New moms need all the help they can get. Not only do they need to care for a tiny human, who may not even be able to hold her head up alone (such a diva,) but they still have to manage to find time to take care of themselves as well.
“Taking care of themselves” means basic needs, because new moms have very little time for fancy luxuries like facials, massages, and hot meals.
When they aren’t drowning in a sea of milk bottles, diapers and wipes, laundry, and the “honey do” list their husbands’ thought would be a good idea to leave for them (...hilarious, guys), they typically like to use those moments to feel somewhat normal. For example, when's the last time she took a shower, dried her hair, or put on a shirt that wasn't covered in spit-up. Those rare moments are what helps them feel somewhat normal and keep them going.
Thankfully, in addition to the 142 new baby products filling the house, there are also a few things that can help new moms feel like themselves. Unfortunately, there is no miracle product that instantly provides flowing beach waves and the perfect cat-eye, but there are some out there that can help save time and, if nothing else, make a new mom at least appear to have it together.
20 The Heavens Parted To Give Us Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is probably one of the greatest gifts to women. This stuff somehow manages to take day-three hair and make it look like day one. It takes away the oily appearance and even provides some volume.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t make hair actually feel clean, but no one has to know your secret, fake it ‘til you make it!
So, how does this glorious hair product actually work? According to the Cleveland Clinic, dry shampoo is made with alcohol and starch which soaks up excess oil in the hair (so you no longer look like you are secretly a member of the T-Birds from Grease). It’s not recommended to replace a traditional shampooing every few days since that keeps the scalp healthy, but dry shampoo is a great alternative for when mom has to rock a messy bun for the fourth day in a row.
Depending on hair texture, color, and, well, the last time it was washed, dry shampoo can have different effects so it’s smart to try out a few to get the best results. Like any hair product, what works for curly or thick hair will not have the same effect on fine or straight hair. What better reason to splurge on a little online shopping trip to Sephora while your little one is probably sleeping on you?
19 Under Eye Masks For Those Sleepless Nights
Remember that time, before you had kids when you were just so tired? All those nights working on college essays, texting someone until you fell asleep, or watching Late Night with Seth Meyers?
Don’t you kind of envy that girl you once were? She had no idea what tired was. She likely also thought that raising a puppy and a child was essentially the same thing. She was the worst.
Thankfully, you aren’t that girl anymore but, unfortunately, you now know what actual exhaustion feels like. As a new mom, you’re probably lucky to get three or four-hours stretches of sleep at a time. You have no control over your sleep schedule (or your life, really), and your face is beginning to show it.
Sorry, it’s too late to go back to the days of raising a puppy now!
The good news here is that, just like facemasks, there are eye masks. These little disposable slices of heaven work for a variety of reasons. Puffiness? There’s an eye mask for that. Dark Circles? Check! Fine lines developing? Eye masks for that, too. The best part is that they typically come in packs and are relatively inexpensive. Though, can you put a price on at least appearing like you’ve had some sleep?
18 Quick Dry Nail Polish To Look Somewhat Feminine Again
Once a baby comes along the days of painting your nails and sitting patiently, as the polish dried, are gone for quite a while. What was once a relaxing and fun thing to do during TGIT, is now a hot mess if it even happens.
This is why Quick-Dry nail polish is one of the greatest things a mom could have.
There are a lot of different brands of polish that are made to dry quickly. Some claim to dry almost instantly, which translates into a couple of minutes (depending how many layers you're wearing.) This is great for a new mama because when there is a free moment to get a coat of polish on, there is also a load of laundry that is waiting, groceries to be purchased, and a sink full of dishes that can’t be blamed on anyone but herself and the baby (where’s the husband scapegoat when you need him?).
According to Into the Gloss, in addition to the quick-dry polishes, another way to ensure your nails dry quickly is to apply even and thin layers. Also, making sure polish isn’t old will help too, because old polish tends to thicken over time.
The days of clear polish, if any, are over!
17 Nay: Self-Service Gas Stations Are An Equation For Destruction
There was a time that getting gas was not a chore. According to MasterResource.org, starting back in the 1940’s, drivers would pull into gas stations and be greeted by an attendant who would do the filling for them. This fantastic service lasted into the 1970's in America. Then, in 1974, there was a gas shortage that allowed drivers to pump their own gas in order to avoid long lines and to reduce overtime pay for gas station attendants. This essentially ended full-service gas stations.
Now, we all have the freedom (chore) of pumping our own gas. So empowering!
