The Bare Necessities – For Hospital, Home & Babe

In my singular experience, I’ve learnt a few little things that possibly made the process of bringing a baby into the world/our lives, slightly easier in my opinion ☺️

I’ll share those with you here, incase you find yourself, or perhaps know of a friend, in the baby boat.

For The Hospital –

Everyone will have different wants and such and knows the general items to take with, so this isn’t an in depth hospital bag list.

Something I found helpful and hadn’t seen on any other lists, was a heated blanket.
During labour I had the shakes off and on and the warmth was very nice, as well as once the epidural kicked in and I had some time to rest and relax a little.

After having Lake, the heated blanket was great for some added comfort during the two nights I was in the hospital as well.

During labour I didn’t want water. I wanted Gatorade or, as Mike and Mom wisely chose, the iced peach green tea with coconut milk from Starbucks 🤪
The Gatorade mixed with the lovely little hospital nugget ice, was refreshing and actually enjoyable, when the thought of water was repulsing.

As for snack packing… I had stuff packed but really very little of it was eaten, as you have no clue what you or your support team will feel like at the time. I’d stick with some muffins/very simple stuff to fill the gaps between either the hospitals meals or the ones someone brings you, from where you actually want food 🤪

If you suffered with heartburn during the pregnancy, DON’T forget to bring your tums to the hospital as well 🙌🏻

I also wrote a little grocery list BEFORE going into labour, to easily have on hand for ourselves or to hand over to someone else. Just a few necessities that I knew we would need fresh at the house once we got to go home. Milk, cream, bread, some fresh fruit etc.

  • Heated blanket or heat pad
  • Gatorade or drink of choice aside from water, I had two large gatorades and that wasn’t enough
  • Minimal snacks
  • Tums
  • Grocery list

I DIDN’T need the laptop and it’s cords etc.
Though we were in the hospital from Sunday afternoon until Wednesday, we only pulled the laptop out once for a very short period of time.
I was in and out of the room being monitored, brought back, out for IV, back, walking, meals, attempted napping etc. So the laptop was not really required.

For The Home –

My sister-in-law dropped off some homemade bran muffins the day we got to go home and they were SO handy to have. I woke up starving every morning (not my usual) but I was of course pretty tired, sore and having to tend to baby, so having an easy, tasty and somewhat nutritional thing to eat was very appreciated… so I guess get yourself a good sister-in-law before having a baby is what I’m saying? 🤪

(My sister gave me confetti birthday cake and cupcakes… they were eaten along side the brans, to balance everything out 🤪 )

I have a Baby Brezza and though I’ve never NOT had one so I can’t compare, I do think it’s been handy, especially for us due to a few factors.

Firstly, we don’t drink our tap water, so for warm bottles, it would have meant having to heat up the bottled water, for every bottle. Secondly his room is upstairs, so for nighttime feedings it’s really nice to simply have to press a button and have it done momentarily.

I think if you had other kids at home it would be lovely because they could run and make up a bottle easy peasy for you and same applies slightly to the husband, if he hasn’t listened to the ‘how many scoops of formula for how much water’ directions you told him ahead of time… am I speaking from experience? You’ll never know 😉

I would advise watching your local kijiji or buy and sell page for a used one and I’d also advise getting the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced, if possible. I didn’t and only realized later that the difference was that the advanced model allows you to make exact bottle sizes, whereas the Baby Brezza only makes a few specific bottle sizes. It  also makes them faster and mixes them really well without extra shaking afterwards. Not a huge deal but I feel like we ended up wasting a fair bit of formula those first weeks when he drank such little amounts per feeding.

(We are using Kirkland formula. Cheapest around but ESPECIALLY when you can hit it on sale. Plus, my Doctor actually said it’s one of the best. Only the best for my boy!… Kidding Lake, we got you the cheapest and it just so happened to be good too :P)

I charted when he ate.
I realize that won’t be for everyone but at the hospital they wanted you to write down babes feeding times and amounts and I just continued it at home for a while. It gave me peace of mind, knowing that if he had eaten at a certain time, I could track it to know if his next cry was likely a tired or a hungry one for example. It was also very handy during those first few nights when both Mike and I were very tired but trying to take turns getting up for/feeding him.
Either of us could look at the last recorded eating time and estimate if he needed more food or was just fussing etc.

There were times come morning, we didn’t believe the other that they’d gotten up or forgot who’d fed when or even imagined we’d gotten up when we hadn’t and the chart told us the truth 😅🙈

I used a paper at first but then switched to using a clear photo frame and dry erase marker.

When it comes to making up the crib, they say to make it with two layers. One liner and sheet atop another, to make sheet changing easier incase of nighttime accidents etc. To me that seems a little risky because if the accident happened juuust off of the liner area, you’d now have two ruined sets of bedding.

