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Wondering how to get this sign?? Read on to find out!

I am so excited by today’s guest post!!  Chalita shares with us tips for how to GET pregnant.  These are questions I get all the time and never really new the answers to…until now!  Read on and learn….

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Guest post by Chalita Photikoe, L.Ac.

Starting to plan the family of your future or trying to conceive can be a very exciting time.  Here are some tips that can help you get pregnant faster and boost your body’s fertility.


Know when you ovulate. 
It is a myth that women ovulate on day 14.  This is based on the assumption that all women have a 28-day cycle each and every month.  Most women do not, and furthermore it is common for ovulation to vary from month to month by as much as 5 days.  Purchase some reliable ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), and begin keeping track of when your most fertile days are.


Time intercourse. 
If your partner has a normal sperm count, begin having sex on day 10 of your cycle, or when you first get a positive on your OPK, which ever happens first.  There after, have sex every other day until you get a positive OPK.  Once you get a positive, have sex 2-3 days in a row.  Skip one day, and then have intercourse once more.


Track your cycles.
  Free online services such as fertiltyfriend.com can help you keep track and chart your cycles.  You can easily enter in basal body temperature, OPK results, intercourse days, and much more.


Increase your cervical mucous. 
Healthy, copious amounts of cervical mucous  (CM) nourish the sperm and maximize travel time and travel conditions to the egg.  As we age, cervical mucous can decline.  Healthy cervical mucous looks and feels like raw egg white.  If yours is less than optimal, increase water intake and limit alcohol and caffeine.  Taking 3000 mg of evening primrose oil a day from the beginning of your cycle up through ovulation can also help to increase the quantity and the quality of CM.


Check your lube. 
Most lubricants, in order to extend shelf life, have harmful additives and preservatives that have been shown to kill or adversely affect sperm motility and mobility.   PreConceive Plus and Pre Seed are two lubricants that are not only preservative and additive free, but also have ingredients that help nourish and feed the sperm, similar to a woman’s natural cervical mucous.


Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  
Studies have confirmed what practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have known for thousands of years. Acupuncture can improve fertility by regulating and stabilizing hormone levels, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, and reducing stress.


Increase blood flow to the pelvis.
Any regular cardiovascular exercise and deep stretching targeted at the pelvic region increases blood flow to the genitals, which can make sex more pleasurable and can also increase the chances of implantation.  Yoga, power walking, jogging or cycling all target the pelvic organs.  Regular exercise can also decrease stress and improve your mood, both important factors when trying to conceive.

 

Chalita is the owner of Chalita Photikoe Acupuncture in Mill Valley, Ca. In 2010, she expanded her private practice to include a community room offering $35 acupuncture treatments. She believes that healthy and happy mothers are the cornerstone of healthy and happy communities.  For more information, visit www.ChalitaAcupuncture.com.

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Good friends of ours are getting ready to have a baby and I wanted to pick up a few items to help round out her nursery.  I wanted to choose items I found SO essential for those first few weeks after bring the baby home.

Come with me on a little shopping adventure to Babies R Us, as I pick up some of my favorites.  What are YOUR must haves for those first few weeks?

*what did you think of my video?  I’d love your feedback!  What else would you like to see in future video blogs?

My mom is getting ready to attend a baby shower for a daughter of a good friend of hers and she asked for my advice on gifts.  She was going to get a few of the same adorable outfits she had just picked up for my own daughter when I told her;

“Mom, don’t just get clothes.”

Clothes are definitely a favorite baby shower gift, especially if the mama-to-be is having a girl.  Who doesn’t want to buy all those tiny frilly dresses, and ity-bity shoes?  But here is why I don’t think you should give clothes for a shower gift (or at least only give clothes).

  1. Everyone has her own taste.  You might think that hot pink Minnie Mouse dress is a-dor-a-ble, but the new parents might not agree.
  2. Clothes are the easiest thing to get used.  Babies only wear those first outfits a few times before they outgrow them, so used baby clothes are usually in great shape.  For both kids I had a huge box of perfect condition hand-me-downs from friends.  I really needed other baby items on my registry.
  3. They are fun to shop for. That is exactly why YOU want to get clothes for that new little baby.  But that is also what the new mom (and grandmas) want to buy…let them.

