What’s in my Hospital Bag?

What to Pack in your Hospital Bag

 

Over the last few weeks I’ve started packing up my bag for the hospital. The one that will sit by the front door until, what I can only assume, will be a middle-of-the-night, mad-dash, to our local baby and mommy hospital. I’ve been making lists and researching what other moms pack and I feel like I have just about everything I’ll need (and then some).

Image   So for starters we’ve got this massive body bag my husband received his fire fighting gear in for work. Don’t worry, no smoke & sweat filled fire fighting uniforms have ever touched the inside of this bag! Inside this bag we can fit my stuff, baby’s stuff, and even a few things for daddy (if he’s lucky). Image My “Stuff”: Majority of the things I’ve packed for myself are for AFTER the baby is born. I’m assuming I’ll be in a state of ill-repair.

  • Adult pull-ups. (Lets not beat around the bush, shall we? *Bonus points for them being mauve!*)
  • My make-up and shower stuff (Because I’m expected to look good immediately after the watermelon has been birthed)
  • Medela Lanolin nipple cream (Safe for baby to ingest)
  • Hand sanitizer (Hospitals are dirty)
  • Tooth paste (No one needs to smell my labor breath!)
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
  • Dove Deodorant (For obvious reasons! Do you know how many calories are burnt in labor?)
  • TWO toothbrushes (One for hubby! I don’t need another reason to yell at him during labor)
  • Reusable NUK breast pads (oh the joys!)
  • Joe Fresh slippers

I’ve added more items since I took this picture and I expect I’ll continue adding right up until the last moment

Have a forgotten anything?! Have I packed anything I won’t need? What was your experience! Let me know in the comments! Happy pushing!

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Cloth Diapering — “WHY!?”

Disclaimer **The following is why we are choosing to cloth diaper. In no way are we trying to bully or make anyone feel guilty for their decisions. There’s already too much of that in the parenting world as it is! We just wanted to answer that why question once and for all**

My husband and I have been questioned many times already about our decision to cloth diaper our son and I expect there will be lots more questions to come on the subject.

A couple of years ago I started reading about cloth diapering and it’s resurgence. Before 1948 when the first mass-marketed disposable diaper was released, there was no choice but to use a flour sack towel, a safety pin, and rubber pants. From what my mom has told me babies didn’t sleep through the night because they were soaking wet and covered in feces — a fantastic reason to be excited about disposable diapers.

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Shanghai Green by Charlie Banana||Teal & Lime by Funky Fluff|| Custom Galaxy by Lally’s Fabric Fluff ||Preppy lil Joey by Rumparooz||Handsome by Charlie Banana||Jubilee by Tots Bots|| Custom Anchor & Sripes by Lally’s Fabric Fluff 

But over the years, things have changed in the world of cloth diapering. When I uttered the words “cloth diapers” to my mom, the first thing she said was “good luck”. But with the new styles on the market today, you don’t need luck. You also don’t need to haul them down the river side and bang them against rocks. Hallelujah for the twenty-first century!

There are actually a couple of reasons for why we’ve decided to embrace cloth in our lives. The first and most important reason is our son’s health. I can’t knowingly strap a plastic bag to my sons genitals and let him stew in a toxic waste dump for hours on end. Families love that disposable diapers can last all night and they don’t have to change their child. I can get on board with a full nights sleep, believe me! But if I had a choice (which I do), I also wouldn’t want to lay in my own urine-soaked filth so out of respect for my child, I will gladly wake up and change him if he needs to be changed. That being said, the fabrics used in cloth diapering have made leaps and bounds over the years and are super absorbent and are able to make it through the night. Nowadays it’s common to find diaper inserts made out of hemp, micro terry, bamboo and fleece just to name a few.

The second reason is a huge plus: $AVINGS! Who doesn’t wish they could save an extra $100 a month on something that just gets thrown out anyhow. I personally HATE throwing things out. I’m a quality vs quantity type of person and would rather spend $25 on one reusable diaper than $25 on a package of diapers that end up being thrown out. So far we’ve spent in the neighbourhood of $400 getting set up to cloth diaper. The initial up-front cost can be a huge barrier to getting started with cloth diapering and that’s completely understandable. Organizations like Cloth for a Cause take used diapers, wash and replace elastics, and help families in need get started with cloth diapering. Once you set a family up, the savings that follows can be a real gift.

