*This new mom survival kit was first published July 2019 and updated February 2022!
What should I put in my New Mom Survival Kit? What supplies do I need after giving birth? There are so many unknowns when it comes to motherhood, and how to survive post delivery is one of them!
For some, being a new mom is easy, and for others it’s a challenge. Regardless, there are some helpful tools that will make postpartum recovery a little easier.
So are you a new mom or currently pregnant? Have a friend who is? This post is for you! Every mom needs a “New Mom Survival Kit” for post delivery, whether it’s your first, second or fifth baby!
I created this necessary new mom survival kit before the birth of my 3rd baby. So I can assure you — I’ve done my own personal research!
These are the things you want to gather to have on hand if you’re about to give birth — the last thing you want to do is have to run to the store during these precious early days!
And if you’re a friend to a pregnant woman, these items make a meaningful gift. It’s a great way to make a new mom feel important and cared for!
What Do New Moms Really Need?
Back before I had children of my own, I would naively bring my friends who just birthed a baby gifts of super cute clothes and toys for the baby… and nothing for the mom.
Now I know better and realize that the baby has everything they could possibly need. But that mama needs a new mom care package!
As a new mother to be, I was absolutely clueless about what I was going to need after birth. I saw blog posts with ideas of things I may need but was sure I wouldn’t need any of it. 😉
When you’re thinking of caring for a new baby, all thoughts of self care go out the window!
And then I had Roy. When my friends who had kids started visiting, they brought over so many thoughtful gifts! There were bags of epsom salt, nipple cream, teas that encouraged milk production, good quality nursing tanks and more.
Those were the friends that knew a first-time mom didn’t need one more cute outfit. They knew I needed some self-care gifts!
Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about how to make a great self-care gift package! As you’re stocking up on diapers and wipes, don’t forget these other necessities.
Things to Pack in the Ultimate New Mom Survival Kit
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If you are pregnant and wondering what to buy or have a friend who’s pregnant, here’s a list of must-have things that new mamas will likely want (or maybe need is a better word, ha!) after having the baby!
And I highly recommend adding some of these things to your baby registry — a lot of people would love to buy things for you but are clueless what you need.
Fill a basket for your own DIY new mom survival kit or drop one off for a friend. It’ll be well-loved by whoever receives it!
Also, just a note: each mom is different and each birth is different. Some of these things will be perfect, others won’t be needed. Regardless, they’ll appreciate the thought!
Practical Items for Your New Mom Survival Kit
1. Epsom salt
Regardless of the birth, every mom should take some time for herself! If there are stitches or hemorrhoids involved, taking postpartum baths with epsom salt helps relieve pain or itching.
I had one friend who did mini sitz baths (she would just fill her bath with enough water to sit in and do that for 15 minutes, 3 times a day). She said it helped tremendously with her healing!
Even if there aren’t any stitches, taking a bath with bath salts will help relax you and give you a few minutes of peace and quiet after a long day – just what ANY new mama needs for her labor recovery kit!
2. Lavender oil (also for sitz baths)
Lavender essential oil can have both soothing and antiseptic qualities to it. I love adding it to my bath, which also helps me relax a little more!
I don’t use a ton of essential oils, but I do love having lavender around the house to put on bumps and bruises. It’s also nice in my diffuser to help calm me down if I’m having a rough time. 😉
A variety pack of pads will be a great mommy survival kit idea! After my first, I had to go buy some of these since I didn’t have nearly enough. You’ll get some pads from the hospital, but you’ll definitely want a few more as well as different sizes for when you get home.
I personally don’t do Depends, but I have tons of friends who swear by them! They’re a great option for the postpartum period to not have to mess with the possibility of stained underwear.
If you choose to go the pads route (like I do), stock up on a variety of sizes of pads and a ton of panty liners. Nobody likes ruining underwear, so a simple liner saves you from that!
4. Underwear you don’t mind throwing away (if you don’t want to get Depends!)
I always pick up these underwear from Aerie when there’s a sale (always in dark colors, ha!). They’re super comfortable, easy to use a pad with and inexpensive.
One of my girlfriends told me about these after the birth of her twins. She convinced me to try them out post delivery for the birth of our second. They are insanely comfortable, great for using with pads and still cute!
I honestly wear these all the time now and not just postpartum. 🙂
Another option is to just pick up something like these Hanes underwear from Target too! If you already have plenty of underwear you love but need something for postpartum, these would work great!
These are especially useful if birth caused hemorrhoids or if you needed stitches. They’re an easy way to help heal from both of those!
I used a ton of Tucks witch hazel pads after birth with Roy since I had both stitches and hemorrhoids. However, I didn’t need them as much after Penelope or Miles.
I did still love using them now and then after each birth, though, since they help calm any issues!
