It’s hard to know what life with baby will be like, but if you’re planning to be a working mom, there’s some stuff that’s just universal. Like: the daily struggle to find balance is real. A little support can go a long way. And, your baby registry is for so much more than baby–it’s also for stuff that you won’t be able to live without as a working mom.
We know, not every baby boutique will let you register for just what a working mom needs (MZ Wallace bag, anyone?). Which is why we went out and found you some pretty inspirational working moms to share those clutch items that will make your new life a breeze. It’s also why our friends at the personalized registry site Gugu Guru have added tons of them (and other unique registry recommendations related to your unique lifestyle) to their product picks. Because baby registries should be as much about mama as they should about baby, right?
Get these working mom must-haves on your own baby registry stat, then head over to this week’s giveaway and win a package that will help you go back to work with style and ease.
JULEE WILSON, Senior Fashion Editor at The Huffington Post
“The only way I can describe the day I went back to work is: bittersweet. I had spent the last 12 weeks getting to know this amazing little being and now I had to hand him over to a perfect stranger (albeit an amazing nanny). However, while I was sad to walk out the door, I was thankful that I would be walking back into a dope job, surrounded by super talented people, and living a career that I always dreamed of. You can’t have it all — but you can have a lot. I have a lot.“
JULEE’S WORKING MOM MUST-HAVES:
- “Orion” nameplate necklace. Always gotta keep my baby boy close to my heart. Enough said.
- Moleskin notebook. I love these durable journals for working on stories as I ride the train to work and jotting down precious memories — like Orion’s minor and major milestones.The
- Belly Bandit. Much to my dismay — yet not surprisingly — my body didn’t bounce back to it’s former semi-taut state. With that said I needed some help pulling these together. Enter, the Belly Bandit. One word: amazing.
- MZ Wallace “Metro Tote” bag. Every gal needs a chic and reliable work bag and this is mine. I also have a larger camo-printed one for Orion’s diaper bag. In a nutshell: It’s as close as you’ll ever get to carryall perfection.
Brother Vellies denim “Erongo” shoes. Transitioning back to heels took so time — so in the meantime I indulged in a pair of great casual flats like these dope all denim kicks by Brother Vellies.
Get all of Julee’s picks here!
GRACE LEE, founder and CEO of Nine Naturals
“I’ve had to ease myself back into work. It’s a lot to juggle work with the schedule of two kids. I feel fortunate to have a job that allows me that flexibility and an incredible team that keeps things running smoothly at Nine Naturals, even in my absence. The things that make going back to work easier are things that add convenience and efficiency to my life.”
GRACE’S WORKING MOM MUST-HAVES:
- Stylish nursing wear for easy access when pumping at the office are a must. I sure as DON’T want to be taking my shirt on and off at the office. My favorites for style and functionality are: the Au Lait Shop Tank and Mitera Collection Charlotte Nursing Dress (pictured above).
- A monthly membership to ClassPass. With ClassPass I can pick up a class anywhere in the city at a time and day that works for me. It makes it easier to squeeze in a workout when I have free time.
- Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer. A lot has changed in between my two pregnancies — including new, improved gadgets! The Baby Brezza One Step Sterilizer Dryer sterilizes AND dries your bottles and pump equipment. No more drying rack needed!
- A versatile bag that is both fashionable and functional. As a working mom, I’m always on-the-go! I need a bag that can take me from school drop-off to work to kids’ activities, while also big enough to carry my laptop, breast pump, diapers and the rest. My friend and fellow working mom, Jocelyn (the founder of the online store Tuckernuck) introduced me to the MZ Wallace Metro Tote. It’s the perfect carry-all and made of a lightweight fabric that is water- and stain-resistant.
Meals from Plated. Plated is a weekly meal delivery service that sends you food ingredients and recipes. It takes the stress out of meal planning and I love being able to try new recipes.
Get all of Grace’s picks here!
JESSICA SHORTALL, author of Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work.
“With my first child, going back to work sparked in me a really deep, terrifying anxiety. I sobbed while I was still in the hospital, and started having panic attacks while home on leave. I ended up battling postpartum anxiety, triggered by the combination of going back to work and being obsessed with being ‘successful’ at breastfeeding while working long hours and traveling a lot for my job. I couldn’t imagine a world in which I wasn’t with this baby ALL. THE. TIME. And I agonized over the idea that he’d somehow forget who I was (this is crazy, and did not happen).
The good news is that with my second baby, I didn’t have the same demons. I really leaned into that maternity leave…so much snuggling and napping together and binge-watching of Scandal. I worked hard at taking the breastfeeding pressure off of myself, even as I continued to breastfeed as much as I felt was healthy for me.”
JESSICA’S WORKING MOM MUST-HAVES:
- Soothing gel pads for your nipples for early breastfeeding. No, this isn’t a work thing, but dude: your nipples are really going to hurt at first. I used the Medela kind, and cut them in quarters because they can get pricey. My top hack? Setting them on top of a cup full of ice for a few minutes before applying them. Can you say “ahhhhhhhhhhh”?
- Coconut oil. I never used the stuff because I didn’t know it was a thing, but apparently pumping women swear by it. You kind of grease the insides of your pump flanges and it makes the whole thing less terrible.
- Pump-friendly work clothes. This means crossover tops, wrap dresses (if you’re cool with having a very visible post-baby tummy and/or you own stock in Spanx), button-down shirts, shirt dresses, and layered camisoles and tops. You can certainly get dedicated pumping clothes from brands like Loyal Hana (pictured above), or ask from some gift cards from some mainstream stores and go buy some “I still look about 5 months pregnant but I’m not” pumping- and working-friendly clothes.
- Pumpin’ Pal breast pump flanges. These are compatible with most pumps, either as replacement flanges or to drop into the pump’s standard flanges, and I literally don’t have the right words to describe how game-changing they are if you’re going to be pumping all the time. They hurt less, they minimize spills and drips of milk, and they can even support greater milk output. I’ve met the founder — an inventor who was tired of seeing his wife struggle with the lame flanges that most pumps come with — and he is a great guy who really just wants to help working moms.
- Electric Pump. I’m assuming in all of this that the expecting mom’s health insurance is going to cover a double-electric breast pump. Obamacare requires most insurance plans to cover a pump, although double electric vs. single manual is not specified, so it can be hit or miss. If I were registering for a pump today, I’d go with the Ardo Calypso. I’ve never used it myself, but it gets great reviews and it is totally silent…no more lying on conference calls when people ask, “What’s that weird sound?”
- A My Brest Friend nursing pillow. Get over the silly name and get one of these. It’s so great when your baby is tiny, because it fits snugly against your body so the baby doesn’t kind of melt into the crack between the pillow and your body. And the fact that you can buckle it onto yourself and walk around the house (NOT with the baby still on it) makes it kind of amazing.