Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Hospital Bag: Third Time Around

My hospital bag the third time around is quite different than it was with baby #1.  You live and you learn and you realize that there really is no sense in overpacking: just keep it simple, mamas.  Both you and your baby will require very little those first few days as most hospitals and birthing centers will provide you with the essentials.  Not sure whether they do or not? Ask beforehand and give yourself some peace of mind!  Here's a list of my must have items that are packed in my much-smaller-this-time-around suitcase:


1.  Pajamas: I packed two pairs of soft, breathable, loose fitting pajamas.  I usually stay in my hospital gown for the first day after delivery (birthing is messy business) but by day 2 it's nice to put on something comfortable from home.

2.  Robe: Again, lightweight and comfortable.  I like having a robe on hand so that, regardless of what I am wearing, I can cover up when guests come by.

3.  Nursing bra: I actually packed two different nursing bras for the hospital: a sleep nursing bra and a regular and more supportive nursing bra.  Truthfully, you may not even want to put on a bra at all but every woman is different regarding the business of milking and it's nice to have options.

4.  Nursing pads: See my post on prepping for breast feeding.  I pack quite a few disposable nursing pads in my suitcase to have on hand when the milk literally comes pouring in.  Have a good supply waiting for you at home as well.
5.  Socks: Because hospitals are cold and you will want to keep your feet warm.  Again, pack a pair that you won't mind parting with: birthing is messy business.
6.  Slippers: I bought a very inexpensive yet comfy pair of slippers that I will throw away upon leaving the hospital: I'm a nurse and fully admit to being OCD about bringing home hospital germs.  Get the kind of slippers that just slip onto your feet, easy to take on and off.
7.  Going home outfit:  Be practical, you are not going to be in your prebaby clothes upon leaving the hospital.  I am packing a tunic and a pair of maternity leggings.  I am also throwing in a pair of yoga pants and a tshirt just in case.
8.  Toiletries: I like having my own soaps and lotions and face wash, they make me feel good and more like myself.  I also bring my make-up.  I didn't bother with any of that when we had Isabelle because I thought I wouldn't care or need those things but then I saw the photos everyone snapped of me in the hospital and gasped in horror.  Is that vain?  Yes.  Do I care?  No.  I'm just being honest.  Skipping your shower, not washing your hair, not putting on your makeup: these things don't earn you a merit badge.  Don't feel guilty about spending 5-10 minutes a day taking care of yourself, especially as a new mom.  You owe yourself those few minutes, those little luxuries.  Feed your baby, burp them, change them, swaddle them, place them in the arms of a loved one, and then get your butt into the bathroom.  You will feel so much better.
(Not pictured):
Nipple cream: The hospital will typically provide this but I like to bring my own as I prefer different brands.  If you choose to use the hospital issued cream, make sure to have extra on hand at home.
Hair ties and chapstick: Two things I can't live without.  Ever.
Nursing pillow: I like having my Boppy with me to keep both myself and the baby comfortable during those first few feedings, it helps to establish good positioning for both mama and baby.
Phone charger, camera, camera charger, insurance cards, phone numbers Shawn will need.
Infant car seat: You can't leave the hospital without it.  If this is your first baby, practice putting the seat in and taking it out beforehand.
If you are a first time mom, bring your breast pump with you for a lesson with the lactation consultant.  Helpful hints here.
I bring a packed diaper bag.  Why?  Because it will be my purse for the next year realistically.  Also, we live about 40 minutes from the hospital so I like to have a diaper bag with us JUST IN CASE.  I recently purchased the Sugarsnap system and am in love!!!  This little organizer keeps everything in its place and easy to find in your bag.  Best of all, if I switch purses or bags, I just take the Sugarsnap out and I have everything I need.
Shawn has his own bag packed and ready and it includes extra clothes, his own personal toiletries, a pillow and a blanket, a few snacks.
For the baby:

1.  Swaddling blankets: These are our favorite.

2.  Burp clothes: Cloth diapers are my favorite to be used as burp clothes.

3.  Socks, hat, mittens.  Emory board: For those razor sharp little infant nails.

4.  Going home outfit: Keep it simple and comfy, easy on and off.  Don't bring anything with a million snaps, nothing too stuffy.

5.   Sugarsnap organizer and diaper bag

Things you won't need at the hospital but need to have ready at home:
Underwear: Just bite the bullet and wear the hospital issued mesh panties.  They do the job and keep your underwear from getting ruined.
Pads: The hospital will provide these.
Diapers and wipes: The hospital will provide these.

It's hard to believe that the time is finally here: our bags are packed and on the ready! They are much smaller this time around but we are just as excited as if this were our first all over again. What a joyful event to pack for!

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Courtney B said...

I am probably the only first time mom that didn't over pack for the hospital! I took a going home outfit for me and my baby, my shower essentials, make up and a straightener and that was pretty much it! The thought of packing my whole closet, Mia's whole closet plus the kitchen sink... and then having to come home and unpack all of it? No thank you!

You live 40 minutes from the hospital? Yikes! The thought would have terrified me right before going into labor!

I am so excited to be following along and can't wait to "meet" your third baby :)

Summer Crosbie said...

Great list! I'm so excited for you guys and can't wait to see that little dude's face!

Olivia said...

We can't wait, either!! It's time for him to join the party!!

Olivia said...

You are so right about not wanting to unpack all that stuff when you get home! And yes, the women's and children's hospital is about 35-40 minutes away so we will not be waiting around when all the action starts. Thankfully, we have two smaller hospitals right nearby just in case there was some kind of emergency. The joys of living in the country!! Thank you for following along and being so supportive!

Ashley said...

Love this post - lots of personality plus absolute necessity!!! I totally agree - With each baby we have packed less! Don't forget quarters for vending machines!! Alan was always trying to find change for bills over $1! So for Lucy I packed tons of quarters and ones!! I can't wait for your boy to get here!!!

Olivia said...

Oh good idea!!! I will add that to the list for sure!!