My Bags are Packed, I’m Ready to Go

37 weeks baby! I’d say this kiddo could come at any time now, but as of my appointment a few days ago she’s currently breech so hopefully we get her facing the right way first.  I have a referral for an External Cephalic Version (where a doctor tries to externally turn the baby) and I’m starting to use some of the positions from Spinning Babies to help the process along.

Wesley caught us by surprise by being a little over 2 weeks early (when I fully expected him to be at least a week late) so I had to direct Matt on what to what to pack while in the middle of contractions.  This time though, WE ARE PREPARED.* As soon as December hit we were pulling all the old baby gear out of storage, washing ALL THE THINGS, and generally nesting up a storm.

Even then I had an oh-so-fun round of false labor last Monday and still didn’t actually feel prepared. I went home from work early because I couldn’t function anymore and called Matt home from his work Christmas party so he could watch Wesley (and, ya’know, be ready to go if this ended up being the real thing). I checked in with my midwife a couple times, but since it was early enough to be unlikely and my contractions were holding at sporadically-steady (sometimes they’d last a few seconds, other time a minute but they kept happening fairly regularly without ramping up in intensity) she never had me head to the hospital.

What I’m Packing for Baby #2

It was a little easier to pack for a second delivery since I learned what was actually useful to me from the first time around…and some things I wish I had. For the record, I’m fairly minimalist compared to a lot of the lists out there there but if you’re not, that’s totally cool.  Bring whatever you think will make YOU feel comfortable.

Comfy clothes

Some people like the idea of their own clothes/gown to wear during labor, but I honestly didn’t care.  If you do go this route,I would suggest something dark (delivery is messy) and something designed for labor (they have a lot of extra snaps and openings for monitoring equipment and epidural access).

Keep in mind that your belly doesn’t instantly shrink after giving birth, so you’ll probably want some maternity-friendly clothes.  There’s also always a chance of a c-section (even if it’s not planned) so be conscious of where your waistband hits. Also, you probably don’t have to worry about underwear since the hospital will give you some positively stylin’ mesh knickers.

I’m packing:

  • Thermal joggers (not maternity, just sized up one)
  • Nursing friendly tanks/tees
  • Maternity leggings
  • Open-front Sweater
  • Slipper socks with bottom grips
Toiletries

Honestly, I’m pretty basic in this category,  I packed a little makeup the first time around but didn’t use it (but then, I often go without makeup).

I’m packing:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Loofah
  • Facial cleansing wipes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • lotion
  • chapstick
  • Headband (if your hair longer I’d recommend a hair elastic to keep it out of your face)
Breastfeeding Gear

If you don’t plan on breastfeeding, no worries–you’ve got less to pack! If you do plan on breastfeeding, I still suggest packing a few things besides your mammary glands.

I’m packing:

  • Combination nursing/pumping bra (I REALLY wish I had this in the hospital with Wesley)
  • Haaka manual breast pump (bring your electric one if you’d like help getting started with it)
  • Nursing pillow (I liked mine, but a normal pillow works in a pinch too and neither is completely necessary)
  • Nipple cream (I didn’t actually need this with baby #1, but better safe than sorry)
  • Nipple pads (it’s unlikely you’ll start leaking those first couple days in the hospital, but again, better safe than sorry)
Creature Comforts

Some people want to make their hospital room as homey as possible. Blankets, pillows, towels, and eye masks are frequently recommended  Personally I didn’t want to worry about more stuff to potentially forget…but I AM attached to having a good pillow.

I’m packing

  • My own pillow (with a pillowcase that won’t get mistaken for hospital bedding)
  • My own water bottle (the one the hospital provided the first time tasted like plastic)–something large, fairly leak-proof, and with a straw is a good option since you’ll want to be able to sip water easily from different angles.3 3q
Entertainment

Like it or not, you’ll be in the hospital for a while.  If you opt for an epidural you’ll probably even have good chunk of down-time (although if it’s the middle of the night you can just enjoy glorious, glorious sleep).

I’m packing:

  • Tablet
  • Phone
  • iPod
  • Book
  • Chargers + small extension cord (PSA: they also make extra long charging cords, I just used what I already had)
Miscellaneous
  • Snacks (for both you and your partner)
  • Camera (I have a nicer one in addition to my phone)
  • “Baby’s” gift for big brother (this has been recommended by a few sources for helping introduce a sibling…unfortunately we’re behind on this one so we don’t know what it’s going to be yet)
For Baby

For us, all the basic needs were supplied by the hospital while we were there–diapers, onsies, swaddles, etc.  All we really need are some things to get our baby girl home. For Wesley, I packed his diaper bag but this time I’m just going to throw stuff in my bag.

I’m packing:

  • 2-3 “coming home” outfits in multiple sizes (since there’s no telling how big the baby will be)
  • Hat
  • Photo props (I have a letter board to fill in with her birth info, a cute swaddle blanket, and girly headband)
  • Car seat + car seat cover (we didn’t bother with a car seat cover for Wesley since he was a summer baby, but winter in MN in now joke!)

 

*Which probably means baby girl will take her sweet time, but what can you do?

9 Months: Keeping Clean

Look who’s 9 months!  He’s also 22 1/2 pounds and getting awfully heavy to tote around.

Not much new to report on the baby front. Wesley’s still not crawling (although he’s mastered spinning in circles) and still no teeth (but drooling like crazy and getting a little cranky at times). He’s starting to show a little bit of motivation when it comes to crawling, especially if he sees the cats.

Keeping Clean

Babies are just perpetual mess makers, aren’t they? They spit up, they poop (sometimes explosively), they don’t know how to wipe their own noses, they mash food into every crevice imaginable… I could go on.

