Because there aren’t enough of these posts out there in the blogosphere, am I right?
After four babies in four years, I think I have honed what we really need and what we really don’t. Some of these are more my preferences than necessities, though. Every mama has to tweak her hospital bag to suit her needs. Without further ado:
- Outfits with easy access to the diaper for quick changes. Because newborns need changing A LOT. Pretty much any baby store sells these, and I like the ones from Gap usually. These particular ones are from Carter’s. You can get them here. I like them too, but they tend to run small, so size up if you have big babies. I also prefer the ones that come with the little mitts that flip over the hands because those stupid baby mittens that come separately fly straight off my babies’ hands and then their little faces look like they are being used as a cat scratching post. The hospital does provide baby clothes, but our hospital only gives out these pitiful little kimono tops that look a little too orphanage-esque for my liking. So this one might be filed under personal preference.
2. Swaddling blankets. Newborns are used to being in a snug environment, so they sleep better when they are tightly swaddled. The hospital provides these too, but they are a little stiff and hard to fold into a swaddle easily. I love these blankets. They are from Aden and Anais. You can get them here. They are lightweight too, so they will be perfect for my summer baby.
3. Pacis. The hospitals here love handing out those familiar green Soothies, but none of my babies have taken to them. I’m going to give this one a try this time around to see if Baby Lady likes it. Also, they look so darn cute!
4. Hats. At risk of sounding like a broken record here, the hospital provides them. We even got a really interesting knit hat donated to the hospital newborns from a knitting club with Ruth. It is truly the most hideous hat I have ever seen. I couldn’t help but laugh at it all over again when I was getting out all the newborn stuff to pack this time around and found it. But it was so sweet of whomever it was to knit it for the new babies, and now I have a lot of fondness and nostalgia attached to it. However, this time around I did pack a sweet beautiful bonnet for Baby Lady. Because Briar Handmade Bonnets are To. Die. For. I’m also hoping it will protect her sweet little head this hot summer.
5. Going home outfit. Aha! Finally something the hospital will not provide. Again, I prefer the outfits with the built in hand mitts until baby stops clawing at her face. Also, make sure it is something with footies or pants so that you can comfortably buckle the baby into her car seat. This one is from Baby Gap. You can find it here.
Other stuff we don’t bring because the hospital supplies are sufficient:
- Diapers and wipes. Unless you have a specific brand you prefer. I am perfectly happy with the hospital diapers and wipes; however, I usually have to specifically request the newborn size because they will automatically put my tiny newborns in size 1 and that size is HUGE on them.
- Boppy pillow. Now, I know that this is a must-have on pretty much every hospital bag list I have ever seen, but we only brought ours to the hospital for our first-born and hated having it there. It is huge and bulky and the hospital pillows serve the purpose just as well for me. My poor husband is having to haul enough stuff around as it is.
- Breast pump. If the nurses are giving you a hard time about the baby’s weight loss or your milk not coming in, you can request a hospital breast pump. However, I think if they do that to me again this time around I’m just going to tell them my milk will come in, the baby will not starve, and to leave me the hell alone.
- Breast pads. Unless you are super mom, your milk probably won’t be leaking yet. Mine never is until after a week or two.
- Underwear. Don’t bring underwear for yourself. You’ll only ruin it. The hospital provides everything you will need for that region.
- Robe. A lot of women like to bring a loose fitting outfit or some pajamas, but I’m assuming that is usually after a vaginal delivery. After my C sections, I consider it a Herculean effort to even put on a robe over my hospital gown. But, without my robe I won’t be able to make my frequent bathroom trips while still retaining my dignity in front of visitors, so I bring a robe or two.
- Going home outfit. I usually bring a maternity dress. You went in with a bump, and you’re leaving with a (smaller) bump. Also, I don’t like having anything pressing against my incision, so a dress is ideal.
- Slippers. I used to bring flip flops, but I decided I couldn’t stand the feel of the thongs against my (still) swollen feet. So, I switched to some fleecy moccasins, and I have never looked back. Something you can slip on is especially helpful after a C section because you can’t lean over and they make you walk the halls to speed your recovery.
- Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, glasses because they won’t let me wear contacts during surgery, deodorant, makeup remover, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, hair brush, Lanolin (make sure you have this for sore nipples! The hospital should have some if you forget it), chapstick (this is another one that is included in all of the blog lists, I’m guessing it is also more applicable to vaginal births because I have never needed it). I bring my makeup bag just in case, but who am I kidding. Hair dryer if you are really ambitious.
- Snacks. Breastfeeding makes me RAVENOUS, so I am always glad to have some snacks on hand for those late night cravings while feeding the baby. I love anything small that I can keep on my hospital tray so that I don’t have to wake up my husband to bring me something. (As if I could wake the poor exhausted man up anyway. I swear he sleeps like the dead at the hospital.)
- iPhone. Because duh. The world needs to know about your newest blessing. I am going to wipe it down with a little bit of rubbing alcohol because there is seriously nothing more bacteria filled than your phone. Well, that might be a bit hyperbolic but I am going to wipe that filthy thing down anyway.
- Pre-Admission Papers. So we can sail through check-in and go straight to the maternity ward.
- Clothes/Pajamas. If he is staying with you. I try to cover all my bases because sometimes the hospital is sweltering and sometimes it is freezing. Also, the nurses made a point of telling us during our hospital tour that they feel uncomfortable with the husbands lounging about in their underwear, so pajamas are a must.
- Pillow and blanket. I keep suggesting he bring a blow up mattress because I know that little couch in the hospital room is SO uncomfortable, but he declines every time. So, I bring as fancy a pillow and blanket for him as I can to make his stay a bit more enjoyable.
- Change. In case he gets thirsty and needs a quick trip to the vending machine.
- iPad. My husband gets bored with the limited hospital channels and we take full advantage of some shows on the iPad. It is also nice for all those long nursing sessions.
That is what is in my bag! Any of your must-haves I have missed? I still have time to pack them!
Also worth revisiting: