I love this kind of blog post. I always find it interesting to read what other moms have found helpful (or even essential!) with their kids. Of course, you have to evaluate for yourself what will work best for your own family, but my hope is that my sharing these products with you will be both useful and encouraging! There are great items out there that can make the postpartum season even more enjoyable and workable.
First, a quick note on this postpartum experience with Soren. As you might know, my husband and I have a 2-year-old daughter named Sophie who was born in 2017. And our son, Soren, was born in November 2019. The postpartum period definitely has its ups and downs, but overall, it’s been a lot easier (and I’ve been a lot more comfortable, physically AND confidence-wise) this time around.
I’m also really thankful for how I’ve been feeling postpartum. Even right after birth, I felt calm, happy, and strong. Of course, recovery is never super fun (stitches, etc.) but overall I have been doing so well. After having Sophie, I felt more fragile/in pain/exhausted, but this time around, God has answered my prayers that I would be able to rise to the occasion and really feel strong and “with-it.” It’s such a blessing because I am chasing a toddler around during the day, too. (I say all of this not to brag or anything, but because it’s answered prayer and also because I want to offer hope to other moms; even if your first birth experience left you feeling less than capable/strong or it was just plain traumatizing, that doesn’t mean that every time will be like that. Every birth is totally different!)
Breastfeeding has been going well this time around. I did nurse Sophie for 14 months and my hope is to nurse Soren for about a year at least. And it’s been less painful this time than it was initially with Sophie! There are a lot of benefits to being a “second time parent” as opposed to being a brand-new parent; although Soren is definitely a different person from Sophie, I have less of that first-time parent anxiety. I have a lot more tricks up my sleeve, I have favorite products to try, and I know not to panic and Google everything.
Most of all, I have some added confidence this time around. God has answered a lot of prayers and I am daily thankful for that. It’s really, really special to be a first-time parent – we loved so many of those “firsts” with Sophie – but I am grateful to be a second time parent this time.
Some of these products were favorites of ours back when Sophie was an infant; others are newer discoveries. I’ve been thinking about and tweaking this list for months! Either way, I hope this post helps you out, whether you’re expecting or you are shopping for a new mom!
My Postpartum Favorites The Second Time Around
Note: Some links below are affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase using my link, I would make a tiny commission from it. As always, though, I only share products with you that I would actually recommend. Thanks for supporting Just Bee!
Knee Pillow // How did I NOT get one of these for my pregnancy with Sophie?! This Ebung brand knee pillow was such a lifesaver for me, both during and AFTER my pregnancy with Soren. Pregnancy does all sorts of things to your joints. After having Soren, my hips and knees ached, so using this simple knee pillow did wonders for making me feel realigned again. It’s under $15 and would make a great gift for anyone, pregnant or not! Whenever I used this pillow, it felt like my whole body gave a sigh of relief!
Nectar Mattress // I wrote an entire blog post on this, so I’ll refrain from writing too much here, but our Nectar mattress has been an amazing addition to our home! I did tons of research before asking Nectar if they’d consider working with me, and I was so thrilled when they said yes! We’ve had our new mattress for almost 5 months now, and I STILL get almost giddy about climbing into bed at night. It’s really comfortable. It’s not an overly bouncy bed, either, so you and your spouse don’t disturb each other as much if one of you is up with the baby, getting up for work, etc. This was nice for us especially when Soren was brand-new! I’m convinced that having a high-quality mattress at the end of pregnancy AND during the postpartum season has made a big difference for me. Even if you won’t be getting much sleep in those early months, why not make those few hours of sleep count? 🙂 I love our Nectar bed!
PS – Nectar is having a spring sale right now! Be sure to check it out!
Touch Lamp // This is the exact lamp I have on my nightstand. I actually had a touch lamp when Sophie was a baby, too, but that one was a little more flimsy and broke. I’m loving this one, though! Why a touch lamp? Because it allows me to turn on a light without an overly loud “click!” sound – something that can make a difference when you’re feeding a baby multiple times a night. (It’s no fun to have a sleeping baby in your arms, set them down, and then startle them all over again with a loud noise!) I also love the fact that there are three different brightness settings on this lamp. I like to use the dimmest one possible if I need to tend to Soren in the middle of the night…but then when I’m readying our room for the night earlier in the evening, I can use the brighter settings! It’s a lovely lamp, and I really recommend using a touch lamp if you’ve got a little one!
HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper // I’m borrowing this bassinet from my in-laws, who used it for their baby girl. Initially, we thought we’d just try it out and see what we thought. We had used a different bassinet with Sophie when she was an infant. Now, both Bjorn and I think this one is awesome! It swivels around in such a way that you can easily reach for your baby, and one side (“railing”) can be gently pushed down to allow for better access to your little one. There are also options for vibration or even music, but I haven’t tried those out yet. It’s a pricier item, but I’m a big fan! Soren sleeps very well in it!
Bouncy Seat // This seat has been a lifesaver for us this time around!! Soren struggled a bit more with…for lack of a better word, reflux, so our doctor recommend he be more elevated whenever possible. (We LOVED using our DockATot for Sophie, but Soren needed something less horizontal when he was really little.) I’m including a photo of a whole Pack N’ Play above as well, because our beloved bouncy seat actually came as part of a whole Graco Pack N’ Play set! I haven’t been able to find the bouncy seat sold separately yet. Still, this specific bouncy seat has been incredible. It is very sturdy and stable, so we’ve even set it on top of our kitchen table if Soren needed to be off the floor! Most days, though, he gets to hang out on the kitchen floor or living room floor near the rest of the family. The seat has two vibration settings as well, which works nicely when it comes to soothing a fussy baby. We do not have Soren sleep in this overnight; he’s always supervised in it. We love it enough that we pack it with us when we drive up to my parents’ place! If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve definitely seen photos of Soren in his seat!
Dove Dry Shampoo // I know, I know, dry shampoo is that typical “mom life” must-have product! 🙂 I usually wash my hair every other day. In between, I love using Dove Dry Shampoo. Specifically, I like using the Volume + Fullness variety! It works so well. I’ve tried several different kinds of dry shampoos in the past, but this one is my favorite by far!
Muslin Burp Cloths // All kinds of burp cloths are great, and they all obviously “work”…however, these large white muslin cloths are my absolute favorite! They cover more of your shoulder when you’re burping your baby, and they’re super absorbent! They wash well, too. At this point, these burp cloths would be a go-to gift I’d give to any new mom!
Dream Egg Sound Machine // A sound machine is a great item to have if you’re a parent – whether it’s to help you sleep or to help calm your little one. We used a different brand for Sophie for well over two years. I bought one of these Dream Egg sound machines for Soren when I realized he may want some white noise at night even in our room…and I was hooked! There are SO many more options with this sound machine, even when it comes to just the “white noise” function. Sophie’s old sound machine had a more abrasive, higher-pitched white noise sound, I eventually realized. So, I ended up buying one of these for Soren (in our master bedroom) and one for Sophie! They are awesome. I also love how, unlike Sophie’s old sound machine, this one remembers the exact setting you had on last time it was used! This way, I’m not resetting and readjusting the volume for Sophie’s naps every time! I highly recommend this sound machine!
Up & Up Diapers // Bjorn and I like to save money and find good deals on things for our kids, without sacrificing on quality. With Sophie, we started out with Huggies or Pampers diapers but soon enough transitioned to the off-brand from Target called Up & Up. Sophie was in Up & Up diapers for a loooong time! And we loved them. I’ve honestly never had issues with them irritating her skin (any more than other wet diapers may), and they’ve held up just beautifully! If you price compare, definitely consider Up & Up brand diapers – I recommend giving them a shot! With Soren, we bought Up & Up diapers for him right away! He wore them all throughout the newborn size and now he’s in size 1 from Up & Up.
Little Remedies Nasal Saline Drops // I actually never used saline nasal drops with Sophie (oops)! I guess we never really got to that point. However, this past January, our whole family of four was sick, including Soren, who had an icky cold. It was hard for him to breathe (plus he had a cough that we were monitoring), so our goal was to keep him as comfortable and breathing as easily as possible. I resorted to these saline drops for his little nose, and they worked almost magically!! They’re safe and help to wash any mucus away. This is another gift I’d give to a new mom. It’s a nice, simple thing to have in your medicine cabinet for the littles!
Munchkin Parent Water Bottles // I’ve raved about these for over a year now, I think! Last year I was battling anxiety, and one of the things I realized was that I was dehydrated almost all of the time! I made a commitment to staying hydrated and I’ve improved dramatically these past twelve months! I would say that these water bottles have played a big part in that. Hydration is a huge need when it comes to being a new parent, especially if you’re breastfeeding. First of all, they’re cute! (I have 4 now since I use them so frequently: two white and two black, but there are also brighter color options.) Second of all, they have that same neat technology in the lid that the Munchkin toddler water cups have; you can drink from anywhere around the rim of the water bottle! They can also be sloshed about a lot and they won’t spill. They will spill just a bit of water if you drop them on the floor, for example, but overall, they’re quite easy to lug around without a mess! I’ve talked to a lot of other moms who didn’t know there was a parent version of the Munchkin 360 Cup! I seriously love these water bottles so much!
