Friday, March 25, 2016

Baby Registry: Other and FREE PRINTABLES

We're here! We've reached the end of the baby registry series! Ya-hoo! A few remaining items that I grouped as "others" and then you'll find a fabulous printable... or two!

OTHER NEED IT'S:
1) MEMORY BOOK: Ask me if my book is filled out. jk, don't. The answer is not good. But maybe you'll be awesome sauce and be on top of it. If so, I really liked this Carter's one (pictured) that I found at Babies R Us but ended up purchasing on Amazon. There's also a calendar version which I wish I would've gone with - not as durable as a book but with it hanging on the wall I think I would've been better about jotting things down as they happened!

2) ROCK-N-PLAY: THE BEST. Being a BabyWise mama I didn't want to get a swing mostly because I didn't want to rely on it to keep Oliver soothed but also, they're so dang big! Someone lent us a rock-n-play and I loved it. It was extremely easy to move from room to room and folds up. We used it often when we ate dinner. We could eat and have Oliver right next to us and rock him with our foot if he got fussy. The one we borrowed wasn't electronic but it looks like most of them are, now. Oliver also took naps in it when he was newborn if we were in the room and could keep an eye on him. This definitely makes the top 5 list for me. ...I should probably actually make a top 5 list before I throw out such statements but I think it stands here. 

3) PACK-N-PLAY: Necessary? No. Helpful if you're traveling, yes. Also helpful if you want a sleeping or changing station in another room. We got the basic pack-n-play without the additional attachments (changing station, etc). We knew we would only be using it for traveling. The Graco one works perfectly fine - it's not like it needs a whole lot. Sometimes the buttons on the side to collapse it get a little stuck and I have to really push but it doesn't take much to get it unstuck. It's slightly annoying but not a big deal... we don't use it enough for it to really matter.  

4) LOVEY: Oliver didn't go for this but I know other babies love theirs! Basically a small stuffed animal holding a little blanket. And then if your kid loves it - get more! QUICK! Before they run out! And if you're traveling with it, bring another! This is serious business, folks. 

5) TOYS: You don't need an entire toy box worth. Three will be enough. Then when they get older you can expand their horizons. ;) Technically, Sophie the Giraffe (pictured above) is not a toy - she's meant for teething. Think, doggy toy, and basically, that's Sophie. Soft, squishy and, yes, squeaky. Another thing that Oliver didn't take to but kiddos love these things. Apparently my child likes to break the mold. Something soft is good. That ball thing pictured above is good, too. Easy to grasp, colorful and rattles.

6) SAFETY GATES, ETC: You may want to wait until you'll actually use the baby proofing stuff to get it. We only have two safety items - a gate and outlet covers. So that's all I can speak to. As far as gates go - get one like the one above that you can walk through. I'm not sure of the brand we have - it's second hand. Whatever you get, make sure it extends wide enough to fit your door frames. We also have outlet covers that allow for you to cover plugged in items which we like. Doesn't work for larger than standard plugs (like our Mac charger) but otherwise it's great! We also have a power strip cover and it's great! The piece that covers the power switch doesn't latch as well as I'd like and Oliver can sometimes get to it but 90% of the time his attention stays away now that it's covered up. And obviously you probably need the ones that plug directly into the outlet - we live in a 115 year old house and all the outlets are high up so Ollie can't get to them.

OPTIONAL:
  • Infant Swing: Too big for me and I didn't want to end up relying on it for soothing and naps. We did decide that we would get a used one if Oliver ended up being colicky. 
  • Bouncy Seat: I would pick the rock n play over this so I stuck it in with the "optionals." I think one or other will do ya.
  • Jumper: Like the ones that hang from your door frame. You shouldn't let your kiddo bounce for long periods in them but it definitely helped me out many times while I got dressed and ready for the day and he bounced around like a happy little dude. (I can't recall the recommended time limit on these so check that our for yourselves.)
  • Bumbo Seat: We did get a seat by Mamas & Papas for Oliver eventually... well, his grandma got it. If she hadn't, I don't know if we would have bothered. It was definitely helpful though! I used it the most when preparing dinner - Oliver could sit with me in the kitchen and play on the activity tray. Before we got the seat, we would use the nursing pillow for Oliver to sit up against and that worked well if I was paying attention to him but not for things like prepping dinner. 
  • Books: More like a "later" than an "optional." People will buy you books! At my shower the guests brought books with a note (usually to Oliver) written inside. I loved this. I love reading a book to Oliver and remembering the special people in our lives. 
POINTLESS:
  • Stationary Entertainer: So.... many, many, many wouldn't agree with me here. We did well without it, Oliver got along fine and he was walking shortly after his 1-year birthday. 
THE END!
Woo-hoo. 
I don't know about you but I'm feeling pretty great about completing this series. 

Except not really "the end" because you need a printable list! Here ya go. :)


And here's much more involved list with additional spaces to write in your own items. It also includes quantity, registered store, received, gift giver and thank you card columns. This is similar to the list I used when registering. I liked having everything in one place. 


Hope you enjoyed this series and find the printables helpful! If this is your first stop in - take a look back at the other posts in my Baby Registry series below! 


Monday, March 21, 2016

Baby Registry: Baby Care

We're finishing up this series on my next post with a few "Others" and then your printable baby registry checklist! (Which I promise will come much sooner!!)  I'll also be giving you an expanded list that has places for where you registered for each item and who got you the gift! I used the expanded one when registering and to keep track of what we had left to buy. It's also fun to look back on that filled in sheet and see who got little O what.

So let's get on it. Today we have "Baby Care" items.

BABY CARE NEED IT'S:

1) INFANT TUB/SEAT: Fab and I opted for the light blue seat pictured above. I used it in the sink when he was itty bitty and then as he grew I put it at the end of the tub and I showered while he sat in it. I kept a warm wash cloth over him to keep him warm. This made my shower time SO much easier. I wasn't forced to shower while he napped or keep him outside the tub where I might have to get him while dripping wet. Once I was showered I would clean him with the washcloth then pick him up to rinse him off, put him back in the seat to dry off myself then get him out. The seat also folds up so it didn't take up a ton of space like the typical infant tubs do. 

2) SHAMPOO, BODY WASH, LOTION: I don't have too much opinion on what's best but someone did get us a Mustela set which contained the Newborn Foam Shampoo. It's supposed to help with cradle cap. Oliver never had any issues with cradle crap. We did like the Aveeno wash and lotion that we got. I'd err on the side of the sensitive stuff just in case. Doesn't hurt.

3)WASH CLOTHS & HOODED TOWELS: Ok, so I wouldn't say these are absolutely necessary but it is helpful to have baby sized ones! Regular wash clothes are pretty bulky for their little bodies. I've tried both and the infant ones are much better. For the towels - get terry cloth towels, not the microfiber ones. The microfiber ones are annoying.

4) BRUSH & COMB

5) NAIL CLIPPERS (& NAIL FILE?): I've read a lot of people who recommend the nail file but I just can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be to file those little bitty nails. I tried. It wasn't easy. It was dumb. I'm in the clippers camp. Go for the clippers. Most likely you will end up getting some kind of kit with these things and it'll come with both, anyway. When Oliver was teeny I bit his fingernails off... gross? eh. Whatever. You'll do a lot more gross things after you have a kid. ;) Much easier than attempting filing or clippers.

6) WUBBANUB: We LOVE our wubbanub. Last month Oliver ripped the pacifier off his. Not only are these things super cute they are also easy for your little one to get back in their mouth if they drop the pacifier. When Ollie was smaller and working on his napping, we would prop the Wubbanub up next to him, in his mouth, and it would actually stay in his mouth. If it was just a regular pacifier, it would've definitely fallen out of his mouth.

7) THERMOMETER: Take the regular thermometers, to use rectally, from the hospital. They toss them after you leave anyway. And then write "rectal" on it so you don't stick that thing in your mouth! Ew. For a quick temp read we have the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer - you swipe it across their forehead. We like it a lot. No complaints.

1) NOSEFRIDA: This thing is UH-MAZE-ING. Seriously. It's a replacement for the bulb syringe boogie sucker. NoseFrida is 10x better. 1000000x better. Is it slightly gross... eh, maybe... but not really. It's mostly just awesome. 

2) MEDICINE: Infant Tylenol for any fevers or bad teething. Gripe Water for a gassy belly. 

3) VITAMIN D DROPS: Why didn't anyone tell me to get this before Oliver came? Idk. Silly, people. You'll need to give your little one a Vitamin D supplement for their first year. The first bottle we got required a 1mL dose. Then we got these drops and loved them - mush easier than a full mL. 

4) DIAPERS & WIPES: We cloth diaper over here so I'm not going to give "best" recommendation here. But you'll need them - a LOT of them. Take all the diapers from your hospital room home with you, too. Since you don't know for sure how big your baby will be, you should start small on the newborn size diapers. Go crazy with the wipes though! ;)

5) DIAPER CREAM & AQUAPHOR: You can use Aquaphor for a lot more than just the bum but it does make a a great protectant on their bum, too. 

6) DIAPER PAIL & LINERS: Options here - Small or Big. Small diaper pail that you empty more frequently or huge diaper pail that holds a bunch and smells pretty bad when you take it out. Diaper Specific container or Regular Trash Can. We use a regular trash can, like the gray one pictured above by Simple Human, since we cloth diaper. It keeps the odors in completely but our diapers also only sit for 3 days before they get washed. They have a smaller trash can, too. 

7) WET BAGS: These are wonderful to have when you're out and about with dirty diapers or clothes or whatever mess comes your way. Definitely more needed if you are cloth diapering but I'd get at least one small and one medium even if I wasn't cloth diapering. We have some small ones from Planet Wise that are good but pricier. I really like these Damero's that I recently got a medium and small of. They have two zipper pockets which is great for putting clothes in one and a diaper in another, if needed. 

OPTIONAL:
  • A lot of pacifiers + clips: You'll get one from the hospital plus you have a wubbanub! Unless you plan to use the pacifier a lot, then maybe you'll need to get a few. We tried not to use it too much. You can always get more if you find that your baby needs additional soothing. 
  • Bath Faucet Cover
  • Bath Tub Kneeler: A little comfy place to kneel on when bathing your baby. Since I showered with Oliver mostly, we didn't get this. 
  • Portable Changing Pad: We always used a receiving blanket to lay Oliver down on. I have friends who love their portable changing pads though! For me, it was just another thing, since I could just use a receiving blanket. Just don't wipe your babies mouth with the same cloth. ;)
  • Tub Toys: So this is more like a "later" item. You can register for it now or get some on your own later. Your little one won't use these for a long while so I'd recommend just waiting. 

POINTLESS:
  • Anal Thermometer: Take the hospital one home. 
  • Nasal Bulb Syringe: Not when you have the amazing NoseFrida! Plus, those things get gross and moldy inside! Ew.
  • Full Infant Tub: Talked about this up there already. Matter of preference, I guess.
  • Travel Wipes Holder: uh, annoying. Just carry a full thing of wipes in the bag. These little things carry like 10 wipes and they all stick together. Annoying. Throwing a full travel or refillable pack in your bag is much easier all around.
I'll be back in a few days (yes, really a few days... not a few weeks!) with the final Baby Registry post! Hope you're enjoying things so far!

Let me know what your "Need It" and "Pointless" baby care items are! I want to hear from you!




Check out the other posts in my "Baby Registry" series!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Baby Registry: Feeding

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14697849/?claim=4dqnavqn7vd">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
So this is my second time writing this blog post... Thank you, blogger.

Part 5 of 7. Let's chat about what you'll need for feeding your little one.

This list can be split into two really - half for your registry and half for you to purchase later. We registered for everything, except the sippy cups. I liked just having it all up front but some may want to wait until they'll actually be using things before getting them.

FEEDING NEED IT'S:



1) BREAST PUMP: Your insurance should cover this so give them a ring to get the deets. Then remove it from your registry! If you'll be traveling a lot you may also consider getting a hand pump on top of the electronic one. If you don't have insurance then check Craigslist and your local resale sites/groups for a used one. Often times you will find barely used pumps that you can get for free or cheap(er) and then just buy new tubing for it. 

Personally, I hated pumping but I did try to do it once in a while for when I was going to be out for a night or just for the hubs to feed O. 

2) NIPPLE CREAM: A friend got me Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter and it was great - natural, smelled delicious and did the job of keeping my breast feeding nipples not chapped. Most common is Lanolin cream which you will need to wipe off your breast before feeding - you don't have to wipe off the Earth Mama cream.

3) NURSING BRAS: The Bravado! Nursing Bra is highly recommended and it's what I used. The clips never came undone on their own and they were easy to get undone with one hand, too. My only complaint is that there was ZERO support. Which is great for comfort level but not so great for little lift. :) The removable pads included with the bra did help to add a little bit of support. 

4) NURSING COVER: Some mamas use a scarf or blanket but I preferred a nursing cover like the Bebe au Lait pictured above. Mine was a Boppy brand but basically the same. The semi-rigid neckline on this nursing cover makes it easy to position and check on your baby while they are eating It also keeps the fabric off the baby's face a little bit. 

5) BOTTLE BRUSH: Clean bottles. Get one with the small nipple cleaner as well. 

6) BOTTLES & NIPPLES: We originally only had the LifeFactory glass bottles with silicone sleeves. When Oliver was a newborn we had to supplement with formula and he didn't like the nipples on the LifeFactory bottles so we purchased a set of 3 Tommee Tippee bottles. The nipples on these are meant to more closely resemble the breast. After a few months with the Tommee Tippee's he was fine with the LifeFactory bottles. 

You'll also need to get nipples for different stages - they'll give a slower or faster flow depending on your babies age. 


7) BOTTLE DRYING RACK: We have a small square BOON drying rack and I love it. Love that it's not huge and that it's easy to clean- the green "grass" lifts out of the white tray. I am loving this long, skinny tray though and may need to get it instead for baby 2. We have two small areas of counter space on each side of our sink... anything to make it less cluttered where the dishes dry is a big plus in this house! We also got the little twig that goes with it to hang the cap & nipple pieces on. 


