Like most moms-to-be, you've probably washed a mound of impossibly tiny baby clothes in sweet smelling detergent and spent an hour folding just one basketful. Now that your baby has a large enough layette to dress an entire play group, it's time to focus on your own postpartum comfort. Queen for a month
After all your hard labor, you deserve to be queen for a month, and every queen needs a royal robe. Wear a bathrobe when you have company to remind visitors to pamper you. It can also hide potential wet spots on your shirt.
Buy an attractive new top as a morale booster. Prints and light colors hide milk stains and spit-up.
Cruise the stores for a silky new lotion for back rubs during labor and after. Heavy perfume can bother some babies, so pick fragrance-free or a light scent.
You should get professionally fitted for two or three nursing bras during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Pass up synthetic fabrics and underwires. Cotton is cooler and underwire styles can press on tender milk-producing ducts.
Ultrapure modified lanolin is a great nipple cream to use even before your baby comes. Moisturized skin is more flexible and less likely to crack. If you do get sore, a dab can heal skin quickly.
Cushion your new nest with plenty of pillows. Prop up your arms, back and legs and make yourself comfortable while you take care of your baby. Tuck a pillow in front of your c-section incision in case your baby is a budding soccer star.
The well-padded look
Every new mom must have three kinds of pads: nursing, maxi and hemorrhoid (witch hazel).
Nursing pads can be either washable or disposable but should be soft and breathable. Look for soft flannel or comfortable paper, but avoid any pads with plastic backing. Even if you do not plan to breastfeed, you'll need pads to catch any leaks.
Buy several packs of super-jumbo overnight maxi pads. Some brands are more complicated to apply, so try them out before your baby comes.
Hemorrhoid pads, soaked in witch hazel solution, are very soothing to a sore bottom. Use them on top of a maxi as a cool compress. You can also use hemorrhoid pads instead of toilet paper, but check to make sure they are flushable.
The write stuff
Get a spiral notebook and pen for all those things you'll forget when you're awake for 25 hours straight. Before your baby comes, write important phone numbers on the inside cover. Some to include are phone numbers for your obstetrician, baby's pediatrician, pharmacist, lactation consultant and breastfeeding support group.
After your baby comes, you may want to list how often the baby feeds, wets and poops to make sure baby is getting enough to eat. (Breastfeeding newborns should have six to eight wet diapers and at least two bowel movements a day after the first two days.)
Keep in touch
Use your handy spiral notebook to keep track of baby gifts and checks. You'll eventually want to send out thank-you notes and baby pictures.
Your family members expect baby pictures, so buy several disposable cameras. You never know when your new baby will do something amazing. Give your older kids their own mini camera so they can be part of the photo fun.
Get pre-paid phone cards to keep in touch with far-flung family.
Let them eat cake
If you've got that nesting urge during the last few weeks, lay in some snacks for you and your guests. Make them help themselves when they come to see your new baby. Whatever you do, do not wait on visitors while they sit on your couch and hold your baby. Remember, you're queen for a month.
Finally, the most important supply for any new mom is someone else to do housework while you get to know your sweet baby. Save your energy to take care of your little one, not your house. Anyone can do dishes, but your baby needs you most of all.