Kindred Bravely Simply Sublime Nursing Tanks // Kindred Bravely is the brand I used back when Sophie was a baby as well, and they’re STILL my absolute favorite brand for nursing bras and tanks this second time around. I love the feel of the fabric. They’re sturdy and comfortable, and they come in lovely colors. I like their Simply Sublime tanks the best of all. Here’s why: with a nursing bra, if you’re nursing in public, even with a nursing cover, you can still feel a bit chilly or exposed. But if you’re wearing a nursing tank, you don’t feel weird or as cold pulling up your shirt to nurse. Plus, I’ve found that they’ve got just enough structure to them to help me feel smoothed down underneath whatever shirt I’m wearing that day; definitely not tight like actual shapewear, but still a bit of smoothing support. I don’t think that’s their goal with this company, but it’s an added bonus. I was that girl who always felt better wearing an actual tank top or camisole under my shirts in high school and college, just for extra coverage, warmth, smoothness, etc., so it’s no surprise that I love nursing tanks! I wear a larger sized nursing tank this time around than I did postpartum with Sophie, and that’s totally fine. I love my Kindred Bravely tanks. They are worth the money.
Lounge Pants from CoziBear Boutique // I first came across these on Jane.com, when they were on sale for about $13.99. I fell in love! They’re just simple drawstring lounge pants, but they are comfortable and have POCKETS! I’ve always been a fan of flare-type pants, and these are perfect for stay-at-home mom life. The pockets feature really makes a huge difference for me, because I’m often carrying a baby or a toddler up or down the stairs, and I also often have a baby monitor or cell phone (or my beloved Bluetooth speaker) in tow! While they’re not on sale now, these pants are only $19.99 on the Cozi Bear site. They do get pilled over time – like I said, they’re simple lounge pants – but I still love them so much and have found them to be incredibly useful during this postpartum season!
Philips Avent Pacifiers // This is a funny little picture of how different two kids in the same family can be: Sophie LOVED her Wubbanub giraffe from the get-go when she was born, and has loved Wubbanubs ever since! Soren, however, has really preferred the flatter shape of these pacifiers! So, these are the kinds I’ve continued to buy for him (honestly, where do all the pacifiers go?!). They’re not expensive, I can usually find them at Target, and he’s able to keep this shape of pacifier in his mouth much better! And just throwing it out there – if your child doesn’t totally love Wubbanubs, there are even other animal toys attached to this kind of pacifier as well. But for now, Soren just really likes these plain Philips Avent pacifiers!
Love To Dream Swaddle Up Sleep Sack // Sophie loved being swaddled. She only calmed down for naps and for bedtime when she was tightly wrapped in a swaddle blanket or the velcro Halo sleep sack with her arms down against her body. Soren, on the other hand, always fought it. I understand that babies like to feel snug and swaddled up, so I was perplexed by this and frustrated that he kept fighting to get his hands/arms up and out, even during that first night in the hospital! (That was one the first clues to me that my children were definitely different people with different preferences!) After some frantic Googling, I placed a frantic Amazon order for this at 1 am one night when Soren was still very new. This swaddle has been amazing!! It allows babies to feel that snug “hug,” especially around their torso and hips, but their legs can kick about a little bit and their arms can be comfortably contained up by their face. It’s perfect for those babies who kind of panic when they can’t have their hands by their face during the night, but you don’t necessarily want them cold or too “free” to the point where their startle reflex could wake them a lot. Soren eventually outgrew the Small and now enjoys wearing the Medium size to bed every night. He’ll next be using this brand’s Transition Sleep Sack, where you can choose to zip off one or two arms as your little one gets used to sleeping with arms out over time. When I mentioned this sleep sack on Instagram, I got countless messages from moms who exclaimed that their babies only slept well with this one, too!! So if your baby seems like they’d prefer their arms up, definitely try this sleep sack out!!
