The hospital is a funny place, isn’t it?
Also, looking back on our hospital stay with Joey back in July, I realize even more about what we could and could not have done. But being in the hospital is so weird, ya know? Like, you’re at a hotel but instead of all the amenities, you get a baby instead.
Anywho, I told myself I would write a post about what we packed for the hospital a long time ago, and frankly, I’m glad I waited this long. Because now I’m going to write about what we did pack, and what I wish we would have packed. So, in essence, this is my ideal hospital stay packing list!
Couple things to keep in mind:
We had Joey in the heat of Chico summer. As in, it was 106 degrees outside the day he was born, so many of the things I packed were related to that situation. Frankly, even though the baby is teeny tiny and probably always cold, I guarantee the baby is not cold when you head home from the hospital when it’s 106 degrees outside. Hence, why I don’t have a “going home” outfit specified here.
I didn’t expect Adam to stay for the whole time and not go home at all in between. He did in fact stay with me the whole time. I thought he’d come home, take a nap, feed the dogs, grab some things, etc. But he didn’t, which was great, but not expected.
My labor was WAY faster than normal, I hear. As in, like 3 hours. You can read Joey’s birth story HERE but nonetheless, I packed way more for our labor time than was needed. So, I may not be much help in the “while you labor” department.
- A waterproof crib liner for the car. If your water has already broke when you head for the hospital, something to have underneath you in the car will be a no-brainer and trust me, this will be nice to have all folded up nice in the front seat pocket when you load up to leave. However, if it hasn’t, and you forget altogether that your water might break in the car (eh-hem), you will again, be glad it’s there. Also, trust me, and towel is not sufficient.
- Notebook or pad of paper and pen. Whoever is in charge of getting you to the hospital will need to have your contraction history documented in a fairly organized fashion. Your triage nurse is going to ask you when you started having contractions, and how fast and long they are now, etc. Trust me, you won’t remember, and you’ll be really glad your person has it all under control.
- A small bottle of champagne and two plastic glasses. Pack them. And then you’ll forget you have them until you go to change your underwear the next day and then you’ll need it more than you ever thought possible.
Note : if your husband is taking you to the hospital, I suggest either having a pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the fridge ready to grab for him, or leave with enough time (ha) to stop and get a snack. They always seem to be hungry at the most inconvenient time possible. Be prepared.
- Phone chargers
- An excess of hair ties
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Battery operated night light. Like the click kind – so you can have just enough light to nurse in the middle of the night without turning on the big light
- Favorite pillow(s) with something other than a white pillowcase (so they don’t blend in with the hospital ones)
- Slippers. Your favorite ones. You’ll want them.
- Dry Shampoo. You will definitely want to shower ASAP, but for me, I had no desire to wash my hair. Dry shampoo is also my saving grace. Every. Single. Day. So it seemed logical that I pack it (or carry it in my purse, ya know…)
- Nightie or robe. I wore a black, cotton nightie with a built in bra and changed into it as soon as they would let me. It was super easy to nurse, as I could just pull down the strap and viola, and it was loose around my sensitive mid section that was still ultra swollen and uncomfortable. And no one could see that I was basically wearing a diaper, but we’ll get to that.
- Softest, most favorite cardigan or open front sweater. To wear over said nightie and to snuggle your baby in. Yup.
- High-waisted leggings and your favorite long t-shirt. This is what I wore day 2 and then again for the ride home, which was great. By the next day, I was ready to get that mid-section all snugged up and tucked in, and I craved my favorite loose tee. Still, easy to nurse in (lift up and go) and my mid-section was still held tight.
- Bra situation. Now, I didn’t wear one the first few days until my milk came in. Different story after that. But while in the hospital, I chose to go braless as it was just, frankly, SO MUCH EASIER. If needed (like if you have boobs that are actually existent, unlike mine), get a super comfy nursing bra. TRY THEM ON somewhere and don’t order a cheap one. You can see what I did for a bra situation later on my post about our favorite postpartum things HERE.
- Facewash, foundation, eyebrow pencil and mascara. That’s all you’ll need. And I recommend them, as you will be getting your photo taken and taking the thirty seconds to yourself to do just a tiny bit will do wonders for you.
