Random Ramblings: Potty Training, Sleep Training, and More Podcasts

Hey all! Yet again, I’ve been MIA. This time I’ve been stuck down the rabbit hole that is potty training, something that has literally consumed my life for the last two weeks. But since I am finally writing again, I guess it’s safe to say we’re making progress! Today I’m going to share some of my reflections on all things potty training, plus another thing I couldn’t help compare the potty training experience to: sleep training. Then I’m going to share some new podcasts I’ve been digging lately because they (along with some quick HIIT workouts) have literally kept me sane lately!

Before I get started, I want to share a link to the second piece I wrote for the blog Swaddles n’ Bottles. This is a fertility diet piece I wrote about a diet you can adopt if you’re trying to get pregnant. This isn’t a “diet” so much as a list of recommended foods and nutrients to include in your diet. Food can’t get your pregnant, but if you’re looking to start or expand your family, eating a healthy, well-rounded, balanced diet can help support any impending pregnancies.

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Potty Training

When we decided to tackle potty training, we knew Isla was showing us every “sign” she was ready and she honestly had been for awhile. For quite some time she was telling us whenever she went potty in her diaper, and sometimes she was even upset and crying about a wet diaper or withholding poop or going somewhere private to do #2 because she was ashamed or wanted privacy. For months we’ve been leaving a potty around, “so she could get used to it,” hoping she would just want to use it instead of diapers with as much enthusiasm as she exudes about the idea of ice cream for dinner.

Thankfully a good friend lent me a book that several other mom friends had mentioned to me and all of these preconceived notions (see above) were cleared up and I finally stopped dreading potty training and was looking forward to it. This book has been my Bible lately. Thanks to every single mom who recommended this!

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Fast forward 12ish days. I’ve done more loads of laundry than I can count, used a few extra rolls of paper towels for clean up, and lost my temper way too many times–BUT we are making amazing progress. We even enjoyed a successful day trip with our favorite new accessory in Boston last week and zero accidents on Father’s Day! These are our happy faces in Boston:

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Buuuut, back to the beginning. Literally, the first weekend we started potty training was like a slap in the face. The first day Isla did awesome. But then she came down with the worst virus we’ve ever seen in her (with high fevers and no other symptoms–we even had her tested for Lyme disease because she was so sick) AND her two year old molars cut through.

Some of the “highlights?” Isla didn’t want to poop in the potty. I made her these fun, calming bottles of glitter which she hated disliked very much.

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We had to give her a stool softener per our pediatrician’s recommendation and it backfired. Thankfully I’m not sharing any photos of that. Yes, some moments have been rough and literally shitty. Potty training is not for the faint of heart, yet trusting that Isla was ready and capable, we are supporting her in her learning and I’m glad we’ve trucked on.

That being said, for anyone else climbing this mountain, potty training is really testing my patience so if it’s testing yours, you’re not alone! For those really close to me, it’s probably more accurate to say potty training is teaching me patience. Patience is not a virtue that comes naturally to me. I really have to work at it. And sometimes, parenting requires more patience than I have which is why I make a point to surround myself with respectful parenting reminders (like reading, podcasts, friends with similar parenting philosophies). When it’s come to potty training, I find myself losing my temper, yelling more than I’d like and then spending my post-bedtime time making a plan for how I can do better the next day.

It’s not even the accidents themselves that are tough for me. I expect messes. More than helping her learn how to pee and poop in a socially acceptable receptacle, reflecting on the last week and a half, potty training has been a struggle as it’s magnified some of Isla’s most challenging behaviors. Though developmentally normal, behavior like testing boundaries and not listening have been magnified through this process and it’s been so incredibly hard. Isla is a strong and independent almost two year old. She honestly doesn’t like being told what to do, or needing help (she definitely gets these traits from mom…). Naturally, power struggles happen and it hasn’t been easy for anyone, but we’re all getting there. At least she’ll use the toilet when we tell her now vs. breaking down into a giant temper tantrum of tears (most of the time).

Sleep Training

Processing potty training, I can’t help but compare it to another parenting experience on my list of not-so-fun things: sleep training.

Every parent has their own personal preference and philosophy about sleep training. For us, we have adopted a version of Dr. Ferber’s methods, though I do prefer to think about the process of sleep training as teaching your child a life skill of self soothing vs. just labeling the method, “cry it out.”

