We have just a couple weeks left until our baby is due! It’s time to start packing that hospital bag. After my experiences with the boys, I have a good idea of what I will be packing, so I thought I’d share my checklist.
My best advice for packing a hospital bag is to pack light, but thoughtfully. Having less stuff is is helpful because you will most likely change rooms after giving birth, and you’ll have an extra bundle leaving with you when it’s time to head for the car! It will also make it easier for the person you will be asking to root around in your bag if you have an IV.
One thing I would never forget now is earplugs. After my first baby was born, my room was right beside the nurses station. And after the second little one, the pipes above my room clanked all night. The rooms were very nice, but noise is unpredictable! Pack earplugs so you can get some much needed sleep. You can take sleep shifts with your partner and stick them in your ears (or just one ear) when it’s your turn to crash. I also use them to take a nap the next day.
I used lip balm a lot and was happy to have socks in my chilly room. I felt like a new woman the next day when I took a shower, blow dried my hair, and put a little make up on. Might as well, because who knows the next time that will happen!
What you feel most comfortable wearing after giving birth is up to you. Nursing tanks are nice because you spend a lot of time nursing if you are breastfeeding, but I also wore regular PJs with a nursing bra and did just fine. A robe is nice to cover up if you go in the hallway or have visitors.
As far as what to wear home, probably bring maternity pants and a flowy top — something you would have worn at about six or seven months (sorry). Dresses aren’t a great idea if you are breastfeeding for obvious reasons.
And don’t forget about Dad. After our first baby, Marcello didn’t have anything to sleep in that first night. Poor guy slept in his clothes on a stiff couch. The next time around I packed a T-shirt, shorts, and flip flops for him to change into at night. He was very grateful. The flip flops, by the way, were good for him to slip on and walk around in the middle of the night so he wasn’t barefoot and didn’t have to put on his sneakers.
It’s also a good idea to pack a few snacks for him — and for you after labor until you get a real meal, because you will feel like you have never eaten before.
Don’t worry about packing a whole lot for baby. The hospital will have most of what he needs. Don’t go crazy, but I would suggest bringing two or three different newborn-sized sleepers. Two sleepers labeled size newborn can vary quite a bit in size and shape. He might be a little squirt, or he might be a big boy! Who knows. My first son spit up all over his sleeper I had just put on him to go home, so I was glad I had a spare. The hospital will provide diapers and wipes, and even a pacifier if you like.
I was grateful a friend told me to bring my Boppy to the hospital. It makes things easier when you’re trying to get the hang of breastfeeding. Sometimes you feel like your arm might fall off when you have baby in just the right position but the thin hospital pillows have mysteriously escaped out from under your elbow.
The most important thing for baby is the car seat, of course. If you’ve never put one in before, you can visit safecar.gov to find a car seat inspector near you. Our local fire station is qualified and a fire fighter showed us how to do it before our first son was born, just for peace of mind.
When you leave the hospital, don’t forget to take the extra pads, disposable underwear, first aid spray, baby’s pacifier and baby boogie syringe left in your room. You’ve already paid for it, you might as well get to use it.
Congratulations on your new sweet bundle! I’m wishing you a healthy, happy baby and a good night’s sleep :)
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