Okay. So my hubby and I are avid hikers. We live in the great northland, and pretty much every Sunday you can find us on the trail. So as soon as our baby was able (6 months!) we wanted to start getting him out there.
Prior to this we were able to go on nice long walks with our stroller which we LOVED, but it just wasn’t the same. And the front carrier (we had a Baby BJorn) just wasn’t comfortable when used for a long period of time (and we love long hikes).
We LOVE the Gorilla Carrier we ordered off of Amazon. We had a choice of 3 different colors, and I let my husband pick since he’d most likely be the primary carrier.
He was SOOOOO excited to take it out. He also loves just walking around town or through the mall with it on. Seriously!
It has cool features like a ton of storage space, a removable backpack, and a sun/bug cover.
It’s easy to get on and off, and our little guy loves it (in this picture he had just woke up from falling asleep in it)!
We got this baby ball pit as a baby shower gift from our gift registry on Amazon, and my husband thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. It’s basically an activity gym, but the sides come up and you can fill it with the plastic balls! It’s great! Our son can spend a lot of time in it without getting bored.
Plus it lets him practice grabbing, pulling, and moving objects around.
These are the BEST for when you just need to put the baby down for 5 minutes and get something done without worrying. He’s at the age now where he rolls/pulls/kicks/slides so you cannot leave him alone in anything!
HOWEVER this jumper keeps him stationary. He can warm up lunch or make coffee or go to the bathroom and not be worried about the baby rolling into something or falling off of anything.
Also, he LOVES it. He can spend 20 minutes easy in it. PLUS it counts as Tummy Time (anything that exercises their back and neck is considered tummy time).
My husband chose this diaper bag backpack to put on our gift registry, and he was SO EXCITED when we got it. He actually WANTS to be in charge of the diaper bag, and he isn’t embarrassed about going out in public with the baby by himself.
So many diaper bags are geared towards women, and this one is gender neutral.
It has PLENTY of storage, it’s comfortable, and we LOVE it.
It also comes with a changing pad, which is pretty cool.
Thanks for reading!
Hopefully your hubby or man enjoys these products as much as mine does!
As a happy mother to a healthy 5 month old son, I have lived through labor at a hospital.
My husband and I attended parenting classes, and I scrolled through Pinterest avidly, and we packed our hospital bags weeks ahead of time. However, the best teacher (as always) is EXPERIENCE.
After my experience, here is my list of what 15 things (in my opinion) you will need:
BLANKETS! The hospital has great pillows (at least mine did) but their blankets were not comfortable, at least not for me. They weren’t very thick or soft. Plus, after hours of labor, I would’ve given anything to curl up under my soft comforter. Also, if you ask my husband, he could NOT sleep at the hospital. They didn’t provide him a cot- just a recliner. And he said it would’ve been so much more tolerable if he would’ve had his own comfy blanket.
PHONE CHARGER! You will be taking so many photos and getting so many phone calls, that sucker is going to die. Be prepared. Maybe even buy an extra charger to put in your bag,
PHONE/CAMERA! Given. You’ll want pictures and videos of your big day! And you’ll want to spread the news!
SHAMPOO/CONDITIONER! Hospital shampoo and conditioner is not nearly as comforting as your own. I was so proud of myself for packing to go containers of my favorite stuff. After hours and hours of labor, that first shower is HEAVENLY, and it felt better after I came out smelling and feeling fresh. I even got a compliment from my nurse about how refreshed I looked.
LOTION! As previously stated, hospital stuff is okay, but it’s not as nice as your own. Labor, even with an epidural or drugs, is so taxing on your body. It feels so good when you get a minute to do something simple for yourself – like shower or brush your teeth or put on lotion. Take advantage!
SNACKS! I underestimated how much I can eat in just a few days, and we ordered a ton of room service. It was good food, but it would’ve been nice to just be able to whip out a bag of chips or something and snack on them while my family was visiting or when I was up at 3am nursing a baby. Especially since ordering room service always takes a bit of time, and (in my opinion) it’s kind of awkward to eat a full meal in front of guests. Plus, there is no such thing as eating a hot meal once you have a baby – even a newborn. You’ll be constantly either nursing a baby or entertaining guests. So bring snacks/foods that don’t need to be cooked to taste good. Apples, bananas, chips, etc. Bonus points for snacks that can be eaten with one hand (poptarts, granola bars, etc). WARNING. Don’t bring anything with nuts. Some hospitals won’t allow them.
