My beautiful Sister in-law is about to have her first baby and I couldn’t be more excited for her.
She called me the other day and asked me what she needed to take to the hospital so instead of writing a novel through my phone I figured I would write a blog post about it!
People bring all sorts of different things to the hospital. I’ve seen moms come in carrying huge luggage bags, pillows and blankets and I’ve seen moms that simply have a cell phone in hand. The thing but people don’t realize is the hospital really does provide everything you ‘need’.
So you can take virtually anything you want or anything you don’t want with you…well unless it’s drugs or firearms…I would recommend not bringing those!
Oh but beers OK…I’ve had some patients bust out the beer after the delivery to celebrate.
The options are endless…after having 2 babies and working in the unit for years this list pretty much sums up what I think is necessary and essential.
*Travel size toiletries (including: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, deodorant, hairspray, toothpaste, toothbrush) most hospitals carry some kind of soap but I always liked having my own because it makes me feel more at home!
*Chapstick and gum: for labor…if you’re going natural you can eat whatever your heart desires but if you have an epidural they restrict you to ice chips only so it’s nice to have something to chew on. Some moms will bring mints or lifesavers to suck on too.
*Razor: Obviously if you have had a c-section or an intense vaginal delivery your not going to want to shave and that’s OK!! I’ve had a lot of patients that don’t shave anywhere…it’s up to you. But I can’t handle stubble on my legs or my armpits so I like to throw it in just in case.
*Lotion: I have a specific lotion that I use on myself and my babies that I can’t live without. Most hospitals provide the yummy smelling Johnson and Johnson baby lotion but I don’t like it at all. After Baylor’s bath they put it all over his body and although he smelt great it irritated his face and made his baby acne worse. So I reapplied my own lotion and he cleared up the next day. I always bring a big bottle for me and the baby. (I HAVE GOTTEN A LOAD OF EMAILS AND COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT LOTION I USE ON MY BABIES! It’s not sold in stores but here is a link to the company I buy it from…it’s called RENEW! Email me for further questions!)
*Brush, comb, hair ties (hair dryer, straightener and make up bag) there is a lot more down time then I think anyone expects in the hospital…most newborns sleep a lot so I loved being able to take a warm shower and get ready. It always makes me feel better if I’m able to put a little makeup on and dry my hair. Some hospitals have jacuzzi’s available to postpartum moms as well…the hospital I work at has one in every room (including postpartum) and it’s nice to use them often (it helps heal and relax).
*Light weight zip-up hoodie, 2 piece pajama set or sweats: Most moms are fine with wearing the hospital gowns during their stay. I’ve had moms wear their own gown during labor and their own clothes after. Really it’s all about what makes you the most comfortable. The postpartum gowns are great because they have breast feeding slits but they can be more reveling then we want so a light jacket is nice to throw on while having visitors. Also if your planning on wearing the hospital gown it’s nice to have sweats to thrown on while walking the halls or going to the nursery. For me…after I have my baby I like to wear really comfortable pajamas. The best kind are matching flannel or cotton sets with a button down top. Easy to breast feed in but comfortable, lose and modest.
*Breast feeding bra and/or sports bra: Whether you plan on breast feeding or bottle feeding it’s important to wear the right bra during your stay. During labor it’s nice to simply wear a sports bra but if you do you run the risk of getting baby birthing goodness on you once you deliver. But we all know how awesomely huge are boobs are so it’s not the most comfortable thing to labor without a bra on. After I would switch right over to a breast feeding bra that way you can start getting the hang of it.
*Breast pads: make sure to bring a few…some moms leak even before their milk comes in and some after. It’s good to have them just in case. My favorite brand is Lansinoh.
*Extra large underwear: You don’t really need them but if you don’t like the mesh panties then buy a package of extra large granny panties…use them after you have a baby and store them away for your next baby or throw them away.
I would only take 1 or 2 pairs (just in case) to the hospital. The hospital has amazing mesh underwear they give you that is GINORMOUS and amazingly comfortable!! They only give you a couple pair so make sure you ask for more if you run out! You can wash them and reuse if you want. I would wear those for the first week or so!
*Pads: The hospital will provide diaper size pads that are awesome but some mothers don’t bleed very much so it’s nice to have a few of your own just in case. Even if you don’t think you’ll need them I’d buy the amazing super plus ones! Remember no tampons for 6 weeks…so you will need a lot of them when you get home! It will be like your in 7th grade again! Oh the joys!
*Flip Flops: I see a lot of mothers walk around the halls with no shoes on…don’t do it!! The hospital floor is crusty and disgusting (no matter how often they clean it). Just wear flip flops there and keep them by your bed.
*The FUN STUFF: Like I said before…you usually have more time in the hospital then you think you will so I would bring a good book or magazine or laptop (gotta blog about your baby right away!!) Make sure to not forget your camera and video camera! After labor send your hubby out for some yummy treats…we all know hospital food sucks! They should have drinks and snacks available but it’s nice to have some other things too…even if it’s apples and grapes.
If you’re being induced the labor process can take a while…so you might want to bring a movie or 2. I have a lot of mothers that will bring their Ipods or laptops and play music in their room during labor. It’s your room and your labor and as long as it’s not against medical advice you can do whatever you want while in labor. People bring candle warmers (no candles though…open flames!), or essential oils or their own birthing balls or blankets, pillows or soothing music. Labor is an amazing, beautiful thing and whatever makes you feel more comfortable the better.
*The BABY STUFF: Honestly you don’t really need to bring much for your baby. The hospital will provide everything for you unless you want your newborn to use a specific type of diaper or wipe but most (if not all) hospitals use Pampers SWADDLERS. All you need is an outfit that the little pumpkin will go home in! I always bring a couple baby blankets and swaddle them up in them but they have all the blankets you need so it’s up to you. When you get ready to come home make sure you have your car seat (the nurse will want to make sure you know how to properly buckle the babe in)
*The HUBBY STUFF: Let him pack his own stuff…you have enough to worry about! Frankly he should only need PJs, a change of clothes and a toothbrush.
The hospital should have all the rest!!
Good luck beautiful SARA…I couldn’t be happier for you!
What do you bring that you can’t live without when you have a baby?