Paging Rosie: What to Pack for the Hospital
Let me start by saying the very first bag I packed to go to the hospital to deliver my oldest son was by no means a standard to live by. I have come a long way since then and I am pleased to say my bags have been packed perfectly. The first time I had some great crime books (I kid you not, I thought I would have time to catch up on some much needed beach reading) and Skinny Jeans (yes, feel free to mock me, I thought I’d be able to wear them home from the hospital).
Since this first bag packing attempt I have been asked by many what are the necessities one needs to bring to the hospital and at long last I think I have the perfect list that I’d like to share with you. I do want to preface this by saying that there may be some things on there that don’t seem particularly glamorous or maybe even useful, but trust me after you’ve had that sweet babe it will all make sense.
- Moisturizing stick for your lips, sounds random but your lips can actually get very dry during delivery and there is nothing more annoying than cracked lips when you are trying to focus on getting through a contraction.
- Hair Ties, even though you may arrive at the hospital with beautiful locks, you will soon want them swept out of your face.
- Snacks, you won’t be able to eat during labor but your partner will probably be starving especially if it’s a long delivery and believe me when I say you need his support and energy. Also, after you’ve had your baby you will probably be hungrier than you’ve ever been and for reasons I still cannot understand you’ll never be able to find anything scrumptious at the hospital, so come prepared.
- If you live in a city where food delivery is the norm (Hello New York City), bring some delivery menus with you to the hospital. I can’t tell you how nice it was to order in our favorite Italian after both our son’s were born and not have to eat the questionable fish that came at hospital mean time. No one wants to eat fish after you’ve given birth, I don’t care how much you love it!
- Comfortable clothes that won’t make you feel self conscious about your belly. It will probably look as though you are 5 months pregnant for the first few days and so bring clothes that you feel good in and don’t accentuate the belly. The hospital is no place to worry about getting back into shape, it’s to relax and enjoy your new baby. I suggest clothes that also allow you to easily nurse, if you plan to do so, and that you are comfortable taking visitors and pictures in. Cozy silk pajamas with button fronts are great (buttons make it easy for nursing), yoga type clothing with cozy wrap cardigans are also my favorite (especially as most hospitals tend to be very cool).
- Two Nursing Bras and breastfeeding pillow; this is bulky but well worth it.
- Flip-flops or similar type shoes you don’t mind getting wet and walking around the hospital in. Many hospital rooms have the showers in the bathrooms and you may feel more comfortable keeping your shoes on in the shower.
- Mini Grooming Kit. Moisturizer, make-up, make-up remover, hair care, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste, mini nail file for your baby (many babies are born with rough and long nails and you’ll want to file them down so they don’t scratch their face).
- 7 -10 pairs of underwear that you don’t mind throwing away. No need to go into too much detail here but the disposable underwear provided by the hospital can be a bit flimsy so a pack or two of cotton panties is a good idea. If you are going to have a c-section or think you might make sure they are very low rise to go under the scar.
- Depends (yes, the adult undergarment), not glamorous but you’ll probably need them so best to be prepared especially when you have visitors so you avoid any accidents on the way to the restroom.
- Be prepared with a contact list of people that you want to send the email or text to once the baby is born. Most people do it straight from their phones but make sure you everyone’s contact information on hand easily.
- Cell phone charger, you are going to want to tell everyone the great news when your wee one has arrived so make sure to bring your charger.
- Note pad and pen in case you want to write any important information down that they may tell you at the hospital. Or you may just want to write down some thoughts once you have met your baby. It is truly one of the most amazing times in a person’s life and it can often be a bit of a haze so don’t be afraid to write things down from feelings and emotions to questions you want to ask the doctor or nurses when they come on their rounds.
- If you plan on nursing I suggest you bring the number to a trusted lactation consultant to the hospital. Many hospitals will provide lactation consultants upon request but they have many people to see and often don’t spend enough time with you. If you have any problems or concerns make sure to call the lactation consultant and have them come to the hospital or meet you when you get home. It is better to fix the problem before it gets too bad. So the earlier you can see a lactation consultant, if you are experiencing difficulty, the better.
- Going home outfit for the baby and for you. The hospital will probably dress your baby in a little kimono, hat and swaddle blanket. I suggest bringing socks, blanket, and two outfits of your own for the baby. Remember though the clothes should be soft and comfortable and not complicated. I know you probably have the urge to dress your baby in a cute three piece suit but stick with the onesies and kimono sets while the belly button is still healing.
- No need to bring diapers, wipes, bassinet etc…because the hospital will provide all this for you.
- Most of all, remember your partner can always go and get what you forgot. As long as you and your new family are together enjoying the first very special moments together, nothing else in the world is really every going to seem as important again.