Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What I Packed in My Hospital Bag

In the last weeks of my pregnancy, I read through many hospital bag checklists on websites, blogs, and online forums. I compared them to figure out the most common must-haves and then decided which of the other items I thought I might need or want.

Since these lists were a helpful starting point for me, I figured I'd share what I packed, what I actually used, and what I didn't use during my two-day hospital stay. If and when I go for my next time around, I'd probably bring most of this again.

What I brought and used:
Wallet with ID and insurance card
Cord blood donation documents
Contact solution and case
Face wash (might be helpful to bring facial wipes if you don't want to get out of bed)
Travel shampoo/conditioner/body wash
Hair bands and bobby pins
Hair dryer (they had one there, similar to a hotel one, but I liked using my own)
Phone charger
Shorts and tank top (wore these to the hospital)
Maternity yoga pants
Nursing top
Nursing bras
Nursing pads
Lanolin nipple cream
Snacks (!!!)
Treats for the L&D nurses (next time, I might bring something for the postpartum nurses too)

What I brought but didn't use:
Hospital pre-registration forms (in case they didn't get them when we faxed them over)
Hair straightener
Nightgown with buttons down the front (easy access for nursing)
Nursing tank
Maxi dress
Maxi pads
A couple of magazines

What I brought for baby and used:
Long-sleeve gown

What I brought for baby but didn't use:
Baby wipes
Nail file (for baby's nails)
Swaddle blankets (2)
Long-sleeve top

Scott brought his laptop and camera with their chargers, as well as a bag of clothes and toiletries.

I packed all of those options for the baby because I wasn't sure what I'd want to use as a "going home" outfit. I chose the gown because it had little fold-over sleeves to keep Evelyn from scratching herself and it didn't rub her umbilical cord stump. During our stay, she just wore a long-sleeve top, diaper, receiving blanket, and hat, all provided by the hospital.

As for me, I wore loose shorts and a maternity tank top to the hospital and ended up wearing those shorts under my bathrobe the day after delivery. (Funny, I thought I'd wear a real outfit, not sweats/lounging clothes, to the hospital, but when it came time to go, I was not feeling like changing... I just wanted to get there!) Otherwise, I stayed in the hospital gown most of the time because I didn't want to get my clothes sweaty or stained (same reason I used the hospital's towels and mesh underwear). I wore the maternity yoga pants and a nursing top on the way home.

One more tip: Make sure your significant other can carry most of the bags/stuff on his own. We pulled up and valeted our car when we arrived, so we didn't have far to walk, but in the midst of contractions, I only wanted to carry our little bag of snacks and the treats for the nurses into the hospital (if I remember correctly... ha!). My stuff and the items for the baby were in two large tote bags, and Scott carried those, along with his own bag, so I was glad I didn't over-pack.

Hope this helps any of you expectant mamas out there! Moms -- anything you would add to the list?


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