While newly pregnant with our second daughter, I was gifted a large open-topped picnic basket in a beautiful teal paisley print. Besides our backyard summertime cookouts, my family and I aren’t in the habit of picnicking. I stuck the basket in my catch-all/craft room figuring I could definitely find a use for it later.
Fast forward five months and we had slowly begun to transform that catch-all room into a nursery. In the midst of moving all my craft supplies (I have a lot of craft supplies. A LOT.) from the room to the basement, I ran across the picnic basket once again and actually had a lightbulb-above-the-head moment: I was going to fill that basket up with anything baby-related that I would need postpartum. Unlike with our first daughter, our current home has three floors (including the basement), and I actually had enough forethought to realize what a pain it was going to be to run up and down the stairs all day to grab stuff. A basket that I could carry between floors would be much more time efficient.
At the time, I had absolutely no idea what a stroke of genius this thought really was. Besides the typical postpartum, new baby, non-sleeping madness that all new parents go through, we were thrown for an extra unexpected loop when I had some medical complications at a week and a half (and again at two weeks) postpartum that landed me in the hospital twice and ended with a minor surgery. As I write this, I’m one week out from the surgery and one week into a post-baby semi-bedrest that I never saw coming. And that basket full of stuff has saved my sanity.
My husband, bless his heart, couldn’t quite figure out the random basket full of items sitting in the nursery and kept unpacking everything into drawers and the closet. But after a few days at home, even he saw that this basket was worth its weight in gold.
These are the items that we’ve both (but mostly me, let’s be honest here) have found useful to have in the basket while I’m stuck sitting in mostly one spot all day:
- Diapers and Wipes
- Diaper Cream
- Gripe Water
- Extra Newborn Clothes (Onsies, Sleepsack, Pants, Shirts, Gowns, Hats, Mittens…whatever you plan on dressing your kid in for the first few days/weeks/month)
- Baby Blankets
- Burp Rags
- Extra Boppy Pillow Cover
- Nursing Pads
- Nipple Cream
- Book/Crossword Puzzle Book
- Tablet & Charger (We set up a short extension cord, so that I could charge my phone and iPad from my spot on the couch.)
- Changing Pads (I’ve been doing a lot of diaper changes in my lap these days.)
- Medications (Prenatal, pain relievers, allergy…whatever you may be taking after you get home)
In addition to this list, I also make sure that I have plenty of water on the table next to me, the boppy pillow handy, the bouncy seat at my feet (for those rare moments that she lets me put her down), a lap blanket and pillow for myself, the tv remote, my breastpump, my purse, and my laptop.
I’ve spent most of these last 3 weeks confined to the couch during the day, and it’s been a lifesaver to have everything I need at my side — especially with having to keep movement limited. In the evenings when it’s time to head upstairs to bed, my husband grabs the basket and the boppy, and we have everything next to our bed for middle of the night feedings and diaper changes.
My biggest recommendation for you pregnant mamas out there: grab a basket and fill it up! Trust me — you’ll thank yourself later.