One liner beneath the top fitted sheet has worked fine for us. I got the Ikea crib liners and didn’t realize until after the fact, that they aren’t an entire sheet, but simply a large mat to lay beneath, which I like. Something else I did, but now realize it may be slightly frowned upon as it’s a *loose item* in the crib, was to put a burp cloth where his head was, as he spit up a fair bit during the night those first few weeks. Throwing a burp cloth in the laundry was a lot easier than the amount of sheet washing i’d have had to do from little spit ups.

*I have jersey sheets for his crib and the back of the burp cloths kind of stuck to them, in a way that I wasn’t at all concerned about it being a loose fabric by his face, but you do as you feel and sheets/clothes may differ.

Something I assumed they did at the hospital was to do the foot and handprint keepsakes. They did not do that at ours and thus, I don’t have any of his newly, new born appendages. Which I didn’t really think of or realize due to ‘new baby brain fog’, until much later. So having your own keepsake kit bought and ready would be ‘handy’ 😉

I did NOT have a Snuggle Me Organic/DockATot type thing and something like that would have been nice to have at the start (or the Baby Bjorn bouncer that Lake’s Oma generously gifted him, just later on).

I thought for the price of those items, he could just as easily lay upon the couch or wherever and he did and it was fine. Handy wise though, it would have been nice to easily move him around, in a location made for him and having a removable cover to wash instead of cloths on the couch/taking up a couch seat… but we survived ok without one 😉

Update – He did not like the Baby Bjorn bouncer. He also outgrew it really fast 😛 Though it was highly recommend many places and by many people, I just didn’t see the need for something that expensive. Especially because it doesn’t have any toys attached and attachments for it are an extra pretty penny.  I’d go for a much more affordable option like  fisher price bouncer or something like that.

I didn’t think I’d need a lamp because I assumed my phone light would do the trick but that was an incorrect assumption. The flashlight was too bright and the screen too dim. A little lamp was for sure needed in babes room. One person also suggested using a battery candle as an easy/portable night light option!

A baby journal if that’s your sort of thing. I didn’t get mine until a couple weeks ago so now I’m trying to do catch up writing and that’s a tad annoying. I got a Promptly journal and love the look and writing prompts. One downfall is once I start adding pictures I don’t think it will close the greatest.

Lastly, get yourself a wall mural! Joking cause that can’t always happen and doesn’t always fit the decor scheme but also semi serious because I have actually REALLY liked having something interesting to look at during night feedings! 🤪

  • Muffins or some sort of easy, nutritional, easy to grab food
  • Baby Brezza – Advanced Pro
  • Feeding chart
  • Crib mattress liners – Ikea for price and size
  • Burp/spit up cloths
  • Foot and handprint keepsake kit
  • Baby lounger/reclining bouncer
  • Lamp/battery candle
  • Baby journal
  • Wall mural 😉

Diaper stations are mentioned everywhere if you read any preparation write ups. I actually emptied out a drawer in our living room dresser and it’s been perfect.

  • Diapers – I found Pampers leaked so Huggies are what we use now. Make sure to sign up for a small box of free newborn Huggies and wipes here – Huggies Welcome Box
  • Diaper cream –  Destin is a bit more of a heavy duty one that we also dabbed on when he had heat rash in his one arm pit since it has higher amounts of zinc than some. But use oil on a q-tip to gently roll it off when cleaning baby, as water just gets it goopy. Baby Boo Bamboo cream is one I received at the baby shower and it has been nice as a lighter cream that also absorbs and cleans off nicely. The Young Living diaper creams I got, once opened, hardened so much I could hardly squeeze out the cream…and ease is a necessity when a diaper is open and hands are pretty occupied 🤪
  • Lotion – Is there actually any baby lotion besides Johnsons? 😉
  • Coconut oil – handy for head and body rashes that you’re not sure about putting any type of lotion on
  • Cornstarch – for keeping the neck rolls, or any rolls really, dry
  • Wipes – I’ve personally found pampers wipes leave little fuzzies, so I’ve been using Huggies brand in those too.
  • Extra pacifiers
  • Alcohol wipes for the belly button – you should be able to get extras of these from the hospital. STOCK up on the diaper cart items while in there 😉
  • Nail clipper – for easily grabbing to use once the babies asleep and still
  • Extra bib(s)
  • Extra swaddle
  • Vasaline
  • Gripe water, Infant Tylenol and the nifty medicine administer pictured in the bottom right corner, that I got in a baby grooming/hygiene kit
  • Saline drops – I didn’t have these before he was born but it would have been nice to have them, as he was pretty snuffly, getting used to the outside worlds air and all 🤪

For The Babe –

I loved the white toque they gave us at the hospital!
It stayed on, was long enough to be pulled down or folded up, whichever was necessary and it was light enough it didn’t seem like it was overheating him. Get one and keep it 😅

At the hospital, the nurse told us to smear Vaseline down the middle of his diaper to help those first unpleasant poops not get so stuck on him and be easier to wipe off.
It worked SUPER well 👍🏻

If you’re using the formula bottles the hospital supplies, consider pouring them into your own bottle to feed baby.
I didn’t realize until we were home, that the nipple hole is very large on them and it was causing Lake to gag and in turn freak me, the new mom, out 🙈
Gagging was solved as soon as we used our own, smaller nipple tops.