1) BIBS: Cloth and plastic with a pocket. I suggest around 10-12 cloth and 2-3 plastic ones w/ the pockets. The plastic ones you can just wipe down so you don't need that many of them. We have bibs with velcro but I suggest snaps. Oliver ripped the velcro ones off easily and scratched up the back of his neck in the process. I loved our terry cloth ones the most - they were easy to wipe things up with, absorbent and soft on Oliver's face. 

2) HIGH CHAIR: My mom got us a used Eddie Bauer wooden high chair that I really love the look of. I don't like that the back of the seat doesn't lean back and that it doesn't fold up. The fact that it is wood and doesn't look like a typical plastic high chair really makes up for that though. I never looked into others before having O since my mom had already gotten us one. Here's a Graco TableFit high chair I ran across while doing some research for this post that I really like- looks like a small footprint, machine washable and folds up.


3) BOWLS & SPOONS: For solids. We used the Munchkin Soft Tip Infant Spoons when we first started solids and have no complaints- good size for Oliver and has a little bit of depth to the spoon. We also got the Munchkin bowls but I like these Gerber Graduate bowls with lids, too. We've since gotten an Ikea set of plates, cups, bowl & silverware.

4) FORMULA: How much, if any at all, depends on your feeding plan. For us, the samples we received in the mail from different companies and the samples we received from the hospital were plenty until I weaned Oliver at around 10 months. (If you sign up with Enfamil and Similic and probably others, you'll receive free formula samples in the mail.) We only used formula to supplement when Oliver was newborn and not eating enough yet and once in a while if we were out and a bottle was easier than breast feeding.

5) SIPPY CUPS: There are so many! Pediatricians recommend switching from a bottle to a sippy cup by 1 year. I think we switched Oliver around 14 months or so....? I'm not really sure but it wasn't too long after his first birthday. We used soft tipped Munchkin sippy cups when we made the switch. Eventually Oliver bit through the tips of those and we switched to Nuby hard tipped cups. We've always just had two at a time and that's worked fine for us. We only use these sippy cups for milk in the morning and before bed.

We also have a Contigo water bottle w/ a straw from Target that we use for water primarily when we go out. At meal times O uses these nifty Munchkin Miracle 360 cups. A very highly recommended cup is the Thermos Foogo which also keeps liquids nice and cold - they come as a sippy cup and a bottle with a straw.

6) MUNCHIE MUG: We started out with these Munchkin Snack Catchers and UH. No thanks. Oliver was constantly pulling the lids off and spilling things everywhere. Friends of ours have this Munchie Mug and it's AWESOME. The top is fabric and it now comes with a "stay fresh lid" to use for storing snacks longer. A con is that it's a bit large so it's not going to fit into a stroller cup holder.

I read a reviewers comment recently that had a wonderful tip! There's a brand of gelato called Talenti sold in grocery stores that are the same size as the munchie mug. She interchanges the munchie mug's top onto the clean and snack filled Talenti container. Talenti Gelato is DELICIOUS, too. Win Win.

...Now I want gelato.

OPTIONAL: 
  • Baby Food Storage Containers: Depending on if you plan to make your own baby food you may or may not need these. For freezing the food in small portions I used the BEABA Silicone Trays and absolutely loved them. They are super easy to pop the food out of after freezing. Of course, we found them used. Score. We used the tray since then for a bunch of small portions of snacks when we went on a plane ride. Super win on that. Oliver loved it. 
  • Nursing Pads: I didn't need these at all since my flow wasn't super heavy. Many people need a buttload though. (Buttload? Why do people say that? Pretty gross.) Maybe start with a small box then get more, if needed. 
  • Nursing Pillow: If you read my list on what to pack for the labor/delivery hospital stay then you know my iffy relationship with this. I preferred pillow propping my arm up. Some of my friends actually brought their nursing pillow with them places... so it really just depends on you. 
  • Breast Milk Freezer Storage Bags: Will you be pumping for later use? Then get some. I think I froze all of about 20 ounces of breast milk... and I think that's a high estimate. Have I mentioned my dislike of pumping? 
  • Hands Free Pumping Bra: If you'll be pumping a lot then get one of these
  • Nipple Shield & Case: You may want this if you end up having issues with latching or just to keep your nipples from getting too sore. They are sized though so you probably want to wait until your milk comes in to get one. They sell them at Target near the bottles & breast pump stuff, as well. And apparently there are cases for them! Wish I would've known that. I used a plastic baggie.
POINTLESS:
  • Bottle Warmer: Nope. Just nope. Use a bowl of hot water.... or, the microwave.... which, yes, they say not to use because of hot spots but we just microwaved the bottle for a short 15-20 seconds to get the chill off and then made sure to shake it up a ton. But, yeah, listen to the experts, not me. ;) Either way, you don't need a bottle warmer.
  • Bottle Sterilizer: A pot of boiling water will do exactly the same thing.
  • Specialized Baby Food Maker: A food processor, blender or, my favorite, an immersion blender, will do exactly the same thing. You don't need another piece of equipment. And if you don't have any of those things and want to make your own baby food then I highly recommend going with the immersion blender. It purees so well!
Alrighty - that's all I got for now. Man, it's 8pm and I am ready for bed. We had a ridiculously loud storm last night and it had half of Boston up at 3am. No lie; it even merited a boston.com article about our lack of sleep. 

Night night.


Check out the other posts in my "Baby Registry" series!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Baby Registry: Clothing

We are some of the lucky Bostonians to get not one, but TWO, busted pipes after those sub-zero temps over the weekend. One on Monday and a new one was discovered today.  Hubs said the plumbing section at Home Depot was packed when they went on Monday and a lot of stuff was sold out.

Anywho - that's part of why I'm a bit late here. Let's chat about clothing. The quantity of clothing you need depends a lot on two things - (1) how much your baby spits up and (2) how often you'll do laundry. We have a washer & dryer in our apartment- if that wasn't the case, I would've done laundry MUCH less and therefore, gotten more clothing. I do laundry at least twice a week so I didn't need a lot. You do what works for you.

I kept this list fairly short since I don't think much is actually needed when they are newborn. Oliver lived in onesies & sleepers. Plus, you'll get clothes that you don't even register for. We also found that a few clothing items we registered for were no longer available in store when it came time for people to buy them.

CLOTHING NEED IT'S:
1) COMING HOME OUTFIT: Is it necessary this is a separate item from the others? No. Is it necessary to have a cute outfit to come home in? No. But it sure is nice and fun. :) I brought along a newborn size and a 0-3 month size outfit. Oliver wore a onesie from Target that said "New In Town" with socks and a blanket tucked around him.
Oliver's 1st day @ home with his Papi
2) ALL THE ONESIES: In the (hot) summer, they can live in these alone. In the winter, you'll use them to layer up. Either way, you'll need 'em. Get the Carter's brand, not Gerber. Gerber shrinks up a bunch.

We registered for just a 5 pack of 0-3 month short sleeved onesies to start. We received a ton as part of outfits we got and I think we supplemented with one more 5 pack after Oliver was born. Did I mention he spit up all the time? 

3) SLEEPERS / SLEEP N PLAYS / FOOTED PAJAMAS: Whatever you call them - they are perfect. Oliver basically lived in these. Easy to get on and off, easy for diaper changes and no pressure on the umbilical cord.
Our favorite little monster sleeper. :)

You may also consider getting some sleeping gowns. We had 3 or 4 of these and liked them. They are like sleepers but without legs - just a "dress." 

