Thursday, October 2, 2014

Baby 101: Hospital Bag Packing List

I did a ton of research when packing my hospital bag - I asked countless friends, Googled numerous hospital packing lists, and consulted all of the advice Pinterest had to offer.  I feel like I did a decent job of limiting what I brought with me, but there were still a few things I packed that ended up being unnecessary.  

I went to the hospital for a scheduled induction; due to complications, I ended up having a C section.  I wouldn't change much about the way I packed for a C section vs. a vaginal delivery with the exception of packing 3 pairs of PJs (pants + nursing cami) instead of only 2, since I ended up spending 4 nights in the hospital.

When leaving the hospital, take everything with you!  If it's in the baby's bassinet cart or your hospital room, they can't use it again for another patient, so they'll just throw it away if you don't take it - so take those leftover diapers, wipes, giant maxi pads, disposable underwear, breast pump parts, bottles, abdominal binder, etc.  I HIGHLY recommend asking for more maxi pads and disposable underwear on your last day and taking those home with you!  The nurses were happy to bring me more, and I wore those disposable underwear for at least the first 2 weeks at home - they are so stretchy and comfortable!

Here's a breakdown of what I would pack again, what the hospital provided for me and baby, and what I packed but didn't need...

Hospital Bag Packing List:

For mom:

  1. Hair dryer (I can't stand having wet hair)
  2. Straightener (I only used this one day...the other days I didn't care)
  3. Basic makeup (mascara, lip gloss, blush, tinted moisturizer)
  4. Listerine strips / gum (I'm sure my breath was terrible since I wasn't allowed to get out of bed for almost 24 hours after my C section)
  5. 3 Nursing tanks
  6. 3 PJ or yoga pants (I packed my normal (non-pregnancy) size but made sure they had a drawstring waist/elastic waistband since you'll still look about 6 months pregnant after delivery)
  7. Lightweight jersey robe (to wear when visitors come or walking around the hospital floor)
  8. Slippers/house shoes (I'm not walking on the icky hospital floor)
  9. Going home outfit (keep in mind that you'll look 6 months pregnant; I wore a loose dress. Yoga pants would also have been a good option).
  10. Cell phone and charger
  11. iPad and charger
  12. Digital camera and extra battery (we brought our DSLR)
  13. iPod/Book/e-reader/magazines (for while you're in labor)
  14. Flip flops for shower (again..floors gross me out)
  15. Disposable nursing pads (you probably won't be leaking, since your milk won't be in yet, but this will keep the lanolin from leaving grease stains on your clothes)
  16. Lanolin
  17. Notepad/pen for notes during labor (I made my husband keep a play-by-play while I was in labor, since the details are now fuzzy for both of us)
  18. Pillow with a colored pillowcase (to distinguish it from the white hospital pillows)
  19. $1 bills for parking and vending machines (our hospital's parking lot doesn't take debit/credit cards - we brought $40 in ones)
  20. Snacks for husband (something that doesn't smell, like granola bars, since you won't be allowed to eat anything - this is not the time for Cool Ranch Doritos)
  21. Toiletries
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Shower gel
    • Deodorant
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Lotion
    • Floss
    • Chapstick (my lips were so chapped after being in labor, since I wasn't allowed to drink anything!)
    • Qtips
    • Makeup remover wipes (this was soooo much better than having to get up and wash my face)
    • Hairbrush
    • Stretchy headband
    • Hair ties

For baby:

Contrary to what Pinterest will have you believe, there is no need to pack a separate bag for baby or bring a diaper bag - you really only need a couple of things, and they're small enough to stuff in your bag. You will have so much to keep up with that you won't want another bag!!
  1. Going home outfit
  2. Scratch mittens
  3. Boppy nursing pillow
  4. Hat for baby's first picture (I wanted him to wear an Aggie hat instead of the standard-issue pink/blue hospital hat)
  5. Carseat

Things my hospital provided:

For mom:

  • Hospital gowns (duh) for every day of my stay
  • Abdominal binder (this was great after a C section; I specifically asked for it - if they don't offer it to you, ask! It makes it feel less like your guts are going to spill out)
  • Box of Kleenex
  • Plastic water cup with straw
  • Giant maternity maxi pads
  • Microfiber one-size-fits-all boyshort underwear
  • Towels and washcloths
  • Bottle of all-in-one body wash/shampoo
  • Peri bottle for rinsing after going to the bathroom
  • All medications (pain relief, stool softeners, anti-inflammatory, prenatal vitamins)
  • 3 meals a day, plus access to juice, saltines, and graham crackers whenever I wanted

For baby:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Gauze and Vaseline to care for his circumcision
  • Soothie pacifiers
  • White long-sleeved baby tshirts
  • Swaddle blankets
  • Thermometer
  • Nasal aspirator (bulb syringe)
  • Baby comb and hairbrush
  • Anything and everything needed to feed baby: formula, bottles, nipples, Medela pump parts (in multiple sizes) and tubing (to use with hospital-grade pump in the room), more bottles for storing pumped breastmilk, feeding syringes, nipple shields, dish detergent for washing pump parts between uses

Things I packed that I didn't need:

  • Razor and shaving cream (don't kid yourself - you won't care about shaving)
  • Dry shampoo (I felt gross and preferred taking a shower)
  • Prenatal vitamins (hospital provided)
  • Nursing bra (just wear a nursing cami - the nursing bra was too much effort)
  • Socks (I was barefoot in the bed or wore my slippers - I never put on socks)
  • Underwear (I just wore the disposable hospital ones)
  • Receiving blanket (hospital provided)
  • Pacifier (hospital provided)
  • Burp cloth (I just used the hospital-provided blankets and washcloths - let someone else do the laundry!)
  • Aquaphor (hospital provided Vaseline)

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