Actually, what this means is that moms will now drive their car down to the last mile before filling up because filling a gas tank isn’t as easy as it used to be. If it’s a really hot day, it’s risky to leave your baby in the car while it’s off. Granted, pumping gas isn’t going to take long enough to overheat your baby, but it could take long enough to get your baby hot, which may wake him up, which will then make him scream bloody murder all the way home.
If he’s not sleeping, and even if the weather is a perfect 72 degrees, the minute he realizes that mom is outside of the car and he is in it, he’s going to flip out. Separation anxiety has never been such a thing as it is when there is a thin window between mom and baby.
Sure, we could go through the effort of taking our babies out of the car and trying to manage that while also getting the nozzle in the car and pumping the gas. But, honestly, that sounds like a recipe for a gas disaster more than anything else.
That gas crisis more than 40 years ago has continued to inconvenience Americans, or at least moms, to this day.
16 Wax Melts To Help A Baby To Sleep (Ya Right...)
Back in the early 2000’s, wax melts were all the rage. It was like, for a moment, the world forgot about scented candles and these were the stuff of yummy-smelling-home dreams. However, candles burn longer and cover a wider area, and basically, the wax melt trend faded…..to a degree. Thankfully, you can still find these little puddles of goodness, though they just aren’t quite as plentiful as they used to be.
They are absolutely wonderful for a busy mom because they are a great way to fill the home with calming scents or to just cover up the smell of the trash that hasn’t been taken out in a few days.
When wax melts were at their peak, most of the contraptions used to heat the wax and melt it required candles, which isn’t a huge deal but those little tea-light candles burn out in about seven minutes so it hardly seems worth it. Now, you can buy wax melters that look like little lanterns (and can go nicely with your decor) that plug into the wall with a switch to turn on a little light bulb inside. No open flame needed!
New mamas can turn on their melt and run into the next room to do something, get completely distracted by it, and come back two hours later without ever having to worry about the scent running out because of a candle. Also, they can fill a home with some lavender scents because apparently it triggers sleep and, hey, it’s worth a shot to get that little baby sleeping a little longer.
15 Blurring Primers To Cover Up Those Dark Circles
When putting on a full face of makeup, step one is typically applying a primer. This little product is often overlooked as an “extra step” in the whole makeup process. However, according to Huffington Post, this product not only helps makeup stay on longer, even in harsh weather conditions like extreme heat or rain, but it also has a smoothing effect on the skin.
What does this mean exactly? It will essentially help even out color, soften the appearance of skin, and some even have an illuminating effect to give off a glow. Essentially it covers all the things happening on the face of mamas.
What’s better, is that many primers can be worn by themselves. A lot of them have broad spectrum SPF in them (sun safety, ladies!) and with the blurring and illuminating effects, they will brighten up the skin enough to, at the very least, make a mom feel like she’s not an extra in the background of a zombie movie. If there’s time, a primer is obviously a good base for a full face of makeup, but a lot of mamas don’t have time for that makeup nonsense, so a little primer and some mascara and she’s good to go out in public.
Boom, 5-minute makeup routine.
14 Nay: Anything That Is Red And Edible
According to Bluesky-web.com, there is a psychological effect when it comes to the color red and hunger. In fact, food companies spend millions of dollars on studies that show how color impacts our buying choices and our opinions on the food. Remember when Heinz tried to do the whole purple ketchup thing? If not, it's because it was a miserable failure and it didn’t last long.
Red is one of the colors that are appetizing and appealing. It’s psychology, it has nothing to do with learned behavior.
So, that is why kiddos are attracted to foods like spaghetti, pizza, tomatoes, and anything else that will stain their shirts, the floors, and sometimes even their skin.
Human biology did moms no favors when it comes to this. Not only did we have to admit that we will never get to have a gorgeous white couch A-La-Kim Kardashian. Instead, we have to succumb to the fact that if we want our kids to eat, it will likely mean they eat something red, which in turn means we should throw out our white clothing because it will never be the same.
And, a note to grandmas everywhere, keep the red suckers and candy at your house, please.
13 Sound Machines For Moms To Pretend They're On The Beach
Typically, when sound machines and babies are in the same sentence it’s because babies tend to use them in their bedrooms to help them sleep through noise. There are a variety of sound machines for infants, some play music, some mimic the sound of mom’s heartbeat, some just blast out white noise. This is one of those staples in every nursery to ensure a baby can drown out the rest of the world to get some rest.
That sounds really nice, but who says babies should get all the rest?
Why can’t mom also have a fancy (or basic) sound machine in her bedroom to drown out the noise of dad taking on baby duties downstairs while she has a (much needed and likely overdue) night to herself to read in bed, watch a TV show, or just sleep because who knows the last time that happened?
