Hospital Bag Essentials from a Second Time Mom

Holy smokes my due date is sneaking up fast!  Life always feels like it’s on fast forward in September to me, and with this baby on the way, it’s even quicker than usual.  Summer slowly draws to a close and all of a sudden you’re thinking about pumpkins and Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving dinner and then it’s Christmas.  I’m going to be taking lots of pictures this year because I have a feeling baby boy’s first holiday celebrations are going to come and go quickly, especially with his big sister starting to really understand them this year.

Ok, focus.  Hospital bag.

Guys, I look back on when I checked into the hospital with the princess and it was honestly a little comical.  I had a carry on size rolling bag, a pillow or two, and a birthing ball stored in the car.  And that was just my stuff.  I also had a huge, packed to the brim diaper bag and Hubby had a backpack of his own {as much as I’m a chronic overpacker, he is a chronically light packer, thank goodness}.

I researched and researched and packed every little thing I might need for labor, delivery and recovery for me and my sweet new baby.  And you know what?  I opened that rolling bag once.  And I used nothing out of the diaper bag until we really started getting out of the house days later.

So this time around, I’m doing things a little differently.  Here are the essentials that I’ll be bringing with me to the hospital.  And by the way, this bag is getting packed when I go into labor, not two weeks ahead of time.

I should mention that our plan is to get out of the hospital and home to the princess and the pug as soon as possible.  Hospital beds are the worst and everyone sleeps better at home in our family.

Also, on the first go round, I stuck with the hospital issued gown and all because I just didn’t want to ruin my stuff and I was too tired and overwhelmed to think about putting other clothes on.  If you’re really passionate about these things, you may want to bring some comfy, loose fitting clothes too.  But in the utterly exhausting first moments of parenthood, it might all go out the window.

Hospital Bag Essentials from a Second Time Mom

Hospital Bag Essentials 

1) My Going Home Outfit  Depending on the weather I’ll either have maternity leggings and a nursing tank or a big ol’ maxi dress with a built in bra.  I’m also planning to wear shower friendly sandals to and from the hospital that I can use to walk around the room in, and in the shower if necessary.  No panties?  No problem.  Hospital provides them and you’re not going to want to ruin yours.

2) Baby’s Going Home Outfit  We haven’t picked it out yet, but it’ll probably be some kind of comfy, cute sleeper with a zipper closure and a little hat.  Because snaps or anything too fancy are the enemy with a newborn.

3) Toiletries  I’m planning to bring my toiletries bag with contacts, glasses, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, deodorant, and prenatal vitamins.  I may also fit in shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and a little makeup if I’m feeling ambitious.  But honestly, I’d like to get out of there as soon as possible so I’m ditching the shower stuff if I can help it.

4) Other Essentials  I’ve got a little clutch that I’ll pack with my phone, charger, keys, insurance card, drivers license and credit cards.  Also a copy of our {very loosely put together} birth plan.  We may or may not bring our fancy camera.

5) Snacks  Labor and nursing made me ravenously hungry so I’m packing some healthy and splurge-worthy snacks to get me through between those nasty hospital meals.

6) Bonus!  Things to Leave in the Car  Most of the above will fit in a small tote that I’ll bring when I check in.  I’m planning to leave a few bigger things in the car for Hubby to bring in once the baby is here and we’re in the recovery room.  These essentials include my nursing pillow {the Brest Friend is the only way to go people.  Bad name, excellent product}, my pillow from home and the sibling gift for big sister.  Also, make sure that infant carseat {we loved the Chicco Keyfit 30 for our little girl and will be using it again for #2} is there and installed!

Hospital Bag Essentials from a Second Time Mom

PS a couple of the above links are Amazon affiliates, so I make a small amount of money if you click and purchase.  The rest are just the links to the image of the product that I use or love if you want to go shopping!

Essentials for Baby #2 | Different Gender

Last week I shared some ideas for my essentials for our second baby.  We’re so thrilled to have a son joining our family and for our little princess to be a big sister.