6. Peri bottle
This may or may not be useful to you depending on your delivery, but it’s definitely something I wish I would’ve had for my postpartum healing after Roy!
Typically you’ll get a regular squirt bottle to clean yourself with (you’re not supposed to wipe normally if you have stitches – something I was clueless about!). These special peri bottles (from Target) are SO much easier to work with!
I actually bought this before my birth of Penelope, and despite the fact that I didn’t necessarily need to use a peri bottle, I still used it for the first week or so to get fully clean.
I love frida baby and frida mom products!
This may be among the least luxurious things for a mommy survival kit, but I assure you it will be well-loved. I’m not sure why I had no idea that birth often gives you hemorrhoids, but I didn’t. And when I got them, I was so confused about what was happening to my butt – haha!
Depending on the size of your hemorrhoids, you’ll want to apply hemorrhoid cream for a while post delivery. I got a tube of cream from the hospital but still needed another one at home with Roy.
This is one thing I wish I would’ve gotten sooner in the hospital with Roy because once I started using it, my butt felt so much better. (I share all about this in my hospital bag checklist post.)
Because of that, I packed it in my hospital bag for both Penelope and Miles! Being over prepared for this is way better than being under prepared!!
This may not be something you want to give an acquaintance as a baby shower gift, but it’s honestly a perfect self-care gift for your close friends, especially if they’re first-time moms.
The Not-So-Practical Yet Important Items For Your New Mom Survival Kit
8. Coffee + coffee mug
Let’s face it, being a new mom is exhausting and you can never get enough sleep. Caffeine (in cute coffee mugs) helps. New mamas need their coffee!
Having a special new mug will make those sleepless nights seem not so terrible. Plus, it will bring a smile to the face of any first-time mom!
9. Wine + a wine glass
Pregnant moms spend 9 months not drinking. A glass of wine (in a funny glass – this one’s from etsy!) is much appreciated to any new mama!
Added bonus if you have your favorite bottle of wine ready too!
10. Lip balm
A really good lip balm (this one is my favorite – found on Amazon) is a necessity for a new mom! This is ideal to have prior to delivery since hospitals can be really dry, and is there anything more annoying than dry lips?
11. Makeup remover/face cleansing wipes or Face Halo pads
Sometimes you’re so tired from lack of sleep there’s absolutely no way you’re taking the 2 minutes it takes to wash your face at night. Having these wipes in your bedside table will help keep your face looking and feeling fresh – even when you’re not regularly washing it!
I also love these Face Halo Wipes since you can just throw them in the wash when you’re done using them and reuse them! They just require water to be used, so you’d have to use them in the bathroom. 😉
12. BB cream
I discovered this BB cream (found on Amazon) this year, and it’s amazing! It moisturizes and conceals all in one product.
Sometimes being a new mom means not having a lot of time to do things like putting on makeup, so having a simple product you can literally just put on like lotion to feel a little bit more put together is amazing!
13. Dry shampoo
Every mom needs some good dry shampoo. Not only will it help you go a few more days between showers, but it’ll help you feel like a normal person even when there’s spit up on your shoulder, a giant pad in your underwear and your hormones are raging. 😉
I also have 6 expert tips (literally, from my hairstylist who’s an expert) on how to use dry shampoo!
14. Healthy snacks
Every new mom needs easy, healthy snacks! Pick quick snacks like trail mix, nuts, snack bars (Kind bars)… bonus if they have protein (good for nursing) and/or fiber (for stool softening). If you’re hoping to breastfeed, you could add some lactation cookies to your stash.
Keep these snacks around the house, near places you might get “stuck” nursing or holding a sleeping baby – for when you’re suddenly starving and unable to get to the kitchen!
If You’re Breastfeeding
I would go through a few each day in the beginning so being able to just throw them in the wash instead of in the garbage was so nice. (And to be real, you’re doing so much laundry anyways with new baby spit up, poop, etc. that I did fine with 8-10 pads.)
You’ll also save money in the long run if you use reusable ones instead of throw away ones!
16. Nipple soft shells for sore nipples (I swear by these)
I never knew about these nipple soft shells (link from Amazon) for Roy and had the WORST sore nipples in the beginning. It was awful.
When I was in the hospital with Penelope I mentioned immediately when they started to feel sore, and the sweet nurse brought these to me. They helped me SO much that I wore them for weeks after birth and I had no issues with sore nipples!
I bought them before delivering Miles and have recommenced them to all of my friends who now all swear by them as well. It can be a little annoying wearing them most of the day, but when you don’t have sore nipples, you’ll realize it’s 100% worth it.
These are especially helpful if this is your first baby! You’ll want something like this to save your nipples! It’ll make a huge difference in your breastfeeding experience since you won’t be in pain every time your baby nurses those first few weeks!
