Thursday, June 30, 2016

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series: Sibling Care During Hospital Stay

Care for Siblings During Hospital Stay:
If your kids are being watched at home:
  • List of Emergency contacts (Hospital, parents phone numbers, pediatrician, poison control center, etc...)
  • List of allergies and things they can have instead
  • Vitamins, medicines, doses and location.
  • List of foods and activities they like
  • List of daily routines (when they usually eat, any special bedtime or nap time routines or things that help them go to sleep)
  • If kids are in school:
    • bus schedule, when they need to be dropped off/picked up
    • school lunches or home lunches
    • homework
    • any specific needs
  • It never hurts to lay out an outfit or two so that it's easy to grab and go

If your kids are being watched at someone else's house:

  • List of Emergency contacts (Hospital, parents phone numbers, pediatrician, poison control center, etc...)
  • List of allergies and things they can have instead
  • List of foods and activities they like
  • Vitamins, medicines, doses (label & portion out, you may want a medicine box)
  • List of daily routines (when they usually eat, any special bedtime or nap time routines or things that help them go to sleep)
  • If kids are in school:
    • bus schedule, when they need to be dropped off/picked up
    • school lunches or home lunches
    • homework
    • any specific needs
  • Clothes, underwear, socks & shoes
  • Pajamas
  • Sleeping bags/blankets & pillows
  • Diapers/wipes
  • A few favorite toys/books/coloring books & crayons/stuffed animal/blanket etc…
  • Toiletries (toothbrush/toothpaste/floss/shampoo/conditioner/soap/lotion etc...)

    Free Printable: Sibling Care During Hospital Stay

    Previous Series: Hospital Bags

    Next Series: My Labor Stories & Advice

Hanging Wooden Towel Holder

Living in an apartment can be tricky, especially when there are more than two in the apartment. I'm always looking for ways to make the most out of what little space we have, while still making it look attractive, clean, and organized. One thing that drives me nuts is having to find space for your towel in your bedroom, because there is not enough space in the bathroom, where it should be! So I came up with a way to hang our towels in the bathroom for under $5.00, and without having to drill huge holes in the wall.

I used some wood I already had, purchased some knobs from Walmart, and used a little left over oil paint that I had to "stain" the wood the color I wanted. After the paint dried, I sealed it with a matt clear finish to keep the wood from being damaged from any moisture from the bathroom. Then I drilled the holes, screwed the knobs in, put 2 sawtooth picture frame hangers on the back, and hammered 2 small nails in the wall. All said and done, I had my towels hanging in the bathroom within a day! Problem solved.

I even had some help from my son. He wanted to paint too, so he used a pen to "paint" on the back. :)

Anyway, if you're trying to find a quick, cheep, easy way to keep your towels off the floor, out of the bedrooms, and into the bathroom, give this a shot. If you do, I'd love to hear how your towel hangers turn out!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series: Hospital Bags

Mom’s Hospital Bag:
  • Towel & Garbage bag for the car. (If your water breaks on your way to the hospital, lay the garbage bag over the seat and put the towel over the top, it will keep your car clean.)
  • Cell phone & charger
  • Empty bag and folder for items you get from hospital (believe me on this one, you’ll get a ton of stuff!)
  • ID & insurance card(s)/wallet/purse
  • Birth plan
  • Hot pack/ Ice pack/ Stress ball (for labor)
  • Music/movies/games/ whatever you want to use for distraction during labor
  • Shampoo/ Conditioner/ Lotion
  • Hair bands, barrettes, pins, comb, brush
  • Toothbrush/ toothpaste/floss
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup/ lip balm
  • Disposable underwear/ Maxi pads
  • Breast pads, lanolin, & nursing bra
  • Paper Clip or bobby pin (track which side you’re on for breastfeeding)
  • Nursing pillow
  • Homecoming outfit (choose something loose & comfy)
  • Nursing nightgown (so you can be comfortable, but modest when visitors come)
  • Bellyband (no one likes to have a floppy tummy after birth)
  • Robe (Hospitals can be cold, and it's nice to cover up sometimes)
  • Flip flops and/or slippers (Some people like to shower in their flip flops. I like to bring slippers because they’re warm and more comfortable than the no-slip socks they give you)

My Tips and Tricks:
Obviously, the less you have to take with you, the easier it will be when you go home. But if you need or want something and don’t have it with you, it can be frustrating. I could go without the nursing pillow, the belly band, or the robe. But I definitely wouldn’t go without slippers, disposable underwear and maxi pads (at least enough for the ride home), and my bathroom bag, those are my absolute necessities.