 

 

But then what should I get??

 

My Favorite Baby Shower Ideas:

Diapers and wipes:

 

New babies are expensive.

A newborn baby will go through 10+ diapers a day at first.  A box of 124 newborn diapers is $35 dollars.  That is almost $100 A MONTH for diapers (wait, why am I not using cloth diapers?).  A coworker of my husband wrapped up a jumbo box of diapers when my daughter was born, I almost cried.

Baby Care Supplies (medical)

 

One of my favorite gifts when I had my first child came from my friend who already had kids.  She put together a huge bag of all the care items and medicine I would need.  Destine, gripe water, baby Tylenol, nail clippers, thermometer, etc.  This is a GREAT gift for many reasons.  But mainly, as a new mom, I didn’t know what I would need.  What the heck is gripe water?  And of course when you need this stuff, its 3 in the morning.  I loved just opening my drawer and finding it all there the first time the baby was sick.

Your Tried and True Baby Item

If you are a new mom or a new grandma and there is an item you couldn’t live with out for your baby, get that.

Did the sleep sheep put your little one to sleep?  Get it

Does your son carry his ‘lovey’ everywhere?  Pick up one for the new baby.

The Aden & Anias “Dream” blanket is my favorite blanket I received as a gift, it is the perfect blanket.   Its a great gift if you need to ship it or just send it direct from Amazon.

Think Ahead

The majority of baby gifts seem to be for the first 6 months or so.  Why not think ahead to when the baby will be eating solid foods?  Here is my favorite pack of solid food necessities


Dr. Brown Spoons: These are truly amazing.  Stay tuned for a review on these and a give away!


Wean Green glass cubes: Great for warming frozen homemade baby food


Bumpkins Bibs: These come is so many fun designs


Happy Baby Oatmeal: A favorite in our house

Books

I love this new trend I have been seeing at baby showers of bringing the new parents a children’s book inscribed from your family instead of a card.  I love that idea and am going to start doing it with all my baby gifts.  I love when reading with my kids and remembering who the book was from and reading their words of well wishes is so much fun.  My favorite gift books;


Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch (written by my widely talented best friend!!)


Little Blue truck


Knuffle Bunny

Pool Your Resources

Many of the big-ticket items on a new mom’s registry are the most needed…and the most expensive.  If you have a few friends going to the shower, consider going in together to get some of the bigger items like a pack-n-play, high chair or carseat.  I promise the parents will be grateful.

Something JUST for mom

At a friend’s shower once, she opened a to-die-for Marc Jacobs purse, not a diaper bag, a purse, just for her.  The moment that baby is born, the world revolves around the new little bundle and all but forgets the mom.

An US Weekly, a gift certificate for a mani/pedi and a coffee card….Best.Gift.Ever.

Include a Gift Receipt

Getting organized for a new baby is a big on-going task.  Even if you bought the exact Diaper Genie she registered for, she may have been offered a used one from her neighbor later that day.  She TOTALLY appreciates you and the trouble you went through to pick out a gift for her and she loves you.  But make it easier on her to exchange your gift for diapers.

And the Minnie Mouse dress, yes, it is totally the cutest dress anyone has ever seen and I am SURE she won’t even think about returning it…but just in case.  Don’t make a 40-week pregnant woman run all over town trying to figure out where you bought it.

What are your favorite gifts to give?  What was your favorite gift you received at your shower?

The Single Bob revolution loaded with an infant seat, preschooler, diaper bag, camera, lunch box…

While pushing both my kids through Babies R Us the other day, a very pregnant woman eyed my stroller set up.

Notice I did not say, “admired,” in fact, I think she was horrified.

The baby was in her infant car seat snapped on to the stroller seat and my 3 year old perched precariously on the foot rest of the stroller while the mountain of purchases were balanced on the handle bar.

