Patrick is 5 weeks as of today and I’m wishing I could freeze time. I get so sad putting him to bed every night because another day is behind us. It’s just that by now
Patrick is 5 weeks as of today and I’m wishing I could freeze time. I get so sad putting him to bed every night because another day is behind us. It’s just that by now with our third child, I know how quickly this newborn phase goes and it makes me so devastated knowing it will fly by! So to say we are soaking in every moment we can is such an understatement. I feel like I’ve barely been on Instagram because my mind is focused almost completely on our family. Which I guess is the way it should be, but I have missed being in communication with y’all and sharing my postpartum must-haves has been something I’ve wanted to check off the to-do list!
As much as we’ve felt the newborn bliss with Patrick, I know firsthand that for many, there is so much anxiety and extreme ups and downs when it comes to the huge life change that is having a new baby. So I don’t want to skirt by that and not acknowledge that I once was there, too. Because when I had Watson, it certainly wasn’t the way it is now… at least not for the first six months. At that time, I kind of felt like I had an elephant on my chest every day, afraid for the next time Watson would start crying. I mourned living life without the thought of a three hour feeding interval in mind. And it certainly didn’t help that due to my new postpartum body, I felt like a stranger in my own skin for the first time in my life. Of course there were other factors that went into this, too… we were renovating our kitchen at the exact time that he was born, so that was quite an adventure with a newborn to put it lightly. Also, my mom was extremely sick during that time, which was heavy on my soul.
Then there’s our little Rosie. The idea of her came a little sooner than we had planned, so with all the above considered, it’s no surprise that I cried when I found out I was pregnant with her, ha! I was absolutely terrified to go through all of that again!! But as it turned out, she absolutely redeemed the postpartum experience for me. My mom’s health was worlds better than it was and we moved out of our little house that was a constant renovation project, so those things helped, too. Life was hectic with two under two, but it was such a wonderful period of my life—it felt like precious, simple times with my two babies. Watson was the cutest toddler I had ever seen (true mom statement) and I loved having a newborn again. The feel of her in my arms… magic. And gosh, what a feeling that was after how different my postpartum journey was with Watson not too long before that. It truly was redemption.
And now here we are… almost six years later doing it all over again. Starting from the beginning and oh, what a blessing. We’ve thought about this baby for all of these years after Rosie was born, so for him to actually be here feels surreal! I’m so thankful. And while we are only five weeks in and I could end up eating my words eventually, the age gap feels wonderful! You know how you look at your older children and think, “Gosh I wish I could make him a baby again!” That is the opportunity I feel like God has given us. I look at Patrick and want to cry because I know firsthand what it’s like to have a seven year old boy and how cool it is to see him become his own self. And then I see this tiny baby and know that in a blink of an eye, that will be the case with him, too. You just appreciate every little diaper change, every bottle… just, everything a whole lot more.
I wanted to share my absolute most helpful postpartum essentials with you. From this point forward, this post might feel like a little too much information unless you soon will be going through labor and delivery as well. And if the latter is the case, then I hope this is immensely helpful to you because we are really going for it with this post! This is my third baby and I feel like I’ve really gotten a handle on the best postpartum must-haves to have in your arsenal. All of these products listed below, I believe, really contributed to the easiest recovery I’ve had out of my three babies.
…and in this order! Sorry if this is a little TMI, but pregnant mommas need to know these things!
Bathroom Caddy: I took this little caddy out of Rosie’s kitchen play area, so I don’t have a link. I remember buying it at Homegoods and always see similar things near the bathroom section!
Perineal Spray Bottle: A MUST. I don’t know how I used the generic hospital kind for two babies! This one allows you to reach much further back and gives more of a direct spray. Nothing felt better to me during recovery than filling this with warm water and a little of the Dickinson’s Witch Hazel, then using it each time after using the restroom.
Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Spray: Healing and pain relieving! I mix a little with warm water to use inside the perineal spray bottle mentioned above.
Depends Underwear: I really appreciated these the first 24 hours postpartum. Inside, I would load a pair up with an ice pad on top of a regular pad. Then of course, Depends are essentially a pad, too. The reason I would triple up like this is because it really made “pad changes” so much more efficient since I would change one out every time I’d use the restroom, which was very often because of all of the fluid I was retaining! The first time I’d use the restroom, I’d remove the ice pad, then the next time I’d remove the next pad, and then finally I would be left with only the Depends and use just that. Then repeat! This was especially helpful at night because it reduced the number of steps I’d have to do each time I went to the restroom when I was zombie-like tired! Tip — if you’re unsure of what size to get, buy the larger! These will feel uncomfortable if they are a little too tight. I would also only buy a small pack! I only used these the first 24 hours postpartum, and then started only using them at night for about the next 5 nights.
