Monday, July 15, 2013

top 10 diaper bag essentials for babies

1 & 2: Diapers and Wipes
Fuzzibunz Cloth Diaper
According to my husband, this is all you need.  And as obvious as it may seem, I still frequently forget to pack reusable cloth wipes.  But I’ve learned to outsmart myself by always keeping a thin 10-pack of Honestnon-toxic disposable wipes in his bag.  As far as diapers go, I suggest packing at least 2 more than you think you’ll actually need.   There are times you will end up using them.  
Pro-Mom Tips: Keep a back-up stash of diapers in your vehicle if you need to keep your bag as light as possible.  We keep a small stack of disposable diapers in a tote in the back of our car in case we would go through the cloth diapers that were packed. Also, small coolers normally used for storing breastmilk also keep things warm if you prefer using warm wipes on your baby.

3:  Wet Bag
Wet bag and wipes are my most commonly forgotten items when I pack Elliot’s bag. If you are cloth diapering then the need for this is obvious.  Consider a wet bag with two pockets if you are cloth diapering.  I sometimes use one pocket for clean wet wipe storage.

If you are using disposables it is still nice to have a wet bag so that you can dispose of your baby’s waste at your own home instead of at the homes of others.  Wet bags are also great for clothing after spit-up or blow-out disasters.
dual pocket wet/dry bag
Pro-Mom Tip:  Keep a spare wet bag or repurpose a few plastic shopping bags in your vehicle as a backup.  You will forget your wet bag at some time and you will be grateful that you planned a backup.

4:  Change of Clothes
Spit-up, leaks, mealtime, toddler play and more give little ones plenty of opportunity to soil their outfits.  Pack one more extra outfit than you think your baby will need unless you have a backup bag in your vehicle.
Pro-Mom Tip:  Keep a spare t-shirt for you and your partner in your vehicle if you have a baby that likes to spit up or a toddler that likes to share their tornado.   If you need to keep your diaper bag light, keep a spare onesie and baby leggings for your child in your vehicle backup bag.

5:  Changing Pad
FuzziBunz reusable pad
Many diaper bags come with their own changing pad.  If you feel like your changing pad is too small or not soft enough, consider the FuzziBunz reusable changing pad.  It is a nice size fleece lined pad that will protect baby from germs and help catch any changing “accidents” that occur.  {These pads are also great for immobile-baby-naked-booty-time or infant massage at home}.  
Pro-Mom Tip:  Do you have a SUV? Set up a changing station in the back of your vehicle.  On longer outings take your nursery changing pad along with you for quick and comfortable changes for you and baby.  No room in the back and need to use public restroom changing stations? Check out disposable changing pad liners.

6:  Muslin Blanket
a + a blankets
A good quality muslin blanket is one of the best baby accessories you can carry with you.  These lightweight, breathable blankets function and substitute as swaddles, spit up rags, changing pads, car seat cover, shade cover, nursing cover, stroller cover, play mat, towel, newborn carrier butt-booster, and oh yeah...a blanket.

7:  Occupiers
Oball shaker
This is a wide category that includes all things that you depend on to keep baby busy and happy:  pacifiers, toys, books, teethers, nursing necklace, and lovies.

8:  First Aid and Grooming
Dreambaby grooming kit
It seems like I notice my child's grown out fingernails on the car ride to visit a grandparent or friend.  I like to keep a nail scissors/file and hair comb in Elliot's bag for quick touch-ups when I don't notice them at home.  My hubby is quick to check Elliot's temperature when something seems "off" about his behavior.  Underarm thermometers are relatively inexpensive so we keep a spare thermometer in each of our bags. Other items to consider packing depend on the needs and age of your child: Colic Calm, butt balm, nipple cream, nail file, band-aids, antibiotic ointment, infant's ibuprofen, and stickers {to put a smile back on a toddler's face after a boo-boo}.

9.  Snacks
Munchkin snack catchers
Of course, if you are bottle feeding you'll need to pack your feeding supplies. As your child transitions or makes the switch to solids you will want to carry snacks for them in your bag.  You might even want to throw in a disposable spoon if you have a baby that likes to feed themselves. If your child drinks from a sippy then pack that, too! (Skip that stage by teaching them how to drink from a straw or Doidy cup).

Don't forget mom when packing the snacks!  We are usually quickly rushing out the door and while taking care of everyone else I forget to take care of myself.  When hunger strikes I glad I keep a snack for myself in my diaper bag.  This is especially important for breastfeeding mamas.

10.  Mother Necessities
reusable Bamboobies
Who wants to carry around a purse AND a diaper bag?  Not me! I have a small clutch that came with my Timi & Leslie bag that holds my driver's license, debit card, cash, hair tie, bobby pins, lip balm, and mascara.  I move this clutch from bag to bag so that I'm not constantly repacking all of these items.   I also like to keep a spare set of Bamboobies in my bag if they need a change later in the day.

Did I miss anything? 
What else is a must-have in YOUR diaper bag?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sample Natural Birth Plan (Birth Wishes)

Birth Wishes for Renae Launderlife

Please know that we have struggled for years to conceive our son and do not take our decisions concerning his care and health lightly. We are firm in our belief that we can all work together as a team to provide the best individualized care for mother and son, and that includes informed consent, mutual respect, and an open mind. We understand that these are “birth wishes” and that adaptability will be necessary.  Thank you so very, very much from the bottom of our hearts for your time and loving care during the most amazing moment of our lives!

Sincerely with gratitude,

Chad and Renae Launderlife

• I would appreciate being assigned a nurse who enjoys working with couples who have prepared for a natural birth. I would like strong and calm energy around me. I will not be offended if a nurse chooses to switch patients due to a better support team fit.