4) SOCKS: Preferably socks that actually stay on! These can be hard to find. Our preferences have been Osh Kosh, Carter's, Nike and some brand we found at Marshall's that I can't recall the name of. Oliver has wide little Brazilian feet so the brand that works for him could be different for you if your baby has skinny feet. I've heard Gap can be good but I hate the 2 pairs we have from there. They slip off in two seconds. 

5) SUN OR WINTER HAT: Gotta admit, we never ended up getting a sun hat for Oliver. We were extra careful in the sun though and kept him covered up. If you'll be going to the beach or be outdoors a lot (without a stroller for coverage) then you should definitely get a hat to protect your little one. We were gifted a few winter hats so we didn't have to bother getting any. You'll get a little cap at the hospital but you'll probably want something more. 
6) PANTS OR LEGGINGS: Soft ones. With or without feet. We preferred them without since Ollie was born in the summer and we could put him in a sleeper if we wanted something with feet. 

7) HOODIE: I say go for the zip-up hoodie so there's nothing extra to pull over their head. Even if your baby is coming in the summer, I recommend getting at least a light hoodie for cooler days/nights. 

8) BOOTIES: Keep those toesies warm without the pain of socks. Probably more important in the winter. I don't have either but some highly recommended ones are Zutano and Robeez

9) THE CUTE STUFF: Fun & cute pieces or outfits, of course! :) 


Our favorite stores are Gap, Old Navy, Osh Kosh, H&M and Carter's. Also get a lot of basic tees from Target. Both of the outfits above are from Carter's (pants here). Oliver was average size after about 4 months and slightly below average before that. We found that Osh Kosh, Gap and H&M run large. Gap runs VERY large. Carter's was always pretty much right on with sizing or slightly on the small side.

Also, we always shop the sales! And take advantage of the end-of-season sales to pick up some items for next season! We usually try to do this with sweaters at least since they are the most costly items.

OPTIONAL:
  • Additional sizes in each item, specifically onesies and sleepers. 
That's all for now. I don't have any pointless items except to say that you don't need to go crazy. Start small. We bought what we needed, in the right sizes, as Oliver grew and the seasons changed. 

Enjoy the fun of dressing up your little! 

If you haven't checked them out yet, take a look back at my other posts in the "Baby Registry" series, linked below!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Baby Registry: Bedding

Hi all!

It's FRIDAY! This seemed like a very long and a very short week. Yesterday, after being sick and stuck inside most of the week, I had grand plans to spend my morning with Oliver at a local shopping area... get some Starbucks followed by some browsing, let Oliver run around in the park area and give our bellies some pizza before coming home for nap time. It was going to be so good to get out. 

Alas, sometimes plans fail and you're reminded that your in-law's are coming over that night for dinner to celebrate your FIL's birthday. So instead you have to grocery shop and bake a cake which isn't really that bad (because you/I love to bake!) but then when you get to the grocery store (your 3rd stop), you realize you've lost your grocery list and you have to remember what's left. HA!

You leave thinking, "I did good." Ah, but then you are pulling out and remember - BUTTERMILK! I need buttermilk for the cake. That can't wait until after nap. So back into the grocery store you go. And your child is having a meltdown because he's exhausted.

Finally, you're home, and it's nap time (hallelujah!). But then your child decides that today is the day to take a THIRTY MINUTE nap. 

Oy. It was rough. 

Curious George to the rescue. Sometimes, mama, it's ok to let your kid watch too much TV. They will be O. K.  And sometimes, mama, you could skip making dinner and order in and that is O. K., too! I just happen to find comfort in cooking & baking so it helped me on this day.

Man, it was a day. It was ok by the end. I managed to flip the switch and enjoy myself in my kitchen happy place. Oliver got a little whiney towards the end. I tried to explain to him that if he'd take another short nap then he would be happier but he wasn't buying it. 

Love this little stinker. 

So let's get to it - Bedding. A semi-boring but also semi-fun portion of the list. Here's where some decorating can come into play... but still, it's bedding. If I was making a Top 5 Favorite Baby Registry items list, I'd pick two things from this category. So it's gotta be a fun list, right?

BEDDING NEED IT'S:


1) CHANGING PAD COVERS: I say two. Three if you really want to be safe but 2 has almost always been enough for us. Whatever brand you get, make sure it fits your changing pad. I think they're made basically the same size but just double check. Also, you can use a receiving blanket or something similar under your baby when you're changing your little one if you're worried about messing up the cover and your other cover is already dirty.

2) FITTED SHEETS: For the crib and the bassinet. I don't recommend registering for a full crib set. The AAP recommends not having pillows, blankets or a bumper in the crib in order to reduce the risk of SIDS. SIDS freaks me out so I follow their guidelines on this.

Anywho - get two fitted sheets for each (crib & bassinet).

3) WATERPROOF MATTRESS PADS: Ok, honestly, I wasn't sure if I wanted to put this on. I decided to because it's not that costly and it's going to protect the mattress from any pee/poo-splosions. Plus, I think it makes the mattress a little warmer to lay on than just the thin fitted sheet. We opted to get the non-fitted mattress pads. It's a little annoying to put on but really not that hard and it was a bit cheaper  so I went with it since I was on the fence anyway.

4) SWADDLE BLANKETS: LOVE THESE! Oliver loved to be swaddled. It calmed him down immediately. There is no guarantee that your babe will like it. I have friends who's babies didn't care for it at all. But they are good to have either way - you can use them as a light blanket in the car seat and stroller, as a nursing cover or to lay on on the floor. We registered for the Classic Aden & Anais swaddles originally. But THEN we were gifted the Bamboo Aden & Anais swaddles instead. WOO HOO! (It looks like they are now called "Silky Soft.") Oh my goodness, they are SO SOFT. Absolutely love these things.

5) SLEEP SACKS: Since it's recommended that you don't use blankets on your little one, unless you are watching them, you should grab some of these. Sleep sacks are wearable blankets. We had the regular ones but they also have ones that swaddle around the arms (like below). I've never used the latter so I can't speak to how well they work but they do allow baby's hips & legs to move. My mama recently sent me an article about infant & baby hip dysplasia that suggests not keeping baby's legs straight but allowing them to move.

6) FLANNEL RECEIVING BLANKETS: Given how much Ollie spit up, these go in my Top 5 list, too. We got all ours from Target. They have 4 packs for $10 and they're good quality and cute. I think in the end we had around 15-20 receiving blankets since we used them as burp clothes. Actual burp clothes or the ones DIY'd from prefold diapers are too small. I don't recommend them at all. The receiving blankets are absorbent and they're big so you can fold them to use a new, clean area. I also used them when I took Oliver to the park for lunch; I would dampen it, put it in a ziploc and take it along for easy clean-up.

7) PACK N PLAY SHEETS: Honestly, we barely used ours. Hopefully that's not too gross. We only used our pack n play as a travel crib and as a crib for when I was baby-sitting so it didn't get a ton of use. I know some people keep them set-up at their house for a crib in other rooms - if that will be your situation then you may want to get two or three sheets. Otherwise, one may be enough. Oliver did have one instance where he peed through his diaper while we were on vacation so we didn't have a back up but whatever.

