Hospital hospitality

Apologies for the hiatus dear readers but I have a good excuse. Weighing in at 7 pounds, world please welcome Angus!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to have a happy, healthy baby. Our hospital stay was interesting – the nurses were amazing but when it came to the products, fabrics and gear we were surrounded by, we were a bit surprised at how archaic some of the practices were. The one nurse hip to our non-toxic goals rightly commented that the hospital simply strikes deals with the Enfamils and Pampers of the world to hook you on their stuff for the next 3 years or 3 kids.

If you’d like to avoid slathering your newborn in petroleum, wrapping him or her in polyester blankets and then taking a swig from your chemical laden plastic cup before nursing, then here are my top picks for suggested packing items. The hospital staff should comply with any requests you have regarding the care of your infant – you might find yourself educating a few nurses and doctors too! (Oh, and take a walk with the baby when the cleaning staff drenches your hospital room floor in bleach and consider opting for every other day on the toxic cleaning products.)

First, there is the famous “water jug” that all my girlfriends advised I pinch from the hospital to accommodate the ravenous thirst one feels post-delivery and while nursing. NOT BPA-free ladies! The studies regarding the negative effects of BPA on pregnant and nursing women are becoming more widely accepted and shared in mainstream media (see post on new study relating BPA exposure to Autism). Happily I had already ordered a few of these fantastic Copco water tumblers

These are great for hydrating and your favorite iced drink. BPA-free and environmentally friendly – the Starbucks people will thank you!

When your little tiger is born, the hospital staff immediately wants to slather petroleum all over his or her pristine little bottom. Instead, we love using Burts Bees Diaper Ointment

It’s phthalate, petrochemical and paraben-free and had the ladies in the hospital nursery a buzz asking why our little one smelled so good (it works well too!).

You’ll want to bring your own clothes and swaddle blankets. At 7 pounds, our baby was actually too small for many of the organic newborn outfits I had for him. We ended up stocking up on Petit Bateau’s new Bio line of organic cotton onesies. They come in newborn sizes 46cm and 50cm. 

Our 7 pounder has been in the 50 cm ones from birth through the last 3 weeks and still has room to grow. Finding these can be tricky so don’t be afraid to call your local store too. They’re made with organic cotton and vegetable dyes according to the company. Do yourself a favor and splurge on the kimono style ones for easy changing.

We found our aiden + anais  swaddle blankets indispensable, as well as the company’s burpy bibs that double as cloths. I also recommend Under the Nile’s organic burb cloths and wash cloths, which can be used as protection while changing boys, who generally like to hose you down whenever naked.

Finally, our favorite diapers (after trying Huggies Free & Clear and the heavily fragranced junk the hospital had) are Seventh Generation diapers for newborns. These diapers are free of chlorine processing, fragrances, latex and petroleum-based lotions. They fit wonderfully and we like to think of our little guy as cool for rocking the nondescript beige color while others are covered in Winnie the Poo or other company endorsements they haven’t been paid to advertise. 

Most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you how to take care of your own baby. Solicit advise if need be. However, nobody knows how to care for your little one better than you so follow your instincts!

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