Packing’s on my mind a lot these days…between packing for the hospital and thinking about packing for our upcoming trip this summer, my brain’s swirling with ways to be super efficient with my packing adventures.
I’ve Googled lots of packing lists for hospital bags and they all pretty much say the same few things: pjs, comfy clothes to come home in, your own pillow and blanket, an outfit for baby to wear home, magazines or books and toiletries. Having packed for the hospital twice before, I’ve got the basics covered but wanted to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything. Honestly, what I specifically packed was a blur both times previously. My first pregnancy I packed for what I thought was a “normal” birth that turned into an emergency c-section and my second time around, I knew it would be a c-section. This time around, it’s another c-section for me which will slightly affect what I would bring. One thing to keep in mind is that most hospital rooms are not huge so you won’t want a bunch of stuff lying around if you’re not going to use it.
Here’s my feedback on the “what to pack” lists:
• PJs – let’s be honest here….having a baby is very messy. Yes your own personal pjs might be more comfy, but chances are, they’ll also get ruined in the process. Not worth it to me – I’ll stick with those super sexy hospital gowns that I’m already paying for in the over-inflated price they’re charging me to have this baby.
• Clothes to wear home – yes you will need these. I’ve seen people suggest a dress or overalls. I’m guessing they mean a long, flowy dress that my luck I’d probably trip over. No thanks. I also couldn’t imagine overalls. When you haven’t had a baby, they’re a ton of work to get off when you’ve got to go to the bathroom….I can’t imagine after having a baby. I’ve always worn just sweatpants or jogging pants and a t-shirt. Nothing fancy at all that I couldn’t live without.
• Pillows and blankets – again, having a baby is a messy thing. Both times previously, I wasn’t thinking about comfort or missing my pillow from my bed – I was focused on other things like contractions or the baby I’d just had. I think this is very much a personal preference. If it will make you more comfortable, bring them. I would suggest bringing pillow cases that you don’t care about in case they get stained. Another thing would be to get some kind of plastic cover for the pillow to protect that as well.
• Outfit for baby – this is a big one for me. I don’t know why I obsess so much over what the kid’s going to wear home – it’s not like we’re stopping at the store and might run into someone or have a house full of guests waiting for our arrival. None the less, I’ve already started debating what this little princess will wear when we’re ready to leave. I will say that I’ve currently got two in two different sizes set out – one for warmer weather and one for cooler weather. I’ve got both newborn and 0 – 3 month sized items. Neither of my boys really fit into newborn clothes and if they did, it wasn’t for long at all.
• Magazines and books – this is another one I just don’t get. With my first, I didn’t go to the hospital until I was already in labor and was not interested in catching up on reading even once I’d had an epidural (after about 24 hours of labor). The pre-op room for my second wasn’t really set up for reading either and I was so nervous and excited I don’t think I could have concentrated on whatever I was reading. Once I had my babies, I didn’t have a lot of time to read anything. The first time around, my hospital room was pretty much always full of visitors and the second time around my time was spent in the RNICU rocking my baby. Things will be different this time since we don’t really have family here and I’m praying for no NICU. The book can wait…I’ve waited nine months to sit and hold this baby so that’s what I’ll do.
• Toiletries – if you’re picky about what you use on your hair or body, I suggest you bring your own. The first time I took a shower after having the boys, I didn’t really care what the heck I was using. I still felt like I had been run over by a truck. I’m not super picky anyways on what specific brands of body wash or hair products. I’ve got some travel size stuff tucked away that I’ll throw in to have on hand.
Other things to think about:
• Outfit for pictures – every hospital I’ve been in takes pictures of the babies. I know the prices are crazy but, if you can afford it, at least buy the smallest package they offer. You’ll only get the chance for those pictures once and once you don’t have them, you’ll want them. Be sure to let the nurses know that you’ve got an outfit too. Sometimes the picture people come in, grab the baby and they’re gone before you totally grasp what’s happened or you might be sleeping while they’re there. If your significant other or the nurses know, many times they’ll say something for you and the photographers will come back when you’re awake or provide the items if they know where they are.
• Breastfeeding items – if you’re planning on breastfeeding, make sure you’ve got pads and cream. Most hospital gift shops sell those items but they’re not going to be cheap and by the time you realize you need them, it will be too late. I would suggest leaving the breast pump at home unless you know you won’t be able to feed your baby whenever you’d like.
Things to not worry about (leave at home):
• Money – chances are, you’re not going to pay for the delivery in cash and hospitals don’t offer safes like hotel rooms so it’s best to keep your money at home.
• Anything of value or that you can’t replace – sometimes things happen very quickly when you’re having a baby. When I had my emergency c-section they were checking and pulling off any jewelry I might have had on including rings and earrings. If it’s special to you and you can’t go buy another to replace it, it’s best to leave it at home. This includes techie items like iPads, laptops and those things since you won’t be in your room 24/7 and there will be numerous other people in there all hours of the day and night. Once you’ve had your baby and are settled into your hospital room, your significant other can bring them from home or the car and lock them back up when they’re not in use. Don’t let this happy time be overshadowed by something like having an item stolen, misplaced or broken.
So what am I missing? What did you take with you when you had your little one?