OPTIONAL: You may also consider a mattress pad if you'll be using yours often and want to make things extra cushy for your little one. The pad on the pack n play is not anywhere near plush.

8) CRIB SKIRT: I considered calling this an optional item because, technically, it is. But it also makes the nursery look much nicer and hides the dust that's going to accumulate under the crib... well, at least if you have hardwood floors and live at my house where the dust never ceases no matter what I do.

OPTIONAL (or really, possibly later, in this case):

  • Crib blankets: People will most likely buy you blankets. You can register for these or not. We didn't and Oliver has 4 or 5. 
POINTLESS:
  • Full Bedding Set for Crib
  • Breathable Crib Bumper
  • Miracle Blanket: I wouldn't normally add random things like this to a "pointless" category but I was convinced on buying it and then barely used it - basically only if our swaddles were all dirty. It's a little TOO confining for my taste. The swaddles will be enough regardless. 
I think that rounds it up for today. Any additions you would make, current mamas? 

If you haven't checked them out yet, take a look at the NURSERY and TRANSPORTATION editions of my baby registry series! 

See y'all Sunday for the next portion of the registry list! Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Baby Registry: Nursery

Today we are taking a look at what you'll need for your nursery!

This is one place where I think you can purchase a lot of stuff used and still have great quality. Or not purchase things like a separate changing table when you can just use the top of the dresser with a changing pad. Why buy a piece of furniture that you're using only while your baby is in diapers and then it's useless? It's silly what the industry convinces you you need.

I went back and forth so many times on how to categorize everything - does a crib go under "nursery" or "sleeping?" Both. In the end I decided to stick all the nursery stuff together and then have a separate list for the "bedding" items. I will not pretend like this is the absolute best way to break things up - it's not even how I broke them up when I did my registry - but it's what your getting this time around. ;)

We actually didn't register for many of these things but purchased them ourselves or used what we already had.

A reminder - I'll give you the "Need It's" on the printable at the end of the series but I'll also be giving you some "Optional" items and I'll even throw some things out there that I personally think are pointless. Hey, you may consider some of my "need it's" pointless! Who knows. :)

NURSERY NEED IT'S:

1) CRIB: I don't think much explanation is needed here. We opted for the Ikea SUNDVIK crib for it's price ($119) and it's size. It's not a big crib that swallows the room up which we liked since Oliver would be starting out in a smaller room. It doesn't convert to a full bed but it does convert to toddler size. For us, the cost of a twin or full size frame wasn't comparable to the price of a crib that converts, especially given that you buy the conversion set on top of the cribs cost. (Especially given that my hubs works for a furniture retailer!)

2) CRIB MATTRESS: Not a lot of explanation needed here either. Just make sure that whatever mattress you get fits snugly in your crib so that your baby can't fall between the crib side & the mattress. We got a Sealy Soybean Foam Core Crib Mattress on Amazon. I don't sleep on it so I can't confirm it's comfort level ;) but it feels good to the touch and fits the crib well. No complaints here.

3) BASSINET: This is something I actually wasn't going to get at first and then a friend let us borrow theirs and my eyes were opened. See, our nursery is right next to our bedroom, like door opens from our bedroom directly into the nursery. I figured, hey, it's so close, it'll be fine. Crazy me. Of course I want him right next to us so I don't have to walk ALL. THE. WAY. to the next room when he fusses or needs nursed at night. And that's coming from a mama who's baby was sleeping through the night by around 4 or 5 months and only nursed twice a night. That being said, no, it's not absolutely necessary, but it certainly makes your life much easier!

Our friends let us borrow something like this Cariboo Folding Bassinet. Some great things - (1) It folds up for easy storage. (2) It's very light and therefore very easy to move from room to room. (3) Small footprint. Takes up very little space even when it's set-up. One thing I didn't love - It doesn't rock. Boo. You can push the actual fabric bassinet part a little bit but it's not intended to rock.

I happened to come across an UppaBaby bassinet for free this past year so I grabbed it up for baby 2. I think we'll purchase this Jolly Jumper Moses Basket Rocking Stand for use with the UppaBaby bassinet (or look for something similar). If this free bassinet hadn't come along then I seriously considered finding a used Cariboo or looked into this Arm's Reach Mini Cosleeper further.

4) GLIDER OR ROCKING CHAIR: We bought ours used on craigslist. It was in perfect condition as they hadn't used it much for their baby. We have a glider with the gliding foot stool. I definitely think this is worth the purchase. You'll get long term use out of it. Nursing in the beginning, soothing from night time wake-ups and before bedtime snuggles and reading as your little one gets older.

5) NIGHT STAND OR TABLE: This isn't a necessity but it does make things easier. We actually used a little table from another room in the house until we no longer needed it. The main purpose was to put things on while I was nursing or soothing - i.e. phone, kindle, water bottle, etc. Of course, if you want a small lamp in the nursery then you can put that on the night stand, too. Whatever you get - make sure it's big enough to actually set whatever you want on it.

6) DRESSER: Nix the separate changing table; that's just silly. Get a dresser that is low enough to put a changing pad on with plenty of drawers. We got a dresser second hand and painted it.

7) CHANGING PAD: Put it on the dresser. Done. We got the Summer Infant Contoured Changing Pad. It straps to the top of our dresser but the strap isn't that strongly connected to the actual pad. Ours ripped off but I think that's because our kid hates being changed it an extreme wiggler. It doesn't really make that much of a difference though - it's not like you should ever leave your kiddo on the changing pad by himself so the strap is just extra protection and keeps it from slipping around.

1) CLOTHES HAMPER: To put dirty clothes in. Mind blowing.

2) BABY MONITOR: We have to Motorola MBP41 and it has a really clear picture. We made the mistake of letting Oliver carry around the monitor screen and he broke up. Dumb move on our part. I haven't been able to find a replacement of just the monitor so we aren't using it right now. I haven't decided what we will do with baby 2 yet. There are sound only monitors as well but I found it helpful to be able to see how much he was moving around to decide whether to go in if he was fussing. There are also monitors you can get that work with your smart phone or tablets.

3) SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM: Hopefully you already have these installed in your home but if not, now is a great time to do so! Protect that little bundle.

4) HANGERS: To hang clothes. Oliver has a corner closet so we don't hang anything of his - it's all folded in his dresser. Along this line, you may want to consider installing an additional rod in your nursery closet to fit more of those itty bitty clothes. Or a shelf under the current rod to store shoes and other things.

5) HUMIDIFIER: In winter months and dryer climates this will  keep your baby's skin happy. Google the deets.

6) FAN: Specifically, a loud fan. We use a a Lasko Whirlwind Floor fan but it looks like it's no longer available. We live in the city on a busy street so we needed the white noise for Oliver's room. It's good to circulate the air and provide the white noise. During the winter we use it on low or medium and point it away from the crib. You could also opt for a white noise machine. I think the circulating air in the room is good.

OPTIONAL:

  • Noise Machine or CD Player
  • Night Light (may end up needing later so you can opt to put it in the nursery now or wait!)
  • Storage Bins

POINTLESS: 

  • Separate Changing Table 
  • Crib Mobile - stimulates baby, when you're trying to get them to sleep, that's not good. You could opt to have one above your changing table though!
If you missed my first installment on the baby registry then take a look back at what you'll need for your TRANSPORTATION needs here!