Dad’s Hospital Bag:
  • Change of clothes (or 2)
    • shirt, pants, underwear, socks, shoes
  • Pajamas
  • Pillow (the hospital may have one for  him to borrow, but you never know)
  • Toiletries (toothbrush/toothpaste/deodorant/comb/soap/shampoo)
  • Camera/Video Camera/ Cell phone
  • Chargers
  • Cash & change (if the hospital's cafeteria is closed, you might want something out of a vending machine)
  • Snacks/Candy/Drinks/Gum (for you and him)

Diaper Bag:

  • Homecoming outfit (I always pack two newborn outfits & two 0-3 outfits. Two, just in case little one decides to have a blow out right as you are going home. The different sizes because you never know how big your baby is going to be, the newborn size may not fit.)
  • Socks/onesies/hat/mittens (depending on the season)
  • Diapers/wipes/bags for dirty diapers (6 diapers are plenty, the hospital will provide you the rest that you may need)
  • Burp cloth(s)
  • Nipple shield & lanolin
  • Pacifier & pacifier clip (some people think a pacifier shouldn’t be used until nursing is well established, or that it could mess with their ability to latch on. Others think it’s fine. Really it’s personal preference, whichever you choose.)
  • Tissues (the hospital usually gives you a bulb)
  • Baby nail clippers and glass file
  • Blanket/receiving blanket
  • Toy or anything you want for hospital pictures

    Free Printable: Hospital Bags

    Previous Series: Early Labor vs. Real Labor

    Next Series: Sibling Care During Hospital Stay

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series: Early Labor vs. Real Labor

Signs of Premature Labor:
  • Leaking or discharge (clear, bloody, or brown)
  • Loss of mucus plug
  • Contractions every 10 minutes or more.
  • Cramps with or without diarrhea
  • Pelvic Pressure (baby dropping)
  • Backache
    • Lie down and relax
    • Drink lots of water
    • Rest & wait, if symptoms don't get better in an hour, call your doctor!
    • If symptoms go away, lay low, put your feet up, & talk to your doctor!

Stages of Labor:
  • First Stage: Start of contractions that cause effacement and dilation of cervix.
    • Early Labor - cervix effaces and dilates
    • Active Labor/ Transition - cervix dilates more rapidly, contractions are longer, stronger, and closer
  • Second Stage: Labor begins when fully dilated and ends with birth
  • Third Stage: Right after birth, and you deliver the placenta

First Stage of Labor:
Coping skills for Labor pains &  when to go to the hospital
  • Early Labor
    • Time Contractions, record them!
    • Take a shower or bath
    • Listen to relaxing music
    • Try slow, deep breathing
    • Change positions
    • Drink water, juice or other clear liquids
    • Eat light healthy snacks
    • Apply ice packs or heat to your lower back
    • Rest as much as you can!!
    • If contractions are 5 minutes apart, call your doctor & go to the hospital!
    • If your water breaks, STOP! Record the time, color, odor, and general amount. Call your doctor & go to the hospital!
  • Active Labor/ Transition
    • Take a walk
    • Take a warm shower or bath
    • Rock in rocking chair
    • Roll on birthing ball
    • Massage
    • Change positions - if pressure in lower back, get on all fours
    • Cool cloth on forehead/ cold pack or warm compress on back
    • Rest between contractions!

Second Stage of Labor: Pushing Baby Out

  • Find a comfortable birthing position: Squatting, sitting, kneeling, or hands and knees.
  • Imagine the  hard contractions are helping your baby to move down and out with each contraction.
  • Stay Positive! You have made it this far, focus on one contraction at a time. Remind yourself that you are doing a great job and that the baby's arrival is near!
  • Relax your upper body and focus on pushing where it counts

Monday, May 30, 2016

Amy's Ultimate Pregnancy Checklist Series: 3rd Trimester

To Do - 3rd Trimester:

  • Practice relaxation and breathing techniques
  • Is your ring tight? (Get a larger temporary ring, or take it off.)
  • Learn what your body will be like after birth and what you can do to prepare
  • Do exercises & stretches that will prepare you for Delivery
  • Review your Birth Plan
  • Make a plan for when you go into labor (who will you call, where will you go, how long will you wait until you go to the hospital, who will watch the kids, etc.)
  • Make a list of who to contact when baby arrives with phone #'s and/or  e-mails. (Think about delegating to someone who would love to get the word out, like your mom or mother-in-law, or both if you have big families)
  • Make birth announcements (paper or electronic)
  • Wash linens and just enough baby clothes for a few days. If baby is big, you may need to return some of the clothes that were given to you.
  • Clean house, or have it cleaned
  • Keep up on car & home maintenance/ fix anything if needed
  • Assemble baby gear (crib, bouncer, stroller, car seat, etc...)
  • Stock up on household supplies (better to have it now, to avoid sending an already exhausted husband to the store for a late night pick up)
    • Pantry items
    • Frozen food/freezer meals (you might want to really stock these)
    • Toiletries, toilet paper, bathroom items
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Medicine cabinet
    • First aid/emergency kit
    • Diapers/wipes
  • Call insurance to find out when you can add Baby to the policy
  • Enjoy the last few kicks & the feeling of having baby inside of you.
  • Find where breastfeeding groups meet, and how often. Know where to get help if you need it!
  • Be prepared for water to break/ mucus plug/ bloody show (mine never broke until I was at the hospital with both deliveries, but I’ve heard stories of people walking in the store and it happened. You truly never know when to expect it.).
  • Take time to rest
  • If baby is overdue, try tricks to bring on Labor, relax, and try to get as much rest as you can.

    Free Printable: 3rd Trimester