There’s also cloth companies like Alva and THX that sell diapers that have been made in China (sometimes nicknamed “China cheapies”) and shipped to Canada at a fraction of the cost of some of the bigger, well-known, cloth companies that are strictly made in Canada, USA, or the UK. There’s a whole discussion around whether or not it’s ethical to support these foreign companies, but that’s for another day. When you’re just starting out in the cloth world and don’t know whether or not it’s for your family, these “China cheapies” can be a great option. Also try Kijiji and search online for a local Cloth Diaper group where you’ll be sure to find fellow mom’s and dad’s selling and swapping diapers at a fraction of the price of new. Majority of our diapers were pre-loved by other local moms. As soon as they came to our home, they were put in the wash to get rid of any “cooties”. *If you are buying pre-loved, make sure you take extra care to get rid of any yeast infections living in the diaper*.

Below is a cost breakdown done by Sweet Bottoms Baby.

Cost-Savings

Another reason why we are planning to cloth diaper our kids is to help the environment. Remember those first disposable diapers that were mass produced in 1948? Well they aren’t expected to decompose until the year 2500 and even then, we won’t be around to say for sure that they have in fact decomposed. That’s a whole lot of poopy diapers in our landfills! I mentioned earlier that I hate throwing things away. Garbage of any kind really drives me nuts and if I can prevent more garbage from winding up in landfills just by switching to reusable diapers, then that’s a win for me!

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering “What about all that water and electricity you’ll use by washing diapers every day!”

Check out these info graphics by Gro-Via that were used for Earth Day to show the amount of water used to wash cloth vs producing a disposable:

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I don’t know the validity of this statement but I’ve heard one flush of the toilet uses the same amount of water it would take to do a load of diapers in the wash. When it comes to the use of electricity, we have a High Efficiency washer and dryer, we wash on cold (according to Gro-Via, 90% of the energy used by your washer is to heat the water), and we hang to dry. We’ll already be doing lots more laundry for our new little person so what’s 10 or so more diapers a day?

So that answers the all important why question. Once we are elbow deep in dirty cloth diapers, I’ll answer the how!

Baby Gear – Saving Money

I think we can all agree money and finances are a huge stress for most people! I’ve talked before on the blog about how I save and what I use to keep my finances on track and in the black.

Now it’s not huge surprise babies are not cheap! They come with a lot ofupfront costs which can be a little overwhelming if you’re unprepared. Nine months seems to just fly right by and before you know it, baby has arrived.

Now before we decided to get pregnant, we saved up quite a bit and used a lot of the money people gave us as wedding gifts to start saving for baby expenses, which we both knew weren’t too far down the road.

Babies grow quickly, this is a fact. Therefore they outgrow clothing and equipment FAST. When looking at baby stuff, we asked ourselves how long we realistically saw a piece being used for. Then we would weigh the price. For example there’s a baby swing we fell in love with because it’s gorgeous, it looks nice, and did I mention it’s pretty? But realistically the baby will only be in it for a few short months and with a price tag of $300, we couldn’t justify it.

During this pregnancy journey I started joining Mommy Buy Sell Trade groups on Facebook and I learned pretty quickly that when you have nice stuff and keep it in working order, you can turn around and sell it for a decent price. But further to that, you can find amazing deals on stuff you otherwise wouldn’t get because of the cost.