- Essential oils and diffuser. I liked lavender and the balance blend. Also recommend digest zen blend to help with baby gas issues.
- Something to wear home. Don’t get fancy. Those high-waisted leggings and a t-shirt with flip flops or slippers really does the trick.
- This nipple cream. This spray for your hoo-ha. Coconut oil (or vaseline or your favorite lotion or lip balm) for dry lips, essential oil applicator, makeup remover, moisturizer, you name it.
Note : don’t pack underwear – you will want to wear the ones they give you in the hospital. Trust me.
Treats for Mom:
- Raw juice. I am a major juice drinker, and all I wanted (most of my pregnancy) was my favorite raw green juice. It was also the first thing I drank after the baby was born and it was oh-so-refreshing, rewarding and a great source of fiber (which you will need), vitamins and minerals to give me a boost.
- Water with electrolytes or the Recharge drinks from Raley’s. You will be ultra-dehydrated and it’s imperative you get back. Drink up.
- Aforementioned champagne.
- I’ll make this short – two sets of something to wear, shaving kit, favorite pillow, slippers, one pair pajamas.
- Sweatshirt. And socks. I kept the temperature so freaking low in that room, as I was OVERHEATING ALL THE TIME and Adam was frozen.
- Obviously, have your car seat installed and ready.
- The softest blanket you can find. I really loved the muslin blankets (not the aiden & anais brand, but THESE instead). But nothing heavy or fluffy. Baby will be so small, that those just seem to swallow them up whole at this stage.
- Variety of pacifiers. We made the mistake and didn’t give Joey a pacifier right off the bat, but as a soon as we did, he loved it. And soothing them is so important those first few days particularly, and sometimes a binky just does the trick. Joey loved THESE but we have also heard good things about the Soothie or the Nub.
- Bath supplies. We didn’t give Joey a bath until we got home (which I highly recommend, but I’ll write a post about why later), but he did need some cleaning up while we were in the hospital. I loved THESE washcloths to wipe him down and use on his sensitive face for that first spit up incident, and I also used coconut oil as a little bit of moisturizer for his little booty and head those first few days.
- A Snuggle Me or a Dock-a-Tot. This, for me, is a non-negotiable. We didn’t have one in the hospital, and God, do I wish we had. Seriously. If you want to know more about my obsession and major affection for the Snuggle Me, go HERE. It will convince you.
- THIS sleeper. You’ll change a lot of diapers that first night or two (or forever, but ya’know), and it’s nice to be able to do it quickly and painlessly. I love these because they knot at the bottom instead of buttons, which makes it less invasive and faster. And they are a great, super soft material that just feels so good on their skin. We still use them. Keep their toes warm but let them move. We believe in that ‘round these parts. And you can still swaddle them if needed.
Really. That’s it.
Now, this is just our experience, but those two days in the hospital just all blended together into one big blur.
We are exceptionally thankful to the nurses, particularly the one who put a note on our door that said “family nap time,” letting us have some uninterrupted sleep time during the day. Though we loved our visitors, we were SO TIRED.
- Take the baby out on the way home. Go to lunch, go get your favorite latte, go see a friend. It feels so good to go somewhere, and be out for a minute. You’ll be home soon enough, and then you’ll feel trapped for a few days while you adjust. So go! Have a pizza and beer (hallelujah) and get that baby socialized.
- Also on the way home – grab take-out for that night. It’s even easier than heating up a casserole someone has already left in your fridge.
- Pre-made group texts. Adam and I made two lists – 1) need to know we are headed to the hospital and 2) need to know we are in labor. A few days prior, I put all these people into a group text message, let them know that they were in fact on our list to contact once the baby starts to make their arrival, and that we’d be sending updates via that text string. It was super easy to send a simple text to the essentials (Mom, Dad, siblings and best friends) that we were headed to the hospital (please come NOW) and then once we were settled in our room (ya, for the whole like, 20 minutes) we texted the other group to let them in on the secret (you know, other friends, uncles, aunts, etc.)
Ok, really, that’s it now.