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! 😀

A ‘Rash-ional’ Recollection Of Post Babe Peculiarities

Though I can’t really give you great details as to what exactly happened/was felt on what day (that’s all totally gone and lost from the memory bank) I will detail (some in a semi discrete way of detailing) a few ‘things’ about what I and my person have experienced after having given birth to this blob 🤪

During the first days of that first week home, evenings were weird.
I realized I was probably overtired and dealing with a lot of hormonal things going on but for some reason, during the day I’d feel pretty good and ‘with it’ and then as soon as it started to get dark outside, the feelings got heavy.
It felt sad and lonely and scary inside the house…probably outside too but I didn’t find that out 🤪
It didn’t feel like there was any place for good feelings.
Not as in baby blues or a dislike of Lake or myself, just ALLLL the emotions of the day and the thoughts of facing the upcoming night, (though he was sleeping pretty decently) felt like a weight falling on me with the setting of the sun.
I felt like I couldn’t get enough light in the house and the realness of having a little life to care for became really, real.
The tears came nearly nightly for 3-4 four nights.

The patience with the husband was nearly non existent 😬

I found out I had burst blood vessels in both my eyes (most likely due to pushing) after my sister seen and told me.
I showed my mom and you’d think she would never have been able to be in the room with me WHILE I gave birth, by her repulsed reaction 😂

I’m bottle feeding Lake, so you can fill in the blanks as to why cabbage leaves and ibuprofen had to be purchased 4 days in 🤪
That was … different. Gravity didn’t exist and I don’t ever need/want to pay for the effects that were imitated… if you catch my drift 😂 If you don’t, too bad because I’m not going to explain 🙈

One nice-ish thing about being pregnant, was that I didn’t have more than one zit, for 9 months 😳
But that came back in a smattering of little pimples and an extremely, desert dry face 😬

Clinical strength deodorant had to be purchased to deal with a change of those hormones and extra strength meds were bought to combat the daily headaches, which began a couple weeks in and then lasted 5 weeks or so.

The doctor said the headaches were most likely caused from holding Lake so much and the way it twists your neck/shoulders, especially if you are prone to using one arm more than the other, which I am. His recommendations for relief were time, hydration and stretching.

I had some MAJOR baby brain.
If thinking coherent thoughts were represented by bouncy balls in baskets, all my baskets were thrown in the air and the bouncy balls were ricocheting off every single surface, not to be caught 🤪

I was forgetting stuff and also having trouble formulating thoughts and making decisions on new things, without feeling like the bouncy ball thoughts were also going to start exploding, along with their unstoppable bouncing 🙈

It has mostly revised itself… I think 🤓

A couple days post birthing him, my muscles began to feel very strained when I’d move around…my arms and neck having that same lingering feeling as your leg has after a bad Charlie horse.
That lasted a few days but the sore upper abdominal muscles/ribs when using them in specific movements, lingered for a good 9 weeks.

Haven’t had enough information yet?

Let’s talk rashes 🤓

During the following days of being home, the stretch marks on my stomach were a bit itchy but I tried to ignore it best I could.
Come Thursday the 22nd, I gave them a good, hard, relieving, amazing feeling scratch… and so it began. A rash then began to appear on my stomach and I figured it was just due to the extensive scratching.
During the day it progressively worsened and spread to my limbs and hands and come end of day, my face, ears, legs and feet, including the bottoms of my feet, were all rash ridden.

The itching was insane. I was able to call my doctor and get some cream for the husband to bring home and I applied that liberally and tried not to scratch.
The next day it was even worse. The desire to shred my skin off has never been so strong and writing about it, is almost making me get itchy again 😅
The sister mixed up some essential oils she’d read to try online and brought them over in the morning and then I went over to her house that afternoon to try an oatmeal bath. It eased it minimally while IN the bath but the gentle pat dry with a towel afterword, pretty much reawakened whatever it had calmed.

And it just got worse.

Come evening, I was standing trying to get up the courage to apply the cream, clenching my fists and teeth so hard I was quivering and near tears due to the current itch strength and the thought of having to touch my skin and make the itch even worse.

Via ‘the google’, it seemed like PUPPPs but that’s typically something gotten before the babe is born.


Come Saturday I went into the walk-in clinic and got some stronger meds.
The doctor said it seemed like a reaction to something and asked if I’d changed anything at home but Lake was the only thing I could think of 🤪 He then asked if I had a husband home to help, because the night time meds would knock me out and the day time ones could almost make me feel squirrelly 🥴🤪

Whatever they were… they worked 🙌🏻

Praise. The. Lord.
Seriously. I don’t know how to explain the itch properly or how a person would handle it DURING pregnancy when you’d have all the discomforts of pregnancy to add to it 😳😖😰
The meds took care of it within a couple of days and after that, any other post Lake body happenings, seemed pretty bearable 😅

I still feel a little paranoid when I get a strong random itch but besides that I think I’m pretty much back to my normal 🤪

I do believe that pretty much covers the most apparent and perhaps slightly unexpected, side effects I experienced after having had a baby.  Though most of these occurrences are ones I didn’t read or hear about before hand, when I was looking up what to expect after having a baby.

So I hope you found this enlightening, insightful or at least entertaining at my expense 🤪

If you had any unexpected side effects of having a baby and are willing to divulge, I’d love to hear about them! 🤪

I do believe I’m now out of the immediate danger zone for experiencing anymore overly weird bodily things in relation to this, so in ending the topic, I now leave you with this, the sincerest of wishes…

‘May you never itch, as I have itched’. 😂

In-Laws – In Quarantine, A ‘Jem Moment’

Jem Moment 

It’s been a long while since I posted a ‘Jem Moment’ but I think it may be time to try to bring them back with a little more regularity 😉

To start off their renewal, I’d like to give a shout-out to my in-laws.

