I spent a lot of time thinking about what to take to the hospital with me when it was baby time. I actually didn’t pack my bag until the first of April and that was only because I was sent to the hospital for monitoring and we got a little nervous that it was time. Even with that, I wouldn’t let Adam pack the car with the bags – I told him if we ended up being admitted he could come back for the bags – we only live 5 miles from the hospital. Luckily, we didn’t need anything that visit and came back home after just a few long hours of monitoring baby and me.
I had a general idea of what I was packing and didn’t want to have my make-up and toiletries packed until it was the last minute. Being the planner that I am, once we knew I was being scheduled for a c-section, it took most of the guess work out of knowing when I had to have everything ready to go by (unless I went into labor beforehand!). Plus, living so close to the hospital, I could have my parents bring me whatever I needed after the fact.
All that being said, here’s my list of must-haves for the hospital:
- Make up – I wanted to look halfway decent for all the pictures that were destined to happen (and later be scrapbooked). I packed my tried and true Vera Blush and Brush make up bag in Katalina pink. Love this bag because you can keep your brushes protected on one slimmer side and the bigger cosmetics completely separate on the other. I store my bobby pins, extra contacts and hair ties in the clear zippered pouch.
- Boppy – newborns nurse A LOT! Having the boppy made it so much more comfortable – especially during the awkward “trying to figure everything out” phase! Plus, the boppy helped keep baby up off my tender incision. Other nursing items I was glad I had with me were the Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter and Lanisoh Soothies Gel Pads. Both were suggestions I had read about on another expectant mama’s blog prior to giving birth.
- Baby Coming Home Outfit – This was basically the only thing I packed for baby – more on that later. I got Carter’s adorable monogrammed outfit from this Etsy shop. The material was sooo soft (pima cotton) – highly recommend.
- A good camera – yes, we ended up taking 85% of the pictures with an iPhone (including the ones from right after the c-section when we met our sweet boy for the first time), but the ones I did take with my Nikon have much better quality.
- A long robe – this was harder to find than I imagined! I wanted to be covered and comfortable while at the hospital and knew I could use the robe once home when we had company and I also wanted more coverage. I finally landed on the Croft & Barrow Waffle-Knit Long Kimono Robe from Kohl’s in barely pink. The robe came in handy when visitors were at the hospital and when Adam and I would go for short walks around the maternity floor.
- Nursing Gowns – the day after my c-section, this nursing gown was a lifesaver. I was also ready to ditch the hospital gown the first second it was an option. The nursing gown was comfortable to wear and provided easy access for the frequent nursing. It also ended up looking nice in the newborn pictures offered by the hospital (unexpectedly).
- Slippers or flip flops – do you really want to be barefoot at the hospital??
- Visitor Guest List – I knew I wanted to have Carter’s first visitors recorded so I could add it to his baby book so I made a quick “sign in” sheet in Word and printed on cardstock to have with us in our room.
- Long charging cord for cell phone – it was next to impossible for me to move around much so it was handy to have a charger that reached to the hospital bed
Another thing I did that made life easy was to NOT take my purse. Instead, I took a small Coach cosmetic bag and put the “must have” items in it and kept it on the food tray near the hospital bed (at all times):
- Cell phone charger
- Cell phones (work and personal)
- Lip gloss
- Driver’s license
- Insurance card
There were also a few items I should have brought and didn’t:
- More items for baby – this is personal preference as the hospital provided diapers, wipes, blankets and some kimono style tops for baby. My mom brought me a few baby gowns and the baby bath products I had purchased to give him his first bath (aka good wipe off).
- Pacifiers – again, personal preference. Our baby liked to suck and was comforted by it so this was another item my mom brought that I hadn’t thought about packing
- SNACKS – if it hadn’t been for a very kind friend who brought a wonderful snack basket the night of Carter’s birth, Adam and I would have starved! Nursing alone requires more food than I’m use to AND we were up all night with our very alert, hungry baby. The snacks were a lifesaver. Some of my top picks:
- Jiff Peanut Butter Bars
- Peanut Butter M&Ms
- Pillow for Adam – not only was he stuck with a horrible chair that converted into a cot to sleep on, the pillows were less than desirable.
Items I took but didn’t need:
- Water cup with straw – the hospital provided a large 28oz water jug right after surgery and I have been using it ever since!
- Clothes – I wasn’t sure what to expect and had packed several yoga pants/tank tops – turns out, the only thing I needed were the nursing gowns, robe and my dress to come home in.
Comment below what your must-have items were for your hospital bag