Guys! I am back! Last week we took a much needed break and now we are back as a family of seven and I am soooo grateful for a healthy and happy little girl in the house! Can you even?! I mean….I am a boy mom with a GIRL!?! How did this even happen?! Don’t answer that. I was there. I know how it happened 🙂
The great thing is that having a newborn with a crazy wonderful birth story (I can’t even wait to share it!) and a little bit of a tumultuous recovery (whoa…I thought I knew what to expect!)…well…it is forcing me to sit down a lot and now I can share all these posts I’ve planned. It’s gonna be a jam packed week….and I am excited to share it all!
That being said – I wanted to jump right back on the bandwagon with a post all about the necessary things for your hospital bag. I have done this five times now….packing the bag….and all five times, I’ve had plenty of time to plan out the items I was taking with me to the delivery. So for all you fellow hospital-delivering-mama’s here is my take on what is necessary for putting in your tote before heading to the stork center 🙂
Camera – You guys…this is numero uno. If you bring nothing else, bring your camera. You will want to have memories of your little one’s first day in the world! Remember to make a list of things to capture – the clock in the room the moment your son or daughter is born, the doctor who delivered them, the sweet expressions of visitors and a couple shots of the baby so fresh and new! They change daily so make sure to capture everything you can.
Low Light Lens – my favorite lens for low light is the nifty fifty….it is completely affordable and with a small amount of practice, you can capture some really great shots even in dimly lit hospital rooms.
Extra battery – Duh.
Flip flops – The hospital should provide you with a gown and socks – but I hate hate hate the socks. I always ask if I can wear shoes or flip flops instead….they let my swollen feet feel more comfortable in bed (um no thank you to socks under covers) and while I am walking the baby out.
Hospital gown – you can totally just wear the hospital gown provided to you. I have….four out of five times. The one time I brought my own, it was so special. This time with Ella I forgot my new one at home (in my defense, I had it in the bag and took it out to try it on. FASHION SHOW!) but this is the one I had. Believe me…with all the pictures you will take in this thing…you will want a pretty top on 🙂
Face wipes & lotion & other toiletries – Labor and delivery can take a long time….in fact, you might be in there for over 24 hours before ANYTHING happens. So while you wait on little one’s arrival, make sure you have the things that can distract you and make you feel semi human.
Post Delivery Items
Bed blanket – After delivery, you spend about 24-48 hours on average in the hospital. It might seem nuts but having a pretty and soft blanket on your bed will make a huge difference. It acts as a backdrop for photos of little one and it smells less ‘sterile’ than the hospital provided ones….which are usually a thinner weave that is anything but plush.
Lanolin – Girls. If you are at all planning on breastfeeding, don’t wait on the hospital to give you Lanolin….just buy a tube and bring it and use it from the git-go. I call it Boob Crisco….and yes, everything is still gonna hurt….but this makes it hurt just a little less.
Black stretchy pants – I don’t know who wears the white jeans the day after giving birth….that sounds like a tragedy waiting to happen. Get some black stretchy maternity pants….like a cotton yoga type pant with lots of forgiveness. These will be your best friend.
Robe – Your hospital gown will take a beating. If it comes out unscathed you are a chosen one. But seriously…there will come a moment when you won’t want to wear the hospital gown. That’s when it’s time for the stretchy pants and robe combo. Get one that is plush with pockets and is not too long (you don’t want it to get caught or all a twist as you get in and out of bed).
Warm socks – Since you don’t have thermostat control in your hospital room (at least we never did!), it’s always smart to have several layers and bring some warm socks just in case!
Snack – Right after giving birth, you will probably be super hungry. You can totally eat vending machine food or hospital cafeteria food…but a handy snack is priceless….especially if labor was long. In the past I have packed a piece of fruit, a granola bar, even sugar cookies (ok ok maybe those are in my purse even when I’m not going to the hospital).
Nursing friendly tops – I love love love my nursing tops that are extra long…especially in the hospital where it seems like the last thing you feel is human and the last thing you want to worry about is flashing your father in law a full set of raw nips. This year I brought this one with me.
Comfortable nursing bra – I gotta tell you….I’ve been through them all. All the bras. My favorite is the stretchy, thin, nursing bra with no underwire, a little upper back support and it is ridiculously comfortable.
Swaddles – The hospital does provide swaddles….and I know some moms swear that they love them. Since they are thick and smaller in size, there is a bit of learning curve with them. The bigger muslin swaddles are my favorite and I get pictures of the little one in her hospital swaddle and in our own. I even bring extras for covering the hospital pad in the bassinet.
Jammies – In most cases, your little one will be diapered and put in a little white shirt but my babies are so big that it looks like a crop top 🙂 So to avoid the baby looking like it is going to Coachella, I always bring jammies for the little one to wear. It’s not a bad idea to bring footless ones too in case your baby has to have foot pricks for jaundice or sugar testing. This time I got Ella some monogramed ones that I am pretty obsessed with.
Boppy – Of course! It helps too in case you have siblings that want to hold their new baby sister or brother 🙂
Going home outfit – Make sure you bring a coming home outfit for your new little bundle of joy. I always pick jammies over a gown because the carseat may not buckle correctly and keep their tiny legs covered. This is a moment we always take photos of and I made it a tradition to have the boys all wear the same coming-home outfit.
Going home items
Carseat – This is a no brainer. New moms…they won’t let you leave the hospital without a carseat. Keep that in mind. We love the one pictured above and we are on our third one! It is our favorite because most strollers are compatible with it and also it is more narrow so other carseats or boosters can fit on the same row. And yes, we have FIVE kids in carseats or boosters so we know the struggle.
Diaper bag – Go ahead and start from the get-go having a stocked diaper bag in the car. We have a long ride home from the hospital and we have been known to make stops along the way (picking up the kids at moms house, picking up a prescription from the doctor, etc.) so you may need to feed the little one or change a wet diaper.
Blanket – a little plush baby blanket (one that is warmer than a swaddle) is never bad to have in the car. We received this one and love it!
Don’t forget to bring your license and insurance card and all your necessary paperwork too. You will also be sent home with a bunch of papers for the newborn and yourself so make sure you have a spot to keep those safe. I always say that the basic rule is – if you think you may want it….throw it in the back of the car. You don’t have to bring it in….and when I say you, I totally mean your partner in crime 🙂 The point is – you may want it, you may not. For our first, we brought a song list and mini speakers to play for the delivery….after that? nope. but we had it in the car just in case. And for those of you that are needing some post-pregnancy must-haves, I wrote this old post about what I loved after my first. Maybe I should do an updated version of that now that we have five kiddos under our belt 🙂 Happy packing y’all!