Hospital/Birth Packing List

With my brother and sister-in-law expecting their first baby this October, I figured it was appropriate to share my hospital packing list.  I’ve used and refined it two times already, and will use it again this December when Anders Baby #3 makes his appearance!

If it was up to my husband, we would have our bags packed a good month before the baby’s due date…for me, I’m a packing procrastinator and wait until a week or two before.  But, in this case, he usually gets his way, and honestly, it’s probably for the best!

*Disclaimer: I am a minimalist when it comes to packing.  There are a lot more things expecting moms can bring, but these are my tried-and-true essentials. 

Hospital/Birth Packing List

For Mom:

  • Going Home Outfit (make it comfy…especially in the tummy area in case of a C-Section.  No skirts…trust me.  You’ll still need maternity clothes for the trip home.)
  • be Band (to hold in that post baby belly)
  • Nursing Cami (I LIVED in these the first few months as a new mom!)
  • Nursing Bra – the Bravado Body Silk is my absolute favorite!  I have four.  🙂
  • Robe – Get something lightweight made with cotton or bamboo like this one.  It’s SO nice to wear after the baby is born, easy to nurse in, and keeps you modest for visitors.  🙂
  • Nursing Cover
  • Slippers/warm socks
  • Pillow
  • Toiletries for overnight (most hospitals don’t provide shampoo, etc.)
  • Chapstick
  • Hairdryer
  • Makeup (minimal)
  • Nursing Pillow (I love the Boppy and My Brest Friend pillows)
  • Disposable Nursing Pads (I like reusable ones, but disposables are great the first few weeks when you don’t want to do a ton of laundry.  Johnson’s is the most comfortable brand I’ve tried…others are really scratchy.)
  • Lanolin Cream for nursing.  Trust me, you need this!  If you are allergic to wool, you may want to try this cream instead.
  • Cell Phone & Charger
  • ID, Insurance Card, Power of Attorney, Birth Plan (I found a simple birth plan to edit online like this one)
    *Leave jewelry at home!

For Dad:

  • Cell Phone & Charger, Camera & Charger
  • iPad & Charger (great for watching TV shows during labor and afterwards)
  • Cash (for vending machine)
  • Snacks & Water Bottle
  • Comfortable Shoes
  • Hoodie/Clothes (3 days) PJ’s
  • Slippers
  • Pillow
  • Air Mattress (our hospital has terribly uncomfortable pull-out beds.  The air mattress is a much more comfortable option!)
  • Toiletries for overnight
  • List of people to call/text when you go to the hospital & when baby arrives (trust me…you won’t remember everyone when you’re in the moment, and you may forget to tell someone really important.  Just make the list!)

For Baby:

  • Baby Swaddling Blanket (The Nicki’s or Imagine Bamboo blankets are my favorites!  You can order one or more here.)
  • Carseat
  • Going Home Outfit (I don’t bring other outfits and use the hospital onesies/hats while we are there)
  • Umbilical Cord Blood Donation Kit from http://www.cordforlife.com.  This is a great way to provide life-giving stem cells!  You have to apply to donate cord blood before you are 34 weeks pregnant.

At the Hospital/Birth Center, Ask to Take Home: 

Anything you (or the baby) use while you’re there!

  • Newborn Diapers
  • Extra Mesh Underwear
  • Ice packs
  • Nipple shields 
  • Extra Pads
  • Hemorrhoid Cream
  • Tucks Hemorrhoidal Pads
  • Baby Comb

Leave me a comment, what hospital/birth essential would you add to the list?  Download this list and more with my Baby Registry List.

This post may contain affiliate links.

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WubbaNub Pacifier Review (And How We Weaned Off Of It)

I had no idea what to look for in a pacifier before Jeremiah was born.  So, Amazon reviews came in handy for this purchase.  I stumbled across a pacifier called a WubbaNub…and while the name was weird, it got great reviews!  I thought it was worth buying one to see how Jeremiah would like it.

