5 Secrets to the Chic Diaper Bag

chic diaper bags
Want a chic diaper bag?   Here is a secret:  Nearly any oversized bag can make a stunningly stylish diaper bag, if you know what features you need.
 
  1. Look for something that is easy to clean.  If it is not machine washable, select something that has a smooth, slick, waterproof surface.  If it is cloth, choose a machine washable bag.Here are some helpful hints for your shopping:
  2. Look for something relatively easy to open with one hand.
  3. Look for something with pockets.  (You may use pockets for things like hand sanitizer, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, burp cloths, small toys, ointment, plastic bags, bottles, and teething rings.)
  4. Look for something that is comfortable and easy to carry.  A backpack style is most certain to free your hands.
  5. Finally, purchase an insert for your oversized bag like the Skip Hop Pronto.  Having this truly transforms any larger bag to a diaper bag.  (Plus, it is all you need for travel, and your husband can maintain a feeling of manliness while carrying it.)
RED Valentino / Leather tote, $960 / Dooney & Bourke zip bag / Gucci tote, $650 / Vince Camuto bag / Topshop backpacking bag / Coach carryall bag / 3.1 Phillip Lim mesh tote bag / Backpacking bag / Ted Baker patent leather bag, $195 / Nine West tote

X-Mini: The Must-Have for your Labor & Delivery Hospital Bag

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One thing I knew I wanted in the delivery room was soothing music.  With the help of a friend, and a number of hours sampling music on iTunes, I compiled a perfectly serene 14-hour playlist.  I then started looking for a speaker.  I wanted to find something small that I could pack for the hospital.  What good would my playlist be, if I couldn’t play it, right?

When I saw the X-mini on Amazon for less than $25, I thought that it was worth a try.  I am well pleased with the speaker, and thus I share this sagacious purchase with you.

The atmosphere of music during my labor and delivery was just perfect.  It was soothing.  It was comforting.  I could hear the music even from the bathtub of the en suite bathroom.  I think that the atmosphere of soothing sounds that I brought was appreciated by everyone in the hospital –including the midwife and nurses.  (My doula thought it was so wonderful that she purchased one herself.  I believe she wanted to have it for her future births.)

Since using my X-mini in the hospital, I have used it in the nursery, and in the home for social gatherings.  The sound quality and projection is truly amazing.  I cannot believe how it fits into the palm of my hand.  It is about the size of a small lime.

I love this sweet little thing so much.  If you love music, I’m sure you will too.

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What must-haves do you recommend for a labor & delivery hospital bag? Please share!

Anatomy of a Birth Plan

“Birth Plan?” you ask. “Why would I do that?”

Yes, I know. I thought the same thing. “I’ll just go with the flow,” I thought. “I’ll just do whatever the doctors tell me.”

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Photo courtesy of Ashley Clauss
http://www.artbyashleyphotography.com

The midwives and doctors caring for me, and familiar with my birth plan, would have a smirk reading this. My eventual *exceedingly* researched birth plan was nothing near, “Whatever you say, doc!”  It was more like, “Whatever you typically do, I’ll do it differently.”

Trust me. You will only benefit from researching and pondering the process of birth, and routine interventions associated with it. If you research each item, it is highly likely that there will be at least one item in the routine that you would like to have done differently.

Before attending dental school, I completed a graduate program in Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Public Health has its place. There is much good done by the way of public health around the world, and in your hometown. Nevertheless, intrinsic to the concept of public health is disregard for individual circumstances, and a focus on the masses. Health measures meant to benefit the majority of the population will always fail to address a certain minority.

Couple routine public health measures that disregard individual circumstances with routine of the healthcare industry, and suddenly you have opened the door to potentially harmful, rote repetition.

I’m sure you would appreciate an example.  Antibiotics is one.  Antibiotics are widely known to be overprescribed. There is increasing concern over antibiotic resistance because of this.  The American Association of Endodontics has guidelines for when antibiotics should be used for dental infections.  This is something that is taught in dental schools, and it is something that has been published.  Nevertheless, I have seen this official protocol disregarded among my colleagues as the rote repetition of habit prevails in the dental profession.  Patients expect –even request– antibiotics, and doctors are accustomed to giving them.  This is one example from dentistry.  There are many other similar habits that prevail in dentistry and in medicine in spite of evidence-based knowledge.

Habits are hard to break.  They are even harder to break when patients expect or request status quo.  Do your research.  Own your birth experience.  Only you can do this.  If you do, you will be glad you did.

The example birth plan I’ve outlined for you on Sweet Sagacity is one that is pretty much at the opposite end of the spectrum from typical protocol.  This is done for you purposefully.  If you start researching from the opposite end of possibility you will have more knowledge about and ownership of the decisions you make for yourself and your baby.

anatomy of a birth plan

Best wishes for a beautiful birth!

