Friends….it’s the final countdown! Apologies in advance if the 80’s song is now stuck in your head. It’s 4 weeks or less until Baby #2 is here…eeek! Which of course means I should probably pack my hospital bag.
I was fairly convinced Monica was going to be born early (she came 1 week late), but I didn’t have my bags packed until maybe 3 weeks before her due date. See Exhibit A for an entertaining conversation with my dad:
Apparently I could sense she would be a week late.
This time around, I’m getting my bags packed a little sooner. Not because I think the baby will be born early, but because I don’t have the luxury of time to procrastinate and do everything last minute. I’ve been taking care of things a little bit at a time. Plus, I’m feeling (or maybe just noticing) some extra twinges earlier than I did when pregnant with Monica. And I’m more tired, even after taking iron supplements.
This is what I plan on bringing to the hospital, as well as items I brought last time, but didn’t need. This is based on my experience of having a C section with Baby #1 and hoping for a VBAC (but also preparing for a C section) with Baby #2. Obviously there are some items that need to be put in the bag last minute, like toiletries:
- Clothes to wear home, including a nursing bra. Maternity clothes will be the most comfortable.
- Some new mamas wear a maxi dress home, but I plan on bringing a T shirt and full-panel leggings. The full-panel helps suck everything in and won’t rub on a C section incision.
- Flip flops. Very important for the shower! The hospital provided non-slip socks.
- Toiletries and makeup, be sure to include:
- My sister-in-law recommended bringing face wipes instead of face wash and it was super convenient.
- Lip balm
- Hair tie/headbands
- Contacts or glasses, if you wear them.
- Pillow and a pretty patterned pillow case
- It will add some color to your hospital room and distract people from looking at your puffy face. Though the baby does a pretty good job at that too ;)
- Plus, it helps make sure your pillow doesn’t get thrown into the hospital laundry.
- Light weight bathrobe
- Especially good when walking the halls so your butt isn’t hanging out.
- Nursing (boob) pads
- While it can take 2 to 5 days for your milk to come in, my milk came in fast and furious while at the hospital. Since I had a C section, I was there 4 days after birth and feeling like Dolly Parton by the time we left.
- I have an Amazon subscription for the Lansinoh ones.
- Phone and camera with chargers
- Lamaze breathing tips and birth plan
- We are preregistered at the hospital and I need to bring a copy of my ID and insurance card.
- Insurance and FMLA information
- Have Dad or another family member make the insurance phone calls while at the hospital.
- Extra empty bag to bring home extra diapers, gifts, etc. from the hospital.
- Going home outfit
- For Monica, I brought newborn and 3 month sizes since I didn’t know how big she would be.
- For Baby #2, I just picked up this 0-3M gender neutral onesie from Baby Gap. Even if the baby is on the smaller side, there will be a little extra room for the cord stump.
- Other onesies, socks, jackets, mittens (particularly to prevent scratching), etc. depending on the weather
- Swaddle blankets, bows, headbands, and/or hats for newborn pictures
- Nail clippers
- Fortunately, Monica’s nails didn’t need to be trimmed while at the hospital.
- I also brought emery boards, but found the nail clippers to be a little easier to use.
- Car seat with the base already installed in the car
- Phone, camera, and iPad with chargers
- iPod and docking station
- Snacks. Our hospital also provided some.
Things I wish I brought the first time
- I was in the hospital from Thursday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon, so I felt a bit European by the time I was discharged.
- Sleep mask
- Since they monitored the baby and me throughout the night, the screens were a little bright and distracting
- Baby book or something to put footprints on
- They gave us an unofficial birth certificate with footprints and a hat with her footprints
Provided by the hospital, so I’ll leave at home (check to see what yours provides)
- Hospital gown
- I know some ladies bring a fancy gown, but I was too tired to worry about how I looked.
- Birthing ball
- Hot packs for labor/recovery
- Though I plan on bringing some Pariday TendHer Perineal Packs, which can be used during labor or to help with recovery after a natural birth or C section.
- Food for mom and some snacks for dad
- Breastfeeding/diaper log
- We later downloaded the Baby Connect app when we got home. Totally worth the $5!
- Electric breast pump and bottles to pump into (and bottle nipples if going to feed baby with bottle)
- They also provided a manual, hand pump which I was able to take home, even though I didn’t use it at the hospital
- Pillows to prop up baby for breastfeeding – a boppy wouldn’t have been comfortable with the C section
- Lanolin (boob cream) – helps soothe sore nipples
- The hospital provided Medela lanolin and I ended up preferring that over the Lansinoh lanolin.
- Ibuprofen and other pain medications (if necessary)
- Mesh undies
- Giant pads
- Spray bottle
- Stool softener
- Nose sucker
- Hair dryer
Things I brought the first time, but didn’t use
- Lanolin (boob cream) – hospital provided
- Socks – used the hospital’s non-slip socks
- Hand sanitizer – hospital provided
- Magazines – I didn’t really have time to read them. Instead, I watched some TV in the room, read blogs on my iPhone, talked with people, and tried to nap.
- Lansinoh Soothies gel pads for boobs – hospital provided
Things I’d consider sneaking into the hospital, but won’t ;)
- Wine or craft beer. Too bad alcohol doesn’t play well with pain meds.
- Sushi. We don’t get sushi very often, but now that I can’t have it, I want it!
- Eggs Benedict or a burger with a fried egg on top. Same as the sushi…I keep hearing the sweet siren song of runny eggs.
What was your must-have item to bring to the hospital? Am I missing anything critical?