the world with me – multiple US cities, Italy & Mexico! Be sure to purchase 2x pillow covers for it so you can wash the messiness of feeding a newborn.

Boppy Pillow

The Boppy Pillow was the most popular among my friends. This versatile nursing pillow not only aids in breastfeeding but also doubles as a prop for tummy time and baby's sit-up exercises as they grow.

nursing pillows | First Time Mom Must Haves
Photo by Sarah Chai

Breast Pumps and Other Nursing Supplies

Navigating the world of breastfeeding as a first-time mom can be overwhelming. When it comes to nursing your newborn, there is more to the picture than just the breast pump (which is essential!). A few other items have earned their place on our list of first-time mom must-haves because they can make nursing that much easier and even more comfortable.

Haakaa Manual Breast Pump

Let's start with the Haakaa Manual Breast Pump. This popular manual suction-based breast pump is a popular choice for new moms, and what I used with my first born. I wasn’t sure what this was needed for when I bought it, but so glad I had it in the early days of breastfeeding. When your milk is coming in and your body is learning to regulate your milk production in those first few weeks, its great to have the Haakaa to catch the letdown on the side you aren’t nursing on. It's made of 100% food-grade silicone, and it's dishwasher safe. 

There are two big downsides to its design IMO. One, you must drop down your bra on the side you are using it on, making this not a discreet operation when trying to breastfeed in public. Two, because of its length and position, your baby may kick it frequently during feeding as you work through proper positioning. And spilled milk, especially in the early days of postpartum is cry-worthy.

Elvie Curve

This treasure is something I discovered with my second child, and one of the top things I tell new moms to purchase before baby arrives. Its incredibly discreet and easy to use, making it perfect for on-the-go moms. I used this at restaurants, wineries, airplanes, parks! Simply stick it in your bra, add suction (if you want) to your breast, and it does all the work for you collecting that liquid gold. I was able to build a large freezer stash of breast milk by using this thing every time I breastfed the first two months.

Nipple Cream

The soothing, moisturizing properties of a good quality nipple cream can provide immediate relief from the dryness and discomfort that often accompanies breastfeeding. So long, sore nipples.

Nursing Breast Pads

And, let's not forget about nursing breast pads. These handy little items help prevent embarrassing leaks and stains by absorbing excess milk. Plus, they can provide a protective barrier to help keep your skin dry and prevent chafing. I recommend purchasing cloth ones over disposable; they are machine washable and reusable.

Nursing Bra

A good nursing bra is next on our list of new mom must-haves. They have special flaps that let you breastfeed without having to undress, which is a lifesaver when you're in public or when it's cold out. But let's get real, it’s mostly for those middle-of-the-night feeds when you can barely keep your eyes open. These maternity bras are designed to give you good support without underwire, which can interfere with milk flow and cause clogged ducts. Some brands even have versions with lace and trimmings to make you feel a little more ‘put together'. My personal favorite? The Everything Bra by Bodily is worth the hype. If you are pumping, I also recommend The Do Anything Bra by Bodily as well.

Here are a few things to look for when you're shopping: Even if you’re not planning on breastfeeding, you’ll still need a comfortable bra while your body undergoes massive changes after childbirth.

  • Comfort: This is key. Look for soft, breathable fabric that feels good against your skin.
  • Easy Access: The nursing flap should be easy to unhook and rehook with one hand because trust me, you'll likely be holding your baby with the other.
  • Fit: Your bra should fit well without cutting into your skin or feeling too loose. Remember, your breast size will change as your milk comes in and adjusts to your baby's needs.
First Time Mom Must Haves


Snacks are also an essential item for breastfeeding moms, which is why we have an entire round up dedicated to postpartum snacks. When you're up at all hours feeding your baby, you need quick, nutritious snacks to keep you going. My personal go-to? Apricot Almond Coconut Bites. They're easy to make, packed with nutrients, and perfect for satisfying those late-night hunger pangs.

newborn clothing | First Time Mom Must Haves
Photo by Sarah Chai

Clothing Necessities

When it comes to clothing, comfort and convenience reign supreme. But, of course, we can't ignore the “cuteness” factor. To begin, I recommend having two sets of newborn size clothing and six sets of 0 to 3 months size clothing.