The WubbaNub Infant Pacifier is basically a Soothie pacifier sewn onto the end of a small bean bag animal.  The animals are smaller than Beanie Babies, to give you a size reference, and the pacifier cannot be removed.  They come in tons of adorable animal choices.  I picked a giraffe, duck, and frog. IMG_1298.JPG

What I love about this pacifier, is the animal keeps you from losing it!  Jeremiah had a hard time keeping pacifiers in his mouth when he was little, and it was amazing how far he could spit on across the room!  It would roll under the couch, in the corner of the crib, etc. and it wasn’t fun retrieving it.  Not to mention, some would just disappear for good!  The WubbaNubs stay right on the baby’s chest, so even if they are spit out, they are easy to return, and they don’t get dirty from the floor.  Not to mention, it made an adorable snuggle toy for Jeremiah. I ended up buying three of the WubbaNubs (one for upstairs, one for downstairs, and one for the diaper bag), and we never lost one the entire year and a half Jeremiah used them!  One did end up having the pacifier tear off of the animal, but that was because Daddy and Jeremiah were playing tug-o-war with it too many times.  Haha!

These quickly became the only pacifier we would use, and they came everywhere with us.  When Jeremiah was older, I never had to worry about him losing his pacifier in his crib at night.  The animal kept it close by, and he was able to find it easily and fall back asleep.  That did not happen with a regular pacifier!

WASHING: Cleaning the WubbaNub was actually pretty easy.  You can hand wash the pacifier part any time you wanted with some soap and warm water.  For a better clean of the entire animal, I would just throw them in the laundry with our clothes once a week and then air dried them.  They dried very quickly (they were only barely damp after the spin cycle in the washing machine), so Jeremiah didn’t have to go long without one.

WEANING:   I decided to wean Jeremiah off his pacifier when he was about 18 months old.  A few months before, we started limiting the WubbaNub to only naps and night time.  I waited until after all the holiday travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas was over before even attempting it.  After reading many different moms’ stories about weaning off pacifiers, I decided that cold turkey was probably not the best method for Jeremiah’s personality.

Instead, I took the giraffe Wubbanub that had the pacifier torn off, and attached another Soothie pacifier to it with a pacifier clip (I couldn’t bring myself to cut up a perfectly good one).  Every couple of days, I would cut a tiny bit off the end of the pacifier.  This started with a tiny hole, then slowly got larger and larger.  Finally, the nipple was completely cut off, leaving just the main ring behind. IMG_2709 I have to admit, Jeremiah still sleeps with this in his crib all the time.  He likes to chew on the ring (he didn’t get his first tooth until after he turned one!), so I don’t mind having it in there with him.  But, he isn’t using it to suck on anymore, and we didn’t have any cry-it-out nights or naps!  For him, that was a success!

What about you?  Do you have any pacifier weaning advice you’ve found that worked for your little one?

Check out my entire list of Sleeping/Soothing Baby Essentials!

This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!

My Five Most-Pinned Baby Items

I started a Pinterest page as I was baby gear shopping for Jeremiah just about two years ago.  It was a great way to see recommended items (by friends and Amazon reviews) and a way to keep track of the best places to shop for it all.

Since I started my board, I noticed that a few of the items I put on there get re-pinned VERY frequently, so I thought I’d share some of my most popular pins with you today!

Coming in at number five: Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump .  This is a great pump, and I love that it fits with Dr. Brown’s Bottles.  I definitely got my money’s worth out of this purchase, and the good news is, many insurance companies will completely cover the cost of a breast pump now!  Just make sure you check with your insurance before you buy one!

Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat was another popular pin on my board.  This seat is well-known for being easy to install, and we have been very pleased with it!  It is also very easy to buckle, and clicks in place so you know it’s attached to the base properly.  I’m also a big fan of Chicco’s Liteway Plus Stroller, because the car seat can attach to this compact stroller…making errand running easier!

Going on JD's first walk in his Chicco KeyFit car seat & Liteway Plus stroller.

Going on JD’s first walk in his Chicco KeyFit car seat & Liteway Plus stroller.

The third most popular pin is the Lunch Break Thermal from Thirty One.  The idea behind this thermal, is that it is a cute (and personalized) way to carry your breast pump.  Creative idea, isn’t it?  🙂

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 11.13.46 PMOk, my second most popular pin (with over 170 pins!) is the Total Baby App.  This app does it all!  ITotal Baby Icont can keep track of everything from breastfeeding, diaper changes, baths, doctor’s appointments, sleeping habits, and more.  I used this app daily for the first year of Jeremiah’s life, and I still use it to update milestones and doctor’s appointments.  When you are sleep-deprived, there is very little you can remember, but this does it all for you.  It can even automatically set an alarm so you know when your next feeding should be.  Seriously, every new mom needs this app!

