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What no blog/website tells you to pack for the hospital

 Before giving birth to my daughter, I scoured the web for Hospital Bag Packing lists. There were innumerable articles and blogs that were somewhat helpful, but nothing really prepared me for the before, during, and after of being induced at 42 weeks, laboring for 12 hours, needed two epidurals because the first one didn't work, and then eventually having a c-section. As soon as I got home from the hospital with my daughter, I jotted down this list, because I wanted to make note of what was actually helpful to have at the hospital with me, what I wish I had brought, and what I would have done differently.

Things I wished I'd brought with me to the hospital:

  • More snacks for husband and me (while I could eat them--once the epidural goes in you can only consume ice chips)
  • Extra small baby outfits (newborn was too big!)
  • At least 2 birthing gowns for me. I had bought one to labor and deliver it, but after spending 25 hours in it, I was ready for a change of clothes. 
  • Extra long cellphone charging cable
  • Extra small hat (size 0-3 month was too big!)
  • Pen to fill out birth certificate 
  • Guestbook (if you plan to have guests. Maya had more than 30 visitors in the first 4 days of life and I wish I had thought to write down who came and when!)
  • Thinx period underwear, because there is a lot of bleeding after giving birth and pads and paper hospital underwear are completely awful. Thinx are super expensive, but were totally worth it.
  • A bag/box to carry or organize gifts from guests
  • A bar of soap to wash hands in the bathroom--the dispenser in the bathroom by the sink was way too hard to push after surgery!
  • Baby wipes to freshen up Mama

Things I brought but didn't need/things I would have done differently:

  • Bobby pillow (couldn't fit around me. I used it all the time once my incision healed up a bit, but in those first few days at the hospital it was completely useless)
  • Wear to the hospital what you plan to wear home (less packing afterward)
  • Breast pump... never took it out of the bag
  • Make up--I thought I might touch up my face for photos but never did, and nobody was looking at me anyway, just the baby :)
  • Body wash/shampoo/conditioner/lotion because the hospital has all that
  • Pack a separate little bag for the husband

Things I brought and needed:

  • 2 really comfy nursing bras (But here's something I didn't think about... make sure the bra you wear while you are in labor has a clasp on the back. Mine was like a sports-bra style and was tricky to get off with all the tubes on me when I had to go into my c-section)
  • Flip flops
  • iPad (how did moms stay awake nursing at night before technology?)
  • Hair ties and hair brush 
  • Deodorant 
  • chap stick
  • Little gifts to give to the nurses and the staff as a thank-you

A few other tips:

Shop for nursing bras now, before you give birth. I bought 4 and I hate all of them... and they're so expensive!

Also, if you happen to have a c-section, make sure you have at least 4 or 5 nursing dresses for wearing around the house when you get home from the hospital. Pants were too tight on my incision, so I had to buy a few more dresses online because little Maya liked to destroy her clothes and mine, too :) Baby is a laundry-making machine!

Here are a few things I also could not live without once baby came home:

  • Doona car seat
  • Maya wrap ring sling
  • Baby K'tan
  • baby bath tub
  • Haakaa breast pump (get this in addition to the free one from your insurance. That one is great for going back to work. The Haakaa is silent and you can use it while you're nursing your little one to build a milk stash for when you go back to work.)
  • Lots of muslim blankets for swaddling and burping
  • A plethora of burp clothes

Things I recommend you not waste money on:

  • wipe warmer 
  • bouncer
  • diaper bags (they always fell off my shoulder which was annoying and a backpack works even better!)
  • Too much clothes. They spit up and get dirty so quickly, I was constantly washing. Also, they grow out of sizes so quickly! If you have 7-10 days worth of clothes, you're good. 
  • Stuffed animals (but do buy a few extras of his favorite lovey just in case...)

As a soon-to-be parent, I'm sure you have a bunch of people giving you unsolicited advice, so please use any, all, or none of this as you wish. But if you like to be ultra prepared like I do, I hope this list comes in handy!


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