April 28, 2014

Hospital Bag Essentials

One huge lesson I learned from my first pregnancy was that I way over packed for the hospital.  We were there 6 days due to a c-section and a little jaundice and I still brought much more than we needed.  So this time I am keeping it simple.  Very simple.

MOM:  The new mom needs more than the new baby - that is for sure.  Several pieces of loose, comfortable clothing, nursing tops and sweaters for layering.  The hospital gives you these amazing and totally unattractive underwear but you will want to bring some of your own large, cotton panties.  You will also want socks to keep your feet warm and slippers or easy to slip on shoes for walking around the room and hospital.  Of course you'll need your cosmetics and toiletries.  I fell in love with face wipes during my first pregnancy and following year.  Sometimes I was just too lazy to wash my face or I wanted a quick refresh.  The hospital will also have some of these but I like to bring my own nursing pads.  Lastly, I enjoyed having some hand lotion around.  My hands were so dry and I hated touching that perfectly soft baby skin with my scaly hands.  And of course you can't forget a camera and phone with all your chargers.

BABY:  The baby doesn't need much except you.  Mostly because the hospital provides so much.
I like to bring some cute, comfy newborn outfits.  Some hats or in my case A LOT of hats because I just cannot stop knitting and sewing and also one or two swaddling blankets since the hospital's are not that cute.  I also bring some socks and mittens for the baby although I don't think I used them that much.  Lastly, make sure you have the carseat and base installed and in the car.  

OPTIONAL:  There were several items we brought that I left in the car for Brandon to grab in case we needed it throughout our stay.  That way it was near by but not cluttering the room.  

Pillow - I never bothered to use mine.  The hospitals were just fine.  
Nursing Pillow -  Again, left it in the car - never used it)
Breast Pump -  I did pump a little in the hospital to help with the jaundice but I used the hospital pump.    
                        If you bring yours, the hospital staff will show you how to use it -a nice perk!
iPad/Computer - My husband probably enjoyed that more than I did but it was nice to stay connected
                           and have some entertainment.
Snacks - No need to go crazy but having a few snack options was nice for both of us. 
Photo props - Hats, headbands, special outfits etc.  Those first few photos are the most memorable and I 
                       enjoyed dressing Ella up in all the hats and headbands I had made her.
Bag for the new dad - Dad is going to need is own bag for the hospital stay.  Comfy clothes, toiletries, a   
                                    blanket, entertainment to help pass the time and snacks are just a few things I 
                                    would pack.

HOSPITAL PROVIDED:  There are so many items the hospital provides for both mom and baby.  Make sure to stock up on these!

Post-partum pads/underwear - The hospital had everything I needed to take care of the postpartum
                                                 bleeding, etc.  My hospital also made these amazing ice stuffed diapers 
                                                 I wore in my underwear.  They were the best!
Nursing soothers, ointments, etc. - The hospital also provided great items to help with nursing and all
                                                       the pain and tenderness that comes with those first few days.
Diapers, wipes and ointment -  I stuffed my bag with these before we left.
Newborn onesies and tops - The hospital kept our room stocked with little onesies and shirts.  She wore
                                              these a lot, especially as she was sleeping all swaddled.  I tended to dress  
                                              her up in the outfits I brought more for visitors.
Blankets and sleep sacks - The hospital gave us baby swaddle blankets and sleep sacks which she used    
                                           to sleep in for months after.  They are amazing.
Pacifiers - We also had a nice stock of pacifiers.  Of course, not all babies even need them that soon or 
                  ever and some are really picky so you may want to bring your own assortment. 
Baby toiletries (nasal aspirator/nail clippers/combs/etc.) - The hospital had it all.

I know I am forgetting so many things that the hospital provided.  Those days still seem a bit of a blur but I do know that our hospital was so amazing and the staff took such great care of us.  I cannot wait to experience child birth again and meet our sweet, little guy.  Just a few more weeks!

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