I’m sure she was either judging my parenting skills or rethinking parenting all together!

She asked me how I liked my stroller and if it was ‘meant’ for two kids (see, judging).  So I launched into my stroller dissertation.  Picking out the best stroller is a huge decision, right up there with choosing your baby’s name and 529 saving plan.

Through my pre-baby years of working with moms, many of them told me I would need more than one stroller.  But that seemed silly to me.  With my first, I purchased an expensive, celebrity-worthy stroller, because I was sure that it was going to be the only stroller I needed, therefore justify the cost.  But I found those moms before me were right; you really do need more than one stroller.

In my opinion, most parents will need strollers for the following purposes

  1. A stroller the infant seat* will snap into
  2. A good everyday stroller with ample storage underneath
  3. A small, light weight stroller for quick trips and travel
  4. A jog stroller for actually running or for long walks, hikes, beach etc
  5. An double stroller or an option for another child if you are planning on one

Now before your husband freaks out, you do not need five strollers.  Many strollers will fulfill 2 or 3 of these purposes.  But I just don’t think there is a stroller out there that does all of these things, or at least not well.

*When your baby is an infant, they fall asleep a lot in the car.  If you choose to get an infant car seat (which I recommend for exactly this reason) you can take the whole car seat out and snap it into your stroller when you get to your destination and the babe can stay asleep.

Below are a few of my favorite strollers and which role above they will fulfill

INFANT CAR SEAT CARRIER- 1,3

 Snap-n-Go: Snap-n-go is a name kinda like Kleenex, it is actually the name of the Graco stroller that the infant seat fits into.  But many brands make this basic frame, Kidcraft, Babytrend, even McClaren.

Price: Ave Online Price $50. These are relatively inexpensive new, but are also great to find used, because you don’t need it for too long (maybe 6 months), and since most moms only use if for the same time period, its likely to be in good shape. Or ask your circle if anyone has one to borrow.

Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame

JOG STROLLER- 1, 4

Brady and Keaton in the Double Bob Revolution

Bob Revolution 1, 2, 4:  I LOVE my bob.  Personally, I wish I had started with this one from the beginning.  With the optional infant bar, you can snap most infant car seats on to the frame.  It has a swivel front wheel to allow for easy maneuvering in stores, the zoo, neighborhood walks, etc.  The front wheel also locks making it a true jog stroller, so you can run with it safely as well.

Price: Ave Online Price $450.  You can find them used (mine is), but these are incredibly popular strollers that seem to hold their value well, so if you do decide to invest in a new one, you will use it for years, and then can resell it for a large percentage of what you paid for it.

BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller, Black

Fixed Wheel Jogger 1, 4: If you are an avid runner, I recommend getting a fixed wheel jogger.  They are hard to maneuver (like through a store) but are smooth and fast on the road.  You will definitely need an everyday stroller as well as this one is designed just for straight-aways

They are less expensive than the “revolution” style above and can easily be found used.  Make sure to check the breaking mechanism and wheel attachment on any used one you purchase.  Most bike shops can tune up jog strollers as well.

EVERYDAY STROLLER 1,2, 5:

Travel System Stroller 1,2: If you don’t need a jog style stroller, have a big enough cargo space in your vehicle and don’t need a super small umbrella style stroller for travel, this stroller could be your only stroller.

Each brand makes a version of these.  Basically it is a full stroller that the corresponding car seat also fits into.  Sometimes, it is sold as a set with the infant seat.  I like the Graco travel system (my sister used this one), I also like the Peg Pergo, Chicco and Britex version.  My advice would be to make a decision about what car seat you want, then get the corresponding stroller.

