So the bags are packed (have been for weeks now!) and we are just waiting for this little girls arrival any day now!! As a first time mom I stressed and stressed about what I would need at the hospital and basically read every article about “L&D bag essentials” to ensure nothing would be forgotten. Per usual woman-style packing, I completely over packed and brought everything but the kitchen sink and didn’t need even a quarter of it.
So, what are the “essentials” to bring when going in to have a baby? … according to Casey, of course:
- Camera, this is what I use – I am so grateful for the immediate pictures we have of Geoff, Taden and I after his birth. I do not even remember who snapped the photos (I’m sure our amazing doula or nurse are the culprits), but I love gushing over those photos and remembering our immediate reactions staring at our little bundle. Our emotions are so raw and real. Nothing you could ever replicate.
- Nursing Camisole – I am a huge fan of camisoles any day, but these are must post- (and right now pre-) delivery. I purchased a huge stock at Motherhood Maternity before I had Taden and they served me well.
- Chap stick – Most women experience extreme chapped lips during labor due to the decrease in fluids we are usually taking and that our bodies are experiencing a marathon that we truly have not prepared for, and also something about changing of our hormones and other crazy things going on with our bodies at this time. Basically, you will have chapped lips! Bring your favorite lip balm!! Stash is close and apply and re-apply. My go-to has always been Carmex, but bring your fruity stick, this would be my go to, if that’s what you prefer and it just might be your pick-me-upper!!
- Yoga Pants, obsessed with these – I remember after I had Taden looking in the mirror at the hospital, which they purposely position from your chest up, and then further down my body wondering how I could possibly not be pregnant anymore. I thought the baby (and so much more) had left my body! How did I look the same as I did when I walked in (slight exaggeration, but how I felt!)?? Do not bring cute, little outfits to look nice in for visitors or to leave the hospital. You will not fit into those cute outfits, yet, (sorry to be so blunt!) and you will want to only be comfortable. Bring stretchy yoga pants, a big t-shirt and throw in a robe! Comfort is the key word – trust me!
- Usual toiletries – Just because I said you will want to be comfy does not mean you will not want your face on!! The hospital will provide tiny, subpar toiletries for you to use, but your own shampoo and conditioner in your first post-baby shower can go a long way. And mascara!!
- Bag for Nursing Staff – Do this! There definitely is a special place prepared for those that work in L&D departments after this life. These people are saints!! Something I could never do and I am so grateful for all their hard work to make us feel comfortable (word used lightly) during L&D. We brought a bag full of cookies, candies, and other yummy snacks and delivered to the nurses station immediately upon our arrival to the L&D unit. After being in our room for a few minutes we needed something or had a question (can’t remember exact details, most things are a blur). I sent Geoff out to the nurses station and he said upon his arrival to the station he had the immediate attention of at least 4 nurses!! A little goodies can go a long way for the nurses as they do so much to make sure we are comfortable!
- Going Home Outfit for Baby, in love with this little number - Only bring one. When I had Taden I brought so many outfits to the hospital to ‘dress him up.’ The result of this is just extra laundry you will have on your first day home with baby. The hospital provides little outfits for the baby while they stay. Use them! You will have plenty of time to ‘dress up’ your little one when you get home, so only bring the one outfit – with hat, and appropriate winter/summer gear.
- Your Laptop, iPad, or other forms of entertainment – I hear so many mothers talk about how they plan on their hospital stay being the shortest possible. Am I the only horrible mother that is actually looking forward to my hospital stay? Someone to bring me food every day, to help me take care of my ONE child, end junk television to watch (in silence). Sounds glorious. I truly am looking forward to the time I have in the hospital with my sweet little newborn, to snuggle with her and just be alone for a couple of days (call me a horrible mom!!)
- Fingernail Clippers or Emory Board – Most newborns come out with some major daggers. The hospital staff will not provide these and you do not want your little one scratching up their precious little face, especially as this will probably be the most photographed time in their life!
- Toilet Paper – Sometimes hospitals can be a little stingy. This is one thing you will not want to be stingy on after baby (or ever in my book)! Bring an extra roll in case the hospital provides you with a sheet of thin paper. You will thank me later!
- Extra Bag for Gifts and Freebies, this is what I will be carrying – You will most definitely leave with more than you came with! Bring an extra bag to stuff little gifts people bring you and baby and all the ‘freebies’ (i.e. diapers, wipes, ice packs, etc.) in. They are all for your taking so take advantage of it!
I am sure I forget a few other “essentials,” but the morale of the story is do not over pack. You will want to, but you will not use half of the items (trust me!). You will be spending most of your time snuggling, feeding and adoring your new little one. Your bag full of ‘stuff’ will sit in the corner untouched and then will be waiting for you to unpack when you get home. Just save yourself time now and do not pack the junk!
Anything I missed veteran mamas?! Leave me a comment!!
Since my stay at Hospital Inn (aka the Maternity Ward) I have added a few essentials. Check out my revised post HERE.