Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hospital Essentials: What to Pack When You're Having a Baby

A friend recently asked for my packing list for going to the hospital (to have a baby). So I decided to make it a little cuter than a plain old list.

I had a crazy long packing list when I was pregnant. I searched tons of blogs and websites for the ultimate list. Since my husband was going to be deployed when I gave birth, I didn't want to forget a single thing!

What I Didn't Need:
But it turned out that I brought a lot of really unneeded things. Of course, everybody is different and has their own preferences... Though I have always loved makeup and playing around with it and getting dolled up, during the last few months of my pregnancy I hardly wore it. So I thought for sure I would do the whole shebang after my boy was born when I was getting ready to come home. False. I was breastfeeding practically every hour, and sleeping a lot. I did a little bit of makeup - tinted chapstick and mascara.

I had a really nice robe that I brought with me and was excited to wear - except when I realized how much I was bleeding - and that it was leaking through/out of the pad and staining the sheets, I didn't want to wear it. I did wear it when I was cold - I just made sure it was bunched up by my waist. :P Also, doing skin-to-skin with a baby really warms you up, so I wasn't cold too frequently.

I really didn't need to bring 10 pairs of underwear. I don't know what list I read told me to - but they were completely wrong. The hospital provided disposable mesh ones - no need to ruin my own. Plus the mesh ones were more comfortable, I think. I wore the mesh ones home - and even took an extra pair with me for the first couple days at home. But, if you really want to, you can bring one or two pairs - but you definitely don't need TEN!

I brought a lot of different outfits to wear home, but when it came time to actually go home, a lot of them no longer seemed desirable. Sweats? I wanted to look like I at least tried. Also, it was boiling the day we went home (couldn't have anticipated that though. It had been cold pretty much every day before that). Yoga pants? A little better, except I didn't lose quite as much weight as I anticipated and they didn't fit. I did pack a nursing dress, which once I put on, I realized wasn't actually a nursing dress. I think I may have even cried when I discovered that. (Hormones. Ha!) I ended up wearing the same thing I wore to the hospital. A little skirt and nursing cami (they weren't completely ruined! yay!) I definitely didn't need to pack 3 nursing bras. I didn't wear a bra while staying in the hospital - I didn't see the point - and only wore one to go home in.

One list also recommended I bring a swimsuit to shower in. I don't know about every hospital - but I had my own "mom and baby room" that had my own bathroom and shower. So, no need for that. I brought regular shampoo and conditioner, as well as dry shampoo and conditioner, but the hospital had a little bottle of Johnson's I could use. Plus, I only showered once the 2 days I was there. (But what an amazing shower it was!)

I didn't need diapers or wipes - the hospital provided those. I also didn't need to bring 6 baby outfits! He spent most of his time those first 2 days either doing skin-to-skin with me, or swaddled in a blanket. Plus, the hospital had a long-sleeve shirt for him that he also wore.

I also didn't need the nursing pads - I didn't leak til almost a week after he was born. Most women won't - the first couple of days all you have is colostrum, and it's not a huge quantity. Once your milk "comes in" and your body begins producing the amount your baby needs, then, you might leak. (Apparently, not everyone does). 

What I Did Need:
Some things were complete life savers though!

I was very glad I bought a cheap sleep shirt (Forever21). It was super soft and stretchy - I could easily breastfeed in it (though I didn't pull it down, I pulled it up. After having a baby, modesty kind of went out the window). Plus, I wasn't worried about staining it and ruining it since it was only $8.

I was happy to have my laptop - especially since my husband was deployed. I was able to Skype him, check emails, check Facebook, etc while the little man was sleeping. Camera is a must! Of course, now everyone has cameras built into their phones, so don't panic if you forget it. You still have your phone!
As for toiletries... I loved my Burt's Bees Grapefruit Facial Cleansing Wipes. They made me feel refreshed and clean and they smelled so invigorating. It wasn't easy to get in and out of the bed, so I didn't want to get up just to wash my face if it felt oily or anything. I just had my mom hand me a wipe. Toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant, of course. Those three, I think, are the fastest ways to feel "fresh." Hairbrush and hair ties - you don't want your hair in your face, and laying down all day really tangles your hair.

Don't forget your prenatal vitamins. If you're planning on breastfeeding, you will need to take them for as long as you breastfeed.

I hope I haven't missed anything... but those are, I think, the bare essentials! Plus, if you live close to your hospital, if you find you forgot something really important, someone can always go get it for you. But remember, (assuming everything goes well), you won't be in the hospital more than a couple of days.

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