Price:  Ave Online Price: $140 (infant seat and stroller)
Graco Spree Travel System, Barcelona Bluegrass
Chicco Cortina Keyfit 30 Travel System, Miro

Convertible Stroller 1,2,5

Baby Brady in the Bugaboo

Higher end strollers like the Bugaboo, Quinny, Uppa Baby, City Select, Orbit, Phil & Ted have more bells and whistles and will definitely help you keep up with the Jones.   They also make a lot of sense depending on what you need in a stroller.  Most of them have an infant car seat attachment.  Many of them come with a bassinet type option as well as the basic chair.  They tend to come in more fabric choices, have smooth rides, adjustable handle bars (for different height parents).  One of the biggest feature for me would be the that many of these brands have the option to add a second seat for baby #2 (city select, uppa baby, phil and ted.)  If I had of chosen one of these strollers in the beginning (I had a bugaboo for a while which is one of the ones that doesn’t have a second seat), I would have been able to add the second seat when #2 arrived, instead of purchasing a whole new stroller to accommodate 2 kids.

UPPAbaby Vista Stroller, Cole/Slate
Phil and Teds Dash With Doubles Kit – Black Free Shipping

TRAVEL STROLLER: 2,3

Rylan trying out the umbrella stroller

Umbrella Stroller  2,3:  Umbrella strollers are lightweight, easily fold up compactly, and are perfect for quick trips to the store or for travel.  They can range in price from $10 for a super base line, no bells and whistle version to $300 dollars for features like reclining backs, padded seats, sunshades, extending handle bars.  Your child has to be able to sit up basically on hi own before you can use this type.

Maclaren Triumph Stroller, Charcoal/Silver

Megan’s Personal Stroller History:

  1. Bugaboo with infant attachment- purchased used before #1 was born, sold after about a year.  Loved the stroller, but hated how hard it was to fold for the back of the car.
  2. McClaren Techno Umbrella stroller- Bought new with #1 was 9 months, great for Disneyland and used it exclusively between year 1-2.  In rafters waiting for #2 to fit in it.
  3. Chicco Umbrella Stroller- Very used hand me down from a friend- Left it at the house for the babysitter to use for walks to the park, so I didn’t have to keep taking the other one in and out of my car.
  4. Bob Revolution single- purchased used when #1 was about 2 years old, use it on a very regular basis.  Added infant bar for #2.  This is what both kids were riding on at Babies R Us J
  5. Baby Trend Infant Carrier- Given to me when #1 was born, but never used.  NOW use it all the time with #2
  6. Double Bob Revolution- Purchased last year’s model new, when #2 was born.  Use it on trips with both kids places like the zoo, Marine World, or on long walks/jogs, sometimes farmer’s market.

Humm….remember how I started off saying you didn’t need 5 strollers?  Well, now that I think about it, I guess I have 5 strollers after all….shoot.


Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer (Oral, Rectal, Under Arm)

Nothing is more heart breaking than when one of your children is sick, especially a baby.

My sweet little thing was sick this weekend and it is so hard to know what is going on when they are too young to tell you.

Like so many of us these days, I turned to the internet for some advice (plus, why do kids ALWAYS get sick outside of your doctors hours?)

On this site for familydoctor.org, I found a great flow chart for diagnosing illnesses.   I found it very helpful for deciding what to do for my daughter’s low-grade fever.  I think this would be hand to bookmark or print for future illness as well.

I could’t cut and paste the whole document, so see the original chart here

In addition to the chart, here is more information on how to take a baby’s temperature, when to medicate, when to call the doctor and other tips for dealing with a fever in a baby.

While on the site, I saw that they have all sorts of flow charts for adults and children’s symptoms.  Here is one on nausea and vomiting in children that could also come in handy!

The good news is everyone is feeling better this morning….until next weekend!

I need to put together an emergency box.

I know, I know, I live in earthquake country and I have two small children.  I will, I promise.

But I do have an, emergency box of sorts in my car that gets a regular workout.  We’re not talking flares and matches, but this is the emergency kids supply bag.  I started this box in my car when I was out with my then infant son and he had a complete blowout and I realized I had never restocked his change of clothes in my bag, didn’t have enough wipes and had no blanket or anything else.  I cleaned him (kind of) with a crumpled napkin, put him back in his carseat, draped a burp cloth over his naked body and drove home in tears.

Now I keep a box in the back of my car with “just incase” supplies and I use items from this box ALL. THE. TIME.