17. This amazing milk-saver (especially for those first few weeks while your milk is regulating!)
There are so many things you go through and learn with your first child. I used to hold a towel to one breast while I nursed Roy on the other because I would leak SO much, especially in those first weeks and ESPECIALLY in the mornings.
There were numerous times I would have to completely change both me and Roy because I soaked us both!
When I was pregnant with Penelope, I found these Milkies Milk-Savers and they saved me! You just slip them into your bra and it collects all of the milk you otherwise would’ve lost if you just let the milk leak out.
You’ll want to mix it with other milk though because it doesn’t contain as much nutrients as fully pumped milk since most often it’s just foremilk.
Not everyone will need something like this, but the Milkies Milk-Saver definitely comes in handy if you do!
18. Nursing bras and 19. Nursing tanks
Do yourself a favor and get a few good nursing bras and tanks to start with, or put them in a care package for your best friend. There’s a good chance you will end up wearing pretty much only nursing bras and nursing tanks for the first few months (or longer!!) so having good quality ones made a huge difference.
I bought some very inexpensive bras and tanks while in labor with Roy (literally – I went into labor early and headed straight to Target to get everything I had been putting off!!) and I hated them. They were uncomfortable and not flattering.
It wasn’t until my girlfriend brought over one of these tanks (still from Target but a better brand) that I realized not all nursing tanks were created equal! 🙂
I then tried one of the nursing bras from the same brand (I found these at Nordstrom) and fell in love. They are extremely comfortable, easy access for nursing and seamless under clothes!
I highly recommend trying out a few different types to see what works well for you.
20. Pumping bra
This is another thing I didn’t have with Roy that I was later kicking myself for not purchasing earlier. If you plan on pumping at all, not even just for you exclusive pumpers, get one of these pumping bras (this one’s from Amazon).
It is literally the best $20ish you’ll spend. I tried the whole DIY using a sports bra thing or stuff them into my bra but neither were great options. Having a bra dedicated to pumping made it so much easier!
21. A good water bottle
Something everyone says is that you get SO thirsty when breastfeeding. Honestly, I thought people were exaggerating, but they’re not! Breastfeeding makes you VERY thirsty!
I typically use water bottles with a screw on/off top except when I’m nursing, and I love ones like this with the straw (from Amazon) that I can do with one hand. I bought this one that locks when Roy continued to dump water everywhere when I forgot to put it out of his reach!
22. Lactation tea for milk production
This is another thing that a friend dropped off after I had Roy. I never knew there were things like tea to help your milk production! If you’re worried about your milk supply or just want to ensure you have enough, this tea (from Amazon) is amazing!
23. Hair ties for wrist (+ hair!)
If you plan on breastfeeding, hair ties will easily keep track of which breast you last started nursing on during the postpartum, sleep-deprived haze! Simply switch wrists each time (so if you started on your right breast, move the hair tie to the right side so you know to start on the left for the next feeding).
AND, you’ll always have a hair tie on hand to pull back hair when needed! You may just want to always have 2 on your wrist! 😉
This Motherlove nipple cream is something veteran moms rave about! It’s natural, so you don’t have to wipe it off before feeding or worry about baby ingesting it. It stays soft at room temperature, so it’s easy to apply to tender nipples.
You can also use as an ointment on baby’s owies or lotion on dry skin without worry of it getting in baby’s mouth or harmful chemicals!
25. Soothies gel pads for cracked nipples
Breastfeeding at the beginning (especially for your first) can be a painful experience! These Soothies gel pads are amazing for sore and cracked nipples during the first couple weeks of breastfeeding,
They can be reused for up to 72 hours, and you can store them in the fridge for extra cooling relief.
Those first few months of being a new mom can be a wild ride of emotions. Having things to make nursing easier or to make the pain after delivery more bearable or even just to put a smile on your face are totally worth it.
Extra Items for Flu Season or Pandemic Life
26. Hand sanitizer
If you’re having your baby in the winter time or during the pandemic, you might be worried about germs in your house, both for you and your baby. Stock up on hand sanitizer for guests and for yourself when you’re out and about.
27. Whatever you use to stay well!
Whether you’re big on vitamins, always wear a mask in public, or use some other strategy for keeping germs at bay, make sure you have plenty of supplies handy to keep your immune system strong.
Just double check that any vitamin or supplement you normally take is safe for breastfeeding if you’re a nursing mom.
I hope this new mom survival kit helps make those first few weeks a little bit easier!
What Do You Put in a Postpartum Survival Kit?
I’d love to hear your favorite essentials to add to the ultimate post delivery survival kit! Please share with us your ideas and tips for moms-to-be in the comments below!
One post I highly recommend checking out is my 7 things nobody tells you about having a baby post. I talk about everything from hormones to after birth to what to expect while you’re in the hospital after delivering your baby (and what happened to me after the birth of our 2nd baby!).
Thanks so much for reading!