With the birth fast approaching, and I mean FAST, I thought I’d write a blog about what I’ve been up to in regards to getting ready for our little girl. Focusing on what I’m bringing to the hospital, what I have prepared at home, and what items I plan to use with cloth diapering.
My Hospital Bag
Hey, I’m a first time mom, so I will most likely be OVER prepared on what to bring to the hospital as I have no clue how long we will be there for. Regardless here’s a list of things I have packed
- Cloth Diapers
Also regular NB diapers in case she turns out to be too small for cloth diapers, as most cloth diapers are “one size fits all” they usually fit babies that are 8-10 lbs or over. Not to mention regular diapers might be easier to use while at the hospital considering baby’s first BM is usually pretty gross.
- Water Wipes
These are 99.9% Water and .01% Fruit Extract, totally chemical-free and the most efficient thing to bring to the hospital until we start cloth diapering at home. Unfortunately you can only really find these in the US so I bought a value pack on Amazon for $14.99.
- 2-3 NB Onesies & Sleepers
Including a couple 3M sets considering we don’t know how big she might be ALSO not forgetting a hat, scratch mitts, and socks.
- Swaddle Blankets & Receiving Blankets
- T-Shirt Dress, Black Cotton Underwear, Loose PJ Pants, Comfy Socks
To give birth in because who enjoys wearing hospital gowns and having cold feet?
Also Justin will need a few outfits to change into just in case.
- Postpartum Pads
These and adult diapers should also be supplied by the hospital but I’m bringing some just in case.
- Nursing Bra & 1 Nursing Shirt
- Essential Oils
Lavender for stress relief & Peppermint for my nausea are my go-to’s.
- Personal Toiletries
All the essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste, witch hazel, etc.
See my previous blog post My Natural (Daily) Beauty Routine to see my favorites I use everyday.
For Vending Machines, Food, Parking, etc.
- Car Seat
Cause they don’t let you take baby home without something.
- Baby Folder
Meaning ALL the paperwork I’ve been accumulating over the last 9 months from my doctor regarding the baby, hospital forms, information packages, etc. This also gives me a spot to put other important papers the hospital will give me while I’m there.
I actually found a shop on Etsy that makes bundles of cloth diapers and charcoal bamboo inserts. It was actually pretty cost efficient considering the cost of cloth diapers. I was able to get 12 covers and inserts for $200. I thought this was good to start but I will eventually need to get more. They are one size fits all with different snap locations for different weights and ages.
I also found another shop owner who produces cloth wipes, I purchased 50 for $50 ($1 a wipe, can’t go too wrong with that considering they are washable & reusable)
It seems like a large upfront cost but the benefits out-weigh the price, no chemicals or toxins and if all goes well I won’t need to purchase a box of diapers or wipes AT ALL, which will help us save SO much money down the line. If you are interested in other ways I plan to be natural with baby check out my previous blog post Being Natural with Baby
Baby Wipe Spray
I have made a super easy and clean wipe spray with only 4 ingredients.
- 8 oz Distilled Water
- 1/2 tsp Unscented Dr. Bonner’s Castile Soap
- 1 tbsp Fractionated Coconut Oil (Can also use Sweet Almond Oil)
- 2-3 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Simply Mix all these together in a 8 oz glass amber spray bottle & SHAKE WELL before each use. Fractionated Coconut Oil can be found in the cosmetic section of your local health food store and please do your research in regards to using essential oils with babies! Baby’s skin is sensitive and doesn’t require nearly as much as we would and also use the highest quality oils you can find, I prefer to use doTERRA for recipes like this.
Another thing to consider is efficiency with cloth diapering. There will be times when we are out and about and she will need a change. Instead of lugging around a big 8 oz spray bottle in the diaper bag, opt for a small 2-4 oz mini sprayer.
Diaper Sprayer/Washer (Bidet Sprayer)
This was more of an “efficient luxury” rather then a necessity, but I wanted to equip myself with as many things as possible to make cloth diapering easier for myself. I bought this bidet sprayer off Amazon for $30, it comes with all the attachments and a holder. Essentially its used to spray remaining poop off the diapers and into the toilet before washing or before the diapers are put in the wet bags until washing. Ideally this will minimize stains and making the process easier (and less smelly) in general.
Wet Bags x 2
TWO Vinyl Wet Bags, ONE for my “bed side” change station at home and ONE for the diaper bag. These are for storing the dirty cloth diapers and wipes until washing. They keep in the smell and the moisture. I bought mine from Amazon for less than $14.99.
