What to Pack When You’re Delivering
I am a notorious over packer. I once packed two oversized suitcases full to overflowing for a weekend trip. If my husband would allow me to, I would probably bring the whole nursery with us to the hospital (or at least as much as I could stuff into the trunk of my small SUV). A little ridiculous, no?
We are approximately two weeks away from our scheduled induction date. The nursery is complete (except for hanging a few pieces of artwork), our crib finally arrived (to my relief) and is assembled with the bedding, and the car seat is ready to be installed. In every other aspect of baby preparation I have been annoyingly on top of things; however, as of last night, my bag for the hospital remained unpacked. Yeah. So I decided it was (past) time I do something about this.
Since this is our first baby, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to need (the main logic behind my procrastination). In order to combat my ineptness, I turned to my trusty friend (the Internet), and found this useful article on Baby Center’s website. However did mommies of centuries past manage?
1. The Necessary Paperwork: including your driver’s license, proof of insurance, birth plan (if applicable), and any required hospital paperwork.
2. Your “Eyes” (if applicable): glasses and contact lenses (if you wear them), and don’t forget a case and solution!
3. Toiletries: a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, a hairbrush, makeup (you don’t want to scare your visitors), and hair ties. Most hospitals apparently provide soap, shampoo, and lotion for showering, but a lot of moms suggested bringing your own. (I will probably do this; I am sort of particular about what I use.)
4. Comfortable (bed) Clothes for Post Delivery: While wearing the hospital provided paper gown is obviously recommended during the labor and delivery process, I know that I will be desperate to shower and change into some of my own clothes afterward. I am packing a lightweight, bamboo bathrobe, 2-3 pairs of nursing gowns and/or lounge pajamas, socks, and rubber flip-flops (for showers and walking laps around the hospital).
5. Reading Material: with an induction, it may be hours before the labor process actually begins, and I am going to want something to keep me preoccupied. Should I bring a “fun” book, or a “baby” book (that I should have finished reading months ago)? Decisions, decisions.
6. Other Necessities: a Boppy nursing pillow, nipple cream, nursing bras and nursing pad inserts (to absorb leaks), maternity underwear, and sanitary pads. (I’ve read that most hospitals provide sanitary pads, but again, most new moms suggest bringing your own preferred brand, with wings.)
7. Cell Phone and Charger: you’re going to have a lot of phone calls to make, and in today’s social media savvy world it’s almost imperative that you immediately post a picture of your new wee one to your Facebook wall for all your friends and relatives to “ooh” and “ahhh” over.
8. A Comfortable Going Home Outfit: I was shocked to read that I can expect to still look five to six months pregnant when we head home sans baby bump. And even though I am a huge proponent of heels (always), a pair of comfortable flat shoes is a must.
- A Camera and video camera (plus batteries and charger)
- Money (for parking) and change (for the vending machines)
- Comfortable shoes and a few changes of comfortable clothes
- Something to read or something to watch: my hubby doesn’t really enjoy reading, so he will probably bring a portable DVD player.
- Swim trunks? To aid you in case you decide to get into the shower during labor?
- A properly installed car seat
- An adorable going home outfit (including socks and a cap)
- A receiving or swaddling blanket for the car ride home
- I’m also bringing some of my own burp cloths, in case we have a spit up situation on the way home.
- Jewelry, lots of cash and other valuables
- Medications (including vitamins). Supposedly the hospital will provide you with what you need, however, I have read conflicting things on this—some online mommies have suggested that the hospital charges outrageous fees for Advil, etc.
- A breast pump (or bottles or formula). If you end up needing any of this, the hospital can provide it for you.
Have I left anything important off my Packing List? Do I have more than I really need? For those more experienced mommies out there, what do you wish that you had with you when you were in the hospital delivering? As always, please feel free to leave your tidbits of wisdom in the Comments section below. We love hearing what our readers have to say.
Wish me luck! I’m probably going to need it. (Did I mention I have a very low pain threshold?) Don’t worry, I’ll gladly share and tell with all of you when I get home.
A Few of My Favorite Things
My Luggage: the (vinyl) duffel and toiletry bags are available at www.jonhartdesign.com. They are so durable and easy to clean!
Baby Tomes' Coming Home Outfit: the bubble romper is from Feather Baby, and I found the flowered headband on Etsy. The cap is from Target and the socks are Little Giraffe (available at Gainan's in downtown Billings).
The Boppy and the Swaddling Blanket: the nursing pillow was a Shower gift (available at www.amazon.com) and the swaddling blanket (Aiden+Anais) came from The Joy of Kids (in Billings' west end).
My Comfy Clothes: My beautiful bamboo robe (Yala) came from Scandia Down (also on Billings' west end), as did my bamboo lounge pants. The nursing pajamas (black and pink), nursing cami, and nursing gown (black and grey) all came from www.zukababy.com. My black Splendid flip-flops came from Marcasa Clothing. Every new mom deserves to feel chic, even in a hospital bed!
My Reading Material: The Happiest Baby on the Block. As spoiled and blessed as she already is, how could she not be?