It’s really hard for a mom to ignore the sound of her baby crying. In fact, according to The Conversation, when a mom hears a baby crying, it increases her oxytocin levels which trigger and encourages caregiving behavior. So, even if all she wants to do is read “Big Little Lies” in peace, she can’t because biology won’t allow her to easily walk away from the crying.
It’s important for a mom to get some time away to rejuvenate and if the only escape she can get is in her room, a sound machine is a great way to ensure the relaxation actually happens.
12 Bath Bombs To Allow Moms To Get A 3 Minutes Bath (If They're Lucky)
Bath bombs were made to make bathtime a little more fun. Except, they were made to make it more fun for grown-ups. They get thrown into some hot bath water and immediately start dissolving to release relaxing and luxurious scents, while adding a little flair to the bath water by changing its' color, adding glitter, or creating a fun foam effect. They really encourage relaxation and are best when mixed with candles, meditative music, and a cup of tea or glass of the grown-up juice.
This probably all sounds lovely, but there’s that whole aspect of “spare time” that moms are missing from their lives. However, this is something worth making a little time for.
These little bombs don’t take long to start working, so they don’t require 30+ minutes to get the full effect. The larger they are, the longer they take to dissolve completely, but the scents and colors are released almost instantly. Many of them are made from completely natural products and are safe to use shortly after childbirth (once cleared by a doctor, of course) to help with the aches and pains of a healing body.
As for the candles, music, and beverage of choice? Well, that’s not something that is so easily done. But, chances are, a good hot aromatherapy bath will be relaxing even if the shower walls are covered in foam alphabet letters and the spout has that little safety whale covering it.
11 Hey Siri….Ok, Google
It’s crazy to think back to the days before smartphones. How did people date without exchanging a ridiculous amount of text messages (that are then analyzed to death with friends)? Did people actually use road maps, because that is shocking!
Even more, how did people parent without them?
Smartphones are such a Godsend when it comes to the early years of parenting. Not only are they essential for emergencies worthy of a 911 call, but they are essential for emergencies like keeping your kiddo quiet while you try to enjoy a meal out.
The new mom life is much simpler now thanks to smartphones. Need to reschedule the pediatrician appointment? Just ask Siri to dial the number. Have no idea what that, seemingly harmless, rash under your kid’s arm is? Ok, Google! Have to remember to change over the laundry? There are at least 37 apps for that.
There are some conveniences many moms may have simply thought were “a little much” prior to having a baby. Now, being able to adjust the thermostat in the middle of the night by simply picking up the smartphone on the nightstand is more precious than diamonds. Whether it’s an app for grocery deliveries, in-case-of-emergency downloaded movies for your kiddo, or even the ability to call her own mom no matter where she is - smartphones are a mom’s best friend.
10 Nay: 40 Minutes Contouring Makeup Systems
A few years back, those crazy Kardashian sisters made contouring-style makeup famous (love them or hate them, they set trends and their noses have never looked slimmer). With the help of a few products, their faces look thinner, smoother, and more defined. In fact, many people have accused them of having work done on their faces because the transformation is so drastic. In this case, though, it’s just the work of some stratic makeup.
Want to replicate the look? Well, Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist told Marie Claire that it takes almost two hours to apply those “few” products (actually somewhere around 50) and that, in total, they cost more than $1,200. Moral of the story here is that moms should not look to Kimmy to set the makeup trend because most of us don’t have 20 minutes to do our makeup, let alone $1200.
Moms are getting no help from the makeup industry here. Contouring is a trend that can go any day now.
Whatever happened to the days when the “natural” look was in (ask moms everywhere)? Can’t we all just accept our skin as is and embrace our natural selves? No? That’s still not a thing unless you’re 19 and have no sun damage? Fine.
9 Baby Wipes Are Life Goals
Baby wipes are obviously something all new moms need. Was that ever a question? Babies do the do, and they need to be cleaned, so of course, baby wipes are carried everywhere.
If that’s the only thing you’re carrying around wipes for, you’re doing it wrong, mama!
Baby wipes are amazing for so many reasons beyond their intended use. They can clean up the milk that spilled all over the car, effectively reducing the chance of that disgusting smell once it dries and sits in the hot sun a couple of days (at that point, don’t even try to use the wipes, just trade in your vehicle because it will never be the same). They can also clean up stains on clothes (the baby’s….or yours). They brighten up the dashboard when the inside of your car leaves a lot to be desired.
Basically, baby wipes are the portable jack-of-all-trades in cleaning. They are good for sneezes, and messy little hands that want to touch everything, as well as for fixing that eye-liner you put on at a stop light.