Kidizen // If you’ve followed along with this blog for a while now, then I know you’ve heard me sing the praises of Kidizen! 🙂 It’s a free app where moms in the U.S. can buy and sell their kids’ clothing! It is where I buy over 95% of my kids’ clothes. I like it that much. Shipping is frequently included with the price of whatever clothing item you’re buying. It’s super user-friendly and easy to filter your search results to find exactly what you’re looking for (like “3 month footed sleeper,” “pink rain boots,” or “gray pea coat”). There is so much available on this app, and it’s way easier than having to wander a consignment shop with your kids in tow. I used this app to buy things for Sophie back when she was a newborn, so I’ve been a fan of it for over 2 years now! Use THIS LINK to get $5 for free on the app!
Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality // The hospital gave us so many special gifts – Bjorn and I were really touched. We received a couple different bags full of baby-related products and freebies, flowers (I believe), a fancy meal in our hospital room, and more! One of the things we were sent home with was this book. In general, we were given more freedom when we had Soren, because they knew we weren’t first-time parents and they could sense we were much more confident this time around. However, there is ALWAYS more to learn, and once we were home, I really enjoyed being able to refer to this book with some of my questions! It was a surprisingly good resource, and now it’s a book I’d definitely recommend. (I love books like this that are written by reputable sources and can truly tell you whether or not to “worry” about different little situations or things you notice with your new baby.)
Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads // I used Medela nursing pads when Sophie was a baby, but for whatever reason, I tried buying these nursing pads from Lansinoh instead this time. And I got hooked! They’re extra soft (much softer than the Medela ones, in my opinion) and comfortable, and they work beautifully. Definitely a great option and I’m glad I branched out to try something new!
Playtex Diaper Genie Pail // We had the Munchkin Step diaper pail for Sophie for over 2 years and we just weren’t ever fans of it. Perhaps I had somehow broken it the first time I was trying to install the bags(?!) or something, but it always struggled to close and it didn’t retain odors well. So, when we were expecting Soren, we actually decided to request a different diaper pail! Of course, the Diaper Genie is one of the biggest names out there for diaper pails, but we’ve found it works really well for us. It keeps odors in, and yes, it requires special bags, but I love how they work and I’m grateful we decided to try out a different diaper pail brand!
Donut Tailbone Cushion // Although my physical recovery went really well after having Soren, his birth was still an intense one and of course, you’re sore after giving birth! I had purchased this donut cushion in advance, hoping that it could give me a comfortable extra layer to sit on, and it delivered! 🙂 I really appreciated having this pillow, especially in those first two weeks.
Infant Optics Baby Monitor // We used a different monitor for two years for Sophie, but we were not thrilled with it; the image was super pixelated, and in any sort of dim light, the whole screen just looked like an opaque gray! Yikes. So, when our relatives asked us if we wanted anything new for our second baby, Bjorn and I requested this monitor. We have other family members and friends who like this one, and now we’re big fans of it, too! 🙂 Right now we just use it for Sophie, since Soren still sleeps in the master bedroom with us, but it has been a great product for us.
CBS // This final item on the list isn’t actually a product, but I just had to list it anyway. CBS, or Community Bible Study, has been an amazing aspect of the postpartum season for me this time around. After I had Sophie, I felt less sure of myself (which I know is normal as a first-time parent), and I also wanted to stay home more. However, over time, I’ve learned that outings and commitments are really beneficial to all of us. Having that mentality has helped me this time around because we’ve just continued on with our normal, everyday life – just with a cute little Soren-boy in tow! 🙂 CBS is an adult AND child Bible study program. There are night classes, morning classes, classes for women only, classes for men & women together, etc. etc. And, CBS runs a fabulous children’s program! Sophie and Soren and I attend a women’s day class. I get to study the Bible, learn from a teaching time, and discuss the lesson questions with women upstairs (and Soren sits with me), while Sophie gets a structured, wonderful children’s program downstairs! She absolutely loves CBS – and her CBS teachers and friends. If you’ve heard of BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), CBS is very similar. From my understanding, BSF just tends to be offered in larger cities. I would highly, highly recommend getting plugged into a CBS group near you (or even a BSF group near you). When I signed up last fall, I had no idea how good it would be for me, for my daughter, for my faith, even my mental health. You are welcome to visit or join CBS regardless of your level of Bible knowledge. I just wanted to mention CBS because this weekly commitment has been a wonderful thing for myself and my family in this postpartum season!
Well, there you have it, friends! I hope the list of products, as well as the lengthy explanations, has been interesting or helpful to you! 🙂 I’d love to hear from you – what products have been useful for you as a first-time or second-time parent?