The time has come to pack a bag and be ready to jet to the hospital whenever baby may decide to join us. Here’s what I have learned to bring along in my two go-rounds. What am I missing?
The Bag – Make it ~ Buy it
Camera & extra batteries/charger
Laptop and power cord
Music – Mellow ~ Upbeat
Phone & Charger
Video Camera (above the waist shots only please)
Name Book (1) ~ (2) ~ (3)
Trashy & Lovely Magazines
Fruit and Snacks (have you tried these? um yum)
A great headband
Outfit to wear home – yes, you will still be in maternity clothes
Shampoo, conditioner, comb, product (learned this one the hard way)
A little crafty project like embroidery or crochet
A water bottle
Thank you cards & pen
Notebook or journal
Going home outfit – don’t forget a sweet hat
blanket ~ Make it ~ Buy it
Boppy pillow with a cute cover
A nursing cover. You might not care but your dad will.
Gifts for older sisters when they come to visit
and a great book
What am I forgetting? Leave some great advice and you might win those cute embroidery patterns, which would make an excellent little craft project for my vacation, I mean, hospital stay.
Link Love – The Hospital Bag
The time has come to pack a bag and be ready to jet to the hospital whenever baby may decide to join us. Here’s what I have learned to bring along in my two go-rounds. What am I missing?
Wow, it has really come up quickly (of course, you probably have a different opinion ;D)!
Maybe your own pillow? I hate hospital pillows and found that bringing one from home really helped me to relax. But put it in a colored pillowcase so that you don't lose it!
And a Belly Band to wear home if you have it, because, well, the Little Guy won't be keeping you nice and tight anymore.
adult diapers!!! Seriously, they are soooo much more comfortable than the infamous mesh panties with bulky pads, aka Sir Shifts-a-lot
For my son's delivery I also packed a dad-bag, with car magazines, manly snacks like beef jerky, and pj pants for him.
Oh, yeah, I agree with the last poster that a few things for your hubby would be good, too, b/c he may be stuck there waiting for a long time. 🙂
I love that you're going to have gifts for your older children, such a great idea!
Wow, you think of everything! You're so nice to let people come visit. I looked – and felt – like a crazy person for my whole hospital stay, so I wouldn't let anyone near me. Thus, hair product and nursing covers weren't necessary. 🙂 I also didn't bother bringing in-hospital clothes for the baby, I just used what the hospital had.
If you're not a big fan of the mesh underwear (like a pp stated), make sure to bring some old stuff of your own with some lady products so you can be comfortable going home.
Great advice! I'm 7 months along with my first and there so much I wouldn't have thought of! I will definitely be checking back to see what other mammas say, so I don't miss anything!
A soft big blanket from home, too, for after. (I HATED my hospital bed with those thin white blankets. I wanted my comforter from home so badly). Bring your own OTC medications, like Tylenol, stool softeners, vitamins, etc. You pay an arm and a leg for these at the hospital. ($4/pill for TYLENOL?!) Good luck!!
nail clippers for the new one. or mittens. otherwise they'll scratch up their beautiful new little face and ruin all your photo ops. and hurt themselves, but let's be real, it's mostly about the pictures.
Not so much something to bring but something to take: those peri/squirt bottles they give you for the non-stop crotch showers. I use those for cleaning, stain treating, and all kinds of stuff. Have I said too much?
Well, I was sent to the hospital straight from my doctor's office early and unexpectedly due to HELLP syndrome. So I had no bag packed and my hubby was responsible for bringing me stuff. I asked for make-up and he brought me bronzer! ha ha 😉 Poor guy messed most of it up, but he did bring me (without me asking) a pillow and blanket and it was nice!
Aromatherapy mist in lavender–spray in the trashcan, over your sheets, etc. for calm and to mark your territory. I used in L&D; and in the postpartum room. Aura Cacia has great mists and also essential oils for baby.
Good luck and Godspeed.
I agree with everyone above, especially regarding a pillow and blanket from home. I was in the hospital for almost a week so those little comforts from home really helped.
Those mesh underwear are the worst, aren't they? I purchased a 5-packer of cotton panties (Hanes) that I could "throw away" after each use.
I also brought along a comfy bath robe, it was so great to be comfy after giving birth.
I might go to hell for admitting this but I also took one of the swaddling blankets, I still use it!
This is great! I'm due with my second baby in May and the first hospital stay did not go very well. This time I'm hoping I'll know what to bring!
