Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What to pack?

As I head into my 36th week, I'm thinking that I should pack a bag or two for the hospital. I'm sure I could throw things into a carrier bag at the last minute, if needed, but it's quite fun to plan and pack (this used to be my favourite part of going on holiday... the anticipation fueled by lists and shopping and packing :) )

Today I realized I had no newborn outfits of the little poppet. Thinking he'd outgrow everything so quickly, I thought I might get away with clothing 0-3 months. But I was reading today on one of the pregnancy boards I frequent, that it's a good idea to have a few things he's not swimming about in. So this evening, en route to prenatal yoga, I popped into Babies R Us and bought a few newborn outfits... picking out some sweet little things for when we bring him home.

And so I have at least an outfit to pack in the Poppet's bag.

What else should I pack in his bag? I know the hospital will have a lot, but I was thinking:

Receiving blankets
A few burp cloths
A few diapers (we're using disposable for the first week)

As for my bag... would love your thoughts. I know I need to buy some nursing bras asap, a couple of nursing tops, some PJs (hoping to get away with maybe wearing a nursing T/vest with non-maternity bottoms).

What else?

And there are final buys for the Poppet... I have spent days wondering what to do about wipes! We're planning on reusable wipes, but what about moistening them? I don't want the little fella to endure cold wipes in the middle of the night. In the day I can make up a warm solution every time I change him, but the night time changes pose a different problem. A sprayer would be cold... thus I'm considering a wipe warmer. Is this a huge extravagance?

Yikes, things are moving fast! I have my 35 week scan tomorrow. Just a biophysical so I won't get to see how big he is.. that's for next week. I always feel slightly nervous the night before the ultrasound... though I'm sure everything will be just fine :)


  1. haha, wow, you think of everything! im so impressed with all you have considered, poppet is so lucky that he has such a careful and thoughtful mum :). i think a wipe warmer sounds lovely! my bum would like a warm wipe instead of a cold one, and i imagine poppet would be similar :)

    oh, but i also have NO useful advice, not being a mom myself. i think it sounds like you have thought of everything - truly.

    good luck in these last few weeks, love. i absolutely can not wait to meet the little dude.


  2. Gosh, the time is going so quickly! Sounds like you've thought of everything!

    The things I had in my hosp bag that I couldn't have lived without are cartons of Ribena and lipsalve (gas & air really dries out your mouth) and hairbands to keep it out the way. I also divided my stuff into two bags - labour and post labour. I didn't want to be yelling at C to find me something and have him pulling out nappies and babygros to get to what I needed!

    Also, arnica pillules for healing, lots of cheap black underwear (disposable knickers are horrid and anything you wear will be ruined... likewise nightwear) and snacks in case hunger strikes outside of hospital meal times!

    Here are a couple of websites you might find useful: www.contractionmaster.com (takes the guesswork out of timing them at home) and www.kellymom.com - the font of all knowledge on breastfeeding. Believe me, for a 'natural' process it does not *come* naturally!

    Good luck, keep us posted!

    Alice x

  3. cotton booties and mittens?

    K didn't go to hospital so I'm not sure, but she made up loads of these muslin bag things with different herbs or something in that promote healing after giving birth. If you wanted I could email her and ask her what was in them, how she did them, etc? She swore by them.

    Slippers? Nightie rather than PJs or as well as? Take your nursing pillow?

    K had reusable wipe cloths and used to run them under warm water before use.

    Some protein bars, etc? Take a few different snacks in case your appetite returns and the food isn't very appealing...you'll need lots of replenishing!

    Oh, when K was in labour she'd made up some fresh lemonade and sipped it ice-cold between contractions. The sugar helped and it was refreshing.

    Urm, will put my thinking cap on...yes, as you said, definitely hats for poppet.

    love you, how exciting!!!!

  4. I second the suggestion of cotton mittens, his nails will most likely be sharp and he'll be scratching himself accidently.


    batteries/charger for camera and cell phones


  5. Camera! Camera! Camera!

    Journal (or your laptop!). Write down that birth story sooner rather than later. There's so much you'll forget, and you may not want to.

    List of people you want to call with their phone numbers.

    Plenty of snacks. Be prepared to command Richard to go out and get you the meal of your choice when little Poppet is finally out. (He'll probably deserve one, too.)

