project baby #2 {newborn & post-partum essentials}

This time around I felt so much more prepared for post-partum life with a newborn (though the toddler is throwing a bit of a curveball!), but there are a few new things that I have found especially helpful these first weeks! {See my past newborn and post-partum essentials.}

Milkies Milk Saver - Copy

ONE. Milk Saver. This is something that was shared by a  good mama friend and that I never would have bought or tried without a personal recommendation. You basically stick it into your bra on the opposite side that you are feeding on, and it catches the milk that you would otherwise leak (or let-down) into a nursing pad or bra. It doesn’t seem like much, but especially when I have gone a long time between feeds (like first thing in the morning after going all night) I can get half an ounce to three-quarters just from one side! Then I add this milk to the milk I am pumping, and since we are still only doing a one-and-a-half ounce bottle each evening, it makes a difference. One thing to note is that it’s foremilk (and not hindmilk) so it won’t fill baby up as well, but I would rather Daphne drink it than it all be wasted.

Pumping Bra - Copy (2)

TWO. Pumping Bra. If you are going to pump, you might as well pump both sides (there are some exceptions to this) and it really sucks if you have to hold the pumps onto your breasts (haha, pun intended!). I have used this pumping bra for both girls, and even if you don’t use this exact one, get one if you are planning on pumping at all. These bras make pumping hands-free which is amazing; my first pumping session a few weeks ago I didn’t know where this bra was and it was the longest 15 minutes of my life! Plus, When I am pumping, it is total mama time and I give myself full permission to zone out on Facebook or Instagram.

LilyPadz

THREE. LilyPadz. Nursing pads, especially in these early days and weeks, are super important. I used the reusable Bamboobie ones (and still do at nighttime) but these LilyPadz are a game-changer! They are sticky silicone pads that basically prevent leaks between feedings (unless there is a LOT of milk leaking!). My advice would be to wait a week or two after birth before starting them because your nipples will be super tender and maybe a little raw. Plus, if you are using any type of ointment or cream, these are a no-go.

FOUR. Lactation cookies. There are some foods that are supposed to increase milk supply, a few of them being rolled oats, Brewer’s Yeast, and flaxseed. And it just so happens that if you add these things to a chocolate chip cookie dough, you get chocolate chip cookies that help you lactate! I tend to always have a sweet tooth post-partum so I don’t have any problem eating a few of these thru-out the day! {We call them “Mama’s special milk bars” at our house so that Eloise doesn’t realize that I am actually eating cookies all day long… though I think she might be catching on.}

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups of thick cut oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Brewer’s Yeast

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flaxseed meal and water; set aside 3 to 5 minutes.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla. Beat until well-blended.

Sift dry ingredients, except oats and chocolate chips. Add butter to dry ingredients. Stir in oats and then chocolate chips.

Drop on parchment paper on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 12 minutes.

*recommendation to eat 4 or more per day!

FIVE. Sleeper gowns. We had a few of these with Eloise, but I don’t remember them being as helpful as they are this time around. I basically mean a nightgown that has snaps or a zipper for easy diaper changes in the middle of the night. It is hard enough to change a newborn’s diaper with any outfit on since you are doing it so frequently, but in the middle of the night (or even a sleep deprived day) a simple in-snap is much-needed.

SIX. Gloves. Also another thing we didn’t use with Eloise. Maybe it is because we started trimming her nails earlier? But, we used gloves on Daphne for the first five weeks since her little nails grew so quickly (and were so sharp!) and the in-hospital pediatrician recommended we don’t trim her nails for the first few weeks since the nails are basically fused to the skin at that point. A lot of newborn tops and outfits have built-in gloves which is super helpful, but I would still recommend picking up a pair!

June and January Booties

SEVEN. June and January booties. Eloise was born in the summer (during our hottest month) so socks weren’t really a thing we worried about until she was quite a bit older. But, since it was still pretty cool in March, I did worry about Daphne’s feet being too cold. I picked up these June and January booties (because they were impossibly cute!) with a clothing order before Daphne was born, and quickly found out these booties were perfect in lieu of socks! They have Velcro and are actually small enough around the ankle to stay on Daphne’s feet (which is the big issue with socks for babies). I ended up ordering another couple of pairs because I was so happy with them and Daphne was wearing them (and still does) every day.

EIGHT. Swaddle blankets. We probably have ten or fifteen swaddle blankets (at least!) that have accumulated from the time Eloise was born. They make great gifts and are actually really useful as a make-shift nursing cover, burp cloth, car seat cover, etc. and, for swaddling! Both of our babies have loved/needed to be swaddled for soothing and sleeping, and even though we use a zipper swaddle at night (we have been using this one with Daphne) we use a blanket a lot during the day which is why they are all over the house! This grey one from Lou Lou & Co is my absolute favorite though because it is super soft, a little stretchy, and makes for a great swaddled baby! I think it may become my go-to baby shower gift.

What were your essentials?

M

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