Seven things I needed most when I had my first baby

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images 

When you have your first baby it can be overwhelming to work out what you do and don't need. Baby lists are often long and costly. And to be honest, much of it you'll hardly need. 

Once you get home with your newborn you'll quickly work out that having a whole heap of baby products are pretty useless as all they do is sleep, eat, cry and poo. 

But there were seven things, not always on the lists, that got me through the first few weeks: 

1. Wraps, wipes and tissues – I spent the first couple of months with a wrap over my shoulder at most times. I always had tissues close by and wipes were an essential item. Babies are pretty gross. They vomit a lot, they poo and wee, all over the place, they have drool and snot and sometimes have all of those things on their body at once. Let's face it, you will also often have all of those bodily fluids on you too. So, being covered in a wrap or an industrial jumpsuit helps.

2. Lasinoh – This little tube of gooey lanolin single handedly helped save my bleeding nipples. I would smother it on and wince while the baby latched on. For me, those first few weeks of breastfeeding were really challenging. So, anything that can help you through this stage is worth the money.

And that brings me to my other must have – a breastfeeding diagram. If you plan on breastfeeding make sure you carry a simple diagram with you so you can check the steps while you learn how to get your technique right. Practice makes perfect, trust me. And for many women, the more you breastfeed, the easier it will get.

For others who can't breastfeed, it's OK. Be kind on yourself. You are doing amazing – as long as your baby is fed, bottles and formula are totally fine. Remember, fed is best. 

3. A tv subscription – One thing is certain when you have a new baby in the house, you will be up at the weirdest times all day and night. Having access to heaps of tv shows and movies helped me get through the broken sleep. I found myself looking forward to being up at 3am to feed so I could watch another show in my latest tv series.

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4. A dummy – I was determined not to let my children have a dummy. No way. Never. How wrong was I? Within the first week, we had a selection of dummies for our newborn to test drive. We were determined to do anything to get some sleep. If it meant a dummy, then we were definitely there for it. Funny, how we're all perfect parents, until we actually have children.

5. Chocolate – It was necessary for me to have a stash of chocolate near me at all times. I've never eaten so much of the stuff. And it was awesome.

6. Big undies – Whether you have a c-section or not, comfortable undies were everything to me. It meant, the moments I found myself topless in the loungeroom breastfeeding, I had something on my bottom-half that I could tuck my tummy, and overgrown regrowth, into. They also sat above my c-section scar, which helped hold me all together without digging into a fresh wound. 

7. Metamucil – That first poo you do might take a long time and it's almost as painful as having a baby, and I had c-sections. I can't imagine what it would have felt like with stitches in your vagina. Give yourself a little help. Trust me.