Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

How to pack your hospital bag to have a baby
 [ 1 ] First, you will need a bag to pack everything in - you can use your baby bag for double duty, I love my Vera Bradley baby bag.
[ 1 / 2 ] If you don't want to wear a hospital gown, don't forget some stretchy soft and comfy pants along with a couple nursing tank tops. Remember you will still have a deflated belly, so make sure any clothing is big enough and not tight.
You will absolutely not want to forget your camera - to capture all the moments, or your phone - to call everybody and let them know baby arrived. Your laptop is more of a personal preference but you can use it to for entertainment - movies, music, facebook, etc. I was glad I had mine after delivery, but Aria was also not in the room with me. And, don't forget any extra batteries or charging cords that go along with all the electronics.
How to pack your hospital bag to have a baby
[ 1 / 2 / 3 ] If you plan on breastfeeding, pack nipple cream and nursing pads (you'll definitely want them when your milk comes in). You can toss your boppy in the car ahead of time and have somebody grab it from the car when the time comes. If you are trying to pack extra light, you can always use hospital pillows. I didn't have mine, but I wish I did.
[ 1 / 2 / 3 ] Almost everything will be provided for baby - diapers, wipes, balmex, blankets, soothies, etc, but you will need an outfit to take your wee precious one home in. I'd recommend something simple, a sleeper that buttons up or a onesie with a stretchy neck and cute pants. You might want to bring two, one in newborn size as well as one in size 1 since you never know how big or small baby will be. Maybe socks, mittens, and a hat if the weather is cool too. Don't forget a swaddle blanket to cover baby up with in the car seat, and you should definitely ask the nurses to teach you how to swaddle baby with one before you leave.
[ 1 / 2 ] A few miscellaneous things to consider are a little hand held massage contraption for back rubs during labor, your baby book so that the nurses can put footprints and hand prints in it for you, and chap stick because hospitals tend to be cold and dry.
How to pack your hospital bag to have a baby
Snacks for you and your husband during labor and recovery when the hospital food isn't cutting it or you get an attack of late night munchies. Also a stack of quarters for the vending machine might be a good idea too. Nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, gummies, and granola are easy to pack ahead of time.
Any essential toiletries for your first shower after delivery. Travel sized is a smart way to go - don't forget to pack any for your husband if the hospital is too far away for him to run home and shower. And, if that is the case don't forget a pair of clean undies and an outfit for him to change into as well.
A few makeup items wouldn't hurt either. Something simple like moisturizer, BB cream, and under eye concealer. You don't want to look back at your pictures and only see your raccoon eyes. And, your hair will need some serious brushing after labor - braiding might help keep things under control.

I didn't even have my hospital bag packed when my water broke at 34 weeks. I just grabbed anything I could think of and ran to the hospital. Subsequently, I had to send Chris home 700 times for missing things and there were still things I wish I had as well as things I didn't end up needing after all. The one thing we didn't forget was the camera. I have a total of nine pictures. Nine. So, you might also want to make sure your husband/picture taker knows that he/she better take a shit ton of pictures or you will be forced to have another kid just to capture those precious moments. I mean really, nine is unacceptable.
I didn't use any labor aids myself. But, I'd never say no to a nice back massage. I also think some tunes would have helped because I recited lyrics to myself during contractions - I couldn't find my iPod before running out the door. All I can say is I thought I had some more time to pack my bag and I ended up having nothing ready.
Except the baby book (which is such a good idea for prints) and the massage contraption, everything listed I actually used while I was at the hospital and would pack again for baby #2. And, I'm pretty sure if there is a baby #2 someday I will be packing way ahead of time.

I also made a Hospital Bag board on Pinterest - click here to follow!

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