Chances are good that even after your baby is no longer a baby, you’ll still carry them around in your purse.
8 Yoga Pants For The Wanna Be Yogi
How many pairs of yoga pants do you own? How many of those have actually been to yoga? If the answer to that second question was more than one, you should probably skip this section you little yogi, you!
As for the rest of the mamas, yoga pants and leggings are used for far more important things than headstands and warrior II. They are there for you during some of the hardest times, and some of the most bloated times. They’re a wardrobe staple during pregnancy because of their stretchy nature, as well as for postpartum because who wants to buy a pair of jeans that will only fit for a couple of weeks (or, years) until the baby weight is gone?
Even better, the most basic ones come in black. Why is this so great? Well, aside from the slimming effect black naturally provides, it also hides dirt, grime, and other gross things kids have on their hands when they insist on touching you.
If by chance, there is a stain, it's easily removable because a wet mark doesn’t typically show through on black clothes.
These pants are great for lounging, pairing with a big sweater and boots in the colder months, and for chasing around a little one who has suddenly learned to crawl and be mobile.
Maybe they aren’t worn to yoga class all that often, but any mom standing tall in her yoga pants is still practicing her warrior pose as far as we’re concerned.
7 I'll Have That Coffee In An IV To Go, Please?
According to Huffington Post, Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day with the average size cup being 9 oz. In fact, 49% of coffee drinkers love the stuff so much that they’d rather give up their cell phone for a month than have to sacrifice coffee. This seems accurate because, according to my own experience as a mom, I’d bet moms are responsible for at least half of that consumption and they can’t find their phones anyway so that’s no big deal.
Before kids, that morning cup of coffee was a great pick-me-up to get going for the day. It helped ward off the “exhaustion” from the late night the night before. It was used as a midday energy boost to finish up the work project before leaving the office for the day.
After kids, it is the elixir of life. It could truly be pumped directly into our veins and we’d maybe be able to function a little better. Bob, in finance, with his spreadsheets and analyses has nothing on a mom to a newborn when it comes to exhaustion.
If coffee isn’t a mom’s favorite, then she likely gets her caffeine from another source such as tea, soda, chocolate, or maybe those over the counter “stubborn headache” pills. Whatever her selection, it’s fair to say that she might not get through these early years without it.
6 When In Doubt, Meditate Out
At some point during that first year as a mom, your baby will sleep through the night. You’ll wake up one morning and shake your husband asking if he fed the baby overnight. He will growl and look at you like you’re a monster because you just woke him up. Then, you’ll both realize that no one fed the baby. You’ll rush into her room to find she’s not only still alive, but still asleep. Then, you’ll do a happy dance all the way back to your room.
Once the shiny goodness around that first full night of sleep wears off, you’ll grow accustomed to getting more than three hours of sleep a night. Then, the troubles of falling asleep might happen. If it’s not the kid keeping you awake, it’s your snoring husband or it’s the mounting to-do list you’re building in your brain. You’ll wonder if you should actually take advantage of this sleep or call it a loss and just get started on the list since it’s going to keep you awake anyway.
Meditation doesn’t have to be some really hard, super crunchy, find your inner-"om" kind of thing (but if you’re into that, there are plenty of those kinds of meditation tools, too.)
Thankfully, there are meditation apps. These apps can be something that guides you to the present moment so that you’re not dwelling on the past or planning for the future. The apps provide a variety of meditation choices from music (like in a spa or massage clinic), to storytelling (yes, it’s a thing), to guided meditation.
Guided meditation is best for beginners, or for anyone who just can’t seem to quiet their brain. The sleep-focused ones tend to bring attention and awareness to the coziness of your bed and the quiet of the night. Chances are that as an exhausted mom, you won’t stay awake long enough to make it through the meditation, let alone to list off all the things you need to pick up at the grocery store.
5 Nay: French Presses And Their Instruction Manual
Unless I am at a hipster restaurant, without my kid, do not even try to convince me to have a cup of french press coffee over a k-cup. If coffee isn’t hot and ready in under 60 seconds, it’s probably not going to be enjoyed.
Getting to enjoy a hot cup of coffee is a luxury in and of itself as a mom. Nevermind waiting five minutes for it to do whatever the heck it does inside of a french press! Do you know what can happen over the course of five minutes in a home with a baby or toddler? Fingers can be smashed in drawers, diapers can explode, and Netflix can lose connectivity! We don’t have time to sit around and wait for the flavor to really come out of the coffee grounds. Even if we try to utilize the French press, chances are really good that we will forget the coffee was ever started and then it’s gone to waste.
