New Mom Essentials for the Fourth Trimester of Pregnancy
The fourth trimester, a term coined by renowned pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp, refers to the first three months after birth. This is a time of many physical and emotional adjustments for you — the new mother. “It is also an important time for the new baby,” Dr. Karp points out, “who still craves the womb.” Therefore, any baby item that can help extend that closeness, not to mention comfort for you, is a must when building your registry.
Baby Registry Items For You
A baby registry is a curated list of baby products new parents want and need for their new baby. The goal of a baby registry is to help you save money by asking your friends and family for these baby essentials. Registry items might range from onesies and blankets to big-ticket items like cribs, monitors and strollers.
When most people think of a baby registry, they typically see it as a means of asking for essentials strictly for the baby. Although that may be the main purpose of the registry, it’s important to also include items that can help you thrive in those first few months of motherhood.
Go beyond the typical and obvious registry items like diapers and wipes and add a variety of products that help mimic the womb experience, or simply help you get through those early months. You could consider a baby carrier so you can be hands-free, some of that luxe cream for stretch marks you decided not to buy for yourself, or even a baby gadget like a video monitor that can give you greater peace of mind.
Fourth Trimester Essentials to Add to Your Baby Registry
Placing these items on your baby registry will help throughout the important first few months of your baby’s life as they adjust to living outside the womb. These things can also help you navigate the fourth trimester of motherhood.
Postpartum Recovery Kit
Preparing for postpartum recovery is something that most women don’t always consider when getting ready to have their baby. After having a baby, you will experiences numerous physical and emotional changes that require ample attention in order to properly heal. Hospital and birthing centers typically only supply items for the first few days after a birth. Therefore, it helps to ask for and stock up on postpartum essentials necessary for the weeks that follow. These “must-haves” should include:
- Postpartum pads
- High-waist cotton underwear
- Ice packs
- Over-the-counter pain medicine for physical relief
You’ll go a long way toward your own adjustment if you also add these to your registry:
- Gift cards for a therapist, lactation consultant or postpartum doula
Maternity & Postpartum Clothes
As you add items to your baby registry, start with things that will provide you with comfort and make it easier to care for a newborn at all hours, like comfortable, stretchy clothing. Remember that the postpartum body takes time to heal, so it’s completely normal to still look a few months pregnant after birth. Loose-fitting and maternity clothing that’s easy to move around in and fit into comfortably is key. Add items like:
- Maternity bras
- Maternity leggings
- Stretchy jogger pants
- V-neck dresses
- Breastfeeding-friendly clothing that allows easy access
Another must-have baby item that you can put to good use in the early days is a baby carrier. Whether you opt for a soft-structured carrier, wrap or other type of carrier, this is one item that keeps baby close. The slings and wraps promote skin-to-skin contact, helping to re-create that womb-like experience in the fourth trimester. In addition, a baby carrier helps you multi-task, whether you need to prepare a meal or do simple chores or other tasks.
A sound machine is another great baby registry item, because it mimics the swooshing sounds present in the womb. Even though many think babies need silence to sleep, they actually sleep well with some light noise. Light noise triggers their calming reflex and lulls them to sleep.
A baby has grown accustomed to being in close quarters, snug in the womb before birth. Swaddling a baby in a comfortable, snug blanket helps to recreate that experience in the fourth trimester. When choosing a blanket to add to your baby registry, look for one that is large enough to wrap the baby in a swaddle well. You might also select a wearable swaddle blanket that includes a velcro wrap to secure the baby well.
Did you know you can expect to change more than 10 diapers a day those first few weeks with a newborn? Newborns feed often and have tiny stomachs, which means they will be digesting and pooping a lot. That means they’ll be going through a lot of nappies. A diaper caddy or basket will help you by keeping all of your diaper-changing essentials in one place, making it easy transport from room to room or up and down the stairs. You can also get one for the nursery and one for your main living space to keep the baby essentials handy.
Car Seat with Stroller Connection
Finally, whatever car seat you choose, be sure that it can easily connect to a stroller or a snap-n-go. These days many brands take this into account and have car seats and strollers that are compatible. These are known as “travel systems,” a necessity when lugging baby to doctor appointments, because they allow a seamless transfer from car to stroller. The last thing you need is to struggle with heavy baby gear, at the same time you’re recovering from birth.
There are tons of items you’ll need as you become a mom, but don’t forget about the “fourth trimester,” and yourself. The list above should give you lots of inspiration for adding the items to help provide comfort for you and the baby.