Check back on Friday for the next installment!


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sick Day

Hi all!

I'm giving myself a sick day today. Woke up feeling awful this morning and while I did get some of the post ready for today I didn't complete it. I may have if my little one hadn't decided to poop in the bath. Oh the joys of motherhood. ;)

I'll try to get it up tomorrow or Thursday.

-Kem

Monday, February 8, 2016

Baby Registry: Transportation

Let's make this a week or so long series on the baby registry alone instead of overloading you.

While going through various lists and compiling my own I had three categories on my spreadsheet - Need it, Optional and Pointless. So I'll give you what I think you need plus my optional & pointless items. FYI: I am terrible at saying something is "Pointless" to everyone else... I mean, yeah, I think it's pointless, but I'm not much for taking hard stances on things. But really, I do feel this way. Don't be offended if you disagree.

So, anywho, first up we have -

TRANSPORTATION

1) STROLLER: Your stroller choice definitely depends on your living situation and future family plans. In our case - we live in the city and use the stroller a ton. We also plan to have more kids. We have a Graco Modes Click Connect single stroller and while I have no issues with it, I wish we'd gotten a stroller that could convert to a double. Like the Baby Jogger City Select or the Uppa Baby Vista, both of which get great reviews. We're looking to snag a used one once baby 2 is here! If you aren't using the stroller a lot and plan your kids far enough apart then this probably isn't a concern for you. Things to think about.

(OH OH OH. Edit to include this important tid bit. If you plan to do lots of jogging with baby in tow or do any trail running/hiking - look into stroller suited for those things!)

2) INFANT CAR SEAT: They do make convertible car seats that go from infant to booster but I think the infant car seat is totally worth the extra purchase. It comes with a base that stays installed in the car and then you can just click the seat in and out of the car and in and out of the stroller. We have the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 which works with our stroller but also works with most other strollers with an attachment. 

3) CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT: We registered for this but didn't end up getting it. You may want to consider not registering for it if you don't have the space to store it. You can always save up some gift cards/money to use for it later. We ended up going for the Safety 1st Grow N Go seat and are happy with it. A few things to consider:
  • A lot of reviewers complained about the space between the back of the seat and the buckle not being wide enough - meaning the buckle is tight against the kiddo. This was an important thing to note for us since Oliver is cloth diapered and therefore has a bigger booty. :) 
  • Friends of ours had a hard time finding a car seat that they could fit behind their driver seat (in rear facing position) with the drivers seat all the way back... keep that in mind if you are tall! The AAP recommends rear facing until at least 2.
  • Some convertible car seats are only forward facing
Here's some info I found helpful in figuring out what the heck I was supposed to get. There are so many options. 


4) CAR SEAT PROTECTOR: Fairly self explanatory - protects your vehicle's seat from getting a big dent in it from the weight of the car seat. Also helps keep it the vehicle's seat clean on the back and bottom. Comes in different colors to match your cars interior. Totally worth the purchase.

5) CAR MIRROR: See the baby. Done.

6) WINDOW SHADE: We have one - you may want two for both sides of the car. Ours is the Brica Smart Shade and while we won't be replacing, I do have two complaints. (1) It rattles sometimes. I hate rattling. Usually it stops on it's own or I can get it to stop by nudging it or rolling the window up and down. (2) It doesn't cover the full window so the sun is still in Oliver's eyes sometimes and he really hates it. There are some that suction to the window but then you can't roll the window down (without removing it) so that wasn't an appealing option for me. A wider one may be out there.

7) BABY CARRIER(S): I think these are more for city dwellers?? At least the structured ones but I can't be sure on that. There are two kinds - Soft & Structured

I'd say a soft carrier like the K'Tan or Moby Wrap are good no matter where you live. They are wonderful for shopping, walking around the house when baby is having a rough day and wants to be near you or just taking a walk sans stroller. We borrowed a Moby Wrap and I liked it a lot but it could get a little warm as it's not a breathable fabric and it was super long so there was always a lot of extra fabric for my fit. I think we'll buy a K'Tan for baby 2. 

The structured carrier is better for when they are older/bigger. We have an Ergo Carrier and I love it. The fit is good and it's comfortable. We don't use it as much anymore as I typically use the stroller but I used a lot when Oliver was lighter. It was also great to have in the airport when we elected to leave the larger stroller at home and get a small umbrella stroller when we got to our destination. 

8) DIAPER BAG: I prefer a traditional diaper bag but a lot of my friends use a back pack. Go with what you like! We got a Skip Hop bag in plain black and it's great. No complaints really. Skip Hop has a ton of options from the plain to the pretty. I just ran across the one above in the last week or so and fell in love. It's gorgeous! Two things I think are important - (1) Lots of pockets and (2) Machine washable. I LOVE that I can throw our bag in the wash. It looks like they don't sell ours anymore but it's similar to this one, just smaller.

OPTIONAL:
  • The structured baby carrier that I noted above. You'll also need to see if that structured carrier needs a separate newborn insert or not.
  • BundleMe by JJ Cole. You can use blankets, yes, but blankets get kicked off. This is only optional based on the season, really. I think it's totally necessary if you're carrying around your babe in the cold. It's AWESOME. It fits right into the infant car seat and then zip up around them. I found ours at Marshall's for like $20. Score. 
POINTLESS:
  • Shopping Cart Seat Cover. It really just doesn't matter. Wipe the cart down with the antibacterial wipes that are almost always available and you're good to go.
That's all for today. 

Check back tomorrow for my NURSERY list. At the end of the series I'll post my printable and link everything together for you. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Coming Soon: Baby Registry

I'm working on a few lists for you mama's to be. Right now I am compiling a baby registry list.
After posting the labor & delivery hospital packing list a few weeks ago I decided to make a bit of a series out of it. Check that list out HERE if you haven't seen it yet!

Back to the registry list - It's not that easy. Every parent and every baby is so very different.

My list isn't minimalist but it's definitely shorter than a few others and there are a few reasons for that:

1) SPACE While our apartment is a great size, there's no "open concept" happening over here so I don't have space for a huge baby swing or exersaucer. Plus, I just can't do stuff everywhere cluttering up my house. I can barely handle when the blankets and pillows on my couch are dishelved.

2) MONEY We wanted to save it. We are primarily a one income family so we had to be mindful of what we spent. Yes, we got most of what we needed as gifts, but whether I am paying for it or someone else is, many things are still wasted money, in my opinion. That's just how I was raised. My list will definitely include some things you can personally cross off and even things you could do without - I'm not super strict on this but we were mindful of it.

3) AVOID AIDS We wanted to avoid a few things anyway - like using the swing as a sleep or soothing aid and using an exersaucer for extended periods. We figured we could always purchase a used swing later if Oliver ended up being colicky or something - but we didn't need it.

Still, babies need a lot of stuff and it's still a good size list. Before I sign off for tonight I did want to give one note on the registry. It's an important one that I don't want lost among the full registry post.