COMFY CLOTHES and DARK PANTS/SHORTS! Gross but true fact- you will lose a lot of blood. You will be leaking fluids out of every surface. You will be wearing nursing pads in your bra, and you will be wearing giant hospital underwear and giant pads and ointment etc. inside of them. You will not be able to wear fitted clothing, and you won’t want to. I was most comfortable in a tank top, my own comfy bathrobe from home, and black sweat pants. I wore a variation of that outfit everyday. Plus, when tops are stretchy/comfy they are easier to nurse in!
PERSONAL HYGIENE NECESSITIES! Deodorant. Toothpaste. Hairbrush. Toothbrush. I feel like these are obvious but my list would be incomplete without them.
WHITE NOISE MACHINE/MUSIC/FAN! Hospital rooms are either crazy quiet or crazy busy. Either way, if you want any hope of sleep, you want noise! Otherwise all you will do is concentrate on your baby’s breathing or the constant footsteps or machine beeps. You will barely be sleeping as it is- do what you can to change that!
BABY CLOTHES! You will want a couple cute outfits to show your baby off in when you have visitors. One of my favorite things was getting my baby dressed for the first time! You won’t need too many outfits, maybe two or three. They aren’t big/messy enough to wreck outfits yet. We just brought one for each day. SIDE NOTE. I learned that pretty much every baby will be born as a size “newborn”. Newborn is up to 10 lbs in baby clothes. I had packed a bunch of different sizes because I was worried that he wouldn’t fit into newborn clothes/diapers, but the nurses informed me that pretty much every baby will be size newborn at least for a week or two.
PAPER/BABY BOOK/FOLDER! You’ll get a lot of really great mementos from the hospital. You’ll get the umbilical cord clip, you can get footprints of your baby, you can get a print out of your contractions/heart beat monitor, pictures of ultrasounds, etc. Bring something to safely store these in so you aren’t just shoving them in a duffle bag! They also gave us an extra copy of my baby’s footprints, and I brought a blank white sheet of paper for my baby book for him to get his hand prints and foot prints put on.
CASH! Vending machines. Parking lots/meters. These things (usually) take cash only. Keep some in your bag.
FLIP FLOPS/GRIPPY SOCKS! I lived in my fuzzy, grippy socks. But flip flops would’ve worked too. One of those situations in life where you don’t quite feel comfortable/sanitary walking around barefoot but you don’t want to wear tennis shoes when you are in total lounge mode.
BATHROBE! Probably the best thing I packed.
Things I packed but I didn’t touch:
MAKEUP! I thought I would want to get all dolled up for visitors, but in reality I was too exhausted to even brush my hair. Plus, your baby doesn’t care what you look like!
CUTE, FITTED OUTFITS! As previously stated, these were impractical and also unwearable. Fun Fact. You’ll still look pregnant for several days/weeks after you give birth and will still need to wear maternity clothes.
BOARD GAMES/CARDS! Yeah, you aren’t going to play those while you’re in labor. And after the baby has arrived he/she will suck all your attention (in a good way). Save the space.
DIAPERS/WIPES/BABY SUPPLIES! All you will need are a couple outfits. The hospital will supply you with more than enough diapers, wipes, ointment, and anything else you’ll want. I even got to take home a bunch of blankets, wipes, diapers, etc. Again, save the space! Just pack a couple cute outfits!
PACIFIERS! Turns out, you aren’t even supposed to give a baby a pacifier until they are at least a month or two old. It’ll interfere with breastfeed.
IMPORTANT I didn’t include this in my list because it wouldn’t technically go in a bag, but: You will need a safe, non-recalled, non-expired car seat in order to leave the hospital. They will have you bring it to your room and approved by your nurse/doctor. Do not forget this!
Good luck! Please feel free to share any other tips you have!
Everyone’s pregnancy and birth story are different.
I was the pregnant lady that HAD to read every pregnancy book on the market, paraded through literally hundred of Pinterest posts, and forced herself and her husband to CPR, First Aide, New Parent Classes, Car Seat Safety Classes, the works. I wanted to know EVERYTHING and be prepared for anything.
Although I am grateful for all the knowledge I gained and I enjoyed the learning experiences, no amount of research, reading, or interviewing other moms can truly prepare you. However, I always love hearing and sharing birth stories with fellow women.
Your birth won’t be/wasn’t the exact same as mine, but feel free to read and gain insight from my experience!
Here is the birth story of my son, Vincent.
I was one of the rare people who actually went into labor and gave birth on her due date.
Something like only 5% of babies are born on their due date, so I think that’s pretty cool. I was told most first babies are expected to go past their due date, and that was a miserable thought to entertain.
This was even more of a treat because it was my first day of maternity leave. Talk about good timing! I didn’t have to sit at home for several days off work, bored, anxious and baby-less.
