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Top 10 Must-Haves for New Mums


The other day, a good friend of mine, 6 months pregnant asked me about what I considered to be the must-haves for a new mom. And with a few months of motherhood under my belt, I can confidently say I know a thing or two about the things a new mom should make sure she has.

By the time Kitty was due, I think I had shopped for all Kitty needed –you know –those cute little colored vests, the rompers, the basin, the flannel sheets, the shawl, the baby blanket, the newborn clothes etc. My friends – who were moms – used to take me to Biashara street every so often to shop for all that I needed (thanks gals for ‘showing me the way’). So basically I had everything I needed and was all set for baby Kitty.

Or so I thought.

Turns out there were some not-so-obvious items that I missed. Some I simply forgot, some I didn’t think about, some had always been in the house and I didn’t think they’d come in handy, while some were just madoido. Some were for Kitty and some were for my personal comfort.

So for expecting new moms, in addition to all that you can get from any baby shop on Biashara street (ask them to give you the list), here are the top 10 not so obvious things that I think are a must have:

  1. Diaper Bag – when you need to go out of the house with baby. How did I forget this? I don’t even know. The first time Kitty and I left the house was when he was 3 weeks old, when I was taking him for a paediatric review. With Kitty being carried by his dad, I followed them behind, carrying a handbag only. I had totally forgotten about a diaper bag. Heck, I didn’t even have one! How now? Read that episode here.
  2. Burp cloths or liners. Friends, let me tell you something. Si Kitty used to unleash some serious spit ups? Or are they called wet burps? Let’s just say that I needed to always have a cloth under his chin or on my shoulder to avoid a ‘messy situation’. I found burp cloths to be abit too small and so, upon the advice of Miss Babes, liners did the job quite well. Liners are so multipurpose by the way, it helps to have a dozen or two.
  3. Baby nail clippers (or baby scissors). One of the things that initially shocked me and continues to baffle me is how fast a newborn’s nails grow! Who would have thought? It’s like they have to be trimmed every other day. Me in my mind I thought that I’ll need to clip his nails when he’s maybe two years old or something, but shock on me. His nails grow so fast they have to be clipped every week, sometimes twice a week.I have a confession to make though –I have never trimmed Kitty’s nails coz I fear I’ll cut into his skin or something. His father is the one who does so.
  4. Toys toys toys! The more colorful they are, the merrier! And the ones that rattle too. Just stock up on enough of them, they’ll come in handy when you’re trying to test his sight, eye movement and hearing abilities. Plus for keeping baby busy when you need to read a newspaper. Or your favorite blog.
  5. Breast pump. If you’re planning to exclusively breastfeed, then this will be your good companion. And my advice is that you invest in a good one, you don’t wanna make the mistake of buying the kind of cheap one that I bought. Read that story here.
  6. Cloth nappy’s. Ever since I began weaning Kitty, the number of times he poops in a day has grown exponentially (not sure if that word is a good fit but it sounds nice in that sentence). I exclusively breastfed Kitty for 6 months, and I’m sure you know that it’s normal for kids purely on breastmilk to go for days without any bowel movement. So it happens nowadays that he depletes his diapers in no time. By the way it’s a rule of thumb that when you’ve just finished changing their diaper and dressed them in a fresh clean one -they poop immediately, right? So I’ve sometimes found myself suddenly out of diapers when I had planned on stocking them up later in the day. So it does help to have the good ol’ cloth nappy’s nearby for those minutes you dash to the store. Besides, I’ve been told by many that it’s not good for boys to be in diapers 24-7.
  7. A camera. Take as many photos as you can. A baby’s features transform everyday, and their puffy eyes and cute tiny little fingers won’t be that way for long. Kids grow fast and you need to store those memories. Remember to capture your puffy eyes too, your sometimes shaggy hair, baggy pants and shapeless branded t-shirts –you’ll have a good laugh about it later on.
  8. Grandma panties. Oh yes, believe it or not. For those first days after birth, and ESPECIALLY if you had a caesarian section. Actually if you had a CS you may need them abit longer after that. Grandma panties are heaven at these times, trust me. So invest in some good cotton ones.
  9. Good shower gel or body wash – mild enough not to irritate baby though. This is to make sure that by the time hubby is getting home, you’re smelling all so fresh and nice and he’ll think you’ve been that way all day long. You don’t want to be smelling baby milk when he gets home. Oops, did I reveal too much there?
  10. Good friends and relatives. I loved having them come over in the first weeks when adjusting to life with a newborn was not so easy, because I would happily dump Kitty on them and then rush to sleep. The kind of people who when they’re giving you stories you sleep mid-conversation. And they understand.

