Everyone knows you should bring a bag to the hospital with them when having a baby, but everyone is not to sure about what exactly they need to pack. Well as a mother of 3 and an RN who instructed first time mothers on situations such as this, here are my recommendations for mom, baby, and dad (if he stays).
1. Lose fitting clothes: sweats and favorite tee-shirt, a dress, me being a nurse, I took scrubs. Basically something quick and easy to wear home.
2. Indoor/Outdoor slide on shoe and socks- while some are just fine with the socks the hospital gives you, I prefer to be comfortable at all times when away from home, which means my own belongings. The soft socks fuzzy socks (I call them slippies), are by far my favorite!
3. A couple night gowns, for after delivery, unless you prefer to wear the hospital issued back open over-sized gowns. I suggest one with buttons, especially for moms who plan on nursing.
4. Underwear for going HOME: I STRONGLY recommend using whatever the hospital issue you for undergarment to avoid ruining yours until time to go home. There will be a great deal of bleeding and possibly some urine accidents. By discharge it usually slows down and you are less accident prone to blood or urine.
5. Always with Wings Super Infinity brand sanitary napkins. I love these for you barely know they are there and absorbs WELL. You do have to keep in mind you did just deliver a baby so you will have to change your pad frequently regardless of what brand of sanitary napkin you choose to use.
6. Personal Toiletries- Shampoo, conditioner, lotion (hospital water is drying), toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, brush, make-up and nail polish (if you wear it for picture day), floss, hair tie (especially for labor, and afterwards), and for some hair scarf.
7. Camera and charger (make sure it’s charged and has the memory card inside). A disposable camera would also suffice if you do not own a camera.
8. Cellphone CHARGER- To give your friends and family the good news via Facebook and twitter, and to snap a few quick photos to upload along with the news.
9, List of important numbers- I know this sounds silly, but from experience I left my charger home, thus my phone died and had such a post-partum brain, I couldn’t remember my own mother’s number. Which all lead to a fit full of tears!
10. Ipad, books, crossword puzzles, magazines etc. for entertainment when you all alone and bored
11. Snacks- Hospital food is not the best, and some snacks to get you through until the next meal or late at night may come in very handy!
12. The Birthing Plan (if you have one)- explaining to everyone who is apart of your delivery and stay exactly how you want things to go.
13. A warm blanket….it gets EXTREMELY COLD in those hospital rooms! This thing saved my life!
14. The hubby- you will need a ride- it’s very difficult to drive with contractions, trust me!
For the bundle of joy:
Let me put it like this, the baby will get EVERYTHING HE OR SHE NEEDS OF GREAT QUALITY while in the hospital unlike you. The only things you really need to pack are
1. Going home outfit- make sure you have layers depending on the time of year you deliver and a newborn hat
2. The carseat- most hospitals will not discharge mom without one.
3. Diaper bag if you are not going directly home after discharge from the hospital (we’ll discuss what to pack in the diaper bag in another post).
4. Change of clothes for hospital stay- this is totally not necessary, for the baby will be getting assessed frequently and the sleepers and clothes are just another layer for the staff to tussle with, the t-shirts given in the hospital are just fine
5. A soft photogenic blanket and outfit for pictures- the outfit really is not necessary for the hospital pictures, I really feel the “birthday suit” look turns out to look the best. However, it’s whatever suits’ your preference.
The baby book- I say bring this so you can get the footprints in the book for a keepsake when the hospital staff are making the birth record!
Usually dad does not stay the entire stay, although in most hospitals he’s welcomed to. If he does, he may need ALMOST everything as mom will need (minus the sanitary napkins, and nightgowns), but a a guy usually some clean clothes, a toothbrush (you guys can share toothpaste), and a change of underwear will get him through his stay. You guys can share the rest or make sure you pack enough for two in mom’s bag!
If anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to comment! Oh and make sure your nails are done, for the hospital photographers almost always take a picture with you holding the baby’s foot, or the baby holding your finger….ENJOY!