  • Diapers: If you have an infant, remember to change the size of the diapers in your emergency box when they grow out of a size. You don’t want to have a diaper emergency with your 18 month old and realize you only have newborn diapers.
  • Potty Chair:  We are still newly potty trained in our house and knowing there is a potty in the back of our car just takes a little of the stress off our outings.  No frantic running to find a public bathroom or getting stuck at the park with no bathroom.  We know we can always go back to the car, or try before we go somewhere.
  • Wipes: A full sealable container- these wipes get used for a lot more than diaper changes, chocolaty hands, sandy feet and goopy car seats.
  • Changing Pad: I use a large waterproof ‘lap’ pad, or the pad that came with your diaper bag
  • Ziplock bags and a few plastic grocery bags: Bags seem to come in handy to contain all sorts of things; diapers, dirty clothes, beach collections…
  • Change of clothes: A full change of clothes for each kid and at least a tshirt for you (you’ll be thankful for it when you yank your vomiting child out of his car seat on the side of the road 20 minutes into a 4 hour car ride).  I also keep a pair of my preschoolers pjs in car for those times dinner at the in-laws runs a little late and we can just have him ready for bed before we even get home.
  • A travel roll of Paper towels
  • Wash clothes, burp clothes, bibs
  • An extra blanket: I have 2 of the hospital flannel receiving blankets.  They fold up small and again can be used as anything from a changing station, to cover a wet carseat, as a towel after an unexpected splash-fest, or of course as an actual blanket.
  • Emergency Feeding Items: Think of things that you know your kids like in case you are stuck in Tahoe traffic past dinner time, or decide to stay out longer than you planned; think Stable snack items: such as applesauce ‘crushers’, trail mix, jar of baby food, crackers etc, juice box, a few bottles of water, self contained powdered or premixed formula (if you’re using).
  • A bottle, a sippy cup, a few disposable bowls (for doling out unexpected snacks)
  • Warm hats and sun hats
  • Bubble soap, a sand toy shovel or a plastic truck: Just in case

Ok, earthquake kit next….

Any one who know me, knows I am a sucker for a schedule, or a list, or a calendar.  While I still swear by them, I also see how sometimes my reliance on them can also be a little paralyzing.  This has really proven to be true with baby #2.  With my first, I followed the pediatrician’s recommendation of doing tummy time for 10-20 minutes 3 times a day to a T.  It was like sirens went off…
 

Everyone stop what you are doing, installment 1 of today’s tummy time will commence immediately!!

The whole world stopped while we did our required time.  And I had all the appropriate gear too; the mat, the black and white toy, the mirror, what ever else some expert told me was needed for a successful tummy time session.
 

Fast forward a few years and I found that, with a preschooler to keep after, my schedules were harder to stick to with the second baby, including my regimented tummy time.  While having coffee with a friend and a recent new mom to her second child, she asked how I found time for things like tummy time with my second.

 

Well, I had found a way to get in tummy time and of course the idea came from my mom.  I mean, mother knows best right?  After I lamented to her that the baby wasn’t getting enough tummy time because I couldn’t figure out how to fit in the longer sessions, she suggested that every time I do a diaper changes, I just flip the baby over for a few minutes on her tummy.  So after 6 or 7 or 8 or 10 diaper changes in a day, each few minutes adds up to plenty of total time.  I also found that if I put her on her tummy in her crib while I went to wash my hands, I could rack up a few more minutes.  By not being so concerned with the exact right way to do something, she was actually getting more time on her tummy and I was less worried.
 

My friend said, “That’s brilliant!  You should write a blog post about that”
 

So I did.

Much to the chagrin of my husband I am sure, I realized after the birth of my second child that I really did need two diaper bags (or 3 or 4, but don’t tell him that).  And I also realized it is worth it to me to have duplicates of a lot of the contents of the diaper bags so that both bags are always almost packed.

Now, if you have been a mom for more than about five minutes, you’ve no doubt figured out what you need in your bag, but I love to have a list anyway.  So with my often-scattered new-mom brain, I can scan the list and make sure I don’t leave a key item out.  Also, my list helps jog my memory if something needs to be restocked.

