Baby essentials checklist

For quite sometime I thought there would be a lot of necessary items one needed for a baby- and while thats true it's been helpful for us as a family to realize there is a difference between needs and wants. There are so many items families choose to purchase they end up using for a short amount of time or not at all. 

I figured I would compile a list of baby items we decided to make a priority- some of these are no-brainers, but I'm a list maker and I hope this helps you as you prepare to welcome your little bundle of joy.

Baby essentials according to the Practical Potters...

For baby (Scroll Right to see items listed below two by two)

  • Mittens (so baby won't scratch face/body)
  • Onesies (short and long sleeve are good) 
  • Pants
  • Pajamas
  • Socks
  • Hat(s): for keeping baby's head warm 
  • Sun hat: to protect baby's head, face, and neck from the sun
  • Swaddles (to aid with better sleeping)
  • Baby towels (X2) (I love the ones with a cute corner for baby's head)
  • Small wash clothes (don't have to be for baby- anything soft would do)
  • Pacifiers (we chose to go with Dr. Brown's)
  • Pacifier clips
  • Bottles (we chose to go with Dr. Brown's)
  • Bottle brush
  • Baby bath (we were gifted this cute flower sink bath)

 

Health/wellness

  • Forehead thermometer
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Weight scale (for some this is a necessity, I think it's good to have to keep an eye on baby's weight gain)

 

For nursing mommas (Scroll to the right to see more items)

  • Nursing pump (generally need a prescription from your provider and can get one through your insurance- I'm going with the Medela Pump)
  • Nursing cover (even if not nursing, these are generally made out of a stretchy material you can use as a cover for the carseat)
  • Nursing pillow option (you can keep this as basic as a regular pillow, choose a nursing pillow, or if your like me and splurged on a pregnancy body pillow use that bad boy!)
  • Breast Milk Storage bag(s)
  • Nipple cream
  • Nipple shields
  • Nursing camisole
  • Nursing night gown (seasonal)
  • Washable nursing pads

 

For home (newborn - 5 months)

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  • Bassinet
  • Sheet to cover the bassinet insert
  • Diapers
  • Wipes (we decided to make our own thanks to Wellness Mama)
  • Baby monitor (we opted for wi-fi free, for safety reasons) This is what we went with!
  • Changing pad
  • Changing pad cover

 

Baby lounging options

  • Some sort of baby lounger (for a surface like bed/couch) 
  • Baby swing or rocker- there are so many options to name. We decided to go with the rock and play because it vibrates and makes noise. I wanted something higher off the ground that was easy to fold/carry and put away in a closet!
  • Bean bag- I know that sounds totally crazy, but when they're itty bitty and can't move an oversized bean bag can do the trick, I've seen it done (obviously with supervision)

 

For mom and baby

  • Newborn/infant carrier (could be a simple wrap to start out- you can buy one or just pick out a jersey knit and or spandex material from a local craft store and make your own no-sew wrap!)

 

For home (5 months +) We are waiting on a few of these items until we need them

  • Crib (Bryan actually made Lily's!)
  • Crib mattress
  • Crib mattress waterproof cover 
  • Mattress sheet X2
  • Bumper for crib (I also like these in the event you have an outlet and a sound machine for example plugged into it, keeping it out of growing babies reach is very important)

 

For travel

  • Diaper bag
  • Changing pad (sometimes diaper bag comes with one)
  • Wipe box (necessary if you're making your own)
  • Infant car seat and base
  • Carseat mirror
  • Carseat cover (to ward off the elements (snow, wind, rain, and stranger's hands!)

 

Optional/ can wait on

  • Stroller (If you're fancy and purchased a travel system set that's awesome) 

Some parents choose to wait on purchasing a stroller because momma bear wants to carry her little one on her and not have to deal with lugging around a carseat. Another reason is some little ones don't like a carseat/stroller positioning and prefer to be upright in a wrap or carrier. 

