What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

When you’re getting ready to welcome your precious little bundle into the world, getting your bags packed can be an exciting move.

I was asked recently if I had any advice on what is actually necessary to pack in your hospital bag. I’m a notorious over-packer, so I packed way too much in my bags. But, now that I’ve experienced giving birth outside of my home, I have a much better idea of what I’ll need the next time around.

So here’s what you really need to pack in your hospital bag:

1. Your normal, get-ready stuff. This includes a hairbrush, hair-ties, a toothbrush, makeup, and whatever else you need to feel human again.

2. An oversized tee or nightgown. While I was recovering from my c-section, the last thing I wanted was to wear the yoga pants and t-shirt that I packed, or the gross hospital gown given me.

So my mom headed to Walmart and bought me a couple nightgowns. They weren’t the most flattering things in the world, but they were more comfy than pants, less revealing than the hospital gowns, and really easy to slip over my shoulders. Because I was learning how to nurse my son during my hospital stay, something that was easy to slip off was a necessity.

3. A phone charger. Seriously, even if you’re not updating your Facebook constantly, you will be taking hundreds of photos of your newest addition. You’ll need your charger. Better get an extra long one, too, so it’ll reach your bed.

4. Just ONE onesie, ONE hat, and ONE receiving blanket. The hospital has receiving blankets to use during your stay, so you just need one to bring baby home in. And, unless you really feel the need to dress your baby each day of your stay, you just need one cute outfit and hat to bring baby home in.

The hospital will also provide diapers, wipes, a nose bulb, and a pacifier. You can even bring the nose bulb and pacifier home with you! So don’t worry about bringing these things.

5. Padsicles! These handy little things will provide so much relief after a vaginal delivery. Just buy some long pads, cover them in aloe and witch hazel (get the kind with NO alcohol), and freeze them. You’ll need enough to last a few weeks, but only bring a couple to the hospital with you.

The witch hazel will help to heal a tear or episiotomy. The cold aloe will just feel really good!

6. Cheap, large undies and overnight pads. You’ll want regular pads, in addition to your padsicles. And you’ll need large underwear to fit easily over the pads. I would suggest a cheap 6-pack of granny-panties, because they’ll probably be ruined rather quickly.

7. Slippers/socks. Your feet and legs may be swollen after delivery, but you’ll need to use the restroom and walk the halls. With your swollen limbs, something that you can easily slip on and off will be essential.

8. Lanolin cream. Nursing doesn’t come easy to many moms and babies, and, often times, you’ll end up feeling chapped. Trust me, you want the lanolin cream!

9. Your favorite pillow and blanket. This one’s not a necessity. I didn’t have my pillow or blanket and I got along just fine. But, looking back, I do think I would have been more comfortable with these things.

10. Don’t forget about daddy. Remember, you’re not the only one who won’t be sleeping/showering, so pack him a few changes of clothes, pajamas, and his get-ready stuff. Maybe even his favorite pillow, since he won’t get his own bed, like you.

My hubby had to sleep on the sofa in the hospital room, and I didn’t think to bring him his own pillow, so he was incredibly uncomfortable. I think I’ll even spoil him next time and snag his fave blanket.

And keep in mind, once you give birth your family will get you anything you need! You don’t need to stress out about what’s in your hospital bag. If you forget something important, your family will go to your house or to the store for you.

What do you think? Did I leave anything off the list?

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5 Things to Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

There are many wonderful things about being pregnant, but unwanted comments aren’t one of them. It’s like people see a pregnant woman and all manners go out the window! Here’s a list of the worst comments and questions I actually received while pregnant:

1)

Wow! I would have thought you were farther along than that!

Um…I’m not really sure how to respond…are you calling me fat?!

2)

Sleep now, while you still can!

Yeah, because I’m getting so much sleep now, what with my aching back and acid reflux...

3)

Babes, you’re so….pregnant!!

That’s right, folks. My husband actually said this to me.

4)

So was this a surprise?

Okay, technically my son was a surprise, but is it really your business? I mean, we were married when we conceived, both graduated from college, both employed. Does it matter if he was a surprise? We’re capable of handling this, I swear!

5)

You look like you’re about to pop!

Yes, I know. And you’re the tenth person to tell me so today!

10 things that rock about being pregnant

I loved being pregnant. My sweetness is only four months old and I already want to be pregnant again! I also love being a mommy, and I definitely want to do it all again.
There were some cruddy parts of pregnancy, of course. But here’s a list of my 10 fave parts of being preggers!

1. Baby kicks.

2. Getting huge…and being totally ok with it!

3. Clear skin!

4. You can use it as an excuse to get out of a speeding ticket.

5. In fact, you can use it to get out of, or to get away with, anything!

6. People will do anything you ask of them, because you’re huge and incapable…or at least, that’s what you’re leading them to believe.

7. You can eat the things that you normally sneak, because they’re just plain weird…rice crispy cereal with chocolate milk, anyone? Hey, it’s okay! You’re pregnant!

8. You finally have the boobs you’ve always wanted! And you know they’ll only get better after baby arrives!!

9. Decorating the nursery! The most fun you’ll ever have decorating.

10. Seeing your little one squirm on the ultrasound monitor. It is truly magical to see his little nose and fingers!

Those were my favorite parts! Did I miss any parts of pregnancy that totally rocked? Let me know in the comments!