Kimono Long Sleeve Wraparound Bodysuits

Kimono-style onesies are a game-changer in newborn and 0 to 3 month sizing, super convenient when your little one doesn't have strong head control. They make dressing and undressing your baby a breeze, thanks to their easy wrap design. This bodysuit is a perfect blend of comfort and style. I love the 5-pack options from H&M, with so many color option. The Kimono style is so easy to get on when your baby is tiny since you don’t need to squeeze it over their head. L'ovedBaby is a good option on Amazon and Milkbarn is another great brand with some cute prints in bamboo fabric if you are interested in something other than a solid.

Bamboo Gowns

Bamboo gowns are an absolute life-saver for those frequent diaper changes. And the best part? They're super soft and comfortable. These gowns are made of breathable bamboo fiber, keeping your baby comfortable and happy. But if you really want to make those diaper changes a breeze, I can't recommend Coterie diapers enough. They're ultra-absorbent and come with a wetness indicator, making your life as a new mom a lot easier.

Bamboo Footie Pajamas

Bamboo Footie Pajamas are my go-to, especially ones that are zip up or magnetic. I discovered magnetic with my second baby, and I swear if I have a third, they will be all that I buy. They are that good. The fabric feels like a luxury item, but trust me, they're worth every penny. These pajamas are made from hypoallergenic bamboo fabric, ensuring a good night's sleep for both you and your baby. And let's not forget, they are seriously cute. So, whether you want to splurge or save, there's a footie pajama out there for everyone: splurge (but seriously so worth it), splurge, splurge, budget-friendly

Bath Time Essentials

First Time Mom Must Haves

Those first few baths with your little one can be a nerve-wracking experience, but trust me, it gets easier with time and the right essentials.

Angelcare Baby Bath Support

This bath support is a dream come true for first-time moms worried about bathing their newborns. It's designed to ensure that your little one is secure and comfortable during bath time. But that's not all; it's super lightweight, easy to clean, and perfect for those tiny bodies. The soft-touch material is gentle on baby's delicate skin, while the mesh allows water to drain easily. So, forget about those nerve-wracking bath times and make way for some splash-filled fun! We used this with both kids. It's super lightweight and can be moved easily from bathroom to bathroom or easily brought on a road trip.

Lalo Bathtime Full Kit

This kit is a holy grail for first-time moms! It's a dream package that takes care of all your baby bathing needs in one fell swoop. The kit comes with a baby towel that's so cozy; you'll wish they made them in adult sizes! Next, you get a mitt that doubles as a washcloth, making bath time a breeze. And did I mention it includes a hooded towel? Yes, a hooded one! This ensures your little one stays warm and toasty, post bath. Get 10% off your entire order of Lalo with code NMM.

EllaOla The Basics Bundle

This brand developed by Harvard Dermatologists can literally tell you exactly what country each ingredient is sourced from. We used these products for Willow’s super sensitive skin and she did great. The baby face cream is known for helping babies with eczema. This is such a great gift for any new mom! Use code NMM20 for 20% off your purchase.

Young mother wearing a baby carrier kissing the top of her baby's head
Photo by Tuan PM

Baby Wraps and Carriers

As a new mom, you'll quickly understand the importance of having your hands free while ensuring your little one is safe and secure. But with a sea of options out there, how do you choose the right one?

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a baby wrap or carrier. The comfort of both you and your baby is paramount. You'll want something that distributes weight evenly to avoid straining your back. And of course, it needs to be soft and cozy for your little bundle of joy. Easy to clean and adjustability are also significant factors.

Artipoppe Carrier

This is a splurge. And I didn’t do it with my first born, and wish I had. I absolutely loved this carrier for Willow, and used it from newborn days and still use it now at one year old. Its incredibly comfortable, supportive and most importantly easy to get on by yourself. If you can't swallow the price, the Wildbird Aerial Carrier is a solid dupe, as is this ultra budget-friendly option on Amazon.

Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier All-In-One

One top-rated product that many new parents love is the Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier All-In-One. This carrier is a versatile choice, with four different carry positions to accommodate your growing baby. And it comes with a tuck-away baby hood for sun protection and privacy, making it perfect for on-the-go feedings or naps. Personally I don't love the look of this carrier which is why I've never purchased it.