The Contents of My Diaper Bag

  • Diapers: 3-4 for my infant daughter who needs more frequent diaper changes. We are currently potty training my son (post about this fun task to come)
  • Wipes-Travel size pack
  • Changing Pad– I like to carry a disposable one, so if it ends up disgusting, it doesn’t have to come home. Plus, it takes up less room in the bag than a padded one most bags come with.

(I keep the above 3 items in their own mesh bag, so I can grab it and head into the bathroom or better yet, hand the mesh bag and poopy kid to my husband!)

  • Empty plastic bags– These not only can contain dirty diapers if you aren’t near a trash can, but can also hold soiled clothes, trash from your picnic, or your toddler’s rock collection that he insists on bringing home with him.
  • Hats– Warm and Sun protection for the baby, Baseball hat for my son
  • Change of clothes: I usually keep a pair of light weight pjs for the baby in my bag.  If she has a blow out, pjs are a fine replacement outfit, and I don’t have to worry about keeping track of a top, pants and socks in my bag. And, because we are potty training the older one, I now have to carry a few extra pairs of Buzz Lightyear underwear and pants
  • Sunscreen– I just leave it in my bag all the time, especially in Northern California, you never know when the sun will come out, or when you’ll decide to stop at the park while out running errands.
  • Small Blanket:  I rolled a small flannel (carters, I think) blanket really tightly and put it in the very bottom of my bag.  This is the emergency blanket if you forget one, or the one you brought falls out of the stroller into a puddle and you run it over (done this!).  I am surprised how often I use my back up blanket.
  • Nursing Pads: I am forever leaving my nursing pad the last place I fed my daughter.  Have a few extra in your bag.  And while we’re at it, if you still need them, make sure you have a few pads or panty liners in your diaper bag too.
  • Nursing Cover: If you use one. I find them to be a bit cumbersome and usually fall into the “fine with nursing in public” camp.  If I feel the need to cover up, I use the blanket, one less thing to carry.
  • Bottle/Formula: I love the shelf stable on-the-go formula bottles.  I can just stick on in my bag and not worry about pouring, mixing, getting water etc.
  • Mom’s Supplies: A mesh bag with hair ties, emery board, hand lotion, chapstick, gum, advil, tums, colgate wisp disposable toothbrush (for those new-mom mornings when you just aren’t sure when you last brushed your teeth) and what ever else you might need to help you feel human.
  • Essential Make up: If your infant is screaming and you need to get the car nap started or if you preschooler constantly interrupts your morning routine, a few key make up pieces in your bag (mine is a powder compact, lip gloss and mascara) can help you feel a little more pulled together when you reach your destination.
  • A Luna Bar: Or meal replacement snack of choice.  Much like make up, I often run out the door to get everyone where they need to be with out eating (or eating enough).  Having a bar already stashed can be a lifesaver.
  •  A Few Bribes: Need to run to the bank or the post office after preschool pick up?  A bag of Annie’s Gummy Bunnies, and a Thomas the Train can be just enough to get in and out with out a melt down.
  • Hand Sanitizer gel or wipes: Put this is an outside pocket so you can grab it easily.  I like the wipes because they can sanitize hands as well as shopping cart handles and they are less likely to leak in your bag than the gel.
  • Pacifier:  Even if you don’t normally use one, you’d be surprised what you (and your baby) will try when the screaming just won’t stop.
  • Pack of Tissues: another mother staple, someone ALWAYS has a runny nose

Diaper Bag #2 : The All Day Family Affair

When I have both kids with me and we are going somewhere for most of the day, like the zoo or train town, we just need more stuff.  I have a larger diaper bag (actually a roxy tote bag I bought at a surf shop in Hawaii on our “babymoon”) that I keep packed with duplicates of every thing above.  Now, you absolutely can move everything from one bag to another, but really one quick trip to target and you’ll be one step closer to getting out the door in time to see the penguin feeding at 10:15.