We decided we would wait on a stroller because the carseat we were gifted is older and no longer compatible with any stroller the company currently makes. I love the idea of having my little one snuggled up with me so I'm going to hold off on a stroller for now. It's not something thats difficult to find pre-loved from a friend or order one online, etc when we're ready.

  • Feeding/ high chair

 

I know this was quite an exhaustively long post. I hope it helps to have a break down of items for mom and baby you may not have yet considered. If you have anything to add I'd love to read about it in the comments or feel free to direct message me on Instagram or Facebook at the practical potters!

Third trimester...so far

The third trimester- where you know what gets real!

                         33 weeks pregnant

                       33 weeks pregnant

At week 28 Bryan and I were taking a road trip out to California and it would be our longest one yet. He was so patient with me during the 11+ hour drive. Of course, make sure you are cleared by your physician when it comes to travel and follow their guidelines. We stopped every 1.5 - 2 hours for me to walk around and use the restroom. It actually worked out well for us so we could fill up at about half a tank of gas and keep trucking along. We brought plenty of water, food, and snacks (and because we were driving at night) it made it pretty easy to just have dinner and drive through the night. After the fun weekend Bryan and I got sick, I was out for the count for about 3 weeks which was really tough. I was well for two weeks and then ended up getting the flu. Yeah, when it rains it pours.

It's crazy to think a week ago I was diagnosed with the flu, thanks for medicine, the power of prayer, and the amazing care from Bryan I am feeling much much better.

I would probably have to say being under the weather has been the hardest part about the third trimester because it's made it difficult to sleep. I was already limited to sleeping on my left side with my amazing pregnancy pillow but then had an even harder time sleeping. I ended up sleeping in a reclined position with my pillow fort and then slept sitting upright. It worked well for me and I'm sure helped with the snoring I was already doing. I've just kept up the same routine for the most part, when you find something that works you just go with it!

Overall, I really have not had any discomfort due to the growing bump in terms of round ligament pain, etc. However I did notice some discomfort in my foot. A big thanks to Bryan for his awesome massages and a lacrosse ball as its really helped ease the tension and do away with the pain. I decided to set aside two old pairs of sneakers I had and go back to a favorite type of shoe I've tried in the past- orthotics (I know, I feel like I sound old). I ended up snagging a pair of gently used Vionic Orthotic sneakers and it's been a huge blessing! I'm pretty much living in them! It's cool, I guess I started wearing my momiform early. 

The biggest physical change starting the third trimester was the really intense heartburn and acid reflux I ended up getting ginger ale which helped alleviate it. However, I think the biggest change has been with my diet- staying away from garlic, heavy chili's (although hearty) have been well worth it. 

Nesting is a thang! I've pretty much wanted to buy everything pink and with birds on it I could get my hands on- I've resisted because accountability is real, y'all! I've been working hard to spend on essential items and I think have been surprised by how much is out there for babies (and moms/dads) we don't really need. I'm excited to do a post soon on items that made our list and what didn't. Obviously as a first time mom I have a limited perspective and with videos and online reviews being so handy I trust a few online sources and also advice from my doula, family, and friends on what we need.

Frugal wedding ring wearing options while pregnant

Every body, every woman, and every pregnancy, even each of her own can be beautifully unique. If you're like me and started experiencing swelling during the second trimester, you're not alone. I noticed swelling in my hands around week 20- 22.  I was really disheartened when I couldn't wear my wedding ring/band anymore. I had THE moment when you go to take your rings off and you freak out because it doesn't look like you'll be able to take them off (yikes!!! and I never want that to happen again).

