Handy Hospital Bag Checklist(s) For You And Your New Baby

1st Baby VS 2nd Baby: Two Different Lists

Handy Hospital Bag Checklist(s) For You And Your New Baby

Small infant - two hours old

Packing your hospital bag for labour and birth is one of the most exciting things you will do in pregnancy. It’s your last chance to take some control of the environmental stimuli you will experience during labour, delivery, and recovery. It’s your chance to access the creature comforts of home while you’re in a hospital setting. It’s an opportunity to feel as cozy, clean, relaxed, and prepared as you possibly can for the arrival of your little one.

Here’s the rub—you shouldn’t be the one to pack the bag.

Really? But only I know what I will need! I can’t possibly leave something this important to someone else, can I?

You can, and you should, hand this very important task off to someoneyour partner (or whoever will be supporting you during labour and birth).

For the birth of our first daughter, I asked my husband to add this important task to his to-do list. The result was not only the most epic of packed hospital bags (which showed up ready, at our door, a mere 24-hours later), but an extremely calm and empowered birth partner.

My husband took on this task with much enthusiasm, once he understood that this was our kit for managing labour and birth together. He needed to have access to the important things in this bag as much as I did. In all honestly, he was the only one who ever took items out of this bag for baby and me given that I was a little—*cough*—preoccupied with breathing, panting, pacing, puking, shouting, mooing, and pushing out a baby.

Don’t think you need to eliminate yourself from the process altogether.

Give your birth partner a starting place from which to work by printing off one of these handy checklists, or create your own. The guidelines for your own list are:

  • Keep your creature comforts in mind.
  • Don’t forget the basics (i.e. your wallet).
  • Keep some perspective—you aren’t moving in.
  • This was the checklist my husband worked from for our 1st Baby:

Pretty thorough, right? A little too thorough, perhaps? On the way home from the hospital, my husband summarized how much of our hospital-bag had gone unused by quipping:

“Next time, I’m only packing two things—some straw to lay down on the floor and a stick for you to bite.”

So, I’ve made some slight adjustments for the checklist for the arrival of Baby #2:

Given that I’m hoping to try for a birth similar to our daughter’s, I’ll also be bringing this list of powerful birth affirmations. Even though I didn’t look at these once during my last labour, I felt safer just knowing I had them there:

I wish you a fast, safe, healthy, organized labour and birth.

Thinking about other divisions of labour with your partner? Then check out the Four-Square To-Do List. Plus, you can upcycle this awesome post-birth accessory in four unique ways! 


4 NEW Uses For Your Peri Bottle

From cleaning to baby care – how to upcycle this vital accessory

4 NEW Uses For Your Peri Bottle

picture of a peri bottle with text: 4 new uses for your peri bottle

“What is THAT?”

I was staring at the small, squishy, plastic bottle the nurse had handed me. I’d just conquered birthing my daughter, and was preparing to go home from the hospital.

“This will be your best friend for the next few weeks” the nurse explained, softly.

“Every time you use the washroom, you’ll want to fill this with warm water and squeeze it over your perineum.”

*up went my ‘brows*

It was my best friend (in the loo) for the next few weeks. I’m not looking to cross into “TMI” territory here. I’ll leave that to fellow Yummy, Jen Warman. Let’s just say it was a well-used accessory.


---> Fast forward 21 months --->

One night, in a frantic search for something to rinse my daughter’s soapy bathtime locks with I came across….that long-forgotten [but well-washed] Peri Bottle. Not only did it work – it worked better than anything I have used for hair rinsing.

So – how can you upcycle your Peri Bottle long after your bum-zone doesn’t need it?

Here are 4 NEW Uses For Your Peri Bottle

1)   Hair Washing Aid

My 21-month-old detests getting soapy water on her face and in her eyes. I can’t blame the kid. For post-shampoo rinsing I’ve tried cups, jugs, dunks, cloths, and hands. None of these seemed to impress.

Once I brought the “squeezy” (as she has pleasantly named it) into our bathtime routine, rinsing became a total breeze. I dare say it’s even fun now.…Especially when she sprays water on Mama during the rinse routine…


2)   Vinegar Home Cleaning Solution

I have some seriously positive accolades for vinegar as a miracle, all-natural, home cleaning product.  Cheap, green, non-toxic, and versatile. This little bottle of grocery-store goodness is something that everyone should have in their cleaning caddy. It was good enough for your Grandmother, and her mother, so its good enough for you.

Put your green-cleaning solution of pure white vinegar into your re-purposed Peri Bottle, and spray on your stainless steel appliances., wiping with a cloth as you go. Follow this with a microfiber cloth and a dab of baby oil to polish!


3)   A Clean, Green, Baby Wipes Solution

I like to use comfy cloth diapers on the little one when we are at home. A brilliant mum was showing me her organization systems for cloth diapers – and I spotted a re-purposed Per-Bottle on her change table. “For homemade wipes solution” she told me. Brilliant!

If you’re interested in making your own wipes solution to use with cloth wipes, simply mix:

·      1 cup of warm water

·      2 drops of Tea-Tree oil (anti bacterial purposes)

·      ½ tablespoon coconut oil

·      1 small squirt of gentle baby wash

You can then squirt the solution onto clean re-usable cloths and wipe (then rinse and launder with your cloth diapers) as needed.