Not only did they travel to see us from Europe but they did it during a time in which they knew they’d have to be quarantined, in our house, for two weeks, with only one day of freedom before they continued on their way.

That would be tough to accept when paying for tickets and using up vacation days, even if you were going somewhere with nice weather to enjoy but they came to Saskatchewan, in November, a few days before a record breaking dump of snow…

I think we were all holding our breath a little wee bit, wondering how the family morale would stay high and contemplating just how slowly time would pass during those two weeks. In the end, it actually went rather quickly. Perhaps even quicker than a visit full of activities has passed?
That’s my opinion though… you may need to ask them personally, for theirs 😜

Along with the visiting and usuals of a visit from family members, there were some added perks…

I got spoiled with babe free mornings.
Mike took to delivering Lake downstairs to his mom, when he’d leave the house for work.
Meaning I got to sleep in… even later than I slept before Lake was actually born 😅

Along with sleep filled mornings, I hardly had to do any dishes, maybe half of the daily bottle feedings and very few #2 diaper changes.

I always thought it would be odd to raise kids how the royals used to… having a servant bring them their baby when they wanted and also taking them away when wanted.
But now, I’m not so sure 😂🙈

Mike got some help from his dad too, having him assist in insulating walls and then beginning to instal metal on the ceiling in the garage.

(Note the difference of height they are standing on their ladders?
I feel like I got a glimpse of how it looks when Mike asks ME for help. Always having to stand on something taller, stretching to my max to attempt to level out with his end of things 🤪)


So this little post is simply to say, thank you. Thank you for making the effort to come see us during these uncertain times and for the time and attention you devoted to Lake, along with all the treats and help you gave his parents 😉

They have now gone on to spoil the next grand baby and enjoy some well deserved sunshine!

…and a baby is once again laying in my bed come early morning 😉

Thank you for the rapt attention, cuddles and love Opa and Oma! ♥️

Love, Lake

What’s In A Name…?

As many, or perhaps all of you know by now, we had a rather difficult time trying to find, agree and then settle on and confirm, a name for our small person 🙈

He didn’t have a name until his second day earth side and that caused the days following his birth to be a little ‘extra’ tiring, mentally.

I never thought I/we would be the type of people to go to the hospital NOT having a solidly picked out name but that’s what I get for thinking that I guess 🤪

I did have a girl name pretty early on that I liked a fair bit but we know what happened there 😜

So, the endless name searching and list reading ensued and the back and forth of asking each other, ‘do you like – – – – ?’.
Mike tended to like simple, possibly biblical names, or even names of relations 🤪
I did not understand why one would name ones child, the same as ones cousins and I also preferred the idea of our child having a name that wouldn’t result in his having endless acquaintances with the same name as him.

Our personal preferences made sense due to our own names though. I wanted semi unique, since growing up there were endless ‘Jessica’s’ and Mike leant towards simple, due to growing up with a name many couldn’t pronounce correctly 🤪

Oh and the name also had to preferably be able to be pronounced the same in both Dutch and English. There were a few names that did NOT sound the same, so technically you could say that helped narrow down the search I guess🤪

Mike didn’t like to pretend to use the names in sentences to get a feel for them, so that proved to be a little annoying to me 🤪
It didn’t feel natural for me to pretend to use the names either but I felt like none would feel normal  to us, unless we at least attempted to use them.
We never did end up doing that very much though.

I had hoped that during our baby-moon road trip we’d come to a solid decision but instead we just decided against one name and then added on a new one 🤪

At that point, all three names could be water related, as I mentioned prior to his birth. I will admit that one was Hudson and we eventually took it off the list, leaving us with the two that were never officially guessed by anyone, one of which we did use 😉

Finally, at two days old, babe was officially dubbed, ‘Lake Fallan Johannes Hagenouw’.

We did have the middles names chosen for awhile pre being in the hospital.

Lake was a name I read and liked fairly early on and Mike was pretty ok with it 😉 Though in the end, he did consult one esteemed (and left unnamed so we don’t show preference 😉) person to help assure him of how those in Europe would possibly react to the name, which made him feel a lot better about using it.
There was no specific reasoning or representation, aside from liking it.

/lāk/ . noun
1. A large body of water surrounded by land.
2. Geography name for an inland body of water.

Fallan was again a name I liked and brought to the Hubster. Mike also liked it and then we read the meaning and it added some meaningfully humorous representation 😜
My dads middle name is Allan, thus the spelling of F’allan’.

Origin – Irish.

1. Granddaughter/Grandson of a rich king.
2. Superiority; descended from a ruler.
3. Leader.

Johannes is Mikes dads name, as well as his grandpas name and since Lake is the first out of 13 great grand babies to carry on the Hagenouw name, it’s seemed necessary that Johannes be carried on as well 😉👌🏻

Pronunciation – Yohannes, Dutch: [joːˈɦɑnəs]

Origin of Johannes: Dutch, German, Scandinavian, and Estonian variation of John

1. God is gracious

So, now you have the details behind our ‘nameless for much time and then named with many names’ child. I do feel a little sorry for him when the time comes for him to learn how to spell it. 😅

We will still refer to him as ‘the baby’ when talking to each other and are getting used to using his true name. Which I don’t think is so odd, after 9 months of him being ‘the baby’ and now having only been with us for four weeks, minus two days 😉

What baby naming experiences have any of you had? Do you know anyone named Lake? We’d love to know! 😉

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