That Pesky Hospital Bag: What to pack and what to leave at home

If you are reading this post then you have gotten to the point in your pregnancy that you are starting to seriously consider putting together your hospital “go” bag.

There are a ton of different places that you can go online to find out what you “should be” putting in your hospital bag.  I can tell you that unless you are planning on taking the huge suitcase, you will never fit everything and let me remind you……….

You are not moving in and you do not live there

Let me repeat this point…..

You are not moving in and you do not live there

I say this because………

  1. you will not have time to read three novels
  2. You don’t want to pack a bunch stuff that will just get in the way.  The rooms are usually on the smaller side and in some hospitals you might have to share a room.
  3. You don’t want to clutter up the room.  Doctors and nurses will be in and out of your room at all hours.  And while they will try their best not to disturb you…..you don’t need to turn your room into an obstacle course for them to get through at 4am.

Now there are things that I do think are very important to have that I would not want to be without.  Whether you are having a traditional labor, getting induced, or having a c-section; my list doesn’t really change.  My first was 26 hour induction that turned into an emergency c-section and the second was a scheduled c-section.

Ok, enough already…..get to the list you say (in no particular order)

  1. Cell phone, charger and a list (at least knowledge) of the people who you want to call first.
    1. Have a phone tree of sorts set up.  You will be tired and who knows what time baby will decide to grace you with their presence. That way that you only have to make a call or two.
  2. Make sure that your ID, Insurance card, pre-registration paperwork (if your hospital does this) is in an easy to locate place or with your significant other
  3. If you have a birthplan already set up make sure that you have already talked about it with your doctor/midwife.  Have an extra copy with your significant other and please be open to deviations to that plan.  The medical staff does have your best interest in mind and the utmost safety for both you and baby.
  4. Glasses and contacts if you wear them
  5. Something super comfy and loose to wear home.  Remember you will be sore and if you had a c-section that incision will hurt.  And honestly no one cares about what you are wearing….just be comfortable

Honestly those would be the absolute minimum that you would need to have with you!  If you would like to have a little bit more of the comforts of home, here is what I recommend:

5. Loose fitting pajama pants that can be thrown away!  It is very important that you will be ok if these pants need to be thrown away.  Just realize that this is a possibility

6. Underwear that you will be ok with throwing away!  Like I just said above realize that it is a possibility that these might have to be thrown away.  These particular ones are comfy at the end of pregnancy as well.

7. Either nursing bra (which I do not really recommend but this is up to you) or nursing tanks (much easier to deal with and no uncomfortable hooks digging in your back).  I would stay away from underwires at this point as well.

8. NIPPLE CREAM! 

9. Nursing Pads for when your milk comes in.  I prefer these nursing pads from Hey Mama over the ones from Lansinoh.  Check us out on Facebook at Resetbutton for a video product side by side review where I  pit the two against each other!

10. Slippers or flip-flops.  Flip-flops will run multipurpose.  You can wear them in the shower when you have been cleared and you can still walk the halls and around your room.

11. Minimal toiletries.  I am talking about a brush, toothbrush and toothpaste (especially if you are picky), face wash, face moisturizer, body lotion, only essential makeup.  For me Essential Makeup consists of my Beautycounter Mascara and Dew skin.

12.  My Kindle!  This was a life saver for the cluster feedings and all of those late nights.  Load it up with easy books to read!

13.  SNACKS!!!!!!!!  Essential for those late night feedings!  So great to have a little something to nosh on.  Choose these snacks appropriately and take your own health into consideration.

14.  Camera!  whether it is your nice camera or your cell phone.  Just have something.  If you still own a video camera and think that you will want it then pack it.

Phew…….That does seem like a lot.  But remember this………you will only be there for a few days so no need to bring 30 pairs of underwear and your whole makeup case.  Just bring the essentials!

So what should you bring for baby?

  1. A warm blanket.  Remember that newborns cannot regulate their body temperature.  Keeping them warm is important but you also need to be comfortable!
  2. A going home outfit.  Keep in mind the time of the year that you will be delivering and make sure that the outfit is appropriate.  Also, most babies will not fit into newborn clothes.  You might want to have a family member bring an outfit for the baby from home once you know how big they are.
  3. Of course make sure that you have your car seat ready and installed.  You can look at your local resources such as police and fire departments as they will help you with the install.
  4. If your hospital does newborn photo shoots you may want to have a cute outfit with you.

Ok, that was a lot.  I think that you will be more than prepared for the delivery of the little one.

As always….If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to ask.  I do not claim to be an expert by any means, but I will let you know what I found to be easiest for me.  You will probably be totally different.

I hope that you have a quick and easy delivery…..oh who am I kidding.  I hope that the day is everything that you wanted it to be and that you enjoy your time with your newest addition to your family.

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