When it comes down to the final weeks before baby is supposed to arrive, new moms and old moms alike start packing a hospital bag for the stay. Seeing as I have done this going on three times now, I have packed my bag differently each time. Each visit has brought me more insight to what I actually need and want versus things that people “think” they need. Personally I am a minimalist compared to some. I love to be prepared but don’t like to have a bunch of extra things to dig through.
The plan for this delivery is just that a plan. We expect to go in, hours of labor and come out with a beautiful, healthy baby. Many things can change and evolve but essentially that is the main plan. Now my bag reflects that except for the fact that I will be getting my tubes tied after this delivery. Whether it be vaginal or cesarean. This will be my last child. SO that means that I will be spending an extra day in the hospital. My first two only required me to stay for 24 hours after delivery. This stay I know will be at least 48 because of the added surgery.
For my first child, I packed a bag that was overwhelmingly full. I read dozens and dozens of articles where other moms said I would need everything from 3-4 outfits for the baby to a full pack of diapers. And my bag had it all and a kitchen sink. LOL. I remember when the time came, the hubs barely had room to shove in a pair of athletic shorts. After that I realized that at least half the contents of the bag were not needed at all.
For my second child, we down graded quite a few things and in the process I forget somethings I really would have rather had. The hubs did thankfully have room for his clothes and we had all the baby stuff but I forgot about myself in that I only included things that were necessity. I didn’t put anything I wanted in the bag. I remember vividly wanting my straightener and eyeliner after my first real shower, so I didn’t feel any more self-conscious than I had to, but in my haste and desire to keep the bag semi-full I forgot those things.
For this child, my baby girl and my last, I have taken a little more time in planning out and thinking about what I would like and need in the bag when the time comes. I am currently 38 1/2 weeks pregnant but have had my bag packed for weeks. I wanted to make sure that I felt comfortable and pretty while in the hospital, as well and prepared for the weather and the hubs stuff. Below are the things that I have deemed necessary to accomplish those goals.
- Clothes for the baby– this is kind of no brainer. You of course want to have an outfit of two to take the baby home in. I am going to be bringing two for that purpose due to the fact that Missouri weather lately has been extremely unpredictable and I’m honestly not sure where it will land on the day we take her home. I also have included two hats and mittens to match. The hospital will provide an outfit while you are there as well as diapers, so I am not going to suggest bringing any in the bag other than a few for the car ride home. This goes for wipes as well.
- Swaddle Blankets– Swaddle blankets are great for everything from swaddling to using in the car seat as a baby head protector. Again, the hospital provides generic blankets that can be used but if you prefer to use your own then by all means. I usually pack a couple because after 9 months of dreaming, imagining and waiting for your baby to finally be here, you want to see them in the cute things you have bought. We are bringing about 4 swaddle blankets because we have a convertible car seat ( stationary car seat that is anchored to the car.) not a click one, so we are going to use a couple of rolled up blankets to place beside babies head to keep it from rolling side to side on the 3 mile trip home.
- Clothes for Mom (Me)– This one is a bit of struggle because depending on what you have done there are different levels of comformability you may be looking for. Both my previous deliveries were uncomplicated vaginal births so I just needed something comfy. This go around I opted for two sets of pajamas that contained 3 pieces (shirt, pants and shorts.) For me, after having the baby, I tend to have the adrenalin sweats so I opt to stay in a hospital gown until I can take a shower. The 3-piece sets will offer options for wearability without having to pack a bunch of outfits. I also bought a very pretty light weight robe for when visitors come by. Lets face it, hospital gowns are generic and not at all flattering so anything that makes you feel more yourself after having a human being exit your body is a plus.
- Flip Flops and Fuzzy socks– Flip flops for the shower or just to walk around the room in are easy, cheap and expendable if they break. I got some pink ones (I’m having a girl, gotta stick with the pink theme) from Wal-Mart and put them straight in the bag with the tag still on. I also want to include fuzzy socks. At least 2 pairs. One for labor and delivery and one for the days after. Hospital rooms tend to be colder and with the ups and downs of labor, I know I will go from being extremely hot to extremely cold very quickly. My feet and especially my toes suffer for those ups and downs. I chose fuzzy socks because they are soft and easily removed if need be. No need to get expensive ones, just little $1-$2 ones will work great. It’s an insurance policy in case the flip-flops become too cold to use.
- Bathroom essentials– I like to go to Wal-Mart and get the $5 travel kit that includes travel sizes of shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, tooth-brush, toothpaste, a comb and lotion. It all comes in a handy little bag and is easily thrown into the side pocket of my suitcase. No more worries or stress on whether I forgot something. The hospital will provide pads for post-delivery bleeding, so I do not bring any. But if you want to try to wear something that feels less like a diaper than I suggest bringing a package of high absorbance pads of your choice. One thing I add is nipple cream. I breastfeed as much a possible and if I am able, so I know that my nipples will be extremely sore the first few days to a week. To circumvent that, a good nipple cream can help the transition. I will also be including my straightener and a small amount of makeup (mascara, eye liner, face powder and some neutral eye shadow.) Hey, I wanna look pretty in pictures too.
- Undergarments– This is entirely up to the new mom. I like to go for comfort so I usually pack a couple of pairs of Large “grandma panties” because after the mesh ones the hospital gives you run their course, you still need something that will fit a large pad. I don’t want anything that will be a pain to get on and off when I use the bathroom. It’s hard enough sitting and standing after delivery a child, fighting my under pants is not something I also want to do. I also recommend packing a couple of comfortable nursing bras if you plan on breastfeed (easy access) or sports bras for if you do not. Both are easy on your back and can be slept in without a problem.
- Miscellaneous– Okay so some of the last things I will pack are my camera (gonna need a lot of baby pictures) a cell phone charger (What will I do If I can’t look at the various apps during the long hours of labor?), my ear phones (for during labor when the TV becomes monotonous), a sleep mask (Nurses will be coming in to check you every few hours so without this I won’t sleep at all.) and my own personal pillow. I usually spray my pillow with my husbands cologne because it helps me relax and gives me a sense of familiarity. Don’t forget your wallet and a pen. The pen is for all the paperwork that will have to be filled out after the little one is born. The wallet is a necessity because you will need forms of ID.
There are many more things a new mother can bring but the above is what I have found works best for me and my family since we strive to be as comforable as possible while in the hospital. When the time comes, the hubs hastily throws in his clothes and runs to the car. It really is adorable. We don’t include any snacks or food simply because our hospital provides those things free of charge and the hubs doesn’t eat while I’m in labor due to his nerves. We also live only 3 miles from the hospital so he can run back and get anything we forget.
If you can think of anything I have forgotten or want to let me know what you included in your hospital bag, I would love to hear about it in the comment section down below.
Hope my hospital bag can help you in deciding what to pack if yours soon or in the future.
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