What I packed in my hospital bag, what I actually used, and what I wish I had included

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Hello everyone.  Well, our little one is currently two months old and we were recently asked about the hospital bag and its contents.  I looked back at the blog and realized I wrote a draft post, but never posted it about what I was packing this time around.  Well, I reviewed that post today and decided to share what I packed, what I actually used, and some things I wish I had.  Hope it helps someone and happy reading.

FOR MOMMY 
  • The bag. I am fortunate to have several nurses in my immediate family. While sharing fun delivery stories, my sister recounted how one lady came into L&D with a HUGE suitcase as if she would be there for a few weeks. Apparently, she was a bit of a fashionista and had packed to the gills. My sister laughed and reminded me that I didn’t need anything quite so fancy, so I looked for something spacious while practical, inexpensive, and cute because I planned on using the bag again for trips and things. I picked this beauty up from Amazon.com. It had several deep pockets and tons of space. 
          Verdict:  I absolutely loved this bag and it was amazingly functional.  HOWEVER, in  
           hindsight, I could have done just as well without purchasing a new bag. One of the overnight 
           bags S. and I have from previous trips would have worked fine. If you have one similar, just 
           use it. There's no need to spend additional money unnecessarily. Plus, I haven't used the bag 
           since we returned from the hospital.


  • Copies of Paperwork. At our hospital, you can pre-register your information including insurance, epidural preferences, etc. online. I made sure I had a hard copy of the registration just in case the hospital didn’t have it when we checked in. I also took copies of my insurance card just in case that was needed as well. S. had the actual card with him.

    Verdict: It's always a good idea to have this information, but unlike my first pregnancy, it wasn't requested. I guess the pre-registration worked pretty well in this technological age. No one came to ask about insurance, but there were a ton of other forms that I wished the hospital had included in the pre-registration packet.  Literally, on discharge day, I was filling out forms that could have been done earlier had I known. If it is an option for you, definitely take it.

  • PJs. I packed one button down set-a favorite of mine—and one over the head nursing gown with some lounge around pants. I remembered with my first that my nursing gown was pretty much what I lived in for two days.

    Verdict: I used both pair of pajamas that I packed. One pair each day, which was unintentional, but the button downs were a bit cumbersome for some reason when I tried to nurse the baby. It was still comfortable though.
  • Lounge Outfit. I decided that if we had visitors I wouldn't necessarily want to greet them in PJs or a robe.  I packed two maternity tanks and a pair of black maternity leggings. 

    Verdict: So, I didn't use BOTH tee/legging outfits, but man was the option nice.  On day two of the hospital, I was so sick of being in the PJs that after getting freshened up just a bit, I jumped right into a tank and leggings. I felt much better after doing so.  I did NOT wear the other combo.  I instead wore the going home outfit on day 3 because that was my discharge date.
  • Flip Flops.  I did NOT have these with my first pregnancy and ended up washing in the sinks because I was afraid to use the shower. I was still clean, but that first shower I took when I got home was heavenly. 

    Verdict: I have to be honest.  I didn't take a shower at the hospital this time either.  I did the sink baths again because I couldn't get past the fact that someone else had been in there with bodily fluids and the like, even though the room and bathroom was spotless.  However, I did enter the bathroom with flip flops while doing the sink baths and other hygiene related things and definitely recommend.
  • Socks including my #TTC socks. Myhopefulbbr was so kind and sweet to me during my #TTC journey and a great encouragement through the pregnancy. She sent me beautiful socks that I wore to every transfer, beta, and important appointment. It only seemed right to have them included on the day of the baby's birth.  I also included four additional pair.

    Verdict: I used every pair of socks I bought.  I slept in them at night and had them on during the day.  I definitely recommend.
  • Slippers. Verdict: I wore my slippers the evening of the baby's birth after I was settled to walk around the room.  They were very comfortable and I was glad I had them as my feet were still swollen from all the IV fluids.
  • Nursing Bras. This was by far one of the best packed items.  After the baby was born, life was
    much easier using the nursing bra.  Breastfeeding access was great and considering things hurt afterwards, the pray certainly helped..  (Side note:  Cooling compresses on nipples are awesome.)
  • Toiletries.  These are a must have.  I packed deodorant, my favorite shower gel from Bath and Body Works, my favorite body cream from bath and body works, trial sized toothpaste, toothbrush, and mouthwash, hair ties, comb, shower cap, satin head cap, Altoids, and satin wrap. I also packed make up for when I left the hospital. 
Verdict: This was a mixed  bag. I used the deodorant and   the body lotion from Bath and Body Works daily.  There were just some horrible smells post labor and after the washing I didn't want to experience those again.  I also used the toothpaste and toothbrush, as well as the mouthwash. The satin head cap and the Altoids were also in rotation. I did NOT use the hair ties, wrap, or make-up. I also didn't use the comb because my hair was in braids at the time.  Pack toiletries, but don't go overboard.

  • Cell Phone and Charger. This is a definite.  We didn't formally announce the baby's birth until we were home and settled, but I was able to talk to my mother.  I was also able to speak with S. about dinner options since he was home with the kids after we delivered and were settled.  I was hungry and wanted the good stuff :)  Verdict:  A definite recommend!
  • Tablet: So, somewhere in my head I just knew I would be bored and would have time to catch up on reading.  I even loaded up on new books. Nope!  Between the nurses stopping in to check on me every two hours and the massive amount of sleep I kept trying to recover, this was a non-opened item.  Verdict:  not really worth it
  •  A comfortable going home outfit. I'm so thankful I listened to a recently birthed mom who suggested packing and wearing maternity attire home.  I wore a maternity tank and maternity jeans and was very comfortable going home.  Verdict:  You're still going to be swollen and saggy with fluid coming from places you don't want to think about.  Definitely pack comfortably.
  • Baby Book: I have a baby memory book for each of our children.  I was certainly not going to forget it this time.  I was able to capture thoughts about the labor and birth.  We were also able to have the nurses capture baby's footprints and hospital bracelet.  Our hospital makes free beaded bracelets with the baby's name.  So we were able to include that as well.   Verdict:  Go for the memory book:)

  • Coming home outfit for baby.  Because we didn't know what we were having, I settled on a white T-shirt that said "Answered Prayer" and a pair of black leggings.  That worked for pictures and I don't regret not having something different.  
  What I wish I'd included

  • Snacks.  Okay, I seriously underestimated the importance of this one.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I packed an 8-pack of yogurt covered raisins because I just didn't think I would need the snacks.  That was a dumb thought on my part.  Our daughter was born at 3:02 p.m.  I'd not eaten since 9:00 p.m. the night before.  I'd arrived at the hospital at 8:30 a.m. that morning and was allowed nothing but water while I labored.  I was famished after the baby was born.  BUT it was about 5 p.m. before I was settled and could order something from the hospital's food service.  It took them about an hour plus before it arrived.  By which time, I'd killed four boxes of the raisins, water, and some trail mix.  I was famished.

  •   A Boppy.  I didn't bring it because it was so cumbersome, but it would have made a world of difference in helping with A.'s latch positioning.

So there you have it.  That was my hospital bag, what I actually used, and what I wish I'd included.  I hope it is helpful to you!

-K

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