Sleep training wasn’t fun with Isla, but it wasn’t difficult either. Isla slept through the night from week 2, self soothed fairly naturally, and responded quickly to our sleep training. 3 nights of encouraging self soothing and she had it down, only needing to reinforce at regular sleep regression times.

Josie was born and EVERYTHING we did with Isla didnt’ matter. Josie was the complete opposite.

When Josie was born, I had to hold her for 2+ hours to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep until she was 3 months old, when I quickly started trying to help her self soothe. She woke up several times a night when she would nurse, but more than anything–to just be held. The only prop that could stand in for this mommy sleepytime magic was the swing. We used the swing sparingly with Josie, but by the time she was old enough to learn how to self soothe (she didn’t want to be swaddled, could bring her hands to her mouth, etc.).

I love baby snuggles, but I also love to feel well rested and I was eager to get a little time back in my evenings with my husband and to pick up the house before my tiny toddler tornado woke the next morning.

To sleep train Josie we had to take the swing away completely. Josie was almost 6 months old when she started to sleep through the night and really self soothe regularly, but as soon as she figured it out she was so much happier during the day–and so was I! I wasn’t a walking zombie anymore!

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Here’s our happy, well-rested girl.

It’s hard to hear our babies cry, so while in the trenches of those first few days of learning to self soothe where I was inundated with mom guilt, I reminded myself of these key things:

  • Babies cry. It’s literally one of the only ways they can communicate with us in the first year. When Josie was crying, I reminded myself she was in a safe place in between reassuring her, I watched on the camera to reassure myself too.
  • Sleep is key for everyone! I’ve had many a chat about this with both of our kids and I swear it helps. Our kids are capable and understand so much more than we may think. A solid night of sleep can be a regular thing and is so important for all of us.

We’re still struggling with some spotty early wake ups with Josie and tackling room sharing, but we’ve stuck with a method that works for us with no regrets.

I share all of this to remind myself that I can sleep again if we have any more kids AND to say that yet again, as parents we’re all working through a lot of the same stuff, and we’re all just trying to do what’s best for our kids. I commend each and every parent who can co-sleep with their children or soothe their kids into toddlerhood, but that method just doesn’t work for our family. Josie helped us reconsider our parenting choices with and tested our philosophies. If you’re sleep training your little one, I encourage you to trust your gut and do what works best for your family. What every child needs can be different so keep surrounding yourself with people and materials that support your philosophies and remember with all things parenting: it’s just a phase of life and it will pass!

Podcasts

Lastly, I’ve been listening to some awesome podcasts lately so I want to give them a quick shout out.

The first is directly related to sleep training. I’ve been loving the quick episodes of Little Z’s Sleep Podcast. Becca Campbell is a pediatric sleep consultant and I found her page when I was looking for answers after yet another early morning wake up. I’ve basically binged on her podcasts and gathered lots of tips and tricks on how to help our kids get the sleep they so desperately need. They say “happy wife, happy life.” And I seriously struggle to be my happiest and enjoy life when my kids are overtired and cranky so supporting their sleep is one of my #1 priorities.

The other podcast I’ve really been enjoying is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I loved Shepard in the TV show Parenthood and I’m really enjoying his sitdown chats with friends and various “experts.” I saw this podcast in my podcast app’s “featured” list and had to check it out. While there is one episode that features parenting advice from Wendy Mogul–author of Blessings of a Skinned Knee and clinical psychologist–I actually love that most of the episodes I’ve listened to are about nothing parenting related. I’ve enjoyed taking a break from all topics parenting and learning about different topics from Scientology and addiction, and I loved listening to the marital banter between Dax and his wife Kristen Bell (this is the episode that actually sucked me in). If you have some time, check it out!

For now, that’s all folks. Tell me, what are you up to these days? Share in the comments section below. 

Featured Blog Guest Posts: I’ve Been Cheating on My Blog!

While I met my “two posts per week” goal last week, I was totally MIA a couple weeks ago because I was writing two posts for another blog and this week I’m excited to start sharing them with you here!

Yes, I’ve been cheating on my own blog, but I’m not ashamed in the least. In fact, I’m totally flattered. If you’re in a mom and a Pinterest user (like me!), maybe you’re familiar with some of the awesome posts on your feed from the mommy blog, Swaddles n’ Bottles. Some of my go-to pins from Swaddles n’Bottles include indoor activities for toddlers, what to expect before a csection, and lots of tips, tricks, and encouragement about pumping and breastfeeding. Caroline (Swaddles n’ Bottles’ author) asked for interested writers to apply for some upcoming guest post opportunities and I was so excited to be chosen as a contributor.