Then, I add the following;

  • More Diapers
  • Extra clothing layers for each kid and mom
  • Lunch or more extensive snacks, including better adult snacks
  • Hat or visor for mom
  • Large water bottle with ice that we can refill all day
  • Camera

Diaper Bag #3: Formerly know as your purse

I keep the following things in a small purse all the time ready to go (small, because if you have to hoist around a piece of luggage most days, small is refreshing!).  If I have the chance to run to the grocery store by myself (ah, the luxury) or my preschooler and I are going to go get donuts one morning, I don’t have to bring my whole diaper bag and I don’t have to scramble around to put a purse together.  I just have to add my wallet and my phone and I’m out the door!

  • Travel Wipes: Because a mom always needs these
  • Diaper: One for each kid, just in case
  • A small notebook and a Pen: You may actually be able to jot down the next big idea if you are away from your constantly talking kids long enough to hear yourself think!
  • Duplicates of the “Moms Essentials and Make-up Essentials” above:
  • Your Wallet: Nothing like getting to the checkout line at the grocery store and realizing your wallet is in your diaper bag at home
  • Emergency $20: Because at some point you will leave your wallet in your diaper bag, and at least you can go buy yourself a latte and an Us Weekly.

    Brady on a donut date with mom

If I’ve learned one thing in the few month I’ve been a mom of two, its that the more prepared I am, the more smoothly things go, the faster we get out of the house, AND the fewer melt downs for everyone (mostly mom).

I don’t really mean steal, these are things you are completely allowed to take home.  And, I’m sorry, did you see the itemized bill from the hospital?!?!  Take a package of pampers!  And if you brought your nurses bagels (see my previous post), they just might bring you a few extra packs of diapers and wipes!  On top of that, most of the products are samples from the companies anyway.  Baby companies want your business and what better way to get it than to get you used to their products while you are in the hospital.  Companies supply hospitals with formula, diapers, bottles, even diaper bags to give out to their patients in hopes you will become a loyal customer to their brand.  So don’t feel bad about taking their products.  If you feel unsure or uncomfortable about what to take, just ask your nurse!  Here are my suggestions for what to make sure goes home with you.

  1. Bulb syringe-The snot sucker from the hospital seems to work better than anything you can buy.
  2. Swaddle Blankets– These blankets seem to be the perfect size for effective swaddling.  Plus, I find they are really good multi purpose blankets for later on.  They are flannel and can double as a changing pad cover or even a towel in a pinch.  I keep a few in my car!
  3. Diapers and Wipes- Diapers are expensive, so I say, take all the help you can get.  One free pack of diapers will fund your new-mom coffee habit for those first few sleep deprived days.   Also, both of my kids started out in preemie diapers.  The pack I got from the hospital got me through until they were big enough for the newborn diapers I already had at home.
  4. Mesh panties, pads and ice packs- Lets face it, your nether region goes through some trauma bringing your baby into the world.  The hospital will provide you with all the supplies you need to help you feel better and more comfortable.  Take them with you and ask for extras so you don’t have to run out to the drugstore once you’re home.
  5. Squirt bottle /Peri bottle- Along the same lines as above, wiping is a bit uncomfortable at first and it is recommended you use a squirt bottle to rinse yourself off in the beginning.  And later your toddler will love to play with the squirt bottle in the bathtub!
  6. Baby t-shirts- These little half shirts are perfect for the first few days of constant diaper changes and waiting for the umbilical cord to heal.  Plus, hang on to one for the keepsake box, in a few months you’ll never believe your baby was so small!
  7. Pacifiers- Like the bulb syringe, there is something magical about the binkies in the hospital.  Even if you don’t think you want to use a pacifier with your baby, throw that sucker (pun intended) in your going home bag, ‘cuz you never know.
  8. Breast Pump Parts- If you use the hospital grade pump during your stay, you will be provided your own set of tubes and flanges.  Bring those home, because they will most likely be compatible with your breast pump at home and it is nice to have an extra set.  Even if you don’t use the pump in the hospital, check your ‘supply drawer’ the extra set may be in there.
  9. First Aid supplies for you and baby– If you have had a c-section or your little boy was circumcised, there will be some post hospital wound care required.  My nurse sent me home with enough gauze and Vaseline to take care of my little guy until he was healed, one less thing to buy.
  10. Samples of formula, bottles, diaper bags etc- If the nurse didn’t automatically offer you some free samples.  You can just ask “is there a brand of formula/bottles/whatever that your recommend?”  Chance are, she’ll say “here, let me get you some samples.”  You can do this at your pediatrician’s office too!  We had a hard time getting our daughter to take a bottle and the nurse at the pediatrician’s office gave us some sample bottle nipples to try.