Essential medical staff only; no students.  If present, the midwife student who I have met a couple times at NAME OF DR OFFICE is welcome to attend with a quiet voice and calm energy.

•Please never tell me what I will feel unless I ask. I prefer to have my own experience.
•If I express my feelings, it is okay to tell me what I am experiencing is normal when appropriate.
•You may ask what I’m feeling if necessary, but do not ask my pain level.

•I am an experienced yogi and meditator.   I hope to be able to go within during my labor as part of pain management and coping, which may mean that I may not respond quickly or at all to verbal questions, suggestions, and prompts. 
•Please be very patient with my responses as they may not be immediate, look for non-verbal communication, and if necessary ask my husband what my wishes would be. 

•I wish to be surrounded by quiet voices and calm energy throughout this experience to help me stay in an inward state. I want to be able to hear conversation going on about me, but do not want it to be disruptive.

• Informed consent is required for each and every procedure/medication introduced to our situation. Please do not assume we are comfortable with standard protocol/processes.
•My husband or myself asking questions does not mean we are necessarily worried or anxious.  We want to make informed and thoughtful decisions.  Questions do not equate worry! We value your input and opinion, both factual and antidotal, and will freely ask for it.

I would like the environment to be kept as quiet and calm as possible at all times.
I would like the lights in the room to be kept low during my entire labor/delivery/recovery.
I do not want a saline lock.  (Strep B negative.)
I would like my husband to be alerted to call our birth photographer when I am approximately 6 cm dilated.  Please alert him when I am close to transition so he can set up our video recorder.
I do not wish to have continuous monitoring unless it is required by the condition of the baby.
•Please remind me to “RELEASE” physical tension in jaw, shoulders, arms, etc. (Avoid the word relax.)
•When checked for dilation, effacement, and station, I would like to know the numbers.

I do not wish to be pushed into standard hospital protocol timelines.  I believe my best chance at a healthy labor and delivery will be if my body is given the time it needs.

I realize that pain medications and epidurals exist and I’ll ask for them if I need them.
My husband and I appreciate my midwife’s calm encouragement and guidance on natural pain relief techniques.

I would appreciate guidance from my midwife in when to push and when to stop pushing to protect the perineum and allow it to stretch.  Please express that is why you want me to stop pushing. 
I am open to natural methods to protect the perineum during delivery including warm/hot compresses.
I would like a local anesthetic to repair a tear or an emergency episiotomy.

I would like the chance to touch the baby’s head when it crowns.
Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming the baby is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase. 
Please do not count while I am pushing unless I am not making ample progress on my own with a generous amount of time.
I would appreciate having the room lights turned very dim for the actual delivery and recovery.
I would appreciate having the room (including voices) as quiet as possible when the baby is born and during recovery.
Depending on the position I decide to deliver in, if physically able, I would like to be able to catch my own baby.  If this is possible, please guide me in this process after the head has been delivered.
I would like to have the baby placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery.
Do not require the baby to cry after delivery. 
If a peaceful quiet birth happens, please allow it to be.

Do not wipe off vernix; we will be rubbing it into his skin. 
Unless there is evidence of meconium during delivery, we will not be bathing our son with soap while at the hospital.
•We plan on possibly using a Leboyer bath or bath with mother and baby shortly after cord is cut.
Please gently encourage my husband to cut the cord after pulsation and preferably after placenta delivery. He wants to decide to do this the moment. 
If he does not wish to do so, I would like the option to cut the cord myself.
I would like to hold the baby while I deliver the placenta and any tissue repairs are made.
Please don’t apply traction while delivering the placenta if I am able to do it on my own. 
Please coach me to push as needed.
I do not want a routine injection of Pitocin after the delivery to aid in expelling the placenta. 
It can be used in the event of high hemorrhage risk.
I would like baby’s evaluation done in my arms and delayed 1-2+ hours after birth.
•All tests and evaluations on baby require consent from parents and should be done in their presence.  If the baby must be taken to receive medical treatment, a parent will accompany the baby at all times.
I would prefer to hold the baby skin-to-skin rather than have him placed under heat lamps.
I would like to decline the eye medication, vitamin K shot, and all vaccinations for the baby.  We intend on doing a delayed vaccination schedule with Dr. Pediatrician.
I would like to see the placenta after it is delivered.

I plan to breastfeed the baby and would like to begin nursing very shortly after birth.
In anticipation of possible gestational diabetes low-blood sugar for baby, I have a small supply of expressed colostrum if supplementation is necessary.  Consent is needed before use.
Absolutely nothing PO other than breast without mother’s consent. This includes glucose water, formula, pacifiers, etc.  Father’s consent will substitute in the emergency event Renae is unconscious and baby feeding needs are immediate.

We do not want the baby circumcised.

I would like to be fully informed and to participate in the decision-making process.
I would like my husband and birth photographer present at all times including a Cesarean.
I would like the possibility of future VBACs kept in mind when making the incision and sutures (double-layer sutures). 
I would also like the incision to be symmetrical and minimal in appearance and visibility.
I would prefer carefully placed steri-strips/glue/ subcuticular sutures to minimize scarring.  Do not use staples. If there is a better option to reduce scar visibility, please discuss this option with me!
So I can view the birth, I would like the screen lowered just before delivery of the baby.
I would like at least one arm free so I may touch my baby.
If possible, I would like delayed cord clamping. 
Do not remove vernix.
If the baby and I are not in distress, the baby should be placed on my chest and allowed skin to skin and an opportunity to immediately breastfeed. Secondary preference would be that our son is given to my husband immediately after birth.
If other family and visitors are present, no one other than my husband, our photographer, and me should be allowed to see or hold our baby until I am able to.