The goal of a postpartum bedside basket is for momma to rest as much as possible and avoiding getting up except for bathroom breaks and showering. This resting period is not only a benefit to heal physically (such as avoiding uterine prolapse and lessen bleeding faster) but also has shown to be impactful in avoiding postpartum depression. With a basket nearby, most everything for those early newborn days are within reach while you still enjoy those fleeting squishy snuggles! My midwife recommends a minimum of one to two weeks resting, but some cultures encourage moms 40 days to heal. For me, this time is a beautiful fraction in motherhood’s time line where I can let go of guilt (we’ve been working hard to grow, birth, and mother our children!) and have my family serve me for a change while growing an even deeper bond with my new baby.
Here’s what I found helpful:
A Pretty Box- Looks matter! Find a box that fits your style or your room décor, but make sure it will fit on your night stand.
Chapstick- Keep your lips soft and kissable for all those baby smooches.
Nail file- Handy for your own nails and also great for those tiny newborn nails as well. I don’t know about you, but I’m always terrified to take a clipper to those minuscule things.
Pain Relief- Those after pains, oh my gosh. Cramping contractions for days and often at every feeding. The more kids you have, the worse it gets– be warned, be armed. I keep a roller bottle of essential oils for cramping, but also ibuprofen by my bed for when the pain gets too uncomfortable.
Healthy Snacks- When there suddenly isn’t a baby taking up so much stomach space along with the need for calories for producing milk, us mommas can get the munchies often! Keep some snacks to grab when it strikes. I keep like protein bars, blueberry granola bites, and even some chocolate to snack on.
Flavored Drink Packets– Water can get boring but hydration is so important, especially if breastfeeding. I love these True Lemon packets sweetened with stevia to change it up.
Chargers & Remotes- I’ll be honest, staying in bed for several days– or two weeks as I did– can get boring. Keep your remote for the TV nearby for some series binging and chargers for your phone and tablet!
Books & Magazines- Postpartum is the perfect time to slow down in life and pick up a “real” book with pages to turn!
Pen & Journal- You may want to write down a memory before the blur of exhaustion whisks it away or write out your birth story to share with your child one day.
Newborn Diapers- Keep a little stash nearby to grab and change right on your bed! No need to get up just yet to use the changing station you so sweetly made in the nursery, that time will come soon.
Travel Size Wipes- Poop happens. A lot.
Fold Up Changing Pad- Keeps your bed clean when the inevitable blow out happens, or the fountain of pee.
Nipple Cream- Because breastfeeding isn’t always comfortable in the beginning as you and baby adjust and learn how it all works– even if you’ve done it before, baby hasn’t. I have a DIY version, but Motherlove makes a great one.
Breast pads- These are good to have some tucked away everywhere; your bathroom drawer, your diaper bag, and especially beside your bed for night time nursing or postpartum resting. I often forget to put mine in unless it’s time to feed and then it’s like Niagara Falls in my bra! This way if I do forget I just say, “oops!” and reach over to grab one before the dam bursts.
Milkies- The first weeks of postpartum can be overflowing with milk and so much of it gets wasted into a breast pad! With Milkies you can nurse your baby on one side and collect extra milk from the other. I’ve been able to collect around 2 ounces from the non-nursing side without pumping! Easy way to start a milk stash.
Burp Cloth- Often times a little of that milk comes back up. Yum. Postpartum is essentially milk everywhere, whether from you or the baby.
Nose Frieda- Little baby piggy-like snorts are no fun to listen to thanks to boogers and congestion. The Nose Frieda by far beats that blue bulb that comes home from the hospital (or the birthing kit, if you home birth like me). Much simple to use, works much better, and cleans easily!
Travel Tissues- You never know when postpartum hormones will make you cry– whether with overwhelming joyful tears or with sadness.
Prenatal Vitamins- Just because pregnancy is over and this new season has begun as a mom, you still need nutrients for you and baby. Don’t stop taking them!
A Bed Tray- Okay, this doesn’t fit in the basket but it is super handy to eat your meals in bed, hold your drink, or prop your laptop on while you rest with baby.