The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

BB's Weekly Link Round Up: New Mom Must-Haves + More

New Mom Must-Haves from a mom of three / baby registry essentials on a budget
I got a question from a reader asking me to share my maternity must-haves and baby registry favorites. While this isn't something I normally cover (I'd much rather escape into my fantasy world of runway and celebrity fashion for a few moments each day haha), I can't resist sharing my two-cents on these topics.

Everyone's parenthood journey is so unique and special that it's tough to come up with a one-size-fits all registry list, but with my third baby due in just a few short weeks, I've had a lot of time to evaluate what I consider to be "essentials" - so I'll share those with you guys now! Take it with a grain of salt. Because the number one thing you'll need as a new mom is faith in yourself. That "listen to your gut" stuff is so true.

New Mom Must-Haves On A Budget

1. Aden & Anais Swaddlers. You may be a complete wreck after delivery (raises hand) but weeks later when the fog has lifted, you'll be glad you got these. They will look so cute for newborn photos! Make sure you get photos even if you don't buy them. The photographer never stopped by my room with my first and I still regret it (not bitter or anything lol). Aside from looking cute, swaddling does seem to help babies sleep a bit better. And every bit counts! I see these have gone up in price a lot since my first was born, so check TJMaxx and Marshalls often to get these for less (I always see them at my store).

2. My Brest Friend nursing pillow. Not everyone needs a breastfeeding pillow but this was essential for me with both kiddos. Breastfeeding might be a breeze for you, or it might be an agonizingly painful journey (again, raises hand) so I was happy to have this tool available to me to help me succeed in an area that was important to me. I've gone through two of these and I must say quality has gone down (the cover ripped and doesn't wash well) but I just ordered another one because it's the only way I can nurse a tiny newborn comfortably. Plus, it has a pouch for stuff like a cell phone, water bottle or nipple balm! I also highly recommend getting a comfy chair to nurse in (read my review of the Delta Glider).

3. Maternity tank tops. I actually did this post on building a maternity capsule wardrobe that outlines all my maternity fashion must-haves if you're interested in checking that out. And this post on the best places to shop for maternity fashion on a budget. So here I'll just say that all you really need for a casual maternity wardrobe are good neutral tanks and tees, and then you can layer regular cardigans or lightweight jackets or blazer on top. H&M and Target have great affordable options.

4. Maternity Jeans. Piggybacking on the maternity tops, you'll want a good pair or two of maternity jeans (if jeans are what you normally wear everyday). I love my Ingrid & Isabels from Target. I like a full panel for support. Lots of moms love leggings, just make sure that fabric is breathable. I'll be on the hunt for a good pair of support leggings to help with my postpartum recovery as well as a Bellefit corset so stay tuned for updates on that!

5. Moby wrap. I was gifted a Moby so that's the wrap I know and love, but there are tons of options. I had to watch YouTube tutorials (like this one) and practice a lot to get it right, but it was so worth it, especially with baby number two - you can do everything and anything while baby's in the wrap! Then since I was also lucky enough to be gifted with an Ergo, I switched to that once my babes got big. Baby wearing helps with the child's overall development, too. Win-win.

6. Toddlers Are A**holes by Bunmi Laditan. I got this book as a gift and it made me laugh until I cried. It's humor, people. And you will need a good sense of humor to be a parent! It's the only "parenting book" I recommend, besides Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids (which is actually my favorite serious parenting book and quite lifechanging).

7. Lansinoh Nursing Pads. Hooray for leaky boobs! Not. I had to use these for a couple weeks (months?) until the girls got into the swing of things and stopped leaking all over the place. Many moms absolutely need supportive nursing bras to tuck these into, but I was able to get away with just sticking these in my favorite camis and tank tops thanks to the adhesive backing. Avoid underwires and constricting tops and bras, that's my advice.

8. Faux Leather Backpack. I used traditional diaper bags with both my boys but then switched to a backpack and wish I had done so sooner. The faux leather looks grown-up and you can wipe it clean! Get something on the smaller side so you won't be tempted to overload (mostly because you can hurt yourself by carrying too much).