THE STROLLER! If you're planning more kids, go for a stroller that can convert to a double! WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME THIS!? (I'm shaking my fist at you, other mama friends!) We have a Graco Click Connect right now and it's pretty great but, man, we're just going to have to replace this thing in like a year! Boooo. Just go big to begin. I think we'll upgrade to a used City Select - it converts between single and double and you can add a glider board when baby 3 comes along... or, if baby 3 comes along. Obviously, it is dependent on your family planning and probably your transportation, too, but it is something to consider. (We live in the city so the stroller gets a good amount of use even with having a car.)

Anywho, check back this week for that registry list along with some of my recommendations!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cinnamon Rolls

Lately I've been having some of the local mamas over weekly and it's been wonderful. Wonderful to hang with them and for Ollie to hang with his friends (/learn to share) and also wonderful that I GET TO BAKE and they can eat it so I don't eat all of it! YAY!

Having local mama friends is wonderful. Great to chat with during the day in our group texting thread, great to have over and have some adult conversation and great to get us out of the house for group play dates!

If you are a mama, I encourage you to try and meet friends around your neighborhood! It's especially nice as a stay-at-home mom to have neighborhood friends!

This week, I made cinnamon rolls for the mama's. I delivered a few to a couple mamas who were stuck at home with sick babes. :( It's been a rough week over here for all the babies and mamas getting sick. Oliver and I have avoided it pretty well this far. Fingers cross that that continues!


I use Food Network's "Almost Famous Cinnamon Rolls" recipe and it never disappoints and it's really easy. Ok, that's a lie, it disappointed once but that was my fault, not the recipes. My yeast/milk combo didn't foam up and I used it anyway - I ended up with cinnamon rocks. Make sure your yeast gets foamy!

This recipe also calls for cutting the dough into 6 portions - those would be HUGE so I do double that and end up with 12 cinnamon rolls. 12 cinnamon rolls that aren't the size of your face.

Look at that big beautiful blob of dough ready to be rolled out. MMM. It was even more big and pillowy before I took it out of the bowl.


These pictures are kind of not awesome because I took them at night and the lighting in our kitchen is awful.

After rolling out the dough you slather it with lots of butter then sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over it.  (I decrease the original cinnamon amount and do 1 TB + 1 heaping TB.) That spot on the far left is butter & sugar-less b/c it's going to be the "tape" that holds the roll together. You wet it just slightly so it'll stick to your rolled up dough.

To get 12 cinnamon rolls - Cut the rolled up log of dough in half, then cut each half in half. Now cut each segment into thirds. Wa-la, 12 cinnamon rolls. 12 regular-sized cinnamon rolls. If you want ginormous ones, go for the 6. :)

Place them in a greased 9x13" baking dish, cover it with saran wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes. After they've risen you can bake them or pop them in the fridge to bake in the morning.

In the morning, I pull the pan out of the fridge and put it on the stove while the oven is warming up. Typically I bake these at 325 for about 40 minutes. That's a little over what the recipe states but they weren't quite golden enough for me. This morning I pulled off a little piece at the bottom of a cinnamon roll to make sure they were done because I wasn't positive. Do that if you aren't sure. No one wants undercooked dough. Bleck.


Then drown them in the icing & enjoy with friends! YUM!

Go make yourself some cinnamon rolls! They are delicious and easy peasy. Well, easy peasy if you have a mixer, just easy if you have to do the kneading by hand. ;)

Click here for my printable with my adaptations!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hospital Packing List

K, so remember the jean shorts after pushing a baby out instance from yesterday's post? Cool. Well, not cool, but let's talk about how to avoid such incidents in the future.

Home with the babe & feeling quite uncomfortable in my jean shorts. 
I've perused plenty of lists - some longer and some shorter - and put together what my next hospital bag will look like. I wouldn't consider it minimalist but I don't think it's over the top either. My thinking is that I'd rather be slightly over prepared than underprepared. I put the things that are more optional in italics - below & on the printable. I'll be most likely be packing everything on my printable but the italicized are those you could get away with leaving behind. I think this all fits into a carry-on size bag + a smaller tote so it works for me.

I actually suggest having a smaller bag with the stuff you'll want easy & quick access to. I kept mine right next to my bed so I could grab things from it without having Fab dig through the bag that I packed and he couldn't find anything in. ;) But also, just so it was easy to get to it myself! Like my tablet, notebook & pen, the camera, snacks & my water bottle.

I broke my list down into a few subcategories - mom & dad, mom only, dad only, baby, technology, paper & other. I like subcategories.

So here ya go - a bit of a longer version of the printable with some explanations.

Mom & Dad
  • Toiletries - especially an extra pair of contacts and your glasses, if applicable!
  • For the feet - Flip flops and/or Slippers. Both are great for walking around the room depending on the season and the flip flops will be good for showering, too. And some socks - yes, the hospital has socks but they suck and fall off and are not cozy. You want your own.
  • Bathing Suit - if you are planning to use the bath or shower during labor or delivery
  • Pillow & Blanket - I have a blankie. Much to Fab's dismay, it was at the top of my hospital packing list... It has snowflakes and reindeer on it so he thinks it's a bit ridiculous that I use it year round. :) The hospital pillows are ok but I'd much rather have my own - especially my own soft pillow case! Those things at the hospital are rough. 
Fab & his dad checking out little O & me, comfy with my blankie and pillow.
  • Entertainment - Magazines. Books or Kindle. Movies. Music. Personally, I wanted quiet and no one touching me when I was in labor! I'm pretty certain a "DON'T TOUCH ME!" escaped my lips at one point. :) But, if you're going for the epidural, you'll be up for these things while you are waiting and waiting and waiting (most likely) to fully dilate. I hear you feel nada.
  • Snacks - keeping in mind that you won't be able to eat during labor but afterwards you will and your hubs will love the snacks, I'm sure! Plus, who doesn't deserve a little treat after getting a baby out of them!? I did. Peanut M&M's to the rescue. Some people also consider bringing a treat for their nurses. That's lovely, too. I wanted to do something like that but who knows when you're going to actually go into labor and I didn't really have time. 
  • Water Bottle - They'll have a ginormous pink cup with a straw for you but sometimes it's nice to have your own stuff + my own water bottle doesn't leak so it could lay on the bed next to me. 