    Nursing nightie is a good idea, since there may be some stuff going on "down there" for a few days afterward, and you don't want to be wearing pj bottoms. Trust me.

    Also, they'll keep you well supplied with maxi pads (the industrial strength kind), but you may want to have a box on hand at home, too. And they'll give you this hideous net underwear, for which you'll be very grateful.

    Robe and slippers for walking down the hospital hallway if you room in for a day or two (which I HIGHLY recommend!).

    Carseat with infant insert (duh). There are places in town that can check to make sure it's installed properly.

    It is true his nails will likely be long.

    For burping cloths and other linens, you may want to use the hospital's: they have an endless supply, and you will not want to come home with a huge bag of stuff to launder.

    You may want that Lansinoh (or vegan equivalent). And remember, while nursing is definitely a learned skill, it is completely natural and you two WILL figure it out.

    You are welcome to use our wipes warmer! In the dead of night, or during a poop emergency (ahem), the last thing you want to do is stand there at the sink waiting for the water to get warm. ;-)

    Also, try to get the OMTs to come in and give you a little post-labor manipulation.

    *ASK FOR A SITZ BATH. They don't give them out automatically anymore, I don't think, but for the first several days after birth, it helped a lot for me to sit on mine with some epsom salts. ;-)

    I know I'm forgetting something! Will write when I think of it.

    I'm SO excited for you!


  6. ok here is a stream of consciousness list :)

    lanisoh (for sore, cracked, bleeding nipples...) and nursing pads (if you get engorged like i did - all 4 times! - you'll have milk leaking) i was going to say use hospital linen, clothing etc as much as you can because things get messy and you don't want to have to worry about cleaning up. in australia you spend a week in the hospital (if you want) - ie, until your milk comes in and breastfeeding is established. the hospital supplied outfits for baby and a gown for me. threw the dirty gown in the laundry at the end of each day. they also have plenty of blankets etc for baby.

    i never used special nursing tops - found a baggy t-shirt worked just fine and was actually v. discreet. i did bring my own maternity pads as i found them better than the hospital ones.

    you won't want these as the hospital but maybe for when you get home ... cold cabbage leaves are the best things for engorged breasts! peel off a leave and pop in on your hot breast and it is bliss (i'm a bit of an expert on engorgement!) i also found the advent isis hand pump useful to soften the breast a little so it was easier for baby to latch on.

    i've never bothered with a wipe warmer and my four never seemed unduly bothered by a cold wipe... but i think an armpit would be fine as a warmer!

    snacks for rick during labour as he may get hungry even if you don't.

    i did pack dummies/pacifiers the last two times. i didn't use a dummy with my first two, but i did with my second two as mine have always been very sucky babies and my nipples needed the occasional break. it never seemed to interfere with breastfeeding, although i know that it is not thought to be a good idea when you are trying to establish breastfeeding.

    you might want to bring your own soap and shampoo rather than use hospital stuff (i once had an allergic reaction to hosptial soap and was covered in hives for 48 hours!)

    i think that is all for the moment :)

    woohoo! this is so exciting!

  7. my only thought is that you might want to invest in one or two preemie size coveralls or something! mr. finn was born at 6lbs6oz and everything they have for him, including the newborn sizes, is too big. AND he will lose weight before he gains, so they will only swim on him more for the first week or two. it's one of those things that clearly you'd be fine without, but since you don't know how big rafi will be (although i guess he's already almost as big as finn, isn't he?!) it is something to think about.

    i love your list - and i love YOU!

  8. Oh wow, guys, this is all so helpful!!!

    Thanks, Ren :) Since we don't have a bathroom upstairs (ha, we don't have a bathroom AT ALL) the wipe warmer would be really helpful for nighttime changes. And who would want a cold wet wipe on their botty! This is, after all, Maine!

    Alice, the Ribena is SUCH a great idea. You can't get cartons here but I can get bottles from the English store. I'll make up some cups/with straws and take a big batch in. We have a fridge to store things in the actual room.. and there is lots of ice. The labour/post labour bag is genius! SO it looks as though I'll need a bag for Poppet, two bags for me, a bag for Rich, and a food/snack bag... (and my camera, computer, video camera bags...). Eek, we don't travel light!

    Thanks, Lou. these are treat suggestions. All the lovely things you bought me for christmas are going to come in handy... especially the new mama botty cream!! I'd love to know what K used...

