The last 7 months have gone fast and slow all at the same time. Most likely because this time I’m chasing a toddler around and (so far) don’t have to be stuck in bed. But, I also still have been sick and overall hurting a lot worse this time than I was with SJ, which makes it go a little bit slower. And of course the anticipation of meeting AJ makes it feel like my pregnancy lasts as long as an elephant’s (which is 22 months if you were wondering, and yes I had to Google that). But after everything we went through with SJ, and now that they are watching me nice and closely with AJ, I figured I should really get my hospital bag in order.
I will say I am pretty proud of myself as not much has changed from what I brought the first time around. Which means I did pretty well the first time around – high-five to me! I start by making a list for myself (the longest, go figure), a list for DJ, a list for AJ, and a last minute list that I really can’t get together until right before. And I only use 2 bags! Our middle size rolling luggage for me, DJ, and AJ’s things that has the long term stay items that DJ goes and gets after we have settled into our regular room. Then, I also have a smaller, tote-type bag (I use the Fold-Over Weekender from Thirty-One) that will go into the labor & delivery room with us as soon as we get to the hospital. I tend to over-pack and like to be prepared, but I would rather be over-prepared, especially since we live an hour from the hospital.
- 3 Pairs of comfy pants and 3 loose, low cut shirts (1 pair of pants and 1 shirt goes into the L&D bag to change into before going to our room)- When I had SJ, I got two nursing friendly night gowns to wear while in the hospital, and while they were great for nursing, they weren’t the most comfortable for me or easiest for the nurses. After you have the baby, the nurses come in and “massage” your stomach and have to look down there to monitor what is coming out, which means every time they came in, I had to try and wrestle my night gown up high enough for them to get access to my stomach and look down yonder. The night gowns were also a pain to hold up while trying to use the restroom and deal with that process, because it is a complete 10 minute process every time you have to go into the bathroom. This way, for the nurses, I can simply lift up my t-shirt, and going to the bathroom will be a little easier. I made sure I got loose, comfy sweatpants that can accommodate my diapers (that’s coming), and loose low cut shirts that are easy to just pull down to nurse in. I have two pairs of pants and shirts for the stay, and one pair of pants and shirt to go home in.
- 3 Nursing Bras and LOTS of Nursing Pads (1 bra and 1 pair of nursing pads in the L&D bag)- This is one of those things that I really probably only need one, maybe two, bras and a couple pairs of nursing pads, but who knows when my milk will decide to come in full-force and I soak through everything. With SJ, I soaked through everything and I definitely want to be prepared this time. These are the nursing bras I like for in the hospital and sleeping in.
- Nursing Hoodie– Since AJ is being born (most likely) in April, it will probably still be a little chilly and I want to wear a hoodie, but nursing in a hoodie is a pain! So I found a couple cute nursing hoodies and am bringing one to wear when we leave. That way I can be dressed and ready before we go, but can still nurse AJ right before we leave. I got this one and this one on Amazon, but make sure to order one to two sizes larger because they run very small. I usually wear medium or large, but because I like them bigger, I ordered an XL for both.
- Robe (in the L&D bag)- I am ALWAYS cold, it’s a family trait. A robe will be something I can wear to stay a little warmer, and not have to worry about nursing in while in the room. It will also be great for during labor if I decide to walk the halls or just in the wheelchair ride to our room after AJ is born. It will help keep me all covered up and warm in the halls.
- Slippers (in the L&D bag)- It’s nice to have something comfortable to walk in that aren’t the itchy, grippy socks they give you in the hospital. Whether it’s walking the halls, or just getting up to go to the bathroom. I highly suggest slip ons, rather than the ones that you have to pull around the back of your heels because bending over still isn’t easy after the baby comes out, especially if you have to get a c-section.
- 3 Pairs of Fuzzy Socks– This is a definite personal decision, like I said, I am always cold and I pretty much live in fuzzy socks.
- Flip-Flops– because no one wants to go barefoot in hospital showers.
