Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hospital Bag Must-Haves List

One of the scariest & most exciting things to prepare for while you’re pregnant is your trip to the hospital. Giving birth is something that you simply can’t describe or understand until you do it. I think that’s partly because everyone’s experience is so different so you really can’t predict how it will go…and partly because it is the hardest, emotional, frightening, exciting, and most wonderful thing you will ever experience! I think the nervous excitement that comes with birth has nowhere else to go but to prepare. Which is why, us mommas seem to obsess over packing our hospital bags & getting the nursery ready. 

After our labor scare & baby's near arrival last week, I thought it was time to make sure our hospital bag is packed & all ready to go! Here's what I've thrown in my bag that now sits ready & waiting.

For Mama:
1. RobeA soft and comfy robe is a great transition piece that makes you feel a little more put together. It is low maintenance, warm & still allows easy access to breastfeeding, nurses & bathroom runs. This is the one I have{Almost got this one}.
2. Hospital Gown- Having your own hospital gown{or two, Labor/Delivery} instantly makes you feel comfortable. I love this one because it has snaps in all the right places{front for nursing/back for modesty} plus the print is darling.
3. Pajama bottoms- You wont want to wear pants right away, but if you are going to be at the hospital for a few days, you'll want something comfy & loose fitting to change into.
4. Sweater- Hospitals are cold by nature, so I always pack a couple sweaters, a thick & cozy one {like this or this} as well as a stretchy zip up one. 
5. Slippers- You'll want something to walk around in the room{if you've had a C-Sec you'll already have compression socks}, these slippers are super comfortable & easy to slip on.{Love these too}
6. Nursing Essentials-A cute and comfortable nursing bra is a must if you plan on nursing & a couple of nursing pads, because after a few days at the hospital chances are your milk will have come in. {I also tossed in a loose nursing camisole}.
7. Postpartum Belly Wrap-This is great for healing & recovery, it helps shrink your uterus as well as aides in bringing back your shape a little quicker.
8. Toiletries- Most hospitals provide basic toiletries, but they’re probably not going to be the same quality as what you're used to.  And since we will be there for a few days, I like bringing my own. This includes: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Hairbands, Brush,Pads. I also bring a few makeup items to freshen up a bit{you'd be surprised how good this makes you feel, especially when your face is all puffy}. 
9. Lip Balm- You'll be surprised how chapped your lips get during labor/delivery! That's why, I always have a couple lip balms handy.
10. Electronics- You'll  probably remember to bring your camera & phone to capture all those first moments with your baby, but don't forget about an extra memory card, chargers, tablet/computer{if you are staying for a few days} & video camera. You will take a ton of pictures, so be sure to bring a long all those little extras.
11. Pillow- Hospitals have awful flat pillows & if you'd just be staying a night you could probably "rough it", but three nights is just too long to go without a comfortable night's rest. I recommend having a cute sham{that is not white}, to avoid it being left behind. 
12. Baby Journal & pen- You'll want to have a journal to record your birth story, thoughts & feelings while they are fresh in your mind. And most hospitals will stamp your baby's footprint in a journal, so if that's something you'd like to do, be sure to bring yours.

13. Bag- You don't need anything overly fancy, a big weekender bag will suffice. This is the bag I have.
For Baby:
14. Baby Outfit- You won't know what size your little bundle of joy will be, so its good to bring a couple different sizes. 
15. Creams & wipes- Although, some hospitals provide diaper cream & wipes, I like to bring my own{this, this} just in case. {If you don't want to carry extra things, be sure to  call your hospital to get a detailed list of what they provide}
16. Swaddle Blankets: I like to bring a couple different swaddle blankets one thick & one thin. We have this one, I love how big & stretchy it is.
17. Nursing Cover- You'll quickly realize that privacy is a luxury. You'll have so many people coming in and out of your room to check in on you & baby throughout the day & night, it will be so nice to have a nursing cover to throw on while you have "guests".
18Car seat- You'll definitely need a car seat to bring your baby home, but make sure it has been properly installed beforehand so you can have one less thing to worry about when you're trying to get home.
19. Accessories- I like to bring a baby hat & socks to keep baby warm, and mittens to prevent any scratching . Oh and we also bring a couple cute headbands for pictures.
Extras {not pictured}
Snacks- The cafeteria completely shuts down at night time & if you didn't pack any snacks you'll be starving during night-feedings. So plan on bringing some snacks, vitamin water or cash for vending machines. Also, don't forget mints,gum & suckers! You won't be able to eat anything during labor{besides ice} & it will be late into the evening before you are offered anything substantial{warm broth & jello} after a C-Sec anyway. 
Important Docs- Insurance card & ID.
Gifts- Big sister gifts that they get from baby & can entertain them while they are visiting. And a gift for Hubby to make his hospital stay just a tad bit easier:).

Something I like to do within my hospital bag is sort my "essentials" in clear vinyl bags{like these} by category{Labor, Delivery, Toiletries, Baby, Snacks, Electronics}. So If I ask my hubby to grab something, he'll know exactly where it is.
What were your favorite hospital stay essentials? Were there items that were particularly useful or items you wished you'd brought with you?