This month I shared two posts. For now, one has been published. And when the second is posted, I’ll be sure to share that one with you too. Happy reading!

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Six Things I Wish I Knew About IVF – While not fitness related, I’ve shared about our infertility struggles on my blog and I am so excited to be sharing a bit about this experience on a blog with a much larger readership than my little start-up blog. My hope is that pouring some of my love and truth into this piece can offer literal peace, comfort, and feeling of solidarity to another couple struggling in a similar way.

I look forward to sharing more feature opportunities like this in the future!

In the meantime, what would you like to learn more about? Share in the comments below!

If you have a blog and are looking for a guest post, I’d love to learn more! Please send me a message. 

Random Ramblings: Respectful Parenting, Healthy Eating, & Podcasts

Today I’m checking in with a whole bunch of randomness to help clear my mind AND share more about honest and raw truth about myself, my life, and my habits with you– my awesome readers!

The forecast is finally tempting us with temps above 50 later this week, but as we’re waking up so another day where snow is falling from the sky (it’s April 10, right?!), I’m trying to keep my attitude and outlook positive today. Aaaaand I’m living in struggle city. Or after experiencing a not-so-pretty grown up temper tantrum when my toddler refused to stay still while I got her dressed this morning (she often does this as my husband so nicely reminded me), I’m living in failure city.

Clearly I’m harboring some mom guilt today. I know I’m far from a failure, but my high strung and short-tempered self is jealous of those who are a lot more patient than me. And honestly, I’m just in this funk, AGAIN. Mother nature, please stop knocking me down with your cold and snow! Hopefully this is the real, real end of winter.

Thinking about parenting and how I can avoid more mommy meltdowns when the weather can’t be my excuse anymore, I’ll share that we’re trying to practice respectful parenting using a lot of Magda Gerber’s principles. Gerber really emphasizes respect for and trust in our growing babies. The big picture of our goals mean we trust that our children are capable growing little people. We try not to yell when there are meltdowns or defiant moments, instead opting to stay calm, gently redirect while being firm, but fair. When conditions are ideal (ie. when everyone is happy and sweet) it works awesome. And when a meltdown happens and I use the tools I’ve been learning, I find I stay more calm and the hard moments end sooner and more productively. Alas, when parenting children who are trying to make sense of these huge emotions they’re feeling every day sometimes it’s hard, for everyone! This morning’s mommy eruption was not in line with my parenting goals. Grace. Being a mom keeps me seriously humble and thank goodness I know I’ll have lots more opportunities to do better.

Other things on my mind today: healthy eating. As I mentioned last week, I’ve been motivated to really get my diet back on track. I’m reducing my chocolate chip intake by handfuls (no, seriously…) and replacing my cravings for sugar with more veggies and natural sugars like fruits.

I’m currently chomping on carrot sticks and hummus.

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I can’t say cutting out the junk food is easy right now (cravings are real and you don’t have to be pregnant to have them), but I’ve done this before and know it will be worth it.

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Breastfeeding can’t continue to be an excuse to keep eating junk (at least not for me) and I’d like to rely less on high rise yoga pants and flexing my muscles to mask my postpartum pouch (which of course, I’m super proud of and grateful for, but hello–I’m human and fitness focused!).

We’ve restocked the freezer and pantry at Costco and Aldi a few times in the last couple weeks and I’m excited to feel prepared to keep working at self improvement.

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With two kids, my dinners have been so simple over the last six+ months and thankfully these even healthier meal options are still super easy. I know I haven’t been doing the “What I Ate Wednesday” posts anymore (because they were time consuming and not as popular), but I am still meal planning and some of the menu offering in our home over the next couple weeks will include:

  1. Salmon with Veggies
  2. Pesto Chicken and Veggies
  3. Chicken with Avocado Salad
  4. Ham, Apple, and Sweet Potato Egg Scramble
  5. Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
  6. Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Shredded Chicken (BBQ or Buffalo Chicken)
  7. Healthy Ramen with Asian Beef and Asparagus (this last one is an original from my kitchen! Watch for a recipe later this week)
  8. Turkey Quinoa Taco Casserole
  9. Burrito Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

If the actual meal isn’t popular, these are all dishes with at least toddler and baby-friendly ingredients (yes, Josie is eating now too–she looooves food), like avocado, sweet potato, salmon, meatballs, and loads of veggies (most of which both girls will actually eat if they’re not too tired). Sweet!

