diaper bag

What to Pack in My Diaper Bag

If you’ve seen Mary Poppins, you will remember the scene where she is emptying her carpet bag. Each item that she pulls out is more exciting and strange than the next. As a child I always wondered how she fit an entire lamp in her bag. Now as a mother I understand. A mother’s diaper bag holds everything she will need in any situation. As a new mother you may be wondering what you will need in your diaper bag. A few weeks ago we discussed what to pack in your hospital bag. Today we have compiled a list of the necessities for your diaper bag.

Picture

Let’s start with what type of diaper bag to use. Two of the easiest bags to carry are a messenger bag and a backpack. Whether the bag is all purpose or specifically made as a diaper bag, make sure it is comfortable over your shoulder and has a variety of pockets. I love this backpack diaper bag because it is comfortable, has a ton of pockets, and the print is adorable! Another great bag is this backpack diaper bag because it is sturdy, a good size, and practical for daily use. This messenger diaper bag is perfect for dads or anyone looking for a practical bag that’s good for travel. This diaper bag is more of a standard bag but it has a classy print and many nice features, like hooks to attach the bag to a stroller. All in all, find a diaper bag big enough to fit everything you need and that you feel comfortable wearing.

Now to discuss what will go in the bag. As each new season with your baby approaches, you will change what you carry in your diaper bag. Today we will focus on packing a bag for a newborn. First and foremost, you will need diapers. Pack more than you think you will need and then one more. I love these diapers. They are eco friendly and come in cute designs. You will also need wipes. Merrill loves wipes from Costco. Stock up because you can never have too many wipes. Packing in hand sanitizer, a changing pad, and diaper rash cream is always useful as well. This changing pad is awesome for travel and so handy when changing your baby in a public restroom.

If you are bottle feeding, you will need a prepared bottle of formula or breastmilk. You will also need an extra bottle and extra formula or breastmilk in case you are out longer than you originally planned. If you are breastfeeding, you will need some extra breast pads and a thin blanket or nursing cover, if you choose. We absolutely love the reusable breast pads Bamboobies makes. Whether you are bottle feeding or breastfeeding, things can get messy! You will need some burp cloths. I buy the Gerber prefold diapers and use them as burp cloths.

Packing 2-3 extra outfits for your newborn is always a good idea. You never know what kind of spit up or blow out might happen. You will also need a few plastic bags to throw dirty clothes in or a dirty diaper if you are not near a trash can. Other miscellaneous items you might like to pack are a water bottle and snack for yourself, Chapstick, sunscreen, band aids, hair bands, and anything else you think you will need.

Check out our downloadable list for a summary of everything you will need in your diaper bag. This list is great to print out a keep on your refrigerator or even in your diaper bag. The last place you want to be is in the middle of Target with a baby covered in poop and no extra change of clothes. Trust me all mamas have been there at one point. Just remember to invest in a good sturdy diaper bag and have it packed with the necessities. Your outings with your sweet newborn will be less stressful and more enjoyable!


Check out our printable diaper bag checklist here:
breastfeeding

Invest in Your Birth: Breastfeeding

As we discussed in our previous post, investing in your birth can be beneficial for so many reasons. We believe that hiring a professional doula is the best way to invest in your birth and insure a positive experience. Treating your body and health to prenatal fitness is another great way to invest in your pregnancy and birth experience. In this post we are talking about investing in breastfeeding education during pregnancy as well as postpartum breastfeeding support, if it is needed.
breastfeeding

There are three main reasons breastfeeding education is so important:

1. Help you set reasonable goals for yourself

For some women breastfeeding goes perfectly and smoothly with no hiccups. However, for many mothers, breastfeeding can have its ups and downs. This is not meant to discourage you, but to give you a real idea of how your breastfeeding journey might go. During your prenatal breastfeeding classes you will learn about some common issues that can come up while nursing your baby. If you are knowledgeable about this then you will be able to identify the issue early enough to correct it and continue on with success.