Everything on your lists above are a MUST! I found that a nail file worked better on my babies paper thin nails rather than clippers. Plus I was SO nervous that I would cut those precious fingers. Knit shirts that go on like a "robe" and snap on the side for the babies are good. Newbies are never thrilled with onsies and ruffles being pulled over thier heads. As long as we had a cute hat and blankie our baby darlins looked cute for visitors and the nurses were happy when they had to come in to check on the babies…they hated pulling through layers of clothing just to check the babies temp, etc.
I agree that you need to add 'real' underwear. Plus some of your favorite feminine products as the hospital ones are like diapers. Also remember you want gowns or shirts that open in the front (snaps are great) so if you chose to breastfeed you do not have to show the boobs to the world. Along the same lines a bigger bra or stretchy tank top works great when your milk starts coming it.
Oh my gosh! I am due in 5 weeks with my first and you couldn't have posted this at a better time! If light bothers you I would bring an eye mask because they never really turn out ALL the lights. One thing I will bring is the stuffed sock monkey we will be using to take all of the monthly baby pictures (to show how much she has grown). I want a picture with it once she is cute and clean 😉
"A nursing cover. You might not care but your dad will."
I LOVE this line! When my dad came to visit he practically ran out of the room the moment the word "feed" was uttered. lol
One thing that wasn't mentioned : toothbrush and toothpaste. It's funny how something as simple as your own toothbrush can make you that much more comfortable.
pillow blanket and clothese for the hubs!
Oh my gosh! Such great ideas ladies. Keep them coming. Toothbrush!!!! YES!!! Don't forget that!
I'm also laughing because I actually liked the mesh undies! I even took them home, washed them and wore them for a week more. HAHAHA!
Our stay was different because we adopted our daughter at birth. But the best thing we brought was a book to read our daughter. Our choice, "On the Day You Were Born". I will always treasure my memory of reading it to her quietly in my arms in the middle of our first night together. We now read it to her for every birthday now and tell her the story of how we became a family.
cash to order some late-night pizza! We had an early evening delivery and so adrenaline was running high around midnight, as was my craving for some good eats (meaning, not hospital food). also, maybe a small portable fan. I was so hot the whole time I was in the hospital.
The only thing I can think of that I had that wasn't posted above was a calling card and phone number list. You might not be able to use your phone in the hospital and you may not have a phone in your room. A recipe card with the first people to be called and their numbers is handy too.
Oh! Also, decaf tea bags. For some reason all the tea at the hospital was caffeinated. Starting out with caffeinated breastmilk is never a good idea LOL!
I found that my regular underwear with an overnight pad was more comfortable than what the hospital had and was easier to change.
Ok last thing ( I swear) a hand mirror so you don't have to get up to give your face a freshening up before company arrives. (I swear my eyebrows have never been so well plucked).
My laptop and some comedy on DVD with good ear phones! That was a life saver for me. It was entertaining and it kept me from killing my husband. His pacing was driving my crazy! 😀
I'd actually have to say I would take less the next time. I totally over packed with my daughter and ended up sending most of the stuff home with hubby after the first day or so.
We had our 4th baby 4 months ago. And I totally looked forward to my vacation!! My most favorite thing to bring along was something to knit. I made a baby hat! It kept my hands busy while I watched tv.
An Itzbeen Timer (there's also an iPhone App, but I don't remember the name). I had a c/s with my DS, and it was a lifesaver. You can set it to alarm after 3 hours for a feeding, diaper, etc. Then when the nurses come in to ask you when baby ate, had a diaper etc, you just look at the timer and it'll say 2 hours 47 minutes or whatever. The nurses did the math for their little chart and I got to go back to sleep. I used it for about 2 months at home too, it is wonderful.
I used to hoard samples from various places. I threw in a big bag of samples of face wash, body wash, lotions, shampoos, etc. when I packed my hospital bag. Little did I know I'd be in the hospital for five days and nights. Luckily, my first post baby shower and every shower while at the hospital was filled with a little bit of luxury-Fresh body wash, Kiehl's shampoo, etc. Hands down the best thing I had for myself while at the hospital–and a nice way to learn that sometimes your time alone in the shower is the only time alone you'll get all day so make it count!~
Chapstick… you will be breathing a lot though your mouth!
Pretty receiving blankets to use as backgrounds for pictures.
I agree with the pp that said and eye mask and bring one for hubby too because they would flip on the lights every 2 hrs to check on the baby and it would wake up me and hubby.
