It’s probably one of the most important trips you will ever take. The need to be prepared is something that will probably keep you awake in those final days before your little one arrives. You feel like you need so much… but yet you don’t want to be THAT mom that brings an oversized rolling suitcase along with a trunk and 2 carry-ons. Plus the diaper bag. And your purse. Make up bag. I hate to admit it, but I look back and realize I didn’t need half of what I brought, but there are some things I think made the experience so much easier. Then there were some things that I realllllly wished I had thought to bring. Here’s the list.
What I didn’t need
- Nursing Nightgowns- my mom will probably be really upset when she reads this. She was sweet enough to buy me some really cute night gowns with special slits to make breastfeeding easier. I packed 3 of them in my bag. I did not put them on at all in the hospital. The biggest reason- my IV. It was very difficult to change into tight gowns with all those tubes connected to my arm. I labored for 14 hours and ended up with an emergency c-section so energy was sparse those two days after having Emmy. I honestly only showered twice while I was in the hospital and wore just a nursing bra and robe the entire time I was there (more on that in the must have section below). So as cute as they are, they were a waste of space in my bag.
- Extra clothes for baby- I think I took like 16 outfits for Emmy. I ended up needing two. I took a hat too- not necessary in Texas in July. The only ones I ended up needing were the NB sized outfit and the 3 mo sized outfit. She just barely fit into the NB but I’m happy I had both just in case. I also took a blanket and a pacifier for her. That’s about all we used.
- My entire make up bag- I basically needed my moisturizer, some CC cream, mascara and under eye concealer. Anything more than that was beyond my energy level. I only put on make up the final day when I knew we were taking pictures. BIG waste of bag space.
What I wish I had
- Dry Shampoo- Luckily someone brought me some. I took my blow dryer and straightener thinking I would do my hair. Umm no. Take some with you. You don’t want to be looking like a grease ball in all your pictures.
- My own comfy socks- don’t get me wrong, the ones the hospital gives you are great. But they didn’t stay on my feet very well and I had to keep asking Jay to fix them for me. It was pretty inconvenient. If you bring your own, be sure they have anti-slip material on the bottom! These are basically the cutest labor socks I have ever seen and $7!
- More Pillows- I took two of my own, but I wish I would have brought some for baby daddy. Poor guy is probably still working out that crick in his neck from the flat pillows. By the way- mom’s aren’t the only ones who need special clothes for labor and delivery. Make you guy feel special with some labor and delivery swag just for him!
- My own pads- When the time came to finally leave the hospital, I couldn’t wait to be out of my adult diaper. I had bought some heavy duty pads of my own that would have been SO much more comfortable and would have stayed in place alot better. Unfortunately I left them at home knowing the hospital would provide. Had I known how bulky and awkward they would be, I would have packed my own. I opted for the these pads because they were thin but SERIOUSLY absorbent. And if you plan to deliver vaginally, I would highly suggest making some of these postpartum pads as well. You will thank me later. Postpartum items for mom were a BIG item on my baby checklist. Be sure to check out the 21 things you must do before your due date!
What I couldn’t have lived without
- My portable fan- I actually bought this for Emmy to use in her stroller, but it came in handy BIG TIME when I was in labor. I was hot as hell and having this blowing on my face was AMAZING. Be sure to get one with a clip, like this one, to make sure every ones hands are free to do other important things. (UPDATE- I am now pregnant again and have resorted to using this fan on myself during our daily walks! Almost a year later and it is still my favorite $10 buy!)
- My chapstick- I think i went through an entire tube in my 4 days at the hospital. My lips got so dry for some reason. Maybe it was all the heavy breathing or 24 hour ice chip diet? Who knows- but I am so happy I had it! P.S. Go with mint chapstick! It’s so refreshing!
- Boppy Pillow- Ohhhh what would I have done without it. It sounds strange- but here’s the reason why: once again… my IV tubes! It was very difficult to hold Emmy with that big plastic thing taped to my arm. I was worried about it being uncomfortable for her and for hurting me. Then I remembered we had the Boppy in the car and it saved the day! If you don’t have one already- check them out here!
- My maxi dress- Moving after having a baby is hard, especially if you have a c-section. I took a maxi dress for my going home outfit and it was a great move. Putting on pants would have been close to impossible, plus it didn’t bring my attention to the fact that I still had a pretty large bump. Definitely pack one if you’ve got it.
- My robe and nursing bra- remember how I mentioned earlier that I took all those cute night gowns but didn’t even pull them out of my bag? That’s because I stayed in a bra and robe almost the entire time. I took a few sleep nursing bras with me (I’m a huge fan of the Kindred Nursing Bra brand– I own at least 4!) and my robe that tied in the front and that was my fashionable ensemble for the entire 4 days. I was so comfortable. If I knew we were going to be alone in the room for a while I would just be in my bra in bed with the sheets and blankets covering most of me. I didn’t care if nurses or doctors came in, I mean they’ve seen just about everything at that point so a full coverage bra was considered modest. If I knew we were having visitors I would put my robe on and tie it so I was covered up. Again, because of my c-section I was usually in bed when visitors came so it was easy to stay covered up. I would suggest taking 3-4 sleeping nursing bras like this one. As for underwear- the hospital provides these super cute (sarcasm), super comfortable (again, sarcasm) disposable panties that you wear the entire time. No need to pack underwear for the entire stay, just a pair to wear home. So lesson I learned here, don’t over do it on the cute gowns and clothes. Just think of what you would wear if you were stuck in bed for 4 days and pack that.
If you’re worried about needing something you don’t have but don’t want to over pack, pack a “might need” bag and leave it in the car or with a relative who you know is close by and will be coming to the hospital. And even if you forget something major, the hospital always has the necessities. Don’t stress it too much! Happy packing!