DIY Laundry Detergent
Most liquid laundry detergents are not compatible with cloth diapering and can actually ruin the diapers (not to mention full of chemicals). The best option is to make your own, luckily the detergent I make is clean and compatible with cloth diapers, it also lasts 6 months so its a HUGE cost saver! Check out my previous blog post Lavender Orange Laundry Detergent for the recipe.
Mesh Laundry Bags
This is also an efficient luxury. Do you know how small baby socks are? God knows they will get lost in my house within a week. So these bags are specifically for really small things like socks, hats, and mitts that need to be washed without getting lost in the sock munching machine known as your dryer.
An Efficient Change Station
I have set up 2 change stations in my house. 1 in the Nursery and 1 right next to my bed for night time changings. For the nursery change station I used a kitchen island cart from IKEA ($69.99) This was luckily something I had before from my Interior Design days. Its perfect for storing diapers, wipes, spray bottles, etc. & it’s on wheels. The other change station I purchased a storage box and filled it with changing necessities including a portable change pad and wet bag so I ideally won’t even need to get out of bed in the middle of the night.
Earth Mama Line (Herbal Pads, Bottom Spray, Nipple Butter)
Earth Mama makes a ton of products for both mama and baby, ranging from things to assist with pregnancy, breast feeding, and postpartum. Certified organic and natural/minimal ingredients, this line is perfect for the expecting mommy who isn’t keen on making their own products or if you just don’t have the time to do so. Out of all the things they sell I purchased the three things I feel like I will use the most day to day.
The herbal pads and bottom spray are both for postpartum relief. (Once again feeling like I need to be over prepared cause I don’t know what to expect and I really want to try to stay away from taking pain killers if I’m hurting. The other product I wanted to try was their nipple butter. Its lanolin-free and doesn’t require you to wash it off between feedings. All of these products are reasonably priced and have amazing reviews.
Carina Organics Baby Wash/Shampoo/Lotion
My husband and I actually use the Carina Organics shampoo line and I love them! My hair feels so light weight after which is amazing cause I have SUCH thick, curly hair. I bought small 8 oz bottles of their shampoo/wash and lotion from their baby line to try on our girl. Certified organic, no harsh smells or fragrances, and amazing reviews. As long as there is no sort of reactions with her skin I will definitely be upgrading to the 1 liter bottles.
Washable Breast Pads & Breast Milk Storage Bags
While the breast milk storage bags are not natural (plastic and disposable) I still felt like they were a definite necessity when it comes to storing breast milk instead of using small containers. With how much breast milk we plan to store away and use, containers just weren’t an option. They are stackable, freeze flat, easier to thaw, and have an area to write the date it was collected and stored. A pack of 100 cost me $19.00 on Amazon. The breast pads however are washable and can be reused over and over.
I’ve chosen a brand called Huggaloops and I opted for the bamboo carrier in a neutral colour so my husband is okay with wearing baby too (not that he’d really care about strutting around in a hot pink baby wrap anyways). I’m actually really excited about baby wearing because its an ancient practice and women rave all the time about still being able to get stuff done around the house. Can even go as far as wearing baby out instead of pushing a big stroller around. It’s a pricey purchase ($100 including shipping and taxes) but I feel like it will be beyond worth it in the end when it comes to efficiency.
We actually purchased multiple loungers, the fisher price rock n’ play for the main level and we have a small bed side bassinet for our room. On top of that we also purchased a custom lounger from a shop on Etsy (this one was similar to the Dock-a-Tot or Boppy Lounger but way cheaper). While the Dock-a-Tot goes for around $300 we purchased ours for $70. Its perfect for co-sleeping, nap time, and travelling. Once again a pricey purchase but I feel as though in the end it will be worth it to have multiple places to put down baby when we need to.
Hormonal Teas/Nursing Teas
Finally I purchased some herbal teas specific to balancing those pesky postpartum hormones and boosting milk production. Everyone is different when it comes to milk production so I am not sure how these teas will effect me directly but it’s worth a shot to see if it helps. While placenta encapsulation is a generally new practice and is said to help immensely with balancing hormones and postpartum depression, I did not plan for it personally, so I’m hoping a herbal tea will be equally effective.
Well there you have it, better to be OVER prepared instead of under prepared. With the birth only weeks away, its literally just a waiting game now. If others mama’s have preferred natural products that they swear by please feel free to comment and share!