You may want to bring the baby book and ask them to do the hand and foot prints in it since they look really smeared when you try to do them yourself.
Ask the lactation consultant if they have Snappies! Mine gave me a huge bag of them! You can pump right into them and the hospital will give you nipples that go right on them! Don't throw any of them out! Wash and save them all you'll be happy to have them for use at home! Also great if you choose formula since it is so easy to mix a perfect 2oz bottle in them! You can also get them online. http://www.snappiescontainers.com/
I'll also add that I agree with the bra. I got a Coobie bra with this one, and I have worn it almost every day of his 7 month life. It's a one-size bra and it is SUPER comfy. And it was a decent price too. Wonderful for when your cup size is changing throughout the first few months.
I second what Lindsay and Co said about the timer. My twins are 7 1/2 months and I STILL use it! I would suggest chapstick and lozenges. We really like the Yummy Earth Organic candy drops. I also had a c/s, and I had received a packet of colgate wisps as a gift. The sink in our bathroom was so low that it was hard to bend over while brushing my teeth. These made the whole bend and spit unnecessary. 🙂
I can't wait to hear more!!! Best wishes for a happy delivery!
Tylenol for your husband. I pulled like mad on mine's shoulder when I was pushing and I swear he was more sore than I was. I loved the mesh panties too! So comfy, fitted but not tight anywhere.
I would have to add photos or one of those digital photo frames loaded with pictures of your older children, family, friends, pets, the outside world, etc. Also some of those instant heating pads-great for pain.
Our hospital suggests bringing snacks for during the delivery for the birthing partner to prevent low blood sugar problems…
I'll be bringing my list of foods I've been craving but haven't been allowed to eat with the Gestational diabetes for the husband to deliver after all the hub bub is over and done with.
I'll also be taking a good book too.
Snacks are a good one, because they only give enough to feed a senior and hey, I just had a baby over here and could use like 5 extra cups of jello! My hubby bought some jello and a sandwich for me to tide me over between 'meals'.
And agreed, chapstick is a must. You must try Purol. I have found it to be the best stuff out there. It's not sparkly, tasty, coloured, or smelly, and it works unbelievably well.
I also brought my own pillow. Our hospital was always short on pillows and I like a lot of piilows! Also, I always brought warm socks—hate those metal stirups. And a light weight bed jacket or cardigan because I was always cold. I brought plenty of snacks for my hubby, too.
My two favorite from home items were an inexpensive (but cozy) bathrobe I picked out just for hospital/post-delivery wear & tear and a pair of flip-flops (shower shoes). Just putting on an item of "real" clothing made me feel presentable and able to leave my room for a short walk, and the shoes — well — you don't worry about the shower floor or how much liquid you are saying goodbye to, either.
With both of my babies, I took two bowls full of candy (individually wrapped chocolates) and left one at the Nurse's station and wrote "Thanks for taking care of me and my Mom in Room 415" (I left the number blank and had hubby write it in when we got there) I left the other bowl of candy in my room and wrote Thanks for looking in after my mom and me, signed Baby XYZ…again fill in the blank and then wrote please help yourself! I had Nurse's ,orderly's and doctors GALORE at my beckon call. My meal was always hot, they LOADED me up with extra formula and diapers. I never wanted or waited for anything. I highly recommend it!
I had a home birth, but I am Doula and know the hospital routine pretty well.
Add FOOD and DRINK to your list! Things to eat in labor and post partum, for you and hubs.
Nipple cream like MotherLove for sore nipples from nursing. MotherLove also makes a great bottom spray that is very soothing and healing…
Tucks pads and stool softeners.
Good luck! I hope you have a wonderful birth and post partum!
Great comments already!
I loved my robe to cover the backside when making loops around L&D; while in labor.
I also loved my aromatherapy mist. I used a eucalyptus spray, but bring whatever is lovely and calming to you. My room smelled great! Also, to this day the scent brings me back to that time when my boy was fresh and new. 🙂
With my last one, Nurse Ratched kept threatening to send us home if I didn't start progressing. We live in the mountains and there was a blizzard! To keep my labor going, I had to walk the halls for 3 hours- my slippers didn't have enough support and my feet were aching. So… I was in a hospital gown and snow boots. Bring your track shoes!
