Earlier this week we had our first "prenatal" with the doula. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but from some comments she made, I got the impression that it would be a 2-hour childbirth education class. Now, we took a four week class before G was born and we decided not to take any this time around. Rather, I've been re-reading lots of books and even got a couple for J to read. So I met the doula at the door with our birth plan from G and as I expected that rather headed off a lot of the basic material. We spent most of the time going over the birth plan and noting minor changes to accommodate what the hospital here does. Our next prenatal will be in a few weeks and she'll spend the time going over and demonstrating various comfort measures. That will be more to my liking!! She will also bring her "doula bag of tricks" and show us things she has like aromatherapy and knee pads for J if he has to be kneeling to help me out. When I get the tweaks done I'll post my birth plan here.
Back in January when I was cleaning up the nursery, I made a list of a few things that I thought would have been nice to know the first time around. Some true "necessities" that you don't usually find on other lists:
- A variety of diaper rash creams and ointments – Sooner or later your baby *will* get a diaper rash. And the miracle cream that worked for your friend down the street may do nothing but irritate your baby’s bottom. The best thing is to have a variety of stuff ahead of time and then experiment to see what works. Over the course of time I ended up buying about one of everything in the diaper rash section. I wish that I had known and could have stocked up well ahead of time when things were on sale or I could price shop. The stuff isn’t cheap and especially not when you have to buy it at the local pharmacy because you need something *now*. By all means, ask around and get recommendations, but be prepared to experiment. And don’t discount simple talcum powder. In the end I found that to be the best at preventing rashes in the first place.
- Hand sanitizer – I keep a bottle of this wherever I have diapers. As soon as I get the wet or dirty diaper off and in the trash, I clean my hands and then put on the clean diaper. You can’t always get away to wash you hands properly but this at least lets you get some of the germs off. This also comes in handy as the kid enters toddler-hood to try and keep away some of the cold germs.
- You’ll see a lot of the hard, travel cases for baby wipes. Skip those. The best container for baby wipes is a Ziploc bag which keeps the moisture in so the wipes won’t dry out. This is especially important for wipes you have stashed here and there that don’t get used often. As my child got older I even kept my main stash of wipes in a Ziploc rather than the dispenser box to keep them from drying out.
- I used and really liked something called the “Ultimate Crib Sheet”. It’s basically a waterproof mattress pad and bottom sheet all in one. It attaches to the side of the crib in such a way that you don’t have to take off the bumper pad or anything in order to change it. I had three of them and would put them all on the crib at once. Then, when one got dirty, all I had to do was take the top one off and the crib would be ready again. Easy! I got mine at Target.
By no means a comprehensive list but just a few tips to get you thinking! Sometimes it's the little things (like being able to quickly change the crib sheet at 3am) that will keep you sane!
It's strange: the last few days have seen a return of my fear of the baby having Down's or something similar. I don't know why all of a sudden I'm afraid - I guess because the weeks are counting down and we'll know for sure soon.