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Updated on
May 16, 2024

Everything I Bought During My First Week Postpartum

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Everything I Bought During My First Week Postpartum.
Everything I Bought During My First Week Postpartum

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two boys.

I’m a planner and a researcher. I love a good list. I had an organized, well thought out baby registry for each of my two pregnancies. And I know baby gear inside and out. (Sort of a prerequisite for my job, don’t you think?)

Yet. There I was at 2 a.m., three days after delivery, frantically searching the internet for everything from the best postpartum underwear to which type of baby saline nasal spray I needed to unclog teeny, tiny nostrils.

“Postpartum panic buying,” as I now like to call it, strikes even the best of us. It’s caught me off guard twice now. But not to worry—I’m here to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

I’ve rounded up all the things I bought (and loved) during my first few weeks postpartum. I even talked to other new parents at Babylist and added a few of their favorite items, as well.

From snacks and sleep bras to night lights and nipple cream, these products will make your first few weeks as a new parent a little less stressful.

A Touch Light

This is by far the best, most-used item I bought immediately postpartum and the one other Babylisters rave about, too. Although designed as a night light for toddlers and kids, it’s absolutely perfect as a light for middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes when the thought of turning on a real light makes your eyeballs hurt. It’s tiny and portable, turns on and off with a quick tap and gives off just the right amount of light: not too dim but not too bright. (A really important feature, especially at 2 a.m.) I kept one on my nightstand and one in my nursery for months. And now, my toddler loves to walk around and play with it.


Me, looking at little footies with snaps while pregnant: “Oh, aren’t these the most adorable! I see a few snaps on here but I’m sure it won’t be all that bad.”

Me, looking at little footies after baby arrives: “I would rather put sticks into my eyes than put these pajamas on my baby.”

Did I forget that you change your newborn’s diaper approximately 76 times each day? (Yes.) Did I forget that dressing a newborn is like trying to wrangle a teeny, tiny wiggly octopus? (Also yes.) Did I forget how awful snaps are on baby clothes? (You already know the answer here.)

Zippers. Always zippers. Two-way zippers are even better. You’re welcome.

Different Brands of Diapers

Stocking up on a ton of diapers from the same brand before your baby arrives is a common mistake that lots of new parents make. (All babies are different, all diapers are different, and you’ll never quite know what works best for your baby until you try.) While I did have a few packs of diapers from different brands on hand before my son was born, what I should have done was make it even easier for myself and snagged this diaper box. It includes diapers and wipes from three popular brands (Coterie, Honest and Dyper) and takes all the work out of remembering to add everything to your cart individually.

A Sleep Bra

Add this to the list of things I hadn’t really thought through pre-delivery: a bra just for sleep. I was planning to nurse, so I’d thought a little about the types of nursing bras I’d need for daytime, but I hadn’t given overnight much consideration. Postpartum nursing boobs are often engorged and tender, so comfort (especially overnight) is paramount. I love this bra from Kindred Bravely because it’s made from soft organic cotton, doesn’t have any clasps or thin straps, is easy to pull aside for nursing and can handle fluctuating postpartum breast size really well.

A Manual Breast Pump

Prior to having my son, I’d gotten my free breast pump from my insurance but hadn’t thought a lot about my other pumping needs. I ended up ordering a manual pump right after delivery and was so happy that I did. If I felt engorged and uncomfortable, I didn’t have to bust out my giant Spectra; instead, I used the manual pump for a few minutes just to take the edge off. Same if my baby only ate off of one side and my other side felt really full. The manual pump was fast and effective and left me with fewer parts to clean.

Another popular option is a milk collector like the Haakaa Ladybug Milk Collector or the Elvie Curve. These types of manual pumps are hands-free and sit right in your bra, and they’re especially useful for catching your let-down milk on one breast while you’re feeding from the other. Just remember that they are still pumps, though, and each time you use one you’re encouraging your body to make more milk. It’s not a big deal if you don’t struggle with oversupply or if you’re past the first few months of nursing, but it’s something to consider as your supply evens out over the first 12 weeks or so postpartum.

Nipple Butter, All the Nipple Butter

Breastfeeding can be really hard on your nipples, especially over the first few weeks. What I knew the second time around that I didn’t know the first is that being proactive about nipple care can go a long way in preventing and soothing any discomfort that may arise. I had this nipple butter at the ready from day one and used it regularly both day and night. It’s the best—not sticky at all (unlike lanolin-based creams), 100% organic and super soothing.