I crocheted a cocoon and matching hat for my little one to wear at the hospital. The cocoon was so great, because she was swaddled in one of the hospital blankets and then slipped into the cocoon. Then as we were playing pass the baby, she stayed all nicely swaddled – plus she looked way sweeter in her pink cocoon then in the hospital garb.
i totally dig on the smoozing the staff with candy, great idea 🙂
deoderant. you know you love it. you know you want it. you know you feel like a cavewoman without it… at least i do.
bring along some dry shampoo, sephora has one called ojon, makes icky oily hair like new (baby powder does to, but this is a little more controllable)
also, i would suggest a nerf gun. you know somebody will likely irritate you, piss you off, or say something completely rude while they are attempting to be polite (my mil is friggan famous for THAT!). i didnt have the energy to speak up… but if i had a nerf gun… it would have been awesome 🙂
also… if i sound slightly nuts… i just got my depo shot today. thats right. three months of hormones in one shot. im under the influence.
I had my bag packed two weeks before my due date and kept dragging my makeup out of it every morning… I just knew I would deliver early like my mom did with all 3 of us. When my due date came and went I could have cared less what I was bringing to the hospital- just get me there and deliver this baby!
I have only had a baby once, but I brought a blindfold (the sight of my OB's face between my legs wasn't so appealing) and adult diapers ( I am so thankful I brought those, those accidents in the night weren't so fun), and an extra bag to take home all the extra stuff from you hospital room. Oh! Don't forget nursing bras or tops. Easy access is good news!
For mom: your own pillow! I never leave home for an overnight without it.
For baby: at our hospitals if you bring the baby book, they will stamp the footprints right onto the page if you have it ready while they are dong that 🙂
Congrats, and God bless you and baby both!
A very pretty pillowcase. To A)make you feel more comfortable, and B)you'll love your "hello, right-after-birth photos". You'll feel prettier with a floral pillowcase behind you.
My own pads! The hospital ones are so, so large and just plain silly. I felt like I had just gotten off a horse on a four day cattle drive when wearing on of theirs. And do you really need it to stretch from belly button to your back (only a slight exaggeration)? Putting on my own 'overnight' was sufficient and far more comfortable.
The Best thing I brought I think was one of those big wordsearch/crossword puzzle books. I am not much of a reader, I tend to fall asleep from bordem…lol…so this kept me busy in the down times.
Chapstick! Needed that both times. Hospital air is so dry. I also was allowed to have juice during my 2nd laboring and it was the best apple juice I have ever had. (So long as you drink it before you hit transition labor, the chances of you throwing it up is super minimal and it helps you maintain your sugar levels) I know other said this, but seriously should be said again, your own pads. Way better than the hospital ones.
DVD player or laptop. You can never trust what is on the hospital cable (or if your TV/volume on it will even work).
If you are doing a baby book, bring that because there is usually a page where visitors in the hospital can sign (so you don't have to do it yourself when you get home). Also, you can have them stamp your kiddos feet right on the pages.
OH OH! I hope you get this! The one thing that I wished I would have brought was my own pillow!!! One of my friends told me that and I wished I would have listened. Even when I asked for an extra one it was still not good enough! Make it like home as much as you can!
Thank you soooooo much for the post (and for all the comments)!! I'm a first time mom-to-be due in May and am completely clueless about nearly everything. I actually took notes on all the things everybody listed. Hahaha!! Thank you!! Much love! 😀
Your favourite teacup/ coffee mug. The ones at hossy are usually ungainly and too small, and it's so nice to be able to have a decent cuppa.
Also some special shower gel/lotion. I can still get those memories back instantly when I use the shower gel I bought specially for each birth stay.
-Your own washcloths (after working in a hospital I did this when I had my own girls)
-socks with grippy thingie stuff on the bottom
-lip balm not stick since that can get cakey on super dry lips
– body cream. After my girls my elbows were so dry they stuck to everything like velcro. Ew.
– Your own pillow and soft blankie
– cotton grannie panties that you won't mind throwing away if "leaked" on
– Your own ex-long pads with wings
– One more thing I didn't learn until my 4th go round…seriously consider letting the baby stay in the nursery at least once for a good long nap. Once I was home, I had the help of my mom and husband, but my other girls, especially my 2 year old, always needed mommy. Those hospital naps were the best naps I had. lol
Good luck mama. Sending my prayers your way.
Baby nail clippers. Our hospital doesn't clip baby's nails for you, and if your baby is like ours, his/her nails will be LONG and SHARP first thing!
I also bought travel sizes of all my toiletries (shampoo, etc.) so I wouldn't have to pack and repack them in my hospital bag before the baby came. All I had to remember to do was throw my makeup in (although I never did put any on the whole time we were at the hospital…hahaha).
