I've got my hospital bag all packed and ready to go. One of the most common questions I see on birth boards is "What do you really need to take to the hospital?" I can't speak for other moms, but I know the first time around I waaaaaay over packed. This time around I'm keeping it to the bare minimum....for me anyway. Here's what made the cut:
1) My pillow from home with a not white pillow case on it. I'm kind of a weirdo when it comes to where I lay my head at night, so this is a MUST for me. And our regular sheets at home are white, as are the hospital's. I don't want my coveted pillow getting confused for the hospitals and taken out with theirs, so I have a different color case. Obviously I didn't actually pack my pillow yet, because I need to sleep on it until then. But, I'll be sure it gets grabbed on our way out the door. (The green case is in my bag though)
2) A robe. I'll spend my time there in the hospital gowns. (either the one I made, or the one they provide) So, it's nice to have a little extra warmth, in case it's over air conditioned, and butt coverage for walking around. I got this robe for my last hospital stay with Jackson.
4) New slippers. I'm a slipper wearer. I wear them at home 90% of the time. I figure giving birth is a reasonable enough excuse to get new, not stinky and dirty ones. I found these pink ones on clearance for $7 at Walmart.
5) Toiletries. This is kind of self-explainatory, but here is a basic breakdown of what I'm bringing. Shampoo, conditioner, an unscented bar of soap (I don't want anything too offensive smelling on my skin, for baby's sake), my lotion I can't live without (also unscented), two travel toothbrushes (one for me and one for Eric. He can go home to shower and get ready, so he won't be taking any other toiletries, but a toothbrush for him certainly won't hurt anything), my chapstick that I also can't live without (I'm kind of addicted to chap stick), deodorant, a brush and a travel hairdryer. I'll probably throw in a little bit of make up before I leave for the hospital, but nothing too major. Probably just my basic bare minerals stuff.
6) My unmentionables.....that I'll be mentioning here. Okay, here's the deal. When a baby comes out of your who-ha (or apparently even if you get a c-section) there is lots of blood that comes out too. The hospital will give you these mesh things that go over your who-ha that are supposed to resemble underwear. I'm sure there are many many women out there that wouldn't be caught dead in them. I'm NOT one of those women. I wear them. For me, there was so much tearing down there, that the entire first day, I had an ice pack down there, and there was so much blood that I really didn't want to ruin anything of mine. So, I wear them while I'm there and save my granny panties for when I go home. As far as the other unmentionables to the north. Last time, I got a night time nursing bra. This was a total lifesaver for me! I wore them around the clock the first few days, especially in the hospital. My mom had to go buy me another one while I was in the hospital. They are super comfortable, and nursing is an already uncomfortable process (for me anyway), so anything to help is a-okay in my book. I'm still not even sure if I'll nurse or not, but I'll be wearing these in the hospital, regardless.
7) An outfit to go home in. I just put this in this picture to show you, but I don't have anything actually packed yet. I don't have enough clothes that fit right now to take anything out of rotation.
8) My phone and charger. I would be lost if I forgot either of these things. I'd send Eric home to get them if I forgot them, probably even during labor.
9) My camera bag with cameras. I'm bringing my easy point and shoot, which has video features, and my good DSL. The batteries are fully charged and the memory cards are completely empty. To me, this is the most important thing for me to bring to the hospital.
Here's what I'm NOT bringing that lots of other people suggest you bring.
*Anything for labor. Like relaxing music or books to read or massage stuff for Eric to use on me. The only thing I need during labor is an epidural. And maybe my iPhone.
*Pajamas or other clothes to wear while there. Lots of women are more comfortable in their own clothes. I, for one, was more comfortable in the hospital gowns. I had lots and lots of stitches and swelling and bleeding last time around, and was being checked down there every couple hours. It would have been a major pain to have to pull my pants down each time, not to mention that I really don't want anything pressing up against it.
*Food or snacks. Personally, I kind of liked the hospital food, and they gave me tons of it.
*Medicine. Again, they will provide it for you.
*Pads. A lot of women have a brand preference, and I certainly do at home, but at the hospital I don't care. At all. In fact, that first day, they even ripped the pads open and put ice packs on the inside of them for me, which was genius!
I also have a small bag packed for the baby. Here is what I included:
1) My diaper bag. I could have totally thrown everything in my bag, but I just think this bag is cute and I feel like taking it. So sue me.
2) The "My name is _____" shirts that I made for little one. I made one in red that's a newborn size, and another one in blue that's 0-3 months, in case I have a larger baby or in case I just feel like putting him in a blue one. (And NO. We still don't have a name picked out!)
3) His little take home outfit. With Jackson, his take home outfit was waaaaaay too big for him to wear, so my mom went out and got him a new preemie size one. We'll see if this one fits, but it might not....
4) A receiving blanket. The hospital will give you blankets to use while you are there, but last time they told me not to take it home. So I didn't, like a good little rule follower. I will probably take 1 or 2 this time. I didn't realize that the hospital ones are much bigger than the ones you can buy at the store and wish I would have had a couple at home with us.
Stuff I'm NOT bringing for baby:
*Pretty much everything. The hospital will provide clothes, diapers, wipes, medicine, formula, blankets, hats, brushes. Seriously everything. And make sure you save room in your suitcase to take all of that stuff home with you!