10 Ways to Pass the Time While Stuck in Traffic

It’s unlikely that if you’re able to drive, you’ve never been stuck in a traffic jam. For some people, stop-and-go traffic is a daily struggle, and I understand the frustration that arises when you’re just not moving. Next time you’re stuck in traffic, why don’t you give one of these a try! I’m really excited to try these out for myself 😉

1. People-watch.

2. Make creepy faces at your car-neighbors.

3. Run a Chinese fire drill.

4. Clean out your purse!

5. If you keep makeup in your car, give yourself a make-over!

6. Blast your music and encourage your car-neighbors to sing along

7. Play the games on this list with your kids.

8. Watch some Hulu on your phone!

9. Play rock-paper-scissors with your car-neighbors.

10. Record a ‘Frozen’ lip-synch video!

10 Signs that You’ve Crossed into Adulthood

Today I found a grey hair on my head. Let me restate that: Today I found another grey hair on my head. Have I mentioned that I’m only 23?

Yeah.

My mother started going grey in her early twenties, as well, so it really shouldn’t shock me to find that I’ve been blessed with such awesome genetics. All I could think when I plucked that hair, though, was, “I’m so OLD!” Which is false. But I felt it in the moment. Though, it did get me thinking about about my age and where I am vs. where I’ve been, etc. And I thought, “When the heck did I become a real-life grown-up??”

It seems like just yesterday I was learning to drive, cramming for tests, running for student council, and flirting with my crush. Even in college, when I was technically an adult, I didn’t really feel like I was grown-up. I ate unhealthy amounts of ramen and donuts, crammed for more tests, stayed up way too late, and made out with my boyfriend.

So when did this whole grown-up thing happen? Hard to say, exactly, but I’ve compiled a list of 10 signs that it may have happened to you, as well.

  1. You have bawled like a baby at the sight of your bank account. I did this pre-adulthood, but it hurts sooo much worse when you’ve got a car payment and student loans.
  2. You have random aches and pains that were nonexistent just a few years ago. You may even be besties with your chiropractor.
  3. You get offended when some punk teenager calls you “dude.”
  4. Speaking of punk kids, you begin to think that the new music they’re listening to just plain sucks, and the music you listened to in high school (and probably still listen to) was so much cooler. BSB for life!!
  5. You consider getting 6-7 hours of sleep an amazing accomplishment, when you used to sleep for 10 hours at a time (and you were still tired, somehow).
  6. You’ve done your own taxes and worried the whole time about being audited, and wondering if you should have just paid someone to do them. You then ended up doing them yourself, because you’re a grown-up, dammit!
  7. You buy toilet paper and paper towels in bulk to save a buck.
  8. You are more excited to buy your kids (or pets, if you’re one of those) new clothes, than buy new clothes for yourself. Or, if you’re a freak like me, your money is flowing down the cloth-diaper-drain.
  9. You have fond memories of the good ol’ days of spending your weekends at the lake with friends. Now your weekends are filled with chores and running errands.
  10. You coupon to not only save money, but for the cheap thrill.

Add your grey hairs to all of that, and I’d say you’re officially a big ol’ grown-up! What would you add to my list? Was there a specific moment that you realized you were no longer a kid? Let me know in the comments!

*Note: I purposefully left things like “you’re married” and “you have a kid” off of this list, because you aren’t necessarily a grow-up if you’ve done these things (though they do have a way of forcing you to grow up a bit).

He’s got you wrapped around his finger! (And other things I wish people would stop saying)

My baby is just under four months old. Thus far, I have been in the practice of taking care of his every need. This means that every stinkin’ time he cries, I go to him and try to remedy the situation. We do not let him ‘cry it out.’

Unfortunately, there are many people in my life that like to say that I’m spoiling him. My biggest pet peeve is when someone says something to the effect of, “Well, he’s certainly got you figured out, doesn’t he!”

I happen to subscribe to several parenting websites that send me weekly updates about baby (“your baby at 15 weeks, 16 weeks, etc.), such as The Bumpand Everyday Family. Today’s email from Everyday Family had this to say:

Will too much attention “spoil” my baby?

You may have been wondering if attending to your baby’s every little cry will “spoil” him. There is a simple answer to this question… NO!

Young infants need all the attention that you can give them. Infants cry to communicate needs, and by responding to their cries, you are strengthening your bond and building trust. In fact, infants without an attentive caregiver experience stress and will cry more often, louder, and longer. Children feel secure because their needs are consistently met early in life. These children feel less anxious, and safe to explore their environment as they grow.

When your infant is six to eight months old, she’ll begin to notice the connection between her actions and your response. When this begins to happen, it’s okay for you to start setting some limits. But for now, don’t worry about spoiling her, or paying too much attention to her, it’s impossible!

Ha!
I actually saved this page so that I can pull it up the next time someone strokes my pet peeve.

Some other things I hate hearing, now that I’m a mom, include:

Well since you don’t work, could you do w, x, y and z for me today?

No.

When my baby was that age he did this, that and the other…

Just no.

He looks cold! Where are his socks?!

My parents are guilty of this one! I have to constantly remind them that it’s summer…

I don’t have any kids…but I have a puppy, so I feel like I have a kid!

……..Are you effing kidding me right now??

I, of course, always reply with kindness, but I gotta say, sometimes it’s hard to keep my lips zipped!

What are some things that people say about parenthood/your parenting style that bother you?