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A Complete Hospital Bag Checklist For Expectant Mothers

A Complete Hospital Bag Checklist For Expectant Mothers

Once your pregnancy reaches 34 weeks, it’s a good idea to start practically preparing for birth. This means making plans for the hospital and ensuring you’re ready at any given moment. While there’s plenty to be done, hopefully you’ve gotten most of the preparation for the home and nursery out of the way. Now you need to focus on packing your hospital bag so you aren’t scrambling when those telltale contractions signal it’s time.

For your convenience, we’ve organized the following items into six different categories. You may switch items based on personal needs, but the following items are commonly included on the hospital bag checklists of expectant mothers.

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For Comfort

The first thing to think about is comfort. After all, leading up to delivery, your goal is to stay as relaxed and pain-free as possible. Here are some items you don’t want to forget:

  1. A warm robe for the cold hospital
  2. Comfortable, non-skid socks
  3. 2 to 3 maternity bras (regardless of whether or not you plan to nurse)
  4. 2 to 3 days worth of clean clothes
  5. An extra pillow

For Organization

While comfort and safety come first, you could argue that practical items, like the following, are next in line in terms of importance, since they can minimize unnecessary stress:

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  1. Insurance info and hospital forms
  2. Birth plan (if you’ve decided to create one)
  3. Cash and cards (for snacks and quick runs to the store)
  4. A list of people you need to contact

For Hygiene

While the hospital will provide you with all of the necessary items, you may want to pack some of your own hygiene items that might help relax you. Here are a few to think about:

  1. Your preferred shampoo and soap
  2. Heavy flow sanitary pads
  3. Standard toiletries (things like deodorant, face wash, conditioner, toothbrush)
  4. Bath towel (the hospital will provide a thin one)
  5. 2 to 3 pairs of maternity underwear (again, the hospital will provide some, but it’s your choice if you’d rather bring your own)

For Your Partner

Your needs come first, but your partner also gets to bring some items. Their list should have the following items included:

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  1. Painkillers (your partner’s not going to get much sympathy or attention, so they’d best pack their own pain relievers)
  2. Stylish performance clothing (shirts made from phase change materials are ideal)
  3. Camera or phone (for snapping memorable pictures and calling family members)
  4. A pillow
  5. A hand-held fan (to cool down the expectant mother)
  6. 2 to 3 changes of clothes

For Waiting

You never know, labor can last for a matter of minutes or for hours on end. You want to be prepared to fill the time between contractions and delivery:

  1. Reading materials (books, magazines)
  2. Netflix or some video-streaming service
  3. Calming music
  4. Plenty of snacks
  5. A watch or timer

For the Baby

After the baby is safely delivered, you’ll want to make sure your role as a parent gets off on the right foot. The hospital will supply you with some basic things you need, but don’t forget the following special items:

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  1. Infant car seat (it’s incredibly important that you get a back seat one)
  2. Warm blankets
  3. A cute coming-home outfit
  4. Nursing supplies
  5. A journal (for documenting everything about your baby’s first days)

One Last Tip: Prepare Well in Advance

As you can see, you need to bring a lot of different items with you to the hospital. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll end up just throwing whatever you can find into a bag, causing yourself unnecessary stress later. That’s why it’s advisable to have a bag ready to go at 34 weeks or sooner.

By preparing your hospital bag checklist and packing in advance, you’ll feel prepared whenever the time comes to rush off to the hospital and welcome your newborn baby into the world.

Featured photo credit: marcia furman via flic.kr

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Larry Alton

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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