Things like this don’t exactly get less exciting even if you are on your 5th or 6th kid but they definitely get more precise.
At my last appointment we talked briefly about hospital registration and stay so this week I’ve had the idea of packing a hospital bag in my mind. I am currently 34 weeks (I looked it up) but at my 18 week ultrasound baby measured a week and a half ahead so I tend to round-up a week so we could say 35 weeks and the suggestion is to have one packed by the time you reach 36 weeks. I’ve never packed a bag this early, I think with Willem I only had some toiletries thrown to the side even on my due date, Harper was induced a week past his due date (5 years ago today in fact) and I packed all day before checking in to the hospital at 7pm. I also don’t expect to go into labor before 41 weeks but for some reason this time around I am so paranoid about not having what I want there with me. It’s not that I require much nor do we live very far from the hospital I just want to be comfortable and not worry and I know .
If you look around on the internet and on pinterest there are lists that include things like: tissues, 2 sizes of underwear, pads, change, cell phone, tablet, laptop, laptop charger, a flashlight or lamp (what?), desktop, 5 pairs of socks, 2 toothbrushes incase one falls on the floor, your eyelashes and your own tv remote, etc etc. I’m exaggerating but really, in most cases you will be gone less than 48 hours and you will be fairly busy during that time, no need to take all the extra stuff. I don’t even take things like a breast pump with me because a) there isn’t anything to pump b) I hate that thing why do I have to attach to it as soon as baby is out c) it’s just another bag to carry in and out of the hospital and d) if I really need to pump the hospital has them there.
Here is my list with some explanation:
Clothing: I packed heavy in this area because I prefer to be in my own clothes at the hospital instead of the traditional gown. I also prefer to wear my own clothes during labor but stick to a stretchy skirt and sports bra. All of these are based on comfort and keeping clean, mainly because there will be bleeding. Another thing not specified is going-home clothes for me. It’s a 15 minute drive with just Chad, baby and me, yoga pants and a t-shirt work just fine.
1 soft nursing bra
1 maternity camisol
1 wetbag for dirty clothes
1 pair of socks
1 button down sleep shirt
2 pairs of black yoga pants: one to wear during the day, one to wear home
2 headbands (because who knows what color I’ll want to wear)
toothbrush: extra one from the dentist, that’s what they are for right?
hair brush: I only have one so it won’t be packed yet
travel body wash: I actually prefer bar soaps but they don’t travel well and the after birth shower is amazing so I need something so mini dove it is.
travel contact solution
glasses and extra contacts: If I lost a contact during labor it could possibly be the end of the world and even induce a headache.
face cleanser wipes: these Burts Bees wipes smell amazing! They are so soft and gentle I can use them multiple times a day without worry.
breast pads: After years of leaking the lansinoh disposable pads are my absolute favorite for protection and softness.
lip balm: Eos and rose balm have me covered 100%
Vaseline: this is for extra chapped lips but also because when Harper was born his little ankle and wrist folds where bleeding from dryness. Putting vaseline on them helped sooth, protect and heal them quickly.
hair ties and bobby pins: DO NOT FORGET THESE if you have longer hair anyway.
nipple butter: just one of those things that a nursing mom needs. I never had a real problem with using lanolin but it doesn’t go on the smoothest because it’s pretty thick/hard stuff. Coconut oil is just too thin for me and doesn’t provide that soothing feeling when applied so I bought the Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter, it’s so natural I feel completely comfortable using it but haven’t actually used it so I can’t exactly give it a thumbs up or down.
Still to pack: Some of these things I have nearby, most are still in use. I have a written list of these and they are in the front pocket of my bag so that nothing is forgotten no matter who finishes packing for me.
bluetooth speaker: right now Harper uses it nightly to fall asleep but my memory from Willem’s labor was that I really loved hearing some of the songs. Music allowed me to escape between contractions so this is a must for me.
camera and card: still being used here and there but very important. Last time the nurse took some fantastic photos for us, this time a few friends might be taking photos so mine is purely backup and post birth. I love looking back on birth photos and a camera phone just won’t do.
phone charger (with wall plug-in): my life
diffuser and oils: for calming, I plan on using peace and calming for labor and serenity after. Serenity is one that I dab on blankets and slings for baby for both bringing relaxation and calmness but also to create a memory tie.
Sudoku book: for my brain when I’m alone and baby is sleeping
notebook: this is my constant, I need it to jot notes, to help us decide on names, to remember specific details of the birth and so many other things. I have to be able to physically write things down.
deodorant (orange honest one): still in use, thankfully.
personal pillow and blanket: purely for comfort
snacks: as from my last post, middle of the night stuff-my-face-fest
Some things that others bring won’t be on my list. I don’t really take a boppy pillow because it’s bulky and I don’t really need it in the hospital, maybe I’ll change my mind, who knows, I don’t take shower shoes and other random things because I pack for me, like I’m going to away for a day but in reality my house is close enough that I could have someone bring me what I needed very easily.
- What goes in must come out and you will be taking more out than what you brought in.
- You will be mostly laboring, eating, sleeping and feeding baby so don’t worry about taking your computer or bringing board games to keep you occupied. Even staring at your new baby will be more appealing than editing your photos. Rest and enjoy.
- Comfort is key, bring things that will bring you the most comfort, personal blanket or pillow will make the difference in how you sleep.
- Take snacks, you’ll be hungry in the middle of the night.
- Nice toiletries will go a long way. Labor is the equivalent of running a marathon, it’s a lot of work and even if you feel great after your body still was still put through an incredible amount of strain and stress so pamper your skin after.
- Don’t worry about bringing what the hospital offers. With both births of my first boys these things were offered for moms:
- mesh underwear that you can toss after use, I wore these while in the hospital and upon leaving switching into my own at home.
- water and meals
- Pain relief including ice packs and dermaplast
- Some hospitals have birthing balls, some don’t. If you think you will want one check with your hospital first.
- Towels, you can go either way with this. I don’t care how I dry off as long as I have comfortable clean clothes but I know some women love nice towels, hospitals have towels but they are not nice.
- If you forget soap the hospital has some but I’m not sure how nice it is.
Again, this is just me, I tend to be somewhat of a minimalist, everything fits nicely into my bag now however I’m sure I’ll pack it full of upon the actual trip. Pack what you need to be comfortable but you can leave the entertainment stuff and luxury comforts at home because once baby is out you won’t care about much else.