Soon after finding out that we were having a boy thought, reality set in.  We were totally excited for either gender, and then I was totally excited to get to decorate a whole new nursery instead of reusing our daughter’s things for this little guy.  And the clothes!  Some of you may have been wise enough to stick with gender neutral options for your kiddos, but we went all out with pink and frills and bows for our princess, so we were basically starting over with a lot of things.  Plus I love some of that little man clothes.  It kills me.

So I dug deep with a boy themed Pinterest board {follow me here} and lots of shopping {it was rough} {it was actually awesome}.

Fun story….after the princess was born, my mom picked up some extra sheets at Target to supplement the ones from Pottery Barn Kids that we had registered for.  There has not been one person who can correctly guess which of the pink and white chevron crib sheets is from PBK and which is from Target.  So, love ya Pottery Barn, but we’re keeping it on the cheap this time around.

I mentioned before that my princess isn’t quite potty trained yet, so we doubled up on some of the diaper essentials.  If you’re older kiddo is potty trained, just ignore.

Enjoy, and please let me know if you have any ideas to add!!


Essentials for Baby #2 | Different Gender

Different Gender!
1) Crib & Pack and Play Sheets  I’m not going to lie, one of the things I was most excited about purchasing for a little boy was bedding.  I love bedding.  We’re going with mostly light blue and light grey and it’s such a fun feel.  Unless you stayed gender neutral {kicking myself for not doing the light grey chevron in the princess’s room}, you’re probably going to want to get at least two crib sheets for your new addition.  We also plan to primarily have the little guy sleep in the pack n play in our room for the first few months, so you’ll need sheets for that one too.

2) Changing Pad Cover  More linens!  Yay! {there is absolutely no sarcasm intended here people}  Again, if you stayed neutral, good for you, but otherwise the pink polka dots aren’t going to cut it in a little guy’s room.

3) Aden + Anais Swaddles  These were the best thing ever the first time around and, although a little pricey for me, are a total essential.  They’re perfect for covering the carseat, using as a nursing cover in times of need, or just for a good ol’ swaddle.  I know I keep saying it, but kudos to those of you who stuck with whites, yellows and greys the first time around.  The pinks will be replaced with blues over here.

4) Clothes!!  Yes, it’s obvious, but you’re going to need something different.  This goes if your kiddos are the same gender and were born in different seasons too.  My favorites for this fall baby are the long sleeve footie outfit/pj’s, long sleeve onsies and comfy pants, and cozy zip ups.  But, let’s be honest, if you’re a second time mom you probably have a friend or two who’s willing to hand me down a pile of them.  Write a nice thank you, give them a bottle of wine and say hallelujah.

5) Summer Infant SwaddleMe  These were the only swaddles that our little Houdini didn’t get out of, and of course they’re all pink, so we’re back to the drawing board.  But regardless of gender, these swaddles have tight velcro closures and keep them all “burrito’ed” up without coming undone or risking a jailbreak in the middle of the night.  And, with some exceptions, a swaddled baby is a happy baby.

6) Towels and Washcloths  Again, we’re keeping it to the essentials, but you’re probably going to want a set of appropriately colored linens for the newest member of the family.  Plus, I don’t know about you guys, but we’re still using them a lot for our big girl and the whole sharing thing is going to be interesting enough as is…

7) Lovie, Paci, WubbaNubs or Soothing Device  My princess is a lovie girl.  I honestly think she loves her lovie more than me and my husband combined.  Sleep and soothing aids, whether they be pacifiers or loves, are so important and if you can get your kiddo to attach to one early on, you’re golden.  From what I’ve read {and I’m no expert} these sleep aids can help to calm them in between sleep cycles {which are only about 45 minutes long} and help them to self soothe back to sleep instead of needing mom and dad.  I’ll throw anything and everything at this kid to learn this technique because mama needs her rest.

That’s all for now!  What did I miss???