The health nurses said to wipe out babes mouth with a wet washcloth to help prevent thrush.

When changing babies diaper, use their onesie to fold up over their wild little arms to calm down the process!

We also tried to brush the wet-wipe over his belly pre diaper change and then give him a minute incase that inspired a ‘tinkle’ 🤪
I’m not sure if that truly did any good or not, as there was for sure still insistences when the timing didn’t align but it happened more to his daddy then to me, sooo maybe daddy didn’t allow much ‘wait’ time? 😉😜

In case of diaper contents going where they don’t belong, mainly up 🤪 don’t forget baby clothes have nifty shoulders so that they can be slid down, so you don’t have to bring the mess up and over! 👍🏻

My sister told me this next hack and it’s been SO useful.
We don’t have a bathtub in our house, so I was trying to decide on a baby tub to get, when she told me how they had typically bathed their babies.
They took them with, IN THE SHOWER.
Baby stays super happy and calm because they are so warm and cuddled.
And then there’s no messy baby bath to fill/drain and store.

Cautionary note – wet babies are very, very slippery 😂🙈

I have this sink ‘flower’ for when a combo shower isn’t an option and I do really like it now that he’s got some head control. We just need to move over to the big side of the sink now 😅

Not sure if this is a tip or not, but lotion their little heads, hair or no hair, moisturizer is important 😄
I automatically did it because I always seen my sister do it with her littles but I’m not sure if everyone does or not.

They grow FAST 😅
Don’t waste money on a ton of outfits if at all possible 😬
I was lucky enough to have gotten a lot of second hand outfits, so I didn’t have to buy anything hardly but still, he fit things for such a short amount of time, it would have been very painful watching the $$$ of clothes just get given/packed away.

If you have a ‘Once Upon A Child’ near you, I highly recommend checking them out! I went to one recently and was very impressed by the cleanliness, organization and prices. Making it a place that I think will come in very handy, as my 3 month old is currently wearing 6-9 month old stuff… meaning the few things I DID buy before he was born, are not at all seasonally appropriate.

I preferred and still do prefer, footsie pjs so he doesn’t need pant waist bands or socks for bedtime.
The sleeper gowns were nice at the start but he’s on the long side, so after a certain point the elastic bottoms wouldn’t stay past his feet as they should and it made it a bit annoying to keep down 🤪
For sure get all the things with fold over hand mittens if at all possible 🙌🏻

Doggy bags from a dollar store work for those on the go diaper baggings! Cheap and easy.

  • Keep the hospital hat
  • Vaseline wiped down middle of diaper to aid in those first diaper fulls
  • Newborn nipples – I have four bottle tops, six probably would have been nicer for ease… but I have to do the dishes often anyways
  • Fold onesie up over arms during diaper changes
  • Damp washcloth over your finger to clean babies mouth and tongue to prevent thrush
  • Clothes can come down and off, instead of up and over, incase of blowouts
  • Shower with baby for a calm and easy bathing experience
  • Sink bath ‘flower’
  • Lotion their little noggins
  • Second hand clothing or at least leave tags on all you can, incase of returns
  • Dollar store doggy bags

I am positive that I am forgetting things but for now, here are the things I can recall… Leave your favourite hospital and baby hacks/tips below if you have any! 😀

Author: jessicapeters95

Hello humans 😊 This is where you learn about me I suppose, though anyone reading this right now most likely knows all the boring details ;) I am Jessica Rose Peters-Hagenouw. (Always thought I'd be able to pronounce my married name but hey, life doesn't go as we plan.) June 11, 1995, tis the day Robert and Bonnie Peters received the most adorable, amazing, wonderful, surprise 3rd child they could have dreamed of. Speaking of being the third child, I have an older brother and an older sister. Both of whom are married and have wee little families of their own, making 'Aunty Jess' another name I go by. I grew up and have lived all of my years up till November 2015 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Making summers that are extremely short and winters that never end, vast open spaces, northern lights, unthinkable amounts of mosquitoes, lakes, forests and people waving to you on the grid road all different things that mean = Home. But Home is not where I'll be for some time. My husband is a Dutchman, living in Europe. Therefore I too have been living in Europe for the last few months. The reason I started this little blog/journal/writing thing, is to document a bit of my "whole new world," for those at home who wont be awake at 3:00 am wanting to hear about how I couldn't find flour at the grocery store. Thanks for stopping by and taking a peek into my little life 😊

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