I did a lot of research before I packed my hospital bag. And by research, I mean I pinned a lot of ideas and read mom blogs about what other mamas packed. I waited until last minute to pack things. I had a feeling in my gut that we wouldn't go into early labour (even though we had many close calls!), so I kept putting it off. I had all my ideas of what I wanted to and should pack, and when it finally came time to pack ... I overpacked tremendously. I didn't use 3/4 of the stuff that I brought! What was I thinking?!
I guess I had an idyllic idea of what my hospital stay would be like. I pictured myself just lounging around in cute pajamas, with my makeup and hair fully done, cuddling in bed with my boys. I thought I'd have so much time to just "hangout" in between feeds. Tim even packed books and magazines, for his "downtime". We were naive: we just had NO idea what we'd need, so we brought everything!
What I brought for myself:
-a "going home" outfit
-postpartum underwear (more on this later)
-granola bars (more on this later)
-tooth brush and toothpaste
What Tim brought:
-change of clothes
What we brought for the boys:
-"going home" outfit
(We knew that our hospital would provide us with most things we needed: diapers, vaseline, receiving blankets ... so we really didn't bring much for the boys! We were actually smart about the boys' stuff)
Okay, so out of my list, the things that were ESSENTIAL for me were:
-robe (and then I went naked underneath because my nipples were soooo sore ... heck most of the time I just went topless!)
-slippers ... I just got a cheap pair from Joe Fresh and then threw them away in the hospital garbage ... yuck! No amount of washing would take away hospital germs for me!
-flip flops: I am a bit of a germaphobe, so I wore flip flops in the shower, and then I had another pair for the couple times we walked around the hospital and outside a bit
-Toiletries: it felt SO good to use my own products and have a nice shower. Then I lathered up with my own moisturizer because it's SO dry in hospitals. Also I brushed my teeth like a hundred times a day! A good brush can make you feel so much better when you're all tired and blah!
-Chapstick: another lifesaver for dry hospitals!
The only thing I forgot to bring and don't know why I didn't get someone to get me some, is hair elastics! You know when elastics lose their stretch... well that happened to mine and so my hair was up in a stupid floppy bun the whole time! UGH! Also, I would highly recommend getting your NAILS done before going in! I had recently gotten a pedicure so my toes were good to go, but my nails were supposed to get done on May 18th and low and behold, I got stuck in the hospital with preeclampsia. Another regret of mine. They started to grow out and chip and they were gel, so I couldn't just remove it myself! Another UGH!
Tim really found his own pillow and blanket handy. There are no beds for hubbies, so he slept on the recliner which was actually a lot more comfortable than the hide-a-chair they offered him. We were in the hospital for over a week. I slept on a birthing bed the whole time. It was terrible!! When we had to go back to the hospital because of my excessive postpartum bleeding (read the post here) we stayed in the maternity ward but we both got our own beds, and they were regular hospital beds and SO comfy compared to what we were sleeping on the week before.
Oh! I forgot to mention the postpartum underwear. Everyone told me I needed some big granny panties. They told me about the diaper that the hospital would give you, but I thought I'd buy some of my own. I went to La Vie en Rose and bought the biggest cotton panties I could find, and let me tell you ... those didn't even come close to doing the trick. The underwear they gave you at the hospital... they are like GOLD! So comfy, especially for you other c-section mamas, and fit those big pads/diapers perfectly! I even took some home and wore them for about a week before I was comfortable to try other underwear on.
I also mentioned I'd talk more about granola bars or snacks! We were SO fortunate to have so much food brought to us. I didn't pack any snacks except a box of granola bars, but after having two babies and then burning crazy calories from breastfeeding and pumping, all I wanted to do was eat. I looked forward to every meal because we got so much good stuff! Our parents brought us tons of home cooked meals, smoothies, Tim's grandma brought a fruit platter, and friends brought us a fruit salad. So good to have fresh food and home cooked meals. The hospital food was terrible! So if you aren't able to have food brought to you, I would suggest bringing some snacks, or getting hubby to run out and get you things once you're there. I couldn't have survived off of hospital food!
One last thing, we didn't dress the boys the entire time they were at the hospital. For the first while they had their baby IVs in, so it was too tricky to get sleeves on and then they spent 24 hours under the lights, and had to be naked. So, we just swaddled them in receiving blankets (how were they ever that small?!)! The hospital provided us with everything we needed for the boys, so that was really, truly wonderful! And, they sent us home with tons of things too: anything that got opened, we got to take home! Diapers, soothers, bottles, vaseline, pads (for mama), diapers (for mama)!
Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas and some of my hardcore "research": Preparing for Babies
Thanks for reading! I've had some mamas ask about Newborn Essentials, so that will be coming in the near future. Also, look out for a post on the Postpartum Body!
MRS. + MAMA