10 Days of 10 Ways to be The Considerate (of others) New Parent: A Guide to Etiquette {Day 10}

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss www.artbyashleyphotography.com

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss
http://www.artbyashleyphotography.com

How To Be Considerate New Parents

10.  Best behavior.

Yes, you are exhausted.  Yes, a hiatus is nice.  Yes, you wish that your hosts, who have no small children to chase, might have a sympathetic –or entertaining– glimpse into your everyday life.  If you are a guest in their home, now is not the time or place.  Indeed, I cannot think of a great time or place.  Besides, is it really your place to offer an empirical instruction on the imperfect realities of parenthood? Have your children on their best behavior in the homes of others.  Impress your hosts by how well-mannered they are in lieu of how much of an inconvenience they must be for you as their 24/7 parent.  Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

I know, being a parent is tough stuff, and being a considerate parent is even more so.  I believe both endeavors are worthwhile.  Don’t you?

“The fragrance of what you give away stays with you.”  ~ Unknown

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What are some sagacious tips you have for being a considerate new parent?  Please share!

10 Days of 10 Ways to be The Considerate (of others) New Parent: A Guide to Etiquette {Day 9}

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss www.artbyashleyphotography.com

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss
http://www.artbyashleyphotography.com

How To Be Considerate New Parents

9.  Events.

Do not bring baby or children to formal affairs, unless they are specifically invited to attend.  They are, at the very least, a distraction.  If they are normal, they will additionally be a disruption at some point over the course of a weekend, day, or multi-hour event.  Hire a babysitter, or send your regrets.  Do not take offense.  Appreciate the invitation, and appreciate the blessing that it is to be a parent.  Recognize that every rose has its thorns, and parenthood is no different.  It is okay to miss a few things in life for the sake of being your child’s parent.  Relish these young years.  They are but a moment in time, and they are priceless.

“The fragrance of what you give away stays with you.”  ~ Unknown

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What are some sagacious tips you have for being a considerate new parent?  Please share them.

10 Days of 10 Ways to be The Considerate (of others) New Parent: A Guide to Etiquette {Day Eight}

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss www.artbyashleyphotography.com

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss
http://www.artbyashleyphotography.com

How To Be Considerate New Parents

8.  Do not redecorate.

Unless the people you visit have young children, or run a daycare out of their home, chances are that not everything in their home environment is Magda Gerber or Maria Montessori ready for your child.  If you are unable to watch your child closely enough to prevent their injury in such a place, it would be most wise to bring a sitter along to help you, or to simply wait until your child is older for this visit.  You may find that it makes the most sense to invite others into your home for a period of months or years, and allow your child time to mature.

If you have arrived for your visit without this foresight, resist the temptation to redecorate or rearrange the home of your hostess.  Do not pluck pieces from around the home, approach the hostess with an armful of findings, and instruct her to put them away.  (It is her home, remember?) While it would not be considerate to do this, it could be perfectly appropriate to mention one or two items in a thoughtful way.  If so, say something like, “Our baby just loves your [insert expensive, dangerous, or breakable thing here]!  Every time we put him down he returns right to it.  I worry that in an instant he might actually grab it.  Would it be okay if it was put away during our stay?  I could help you to move it now, and to replace it before we leave.”

Do not allow your child to break anything.  When you are away from your home, watch your child even more carefully than normal.  Should your angel break something for the first time in 99 visits, pay for it, or replace it.  If it is priceless, at least be apologetic, and send flowers.  If it was obvious that you were doing little, if anything to prevent that breakage, the apology may not be received as sincere.  Prevention is always the best medicine.

“The fragrance of what you give away stays with you.”  ~ Unknown

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What are some sagacious tips you have for being a considerate new parent?  Please share!

10 Days of 10 Ways to be The Considerate (of others) New Parent: A Guide to Etiquette {Day Seven}

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss www.artbyashleyphotography.com

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Clauss
http://www.artbyashleyphotography.com

How To Be Considerate New Parents

7.  Babysitting.

Unless it is explicitly stated and arranged, you, as the parent, are the caretaker for your child.  You are always responsible for your child.  Do not visit friends or family with the idea that you are taking a vacation from this responsibility.  Unless it is specifically arranged, do not approach the visit as if your hosts are there to babysit for you.  That means, being considerate of the hosts’ daily schedule, you may sleep in as long as your child does.  If your child does not sleep in, unless it is otherwise arranged, you should arise to tend to them when they do.

“The fragrance of what you give away stays with you.”  ~ Unknown

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What are some sagacious tips you have for being a considerate new parent?  Please share!