Something else I’ve been doing that makes me feel good is listening to podcasts. It’s a fun way to listen and learn while I’m driving, with the kids, or getting some work done. Some of my favorites lately have been:

  1. Well-Fed Women – I love the honest advice these two women give on health nutrition, and fitness related topics. Their podcast description says, “Expect real talk, moderately amusing banter, and empowering advice for women, from women” and I think this sums up their show great. I’ve really enjoyed episodes #162-#165 in the last few weeks.
  2. The mindbodygreen – This podcast is full of awesome info on a whole host of health related topics and all from pioneers in the health industry.
  3. Unruffled – This is a parenting podcast by Janet Lansbury, a parenting expert focused on the respectful parenting practices we’re trying to use. Listening to this podcast helps me stay mindful and focused on my efforts and reminds me I’m an imperfect human capable of trying again when I slip up.

If you’re interested in more of the ramblings from my brain these days, follow my IG account where I’ve been trying to post more regularly. Things I’m thinking about sharing in the upcoming weeks include healthier dessert options, ways you can cleanse your diet and jump start weight loss, what we’re planting in our garden this year, exercises you can do at the office, and a workout you can do on your next hike, my Costco and Aldi grocery lists, the benefits of fermented foods, and more.

Tell me, what are some topics you’d like to hear more about? Share on social media, or in the comments below! 

 

My 2018 = New Beginnings and Continued Progress

Happy 2018 everyone! I am shockingly pumped and motivated for the new year. Thinking about a word that will define my year, I can’t stop thinking, “excited!” I am definitely feeling more focused and excited about what this year will bring, both personally and professionally.

I am excited to keep growing Fitness Bites. My blog readership continues to grow (THANK YOU!). While on “maternity leave,” I registered my own business. I am officially flying solo as an entrepreneur. I am no longer working at a gym and I’m actually my own boss. HOLY CRAP! I am so thrilled to be able to say this and while I was feeling more fearful about this undertaking, I know I’m going to be successful. I’m excited to keep helping others in the fitness industry, but in my own way. I look forward to offering my own special brand of online training.

I am excited to focus on my personal fitness, to work on my strength and keep leaning my body out post baby. I certainly overindulged this holiday season, and while I don’t regret it, I am excited to kick the Christmas cookies to the curb and refocus my efforts. I can’t wait to see my progress at the end of the year.

To track my progress, I’m checking in with a “progress” post, complete with photos. I’m finally getting my eating and exercise habits back under control. These posts help hold me accountable. If I have to bare it all to you (literally!), I’m more apt to make healthy choices.

Being transparent like this also keeps me humble. I, like everyone else, am a work in progress. I’ve been petite my whole life. Couple that with my workout routine throughout pregnancy and people assume I just drop every bit of extra fat and nourishment my body took on to grow a baby. Not true. I still have fat in my stomach and this time I also have extra skin and some stretch marks that I’m not sure will be going away. Instead of getting down on myself about these changes, I’m looking at them as my permanent mama tattoos from my girls! Along with my c-section scar, they’re outward signs that my body grew life. Small etches of the changes my body has endured on the inside forever. Oh, the beautiful perspective I’ve gained since becoming a girl mom.

Reflecting on the last three months and comparing to my postpartum journey last year (just a short 6 months!), I remember struggling after Isla was born. I didn’t shed all of my pregnancy weight quickly. Most people assumed I had lost all of the weight after just a few weeks and the truth is, it took me almost 4 months to do so. This time is so different. I’m less concerned about what others are thinking about my body. And I’m even less concerned about a number on the scale. Despite gaining less weight with this pregnancy (25 pounds vs. 35 pounds last year), I’m still about 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight.

I mentioned in an earlier post that getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight isn’t my priority. I actually don’t mind if I stay 5 pounds up–I just want to keep leaning out and getting stronger. I want to know I’m doing the best I can to be the best I can. While I’m still weighing myself, I’m measuring my progress more with how my clothes fit and with photos. Seeing and feeling a difference on a more long term and permanent basis is a lot more gratifying than a number on a scale, which can change 4 of 5 pounds in just a day depending on what I eat. The reality is, I’m 100% more concerned with how I feel in this postpartum period. I want to feel good. I want to keep putting a positive message about body image into the world. I want to help other women feel positive and beautiful, because you are!

