My Five Favorite Weirdo, Crunchy, or May-Take-Some-Convincing Things I Love After Having a Baby

Ready to talk more about baby things?
(I'm going to anyway.)
I already shared about the things I wish I had for that first baby and the things I never needed for that baby.  Now I thought I'd share a few of my baby and postpartum item confessions - the things that may be just a little odd or that may make you think I'm a weirdo for using and recommending.

The Brest Friend Pillow

This thing is worlds different from the Boppy. It is also massive and intrusive and looks ridiculous. But for a first time mom, especially, I think the Brest Friend is WAY better for learning how to breastfeed. I only got it with my second and WISH I had it for my first. The Boppy for me was useless for breastfeeding as it didn't bring the baby all the way up to the breast and I still had to hold him completely with both arms or lean over uncomfortably. (I'm sorry, Boppy lovers! I know it works for a lot of people.) The Brest Friend straps onto you so you can adjust where it should be to bring baby up to you and is much thicker. To be honest, I may not even need it this time around after the first day or two what with all my nursing experience. It kind of depends on how sore I am and how long baby is nursing. But I definitely recommend this to first time moms for an easier time learning. It also doubles as a great tv tray.

Wool Breast Pads

I've learned a lot breastfeeding four babies and spending over nine years of my life on the lactation train. With John Paul I learned I'm a pro-producer and have no issues (thus far) with milk supply. I do the opposite. And since I read the books that said to nurse X amount of minutes on each side every time and did that, I dealt with months of spitty-uppy baby due to a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance and over six months of leakiness and overproducing. I now know what to do from the very beginning and know that the "standard" breastfeeding advice doesn't work for me and I've also learned the absolute best product to control leaks is wool breast pads. It sounds ridiculous and itchy and hot but they're not. Just like wool diaper covers, they breathe and hold much more moisture than regular cotton or plasticky (loud) disposable pads. I can leak through one of those thin cotton ones in a hot second. Wool is also naturally antibacterial so there's less worry about it getting gross.  I got my first ones that were crocheted by someone off of Etsy but there are manufactured ones out there, too.

Herbs and Some other Crunchy Stuff

For my doula clients and also for myself I make up postpartum herbal bath teas. Epsom salts combined with the herbs in the pack are really really soothing to a sore perineum and stitches and aid in healing. So before this baby comes, I'll restock some lavender, comfrey, calendula (which is fancy for marigold), and peppermint, all of which are known for their anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. I add a cup of epsom salts to the bath which is great for all the sore muscles after birth and do that two or three times in the week after giving birth. The bath water doesn't look pretty but it does make a difference. I'll also make sure to have some witch hazel on hand in a spray bottle as a super cheap bottom spray and some arnica tablets for the intense afterbirth cramping (but I'll also have ibuprofen on hand in case I need it, too, because ouch). I also found last time that cloth pads were so much more comfortable than the disposable.  And I cheat and am cheap so I just use prefold diapers folded up rather than spend the money on actual pads. They get washed right in with the diapers.

A (truly) Organic Mattress

This is one of those things that if you can do it, I think you should, but it is understandably not feasible all the time. If you're having a shower and registering for things anyway, though, this maybe should take priority over a fancy rocking chair or the uber deluxe stroller. Before Luke arrived I got an organic wool mattress for the co-sleeper from here and a local mattress maker made us a wool crib mattress. (That mattress I think cost us one hundred or one hundred fifty so really, not that much more than a brand new conventional mattress.) So, yes, our first three babies survived the other mattresses but still, I've become pretty convinced that the flame retardant chemicals used in conventional mattresses (yes, even the ones from mainstream stores that are labeled "natural" or "organic") are problematic. Know better, do better and all that. I've written about it before, but there is some evidence linking those chemicals to SIDS not the least of which is that in New Zealand, they virtually eliminated SIDS after teaching parents to "wrap" their baby mattresses. Even if that is not the primary cause of SIDS, it certainly isn't awesome having all those chemicals directly breathed in by your baby for hours at a time and for us, it's one of those things where the difference in price for what could possibly be a really big deal is a small price to pay. Wool is naturally flame retardant so it meets government standards without the need for the additional chemicals. Plus, it's super comfortable. Luke was by far the best sleeper out of all of our babies possibly because of the mattress or perhaps because I felt comfortable tummy sleeping him because of the mattress.

