My friend is pregnant with her first child. It seemed like ever since I had my child, babies have been popping up in my Facebook feed. Perhaps it’s like when you buy a new car and you see other people driving a car like yours and you wave at them like an idiot because you think you’re all part of a cool car club.
I figured it would be helpful to list out 10 things I needed when I was a new mom. These are my favorite posts not because I like telling people what they should get but because I know what kind of shit you’re about to get in, and this is my way of saying, “I’m sorry. It sucks but it’s marvelous too”.
Welcome to the “4th Trimester”
- A boppy. Yes, it’s on everyone’s baby shower list, I know. It’s nothing revolutionary but it was the best breastfeeding pillow. I probably would’ve been more comfortable with breastfeeding if I invested it one sooner. Also it doubles as a lovely pillow for the times you fall asleep on the floor while your toddler climbs all over you.
- A Netflix account. It’s true that you have so much time to do nothing when your baby is a newborn. It doesn’t feel like you have so much time (laundry, food, cleaning) but you have more time compared to when they’re older and actually want things outside of food and warmth. I watched a lot of Netflix, especially at night when I was waiting for him to wake up for one of his feedings (don’t ask). My favorite shows were The Mind of A Chef, Scandal, and Arrow. For the current Netflix menu, I highly recommend Orange is the New Black, Luke Cage, any stand up special, and Great British Bake Off.
- Someone to care for your pet. My cat was around 2 when my son was born. She wasn’t getting as much attention as she did pre-baby, so I was thankful that my husband was there for extra care. She curls up next to him at night and it stings just a little bit.
- Excellent playlists. I created a playlist for my son and for my sanity. I listened to a lot of music to psyche me up like a boxer entering the ring, even though I was just getting up to wash baby bottles. I made a playlist of oldies but goodies for my son. Also, certain songs soothe him now and I pat myself on the back whenever he has a tantrum and one of his favorite songs settles him down.
- Snacks and a sweet ass water bottle. Breastfeeding and caring for a newborn is a taxing situation, so I was hungry all the time. I just wanted a bucket of snacks with me all the time. I was also addicted to hot chocolate. I would slip on fuzzy socks, turn on an episode of Scandal, drank chocolate milk, and sat next to my sleeping newborn. It was HEAVENLY.
Get a nice water bottle, so you’d want to drink more water. My favorite water bottle is Healthy Human. I hated getting up for a glass of water, so I kept a water bottle in my bucket of snacks. When you have stitches, you get unreasonably angry about every extra task that’s not involving the baby. Plan it out and try to have everything you need near you like the chair from Roundhouse.
- Comfy pajamas. Like in the previous bullet point, you want to be comfortable and not move unless it is absolutely necessary. Comfy pajamas further validates your newfound Goddess-status. You just pushed a child out of your vagina and and now you have to take care of it for the rest of your life, so you’re entitled to some awesome sweat pants. I have floral ones that I’ve deemed appropriate for grocery shopping.
Red lipstick. There will be days where you feel like a husk of your former self, so slapping on some red lipstick on your sleep-deprived face will make you feel better. It did for me. Go all out and get a liquid matte lipstick and lip liner because new moms have no time to constantly touch up.
Yeah, red lipstick is not essential, but it gave me a fierce Beyonce power whenever I wanted or needed it. If you tap into your inner Beyonce with Chapstick, by all means, get it girl.
- A community. A friend recommended me to The Longest Shortest Time podcast and I soon became part of their Facebook group. It was nice speaking to complete strangers who knew exactly what I was going through. There were plenty of friendly and encouraging women who helped me with life’s big questions like: What is the normal amount of milk to give to a 2 month old? My baby didn’t finish his fourth meal of the day — should I give him more milk for his fifth meal? My baby won’t stop yawning, yet he refuses to actually nap — what do I do?
- Favor/Grubhub/Food delivery. I try not to use food delivery services unless it’s directly from the restaurant because there’s beef between these services and certain restaurants. Before I knew about said beef, we were ordering a lot of food through these apps. It was the closest thing to a date night we had in the very first months as being parents. Also, we were both so tired that we didn’t want to cook. I absolutely squealed with joy every time we got Torchy’s Tacos. I try to see if restaurants provide food delivery services, and if not, go ahead and splurge and order in… or make someone else go out and pick up the order. If you don’t have access to food delivery services, break out the crock pot. It’s a magical pot that cooks food and gives you leftovers for days. There’s no point in cooking anything unless you have at least 2 days of leftovers. Also, fucking casseroles. I’m all about little work and a lot of food.
- Google Photos. I took so many photos of my newborn and I haven’t deleted a single one. I’m very much a purger when it comes to tech things (must delete repeated images, extra apps, spur of the moment party songs), but I couldn’t bear to delete a single photo of this mushy-faced, tiny baked potato-looking baby. Google Photos organizes my photos and has a fantastic search function. Get. on. this. gravy train.
I know that many items listed above is more mom-focused instead of the baby and that’s because during this life changing moment, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. I already know that as a new mom, you’ll do anything and everything for your child. You’ll probably give him the last slice of pizza, but don’t forget about you… and your needs, and the fact that newborns can’t eat pizza. So enjoy that last slice of pizza while you watch Luke Cage.
Sources: Illustration from Fanartica Tumblr