Planning for a little guy too?  Check out the work we’ve done on our baby boy’s nursery:
Grey Graphic Rocking Chair Update |  Blue Ombre Ikea Dresser Makeover | Distressed “Blue Wash” Dresser Refinish I’ll Eat You Up I Love You So Free Print


PS some links in this post are Amazon affiliate links so I do get paid a small amount if you purchase, but they’re mostly just there to help you with your shopping list!  Target links are just because I love it.


Essentials for Baby #2 | Same Gender

Finding out that we were pregnant with our second baby was such an exciting moment.  It took a little longer than we expected, so there was so much joy to it.  I know that our sweet girl is going to be such an amazing sister to this little boy and I can’t wait for him to get here.

Our daughter will be getting towards 2 1/2 when her brother arrives, and she’s started the potty training process, but I’m not ready to bank on her giving up things like her changing pad and diaper pail come the fall.  Plus I’ve heard that there are some regressions in that area when baby #2 arrives, so to play it safe, we’re keeping the potty training low key and planning to double up on some of those essentials.

With all of this fun and excitement came many a Pinterest board {follow me here} and lots of shopping around.  So I thought it might be helpful for the newly pregnant soon to be second time mamas to have a list of essentials just for you.  I broke it down into things that you’ll probably need if you have a kiddo who’s the same gender, and a few more things that you’ll want if the new baby is going to be a different gender, which I’ll share next week {the next few weeks will have a few more mommy and baby related posts as we ramp up for this kiddo to join our fam}.

These are the serious essentials people.  There are a lot of other things that you can buy {and I have bought} but these are what you’re really going to need!  Enjoy, and please let me know if you have any ideas to add!!

Essentials for Baby #2 | Same Gender

Same Gender!
1) BOB Revolution Duallie Stroller This was my first and biggest purchase for baby #2 and I’m already using it on the regular.  If you’re a runner or plan to be working out with baby, the BOB is the way to go. We bought a single when the princess was 2 months old and I haven’t used any other stroller since.  It may be a little bulky, but it can turn on a dime and it practically pushes itself.  I’m almost 8 months pregnant and I can still jog pushing two toddlers in it with no problem.

2) HoMedics Sound Machine  We have this exact sound machine for our daughter and so we grabbed another for our little guy’s room.  It’s cheap, easy to use, has a few different sounds that she likes {we started with white noise and changed to ocean waves after a while} and can be used on a timer if that’s your jam {she listens to it alllll night long…and we do too through the monitor so I’ve gotten used to the calming noise as well!}

3) Boon Lawn Drying Rack  I have the grass {which is basically a smaller version of the lawn} right now and can’t live without it.  I started with one of those standard bottle driers and realized after a few months that they just don’t cut it.  You can stick anything from bottles to nipples to pacis to straws in anywhere or just lay it on top to dry and it’s so much cuter than anything else that I’ve found.  So there will be a huge lawn of baby bottles and toddler sippies drying on my counter.  But at least it’ll look decent.

4) Crane Cool Mist Humidifier  As much as I hate to get this, I have to.  Because as much as I’d love to think that both kids won’t get sick at the same time, it’s wishful thinking.  The princess has an extra sensitive airway and gets a really bad cough with even the slightest cold, so the humidifier is an absolute must.

5) Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive Diapers  These were my absolute favorite diapers for when the girl was tiny.  They’re soft, sensitive and also hold any of those blow outs that I’m so looking forward to {ugh…}.  And they have the wetness indicator which is clutch when they’re straight home from the hospital and you’re trying to figure out if they’re eating and peeing enough {TMI?  Such is motherhood.  If you’re a second time mom, you get it}.

6) Summer Infant Dual View Baby Monitor  We actually purchased this one several months ago after our Motorola gave out after less than two years of use.  I love it a million times more than the Motorola, plus it’s one of the only monitors on the market that will allow for a split view on the monitor so you can watch both of your kids at once, or you can have it swap between rooms.  For a slightly paranoid mama like me, it’s perfect.

7-9 are essentials only if you’re going to still have two in diapers.  Otherwise, lucky you.