So here it is. This is my postpartum journey so far.

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[40+ weeks to 1 week postpartum]
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[1 week postpartum to 1 month postpartum]
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[1 month postpartum to 3 months postpartum]
As you reach out with your personal notes and messages, I love knowing that in some small way, by sharing my own fitness and life journey (my reality), I’m helping others–even if it’s just one person. I hope I can keep up this momentum, this positivity, and stay excited. I have so much to be grateful for and I look forward to continuing to reflect and grow in the year ahead.

 

Introducing Josie Willow

It’s been almost a week since we welcomed new life into this world. Despite a scheduled csection for Friday the 13th, our newest little girl, Josie Willow came at her own time and in her own way on Saturday, October 14. She weighed in at peanut status: 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long. But as we get to know Josie, she is the true definition of small but mighty.

Looking back at our 36 hours of labor, that finally ended in a csection anyways, I look forward to sharing Josie’s birth story. However, for now, we’re soaking up every minute at home as a family of four. And let’s face it. We’re just trying to settle into the new normal. So, for now, enjoy these photos of our beautiful new girl, with lots of cameos from big sister.

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Hospital Bag Checklist

Another week and another post saying I’m still pregnant! Seriously, I’m not at my due date so I guess I should be patient. I just didn’t think I’d go this far past 37 weeks without having a baby, especially with all my symptoms. Alas, I am. So I’m doing my best to keep living every day and making the most of things. It is getting more difficult to do some things (like pick stuff up off the ground), but I know I’m almost done! I can’t be pregnant forever. It’s October and sometime this month we will have another baby.

I find I’m having a mix of good and “bad” days. We went for another big hike over the weekend. Another 2.5 miles on a local favorite with a steep incline at the beginning. As always, the view was worth the work.

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But, clearly it didn’t help this baby come any faster. The rest of my workouts have been more found exercise, with a couple 20 minute workouts on two days of the week, either first thing in the morning or during naptime. Plus, at least one walk per day.

Generally, keeping up with Isla who is an incredibly active 14 month old is a lot of work and feels like enough of a workout if I’m honest. She has wanted to be carried a lot. Thankfully, prodromal labor seems to have stopped, but carrying Isla around often causes lots of braxton hicks. I have been doing squats while she plays, push ups on the side of the couch, tricep dips, rows, walking lunges around the yard. I’m always moving and trying to make the most of my time. That being said, I do look forward to my stronger workouts once the new baby has settled in and my body is feeling better.

Thinking about having the baby, I’m sharing some info about my hospital bag. I know there are a ton of these hospital bag packing lists on the internet, but having had a baby last year, I’m adding my list to the masses. I used a lot of the lists I had seen on Pinterest and I’ll be honest, I brought way too much stuff! So, I’m putting my short term memory to use (one of the perks of having had a baby 14 months ago) and sharing what I packed in my hospital bag this time around.

I guess I should preface this by saying I am a pretty minimal packer. I like to bring just the essentials, plus maybe a few conveniences. I have a ton of minimal packing lists how-to’s on my Pinterest travel board. A couple years ago, my husband and I backpacked through Europe for two and a half weeks, each with one backpack (mine weighed 19 pounds fully packed, his weighed 40 pounds).

Earlier this year, we traveled as a family of three to California (with our then nine month old) living out of one backpack, a diaper bag and a stroller. Our main bag weighed almost 50 pounds, but it sustained us for a week of enjoyment. I would want to do the same thing for our soon to be family of four too. Even if it means I have to wash some socks in the sink.

So yes, my hospital bag is fairly minimal. Some people include things like comfy towels from home for the shower at the hospital and you won’t find that here. I don’t want to do any more laundry when I get home after having a baby than I have to. So a scratchier hospital grade towel is a-okay in my book. Though if it’s not in yours, that’s okay too.