I went into labor at about 4 am on October 27th, 2016 – my due date.
I woke up around 4am, and wasn’t sure why. I often woke up in the middle of the night to pee or because I was sore from having to only sleep on my left side (I was told that was best). I laid in bed for a while, trying to figure out which reason I had woken up for, and wasn’t sure. I got up, went to the bathroom, had some water, then tried to fall back asleep. After laying awake for another ten or so minutes, I felt it.
Everyone tells you when you get “real contractions” you’ll know. Let me tell you, it’s true. They were definitely different than the Braxton Hicks I had been experienced for the past several weeks. Side note – those BH contractions are super annoying and confusing. They are uncomfortable, and they cause you to stress out about if they are “the real deal”. Let me assure you, like I said, that what “they” say is true: You’ll know a real contraction when it happens. It was lower, and I definitely felt a lot more pressure in my back and lower area. I felt a strong, pushing sensation that moved downward and throughout my whole abdomen region. I was too shocked and excited to move. I feared that it was a fluke- who would be lucky enough to go into labor on their due date? I looked at my phone to check the time, and then waited. Sure enough, about 25 minutes later I felt another one. My heart raced. I woke my husband up.
“Dylan, don’t get too excited, but I think I might be in labor.”
He totally pulled a movie move, and shot up out of bed and asked me if we needed to get to the hospital.
I told him it was still about 25 minutes apart, so that we probably had a while.
We laid in bed and waited, and sure enough about another 20-25 minutes later there was another one. We laughed and got excited and talked about how this might be the day we meet our son. Our due date.
We laid in bed until about 6 am, then we realized we were never going to go back to sleep and we decided to start our day. We let the dogs out, made breakfast, and I instantly started cleaning the house, because if it was the big day we had a lot of family that would be couch crashing soon.
We were fortunate enough that, since it was my due date, I had my 40 week appointment that morning at about 11am. We killed time until then, keeping busy making the house nice and playing with the pets and taking a long shower. At this point the contractions were more uncomfortable rather than painful. They were noticeable enough that I would have to pause what I was doing for a minute, but I wasn’t bending over in pain or wincing.
We arrived that my 40 week appointment totally excited. We were trying not to get our hopes too high, but we wanted to be told that our baby would be here soon! My contractions hadn’t stopped, and they were still about every 25 minutes. The pain was still very mild, it more just felt like a pressure that would build up and recede. My doctor Nancy came in the room asked the standard “How are we feeling today?” and I almost hugged her when I said, “I’m pretty sure I’m in labor!”
She checked me over, felt my abdomen and felt inside me, and sure enough, I was. She told me I was about 1.5 centimeters dialated and 70% effaced (thinned out). She also said the baby’s head had definitely begun to drop into delivery position.
She then decided to do what they called a “membrane sweep” to try to “speed things along”. A membrane sweep basically means they stick their finger(s) inside you and swirl them around vigorously. That’s what it feels like. It’s basically a more uncomfortable cervix check.
She told my husband he could probably go to work that day (he was supposed to work 12-9) because most first labors take several days, but if I were to go down to contractions less than 10 minutes apart he should come home.
We were kind of disappointed to hear that, but not totally surprised. My cousin, who now had a three month old, told me she woke up in labor Thursday morning, but didn’t go to the hospital and deliver until Saturday.
We left the office and said, “Hopefully we see you soon!” Turns out, we’d be seeing her later that day.
That membrane sweep really worked. My husband and I left the doctor’s office and decided to get some coffee and donuts at Dunn Brothers. All of a sudden while we were sitting inside, my contractions started to feel more intense. The pressure was greater, and they lasted a lot longer. I actually said, “Whoah!” and I remember pressing my hands to my stomach. We sat and talked and drank coffee, but every contraction now was distracting and extremely uncomfortable. I told Dylan I couldn’t sit down anymore- the pressure was too intense -I needed to get home and move around.
Once we got home, pacing/walking was what made me feel better. I was probably at about a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. We continuted to monitor my contractions, and we noticed I was now already down to only about 15 minutes apart. We decided to take our dogs for a lap or two around the block to try to kickstart labor, and to also get them some last minute exercise in case we went to the hospital. My husband called into work, since things seemed to be moving quickly.
About halfway through our walk, I was having trouble. I literally had to stop moving each time I had a contraction, and pause to bend over and breathe for several seconds. The walk seemed to help speed things along though, because by the time we got home I was down to ten minutes apart and they were building in intensity.