And so that’s my list. Anything I may have left out and which you think is of absolute importance? Feel free to comment below. Best wishes to all new moms :).




  1. Awwww.. do u remember we were to go shopping for grandma panties? And u forgot to mention the bigger the better!And how about an outfit for when visitors come to visit? hahaha, si i hated those tshirts i always used to wear… me when i give birth next round, u will be finding me in stilettos n skinny jeans… I like the camera… i dont think anyone has more photos than Renee.. warrrrr!!!

  2. @MissBabes yeah, I remember Kitty came before we bought the grandma pants, so my mum and my sis had to bring them in for me in hosi. I remember my sis brought some other big ones that she knew would definately fit and I asked her “what are these? Hot pants?” LOL, si she was shocked? I told her I wanted BIGGER ones coz yeah -the bigger the better waah!
    And ati you’ll be in stiletto’s and skinny jeans? Miss Babes si you have mob jokes? *dead*.

  3. Stock up extra thermoses too.They will come in handy when everybody thinks you must drink chocolate, soup, porridge and milk at the same time.
    For my first baby, I wore my hubbie’s shirt when visitors came around and I needed to breast feed while I entertained them. So invest in a good shirt which will be easier to use as opposed to branded T shirts.What about breastfeeding pads? Those leaks come when you least expect them!

  4. @MakB oh yes the breast pads! I’ve never used them myself but I know of many lactating mom’s experiences and how handy they are. You don’t want to be in the middle of a work presentation and then oopos!
    @Mrs Mwiti how could I forget the thermometer? Came in very handy when Kitty got a fever at 11 weeks.

  5. At this point in my life with baby no.5 on the way am not so concerned about lists. Infact this baby can sleep in a drawer and wear my 3 year olds baby dolls clothes if all else fails. In other words am not too worried about it. Baby no.1 was drama I browsed the internet and printed up all sorts of lists and visited all the baby shops for more lists. That baby had every gadget, gizmo and baby item under the sun. I quickly learnt I could have saved my money! All four births were natural and with that came perineum tears and thereafter stitches thanks to their not-so-small heads to put it mildly. My sitz bath and spray bottle has saved me many painful nights. Sitz bath is a simple basin that fits on the toilet which one then fills with warm water and salt. It has a dispensing bag which one hangs above the toilet to dispense more warm water salt solution. You simply sit on it for 20-30 mins relax reading a magazine and its such a relief. The spray bottle helps when you go to pee it really stings in that area due to the wound. Simply spray your salt water solution over the wound. To see a picture of a sitz bath check out:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sitz-Bath–Unboxed-assorted-colours/dp/B0007V9FO4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1332919544&sr=8-2

  6. @MamaAzizi first of all congrats on your baby bump number 5! I can only imagine that nothing moves you at this point. I have also learnt something new -had no idea what a Sitz bath was. I had never even heard of it. Thanks to you now I do. Where are they found in the Kenyan market though? Somebody should start marketing them, from your experience they sound very invaluable to a new mom who has delivered naturally.

  7. Saline drops and nasal aspirator!!!!! Very helpful when it comes to stuffy noses. These proved very useful right from the beggining especially coz my baby was born when the cold season had started.

  8. fever meds an antibiotic cream for cuts bruises fully stoked first aid kit and please please learn some first aid being a mummy is nothing short of a super hero 🙂

  9. Thanks @AtHomeMummy. Yes fever meds are important. Last time Kitty had a fever, I was told that the anal fever releivers are best if the temp is above 39C. Otherwise always have akina Calpol close by too.


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