Next time I might bring my own towel for that first glorious after-delivery shower (hospital towels are worthless).
Italian ice!!! Amazing little treat and it counts as "clear liquid" if they won't let you eat. And an extra bag to sneak some things out, swaddling blankets, those cute, perfectly white, tiny t-shirts, ice packs…
I always (we're on our fourth now) try to remember to bring my Burt's Bees chapstick and hand lotion. I find that between getting nursing started, dry hospital air, and everything else, I can always do with a perky peppermint-scented chapstick to help camouflage that I've been up for 24 hours straight without brushing my teeth and prevent mega chapped lips and fingers.
comfy housecoat! I wound up being induced so I didn't walk around much and thusly didn't need or use mine, but if I had a more normal labor (you know, not being 10 days overdue with a 9lb5oz baby for example) it would have been invaluable. Also, I left the hospital four hours after birth b/c I had a midwife to visit me at home, but otherwise I think i would have used it a lot after the birth too.
I didn't pack it for the first baby and wished I had, and I did for the second and it didn't even come out of the bag. You just never know I guess!
your own mug/tea cup. Those horrible thick walled plastic ones the hospitals have are nasty. And pack heaps of snacks cause whenever you get hungry you can never find the damn meal trolley.
Your own Mom…to help you fix your hair…lol, seriously…I was in too much pain after my daughter was born due to tearing to stand up on my own for more than 5 minutes…my Mom came and dried and styled my hair for me and it was like heaven…it makes me feel better to know my hair isn't night of the living dead all the time…
Your pillow with a pretty pillow case…enough said.
nursing bras or tanks… I love the ones from Target. I live in those nursing tanks. Also, make sure you bring some toys for the siblings to play with, my 2 year old had a ball with his Thomas the Trains, he hung out with us for 4 hours without getting bored one day! It was lovely to have the family of 4 together!!
I had Violeta at home (with a midwife and obstetrician), which was a really beautiful experience. But even though I never had to pack a bag (probably a good thing as it would have been HUGE), some of the highlights from my labour/birth that you might be able to take with you were:
-candles (just little tealights, the low flickering light of which really helped me to relax during labour)
-aromatherapy massage oil (get your hubby up to speed quickly! the midwife massaged my arms and legs, especially calves and ankles, with lavender and peppermint oils-I never would have thought of that combination-and it was incredibly relaxing and refreshing)
-gatorade for both during and after (hey, this is probably the longest bout of exercise any woman will go through!)
-juicy cold fresh fruit mmm mangos and peaches for afterwards. Anything to avoid hospital food.
-a black cotton wrap/nightie. I hate cutey white bunny-print maternity nighties which make you look like you're the baby AND drain what little colour you have left. Black doesn't show the stains AND makes you look foxier. I got one from Womama and wore cute boxers (hello Jaime's sleep shorts) under to hide those sexy post-baby grandma-sized panties.
-and of course a Prudent Baby swaddling blanket! Violeta had a few "naked days" after she was born, just in a nappy/diaper, but whenever she left my bed I wrapped her up like a little parcel in her blanket.
-tazer/water pistol/big fence to keep out unwanted visitors (or maybe just a reliable relative filtering them out) 🙂
-OH! Very important! Get a good friend to organize a squad of other friends to clean and cook for you for a couple of weeks on your return. The best new mum gift ever! Especially with two other kids.
Have an amazing birth! xx
MyBrestFriend pillow kicks Boppy's arse! Seriously, that pillow is a GAME CHANGER. Especially for any mamas who end up with a c-section. That pillow changed my nursing relationship with my kid – for the better. I love it!
p.s. I totally also took home the mesh panties, washed, and rewore them! I had a section delivery and none of my low-riding, under the bump panties were the right choice over that incision site. BTW: that's my other advice – a pair of JUST IN CASE giant granny panties and some generous, loose workout pants if delivery ends up in the OR (maybe being prepared for it will be a Murphy's law insurance policy against it happening). I remember joking as I packed my low-rise yoga pants, "gee, these would be bad with a c-section, but that will NEVER HAPPEN, right?" Doh!
We had an emergancy C-section. TG my hubby brought me one of the Harry Potter books on audio book. There was no CD player in my room so we played it on the dvd player and tossed a blanket over the TV it was the ONLY way I could sleep. We were stuck there for 5 days.