My son was born three weeks early and my labor was fast with a capital F (that’s not the only thing about my labor that had a capital F, but that’s another post!).  My husband and I were completely unprepared and the bags that we hastily threw together didn’t even make it out of the car before I gave birth.  So believe me when I say the hospital really gives you everything you need for labor, delivery and the days after.  If you are caught off guard by labor, like I was, and don’t have everything packed, don’t worry, you’ll still have everything you need.  But round two, we were more prepared and a few ‘creature comforts’ were nice to have.  Below are my suggestions on what to bring to the hospital. What are your suggestions??

  • Your own pillow -with a colored pillow case so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital’s pillows
  • Lollipops or hard candy for during labor- I didn’t use these, but every list swears by them, so bring them along!
  • Ipod/docking station– with your zen playlist or your heavy metal playlist, what ever is going to get you through labor!
  • A favorite throw blanket -Its nice to make the hospital a little more homey
  • Receiving blanket -the hospital will give you plenty, but if you have a special one for pictures
  • Camera and/or Video Camera–  They can be pretty graphic and PLEASE don’t post them on facebook, but those pictures of your baby all slimy and wrinkled on your chest for the first time…I’m tearing up thinking about it.
  • Large bath towel– that first shower after delivery is golden, but the hospital towels are a little scrawny, you may want to pick up an inexpensive one, as it could get stained. And bring one for your partner too.
  • Socks or slippers for mom – 2 pair – be prepared to never see them again
  • Oral B brush ups – great if you are in bed for the day after delivery!
  • Munchies for you and hubby
  • Granny underwear– like the cheap Fruit of the Loom kind for the hospital and the first few weeks home.  You can just throw them away if they get ruined.  Personally, I liked the weird mesh ones they give you, but some people hated those.
  • A robe and comfortable PJs– Most hospitals have a postpartum hospital gown that is a little more like a nightgown, but I liked having comfy pajama bottoms and a nursing tank.  Again, you may want to get an inexpensive pair incase they get stained or ruined
  • Clothes for the baby– I wasn’t sure about this before I had my first, but you don’t need to bring any clothes for the baby.  Your little bundle will spend his or her first few days in a diaper and t-shirt provided by the hospital and expertly swaddled by your nurses (or completely spastically swaddled by you).
  • Going home outfit for baby and mom -remember, you have no idea how big or small your baby will be and mom will be about the size she was at 5 months pregnant, do yourself a favor and just bring yoga pants.
  • Cash for the parking garage -most take cards, but if something happens, its not the time to be stressed about getting your car out!
  • Car seat installed – You can take your car and car seat to many highway patrol offices, police stations or the store you bought your seat at to have it installed correctly.  The statistics say 85% of car seats are installed incorrectly.
  • Thank you notes – I kept a list of each of my nurses’ names as they rotated through over the two days and wrote a quick thank you note to each of them before I left the hospital as well as to the doctor who delivered my baby.  My husband also picked up Bagels from the Noah’s down the street from the hospital and dropped them off at the nurses station the first morning we were there.  Those nurses work hard and take good care of you!

 

*I realize I talk about a lot of things getting stained or ruined, nothing of mine actually did get ruined at the hospital, but it is better to not worry about anything happening to your favorite pjs you brought back from your honeymoon in Paris!

Stay tuned for next week post when we talk about what to bring HOME from the hospital with you!

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