Frida Mom Disposable Shorts: I started using these after the first 24 hours post-birth, but still used the Depends at night during that first week. These were a last minute purchase for me because all along, I didn’t think I would need them since I never minded the disposable underwear that the hospital gives you. But I tried both of them this time to compare and I’m telling you, the Frida Mom ones win out 100%. Compared to the hospital kind, they are more supportive in that they give you a little squeeze around the midsection that feels good, they hold pads better since they have more structure, and they just look so much better that you feel like more of a dignified person during such a humbling time. I do only think you need one 8-pack though. I used one per day (because like actual underwear, you’re putting a pad in them and then reusing the shorts unless they get soiled) and only needed them for about five days before switching to actual underwear.
Frida Mom Pads: I really liked these! They were very similar to the kind that my hospital provided, so I used both, but these definitely had a slight edge because they are softer and the adhesive is stickier for staying in place better. They also are a little longer!
Rael Organic Overnight Pads: I switched to these after the first week! They are fairly thin and super soft.
Here’s what I used on top of my pads:
(Again this is probably something to skip unless you are gearing up for labor. I wanted to share all the details because I found this type of clear information so helpful as I packed my three hospital bags!)
Ice Pads: My hospital provided some and they are a life saver the first couple of days postpartum. I’d check with your hospital and see what they provide! Otherwise I would have bought these. To clarify, the ones my hospital has are both a pad and an ice pack, but they aren’t the most absorbent, so I would still use a regular pad underneath them. I would put this ice pad directly on top of my regular pad and prepare it with the items below:
Frida Mom Perineal Healing Foam: This is another product I almost didn’t buy, but I’m so very glad I did. The foam really gets in there, if you know what I mean. So I would use the perineal spray bottle with warm water + witch hazel, then I would apply this witch hazel foam to the top of my pads. The more witch hazel, the better! It feels so good. I do wish I had these to put down in between the pad and the foam for an extra cooling feeling. I thought my hospital provided Tucks Pads, which is basically the same thing so that’s why I didn’t buy them, but turns out they didn’t.
**This is a great kit that has all of the Frida Mom items I mentioned!**
Dermoplast Spray: Then this gets sprayed all on top of the foam and pad (and/or directly on the source) to add extra cooling and pain relief. This stuff is no joke!
Perineal Spray: After the first week of using Dermoplast, I switched to this, which isn’t as strong but also has healing properties and way cleaner, organic ingredients. For that reason, I sprayed it right on myself rather than on the pad.
Sitz Bath: I was told to go two weeks before taking a bath, but I just couldn’t do it. So I took baths with this in the water and it was such a game changer! I swear it really helped with healing.
**This kit comes with both products listed above, plus a balm!**
Belly Band Girdle: Not used to try to reduce the size of your belly, but for the comfort and support it brings! After labor, my entire midsection always feels so unstable and sore. Wrapping this around me gives instant relief. I wouldn’t go to the hospital without it! I like this one because it comes with three separate bands that you can layer, or just choose one or two to wear.
Lansinoh Gel Pads: These were an absolute must to stick in my bra after a nursing session. In that first week of breastfeeding, you do not want your nipples to get dry or they could crack and bleed. Ugh!
Nipple Butter: This is my preferred brand because it’s organic and safe when bits of it are inevitably consumed during breastfeeding. It feels amazing layered under the gel pads above!
Stool Softener: They will give this to you in the hospital, but in my opinion it’s best to continue at home, too. This is one of those “trust me” kinds of things.
Heating Pad: This always goes in my hospital bag. My lower back is always sore after labor and a heating pad helps give so much relief.
Robes: Oh how I love my robes and appreciate them even more postpartum! Love my Hill House Robe for feeling snuggly, my lightweight LAKE one for feeling covered up for nursing and cozy without added heat, and my Weezie robe for throwing on post shower since it has absorbency like a towel. Out of these, I took my LAKE robe to the hospital but trust me, I wanted all of them there – haha.
LAKE Maternity Pajamas: Jammies that made me feel like myself, but had all the conveniences of maternity clothing. And cute enough to continue wearing long after the postpartum era!
Kindred Bravely Nursing Bras: I LOVE THESE. I prefer their nursing bra (linked) to the pumping bra because the nursing bra can do both! The pumping bra has a little extra fabric in the front that doesn’t feel as comfortable.
Most all of these favorites (and a few others!) are linked in my Amazon Storefront in the “Postpartum Musts” shop.
Newborn must haves are up next!