Right, I’ve covered my top five newborn baby essentials (read that post here) but what about stuff for new Mums? Here are the things I found incredibly useful and/or wish I’d had from the very start.
Dressing Gown. Why, oh why, oh why did I not have a nice dressing gown ready for when I gave birth? Perhaps because I’d been gradually moving into smaller and smaller holiday lets and dressing gowns would have been bulky to transport, what with my little-sized suitcase, but still. The number of times I had to answer the door wearing bizarre get-up, hastily thrown on, stained with breastmilk. Choose a post-partum dressing gown (remember you’ll still have a bump, but nowhere near the size it is in late pregnancy) and make sure it satisfies the following criteria: closes securely and doesn’t do the “sexy gape” when you walk; is thick enough/patterned enough to not show milk patches should they occur if you have nothing on beneath; has at least one pocket for you to put your iPhone in, but preferably two pockets so that you can also store cereal bars like a squirrel; and finally one that is, perhaps, a slightly darker colour than you’d usually plump for, or maybe patterned. Because: accidental blood stains. This Christy one isn’t half bad, and I do like the striped version here, but I think that this one from Bodas wins for it’s fresh, crisp, toothpaste stripe.
Feeding Pillow. I didn’t get one of these until a couple of weeks in, by which time my shoulders and back were so painful that I could hardly move my right arm at all! Holding the baby at a set angle and – I suppose – being tense about breastfeeding meant that all of my muscles sort of seized up. Had I known how much difference a proper support cushion would have made, I’d have had one in the hospital with me! In the end, I had a couple of pillows from Thrupenny Bits, which tied around my waist (very useful), but there are loads of styles and types out there. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing more once the feeding factory (me) gets going again. Equally handy for bottle-feeding, I’d imagine, as you still have to sit there in one place for an age, arms at awkward angles…
Kindle Paperwhite. Just the best thing ever, if you’re into your reading – the dim glow from the screen is just enough to use as a nightlight, and you only need one finger tap to turn the page. I read dozens and dozens of novels on my Kindle in those first, sleepless months. They now make the Paperwhite in a rather snazzy, Apple-inspired white version – find it online HERE.
Flask. Because sometimes you just can’t get yourself up to fetch water, can’t reach your bedside table, don’t want to balance a full glass on the edge of the bed. In these times of desperation, a flask with a leak-proof lid becomes the luxury item you never knew you’d need! I liked this from BRITA because the Bobble Bottle made too many noises (read all about it!) and I liked being able to see how much water I had left, so didn’t want a metal one.
Wireless Intercom. I didn’t have one of these, I still don’t have one of these. Am I getting one of these? Yes. Because about seventy-five thousand people knock on my door every day (bad Amazon habit plus constant beauty samples arriving plus friendly neighbours, etc) and there is nothing worse, when you’re a new Mum, than having to haul yourself up out of bed, pull the baby off your nipple, find something to put on and run down the stairs to answer the door only to find that it’s a man selling double glazing. How amazing would it be if you could vet your caller before you bothered to rush to the door? If you could speak to them and tell them to a) go away or b) please leave the parcel next to the door and do a squiggle signature on your behalf or c) wait two minutes for you to get down to them? I’ll tell you, it would be ten-out-of-ten amazing. Also, you could disconnect the actual doorbell, just for a few months, and, if you were particularly exhausted, you could “mute” the bell on the intercom system so that both you and new baby could sleep in peace. Because who cares about a missed parcel? I like the look of THIS little number on Amazon.