    Hm, I'm not a nighty person but it looks as though it would be a good idea. I'll take my boppy (great idea) and perhaps I'll wear crocs instead of slippers (it'll remind me of you... though I won't wear any boots!!!). I was planning on taking some protein bars (luna bars... are the only ones I can stomach right now), and for the fridge in the room I was going to pack up some soy milk (which is lovely iced cold), Ribena, soy yogurt, plenty of fruit and maybe even some jam sarnies, or something. Oh, yes, and plenty of sweeties to suck on..

    Thanks, Rodeo! I've put out some mittens to take (good idea!) along with his little hat :) Umm, I'm going to need a 'last minute' pack list for things like chargers, computer, etc. Isn't it exciting!

    WOW, Jen, this is an awesome list. I'll be for sure taking my computer (and journal).. perhaps I'll twiter during labour :) We're in the process of generating a list of numbers.. and hopefully a 'chain gang' so we won't have to call everyone ourselves in the UK from the hospital. We'll also need a phone card.. Rich's job this week is to install the car seat. Gorham fire station, we think, checks the installation...

    Good idea about the linens. I'm going to bring a few things for the ride home, etc. but using the hospitals stuff is a great idea. Save on that washing, too... It also seems like a good 'postpartum kit' with plenty of stuff for bottoms and boobs :)

    Would love to borrow the wipes warmer. It would be fine in the day to put cloths under the warm water tap, but not so much in the middle of the night! I'm going to have to google SITZ bath... but the OMT is a wonderful idea. I began seeing a chiropractor this past week, and my back feels so much better for it.

    Thanks, Jen, this is all so helpful.

  9. Kate, woman, this is soooo helpful! We only have two days in the hospital so not a lot of time to get practicing with breastfeeding. You better believe that I'll be emailing you for advice. I'd read about the cabbage leaves trick and am very glad to know it works. During this pregnancy I developed Reynaulds syndrome in my breasts.. OMG, it hurts like crazy. I bought some warm pads (which can also be used as cold pads) and they really help.

    Oh, nice idea for the warmer! I think I worry about winter in Maine using cold cloths at night. It feels a bit of an extravagance, and perhaps if I was going to use disposable wipes I might feel more confident that I could get away with it...

    Snacks... for sure. I am hoping that some of the dreadful food aversions lift once the Poppet is born. I cannot wait until I actually really enjoy food! there's a Whole Foods down the road from the hospital so I can always send Rich to get me something yummy! In the meantime I'll be sure to take lots of snacks.... protein bars, trail mix, fruit, ice pops... I need to make a big list.

    Will defo bring my own shampoo etc. I think it'll help to have familiar things around me. Would love to know more about your thoughts re: dummies. Every scan we've had has shown the little guy sucking, sucking, sucking. I was thinking I'd hold off until I established breastfeeding. Interesting, they've just published research which shows that using dummies reduces the risk of SIDS.

    I was wondering about the teeny clothes, too, Fi. I don't think he's going to be small, though! Although it wasn't a growth scan today, you could really see that he's growing. I'll see what his growth scans indicate.. though these aren't always terrible accurate. I'm expecting him to be close to 8 pounds.. maybe even more!! eek.

    So.. today I tried to work out what outfit we'd bring him home in. But who can predict the weather in July in Maine? Today it's damn freezing, so I've picked out a LOT!!! lol. Kate, I'm taking one of your beautiful muslin swaddle blankets you bought me, too :)

    I'm going to try and put together a list for you guys to pick over!

    THANKS everyone, this is so helpful.

  10. Everything I've read about BFing and pacifiers suggests that it's best to wait until feeding is established - you don't want to risk nipple confusion or miss an opportunity to feed in the early days - your boob is a great pacifier so no need to take an artificial one to hospital ;-)

    Also, on the SIDS/pacifier stuff... The research showed that they only helped reduced the risk in babies who usually have a pacifier to sleep, so there is no difference in the rates between babies who never have one and babies who always have them. Does that make sense?!

    I am sooo excited for you both!

    Alice x

  11. Alex! What helpful, wise friends you have!

    A sitz bath is a little bath for your nether regions that fits on the toilet seat. You fill it with warm water and sit on it. In the first days after labor (okay, TMI, but I had a few stitches even though I didn't have an episiotomy), it accelerates healing and is soothing. ;-)

    You can borrow ours if they don't give you one!