There are a lot of different options:

  • not wear a ring(s)----for me- totally not an option unless I'm going to the gym with my hubby
  • purchase another gold/silver ring---- which I'm not a fan of because it's not a need and I'd rather concentrate on spending on Lily
  • purchase really inexpensive stackable rings from Loft ----I considered it, but I didn't want to spend on something I would use for a short time and would likely quickly turn my finger green- remind anyone of their high school years!?
  • tattoo- kiddddinnngggg! (Just seeing if you were still reading!)
  • My favorite option: wear a family ring (or other nice ring) that didn't fit you before----I ended up trying on a ring I'd been given and was pleasantly surprised when it fit me. I've been doing this and it's been wonderful! Also, because the ring was just a tinge too big it's been something thats grown with me.
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My second favorite option- snag a necklace and put the pendant in a safe place. Use the chain to house your wedding ring(s) and wear it around your neck. If you're sentimental or your husband is, it could be a really good option for you and remind each of you of the beautiful covenant of marriage! This way you're still wearing the ring(s) and you also didn't spend any money to do so!

P.s. If you're wondering what the back drop is, its an oversized lumbar throw pillow- in English a rectangular pillow- from Target. 


A friend told me about the Qalo ring which is a single silicone ring you can buy and because they make a few different textures/looks you can totally stack them. It's a great inexpensive option under $12 (and it won't turn your finger green!) These rings come in so many different colors and three designs so happy choosing :)

 


If you like the Qalo ring and your budget can hang at $19.99 this is a little classier of an option in my opinion. These rings only come in four colors: red, navy, green, and white. Babe, if you're reading this I like the red and also the white one ;)

 

 

 

Do you have any creative way(s) you've been able to wear your wedding ring(s) during a season of your life where they didn't fit!? I'd love to hear about it.

 

Second Trimester Recap

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     The second trimester went pretty smoothly overall, well, minus the introduction to acid reflux, sleeplessness, and the most intense round ligament pain. Really and truly I can't complain too much, as I've done my best not to do as I'm doing by best to treasure every stage of the pregnancy. I will definitely not sugar coat anything and share that some of the aches and pains were uncomfortable and I allowed to consume my thoughts throughout the day.

     The pain and discomfort was a little overwhelming for a few weeks. There were definitely days where daily activities like getting dressed in the morning, walking, and going up and down the stairs were exercise in and of themselves. Walking and exercising, although the last thing I wanted to do and helped with the sleeplessness, increase confidence, energy, and productivity. I was excited to get back in the gym to start walking at least half a mile, than a mile, and later a mile and a half 5-6 times a week. I'd also enjoy riding the bicycle and lifting weights (not all three taking place in the same day, normally just a combination of two). I'm no super athlete, just a regular ole' gal. It was great to be able to do a few exercises on my own and also have Bryan there with me. He served as a wonderful support to see in what ways I was pushing myself and in what ways I was listening to my body to know what my limitations were. 

     One aspect of pregnancy that I feel was more apparent in the second trimester was forgetfulness and procrastination. As a type-A personality I generally make a to-do list and knock it out in the timeline I've set up for it and I generally do not misplace or forget where things are. I have forgotten to do things for Bryan, I've misplaced membership cards to local grocery stores as well as my library card. Yikes! Thankfully these items can be replaced and I've worked on being more vigilant regarding what I do with both mine and Bryan's belongings. And mostly, just give myself grace for the ways pregnancy not only changes my body, but also day to day life.

     I believe the second trimester is from weeks 13 - 27 and I was really excited to wrap up the second trimester in mid-January.  I realized that pregnancy may require a slower pace and to give myself more grace- for all the beauty and all the changes it brings. I was beyond excited to be able to be walking into the third trimester feeling more energized and strong...but that all came to a screeching halt. Can't wait to share more in the next post!

 

 

News flash pregnant momma, you are normal!

Keeping it real today ladies. I've had a few good cries due to a change pregnancy brings which is completely normal and necessary- weight gain. 

    See, when I was 16 weeks pregnant I moved to Utah. My weight had already increased (prior to pregnancy) and a little with the pregnancy that I did not fit into clothes from the previous year's winter. Since I knew it was starting to cool down in Utah I bypassed a majority of my fall outfits and packed for winter. (Boy am I glad I did :) ) At any rate, I tossed aside clothing which didn't fit and kept what did. 

