What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should My Partner Pack in their Labor Bag?

What Should my Partner Pack in a Labor Bag?

Packing your labor bags for Baby Day is an exciting milestone – things are getting real! It’s like packing for a vacation but you actually get the coolest souvenir to bring home.  However, like a vacation, sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about what you may need or not need in your labor bag. Plus, packing lists usually center around the laboring person and may exclude the birthing partner and team!

So – we compiled a list of must-haves to get you through the labor and birth of your baby. Whether you’re headed to the birth center or staying in the hospital, its nice to feel prepared!

Snacks

Labor can be a marathon or a sprint – either way, both the laboring person and the birth team need to be fueled up and energized.  Pack snacks in your labor bag that you and your birthing partner would like during labor or after – when you both realize you’re famished after such an exhilarating experience! Be sure to pack things that will survive sitting in your car and and are packed with protein to keep your energy up. As a member of the birth team, consider skipping the onion bagel and also pack some mints for after the snacking!

Toiletries

Birth is unpredictable. You may be in and out of the birth center in a few hours, or you may spend a few days at the hospital.  Bring necessities like deodorant, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. You may also consider wipes to wash your face and a hair brush or comb. Even if you don’t use it, your birthing partner may appreciate it.

Change of Clothes

You don’t need to pack a ton of clothes, but having one fresh outfit is always a smart choice. If you’re thinking, “We don’t plan on being at the birth center too long,” we hear you! But we still recommend a change of clothes for the “just in case” scenarios. I.e. you don’t want to wear amniotic fluid or meconium on your clothes until you go home.  If you really want to level up, keep an extra pair of shoes in the car for the same reasons. 

Phone Charger, Camera, and a Speaker

At the birth, you’ll want to keep your phone charged so that you can take all the pictures you want and call all your people when you are ready. If you have a nice camera, bring it for those detailed photos (you will never regret all the photos you take of your brand new baby). A wireless speaker can amplify the birth playlist music you and your partner made during pregnancy.

The Birth Plan

Your partner in labor will be focused on contractions and getting their vitals taken. Having a birth plan in your labor bag and ready to hand off is helpful for your providers and your partner. 

 Hopefully this list provides some insight into what to pack! The fewer bags you have to bring in, the easier it is to leave with baby in their car seat when it’s time to go home!  Happy Packing!

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

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How to Play with Your Baby

How to Play with Your Baby

How to Play with Your Baby: 0-3 Months

Congratulations on your adorable new addition! You did it! You literally grew another human and now you’re home together. Since he isn’t walking or talking yet, it might seem like your days consist solely of changing diapers, feeding, burping and rocking him to sleep in those first few hazy months. But there are still many opportunities to play with your baby or make those moments playful!

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at your perfect baby thinking… “Okay, but what am I supposed to DO with him?” this one’s for you.

Include baby in the everyday moments. Don’t overthink it!

A mother gives her baby a massage while the toddler sister gives her teddy bear a massage.Your baby is part of your family now so you can include her in the everyday parts of your life! If you’re spending time outside, try wearing her in a wrap like this one. Sometimes when I’m folding laundry with my baby lying next to me and my toddler “folding” clothes I’ll pause to give my baby a little infant massage to find connection in that moment. The gentle, firm pressure used in infant massage can help stimulate their senses and can be done at any time of day – including after bath time or right before bed time!

Make diaper changes playful.

Use diaper changes as a time for an “I love you ritual” – a special way to connect with your child, created by Dr. Becky Bailey, the founder of Conscious Discipline. There are many to choose from, and both of my children have their own special rituals. Here is one of my favorites:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

(Hold child’s hands up high, touch fingers and twinkle)

What a wonderful child you are!(

(Bring arms down to rest) 

With bright eyes and nice round cheeks,

(Touch near child’s eyes and cheeks)

Talented person from head to feet.

(Touch child’s head and run fingers down to feet)

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

(Twinkle fingers together again)

What a wonderful child you are!

(Smile and hug)

Narrate your actions.

