What's In My Hospital Bag & What To Pack9/07/2014
I can honestly say that I was "that" person when I first packed up for delivering Hannah. I had like two suitcases and everything under the moon to be prepared for anything. Since having two babies and going through two deliveries I've refined my packing list a little. Now getting ready to go in for baby #3; I thought I'd share what's going on inside my hospital bag and what I think are the only real essentials you need for your hospital stay.
First, before I start this epic list, I want to say talk to your doctors! Your doctors know your hospital and where you are delivering the best. They will have a great idea (if not an already available list) of what your hospital will have available to you already like postpartum pads, etc. Also, (most) hospitals offer some sort of Labor & Delivery wing tour. This is usually something that is provided free of charge. I highly recommend taking this tour! You will be able to learn about where to park, where to enter, how to deal with guests and yes, even be able to tour a L&D room and possibly a postpartum room. These tours usually also provide a list of what the hospital has available for you and a breakdown of services they offer.
Okay, so let's start with momma. Most vaginal deliveries have 24-48 hours in the hospital, while a cesarean has between 72-96 mandatory in the hospital. I'm a C-Section momma so I have to pack some more than a vaginal birth momma so just plan for your birth.
- Toiletries & Essentials: Like I said before, check with your hospital first to see what they have but I do understand you might want your own things. I know that my hospital provides the pads and underwear I need. They even provide shampoo and soap but I do like things from home. I will usually have in my toiletries bag: deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, toothpaste, tooth brush, hair brush, q-tips, mouthwash, lotion and my makeup. Yes, I do bring makeup.
- Makeup: Again, yes, I do bring it. I don't bring the whole case with me but I do bring some things to make me feel better. That usually includes a BB Cream, all in one palette (like the LORAC Pro To Go), eyebrow pencil, mascara and neutral gloss. These are just what I consider "essentials" to help myself feel and look better if I'm more tired looking than I'd like.
- Camera & Charger: This is essential for me. It's true that the camera on your phone can work but I prefer my Nikon for if I want to take better pictures. Obviously, along with this I pack an extra SD card and my charger.
- Cell phone & Charger: We can't go anywhere without it, right? Make sure you have your charger too! Your phone will most likely be blowing up through text and social media with "Congrats!" messages.
- Socks: Hospitals are cold and most likely you will be most comfortable wearing just a top or night gown so you'll want to keep your tootsies warm.
- Nursing Bra & Underwear: I'm not a nurser (just not blessed with the ability) but even I go into the hospital with a nursing bra for more skin to skin contact with my babies. Plus, at some point someone will come check out your boobs if you are breastfeeding. It also helps to bring one of those cheapy Hanes packs of granny panties just in case!
- Sleepwear: My first two births, I didn't get out of the hospital gown until day 3 but this time around I will probably bring myself a night gown or a over sized t-shirt from Victoria's Secret. Having a C-Section means multiple times a day someone is poking on my stomach so I just forgo pants.
- Flip Flops: Awesome for walking up and down the hospital hallways and even better for the showers!
- Going Home Outfit: Dude, don't get fancy. You just gave birth! You are still going to look 5-6 months pregnant when you leave...be comfortable. Since I'm delivering in November I'll most likely be rocking a track suit or sweats and a hoodie for the quick trip home. Trust me, you aren't going out to eat after leaving the hospital so don't sweat it!
Now for the Daddy. Hospitals aren't fun for new dads or even experienced ones. My hubby thankfully is a pro and can sleep just about anywhere. He's not very fussy and doesn't need a lot so that makes packing for him easier.
- Pillow: The hospitals usually don't supply these and if they do they suck so just have him bring his own. Also, bring a blanket or quilt...again, hospitals can get chilly.
- Laptop & Charger: Since we will be in the middle of football season I will bring our lap top so that hubby can stay on top of his fantasy football and all the games. This also gives him access to email for work and any social media. Plus, it's also there if I want to upload any pictures. Chargers apply here as well!
- Comfy Clothes: You know that horrible, broken in, ripped up, ugly pair of jeans he has? Let him bring those! You want him to be comfy. Hoodies, sweats, running shorts...whatever. Obviously, he will also need underwear and socks. Flip flops for the shower too (if he isn't running home).
- Toiletries: I pack my hubby toothpaste, tooth brush, deodorant and some body spray. Usually he's okay with using whatever soap, shampoo and other stuff I have.
You are obviously in the hospital to have a baby so baby has to have some things right? Yup! Again, check with your hospital but they will usually always bring you back a baby from the nursery in a fresh white hospital onesie and receiving blanket. That is unless you have them in a specific outfit, the hospital is pretty good about keeping babies in those.
- Car Seat: Sorry folks, the hospital isn't letting you leave with a baby without a car seat. Hospitals are required to have you bring the actual car seat in, strap in the baby, have a nurse check it then daddy can carry baby out in the seat. This is getting harder to follow considering some car seats are now only one piece (convertible style) and can't be removed from the car. In this aspect, mom will hold the baby as she is wheeled out and then the nurses have to observe the baby being placed in the car seat and buckled in properly.
- Outfits: Half the fun of having a new baby is dressing them up! I don't mind the hospital white onesies but I do like having my own outfits. Just be prepared with some plastic bags for if there are any poops or messes made. We send outfits that are dirty home with whoever has our kids so they can wash them for us. I like to bring hats, mittens, gowns and sleep and plays.
- Blankets & Burp Cloths: Again, hospitals have these but I like to color or theme coordinate so I bring my own. I can always send them home with family to wash them if they get dirty. I bring 3-4 receiving blankets and about the same in burp cloths. I also like to bring one fluffy blanket for snuggling!
- Pacifiers & Bottles: I always bring one pacifier with me and one bottle. Again, I'm not a breast feeding mom so this is just my preference. I use the Dr. Brown's baby bottles and pacifiers if you wanted to know.
There are some optional items that you can bring but again check the list your hospital gives you and go off that.
- Diapers: My hospitals always provide them but I do tend to bring a couple just in case we have an accident on the way home or if the hospital doesn't use the brand you like then bring your own. To be honest, the first couple days you probably won't care. Most hospitals use Pampers Swaddlers these days I've found.
- Loose Change: This is great for the vending machines but in most hospitals when you order your meals you can also order for your husband or SO. A lot of the times we've just found that family will offer to bring food if you want it too. Most hospitals have at least the basic cafe that is open 24/7 as well.
- Boppy: The only reason I really think to bring this is for support. Having a C-Section I try to keep as much weight off my stomach as possible, so the boppy can be very handy.
- Pre-Made Formula: My kids seem to only be able to stomach Enfamil Newborn so I do bring a case or two of the pre-made six packs from Target or Wal-Mart with me. Most hospitals use this brand because it's super gentle for newborns but I always do it just in case or if I get a nurse who is a little too pushy with her breast-feeding advice.
What's in your hospital bag? Any additional recommendations for me or other mom's reading this? I'd love to hear if you were able to go without something or absolutely had to have it!