4)   Homemade Baby Massage Oil

I didn’t learn about the benefits of baby massage with my first little one. At 24 weeks pregnant I’ve already pegged this as the new “mamma skill” I want to master this time around. When I’m lucky enough to have a massage I know I feel more relaxed, connected, and I sleep better. Why wouldn’t I want my baby to sleep better (read: MORE)?

To make your own baby massage oil, simply mix:

·      3 ounces of olive oil

·      3 drops of lavender essential oil

Shake gently before each use – it’s that simple!


I’m sure I can’t be the only mamma out there to re-purpose this incredible accessory. Leave a comment, below, to tell me if you’ve upcycled your Peri Bottle, and how!


If you've now got a hankering to clean MORE things with vingear, this should get you started. Or if your "crunchy mummy" side is busting out, then use this simple recipe to make your own eco-friendly goo-remover!



What You Need To Know Before Buying Life Insurance

A Handy Checklist of Things To Put Together Before You Buy

What You Need To Know Before Buying Life Insurance

How To Organize Yourself Before You Buy Life Insurance

When it comes to thinking about my own demise, I used to try not to think too hard.  Being a mom changes things and with babies and mortgages, a little bit of worrying is inevitable. 

Now, when it comes to kicking off, there are a few things most of us want to avoid. An early death tops the list for me, but other than eating well, not smoking and avoiding doing your own electrical work, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about that. 

Also high on the list of things to avoid are dying in an embarrassing place or wearing dirty underwear. Those are pretty easy to control. Don’t wear dirty underwear or go to embarrassing places and you should be ok.

Then of course, there’s avoiding dumb ways to die, like, say, naked skydiving, or playing on train tracks, or, you know, dying without life insurance. Mistakes happen, but these are entirely avoidable errors that are bound to compound the unfortunate fact of death with a rather embarrassing funeral.

Which leads me, somewhat circuitously, to my point. It isn’t that hard to buy life insurance.

I know, we’ve all heard stories or lived the experience of a 40-page questionnaire administered by a blue haired and very judgmental, slow talking nurse with an unusually thirsty needle. But this is 2014, the internet age. Anything you want, you can find on the internet, and I’m not just talking about discounted, out of date medicine (ahem, also a dumb way to kick off early).

No, I’m talking about fast ways to buy full life insurance. Increasingly, insurers are getting savvy to the quick moving, no-prisoner taking attitude of their policy holders. You don’t have time for a slow talking octogenarian with a needle, and they know it.

What you should look for in life insurance

For starters, pick an independent insurer. Your bank no doubt tried to sell you life insurance protection with your mortgage, credit line or credit card, but these can be really expensive (sometimes twice as much as term insurance from an insurance company). The policy purchased through the bank also isn’t owned by you; it’s owned by your bank so that they can pay off your mortgage when you die. Doesn’t leave much flexibility for your heirs, and (on a more immediate and practical level), you can’t take it with you when you refinance at a new bank in five years. 

Your employer may also have a policy for you, and that’s great, as long as you’re fully employed at the same employer for the next twenty-five years. But since this is 2014, people change careers often, so pick an insurance policy that can move with you; here again, an independent insurer is a good option.

Ok, so you’ve decided to get some life insurance from an independent insurer. Good for you. Now, there are a few quick and easy steps to get started. First, check out the website of your preferred insurer. Empire Life may be the way you choose to go since their rates for term life insurance are very competitive (sometimes much lower that mortgage insurance offered by banks).

You will need some basic information to help your advisor give you the best possible information.

What to bring when you meet with your advisor


A sense of how much insurance you’ll need. You don’t need a full list of financial records, but a copy of your monthly budget and a summary of your debt helps.

A list of your existing insurance policies. Take a second to think back? Did you have overly protective parents that took out a policy in your name when you were five? A policy with an ex-spouse? At work? Gather these together and think about whether you want to replace any of them. If you have the documents, that’s great. If not, try to jot down the insurer and amount of each policy.

Medical information. These days, the marathon judicial inquiry by a team of nurses is rare, but you’ll still need to bring some basic information, like the name and contact info of your doctor, and the sort of basic medical details you’d expect to fill out on a doctor’s intake form. It also helps to bring a list of prescription medications, existing ailments, the date and reason of your last doctor’s visit, and your most recent blood pressure reading.

Payment. Increasingly, insurers will let you pay with credit card (for example, Empire Life takes Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Interac with its Fast & Full Life Application), but you may also prefer a pre-authorized payment method, so bring a voided cheque.

That’s it. Pretty simple really. Once you have the insurance you need, rest easy. This doesn’t mean you should do get your toast out with a fork anytime soon, but even if the unexpected happens, at least you know your baby will be alright, and you’ll have a decent send off (that, and some well-deserved rest).

Are you one of the 65% of Canadians who has no life insurance coverage or inadequate coverage?

Empire Life makes buying term life insurance simple and affordable with an easy-to-use online “Fast & Full” application process that you can use with your insurance advisor. For more information on Empire Life or to get an insurance quote and learn more about insurance that will work for you, visit empirelife.ca. Because the dumbest way to die is without Life Insurance.