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    Shortly after Thanksgiving it started feeling cold here in Utah. After searching for a top that would fit me and slipping into my maternity jeans I was getting so excited to wear my petite coat. The tears started to fall as I realized it did not fit! Starting from the top- the bust was uncomfortably tight, of the five or six buttons the top two were barely meeting, and the jacket was parting like the red sea to reveal the bump. Tears, tears, and more tears flowed. Bryan embraced me and sweetly said, "Hey honey, its okay. I don't know if you forgot, but, you're pregnant," and he continued sweetly about this being normal. 

    It may seem so silly to read. If you're pregnant or have been than you likely know the feeling. The scoreboard, Hormones 1, Rational Bev 0. It's okay. I realized later in the day how silly it was. All in all I just needed to extend grace, sit back and marvel and the wonders of pregnancy- sharing this body with Lily and all the changes it brings. P.S. If you're growing a tiny human inside of you...its totally normal that your clothes don't fit. Maternity clothes are calling, go treat yourself!

 

Second Trimester Recap

 21 weeks on Thanksgiving  

21 weeks on Thanksgiving  

Ever since we found out, Lily is well, Lily we've been even more excited about our bundle of Joy coming in April. Me, mainly excited to not hear Bryan say, "it," or only be able to say "the baby."  We had originally agreed upon maybe 4 or 5 girl names and barely one boy name. Once our midwife told us it was a girl, we were set on Lily. Since week 13 until now, week 22 things have changed quite a bit. I started wearing maternity clothing around week 17 (sheepishly so). To be honest, I felt like week 14 - 19 I looked like I was just storing food for the winter. It wasn't until week 18 I started to feel "heavy". I would say once moving to Utah I started experiencing acid reflux/heartburn several times throughout the week.

 

 

A great pregnancy pillow

The only other pregnancy symptoms I've experienced are typical and nothing I would gripe about, but would mention to Bryan. The frequent urination came on with a vengeance and I started feeling uncomfortable while sleeping. I normally don't mind Bryan's shoulder touching mine while sleeping but a few nights I did not want to be touched at all (yikes!). Bryan and I went out to Bed Bath and Beyond and got the Leachco® Snoogle® Chic Jersey Total Body Pillow in Heather Grey. It is priced at $65.00 and with their 20% coupon we paid around $50.00. It may seem like a lot for a pillow and in terms of the product it already came with a removal cover which they did offer separately for around $15 or more. I would not pass up the jersey zipper cover for anything, super soft and easy to remove and wash. I am normally a weirdo when it comes to pillows, I like them thin and was surprised when I used the pillow as an actual pillow I didn't wake up with a crick in my neck and felt even more comfortable in-between my knees. Over time I have basically transitioned to having some of it lightly lift my tiny belly and also completely hugging it, with my left arm under it and my right over top. Needless to say, Bryan is jealous. We had a couple friend tell us half way through using it her husband stole it, comfortable for all. The only...maybe frustration is that it is very big as in, almost as long as our queen bed so I completely remove when making the bed. 

Another weird thing has been a little bit of sleeplessness which has been difficult because I've been wide awake. I've been wide awake enough to check emails, research, and you know just ponder about life. Any advice on what to do or not do to prevent this and go back to sleep?

I had really uncomfortable abdominal pain around week 21 that lasted for about 2.5 days and it was tough. It felt like soreness, maybe kind of closer to like a stretched muscle mainly throughout all of my belly. I am fairly certain it was normal after contacting my healthcare provider, when in doubt, ask questions. I will say I'm sad I waited to use a heating pad until day 2.5. I heated a small one up for about 30 seconds in the microwave and applied it to areas of discomfort for 15 minutes at a time and it really did help! I'm sure I will be doing this more frequently down the road. Every now and again throughout the week I experience rubber band like stretching pain and thankfully nothing too severe.

Staying active!

 Antelope Island State Park in Utah taken at "LadyFinger."

Antelope Island State Park in Utah taken at "LadyFinger."

