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Going back to work after having a baby can be hard on an emotional and a physical level. There's lots of gear to keep track of, bottles to wash, dirty and clean diapers piling up to the ceiling. If you're pumping, that's a big job in itself; and getting your baby back and forth to daycare is yet another daily hurdle that seems to require a battlefield general's level of strategy.
As you have probably heard, it gets easier – and truly, it does. In the meantime, if you're headed back to weekly-paycheck land postpartum, these 5 things can help.
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Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump
If you're going to give pumping a whirl, you might as well start off with the Cadillac of pumps: the Medela Pump in Style Advanced, which won Best Breast Pump in BabyCenter's 2018 Moms' Picks. It's powerful, quiet, and works well for most women – and this model is particularly tricked out, with two flange sizes (to accommodate women's larger or smaller nipples), an insulated container to take milk back and forth to work and store it discreetly in the office fridge, a battery pack for the pump, and a bag to keep it all in.
Available at Target starting at $179.99
Google Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera
Skip the baby monitor and go directly to the Google Nest Cam Indoor, with an app that allows you to log on from your smartphone any time to check in on your babe. As a working mom, those little remote peeks gave me great peace of mind, and I really looked forward to quick but soothing work breaks just to log in and watch my baby sleeping.
Bonus: When your child no longer needs sleep monitoring, move your Google Nest Cam to an area where your kids play to keep an eye on them.
Available at Target starting at $129.00
WubbaNub Infant Pacifier
I suggest the WubbaNub to every single new mom I know. It's a pacifier that's connected to a small, adorable plush animal (including foxes, giraffes, and dragons), which allows your child to easily maneuver the pacifier back into her mouth when it falls out. Once my children started daycare, we always made sure to have a WubbaNub for the stroller walk home.
Bonus: When your child no longer uses a pacifier, you can cut it off and let them keep the familiar stuffed animal as a comfort object.
Available at Target starting at $13.99
BABYBJÖRN Balance Bounce
When I get home from work, I want to be close to my baby, even when I'm cooking dinner. We love the BabyBjörn Balance Bouncer because it's so light, you can easily and quickly move it from room to room with you. The Balance Bouncer also folds flat for easy storage or for travel. We bring ours everywhere.
Available at Target starting at $199.99
Dr. Brown's Options+ Wide-Neck Baby Bottles
Whatever brand of bottle you buy, heed my warning: Buy extra – or else you're doomed to hand-wash your bottles every night (or even worse, quickly in a morning panic). Options+ bottles are great because you can use them with their anti-colic valve if your baby is gassy or has colic, or without if you prefer. This wide-neck style is easier to clean and to fill, and the 5-ounce is a good size for younger infants to start with.
Available at Target starting at $18.99
Sabrina is the writer behind the healthy living blog RhodeyGirl Tests, where she shares her passion for food & family through her healthy recipes, creative menus, and fun with her son Raffi (born September 2011), daughter Alessandra (born April 2013), daughter Valentina (born May 2015), and baby girl Daniela (born January 2018.)
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