Saturday, July 30, 2011

Packing for the Hospital...

Weeks ago (somewhere around week 28), the doctor mentioned that it might be a good idea for us to go ahead and pack our hospital bag and start bringing it with us to all of our appointments. Her rationale: we live two hours away from the hospital and you never know what might happen in any given visit - my blood pressure may be high, the baby may be in distress, or some other situation might arise where she decides to keep me for additional monitoring and/or go ahead and have the baby. This all makes sense. Yet, I still couldn't bring myself to pack the bag. For one thing, it was still way too early to be having this baby - and if you don't pack the bag, she can't come yet, right?

Maybe that reasoning is flawed...but the other side of the coin was that we still didn't have all of the things that you *need* to pack in your hospital bag - nursing bras? nope! going home outfit for baby? nope! car seat? nope! not to mention that you have to pack away clothes for yourself on the return trip home (something that would fit you around your 6-7th month, because alas, you will not be your pre-pregnancy size 2 days after giving birth) - and this one was a real doozie for me as well. I've been pretty much refusing to buy any more maternity clothes than I absolutely *need* - which means that I've been "surviving" with one pair of panel shorts, one pair of panel jeans, a few maternity tops, and a lot of begging, borrowing, and stealing of my poor husband's T-shirts and athletic shorts. (Oh, and a maternity bathing suit from Old Navy that I absolutely HAD to have....that I have worn once...for two hours...only 30 minutes of which was actually in the water. What a waste.) So, when it came to packing the hospital bag, my question was what the heck was I supposed to pack? What could I do without?

Fast forward through several weeks of me staring at an empty bag and asking myself these same questions, and you'll find me at week 34, still staring at an empty bag. But, something is different now...I have a list! In talking to friends who have had babies and scouring the interwebs for pointers, I am now armed with a list of things to pack to take to the hospital. Between baby showers and my own "nesting" instinct, we now have a lot more baby items on hand...and between Old Navy's crappy maternity pants construction (the blue panel starting coming off of my one pair) and my ever increasing belly size, I've also broken down and bought two more pairs of maternity pants (it's nice to have pants to wear every day...and as my husband lovingly reminds me, I'll get use out of these pants even after the baby is here...yikes). So, I may finally have enough stuff to pack (or at least start to pack) the hospital bag.

So, what am I bringing? Here's the breakdown -

In the baby bag:

  • breast pads (I don't have these yet, but they're on the list of things to stuff into my bag as soon as I have them!)
  • lanolin
  • nursing cover up (in case we need to nurse while company is present)
  • going home outfit for baby girl (I actually have an adorable knit dress that my mom bought that I will probably use for pictures, and another cute little onesie outfit that will likely be what she actually wears home)
  • itzbeen timer (and batteries) and a small notebook/pen to keep track of feedings/diaper changes/etc.
  • diapers (my mom swears that even though the hospital will provide these, that I should bring my own so that we aren't "charged" for, I did pack some)
  • diaper cream 
  • petroleum jelly (can help with meconium tar poop clean-up if slathered liberally on baby's bottom BEFORE it happens)
  • travel pack of wipes

In my bag:

  • nursing bra (one of my sleep nursing bras)
  • 2 pairs of (giant) underwear
  • a "nursing" nightgown (a regular nightgown that buttons down to the belly that I found at Wally-world in the elderly women's section)
  • some sweet old lady house-shoes (that sadly, I've had forever...they are so dang comfortable!)
  • extra socks (in case my feet get cold)
  • 2 nursing tanks
  • my crummiest pair of maternity panel jeans (I've read that it's more comfy to have the panel than not, but I didn't want to pack my newer "nice" maternity jeans) + a belly band to cover up the fact that the panel is coming apart
  • a pair of fleecy maternity pants (no panel here, but they look comfy...I figured I'd give myself the option)
  • a pair of flip flops (to wear home with my jeans or fleecy pants and tank top)
  • ibuprofen (in case I need it on the way home) & colace (to start taking ASAP...apparently pooping can be a real issue post-delivery, so stool softeners and fiber are highly recommended)
  • a toiletries bag (with shampoo, conditioner, a razor, deoderant, lotion, spare contacts, a contact case, and travel contact solution)
  • baby record book (so the nurses can do footprints when they do them for the birth record at the hospital)
  • camera and camera battery charger