- Delivery Gown (in the L&D bag)- this one is completely optional, I decided to splurge a bit for baby #2 and go for it. The hospital gowns are extremely uncomfortable, and I would rather just not think about everything that has already happened in them. I got a cute one on Amazon that is nice and soft, has buttons down the back, and buttons down the front to be able to undo and do skin-to-skin and nurse right away. This is the one I ordered.
- Always Discreet Underwear ( I bring about 15)- Yup, you read that right. The hospital will have diapers for the baby, but make sure to bring some for you. They give you pads the size of a large towel and mesh underwear, but I constantly worried about leaking everywhere. With these I felt nice and secure. I still put a pad in them just for extra protection, but I didn’t have to worry about anything slipping around like I know I would have with the mesh underwear, and these were much more comfortable. I got the highest absorbency I could so that I could go without the pads if I wanted to. I even had a nurse comment what a good idea it was and I was surprised they hadn’t seen more women with them.
- Flushable Wipes– These are just nice to keep in the bathroom to help keep things nice and clean down there. The peri bottle they give you will be a complete life saver (make sure you take it home!), but having something soft to use down there helps so much. Because any toilet paper will feel like sand paper.
- Dermoplast– Best invention ever after having a baby! I had a second degree tear with SJ and the Dermoplast helped soothe the pain. And you literally just pushed a tiny human out, you’re going to be sore.
- Tucks– These little cooling, round pads that you can stick right on top of your pad helps soothe the pain that comes after having a baby as well. And… sorry, but hemorrhoids will probably happen after you have the baby if you don’t already have them. For me, they didn’t happen until SJ was 6 weeks old, but I was so happy I already had these little round pieces of heaven.
- Coconut Oil– With SJ I just brought regular nipple balm, thankfully because my nipples were cracked and bleeding by the next morning. But after I got home, I started just using coconut oil. It works amazing, I don’t have to worry about wiping it off before nursing again, and it’s cheaper! I put some in a little mason jar and threw it in my bag for this time.
- Belly Bandit– I didn’t wear my Belly Bandit as much as I wish I would have the first time around, but I know this time I have diastasis recti (separation of your ab muscles) that is more severe than I ever had with SJ. I plan on trying to wear this as soon as I have her and get settled to start the healing process of not only my ab muscles, but to help my uterus go back down, and to help my pelvic floor muscles. I have become more passionate about learning of the effects diastasis recti has on women’s body, and it isn’t just the mama pooch, but it can affect your pelvic floor muscles as well which in turn can lead to incontinence and organ prolapse in extreme cases. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! Look into the benefits of belly wrapping and how to properly strengthen your tummy muscles after having a baby.
- In my Toiletries Bag– This bag we always have packed, it sits in our bathroom closet with the travel sizes of everything, so it was very easy to just grab and throw it in the suitcase.
- Dry Shampoo
- Hair Ties
- Body Wash
- Make-Up Wipes
- Chapstick (I actually moved this to my L&D bag)
- Jeans and a (nicer) T-shirt– We are having a photographer come for a fresh-48 session, so I wanted something a little bit more formal than sweatpants for DJ for that. He will also wear this home because he’s not one to wear sweatpants out.
- Sweatpants and a T-shirt– DJ stays at the hospital with me, especially since we live an hour away. So we spend a lot of time just chilling in our room. Since SJ was born at night, we ended up having to stay 2 nights in the hospital, and he needed something comfy to sleep in and lounge in.
- 3 Pairs of Socks– because you have to have socks.
- Sandals-because he usually goes to the cafeteria or to go get coffee in the morning and his boots and sweatpants aren’t a good look. Even though he would totally wear them.
- In the Toiletries Bag– just like all my stuff, these are always in our toiletries bag in the closet
- Name Swaddle & Hat– This is how we tell our family the baby’s name. The first time they meet the baby, she will be wrapped up in her blanket and have her little hat on that has her first and middle name on it. It’s kinda a big deal that I have even put her initials on the blog because we didn’t share anything about SJ’s name before she was born, but this time we have shared AJ’s initials, and her middle name (it’s Jacquelyn, like mine). We ordered this one from Aspen Lane and I cannot wait for it to get here!