I’ve compiled a list of all the baby stuff I’ve managed to buy used:

Phil & Ted Navigator Stroller with second seat attachment, sun cover, & rain cover ….$735 new….used for $350 (USED TWICE!, I MAY ADD)

Charlie Banana/Bum Genius/Tots Bots Cloth Diapers…$500 new…used for $250

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Bumbo with tray…$100 new…used for $30

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Babies R Us Glider Chair…$549 new…used for $250

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Motorola WIFI baby video monitor…$250 new…used for $125 (NEVER OUT OF THE BOX)

Skip Hop Diaper Bag $60 new….used for $30

Another huge expense is all the tiny clothes! Who knew such tiny things could cost so much money! But again, they grow out of them so quickly that it can be so hard to justify spending $30 on an outfit a child will hopefully wear once. The thing about clothes is that people are more than willing to pass on their used clothing. So many of our friends have been such saints and offered us piles of clothes for our little guy. It warms my heart to see such generosity! I can’t wait to return the favour and pass these wonderful memory-filled pieces onto the next momma who needs them!

But there are places we refuse to skimp financially. Where safety is our one and only concern, all bets are off. When it comes to our sons car seat, crib, and mattress, I refuse to buy used for obvious reasons. But that being said we still managed to get what we wanted in terms of safety for a decent price!

It does take research and lot of hunting on kijiji and other places to score some good deals for kids stuff but it is so worth it!

In closing, there’s three main tips to follow:

START EARLY!

As soon as you know you’re pregnant, start browsing. Figure out what you want and what will make sense for your life style. Although you may not know the gender, there are plenty of items that you can get in gender neutral colours and will then last you for future kids or will sell easier when you’re done with them because buyers won’t be restricted by gendered colours.

LOOK OFTEN!

Always be browsing kijiji and Facebook groups because the good stuff moves quickly!

BE OK WITH USED!

Especially when it comes to clothes! Sure, they get pooped in and puked on but that’s what washing machines are for. Plus majority of items under 12 months are only worn a few times before they are outgrown. Also, most items stay in relatively good condition because little ones aren’t playing too hard yet!

RE-SELL YOUR BABY GEAR ASAP!

A lot of people ask me if I plan to save stuff for future kiddies and I originally thought I would but a lot of the things I bought used, I plan to sell right away and try and get back what I paid. The main reason for this is styles change, technology gets better, and recalls happen. When its time for baby number 2, all the latest and greatest will be available second hand just like the stuff we found this time around! If we put our gear away and in storage and wait a few years before we go to use it again or go to sell it, it won’t be worth as much. All the money from re-sale will go BACK into the babies savings account for the next little rug rat that comes into our lives. In stead of collecting dust, it’s collecting interest. 

I hope some of these tips inspire you to get thrifty wit’ it! Do you have any tips or shopping secrets to share? Comment below!

HAPPY BABY GEAR SHOPPING

Dear plum sized baby

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Dear baby,

When I first found out you were leeching life off of me, you were the size of a poppy seed and now you are a plum! Your hands are now big enough to hold and your face is looking more life-like every day. I find every step of your development so fascinating. For the amount of manual labour going on inside of me, I sure don’t notice you very often. Actually, let’s be clear… The last three months I knew you were there every time I hung my head over the toilet, dry heaving away or every time I felt I was “so hungry I could puke”. But other than the odd cramp, you’re a pretty quiet house guest.

Now I feel better. I feel happy and healthy again. Hurrah for the second trimester! What’s really got me excited right now is feeling those little legs and arms thrashing around. For a while it will be just between you and me. I reckon we will share a quite a few things that are just between you and me. I feel like we already have a bond.

Just like I was for my mom, you little wee one are my source of inspiration. You have already made me a better person than I ever could have imagined. Baby, because I wanted you to have a happy and healthy mommy, I got help. I knew several years ago you were a not so distant dream and I wanted to heal my brain so I could soak you in and love every minute of our life together. You make me realize how precious life is….how fragile we are.

I already feel like I’ve made a huge mistake as a mother. In order for me to function and not be a complete emotional wreck for these nine months, I had to continue with my medication. I’m only on .5 mg a day and my doctor says she’s delivered hundreds of babies who’s moms were on much higher doses and the baby was perfectly happy and healthy… But I can’t help but worry. Like I said, you’re so fragile. Whenever I sense a possible threat, I play my fight song in my head and get all maternal.

So baby, you see I’ve weighed my options and you having a mom that can’t function is not in the cards for us. Happy moms make happy babies and I can’t wait to see your tiny little smile and hear that infectious little laugh.

Love from an extremely happy little momma