I also printed myself out a note with things that I would need to grab...but couldn't really pack up into the bag right now. It reads, "For the Hospital:"

  • green suitcase (this is my bag) - add: iphone charger, nook, nook charger, glasses, and glasses case
  • diaper bag (this is the baby's bag) - add: white/purple knit dress (which is still hanging up so it doesn't get wrinkled)
  • car seat (the base is already installed in the car, so we just need to grab the seat out of the crib)
  • boppy (if you are breastfeeding and planning to use a boppy or other pillow, it is recommended that you bring it to the hospital...but, it probably won't fit in your suitcase!)
  • breast pump (in a carry bag...I want to bring this just in case we have difficulty feeding or something and need to pump a bit...also, I figure it'd be nice to have experienced staff around if I needed reassurance as to how this insanely scary contraption works!)
  • pillows!! (yes, the hospital has pillows...but they are thin, and scratchy, and not nearly as comfortable as my pillow from I'm bringing it!!)

Now, this is just the list for me and the husband still needs to pack his bag, and I'm not sure what all he will include, but it will probably look something like this:

  • 2-3 changes of clothes (including long-sleeved T-shirts because it is always cold in hospital rooms, especially in labor and delivery)
  • toiletries
  • snacks (like cliff bars) and sodas (so you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for them at the hospital) and bottles of water
  • nook, nook charger, iphone, iphone charger....maybe his laptop...not sure, but first babies can take a LONG time to make their we should all be prepared to entertain ourselves for a while!!

So, now I am *officially* packed for the hospital (all I'm waiting on are breast pads and I still need to sterilize the breast pump stuff, which I plan to do in the near future). I start my weekly visits on August 8, and will definitely be bringing all of this junk with me when I go to each of those appointments. And on days that I don't have doctor's appointments, I'll leave all of this stuff stacked in the glider rocker - with the list of "things to grab" right on top...because from here on out, the baby really could come any time!! Which is both a scary and exciting prospect!


  1. Just want to re-irritate, pooping pp is no joke! I didn't think of that one until after the fact but I was given some extra-strength stuff at the hospital. Before getting discharged I sent Christopher on a goose hunt to Target to get the most potent stool softener.

    Also, a tiny recommendation for your hubby...bring your own pillows and sheets. The nurses were concerned with only me and baby (understandably) so despite me asking them for an extra pillow and sheet from him, they never came. Oh! and if he drinks Coke or anything other than water, bring some too because its $2.50 at the hospital! $2.50! I still can't get over that.

    Anyway, I'm so so so excited for you!! Keep us posted :)

  2. Definitely bring his laptop, sheets for him and pillows! She is right stool softener is no joke! I'd skip the easy way to say this..your battle damaged lady parts will thank you. A pretty summer dress comfy for photos is nice or yoga pants w drawstring or just your pj pants to go home. Otherwise you're set how exciting!

  3. Lol I have to agree about the pants, I had trouble wearing jeans a couple weeks after I had Landon (and not bc of the size, they were plenty loose). Ek! Doesn't have the bag ready make it seem so real! Ah! I'm so excited for you!

  4. Thanks for the feedback ladies. I did pack a pair of fleecy pajama-type pants in my bag, but based on your comments, maybe I'll trade out the maternity jeans for a second pair of those! I packed nursing tanks to wear home because a) it'll probably still be hotter than the surface of the sun when I'm headed home with the new baby and b) I plan on breastfeeding, and will probably have to stop and nurse at some point on the car ride home (since it is a good 1.5-2 hours from the hospital to our house).

    Yes Sarah, having the bag packed makes it seem so real - too real! I can't believe that in 6 weeks or less (probably less) we will have a new baby girl!!!

  5. wow! I knew you were a 'to-do' person and a list maker. But, those are some lists! wowza.

    you are so darn cute!