I know! Everyone makes fun of these and a lot of people have them on their 'ridiculous' or 'completely unnecessary and stupid' list. BUT we got one before Luke (number four) was born and it was, to my surprise, SO nice to have! We have the Prince Lionheart one.

The main reason for that is cloth wipes. When you do cloth diapers, it's actually much easier to also do cloth wipes with them because then the wipes and diaper are both going to the diaper pail after use rather than to separate places. Plus, good cloth wipes work five million times better than a disposable. A project that would take five or six disposables only takes one or two cloth wipes. We found this the perfect place to keep cloth wipes moist and have them stay that way to avoid an extra trip to the sink.

The other reason the wipes warmer is wonderful is that it makes baby happier and who doesn't want that? I mean, would you like someone wiping your bare air-exposed bottom with a frigid cold wipe at two a.m.? I would probably scream bloody murder, too, so I feel bad for the poor things who have no idea what's going on except that something feels gross and then they get a frigid wipe slapped on an already bare and cold bottom. Luke was awesome at diaper changes from the very beginning (baby Luke…not so much toddler Luke…). No tears or screams ever and he was almost always super smiley happy during diaper changes. I think this was one of the big reasons why. We just use plain filtered water in ours. Sometimes I would add some essential oils. We wet the stack of wipes in the water and stick them in and done. Happy bottom baby.

What do you think? Convinced of the item or of my crazy? Any odd things you love after having a baby?

Other posts in this series:

What I Wish I Had for that First Baby

What I Didn't Really Need for that First Baby


  1. I love cloth ice pads after birth. I get mine from a cottage business called The Pampered Mama. My current youngest was born fully posterior so was pretty banged up. Those were such a relief and they don't leave you wet like padsicles and ice diapers do.

    1. Those sound great! The iced cloth pads do start feeling wet and icky quick...

  2. Wool is definitely awesome. I would think you could make your own nursing pads for pennies using upcycled felted wool sweaters . Just cut circles and zigzag them together at the edges - super easy!

    1. I'm pretty sure people do that and I very well might now that you bring it up…I think I have some old sweaters that I've saved because they weren't worth donating but I didn't want to throw away because they're wool. Thank you for the idea! I did try to knit some of my own last time with wool yarn but they ended up a bit too…conical a la Madonna :)

  3. hehe - I hate loud plastic-y nursing pads too :) But it's never occurred to me to try wool!
    I think I'm one of those people who previously turned up her nose at a wipes warmer, but I always feel bad when I'm wiping a newborn bottom in the middle of winter with a cold wet one :(
    This is a great list! Though I'm pretty sure you lost me a bit in the middle with words like arnica tablets ;)

  4. Ooh. The herbs. Something I have never tried postpartum. Thanks for the rec!

  5. I am also a HUGE fan of the My Brest Friend pillow (although not a fan of the name). I used it for over a YEAR with my first because it was just so much easier for me. And if you think that one's a behemoth, my sis handed me down her MBF Twin pillow (even though I'm not having twins). I have both pillows next to each other in baby's room, and yikes that thing is huge.

  6. I love the reusable nursing pads! More comfortable and affordable. i didn't try the herbs postpartum and definitely should next time around. Thanks so much for the recommendations!

  7. I love this list! And I totally agree about the wipes warmer for cloth wipes! I almost gave up on ours this time for baby #3 but quickly realized that we started using it 4.5 years ago for good reason.
    We've been trying to figure out a non-toxic mattress solution for the mini-co-sleeper that was passed down from a friend, so thank you, three years later, for the link. :)


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