I was stuck at ten minutes for awhile, with the pain building quickly. I was trying everything to keep the pain at by, but nothing would make me feel better. I was experiencing major back labor – pain that shot up my back and made my spine feel like it was ripping open with every contraction. I tried leaning over the couch, I tried laying down, I tried walking, bouncing, rocking, taking a hot shower, but I just couldn’t make the pain lesson. I thought I was at a 10 on the pain scale.
Finally, at about 3pm my contractions were at about 5 minutes apart. My labor was definitely moving quickly. We had only left the doctor’s office 3.5 hours prior!
My husband called the hospital to let them know that I had reached five minutes apart, and I was told to wait an HOUR before heading in, but since things were speeding up so fast, my husband and I ended up ignoring their advice only waiting only about 30 minutes.
We got into the car with our previously packed “go bags” and car seat, and all of a sudden the pain was overwhelming and so were my emotions.
I began sobbing on the way to the hospital. My husband was amazing and supportive, and he kept reassuring me that we were going to be okay and he kept telling me how excited he was and how happy he was.
When we pulled up to check in, the women at the desk waved me through with sympathy. I must’ve looked as bad as I felt.
I was given a room and was triaged- which means I was checked to make sure I was actually in labor enough to stay at the hospital. I was dialated to a 3, and my contractions were still only about 5 minutes apart. I was told we could get our bags from the car- we were staying! I was going to have my baby!
My husband immediately ran out to the car and started calling our family and posting a FB status, while I suffered and cried.
I had decided somewhere early on in my pregnancy that I didn’t want an epidural. I had read about lots of disadvantages (being bed ridden, possibles side effects for you and the baby) and had watched videos of so many moms doing it “the old fashioned way” so I thought, why not me?
After laboring for 3 hours without any medication, I was giving up. I had tried bouncing on a labor ball, sitting in a hot tub, walking, squatting, everything.
I was checked at about 6pm and told I was about 5 cm dialated. I couldn’t believe that in three hours I had “only” grown two centimeters. The pain now felt like a 13/10 on the pain scale, and it was almost all in my back.
I found out later that my mom had also had terrible back labor. Believe me, you do not want to experience that.
I told them I wanted the epidural. I was spent, and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t think straight,
The doctor tried to convince to keep doing what I was doing. But I was done. I had been up since 4am and hadn’t eaten anything other than a donut, and I just wanted the constant pain to end. I was sobbing and practically begged for it. They told me it’d be about 30 minutes before the anesthesiologist could get to me, but he was on his way.
As a side note- major props to the moms who do this without an epidural! I thought I was going to die, and I didn’t even experience the full birth unmedicated.
At this point my parents showed up. I was kind of mad – I had told them I didn’t want visitors during my labor, and for good reason. I was in my ugly hospital robe, sobbing and swearing, when they came in. When my mom saw me she cried and hugged me and told me they were so proud of me. It was nice to hear, but I wasn’t in any state to enjoy their soothing words.
Luckily, my nurse came in and made up an excuse to kick them out.
While I waited for my epidural I was given dilated, which basically just feels like laughing gas. I could feel the pain still, but it made the 4 minutes between contractions soothing. I was able to actually breathe and sit without feeling like I was dying, at least for a couple minutes here and there. I was able to finally stop sobbing every time I felt a contraction hit.
Finally, around 6:30, I the anesthesiologist made it to my room. What they don’t tell you is that the epidural takes close to 15 minutes.
First, they have to clean the area. Then numb you with a giant needle, but you need to hold very still, which is hard to do when you’re having contractions. I was really freaked out too. I was worried I’d be paralyzed or have some kind of reaction or something. I also felt extremely guilty. I had wanted to be tough and do it “the natural way” for my baby, but I was “giving up”. My husband reassured me that he was still proud of me, and that there was nothing wrong with needing some help.
After they numb you, they need to actually do the epidural, which takes about 10 minutes to set up, make sure you’re holding still, and then for the medicine to kick in. The actual epidural looks scarier than it is though, and my anesthesiologist reassured me that this is what he did for a living, and that everything would be all right.
I could tell the second it started to work. All of a sudden there was no pain, just pressure. I felt discomfort, but I could actually lay down and breathe. It was kind of an out of body experience. I could feel what was happening to me, but it didn’t hurt. I was so relieved, I almost started to cry again.
My nurse stayed with me to monitor me, and all was going well for the first several minutes. Then all of a sudden she got up, and she asked me to try to roll onto my left. She had to help me because the meds make you paralyzed from the waist down. Then she tried to roll me to my right. When I asked what was going on, she calmly said that the baby’s heart beat had slowed down.