- Copper Pearl Swaddle and Hat– I also got her a cute matching swaddle and hat from Copper Pearl and it is so soft! I love it, but this is just an additional item for photos and completely optional.
- 2 Kimono Type Onesies- They have to check baby constantly, so having a onesie that can unbutton in the front is very important. I can also open it up to do skin to skin as well. I brought those little sleep sack things for SJ, and one they were WAY too big, and two they just didn’t work well for the nurses and doctors to check her. I got AJ this one in two colors from L’ovedbaby. I will probably only keep her in one, but with babies you should always have spare clothes.
- Ollie Swaddle– We got no sleep when SJ was born because as soon as her little arm popped out of the blanket, she was crying. I originally was going to bring a SwaddleMe swaddle, but then my mom got AJ the Ollie Swaddle for Christmas and it is super soft and the bottom unties for easy diaper changes.
- Lulla Doll– I’m just hoping this will help her sleep at night as well as help get her nights and days straightened out sooner. We didn’t get this for SJ until she was about 9 months old and I hadn’t slept for 6 months, I am definitely not making that mistake again. Also, the great thing about this doll is that it has velcro straps, so it doesn’t have to be right in the bed with them.
- Boppy- Or some type of nursing pillow.
- Burp Rag or 2– Nursing can get messy; spit up, dribbles, when the baby unlatches during a letdown and gets a milk bath, etc. It’s just a good idea to always have a few of these on hand for the next year or so.
- Pacifiers– Shhh, don’t tell my lactation consultant! I mentioned earlier that by the morning after SJ was born, my nipples were cracked and bleeding. I brought the pacifiers just in case and wasn’t planning on using them since the more I can get her to latch, the faster my milk will come in and help my supply. But, the pain was excruciating and I needed something to soothe her. This time I want to try to not use them, but if I find myself in the same painful situation, I need something to get her off my boob and still keep her happy.
- Muslin Swaddle for the Dogs– If you have pets, it’s a good idea to get the baby’s scent on a blanket and have someone bring it to the dogs before you come home. I plan on bringing two muslin swaddles and having one of our parents that will be staying with SJ and the dogs, bring it home for them to lay with.
- Going Home Outfit– With SJ, I had a cute pair of shorts and a onesie that said “Hello World” on it, but we ended up having to put her in a pair of pants that I luckily brought as well because it was unusually cold for a July day. I kept it simple for AJ and just got this super cute thermal sleeper from L’ovedbaby since I know it will probably be a bit colder out.
- Felt Letter Board– I’m bringing this simply for announcement photos
Last Minute List
- Camera– This is on here because I’m a photographer and even though we have hired a photographer, I want to catch those in-between moments when she isn’t there. I completely failed when we had SJ and didn’t even take my camera out, and now I have hardly any photos. Not making that mistake again, which is also why it was so important to me to hire a photographer this time.
- Snacks– Majority of places you can’t eat during labor, but you want to have snacks in the room after baby is born for you and your significant other. Breastfeeding will make you want to eat everything! And hospital food isn’t all that great.
- iPad, SD reader, and Headphones– The beginning of labor might not be super intense, so it’s nice to have something to play, read, or watch movies on. And after baby is born, I want to be able to upload and edit my photos when we have some downtime, which is why I am bringing my SD card reader for my iPad. I also have these wireless headphones that I got pretty cheap on Amazon to use (possibly) while in labor to help me to relax, or if DJ wants to watch a movie at some point during the stay.
- Phone & Phone Charger
- Make-Up and Moisturizer- This is a personal preference, since we are having a Fresh 48 session, I want to be able to throw a little bit of make-up on. Also, pregnancy and postpartum hormones wreak havoc on my skin, so I have to bring my BeautyCounter moisturizer.
- Blanket– It’s really nice to have something comforting from home like your favorite blanket, I plan on bringing my incredibly soft Matilda Jane Blanket.
Did I miss anything? What is something that you wish you would have brought to the hospital or are so glad you did?