9. Portable Crib. We got a version of this Summer Infant portable crib as a gift and used it a ton with both boys. It's just nice to have a safe spot to put baby down. You can put it on your bed, too, while you're sleeping (ah those brief, glorious moments of sleep!) Move it from room to room, take it on trips. Easy to set up and wash. I also have a pack 'n' play (similar) which is essential especially when you have a toddler and need to keep your newborn safe. I've borrowed or bought (mostly secondhand - check Facebook Marketplace, join mommy groups, and shop children's consignment shops) just about all the contraptions they have for babies from swings to cradles, and you just never know which your baby will prefer (if any!)

Other things you may want that aren't on my list:

  • Doula. With advice from my sister in law, I hired amazing doulas for my first and second pregnancies and it was worth every cent.

  • Breast pump. You can rent one from the hospital. These are the best! Also most insurance plans cover the cost of a breast pump so make sure you get one before baby arrives. Plus all the bottles and paraphernalia that go with it.

  • Witch hazel pads. So soothing for recovery.

  • Nice camera. Take pictures of that little bundle of joy!!

Things you'll need that you can't register for/buy:

  • Healthy meals and snacks. Prepare freezer meals, stock up on healthy pantry items and ask friends and family to bring you food. Mealbaby is great for this. Actually, so is Amazon Prime, Instacart and Peapod. Do what you gotta do!

  • Mental health/emotional support. Ask for help. Easier said than done, I know...

  • Help with your other kids. Going from one to two kids was the toughest transition I've ever endured and I was not entirely prepared for that.

    Phew that was exhausting. Props to all the mommy bloggers for their hard work! What would be on your new mom essentials list?

    Plus, don't miss these links...

    Target just added 200 new pieces to the spring Pillowfort collection. Pretty sure my son needs this rocket bed canopy.

    Sydne Style writes a love letter to all her Galentines.

    Love, love, love this Mandy Moore look for less from Fountain of 30. Major Valentine's Day inspiration!

    Well + Good found the prettiest crystal-inspired puzzles.

    College Fashion styles a slogan tee for day and night.

    The Sweetest Thing has great Valentine's Day gift ideas for your guy.

    Have a great weekend, babes! xxBB

  • Comments
    What a great list! Thank you so much for helping!!
    #1 Queenjules14 on 2018-02-10 18:31 (Reply)
    Thanks for the great question! Pushed me out of my comfort zone to write this :-)
    #1.1 The Budget Babe on 2018-02-11 21:31 (Reply)
    A good blanket or shawl so that you can easily and safely fasten your baby on your back, the small of your back. I have often seen African ladies carrying their babies this way and my daughter assures me that it is, by far, the most comfortable and practical way to keep the baby with you all day while still being able to do housework and cooking. The young girls start carrying the babies this way from a very early age. While we are Irish we had many African friends and, while an only child herself, my daughter was only 8 or 9 when she began carrying her friend's baby brother in this way. She has since 'babysat' the kids for many others happily carrying them around this way while she did voluntary work in the local charity shop or went shopping. She will happily carry her own children this way as well when she has them because it is so easy, comfortable and practical.
    #2 Karen Blackburn on 2018-02-11 09:06 (Reply)
    You can backcarry with the Moby, too! It's really just an expensive piece of long, stretchy fabric. And you're right, baby-wearing has been used forever by cultures worldwide! It's very practical.
    #2.1 The Budget Babe on 2018-02-11 21:35 (Reply)
    Congratulations on baby #3. You look fantastic! Dr. Karp “happiest baby on the block” video. Most libraries have it. The techniques are so helpful.
    #3 Katharine on 2018-02-12 07:26 (Reply)
    Thank you, Katharine! And what a great tip, I had completely forgotten about this. So many moms swear by it! Thanks for sharing.
    #3.1 The Budget Babe on 2018-02-12 09:16 (Reply)
    I hope you don’t mind me asking but what app do you use for your picture layouts? Karen x
    #4 Karen (Homepage) on 2018-02-25 11:07 (Reply)
    I use Photoshop.
    #4.1 The Budget Babe on 2018-02-26 07:53 (Reply)
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