7) Summer Infant Changing Pad  It’s a pretty obvious one, but you gotta get it.  Big, contoured, and you can throw it on anything without needed a dedicated “changing table.”  Both of these kids are going to have them on top of long, low dressers, and they can be chucked afterwards and the dresser stays.

8) Ubbi Diaper Pail  We started off with a regular trash can in our little girl’s room and after about six months, realized we needed something more…how can I put this…hardcore.  And the dog managed to get her way into said trash can which was a total disaster.  So locking was a key point too.  I love the Ubbi because it’s sleek and attractive, keeps the smells inside, and has a nice little lock to keep dogs {and now toddlers} out.

9) Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer  My little one loves warm wipes.  And it may be because I totally spoiled her with them.  But I figure, why not?  I feel like some people may debate me on this one, but I think it’s totally necessary.

Essentials for Baby #2 | Same Gender

PS the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links so I do get paid a small amount if you purchase, but they’re mostly just there to help you with your shopping list!


Memorial Day Weekend | Slow Cooker Recipes

You’re obviously firing up the grill this weekend for Memorial Day.  Whether you’re staying at home, having a party, or headed to a friend’s, it’s the unofficial first weekend of summer and time to parrrrtay! But if you’re having people over, you don’t want to heat up the house with those pesky apps and sides.  And if you’re bringing something to a potluck you don’t want to come home to a huge mess to clean up.

So here are a few of my favorite slow cooker recipes for Memorial Day weekend.  Plus my all time favorite no-bake dessert, which isn’t made in the slow cooker, but will keep your house nice and cool and be a quick an easy crowd pleaser.

Bring it on Memorial Day.  And bring it on summer!

Slow Cooker Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Slow Cooker Spicy Spinach & Artichoke Dip | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker BBQ Buffalo Meatballs

Slow Cooker BBQ Buffalo Meatballs | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Chicken Sliders

Honey Balsamic Chicken & Avocado Sliders | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Chicken Mango Tacos

Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Chicken Mango Tacos | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

Peanut Butter S’mores Bars {no bake}

Peanut Butter S'mores Bars {No Bake!} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

The Countdown {Top Recipes of 2013}

Happy New Year’s Eve, my friends!  I’m sure you’re all going to fabulous soirees and planning to drink fancy champagne and dance on table tops.  My plans?  Baby down by 8pm, a glass of red wine {or three} and a Breaking Bad marathon {we’re totally addicted}.  Woooo crazy party animals…

Anyway, as we count down the last moments of 2013, I thought I would share my own countdown of the most popular recipes on the blog this year.  I hope that this year has been as fun and magical for you as it has for me.  New home, new baby, and new job as a full time mama…I really couldn’t ask for anything more!

Have a safe, fun New Year’s Eve, and let’s welcome in 2014!


5. Pesto Spaghetti Squash
A healthy, delicious meal with all of the yumminess of a bowl of pasta and none of the carbs

Pesto Spaghetti Squash | Little Kitchen, Big Bites


4. Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cups
Not only are these easy, but they’re totally delicious.  And you’re going to die when you see the kids’ eyes light up when they find out there are two oreo cookies hiding inside their brownie.

Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cups @ Little Kitchen, Big Bites


3. Slow Cooker Spicy Coconut Curry Chicken
Do I really need to say anything more than crock pot and curry?  That’s pretty much all I need in my life.

Slow Cooker Spicy Coconut Curry Chicken | Little Kitchen, Big Bites


2.  Slow Cooker Super Easy Taco Chicken Soup
All you really need to whip together this soup is a slow cooker and a can opener.  No culinary skills necessary.  And it’s totally delish.

Slow Cooker Super Easy Chicken Taco Soup | Little Kitchen, Big Bites


1. No Bake Peanut Butter S’mores Bars
Holding onto the top spot, this easy no bake recipe combines the ever popular s’mores with peanut buttery goodness.  There is simply no way you won’t love them.

Peanut Butter S'mores Bars {No Bake!} | Little Kitchen, Big Bites

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