The Must-Have Items for Your Pregnancy Survival Kit
No matter how many times you watch What To Expect When You're Expecting, it won't teach you about those must have baby items or what one actually needs while pregnant. That's why our Wingmoms have compiled a pregnancy survival kit, so when you're preparing for your little, you don't have to rely on Cameron Diaz or Elizabeth Banks to be your guide (although we’ll admit they seem like fun sidekicks).
Every pregnancy is different. For some women morning sickness is life altering, for others it's sciatic pain, and some have a lot of pelvic pressure. There are those women that feel great the whole time too, really it just depends on you, the pregnancy and your genes. Luckily, there are a lot of tools to use to make the ride smoother for both you and your little passenger.
For example, the body pillow. It's not only a cozy device used to help you get comfortable, but it can alleviate aches and pains, especially when related to the sciatic nerve. It does this by supporting different spots on your body, including the back, knees and belly. We recommend the Leachco brand, either the half-circle Snoogle or the full-circle Back n' Belly Bliss. Both are washable and come with a removable cover.
Aside from gear, your pregnancy survival kit should contain a good prenatal vitamin that has DHA added, as well as folic acid, vitamin D, iron and calcium. These are important to help your baby grow, and to keep you healthy. In fact, most moms take the same vitamins well into the fourth trimester and while nursing. If you're feeling nausea then it's a good idea to get some ginger candies for the purse. These don't have to be an expensive brand, but they do need to have real ginger in them. Put a pack next to that giant bottle of antacids, another necessary item for that pregnancy survival kit.
Some other fun, though maybe not 100-percent necessary items pregnant women would appreciate in the this bundle, include cocoa butter for the tummy to help prevent stretch marks, Belly Buds to expose your unborn child to music, and a certificate to get a good leg and foot massage to help with strain from all that extra weight. Maternity belts can also be helpful at relieving back pain during the last trimester. This is also a good time to start a keepsake journal so mom can write notes to her baby and jot down any thoughts, cravings and wishes she has for him or her.
The hospital bag can be so important, especially if there are unknown causes that keep you and your baby there longer than the usual day or two. The first thing to pack is that cute take-home outfit for your little one. Because we don't often know just how big or small your baby will be, it's good to find one of the gown-style outfits, that way it will fit no matter what. You also should think about mom, and what better way to welcome a little one than by having a cute set of comfy pajamas to lounge in, preferably with a stretchy nursing top. Fluffy socks are also a bonus.
As for gear, a lot of the goods can be packed in a diaper bag, which can of course be used down the line. At this point must have baby items include: A sound machine to drown out any outside noises, pacifiers to help Baby learn to suck and to soothe, and a swaddle blanket or two to make your very own baby burrito. True, the hospital does provide blankets and pacifiers, but it's good to have your own and practice baby swaddling while there. After all, no one swaddles a squirmy baby quiet like a maternity ward nurse.
Another mom must have to consider is a tablet. It's a great tool to binge watch a show or read an e-book during the down time, because, even though you will need to feed every couple hours, there are often a lot of quiet moments in the hospital. Don't forget the charger either. Also don't forget the nipple cream, preferably the all-natural stuff by Motherlove. This is one item a pregnancy survival kit should always have, and anyone who has just started nursing a baby will be happy for the relief. Another addition to the kit is good body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and soap. That first shower after having a baby should give joy in all aspects.
Finally, you can't leave the hospital without a car seat. Good Buy Gear carries many open-box options for a fraction of the cost you would pay buying new. Of these, we find convertible car seats to be the best deal, and the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 is safe, sleek and grows along with your newborn.
Have On Hand
Whether you bring a nursing pillow to the hospital or not, it's a must have baby item for breastfeeding. At Good Buy Gear we are partial to the My Brest Friend, a firm bean-shaped pillow that conveniently clips around the mom. We also like the classic Boppy, which is more like a pillow that hugs you wherever it's placed. Both come with washable covers, another boon.
Another item that you may or may not take to the hospital is a breast pump. Most hospitals have really good ones moms can use while there, so it's not necessary to bring your own. But it's certainly a must have item to source beforehand. Medela is a good brand to look into, and we have a selection of them in our inventory. There are many different types of breast pumps, from the classic Medela machines to the Willow Wearable Breast Pump that lets you move around while you pump.
Home With Baby
Once you're home with the baby it's time to get into the groove of your new life, and you don't want to be struggling to get all the baby gear you need. Stock up before the little one is born, starting with a bassinet or co-sleeper for Baby to snooze in at night while you try and catch some sleep. The Wonderfold Baby Bassinet Cradle is a handy, stylish option that also rocks. Halo is another brand that makes a popular infant sleeper that swivels and adjusts to the height of the bed.
Investing in an UPPAbaby Vista system is a great way to get the stroller (which grows with the child and has room for more kids) and the bassinet for Baby to sleep in. For the latter part, there's a stand that folds up to make it easy to put your little one to bed anywhere. Good Buy Gear offers a lot of gently-used and open-box strollers, which means you save money so you can get more of the baby gear you need for that pregnancy survival kit.
Of course other infant strollers work too, or baby wearing. Baby wearing is a good way to keep small infants close and snug, and there are a lot of ways to do it. Before you're home with your little one research the different styles and try them out, that way you're ready with the gear once the baby arrives. The Baby Bjorn Carrier is a popular choice, just make sure it includes an infant booster. The Boba Baby Wrap Carrier is another type that involves wrapping the infant rather than putting them in a pre-formed holder. Read more about baby carriers on our blog to get an understanding how these items differ.