And finally, number one (with 220 pins): Sensible Lines Milk Freezer Tray .  These are a wonderful way to freeze and store extra milk.  The best thing about them, is that milk is frozen in one ounce increments, so you only thaw what you need.  AND, the frozen milk sticks can fit inside the mouth of a bottle, so you don’t need to thaw them first and risk a leak!  After pumping, I would freeze the milk, then transfer it into quart-sized freezer Ziploc bags.  When I was ready to use it, I just put the amount I needed into the bottle, then used the bottle warmer to heat it up.  Easy.

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my most popular pins!  If you’d like to see my entire board, click here.  What other items should I pin on my Baby Stuff board?  Leave me a comment!  🙂

This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!

Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Review

When we were expecting Jeremiah, I asked some of my veteran mom friends to share their top baby must-haves.  My cousin, Meghan was the one who introduced me to the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, and I am indebted to her for that recommendation!

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The Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is a small hammock-like cradle that can fold up.  The secret to success is the inclined seat, so babies are not sleeping flat on their backs.  This is huge, because many babies have reflux when they are brand new, and laying down flat can aggravate it.  Jeremiah was no exception, and this is where he slept at night when I would feed him and lay him right back down to sleep.  (During the day, he would be awake after eating, so it gave his milk time to settle before I’d put him down for a nap.)

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Another great feature is the cozy sides.  The sleeper snuggles babies in nice and cozy…another key to getting better sleep for Jeremiah.  The sides are mesh, so no need to fear them not getting enough air.  Jeremiah did seem to sleep longer snuggled up in the Rock ‘n Play than he did in his crib, so I’d put him in it at night when I REALLY needed a few hours of consecutive sleep!

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The Rock ‘n Play folds up nicely.  This was great for taking to a friend’s house for the evening so Jeremiah could nap, or on longer trips to visit family.  It is MUCH smaller and easier to carry than a Pack ‘n Play, so this was our go-to travel bed until Jeremiah outgrew it at six months when he could roll over.

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Cleaning the Rock ‘n Play was pretty easy.  The cover comes off and is machine washable (great for those unavoidable blowout diapers).  We have an older version of the Rock ‘n Play that did have issues with moisture being trapped between the cover and the base causing mold to grow.  Fisher Price did address this issue with newer models and gives directions on how to clean older models.  If you buy a used one, it is good to check under the cover on a regular basis just to make sure it is clean.

When reading reviews on Amazon, some parents complained the Rock ‘n Play caused their child to have a flat head.  While I won’t say those claims are true or false, I do see how the design of the Rock ‘n Play does have the baby lay more on the back of their head instead of one side or the other.  Personally, I had Jeremiah sleep in his crib or Pack ‘n Play for naps to make sure he slept on different sides of his head and only used the Rock ‘n Play for nights when he needed to sleep at an incline.  As with all baby gear, it’s good for parents to be aware of potential issues and use their own judgement on what is best for their baby.

I found my Rock ‘n Play Sleeper used on Craigslist, but they are also common to find at consignment and garage sales.  You can also buy or register for a new Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper here on Amazon.

I would 100% recommend parents get a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper for their little one.  Not only is it easy to transport, but it also seems to help babies sleep more comfortably for longer periods of time.  Sure, it’s not a long-term investment like a crib, but it definitely makes getting sleep in those early days a possibility when you need it most!

Want to see my other bed time baby essentials?  Check out my Sleeping/Soothing Essentials list here!

Any links to Amazon are affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!

Bath Time/Health Care Baby Essentials

Be prepared!  Some great advice a friend gave me while I was pregnant was to get a variety of medicines/health care items BEFORE you need them.  Inevitably, your baby will need them at times when buying them at the store is inconvenient if not impossible.  She got a baby health care kit a friend put together for her, and said it was SO helpful. I’m also including baby bath items on this list because you will end up using a lot of it together.  Bath time can be a little intimidating at first, but will soon become a favorite activity for you and your little one.  It was our “main event” of the day this last winter when going outside wasn’t possible.

