I was reading a couple of posts on different social media sites, about what new expecting momma’s were packing for their hospital bag. Honestly it made me laugh because all the check lists you see or the pictures you come across give you unrealistic ideas ~ in my opinion ~ of what you need. Now not everyone is the same but here’s my story…
When I had my daughter I went to all the classes, I learned all the different things I would need to know for caring for my baby when she was born and when it came time or packing I looked online for pictures, suggestions, checklists… anything I could come across that would help me know what I needed to pack to be prepared for when she was in the hospital with me.
So a few days before she was scheduled to be delivered I started to pack our bag. I packed a couple of clothes for me, toiletries like shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, clothes for daddy, laptop to watch movies and skype family, camera, clothes for her, her baby book, a stuffed animal that was also a rattle, snacks… and I am sure a few other things that I can’t remember (it was 5 years ago!)
So day of delivery daddy grabbed the bags, the boppy, his wallet and off we went to see our baby… we got to the hospital, got prepped for the csection… everything went great… then reality kicked in! I didn’t realize how tired I was until after I had this beautiful little baby in my arms and I was finally able to sleep on my back!
I was happy and we had lots of visitors but once everyone left and the nurses did their rounds all I wanted to do was sleep! There was a TV in the room, and I remember watching some TV here and there. With a csection delivery you get pain meds which make you drowsy sometimes. Then with the constant revolving door of nurses coming and checking on me and baby… plus the struggles with feeding baby every 2 hrs…when things were finally quiet… all I wanted to do was sleep and sleep I did… a lot!
The hospital we delivered at provided pads and underwear for the aftermath of bleeding… swaddle blankets and little hats to wrap baby up, diapers, 3 meals a day plus snacks if we wanted any. Showering and getting up was not the easiest or most enjoyable process either. It hurt so much to move and you really take for granted being able to bend over and wash yourself!
So ultimately I packed these bags with all these items… and used maybe 25% of what I packed. Baby only needed one outfit for when we went home. Daddy used all of his things but I only needed 1 outfit, shampoo/conditioner and deoderant.
I was too tired and sore to do anything with her baby book. I got them to get her foot and hand prints and I just taped them in a few weeks later at home. Almost all the little things were provided by the hospital… food, towels for showering, pads, baby stuff ~ they even gave us a small tub, nose bulb for boogers, and baby soap to wash baby there and when we got home! We also got a complementary bag with about 25 pads for home, formula for baby, diapers, and a super cute gift bag that I use to tote my pump back and forth from work, and 32oz water bottles for drinking so I could keep track of my water intake.
So What Do I Recommend???
1) if you know where you will be delivering call ahead. Ask if there are any items or services that they provide for you or baby to help you be prepared and pack accordingly
2) dont worry about make-up or smelling good. You just had a baby, no one cares if you look like a model, all they care about is that you and baby are doing well and healthy
3) if you think you might need it… chances are you dont need it! Unless you are naturally someone who just doesn’t sleep or you are packed with energy you are not gonna have time to read a book or play cards or watch movies on the net…
4) for baby ~ assuming the hospital does not supply these items… all you need to bring is a change of clothes to bring baby home ~ preferably one that has the feet and hand covers built in, a hat for their head, nail clippers, boppy for nursing and a swaddle blanket.
5) for mom ~ a change of clothes for while you are there, nursing bra, a loose change of clothes to go home (not everyone does, but a lot of moms swell A LOT by the time of discharge), shampoo/conditioner, deodorant and of course your phone to take tons of pics of your new bundle of joy
Not everyone is the same, and not every hospital provides the same care… its always good to be prepared… but its also good to not be over prepared and having more things to pack back up and juggle with your newborn in tow.
Like I said, this is just my story and my opinion, and I love to be prepared and organized…