    And I'll dig out the wipes warmer for you--that way you have it just in case.


  12. instead of a pacifier, with willa (and they did this with zoey) you can put your little finger upside down (as if tickling top of mouth) and he will suck happily if he needs some comfort and is full.

  13. hi love

    i know nothing about any of this stuff, nut all this planning is soooooooooo exciting.... you're going to be bringing this little man home so soon.

    love to you all

    lucy x

  14. that was 'but', not 'nut'...

  15. more about dummies/pacifiers & breastfeeding... i think it is a good idea not to use one initially but keep an open mind in the long run. is used to hate the things with a passion, now i'm quite the believer! i even think they helped me to breastfeed :)

    i might be a little unusual in that i get VERY engorged and it lasts for weeks each time (last time the midwife told me i ought to be a wet nurse!) also my babies take a long time to feed - in the early days (ie, first 6 weeks) each feed lasts an hour and the next one would begin an hour later - so i'd spend at least 12 hours a day with a baby sucking and my nipples got incredibly sore (and cracked and bleeding due to early difficulties with latching on which took a long time to heal). so i'm definitely not a person who finds breastfeeding easy or comfortable (at least not for the first couple of months). most people seem to have a much easier time of it than me :)

    with benjamin (#1) i never used a dummy but then i only had him to worry about and could sleep when he slept etc. admittedly, i was in a lot of pain for the first 6-8 weeks of his life... (despite numerous sessions with lactation consultants) but i gritted my teeth and got through it.

    with elise (#2) i never used a dummy and once she found her hands she ended up sucking her two middle fingers for 4 years or so... she was a very colicky baby and had bad/painful reflux and i look back now and realise that she probably would have got a lot of comport from a pacifier but i was quite pig headed about not using it!

    with mia (#3) i had incredibly sore nipples once again (more marathon nursing sessions) and after a week i felt close to giving up breastfeeding because of the pain (3rd time around and not much time to rest!) so i decided to use a dummy as a last resort. i worked beautifully. she used me to eat and the pacifier for comfort. she gave it up herself when she was 5 months old.

    i'm now using a dummy with leila (#4). she got one on day 4 in the hospital after 24 hours of constant nursing - my nipples couldn't take it any more and i needed some sleep. she is almost 6 months and just uses it for sleeping. it is like a magic pill. i swaddle her, pop a dummy in her mouth and she sleeps for hours :) i need my sleep so much more now (having four kids) and i can't sleep the way i used to (ie, whenever the baby sleeps) and leila needs to suck for comfort, so this way we are both happy.

    i do think little babies need to suck a lot and ideally they would meet all their sucking needs on the breast... and if you need to build up a milk supply then it is essential that they suck on the breast, but if you or your nipples need a little break and if you don't have a spare finger for them to suck on then i don't think it hurts to use a dummy...

    hope this helps a little!


  16. Thanks for all this info on pacifiers... Alice, I hadn't read the research myself, the woman leading the childcare class we attended mentioned it. The only thing I read about it was in respect to 'nipple confusion', thus if you do use them to delay it for a while..

    I read in the Sears baby book that it can be really beneficial to some babies, and Kate, your experience really bears this out. I really appreciate your experiences. I suppose that the thing to do is to be flexible and to see what happens.

    So much to learn!

    Thanks, Lucy! I am so excited, and READY. Things are getting really uncomfortable.

    I packed the little one's bag today. I put a few outfits in - trying to account for the weird Maine weather as well as his unknown size. Fi, if he's looking small on the scan I'll be sure to pick up a premie outfit.. and I can always send Rich to the store when he pops home :)

    I also bought tons of stuff... eek, so much money! I just ordered some nursing bars, a binsi skirt (for the birth, a sports bra to wear with it (I cannot stand those awful hospital gowns), and I picked up lots of last minute things such as a snuggle nest (for co-sleeping), breast cream, breast pads (I have some washable ones, too), pads, cheap undies (thanks, Alice), head and hair bands,etc. I'm going to try and finish ordering last minute things tomorrow... and then start to pack! I looked at some nursing nighties and couldn't find one that was comfy so I'm going to get some large T-shirts and also nightshirts which I could wear with a sleep nursing bra....

    So exciting :)