2. Practice a variety of holds and positions

When your baby is first born you are immediately in love. Those first skin to skin snuggles are so important in establishing your bond with your baby. In the first postpartum hour it is important to begin breastfeeding. Many first time moms may wonder what the best way to hold your baby is while nursing and what position should you and your baby be in. If you invest in a comprehensive prenatal breastfeeding class you will have already see these holds and positions demonstrated and may even be able to practice with a baby doll. Knowing your favorite and most comfortable nursing position will help you to begin your breastfeeding relationship with confidence!

3. Instruction on a proper latch

After you have practiced the best holds and positions to breastfeed in, you will learn about latching your baby. A proper latch is paramount to having a successful breastfeeding relationship. When you are able to achieve a good latch then your baby is able to effectively draw milk from the breast and you will avoid the dreaded sore nipples. You will learn all about latching your baby during your breastfeeding education class. If you begin breastfeeding your baby and notice any issues with their latch you will be able to correct it or seek further help.

Ashley Glenn and Leslie Severns of Bosom Buddy LLC are an amazing resource for Nashville moms. We asked them to give a little insight on the prenatal breastfeeding classes they teach at Bosom Buddy:
“Prenatal lactation education can be key to help parents meet their breastfeeding goals. It establishes realistic expectations, demonstrates holds/positions, and provides instruction on how to achieve a deep and proper latch. Parents and mothers complete the class feeling prepared and confident to successfully breastfeed their baby and know who to call when assistance is needed postpartum.”
Check out their website to learn more!

Breastfeeding your baby is beneficial in so many ways. It is a beautiful bond of nourishment and comfort. Investing in prenatal breastfeeding education will empower you to feel comfortable and confident in you and your baby’s breastfeeding relationship.

Baby registry

Tips for a Practical Yet Modern Baby Registry for the First-Time Mom

As a mother, doula, and friend of other moms, I’ve seen many baby registries over the years. The short and sweet registry, the long registry (I’m talking printing 30 pages at the target kiosk), the one-store registry, the five-store registry. The list goes on. As a self-proclaimed registry expert, I’ve come to the conclusion that baby registries are not “one size fits all.”

Baby registry

As a first time mom, you may be wondering, “Where do I start?” Start with where you want to register. Big box stores like Target and Babies R Us are a great one stop shop for all things baby. However, you may want a smaller baby boutique option, such as The Plaid Rabbit or Helen’s Children’s Shop. If you’re an online shopper like me, check out myregistry.com, babyli.st, or amazon.com/babyregistry. These are great options because you can pull from multiple sites and have everything on one list.

Waiting to find out the sex of the baby? Check out notfindingout.com. Each item comes in pink and blue. After your birth, you confirm the sex, and they send you the items in the correlating color.

Now that you’ve decided where to register, what do you register for? In all honesty, babies don’t need much. Eat, sleep, poop, repeat.
Eat: however you want to feed your baby, you may register for a nursing pillow, a good nursing bra, a breast pump (many insurance companies will provide this for free), or bottles.
Sleep: wherever you want your baby to sleep, you might want crib bedding, a bassinet, a sidecar co-sleeper, and a few swaddlers.
Poop: wherever you want your baby to do their business, you might register for a couple sizes of diapers, cloth diapers, wipes, or reusable wipes. I like these disposable diapers.

Other practical items to register for include onesies, pajamas (I like the kind that zip… Buttons are no fun in the middle of the night), and maybe some receiving blankets. Once you have registered for the practical items, then have some fun! If you love going on walks, add a sturdy stroller or stylish baby carrier. If you have a nursery theme in mind, add some decor that matches your theme. If you are a planner, you may add some items for the future like a high chair or toddler sized dishware. If you love to pamper, add some yummy smelling baby shampoo and lotion.

