Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How I Prepare For Baby: {Hospital Bag}

Now that we're in the home stretch, it's time to pack the hospital bag!

I know there's lots of different blogs and other websites that have lists out there. Quite honestly, I've packed less and less each time I've done this. It's a bit of trial and error, but if you really think about your personal needs, it's pretty easy to come up with what to pack.

Before I write out my list, here are some tips and tricks for figuring out what will work for you.

1) Check with the hospital about what they provide.
My hospital will give me any and all medicines I will need, including stool softener, while I'm admitted in the hospital. They also provide pads, perineal bottles, ice packs, mesh underwear, and Dermoplast for after care. For baby, the have diapers, wipes, diaper cream, aspirators, swaddle blankets, hats, and even pacifiers. However, they will not give my husband any sort of medicine because he is not a patient. We always pack at least Ibuprofen for him, and we're packing his allergy meds this time since we're having a baby during allergy season. Also, they provide places to sleep and a blanket, but Phil prefers his own pillow from home, (which I don't mind the hospital ones). I go to a smaller hospital, so I'm not sure how this differs from big hospitals with an L&D wing. That's why it is important to do a tour of L&D before hand, and ask what all they will provide so you can pack accordingly.

2) Some people like to be glammed up, but that's not my style.
I don't take my hair straightener because my hair can usually look decent air-drying thanks to the natural wave my hair has. I don't bother with my hair dryer because it's bulky. I also do minimal makeup, so I only take mascara and chapstick. If you want any of that, that is totally fine! Add it to your list! I just know I'm a minimalist, especially since I feel most people are coming to see the baby, and not necessarily me :)

3) How much does extra comfort mean to you?
Some women swear by taking your own hospital gown. There are some cute ones for sale that you can even have monogrammed before you go! Personally, I don't have that kind of extra money, and the hospital provided gowns work just fine. Plus, if you take clothes from home, you don't really need a fancy hospital gown. I never required much care after birth because I had very non-exciting vaginal births. I'm not sure how much longer you'd be required to wear a gown after a C-sections, so you can make that choice as needed. Same goes for any extra things for baby. If you want a perfectly matched monogrammed outfit with a matching hat, then go for it! Again, I'm just personally a minimalist, and just take 1 shirt, and maybe one extra head accessory for baby.

4) When packing for daddy, ask what he wants.
Our hospital is close enough to home that Phil doesn't usually shower there. If he wants a shower, he'll just wait for family visitors, and then run home to do it. Again, this is dependent on how far you live, and your husband's personal preferences. Plus, my list for Phil was much smaller once he told me what he planned on packing.

5) Don't forget that there will be items to put in the bag as you're running out the door!
Now, you could always buy an extra of that item, (like your phone charger for example), but you don't have to. I just put a handwritten list on top of our bag of what we need to grab as we're going out the door. And do write it down because you'll be a little distracted between the pain/fear/excitement of going to the hospital to finally meet your baby!

6) Make sure you have everything you need for your particular situation.
For example, since I can't exclusively breastfeed, I am not in need of a nursing cover. I do, however, try to pump whatever I can to do a combination of breastmilk and formula, so I take my breast pump with me to the hospital. I also still need things like lanolin, nursing pads, and a nursing pillow to help hold baby in feeding position. I'm lucky that my hospital provides a lactation consultant who helps with any issues that arise. With David, they provided nipple shields, a few consultations in our room, and other items to help me feed him as best I could. Despite our best efforts, it was clear that my breast reduction surgery keeps me from exclusively breastfeeding.
Also, I do not wear contacts or glasses, but Phil does. I make sure to list out everything he'd possibly need so we don't forget anything!

7) Entertainment
For Jillian, I was induced. We took music, movies, magazines, and all kinds of other stuff with us. However, between talking, and laboring, and the family in town, we didn't touch much of what we took. With David, it all happened so fast that my hospital bag was still in the car when he came out! Even after, I was on my phone, or had the regular TV on without watching any movies. Also, my hospital has WIFI, so I can always stream if I need to. As long as I have my phone, I don't really need anything else entertainment-wise. It's your judgement call though. If you think you'll be bored out of your mind, take something that will keep your mind busy!

And now, here is my personal hospital bag checklist!

Hospital Bag:
For mommy:
_1 pair of PJs (_shirt & _pants that I don't mind getting stained {that's not happened to me yet})
_1 nursing tank
_1 nursing bra (the kind you can sleep in)
_1 maternity dress (to go home in)
_1 cardigan or light jacket
_1 pair of slippers
_1 pair of fuzzy socks (I don't use the non-slip kind)
_1 pair of flip flops (for the shower)
_1 pair of sandals (to go home in)
_Small Hairbrush
_2 Hair Ties
_Travel Sized Shampoo
_Travel Sized Body Soap
_Travel Sized Toothpaste
_Travel Toothbrush (I do have a travel toothbrush separate from my regular one)
_Travel Sized Deodorant
_Travel Sized Facial Wipes
_Travel Sized Lotion
_Lanolin (or coconut oil)
_Nursing Pads
_Small Notepad
_Pen or Pencil
_Camera with _Charger (or batteries if it takes those)*
_Video Camera with _Charger (or batteries if it takes those)*
_Phone with _Charger*
_Wallet (with driver's license, and insurance card)*
_Breast Pump
_Boppy Pillow (or whatever nursing pillow you'll use)*
_Nursing Cover (if you need it)
_Contact List (1 for during labor, and 1 for once baby is here)

For baby:
_Baby Book (or whatever you want to use for footprints if you're doing that)
_Swaddle Blanket (if you're swaddling - we use Halo Sleepsacks and take 1 with us)
_Coming Home Outfit
_Headband with Bow (if you're having a girl)
_Hat (if you're having a boy)
_Car Seat*

For daddy:
_1 change of clothes (_shirt, _pants, _underwear, and _socks)
_1 pair of PJs* (_shirt &/or _pants)
_Hair Gel
_Glasses (with case)*
_Allergy Meds

*Last minute items to grab before leaving

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