Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What to Pack for the Hospital!

What do you pack for the hospital? It’s one of the many questions I had when I was preparing for JR. As a first time mom you are not really sure what to expect and if you’re like me, you most likely will overpack. I remember being so unsure and a little lost. That's why on today's blog I want to help out all my new mama's as you prepare for your hospital stay!

The Essentials
What are the items you always bring with you on any trip or overnight stay? All your toiletries. The same goes for the hospital, but remember, this is not a Hampton Inn so there will be no tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles so you have to remember to pack everything. My toiletry bag is usually the last thing I put together and pack up when going on a trip because a lot of the items I use every day. I wasn’t sure when JR was coming or how and the same goes for my second. To be ready and not have to worry about forgetting something I actually buy travel sizes of my everyday products. This way I can have them packed up and ready to go to ensure I don’t forget anything. My toiletries include everything from shower essentials to dry shampoo!

For Baby
This is where the first time mama can go a little overboard. I believe for JR, who was born in January, I brought three outfits, a big fleece onesie so he wasn’t cold when we went home, hats, and the little hand covers. The only thing I used, one of the three sleepers I brought and that was to bring him home. The fleece onesie was too bulky for the car seat and our nurse told us to not use it. We just bundled him up with blankets and a hat and made sure the car was warmed up before we made the transfer and he was fine. I thought I would have changed him every day, but as a newborn, the first three days in the hospital are rough. You are poked and prodded, and as a boy, circumcised, when you get back to the room with mommy and daddy all you want to do is relax. He lived in a diaper, the shirt the hospital gave him, and a swaddle. The only reason you would overpack outfits is if you were doing pictures at the hospital, which I am not, because trust me that is the last thing you want to do after giving birth.

For Ava, I packed one sleeper, a hat, and a blanket.

For Mama
When I had JR I reached out to my sister-in-law, who gave birth to my niece 4 months before me, on what to pack for myself for the hospital and every suggestion I followed and hated once I was at the hospital. The moral of the story is stay true to you and what makes you comfortable. For example, my sister-in-law told me to not wear leggings, opt for baggy loose-fitting bottoms. I happen to wear leggings and a tank to bed every night and quickly learned that just because I gave birth, that doesn’t change. The one thing I hated about packing baggy pants, they didn’t really hold anything in place. If you give birth vaginally there is a whole ice pack situation that would have been manageable if I had a tighter fitting pant like a legging to keep everything secure, so to speak. 
I do, however, wish I listened to my mom when she told me to pack a nightgown for easy access when breastfeeding. I told her nightgowns are not my thing and I would just use my robe. Well this time around, nightgowns are totally my thing. The tie belt of my robe was not working for me, I definitely needed some buttons for a secure closure so everything wasn’t hanging out. 

For mama:
*2 pairs of leggings
*A nightgown
*Socks/underwear (although to be honest you will live for the mesh undies the hospital gives you)
*2 non-nursing tanks (only because with both pregnancies I’ve had some pain and stretching right where an underwire or elastic band would go for a bra and even after baby is born the area is still too sore to wear anything too tight on that area)
*Reusable nipple pads
* I also will grab my everyday handbag, and all that’s in there, including makeup. Let's be real, our lives are in our handbags and I would never leave the house without it, even when giving birth!

Don't Forget Daddy!
When you go into labor there is a lot going on, for both you and your spouse. My husband was in charge of packing up the car and calming his wife down, he was not thinking about packing items for himself for his hospital stay. No worries, because just as I pack for him when we go on vacation, I also remembered to pack some items for him to stay at the hospital. One less thing for the both of you to worry about!

Things to keep in mind!
The hospital will pretty much have everything you and your baby will need for postpartum care. From diapers, to baby soap, ice packs to oversized mesh undies and guess what, if it enters your room you paid for it! Make sure you take it all home with you. The nurse that was there when I was dispatched actually packed up everything for me and added a few extra items, just in case. You may not have a cool nurse like mine but remember to take it all, especially those attractive mesh panties they really are so useful when you get home!

Pack some snacks! Leave it to my cheap husband to pack a picnic from home. Hospital food is never good and it's expensive. I'm glad my husband packed some yummy snacks we liked and sandwiches. It really made things a little easier when you were ready to eat!

From a mom going on her second child this is what I'm packing for the hospital, but remember each mama is different, each birth is different. Pack what's right for you, even if that means over packing. I just hope this post lends itself as more of a guide or jumping off point when deciding what to pack for the hospital. As always if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and congrats on your new little addition!

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