Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I might receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I've mentioned.
This is a post about STUFF. THINGS. Emotional, physical and mental support for new mums is of course crucial (and I’ve put my favourite ever depiction of this at the end of the blog. That picture should be shown at all antenatal appointments and given to all members of the birthing lady’s household. I digress...)
I LOVE getting presents. My sister genuinely feels anxiety about receiving gifts - what if she doesn’t like it, when she knows how much thought the person giving it has put into it? What if she loves it but already has one? What if she forgot to give the person who is giving her one (ahem), one?!
I, however, am like a 6 year old on Christmas Eve when it comes to gifts - positively giddy with excitement.
I’ve been lucky enough to receive some wonderful things over my (nearly four - how did that happen?!) years as a Mum, and with countless friends-with-babies, have given a fair few in my time.
These are, therefore my top 10 things a new Mum actually NEEDS:
- Batiste, the original dry hair shampoo. Yes the Aveda one is gorgeous, but who has the budget for only Aveda?! I panic when running low on this wonder-product. So many times as a new Mum (and, who am I kidding, most days) my “morning beauty routine” consisted of a quick wash of the essentials (often with a wet wipe-see number 2), a spray of Batiste and a wild rubbing of said product into my roots, some Rimmel concealer and a slick of lippy. Batiste makes the most “pre-loved” of hair look presentable, plus if you have fine hair like mine you get the bonus of awesome volume, and hair that is happy to be styled.
- Wet wipes - ‘nuff said. Oh, you want me to say more?! Of course, my absolute pleasure. Suspicious, unidentifiable stain on jeans? Get a wet wipe. Child’s snot on MY cheek? Wet wipe. Old mascara stuck in under eye crevice? Wet wipe (you get the picture...)
3. Muslins - the bigger the better for these beauties (though surely by now you’d think my iPhone would stop autocorrecting to Muslims, which has led to some confusing missives between husband and I). My favourites are made by the gorgeous Jen from Etta Loves. I had the privilege of meeting her at a YESMUM Moon Club, where she spoke with such ferocious passion about her business that soon after I bought my first of her sensory muslins, designed so that the scale, pattern and colours stimulate cognitive and visual development. Muslins are brilliant for clearing up every kind of fluid, for using as a scarf, a blanket, when breastfeeding, for swaddling, as an apron...
4. Multiple reusable water bottles. Never have I felt as thirsty as when recovering from birth. Couple that with breastfeeding and the thirst is insatiable. Having water at every feeding station is an absolute must.
5. Constantly kissing your baby? You need lip balm. Plus it makes you feel nice. Lovely. This Maybelline one is cheap and stays on.
6. subscription to Netflix. Those cluster feeds feel a whole lot better if you’re able to binge watch boxsets (Modern Family? Gilmore girls? Star Trek? What’s your favourite?)
7. Milestone baby cards. I wish I had cottoned on to these sooner - it is one of my only regrets that I am unable to say precisely when my children first rolled, or smiled, or crawled. My I love these from Harmony at Home Eco Boutique.
8. Coffee - you need it. Trust me. I like a bit of Millicano, or for special occasions there’s nothing lovelier then Bean Berry Coffee, roasted in good old Woking, Surrey!
9. A session with a mobile nail technician: perhaps you’ll disagree with this one, but the constant handwashing, adjusting a baby on the boob (or a bottle in the mouth), the endless nappy changes. It may sound trite, but having gel nails can make me feel that bit more “me”, put together and more of my version of normal.
10. Your phone. I thought for a second before writing this one. Perhaps it sounds like a sad addiction - a worrying reflection of the time in which we live, but my phone was my saving grace during all the night feeds. I try not to make it my third limb and these days, but I am so grateful for those 3am WhatsApp groups.
That’s my ten. What would you choose? I’d love to read in the comments below.
P.S. Here's that amazing image I told you about, courtesy of The Postpartum Stress Center