For baby: 

  1. Little brother/little sister outfit – We don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl, but we want to have a cute photo op when our big girl and the new baby meet. Isla has a sweet big sister outfit to match one of these options.
  2. Hats – Our baby can wear a lot of the hospital supplied onesies for the little time we will spend at the hospital. Again, it makes clean up and laundry at home a ton easier! However, I like to be able to distinguish the baby’s gender with a couple sweet hats. We packed two for a boy and two for a girl.
  3. Formula – When I had Isla, I didn’t bring this item. While I was able to breastfeed, her glucose got very low at one point and I needed to give her a little formula. As a mom who eats a lot of organic food, I was really upset to use a conventional formula from the hospital. So this time, I’m bringing my own, just in case!
  4. Going home outfit – Again, since we don’t know if we’re having a boy or girl, we have a gender neutral going home outfit, complete with a onesie, pants with feeties, and little hat. I know moms say it all the time, but I seriously can’t believe how tiny these clothes are!
  5. Car seat
  6. Pacifier – This is something I want to have just in case. We didn’t use one until Isla was really comfortable breast feeding (after about one week), but that can come at a different time for all babies. So, we’ll have our pacifier with us.
  7. Swaddle blanket – This is great to not only swaddle the baby, but I can use it as a breastfeeding cover up too if I need it. Another gender neutral pattern!

For mom: 

  1. Robe – I love having a comfortable robe for at the hospital. It makes feeding the baby easy and layers easily over my nightgown or other clothes.
  2. Nightgown – since I had a c-section last time, I wanted to make sure I had something that didn’t have a waistband to wear at the hospital. This nightgown has a built in bra top that cuts right under the bust. So, it provides some support for my filling boobs, and it’s not terribly old ladyish. I can actually wear this 9 months pregnant, or normally. Win, win!
  3. Going home outfit – Living in New England, the weather has been cool in the mornings and warm in the afternoons. So, I packed a skirt and tank top to go home in. I can always layer a jacket over this for the ride home (I’ll have one stashed in the car).
  4. Socks – I like to bring two pairs of socks I don’t mind getting dirty and throwing away if need be. Hospitals are clean because they’re hospitals, but how many people have seen white socks turn black? So, I bring a couple pairs of thick Hanes socks and call it a day.
  5. Sweat pants and long sleeved shirt – I like to be comfortable in the hospital. I can also use this as my going home outfit if it’s a cooler or rainy day.
  6. Nursing bras – an essential item!
  7. Depends – This was just more convenient. A recommendation many people made online and I’m glad I followed.
  8. Underwear – Just some inexpensive Hanes granny panties. I pack these, but also take full advantage of the disposable underwear from the hospital. I still have some of those stashed at home from last year too. Isn’t postpartum life so glamorous?
  9. Overnight pads – Eventually I wanted to use pads and I didn’t want to use the ginormous hospital grade ones. Seriously, have they ever updated those?
  10. Special Toiletries – A client gifted this toiletries set to me last year. She said it’s nice to have some nice soaps and shampoos at the hospital and I loved having this last year. This is one of those extra amenities I really enjoyed and made sure to pack again this year.
  11.  Stretch oil – I have been using this stretch oil throughout my entire pregnancy and I know it’s important to also keep my skin hydrated after I have this baby too. I love that I can actually use this oil as a full body oil. It’s light, but hydrating.
  12. Boob butter – I used this after I breastfed every time at the hospital last year and I’m glad I did. Isla was a serious cluster feeder and I felt like this saved my boobs.
  13. The Stick – I didn’t bring this last year, but since I’m trying for a VBAC, I thought this might be a helpful tool if I’m having a lot of back labor. This is one of my favorite tools for self myofascial stretching at home, and it’s also a great massage tool. It might save Chris’s hands.
  14. Belly wrap – This was a life saver at the hospital and when I went home last year. I’m wondering if I’ll be as interested if I have a VBAC, but after a csection, I loved how it helped support my shredded (literally) stomach.

Last, but not least, we pack so many snacks.

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Our hospital food is not very good. It’s full of preservatives and pesticides and when I’m trying to refuel my body either after a surgery or delivery, I’d like to have some tastes from home that are a little more nutritious. I certainly don’t pack the healthiest snacks, but it’s comforting to have food that I know I like. Some of our favorites include beef jerky, veggie sticks (something salty for after labor), Tate’s Bake Shop cookies (something sweet), Kind bars, Annas’s Swedish Thins (I love these with cheese or with tea), some juice boxes, trail mix, gum, and raspberry leaf tea (to help my uterus recover). Also not pictured are some instant oatmeal cups with chia and flax. I love that all I need is some hot water to enjoy this healthier breakfast or snack. And last, but not least, seltzer! It’s nice to have something other than water.

What do you pack in your hospital bag? Share in the comments below.