Ah, Relief

See a theme developing here? Prior to becoming a nursing parent myself, I definitely didn’t realize how common it is to have at least some level of nipple pain or discomfort in the beginning. (If you’re having major nipple pain, however, or pain that won’t go away, reach out to a lactation consultant for help.) These gel pads were an absolute lifesaver. I bought them at the first hint of pain and they provided instant relief and helped heal nipple cracks, too. You can even pop them in the fridge before using them to up the relief factor.

Care for Down There

I had a C-section for each of my deliveries, so this didn’t apply to me, but Babylisters who’ve had vaginal deliveries all said the same thing: having enough postpartum recovery items on hand is crucial both for your comfort and healing. This one-and-done kit is a great starting point and offers a little of everything: disposable mesh undies, instant ice maxi pads, witch hazel-lined cooling pads, perineal healing foam and a storage caddy to keep your supplies organized and contained.

Soft, Washable Nursing Pads

I leaked a lot during the first few weeks of nursing, and although I thought the disposable pads I had purchased would do the trick, my breasts were a little too sensitive for them immediately postpartum. I ordered these nursing pads from Bodily and was so glad that I did. These pads were ultra soft and ultra comfy. They also stayed in my bra really well thanks to the no-slip back. I wore the thicker pads pretty much around the clock in the beginning, then switched to the thinner pads for daytime and the thick for overnights. And yes, washing them was one more thing to do during an already busy time, but I was doing a ton of laundry anyway (babies are messy, folks), so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

ALL the Snacks

Keeping a tiny human alive works up quite the appetite, and figuring out what to feed yourself that’s easy, filling and can be devoured quickly and with one hand is exhausting. Larabars were just one of the many snacks I bought after my baby arrived to keep me full and a little less hangry. They’re easy to eat and just the right size to stash all around your house. Postpartum snack ideas other Babylisters love: muffins, trail mix, granola bars, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks and bananas.

An Extra Nursing Pillow

I registered for a nursing pillow and had mine ready to go in the hospital, but what I didn’t anticipate when I got home is that lugging it up and down the stairs for what felt like a million times got very old very quickly. (I live in a two-story house.) Lots of other Babylisters agreed—buying a second nursing pillow is a good investment.

Bibs, Bibs and More Bibs

I thought I had enough bibs and burp cloths on my registry pre-baby. I quickly learned that I…did not. These bibs stand out for their size and design. I like that they slip right on (and off), and that they double as burp clothes in a pinch. They’re also really absorbent.

A Mesh Underwear Alternative

Don’t get me wrong—mesh underwear will always hold a special place in my heart. But as my postpartum bleeding began to subside and it was time to say goodbye, I wasn’t quite sure what to do next. I tried pads, but they were uncomfortable and wouldn’t stay in place, especially overnight. Enter Thinx. These period underwear were comfortable and absorbent and made dealing with erratic postpartum bleeding so much easier.

For Better Breathing

Did you know it’s really common for newborns to be congested? (They have tiny nostrils and are exclusively nose breathers—except for when they’re crying, of course.) I didn’t, and I wish I had baby saline spray at home from day one. It’s fast, effective and (mostly) painless and helps keep those tiny noses clear. Pair it with one of my all-time favorites, the Nosefrida Snotsucker, for extra booger-sucking fun.

Comfortable and Practical

Since I knew I wanted to try to nurse, I stocked up on nursing tanks pre-delivery. But once I got home and settled, I realized I needed another option with a bit more coverage that was still relaxed and comfortable. This nursing hoodie fit the bill. It was easy to do skin-to-skin and to breastfeed while wearing it and it cost under $25.

The Sunshine Vitamin

At our first visit to the pediatrician, my doctor recommended Vitamin D drops for my son since he was breastfed. (This aligns with the Vitamin D guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, but always check with your doctor before giving your baby any type of supplement.) I wish I had stocked up on them sooner in order to avoid the 3 a.m. internet search.

A Giant Water Bottle

Friends, I used to have the 24-ounce Hydro Flask. And then I had a baby. And I realized I was suddenly thirsty all the time. I quickly added this giant water bottle to my cart and haven’t looked back since. (Another great option is the Stanley Quencher is another good option, but act fast because it sells out quickly.)

For Sensitive New Skin

You can never, ever have too much Aquaphor on hand. It’s the best for treating diaper rash (layer it under diaper cream for even more protection), soothing chapped skin, healing tiny cuts and other skincare needs.

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

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