Solly Baby Wrap

Solly Baby Wrap is perfect for those first few months with your tiny, cuddly baby. It is an ideal combination of comfort and flexibility. Its featherlight material is made from certified Lenzing modal, which is super sustainable and so soft you'll wish they made these for adults.

But what about putting it on? I hear you, and I’ve been there! Warning, there is a learning curve, but once you figure it out a few times it's pretty easy. I will say that for me who had much bigger babies, I found myself only able to use this comfortably for the first 2 months, before almost exclusively grabbing for the Artipoppe.

newborn sleep essentials
Photo by Pixabay

Sleep Essentials

Moving on to a vital aspect of baby care – sleep. And believe me, when I say ‘vital', I'm not just talking about the baby! Proper sleep equally crucial for exhausted new moms.


Easy-to-use swaddles are a lifesaver for first-time moms. They provide a womb-like environment for the baby, promoting longer and sounder sleep. But what swaddle should you choose? Here are two of my absolute favorites:

Ollie Swaddle

The Ollie Swaddle is a game-changer, mamas! It’s versatile, easy to use, and fits your baby like a dream. But what truly sets it apart is its moisture-wicking material that keeps your baby comfortable regardless of the temperature. And let's not overlook the fact that it grows with your baby, thanks to its custom fit. The Ollie Swaddle is a game changer and the number one thing I recommend to all my pregnant mamas as a must-have, even in your hospital bag.

Love to Dream Swaddle

Next up, we have the Love to Dream Swaddle. Different from traditional swaddles, this one allows your baby to sleep in a more natural position with their arms up. I tried this swaddle with Caden, but didn't find it effective. Every baby is different, so if the Ollie doesn't seem right for your baby, definitely give this one a try.

Sound Machines

Sound machines are a godsend for new moms and babies alike. They create a soothing environment that mimics the sounds in the womb, helping your little one sleep better. Here are the top contenders that have been sanity-savers in my experience.

The Shusher

The Shusher was a popular choice among the group I surveyed. This compact, easy-to-use device replicates the comforting ‘shushing' sound, offering immediate relief to your baby. It's portable, meaning you can carry it around the house, or even outside on a stroll.

Hatch Rest Go

This is one of the most popular white noise machines, and one I use myself. Its incredibly lightweight, compact, and has a hook to attach near your baby, making it easy for on-the-go napping.

Hatch Sound Machine

The wifi connected Hatch Sound Machine doubles up as a nightlight and toddler clock, making it a favorite among parents, especially when your child no longer sleeps in a crib. What sets it apart is its customizable color, sound, and brightness options controlled through an app. So, no more tiptoeing into the nursery! This really is a staple in every single baby's nursery.


You need to lighten your mental load, a crucial step to ease yourself into newborn days. Whether that support is coming from your partner, your family, or outsourced help, the greatest gift you can give yourself ahead of baby's arrival is support. Here are some ideas:

  • Prepared Meals: ask a friend to set up a Meal Train or ask for food delivery gift cards for your baby shower. If you have friends locally who ask what they can bring, tell them dinner and sent them this list of great postpartum meals.
  • Stocked Fridge: put together a list of items you want stocked in your house for easy breakfasts, lunches and snacks, then give that list to a friend or family member OR schedule grocery delivery for when you arrive home from the hospital.
  • House Cleaner: this is worth the investment, trust me. Find a trustworthy house cleaner who can come weekly or biweekly.
  • Dog Walker: if your canine companion is used to getting exercise throughout the day, line up a dog walker daily to give him the attention he needs while you recover.

How Do These Items Make Postpartum Life Easier?

Easing postpartum life isn't just about baby's comfort, but yours too. These items aren't just gadgets; they're your allies on the thrilling, challenging, life-altering journey of motherhood.

I know, I know, navigating the realm of baby registries as a first-time mom can be overwhelming, but rest assured that you don't need every gadget on the market. Prioritize items that offer versatility and convenience and the ones that will suit your unique needs.

And speaking of comfort, there are a few more postpartum essentials I recommend you stock up on prior to baby's arrival. Aside from postpartum loungewear which didn't make this list (but it should be on yours!), take a look at these postpartum items.

Featured image by Monica Turlui


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