The Essentials:

  • Baby Wash
    – Even if you don’t register for this, you will probably get it as a gift.  I got a few different sized bottles and found it really handy to have the smaller ones for traveling.
  • Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
    – this is a lot better than the typical lotion you see in the baby section.  My pediatrician recommended it to me because lotions can dry out the skin, while Eucerin and Aquaphor will not.  So skip the Johnson’s Baby Lotion and register for this!  Note: This is now my go-to diaper rash cream.  It works better than Buttpaste and Desitin!
  • Hooded Towels
    – You only need about three total.  The hooded ones are so nice to have, it’s definitely worth it.  Some of my friends have made their own using tutorials like this from Pinterest.  But, if you’re not crafty, you can also register for a few.  🙂
  • Piyo Piyo Baby Nail Scissors
    – Trimming baby nails is maybe the most challenging part of taking care of your baby’s health needs…and it seems like you need to do it daily!  Teeny, tiny fingers and hands and legs that constant move can make it quite difficult.  But these nail scissors are definitely the best for the job.  It’s easy to see where you are cutting so you don’t accidentally trim a finger tip instead of the nail.  You can also turn them either direction, so you can cut nails from a variety of angles – something that I’ve found very helpful!
  • Baby Tylenol (and/or Ibuprofen)
    – This is really good to have around for helping deal with fevers.   You never know when you’ll need it, so keep it handy.  Talk with your pediatrician to make sure you give your baby the correct dosage for their age/weight.
  • Little Remedies Tummys Gripe Water
    – Some parents have found this very helpful for colic/gas relief.  We didn’t use it a lot, but it was handy for the occasional fussiness that wasn’t fixed by anything else.
  • NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspiratornosefrida
    – This sounds way more gross than it really is.  So many of my friends started using this and said they will never go back to the bulb snotsucker again, and I agree!  It is very easy to use and effective…and the snot never gets close to you.  The thing I like the most about it (other than how great it works), is that you can take it apart and clean it – something you can’t do with the bulb snotsucker you get at the hospital.
  • Braun Forehead Thermometer
    – While it’s likely you already have a thermometer at home, you may want to consider getting one specifically for your baby.  You want one that is quick and easy to use.  Holding a regular thermometer under the armpit of your fussy baby for 2-3 minutes is not an ideal situation.
  • Vicks BabyRub Soothing Ointment
    – Fortunately for us, Jeremiah went a LONG time before he ever got really sick.  But we did put it to use a few months ago when he was suffering from congestion and it was so nice to rub on his little chest and back to help give him some relief.
  • Baby Washcloths
    – You will use these for more than just bath time.  I got a bunch from my baby shower and I’m very glad I kept all three sets.  You can use them for wiping hands and faces after meals, runny noses, or cleaning up spills or other bodily fluids.  🙂

Very Nice to Have, But Not Essential:

  • Easy Kneeler
    – We didn’t have one of these for a long time, but we got one as a late baby gift and LOVE it!  It’s so much nicer on your knees during bath time, and can hold washcloths, etc. in it.
  • Blooming Baby Bathblooming-bath-baby-bath-yellow
    – There are a lot of different options for bath tubs you could get.  Many friends recommended this one because it is so easy to store between baths, it fits easily in your sink so you’re not using a lot of water, and it’s comfortable for babies to sit in.

Well, there you have it…all my favorite bath and health care products!  If you’d like my complete list of baby items you’ll need, you can download it here for FREE: Baby Registry List. This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!

Sleeping/Soothing Baby Essentials

ImageSleep…what is that?  That’s how I felt the first few months of Jeremiah’s life.  Oh, what I would give for just a few precious hours of consecutive sleep!  I want to know: how do babies KNOW the moment your head hits the pillow or you step into the shower?  You could stay awake for hours watching them sleep, but as soon as you take a minute for yourself, they are wide awake wanting you again!

The good news is…it doesn’t last forever.  🙂  Jeremiah has been sleeping through the night (mostly) since he was six months old and could roll himself over and grab his paci.  Thank goodness!  In the meantime, we did whatever we could to get him to sleep as long as possible (and healthy, since he had trouble gaining weight the first month of his life).  Here are my favorite sleeping/soothing baby items that my mommy friends recommended I get when I was making my baby registry:

The Essentials: (I already talked about these in an earlier post, but they are worth mentioning again!)