I instantly felt like I was having a heart attack. She told me not to panic, but that she had just paged the NICU and several doctors were about to run in. This was my first experience of the love I have for my son. The horror that he was in danger was overwhelming. I couldn’t breathe, I was shaking, and I just kept asking, “Is he going to be okay?”
My room was quickly filled with 5 or 6 doctors. They had me flip over onto my hands and knees, they broke my water, and stuck a monitor on my baby’s scalp to monitor his heart beat. They gave me a shot of epinephrine to increase our heart rates. After about a minute, they had me lay back down. At this point I was sobbing, not from pain, but just being overwhelmed and scared. My husband kept kissing my forehead and reassuring me everything was fine, but I was inconsolable for several minutes.
The doctors explained that sometimes when the epidural kicks in it messes with the baby’s heart rate, but it was now back to normal and no serious damage had been done.
I think I made the doctors repeat that to me about a thousand times before I believed them.
After I was finally consoled, I began to try and rest. It’s not really possible to sleep, even without pain. I still felt constant pressure, and I was still being monitored/checked on every hour at least.
I was bed ridden, but I was fine with that because I was exhausted. I was checked around 9pm and told I was at 8cm and that they had called my doctor so she could come deliver my baby. Apparently the epidural and “relaxation” had helped my body speed things along.
I attempted to rest, until around 10. Suddenly, the pressure felt stronger. I feared maybe my epidural was wearing off. I paged my nurse, and she and a doctor arrived and checked me. I was fully dialated, and my baby was in position to come out. They asked if I felt the urge to push, and I told them I was feeling a lot of downward pressure. They got excited and immediately called in a couple more nurses and my own doctor into the room.
My doctor laughed when she saw my husband and I, and said, “I’m glad I got to see you twice in one day!”
They told me to do a few “practice pushes”. This was a little strange, because I had a lot of people crowded around my lower area, basically telling me how to push. Honestly the biggest help, strange as it sounds, was when the doctor put a finger exactly where she wanted me to push towards.” I got over my embarrassment pretty fast. I was excited for my labor to be over and to finally meet my baby boy!
On my third “practice push” they told me it wasn’t really practice anymore, my baby was making serious progress. The nurses donned what my husband called “Splash Gear”. They threw on masks, face shields, and put buckets and towels everywhere. I was feeling a ton of pressure and tightness and other strange sensations. I kept pushing, about every 5 minutes or so. It was another unexplainable feeling. It didn’t hurt, but the effort of pushing was exhausting. They had me push as hard and as long as I could through every contraction. Those 90 seconds or so of pushing are seriously intense!
Thankfully, they soon told me they could see his head! They even had me reach down to touch it. That was really weird, but also strangely motivating.
I became extremely excited, and after a couple more pushes he was out! At 11:13pm my son was born.
I think that’s the only time I have ever heard my husband cry, and he cut the cord.
They handed me my baby, and I was instantly in tears for the millionth time that night, and all i could do was say “Oh my god, oh my god oh my god” about a thousand times as I stared at his tiny little body. The doctors let him lay on my chest as the checked him over and patted him down. Then they tended to my stitches that were needed (2) and checked me over.
After giving us a few minutes together, they took him to weigh him and give him his first round of tests/shots. He was 21 inches long, and 8 lbs 2.9 oz. My husband held him and nurtured him as I watched from my bed.
I had a nurse put me in a wheelchair to bring me to the bathroom. It takes a few hours for your epidural to wear off, so I had to be escorted everywhere until the following morning.
Be prepared to see yourself lose A LOT of blood. I was completely horrified.
The first hour after his birth and check up was called “The Golden Hour”. It was just me, my husband, the baby, and occasionally our nurse who would peek in to check on us.
I don’t remember everything about that night, but I do remember most of that hour. My husband crawled beside me in bed and the three of us snuggled and talked and we introduced ourselves to our new son.
I could’ve stayed like that all night, but most of our family had arrived by then, so they all wanted to meet the baby.
I was too out of it to fully enjoy that experience though. I was wiped and also super emotional. I was ready just to snuggle with my baby all night. I had waited 9 months to meet him, and I wanted to have him all to myself.
We took a few pictures, then they said goodnight and headed to our house to sleep.
I have to say, it was a very out of body feeling to finally hold my son, and to spend time trying to nurse and smell and enjoy him. It took me several days to wake up and remember that I wasn’t pregnant anymore – my son was here!
Like I said, everyone’s story is so different. Mine was smooth for the most part, and everyone made it out without any complications. We are a very lucky family.
Feel free to share your birth stories! I’ve attended several mom’s groups, parenting classes, or just talked to other moms and I always love to ask about them! It’s one of the most exciting moments (or days) of your life, and they’re all amazing,