It can see overwhelming dealing with the never-ending flow of bodily excretions, but once you have a routine down it’s really not that bad.

And of course, the general disclaimer before we begin: I am not affiliated with any of the products mentioned.  These are all things I’ve found through my own independent research.

Butts

Let’s just start at the bottom, shall we?  Keeping baby’s tushy clean is necessary from day 1. We had a few assorted sample packs of Huggies and Pampers wipes, but we’ve defaulted to Amazon Elements pretty much from the beginning. They’re free of added fragrances, parabens, dyes, alcohol, phthalates, bronopol, and methylisothiazolinone, but at a much better price point than Water Wipes. We just buy the regular unscented and have never had an issue with skin sensitivity.

Honestly, 9 months out and we have yet to have an issue with diaper rash. Every so often we see a small redish splotch and we’ll just hit it with some diaper cream (we use Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, although I’m honestly not a huge fan of the very powdery scent). We also probably change Wesley’s diaper more frequently than we really need to, but hey, if it’s helped prevent uncomfortable diaper rash then I’ll stick with it. (If you’re curious about what kind of diapers we use, we started with Pampers Swaddlers for the first couple months, then switched to Target brand, and his daycare gets their diapers from Costco)

Feeding Frenzy

Once you introduce solids, the mess takes on a whole new level! We have this high chair, and while it’s been working out just fine, I would probably switch up my recommendation to a high chair that doesn’t have a cover/detached cushion but rather is fully wipe-able (like this one by Oxo). The cushion on ours is machine washable (but air dry, it does dry fast though), but I’m going to experiment in making something a little lower-maintenance.

Once you give your baby any finger foods they will also instantly realize that these foods can also be dropped on the floor. If you have wood/vinyl/tile floors, this isn’t a huge issue, but we have an area rug in our dining room and didn’t want to be constantly scrubbing ground-in carrot out of it. I picked up this splat-mat which was both well reviewed and one of the cheaper options. I happen to like that it’s just clear vinyl so it doesn’t compete with decor. So far we haven’t had issues with tripping or slipping with it either. The vinyl has a LOT of creases from it being folding during shipment, but I heard you can use a blow-drier to soften them out (it’s on my to-do list)

Laundry

Ah yes, laundry. The thing everyone warns you about once you add a baby to the mix. Honestly it hasn’t been that big a deal for us–really just an extra load of laundry every week.  It does involve some extra stain treatment work though.

When we’re dealing with the aftermath of a blow-out, any casualty clothing items get rinsed out in our utility sink.  When I’m ready to do laundry I’ll use a stain treatment spray (OxiClean Max Force has been working well for me so far). I also toss in a scoop of OxiClean laundry booster and use a fragrance/dye free detergent. I use these same products on my own laundry too (although I usually skip the laundry booster), mostly because I hate scented detergents (but who really want a different laundry product for every member of the family?).

For REALLY tough stains, I break out the big guns. You may have already caught on that I’m a bit of an OxiClean fan girl, but seriously, this stuff works really well. If you follow the instructions for a more concentrated soak you’ll be able to remove almost any stain. To whiten your whites (without compromising colors) the OxiClean White Revive is a frickin miracle worker. I use it on our bedding all the time since skin oils make whites get really dingy. It works equally well on spit-up, poop, and beets too.

Baby Loves: 7 Months

Ufff… we’re finally starting to slow down on the weight front! At 7 months Wesley is still hovering under the 20lb mark at 19lbs and 10oz. He seems to have finally fought off the persistent Daycare Cold and also managed to pass Hand Foot and Mouth to me without actually getting it himself. Yay?

Wesley is still an amazingly chill little boy! He’s been doing great at daycare and is a very happy boy at home too. The cats have really started to catch his eye, and it is SO cute to watch his face light up when Schmutz walks up to him (Mort is a bit more cautious and I can’t say I blame him… especially after Wesley started chewing on his tail when it got within reach). Wesley is also a lazy little boy so he doesn’t seem to have a lot of motivation to crawl yet, but I’m sure it will happen eventually. Usually when we put him on his tummy he just sprawls dramatically and makes pathetic noises.

Wesley actually has 2 different jumpers.  The one they have at daycare is one of the ginormous, super-springy ones and he adores it!  We got this one (which has a smaller footprint) for at home.  He really likes all the toys on it and has just figured out how to get some spring out of it. He definitely bounces much more at daycare though.

This Batman teether constantly saves the day! Almost anytime he gets fussy, handing him this will stop the crying.  Batman fixes everything.

I have never gotten so many belly laughs out this boy than when we’re playing with this caterpillar. He loves the big cartoon-y eyes and all the different textures.  The velcro is pretty darn strong right out of the box, so he’s not strong enough to pull it apart yet, but he’ll get there.

Matt really wanted to get him So Many Stars, illustrated by Andy Warhol and it looks like we’re on our way to raising a little art snob.  The text may leave a little something to be desired, but this may be Wesley’s favorite book illustration-wise.

Introducing him to foods has been going slowly.  He seems to really like fruits, but isn’t so sure about veggies yet (oh, and if you’re wondering how the Baby Led Weaning is going, he actually does WAY better with purees…we still offer him “mashable” foods periodically though). His absolute favorite food seems to be this Happy Baby yogurt.  Now, I’m not even remotely a “crunchy” mom.  “Organic” carries very little weight me and I don’t actually believe GMOs are going to destroy us all.* What I do love about this brand though is that there is no added sugar (or sugar substitute!) in the yogurt. Where’s my adult-sized no-added-sugar yogurt???? Bonus: Wesley likes the banana-sweet potato flavor (although the peach-mango seems to be his fav) so we’re able to sneak in some veggies. Boo-ya!

 

*FYI Bill Nye agrees with me here. SCIENCE!