13 things to take to the hospital when you're having a baby!

Just over two months ago on August 31st my husband and I were watching the movie Arthur when my water broke! I had packed a bag a month or so prior (good to plan ahead) so all we really needed to do was grab our stuff and go to the hospital. A quick 20 hours later we got to meet our little boy and it was such a wonderful experience. I finally realized what this joy of parenthood was that everyone was telling me about. We stayed for four nights because I had a cesarean section and I never planned on that so I quickly learned a few things for the next go around and just in general I learned what was important to pack for any birth stay and I want to pass it along so that maybe some others will be more prepared than I! Plus I will tell you what I was glad I brought.

So here's my list:
1. Nursing bras... no brainer right? Well sometimes you forget because it's not something you have used before. And note that I said "bras", multiple. I was there for four nights, five days. I had packed two and I had my sister bring an extra one to me. It wasn't that big of a deal to rewear the later days but the first two days I couldn't shower because I was still on the epidural and IVs. I was feeling gross! That leads into the second...

2. Wipes... No not diaper wipes (the hospital provided the diapers an wipes for the little one), wipes for me. Facial wipes since I couldn't easily get up and wash my face, Nuetrogena makeup remover wipes, and something my friend brought me were general hygiene wipes which were helpful in freshening up the first couple days when I wasn't able to shower.

3. Nail Clipper(s) and/or Nail File.... The hospital wouldn't clip our baby's nails (I guess it's a liability thing) and he kept scratching his face so this is good to have on hand. Make sure you do it when your baby is sleeping though otherwise you could hurt him/her!

4. Laptop/Tablet.... This was important for me, not because I can't live without technology but because my sister lives in Iowa and wasn't going to come to town until the next weekend but I still wanted her to meet my little guy so we were able to skype a handful of times while in the hospital.

5. Night Gown(s)... I didn't bring any and I wish I had! I had only packed some comfy pants, T-shirts, and tank tops. Well a night gown would have been nice because it was hard to wear pants or things that hit me at my waste because of the csection scar. I didn't plan on a csection but it happened so be conscious of that. Plus a vaginal birth would likely also make some things uncomfortable down there so you might want it anyway. If night gowns really aren't your thing then you might want to try gouchos. I had a pair with me and they were fairly comfortable because there isn't really elastic around the waist.

6. Flossers/Disposable Travel Tooth Brush... It was easy to just grab one of these and clean up my teeth before we had guests. It was much harder to get up and get in the bathroom to try and do it. The Disposable Brushes are Colgate and you can find them here.

7. Make-Up... whether you wear a bit of mascara and some blush or you normally wear the whole gamete you will really feel better when you pull yourself together and back to a normal state. I had some tinted moisterizer, blush, and mascara and that was a good pick-me-up. It sounds funny but it was nice, especially when people came to visit.

8. Dry Shampoo... I have this anyway because my hair gets greasy easy but it was really helpful when I couldn't shower for a couple days because of my IVs. Just goes back to the feel good when you look presentable thing. It really makes a difference. If you haven't used one before then you might try Treseme Fresh Start. It works well for me.

9. Notepad... or something to mark down who visited and who brought gifts. I realized when we go home that I forgot to write it all down and I probably forgot people when sending out Thank Yous. I guess those meds really worked. Ha! You might also just note it in your phone if you can.

10. Slippers... I appreciated my slippers so I wouldn't have to walk on the cold floors and I wouldn't have to wear flip flops. My feet were still outrageously swollen for about a week so regular shoes were out of the question!

11. A plastic bag... whether it's a trash bag or a store bag you will want one for your dirty clothes... especially if your water broke! 

12. Snacks... not for you but for your significant other. My hubby barely ate in the 18 hours leading up to the csection and he was pretty shaky! Best to avoid any incidents where he might pass out. You will need his strength!;

13. Gel Pads.... So I never knew how difficult breastfeeding would be or is. I was really thankful when the hospital gave me some gel pads like these. They were helpful in getting me through that first week when it was... well... painful! It was almost like instant relief. And a tip - if they get sticky then just barely wet them and they work brilliantly again!

Something to think about is what you will need if your water breaks.... towels and maybe a trash bag. You can put the trash bag on your car seat and then some towels. That will help because you will probably continue to leak, or at least I did. Sorry for all the details but I felt like I was a little blindsided when things didn't happen "normal".

Also, a couple items I was thankful to have at home after the hospital stay were big old lady underwear or mesh panties.... yup I wore those for at least a week! I needed something that wouldn't interfere with my incision. And I really appreciated the couple of boxes of pads that I bought while pregnant because I needed them and you will too and if your hubby is like mine then he might not be too thrilled about running to the store to get some!

And in the end it's all a wash when you hold your little one. :) My first photo with my new boy still makes me smile even though it's not the prettiest.

So that's my list.... I'm sure some of you have your experiences and some tips so please share. I hope to use them someday in the future for my next one! :)

<- Kassy ->

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