Mama
  • Extra hair ties, headbands, clips, etc. - I can't imagine anyone wanting hair falling in their face while they are mid-contraction - just the thought makes me super annoyed. Bleh. You don't want to be without these so have them ready in a pouch so they are easily found, if needed. 
  • Sleepwear & Robe- (I definitely spelled that as "Sleepware" at first. Oy, Kem.) I bought a nightgown for laboring and for after delivery. Those hospital gowns are not awesome... you're not going to want to hang out in them. The nightgown was wonderful b/c I could easily pull it up for the nurses to check how I was healing and feel my belly. Make sure you can nurse in it! And a robe for walking around the halls or if you need some additional coverage when visitors come. 
  • Undies - Use the hospital ones. Just do it. I actually liked my hospitals! ha And they are ginormous to hold in all that extra padding you'll have down there for a bit. But, if you must use your own, get the larger, brief style, ones. 
  • Nursing Related
    • Nursing tank or top - Something you feel nice in would be good since you'll be sleep deprived and most likely not freshly showered afterwards - anything to make you feel like a whole person will be welcomed! Personally, I was fine in my nightgown the whole time but I know some would feel differently.
    • Nursing Cover - for when visitors come along. When it's just you, the hubs and the nurses, you won't care. You just pushed a baby out of you, there's no reason to care. You could also just use the receiving/swaddle blanket you brought along for baby.
    • Breast feeding pillow (like a Boppy) - I actually didn't use this much but some people swear by it and I'll most likely still bring it along for baby 2 just in case I feel differently. For O, I just used a few pillows squished up how I liked around me. They were happy to bring me additional pillows. 
    • Lanolin cream - They should have some at the hospital for you. I'd check and see what they supply just to be sure. 
  • Additional Toiletries - Your husband won't be allowed to shower there so he won't need shampoo/conditioner and body wash but if they let you shower, you'll want your own stuff! That hospital conditioner makes your hair feel like cardboard. Dry shampoo is a good thing to have just in case you don't get that shower. And make-up - I know some people may roll their eyes at this one but honestly, it was wonderful to have. My face had a lot of red splotches after delivery because of broken capillaries (I think??) from pushing so hard. Covering that up for some pictures was wonderful. Sure, it's birth and it's beautiful and blah blah blah but no, my splotchy face was not cute and I'd rather not so fondly remember it while not seeing it in pictures. ;)
  • Hard Candy - to suck on while in labor.... so they say. :)
  • Relaxation Tools - birthing ball, massager, homemade rice sock (heat it in the hospital microwave for a heating pad that conforms to your body), music playlist (if that's your thing, I wanted total silence!), etc. 
  • Going home outfit - Not jeans! Something comfortable and loose and not your pre-pregnancy clothes. You won't just go down to nothing just because that baby is out and about now. (See the first picture in this post! ha) You're going to be sore down yonder so you want something not too tight, too. If it's winter go for some warm yoga-type pants. If it's summer, go for a skirt. 
My broseph drove all the way from PA, leaving when my water
broke and arriving shortly after O was born. A++.
Daddy-o
Clothing, that's about it. Everything else is covered in the mom & dad list.
EDIT: I added a new item on a friends recommendation!
  • Change of clothes
  • Sleepwear
  • Extra undies
  • Tylenol - One of friends recommended adding this and it's genius! The hospital can't give dad medicine and there's a chance after a long labor, little sleep and a possible screaming mama, he could get a headache. Or he could just get one without any of those things and you want him on top of his game!
Oliver taking in our view from the hospital room.
Paper
Get a folder and stick these things in it so it's all easily accessible. The folder will also come in handy when you head home with a bunch of extra papers on infant care and breastfeeding and circumcision and discharge papers and...

I'd avoid bringing a big purse with you, if possible. It's just an extra bag you have to carry. I put the basics in a small clutch. 
  • Picture ID's, health insurance info
  • Forms - Hospital registration & birth certificate. You'll likely turn these in to your OB before baby comes though.
  • Birth plan, if ya have one. I went over one that I found online and filled things in just to have an idea of what my options might be. In the end, I didn't really want to use it. It's not like I knew what would happen or how I would feel so I didn't think it helped much. The only thing I knew is that I wanted to avoid pitocin and an epidural, if possible. That was enough for me. I was prepared with other things like music and relaxation tools, just in case I wanted them, but I didn't feel like I needed them written up since I really had no clue what I'd want mid-labor. Ends up - I wanted no noise and no one touching me. :) 
  • Small notebook & Pen - great to have for jotting down babies schedule, nurses names, notes on taking care of a little human, etc. 
  • Baby Book & Ink Pad
  • Contact List - who do you need to contact with the new babe deets. I didn't do this and I most likely won't with baby 2 - we did fine at remembering who we needed to tell. 
  • Take-Out Menus or a list of places nearby that deliver - The hospital will only provide food for mama. Dad can get something at the hospital cafeteria or get some take-out. Having a list of nearby places to grab food at is nice. No one wants to be tired and hungry and having to find somewhere to get food.

Baby
You'll find a bunch of lists that say a packed diaper bag, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, baby hat, etc, etc. WHAT!? No. They give you that stuff at the hospital! Plus, all you're doing in the car is taking a drive home, you're not going on a trip. You don't need much for the little one.

EDIT: My bff commented about adding this in and I 100% agree so I had to add it in. We did exactly this! All that stuff in your hospital room they have for you & baby - diapers, cream, vaseline, pacifier, thermometer, sitz bath seat, witch hazel pads, pads, etc - you can take it home! I mean, check with your nurse to be sure, but they'll most likely be tossing it and will encourage you to stock up. 
  • Receiving Blanket (Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddles are the BEST!) or something heavier if it's winter. This is to put over them in their car seat when you head home.
  • Going Home Outfit - A sleeper is easiest. I'd bring along a newborn and a 0-3 month size since you don't know how big your babe will be. Or you could just do a 0-3 if you don't care about the fit! 
  • Installed Infant Car Seat. Numero Uno priority. Can't leave the hospital without it.
Oliver with all his necessities - going home outfit, blanket & car seat.
Plus his cute little hospital hat. :)
We also brought along a little bear that my dad had recently brought back from
a work trip to Belgium for Ollie. His first teddy! This was nice to have since he
couldn't make the trip over when Oliver was born. 
Technology
Make sure your electronics (1) are charged and (2) have plenty of room! No one wants a "10% Battery Life" or "Not Enough Space" message when they're in full blown newborn paparazzi mode!
  • Camera & Charger
  • Phones & Chargers - and once you get there, make sure your charging cable is within reach your bed, mama, or the middle of the night when dad's getting some shut eye and you're nursing while attempting to stay awake.
  • Headphones - a pair for mom & dad. I used mine at night while trying to keep my eyes while nursing but not wake Fab. Fab could use his when we I was napping.
  • iPad & Charger - play games, surf internet, maybe with a downloaded movie or two if you don't have a laptop and your hospital doesn't have wifi (or if their wifi sucks!)
  • Laptop & Charger - for watching movies on, surfing internet
  • Timer or Watch - to time contractions
  • White Noise - we didn't have this but I came across it on another list and I think we'll try it next stay, especially given that we're used to a fan running in our room as it is. It'll drown out hospital noise.
  • Speaker & Music - for laboring, if you'd like, or you could use the speaker with a white noise app.
With all that technology listed, you'd think I'd have used a lot during my stay. Nope, not really. I used my phone and our camera but that was about it. I attempted to read my Kindle (listed up top already) once and couldn't keep my eyes open. :) It certainly doesn't hurt to have these things with you to pass the time if you're laboring at the hospital though.

Other
  • Cash/Change for Vending Machine - We didn't use this at all but you might. Can't hurt.
  • Extra Bags - Bring two reusable bags to take home hospital goodies and possible gifts from friends and family. 

No, that's not all we left with. Fab had already
taken 2 smaller bags out to the car.
I'm not a big fan of super long posts but figured splitting this kind of post into two might be a little annoying.  So there ya have it, a forever long post. Sorry, friends. I threw some pictures in there to help... maybe? ha

What would you add? Or, anything you would take away?

Hope this break down and the printable helps you in your packing! Get your list HERE! With a few extra spaces to add your own items!

(If you happen to want the excel version of this doc to edit then comment below and I'd be happy to share! I know how I am with wanting everything precise and exactly how I want it! That's why I made my own printable! ha)