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In prepping for A's imminent arrival, I began to research what I should be bringing to the hospital at the beginning of my first trimester. There are a lot of lists out there telling you that you MUST have this and you MUST have that. It's tough for me to say what any one person MUST have because a must for me could very well be completely unnecessary for the next gal.
As such, I gave a very limited list. Based on my experience, these were the only things I really needed, everything else was either provided by the hospital (like pretty much everything for the baby) or unnecessary for me (like a nursing pillow- at the hospital I just used pillows and it worked out just fine). The attached printable is a much longer list because I recognize that some Mama's may have different ideas in terms of their needs, so I tried to cover everything I could think of, even if it wasn't something I necessarily used at the hospital.
Here is a list of the things that helped me and were nice to have during my time at the hospital:
Items for Mom:
A comfy zip hoodie- Once again, it's all about easy access for nursing if that's how you roll. Gotta keep warm! I like this one because it's nice and light weight and has a lot of cute color options:
Nursing tanks- If you have any intention of breast feeding, this is totally necessary to make life easier. I tried a few types- these target ones are pretty good for the price, but I favored this one from Motherhood because the clips opened a little easier (came in handy for late night feedings once we were home).
Maternity yoga pants- I personally opted not wear pants until I left (I stayed under the covers when we had guests and more importantly, I truly believe that pants are overrated and should be worn as little as possible). But even then it's nice to have really comfy pants that have extra room for left over baby bump, which I definitely still had. I love these and still wear them. A note for C section ladies- my sources tell me to try and have low rise or high rise pants and lose clothes so as not to irritate your stitches.
A light robe- I didn't personally need this because I was able to labor in my room but I've been told that it's nice to have a light robe to labor in, in the event that you end up walking the halls to progress your labor. The lovely hospital gowns they provide are wide open in the back and and the last thing you need while trying to make progress is everyone to see your business in the back. I will once again pack this for subsequent babies so that I'm prepared if my future labors don't progress as quickly as my last:
A comfy nursing bra- This may be more of a personal preference, but I wanted a bra under my hospital gown so that in the event I got too hot, I could remove the gown and not have any more of me on display or even to wear in the birthing tub if that's how you roll. The ones I had from target really aren't that comfortable but this one from Motherhood was super comfy, and I'll be purchasing it for our next child:
Flip flops- These are easy to slip on and wear into the shower as well. I had a summer baby and my ankles were still swollen for a couple weeks after delivery, so I lived in flip flops. I like these:
Cozy Slip-Resistant Socks- Don't worry winter mommies, I haven't forgotten about you. If I had given birth to a winter baby, I would have rocked these because these are super fuzzy and cozy but also slip resistant for walking around your room:
Your own toiletries- I personally hate the way other places soap leaves a waxy residue on my skin. I was really happy to have my own products with me for when I showered. Made me feel a million times better.
A dark towel- Those horrible towels that they provide are so small and scratchy, which is the last thing you need after birthing a child. I encourage you to get a towel that's big, cozy and dark so that you don't have to worry as much about staining- like these:
A nice pillow and a pillow case that isn't white- The hospital pillows fall a bit flat (see what I did there?)- I was so happy to have my own pillow! It's also a good idea to have a pillowcase that isn't white so that there is no confusion as to which is yours:
A camera- I'm pretty sure I don't have to explain this one. I'm a fan of Canon products:.
Your electronics items and their chargers- You will get a bit of downtime while you're at the hospital and it's always nice to be able to check out all the sweet messages everyone sends you on Facebook. And don't forget your charger- I like this extra long charger:
An extra bag- If you're anything like J and I, you will pillage that room before you leave because, damn it, you're paying enough for all of this! We literally took everything that was not attached to the room including their towels (see my Postpartum Survival Guide for more information on this).
Pens- You're going to have a ton of paperwork to fill out (the perfect job for your partner- J handled all of this like a boss), it's always helpful to have a few pens on hand.
Hair ties- About 20 seconds into labor, I had to get my hair up and out of my face. It was nice to have some hair ties and head bands available to me.
Lip balm- Because no one wants to deal with chapped lips on top of everything else.
Identification and hospital registration forms- For obvious reasons.
Items for your partner:
A few changes of comfy clothes- So that they'll be comfortable for their stay.
Their own pillow- See the above note about hospital pillows.
Sleeping bag- We found that the hospital doesn't provide much in the way for blankets for your partner if they're staying over night. J was super glad he thought ahead and brought his sleeping bag. We like Coleman sleeping bags:
Snacks- J was thrilled to have something tasty to snack on. He opted for granola bars.
Identification- Once again, for obvious reasons.
Advil- The hospital would not dispense this to J, you might consider having some on hand for your partner.
Breath mints- When you're in labor and your partner is in close vicinity, you'll thank me.
Items for your Baby:
Car Seat- Because they won't let you leave with out one. We love our Peg Perego carseat which comes in a ton of super cute colors (I was this close to getting the turquoise!):
A going home outfit in both Newborn and 0-3 month sizes- Because you never know how big your baby will be (and those sonograms they give you towards the end are not always right).
Your diaper bag- just in case you get delayed on the way home for some reason. I won't go into everything that goes in there, as that's a whole other post. I'd keep the diaper bag in the car so that you have one less thing to take out with you. Here's the diaper bag I picked out:
Paper- So that you can get an extra foot print for the baby book.
You can find more hospital bag ideas over at The Benson Street Blog.
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