How This Simple Tip Can Make Your Labor & Delivery Experience More Comfortable

Tip: Bring your own pillow from home to the Labor and Delivery Unit.

This is advice that I feel quite strongly about:  Bring your own pillow to the Birthing Inn or Birth Center when you deliver your baby.    Put it on that packing list.  You will thank me later.

Why?  Because hospital pillows suck (unless you like sleeping on foamy cardboard).  There are going to be a dozen of other factors that will potentially interfere with your sleep during your hospital stay  (annoying in-laws that don’t get the “hint” and won’t leave the room, breast-feeding challenges, etc.).  Don’t let a crappy pillow be one of them.  

To a highly hormonal pregnant woman, there is also something incredibly comforting in a familiar pillow…nostalgia.  What is better than the very pillow that you sleep with every night – the 

pillow crafted with just the right puffiness and softness/firmness balance to your liking?  

Tip:   If you have a water-proof pillow cover, this could be beneficial if you are worried about

ruining your pillow with the ooey-gooeyness of childbirth (blood, placenta juice, etc.).

Another point:  Foam hospital pillows have a limited usefulness as breastfeeding support pillows.  They don’t mold/conform to your shape and the baby’s shape as well as the pillows with a more plush material.  

Side Note:  Great books with great advice and perspectives, and a humorous tone, are  that Jenny McCarthy book (“Belly Laughs”) or the “Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy” by Vicki Iovine  (both are super awesome/funny prego books).

Another Tip:  I kept a “pack last minute list” on my mirror in my bathroom – it had items that I needed everyday but knew I wanted to bring with me to the hospital.  Bringing my pillow was the greatest packing decision I made. 

Baby Gift Idea: Toddler Sleeping Bag

My little one got this Toddler Sleeping Bag from Pottery Barn Kids as a First Birthday present from her great aunt.  I don’t think a cuter sleeping bag exists on this planet.  She loves this thing – she is constantly kissing (“muah!”) the bear’s face!

The sleeping bag is extremely soft and has a lot of padding! She’s obviously still too young to actually sleep in the sleeping bag safely (she is only 13-months-old), but it’s great for playtime!  It’s very comfortable – I’ve honestly fallen asleep on it a few times (it’s very inviting!). This plush little bear bag definitely puts my childhood sleeping bag to shame!

Best Strategy for Flying With Your Baby or Toddler (Results in!)

Toddler Sleeping on Airplane

I’m happy that we stuck to our plan for our travel and flight with our 13-month-old toddler. Our strategy for ensuring that we got a spare seat for our toddler (coined the “Who Wants to Sit Next to Baby on the Plane?” Strategy) worked for one out of two of our flights this trip!  (50% Success Rate).  Historically, and overall, this strategy has worked for 4 out of 6 flights (67% Success Rate).  It’s easy, free and worth your time to try if you’re traveling with a baby/toddler under the Age of 2-years-old.

Recap: The “Who Wants to Sit Next to Baby on the Plane?” Strategy 

For the full-details on this strategy, you can view the article Strategies for Booking a Free Plane Seat for Your Baby or Young Toddler When Traveling.  Otherwise, I recommended reading a quick re-cap on the details of this strategy:

  • If both you and your spouse are traveling, try to book an aisle and a window seat that are in the same row, and make sure that the middle seat in between you is open when you’re booking.   Other passengers who book their flights after you will usually not choose a middle seat and this can sometimes mean a free seat for your baby.   
  • Best Case Scenario:  The person in the middle seat will decide that sitting next to a baby doesn’t sound so fun.  This person will switch seats to a different row – leaving the middle seat free for you and your toddler to sprawl out!  
  • Worst Case Scenario: If the middle seat ends up getting booked, most people will happily trade you for one of your aisle/window seats so that you and your spouse can sit together. 
  • See my article: Strategies for Booking a Free Plane Seat for Your Baby or Young Toddler When Traveling for more details.  (We chose Strategy Number 1 from the article).


Strategy Implementation of “Operation Free Baby Seat on Airplane”
Here is a breakdown of the results of the strategies implementation:

Flight Number 1 (Departure Flight): Failure.

  • Our departure flight was oversold, so our seats were rearranged – voiding this strategy (very disappointing).

Flight Number 2 (Return Flight): Success!

  • On our return flight, the “Who Wants to Sit Next to a Baby on a Plane?” strategy was a complete success – the man in the middle seat between us decided to switch to a different middle seat that was in a row behind us (who wants to sit next to a baby?).  This left the middle seat in our row free for us to sprawl out!  

The new name for this strategy: The “Who Wants to Sit Next to a Baby on a Plane?” Strategy. Success! 


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