Since bringing Henry home I've been thinking a lot about what has been helpful in getting me through those first few weeks with a newborn. When it came down to it, my must have items can all be counted on one hand.
1. A water bottle. Whether you're nursing or not, it's important to stay hydrated postpartum. Caring for a newborn is taxing and keeping my body in good working order is a priority. Someone once told me "you want to take care of yourself so you have the energy to care of your little one." I've always remembered this advice and have my water by my side all day long.
2. A white noise machine. Henry's crib is set up in the office space adjacent to our bedroom. There isn't a door between these two rooms so noise control is essential for us. White noise is comforting to newborns. Many machines can mimic the sounds from the womb helping babies sleep better and longer. And let's be honest, Henry has five older siblings. Our house can get loud so having a white noise machine to drown that all out has been amazingly helpful. This is the machine we have and we love it because there is the option to set it up on a timer or to let it run all night (we leave ours on all night.) There are also a ton of white noise apps too.
3. A Kindle. Ok, I know what you're thinking but hang in there with me. I cannot even begin to tell you in the course of mothering my children how many times I've fallen asleep while nursing in the middle of the night. I know this doesn't bother some people but I personally cannot stand it. I don't sleep well sitting up and always managed to wake with a big kink in my neck. Having a Kindle has helped keep me awake while nursing during those middle of the night feedings. The Kindle Paperwhite has a nice night time reading feature that can be useful in changing diapers in the dark too (speaking from experience).
4. Lansinoh. Typically when I'm asked which beauty/toiletry product I cannot live without I would say concealer but while nursing, it's Lansinoh. This stuff is hands down the most essential toiletry item I'm currently using. If you are nursing or plan to nurse, get some!
And in case you missed it, here's my newborn baby checklist.