When your baby is alert, awake and happy it might feel like you’re unsure of what to do, but this is actually the perfect time to play with her.  

Narrating your actions is a simple way to “play.” She has known your voice from the moment she could hear, so it’s naturally comforting to her. Singing and reading books aloud are other ways to spend time engaging with her.  

Spend time connecting face to face with your baby so that he can see your eyes and mouth moving. Laying him on your chest can give him a new perspective of your face and helps strengthen head, neck and upper body muscles. Interact with him as if you were having a conversation, speaking in “parentese” – the high pitched sing-songy voice that babies love. And when you hear those first cooing sounds of pleasure, don’t worry if you might look totally silly doing everything possible to get him to repeat it! He loves to see the emotion and excitement in your face too!  

Watch this still face experiment video to see how babies use the limited communication tools they have to generate a response from their caregiver when they have a “still face” and how they regulate again once their “play” resumes. 

If you have an older child and are worried that the baby won’t get enough one on one time, it’s okay! Later born children benefit from overhearing conversations between you and other siblings as well. Did you know later born children may have a more advanced understanding of pronouns (he, she, them) thanks to overhearing these conversations? So #nomomguilt here!

Michelle Petkovic

Social Media Manager, Babymoon Inn

Michelle Petkovic received her degree in International Affairs from Sweet Briar College. She is a mother of one energetic toddler and one newborn, and she loves spending time outside camping, hiking and traveling with her family.

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Just Add Water! Summer Activities for Kids

Nope, it’s not an ad for an as-seen-on-TV product. We actually apply these words to raising our kids in Arizona – especially in the summer! Water activities + children = winning formula.

The “Just Add Water” formula breaks up tension and gives kids a fun change-up in their day. Whether it’s arguments, exhaustion, boredom, whining, or just big feelings, this trick seems to work – for both our kids and us!

Obviously, having access to a pool is helpful. Yet despite being an Arizona native, I’ve never lived in a house with a pool!  But the Just Add Water trick can still be done!

So if you’re like my family, in the desert with no pool, here are 5 simple and inexpensive ways we add water to our day.

Painting in the shower or bath

When our oldest was in his toddler years, we let him paint our tub in just a diaper or nothing at all. After he was done, we wiped everything down and filled the tub for bath time.  Now that he’s older, we put paint on the walls of the shower and let him paint while he showers. The best part is, it all washes away! Both bath paint or finger paint will do the trick!

Popsicles in the bath

Indoors and easy, simply put your kids in the bath and give them Popsicles or homemade ice pops. Pro tip: Steer clear of anything that could clog the drain (i.e. no fruit-filled pops). Its exciting for the kids and an easy clean up!

“Paint” the fence

A simple water activity for kids is to “paint” the wooden fence, brick wall, or driveway with water. Get a bucket of water or fill a kiddie pool with water. Grab some paint brushes and let your kids paint with water! No mess, and your kids still get to let their creativity flow. They can then color the wet surface with chalk, and you can dump the water on the fence to wash away when you’re all done!

Washing toys

Have your kids give their toys a bath! Fill one bucket with with soapy water and another bucket with their toys. Give your kids a wash cloth and let them scrub away. Not only does this incorporate water into your day, but it also give your kids a chance to partake in imaginative play. They could be a parent giving their baby a bath like they see you do, or a farmer washing their farm animals. Our kids love marine life and this is always a hit with their collection of plastic sharks.

Outdoor chores

We try to incorporate our kids into our outdoor chores. In the winter, this is often garage projects. In the summer, we attempt to keep pumpkin seedlings alive for fall harvest. This means watering the plants, spraying off the porch, and stomping in the cool mud!

I hope you enjoy these easy and simple ideas to break up the day and help you all make some summer memories at home. Enjoy!

Babymoon Inn is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Raquel MacDonald

Doula, Babymoon Inn

Raquel is a mother to three boys and a certified Babymoon Inn Doula. She loves working in her community to reach and educate new parents on all things birth and postpartum care.

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