Packing for the hospital12:00:00 AM
Now this is just my 2 cents on what to pack for the hospital. All of this is from my point of view only and what I do to make sure I am comfortable since I will be there for at least 3-4 nights after my c-section. Remember when you are packing to pack for yourself, baby and lets not forget poor dad!
When it comes to me...I am all about comfort! I make sure that I always pack the following in my suitcase for myself:
- Pillows and blankets (or my blankies as my kids call them!) I love to have at least 2 of my own personal pillows from home and yes I always have at least 2 smaller blankets that I can conveniently curl up with as well! Makes me feel more like myself and not in some sterile environment which can give you the willies!
- A trick my best friend Michelle taught me is to buy from Bath and Body works the wall plug ins and a scent you like! This way your room actually smells nice! Seriously...its the best! We also get our own hand sanitizer also from there so that my guests can each use "nice" "hanitizer" (what my kids call it!) before touching the baby!
- Clothing wise: sweats, yoga pants, lounge pants (I think you get the point there!) I am c-section so I need to have comfort! Shirts I like to have a few v-necks as I breast feed, tank tops and then a few nicer looking shirts that I can feel more like me in! For panties for c-section I always purchase a pack that is 1 size too big to be able to not be tight around my incision. NOTHING with tight waist bands...think Target and the $3 panties! These are key as I do not and will not wear the darn hospital "panty hose" panties they give you! COMFY bra's!! As I said I breast feed so I am hooked on Bravada brand bra's! They do not have under wire and they are so comfy! They have sleep bra's (important!) and night time bra's!! Soft fuzzy socks. Cardigans (easy to take on and off as you will go through hot and cold spells as your hormones start shifting!). Slippers. A light weight bathrobe. And last but not least a going home outfit for myself. NO these do not contain jeans but usually are a pair of yoga pants, comfy shoes (that I wear into the hospital!) and one of the "nicer" tops I packed!
- Activities. This sounds a bit crazy...but sometimes its nice to have a book, a few movies. Maybe your iTouch or even game boy with you! I like to have a few things on hand as it can help you to unwind if you are up late in the night feeding etc!
- Toiletries. Most hospitals will have some stuff for you to use. But lets face it...I want to feel like ME! I have a bag of small toiletries I pre-pack with a new toothbrush, floss, mini toothpaste. Face wash, body wash, a loofah I will toss before I leave. Shampoo, Conditioner, wet wipe style face wash (so I can keep by the bed if my face feels icky). Breath mints (believe it or not you cannot get up easily the first few days after c-section and some times your breath is kickin'!) Don't forget chap stick and a small bottle of lotion you can keep in your tray by the bed as well! I do pack my blow dryer (I hate the hospital one!), my curling iron (cause thats how I do my hair everyday!), a few hair ties and my little bag of makeup. I feel better if I feel like me. You don't have to be standing there is usually a stool in the bathroom or even a mirror in your bedside tray!
- Lanolin (I love Lansinoh Brand!), Breast pads (again Lansinoh brand is the best!) and request gel pads from the Lactation dept!! They will soothe and comfort you when you are breast feeding! Even if you are a pro you never know when you need them (I store mine in the fridge at home so they are cold!)
When it comes to the baby...I am abnormal! I DO not want my baby wearing the hospital garments! I also do not want my baby wrapped up in scratchy hospital blankets! Instead I like to start "living" life with my brand new bundle of love ASAP! Above is Olivia Joy's bag. Packed and ready to go! Her blankies are in my suitcase as this is a smaller sized collapsible bag I fell in love with at The Container store!
- I pack baby wash and lotion (although I don't always use the lotion right away!) so that I have chosen what is used for her first bath etc!
- Burp cloths
- Receiving blankets
- Soft blankets
- Car Seat (hospital will not let you leave with out it!!)
- Baby book (I usually start filling out all the details in the book during quiet moments. Also baby's feet will get stamped inside if you bring with you!)
- Hats (You all know I own my own business so head garb is a must for me!)
- Pj's (for each night)
- Onesies (for each day plus a few extra) These are long sleeved and short sleeved!
- A trick I like to have on hand for boys and girls is Baby Legs!! I will put a pair of these on with just a onesie and it makes it easy to snuggle skin to skin faster and to change diapers with ease!
- Nail clippers, comb, soft brush (for fuzzy heads!).
- Socks, slippers, booties and mittens for the hands (so they don't scratch their faces!)
- Breast pump. I bring this so that the Lactation Specialist can make sure its working correct!
- Baby wipes (I HATE the hospital ones! They are dry and scratchy and remind me of fabric softener sheets for my dryer!). I prefer Pampers Sensitive or Lansinoh Brand baby wipes!!
- And lastly...don't forget a special going home outfit!! Mine is below!
Now...lets not forget dad! I DO not pack my husbands bag for him. But there are a few items he always forgets that I be sure to have on hand:
- Spare blanket (for some reason the position the "dad bed" under the air vent! My husband freezes every time!)
- Have them bring a sleeping bag and a pillow from home!
- Magazines, a book, same ideas as for you regarding activities!! Surprise your hubby with something new! (more on this to come in another post!)
- Clothing...including comfies, slippers, etc!
- Snacks (remember they will be having to eat out or buy from the cafeteria!) Its always a good idea to have trail mix or something on hand! MOST hospitals (check with yours first!) will allow dads to access all beverages and snacks that are available to mom in the Maternity ward! But not all! So do double check!
- Toiletries (My husband stays the entire time so he showers in the room too!)
- Menus. This is something that most people forget to do ahead of time! Get a folder and ahead of time print out menus for the restaurants around the hospital! This is also nice for if you want something other than hospital food, dad can easily know in advance what you would like to eat!
- A water bottle (so they don't have to make multiple trips for water!)
This picture was from when we had Emily Grace! We were SO UN-prepared!! We sure learned our lessons!!
Other things to remember is: hospital gifts for kids (if you plan on doing this!), phone chargers, lap top (most hospitals have free WiFi), Hospital favors (if you are a looney like me!) OH my fave gadget is called an Itzbeen Timer One of my fave inventions of all times!
When should you pack for the hospital? Well, I packed most of my stuff (except items I am currently using) at week 35. You are considered full term at week 37...so for me cause its my fourth I essentially could go into labor at any moment! I wanted to be sure I have the main items I will want packed in advance! Don't forget the convenience of Red Box! We already have downloaded the app to our phones so we can watch a movie each night! Dorks...why yes! Yes we are! But...we have done this a time or two! As you can see I do like to over pack a wee bit. But if it makes me feel more comfortable and at ease...why not! I think that is why most people are itching to leave so fast! They miss the comforts of home! MOST IMPORTANT ITEM TO BRING: your camera! Extra batteries, charger etc! Do not leave home with out it! We have a Flip video camera I am thrilled we can now easily bring with us too!!