Here are the top ten practical and fun gifts Nashville Doulas suggests for pregnant moms of any season:
1. Nursing pillow
2. Swaddle blanket
3. Receiving blankets (great for diy reusable wipes)
4. Onesies (we love these)
5. Baby carrier
6. Stroller
7. Pod high chair
8. Safe bath products
9. Bedding and decor
10. Comforting infant seat

All in all, a baby registry is a great way to show your loved ones what you need and want for your new bundle of joy. Whether your cousin sends that special blanket to your front door or your aunt brings that adorable Tula carrier to your baby shower, you will feel loved knowing they picked each item from the registry you carefully put together in anticipation of your baby’s grand entrance into the world. Every Time you swaddle your baby or put them in a clean new onesie you will be reminded of the family member or friend that took the time to get that gift for you. So remember to register for those practical and functional items, but also don’t forget to have fun! You deserve it during this most special season of your life.

To Find Out or Wait… That is the Question!

There are many decisions to make regarding your labor and birth, and a never-ending list of decisions to make regarding parenting. It can be quite daunting! But one of the more “fun” decisions to make during pregnancy is whether or not to find out the sex of your baby before he/she is born! Whether you choose to find out during pregnancy or wait until you meet your little one face to face for the first time, it is truly be a special surprise, whatever you choose!

First let’s talk about the most common ways you can find out your baby’s sex prenatally, including a “newer” method:

The “Traditional” 20-Week Anatomy Scan

How it works: It is common practice in today’s American obstetrics to have a full anatomy scan (ultrasound) of your baby when you are around 18-20 weeks into pregnancy. This ultrasound will check all of the major organs and functions of your baby’s growing body including the heart, brain, kidneys, bladder and fluid levels, to name a few. The primary reason for this scan is not to determine the baby’s sex, however you almost always are able to find out at this scan if you want to.

Even though routine ultrasounds started to become widely used in America in the 1970’s (read about the fascinating history of the fetal ultrasound here), it didn’t truly become the norm to find out the sex of your baby via ultrasound until the late 80’s/early 90s. Since then and until recently, this has been the first opportunity for most couples to learn the sex of their babies during pregnancy.

Maternal Blood Test at 10 Weeks

How it works: This is a test done on the mother’s blood that detects the presence of a Y-chromosome (male), and if no Y-chromosome is detected, then it can be assumed your baby is female. This test is non-invasive and can be done as early as 10 weeks gestation. Just in the past 5 years has this option been commercially available at doctors offices and for the past couple years has gained awareness and popularity.

Just for Fun: Old Wives Tales Gender Prediction Tests

Anything from chinese calendars to the pencil test, it can be fun to make a good guess on the sex of your baby with these Old Wives Tales that your grandmother probably swears by.

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

It seems that “waiting” to find out at the birth is actually making a comeback after all these years of having the technology to find out sooner. We asked parents who have done it BOTH ways (waiting and finding out early) to comment on their experience, and many of them actually said they liked waiting better. Here are some quotes from fellow moms:

“I didn’t find out with my first but did with the last three. think the delivery room was a little more fun with my first, not knowing the gender. It was really fun for my husband to announce “it’s a girl!” when he went into the waiting room to tell family. On the other hand, I am a super sentimental person and wished that I would have had more girly outfits and blankets when she was a newborn especially for photo reasons.”
– Natalie

“We found out with the first, kept it a surprise with the 2nd. It was beautiful to find out at birth. And beautiful when we found out beforehand. We did find out with our 3rd since we already had two boys at home but we kept it a secret from everyone else.”
– Christi

“I found out with the first two and was surprised with the third! It was completely and wonderfully amazing!! For me it was an incredible element of labor I didn’t experience the first two times – the surprise factor gave me a total rush of adrenaline when it was time to push.”
– Lacey

“Did not find out on #1, but found out for #2, both were fun!!”
– Jennifer

“I found out with my first two and waited with this last baby. Loved waiting. Even my husband (who wanted to find out the whole time) said in the delivery room that it made it more emotional for him. If we ever have another, I’ll wait again.”
– Lindsey

So what did you choose to do for your babies? Let us know in the comments below!