What I’m Taking to the Hospital (and What I’m Not)- Second Time is Hopefully A Charm

  I mentioned Friday that I’ve started packing my bag for the hospital.  I’ve also, of course, in a fit of nesting, been sewing the actual bags everything will be going into.  Oops.
  I took way too much with us when G was born.  I was there for 2 and a half days and I didn’t touch most of what I took, and was missing a few things I ought to have taken.
  Like most first time moms, I didn’t have a clue what was going to be useful and what was just going to take up space in my bag.
  Obviously, every woman is different.  Figure out the things that make your every day life yours.  Those should be the things you’re packing.  Here’s what I’m taking this time:
One set of Nursing Pajamas

  Last time I took two, brand-newly sewn nightgowns and a robe with me.  The nightgowns never got worn and the robe only once, when I walked down to the showers.  Part of that was because I essentially didn’t labor at the hospital.  G was born within about a half hour of our arriving and the nightgowns had been designed around being able to waddle around modestly, not nursing.  I had no idea how difficult learning to breast feed was going to be and working around clothing that wasn’t designed for it wasn’t gonna happen.  I stayed in the hospital gown most of the time.  Not pretty.

  That being said, while I hate those hospital gowns, I’m not taking anything for laboring in this time.  I want to change into my clothes much sooner after delivery (it made me feel far more human), but not until the worst of the messy bit is over.

Nursing Pillow and Lanisoh

  These were both things that would have made figuring out nursing 500 times easier for me that I just didn’t know about.  I had my nursing pillow at home, but I didn’t realize that for a long torsoed gal like me, it was the difference between comfortable nursing and attempting to levitate my son for 45 minutes while he nursed, so it stayed at home.  That pillow is going to be by far the bulkiest thing going with us, but I won’t even consider leaving it at home this time.
  When I get pregnant, my skin gets incredibly dry.  Combine that with dry, winter air (especially dry, hospital winter air) and the loss of moisture from nursing and I was in a bad way.  There are a lot of “soothing” products out there for newly-nursing moms, but Lanisoh’s Lanolin cream was the only one I found that you don’t have to wash yourself off before feeding the baby again.  Soap & water + dry skin= worse dry skin.  I really, really wish I would have found this one sooner.  My skin cracked and bled and G and I were about 1/2 a feeding away from my giving up when we discovered it.  I’ve tried a couple of the off brands, and while they make amazing moisturizers (my hands, elbows and feet are getting slathered with the stuff most nights), most of them still retain the “sheep” smell.  I’m cool with my hands smelling like sheep…not so ok with it going in my kid’s mouth.  Call it a quirk.


  Old ratty ones.  I’m taking a pair that I plan on throwing away as soon as we get home.  Hell, maybe I’ll even throw them away at the hospital.  You do not want to be barefoot at the hospital…but by the same token, you don’t really want to bring home whatever goo your slippers were protecting your feet from either.  Something you don’t really want to think about, be it blood, vomit, baby poop or some other bodily fluid will probably wind up on these.  If you don’t have a pair that’s ready to be tossed already, flip flops may be a good stand in.  At least they can be hosed down.

Basic Hygiene Items

  Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap…the basics you’d take camping and the very basics you’d use to shower when you got home from said camping trip.  Giving birth is hard work.  Expect to want a shower at least as much as you would after a workout at the gym.

Hair Wrangling Implements

  I chopped all my hair off before G was born.  I’d heard it was all going to fall out after the birth anyhow and I didn’t want to be dealing with a newborn and giant hanks of long hair on the floor.  Mine didn’t wind up falling out til after I started weaning though, so this time I’m leaving it long.  If you’re going pixie, hair ties don’t need to be on your list, but I’ll be taking a bunch.  If nothing else, I’ll want them if my hair dries funny after my shower.

Vanity/Comfort Items

  This one is entirely personal.  I didn’t really take my makeup with me last time and I’ve regretted it every time I see the pictures since.  It’s not so much that mascara is the be all and end all of how I look as that putting my makeup on is part of my morning routine and changes my attitude.  Without it I felt like I was at home on a sick day in a ratty robe and so I looked like I was sick and exhausted and feeling ratty.  When I finally did get around to slicking on some lip gloss as we were about to leave it made all the difference in how I felt.  Don’t feel like you have to Barbie yourself up at the hospital, but don’t ignore how important your normal routine can be to making you feel comfortable either.  I have tea every morning when I wake up, and I’m trying to figure out if there’s a practical way to get my teapot to the hospital with me!

Something to Wear Home

  The only item I haven’t packed yet.  I plan on wearing all my clothes til much closer to delivery!

So what am I leaving at home this time?

  • The many, many items I packed thinking I was going to need to “entertain” myself while I was in labor and after the birth.  I’m freaking adorable.  I don’t think I ever touched the books I took…if I wasn’t actively doing something (usually nursing) with the baby, I was eating or asleep.
  • Anything new and special.  Hospitals are gross and birth is a dirty business.  If this is your first time having a baby, obviously your nursing pjs will be new, but I’d suggest picking a darker color.
  • A bunch of “options” for baby’s “going home” outfit.  Honestly I’m not sure
    I’m going to bother with anything beyond the onesie they supply.  When they’re that little they’re wrapped up in a swaddle or a blanket all the time anyhow, so why add more things to your bag that nobody will see anyhow?  He’ll have the blanket I’ve crocheted, he doesn’t need a novelty tshirt til he’s at least a week old.

  All in all, I’m hoping to have more of the essentials and less of the “why did I bother?”s this time.  I’m keeping my bag small (it’s finished!  I’ll show it to you Friday!) and so hopefully it will keep me from adding in “just one more” thing that I might need.

  I have 7 weeks until my due date, a month until the baby is considered full term.  Lets do this.

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