I've been staying active and it starts with little things like parking towards the middle or back of parking lots to get in more of a walk, a hike here and there, and actually going on short walks with my mother in love, or husband and dog. I recently started wearing a pedometer wrist band. I wanted one that just had a time and pedometer option without needing access or connectivity to my smartphone, a computer program, bluetooth, and application etc. I also didn't want to break the bank! Ironically it took me a while to find one that didn't have any of these capabilities. I ended up purchasing the Willful (Brand) Pedometer Bracelet Fitness Tracker off of Amazon for under $20.00.  I will be honest and say it was an early Christmas present from Bryan but I did end up ordering it since I knew exactly what I wanted! ( He approved :) ).

At about week 20 we took a spontaneous trip to Bryce Canyon City with friends and I hiked 5 miles in one day! We did 2 miles in the morning with about an hour break and then hammered out another 3, I was tired and most definitely went to bed early! While that is not my norm, I would like to shoot for at least a mile a couple of times a week. Most recently Bryan and I went to Antelope Island State Park and enjoyed exploring and walking around a bit. 

A note on Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Did not work- red raspberry leaf tea is a no go, I had one or maybe two cups max and for a little over 24 hours had the worst uterine cramping. I am not a healthcare professional so definitely check in with your healthcare provider before taking a sip. I may give it another go later on if cleared by my midwife and doula. 

Future appointments

The next exams are for gestational diabetes and Lily's full anatomy scan scheduled soon. Praying all goes well with both appointments likely to take place this month and early January. 

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I know I have another 5 weeks before the end of the 2nd trimester but I wanted to share what the first half of the second trimester has been like. Happily eager to hear about your experience and what you do to stay active, especially in Utah!

Gender reveal

20 weeks

We spoiled the gender reveal a bit when we started the Life with Lily blog and I thought I'd share how it all transpired. We found out November 16th we were having a girl! After the doctor's visit we ran to the dollar store to get celebratory plates and napkins and went to the grocery store to buy cupcake mix, pink frosting for the inside of the cupcakes, and white frosting for the top. We made the cupcakes while family was busy running errands so that when they returned home it would all be ready!

We had my husband's parents each take a bite into the cupcakes while face timing my brother in law's family. Wahoo! Our Lily girl is the tie breaker- now there are more girls than boys in the Potter family!

 

Introducing Life with Lily

We have really exciting news!

 photo cred: Grandma Evelyn (my mom)

photo cred: Grandma Evelyn (my mom)

Bryan and I are expecting our first baby this coming April! We're having a girl and thankfully we already agreed on a name long before we found out she was a she- Lily Anne Potter. Who run the world...GIRLS *kidding* (I just had to throw in a Beyonce reference for good measure). 

I decided to start a Life with Lily "mini blog" basically a page on our website to share more about our journey with Lily from the moment we knew we were expecting throughout her life. I think it will be sweet for Bryan and I, our family, and even Lily to look back on when she's old enough to read!

This Thanksgiving (2017) marked the half way point of my pregnancy and we found out we were having a girl about a week before. Yes, so much to be thankful for! (And yes, I cried out when we found out).

Here's a quick first trimester recap!

I found out I was pregnant as most other women do with a home pregnancy test. Due to receiving healthcare on base at Ft. Bragg I was seen on base and had a dating ultrasound on August 16th which provided us with the due date of April 12th, still holding strong! Below are her first glamour shot!

Overall the first trimester went by very well. My only challenges were three separate occasions of 1 - 3 day headaches back to back, stomach issues due to prenatal vitamins (hint, hint don't have them on an empty stomach) and a cold that lasted a little over a week. While I was a little more sensitive Bryan and I agree I rarely teared up and felt and was healthy. There was a small little scare about a small hematoma, long story short, it wasn't officially brought to my attention by providers as what was seen in one ultrasound wasn't seen again. Praise God for a very quick healing.

My mom through us a baby shower the weekend before we left and it was so sweet to have our family come from out of town to celebrate!

Towards the end of the first trimester we ended up moving across the country and welcomed in the second trimester. I'll be sharing more about the second trimester soon!