  • HALO SleepSack (get two in each size, cotton for summer or fleece for winter)
View More: http://jackiecooperphoto.pass.us/jeremiahanders

Aden & Anias Swaddle Blanket Photo by Jackie Cooper Photo

Very Nice To Have, But Not Essential:

Nice To Have:

I’ll spend the next few posts with in-depth reviews of these items, but this should get your baby registry list off to a great start!

Click here for a FREE Download of my Baby Registry List.

This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!

Top Ten (Not Obvious) Baby Essentials for the First Year

list1There are the obvious baby essentials (like a car seat, pack-n-play, or swing), but what are the other things that really helped us all survive that first year of a baby’s life?  That’s what I’d like to share with you today.  I’ll do a short review/explanation of each item, but check back for more in-depth reviews in the future!

1. Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper – We used this for the first six months of Jeremiah’s life!  He had reflux, so laying flat after eating was not a good thing for him.  Thanks to this sleeper, I could nurse him and put him right back to bed during the night.  He loved it and used it until he was rolling over (and too big to fit!).

2. WubbaNub – We got a bunch of pacifiers as baby gifts, but really only needed a couple of these.  The Wubbanubs are adorable pacifiers with a small stuff toy attached.  They keep the pacifier from flying across the room when Jeremiah spits them out, they are easy for him to locate in his crib at night, and they hold his pacifier within reach.  Not to mention they make fun toys to play with when he wakes up from a nap!

3. HALO SleepSack – I thought these looked ridiculous, but boy do they make swaddling a new baby easy!  This was the only way Jeremiah slept for the first six months of his life.  They promote safe sleeping by not having loose blankets or clothing.  Sleep Sacks come in both cotton (for summer) and fleece (for winter).  You definitely want a few in each size so you have an extra if one needs to be washed.

4. The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD – Our cousins made us watch this video when they found out we were expecting.  I fondly refer to Dr. Karp as the “Baby Whisperer” and with his advice, you can become one too!

5. Cloth Diapers – I was a cloth diaper skeptic, until a friend took me to a local cloth diaper store and they showed me how easy cloth diapering could be.  Now I’m hooked!  I haven’t spent money on diapers since Jeremiah was six months old, and my husband is a fan as well.  You will see MANY posts about these in the future, and I hope you see the benefits of them like I did.

6. Dohm-Sound Conditioner – It all started with an app called “Relax Melodies.”  It worked like magic getting Jeremiah to sleep from the time he was first born.  But for home, this works WONDERS!  It cancels out almost all sounds and provides a nice, soothing environment for Jeremiah to sleep.  Yes, I could use a small fan (we did that, but the fan died after a month), but this is better because you don’t have to worry about drafts in the baby’s room…and it’s a lot easier to take with you on trips!

7. Sensible Lines Milk Trays – These simple freezer trays freeze milk in one ounce increments.  This is great because you NEVER have to deal with bags that leak (or buy breastmilk bags for that matter), and you only thaw out what you need.

8. Piyo Piyo Baby Nail Scissors – Clipping a baby’s nails can be stressful.  And with Jeremiah hitting the one year mark pretty soon, I can assure you that it doesn’t necessarily get easier as babies get older.  These little scissors are awesome and can make the task less daunting.

9. Nosefrida The Snotsucker – This is the replacement for the bulb “snot suckers” they use in the hospital.  It may seem a little gross, but trust me, this is awesome!  My favorite thing is that not only does it do an amazing job of clearing little noses, but it also comes apart for easy cleaning.  That is something the bulbs can’t do!

10. On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep – I know parts of this book may be controversial in some circles, but honestly, this book may as well be called “The Owner’s Manual for your Baby.”  Seriously, it gives first-time parents very clear guidelines on what to expect and how to help your baby eat and sleep well.  I read it all before JD was born, then used it as a daily reference tool throughout the first year as I dealt with different parenting questions that came up.

Well, there it is!  Not the first things you’d think of to add to your baby registry, but definitely ones we couldn’t live without.  Want a teaser to see what’s to come in future posts?  Follow my Pinterest page to see all my baby recommendations and more! Click here for a FREE download of my Baby Registry List! This blog post may contain affiliate links (all opinions and reviews are still 100% my own).  If you purchase through them, you’ll be supporting The List Mama – Thanks!