So, as lovely as it sounds to enjoy a crafted cup of coffee, it’s not in the cards as long as there are kids in the house. Don’t even bother purchasing the contraption, unless you plan on waking up at 4 am to enjoy an hour to yourself (however, that’s an hour of sleep and no cup of coffee is so good it’s worth losing sleep over).
4 Calendar Sharing Systems To Keep Track Of Your Sanity
Gone are the days of spontaneity. Now that there is a baby involved, that is one more schedule to keep up with on a daily basis. How much can a baby possibly have going on to fill up a calendar? Apparently more than his mom who no longer has a social life thanks to him.
New babies come with a lot of calendar dates.
There are a baby's checkups appointments, any specialists he may need to see, daycare events, and milestone months (also known as: a reminder to take a picture every month to post to social media, or at the very least to keep for a baby book you will get around to putting together….eventually).
Add in mom and dad’s appointments to the mix and that’s one busy family calendar. Unfortunately, the baby isn’t quite ready to handle his busy schedule all on his own quite yet, so it’s up to mom and dad to manage everything. Having a shared calendar system (whether it's hanging in the kitchen or a shared Google calendar) will help tremendously on the days where mom has a haircut so dad has to pick the baby up from daycare. Or, when mom has a big meeting at work, it’s dad’s job to attend the well-being baby visits.
There is no way a new mom can depend on her own memory during the first few years, so it’s best to share the calendar, and responsibilities, of your little socialite.
3 Scented Candles To Cover Up Unchanged Diaper Pails
Unlike the aforementioned wax melts, scented candles are still in their prime. In fact, their prime seems to be never-ending. And for good reason, they are visually appealing, smell great, and can fool people into thinking your house is clean even though the diaper pail is about to explode.
Scented candles are particularly great for new moms (well, moms in general). Much like the wax melts, they provide a strong scent throughout the home that can be used to enhance relaxation or induce sleepiness. Candles are sold at most stores (probably even at gas stations, to be honest) so they’re easy to grab if someone is coming over and you never threw out the trash from the night before that is full of expired raw chicken (we’ve all been there, don't judge).
Additionally, they are great for new moms simply because of the relaxation impact. If the baby is asleep and there are a couple of candles going, the room feels a little cozier (or hygge, as they say in Denmark) and relaxing. You can turn off all the lights and only have the glow of candles and it’s like the fingerprints on the window have disappeared - because you can’t see them.
2 Thank You, Robot Cleaning System Inventors!
Why are hardwood floors all the rage? Sure they are gorgeous and look particularly fantastic combined with the shiplap that Joanna Gaines made famously. But, once the HGTV cameras are off, that aesthetic is quickly ruined once cheerios, goldfish, and little bare feet touch the floor.
Before kids, I always wondered why people put rugs under their dining room tables (or had carpeted dining rooms) because wouldn’t that stain? Now that I have kids, I get it. Yes, carpet gets really dirty and traps all that dirt in there. But, have you ever had to practically follow a toddler around with a broom in order to keep the hardwood floor clean? I’d just as soon take the dirt-soaked carpet.
Thankfully, some brilliant engineer came up with the robotic vacuum. These things had to have been invented for moms.
They can be programmed to just start up at midnight and scoot around the entire first floor, sucking up dirt and crumbs, then they just go right back to their little port so when mom gets up for the day, the floors are clear and the vacuum is put away.
Just take my money, robot vacuum company, because even the dog is tired of eating goldfish off the floor.
1 Nay: Meal Delivery Kits That Martha Stewart Couldn't Even Achieve
Meal delivery kits seem like they’d fall under that glorious “convenience” category mentioned earlier. A full meals-worth of ingredients sent right to the front door complete with directions on how to make the meal? Seems like a deal that is too good to be true for new moms.
That’s because it is.
Don’t be fooled, mama. These are rarely quick and easy meals. Not to mention they are almost never the kinds of meals your kiddo will eat, as he’s tasting new foods and becoming a pickier eater by the minute. These meals require serious work. There is prep, cutting, pan-searing, and watching everything closely as it’s done because it’s a brand new recipe so you likely have no idea what you’re doing and don’t want to burn the meal.
This “service” is not worth skipping a trip to the grocery store for. The store will probably be more fun because at least you’ll be out of the house for a bit. If nothing else, ordering some pizza or other take-out will be more of a convenience than one of these meals. There are lots of healthy delivery options out there that don’t require hand-breading your chicken because you do enough of that for your toddler who won’t eat anything except chicken nuggets.