Birth: Hospital Bag Checklist
I am due with baby #3 in July and with this being my third, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what to pack in your hospital bag(s). I have had two previous csections, so my list may be a little different from the mom's who birth vaginally, but not too different. Hopefully I'll be able to give you a few ideas to add to your checklist! And if you have anything to add, please comment! I may need it or want it this time around!
I really really REALLY reccomend bringing Chapstick when you're going to give birth to your baby. It is always so cold and dry in the hospital and it would always dry my lips out so bad. I would go crazy without it!
Bring snacks! Hospital snacks can get super expensive super fast. Sometimes the nurses will have snacks for you, but let's face it. No one wants to eat peanut butter crackers or saltines all day for 2-4 days. And if you're going to be breastfeeding, you're going to be very hungry all day.
You're probably going to think that you don't need or will even want these things, but you will. When you're there all alone or your partner is snoring on the guest cot, and you're up every hour of the night bottle feeding, pumping, or learning to breastfeed your new baby, you're going to want something to do and/or help keep you awake other than boring hospital cable. Plus, you can keep up with your Netflix and Hulu shows!
- Charger cords and USB outlet
DON'T FORGET THESE!
I use my phone camera to take pics once we are back in our room all by ourselves, but I've had someone in my family with a professional camera to take pics for both of my deliveries and if I didn't have that, I would regret it 100%. Being able to look back at my babies being surgically born into this world is such a blessing to me since I was not able to watch it myself.
- Csection support panties
If you're having a planned csection GET THESE CSECTION SUPPORT PANTIES. If you had an emergency csection MAKE SOMEONE GO GET YOU THESE CSECTION SUPPORT PANTIES. They're seriously the best. I wore them for months. They give such good support and a thick layer of protection from your pants rubbing on your incision.
- Abdominal binder for csection support
I didn't even know I needed this until my nurse put one on me after I had my first child. You NEED this. Getting out of bed after a csection is one of the most painful things I've experienced. But with the abdominal binder, it holds it all in place for you so you don't feel like you're literally going to bust open your gut if you move. Call your hospital before you purchase an abdominal binder to see if they provide them. The hospital I had my first in provided it for me, but the hospital I had my second child in did NOT provide one for me. Thankfully my mom held on to the one I had with my first child, or else I would've had to purchase one online.
- Your own pads
When I was laying in bed not able to get up, the hospital pads and mesh panties are fine. Once I got up, I hated both of them. I know. You hate me. Mesh panties were sent to earth from God himself and you stole several pairs and took them home. I just didn't care for them though. And the hospital pads made me feel like I was wearing a diaper because I could hear it every time I walked. What I did was get some comfy brief panties that wouldn't rub on my csection scar and bought some overnight Infinity pads for during the day and regular always overnight pads with the big butt panel for during the night. So comfy and I didn't leak.
- Your own clothes
I know that some women prefer to stay in their hospital gown the entire time, but not me. Once I was allowed to take a shower, I wanted to start feeling as normal as possible and that meant getting into my own clothes. I brought a few big t-shirts, tank tops, pajama bottoms, and of course a comfy maxi dress to wear home.
- Boppy pillow
Even if you aren't going to breastfeed, get a boppy pillow. It is great for back support and makes it a lot easier for a super tired mama to hold and feed baby.
- Your own pillow
Hospital pillows suck. Don't wait until it's too late to find that out. Take my word. Bring your own pillow. Heck, bring two pillows! You're going to be in that bed a lot, so you might as well make it as comfy as possible! I was even allowed to use my pillow during my csection!
You may not think you'll want this either, but I sure did! I felt so tired, and looking at myself in the mirror made me feel even more tired because of how completely exhausted I looked. Bringing my makeup and putting a little on helped me feel more awake and more like myself.
- Hair products
I have super curly hair. If I don't put anything in it, I look pretty scary. So I brought my hair cream, hairspray, and hair drier. I wasn't able to do much bending to get my hair completely dry, but oh well. It turned out fine. And I didn't look like a jungle woman in all of my hospital pictures haha!
- Comfy slippers/socks
I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I brought slippers to the hospital, because I didn't. And I probably won't this time either because I don't leave my room, unless I have a baby in the NICU. I personally love those big scratchy hospital socks. If I still had them, I would probably wear them now because they keep my feet so warm. So, if you don't want to bring slippers and don't like the hospital socks, bring socks! All different kinds of socks. You're going to be hot and cold all the time and you'll need socks to go with the the temperature! And if you're the type that likes to leave your room and walk around, bring the slippers!
Some people keep their babies in what the hospital provides, some people keep their babies naked, and some people bring several outfits, onesies, and sleepers. I'm the last type of person. I love to put my babies in several different outifits when I start feeling well enough to move around. I had I think three different outfits to take pictures in, onesies and diaper shirts for during the day and then sleepers for the night when they're in their own bassinet. Other than that, they're skin to skin with me while we are learning to nurse together.
Baby's feet stay cold all the time, so you're going to want to bring socks to keep their little baby feet warm.
My first child doesn't have hands, so I didn't realize how important these are until I had my second child. She scratched her face up pretty good and scratched me a couple times. If you don't want to spend the extra money on mittens, socks on the hands work just as well.
I love the hospital hats. I think they're cute. But after a while I get sick of looking at them and want to see my baby in all the cute stuff that has been waiting so long to go on their little heads.
The hospital provides blankets, but I like to use my own after the first day. I have some family members who crochet blankets for my babies, so I love to use those too.
- Cloth diapers
Not everyone cloth diapers, and I didn't cloth diaper my first two babies from the beginning, but we will be using cloth from the beginning this time. I don't know if I really want to use cloth in the hospital and then have to wash diapers right when I get home, but I will bring a few to get some cute pictures!
- Baby book
If you're like me and want your baby's sweet little feet and hand prints in their baby book, then bring the baby book! And make sure you have an extra sheet of paper in there so the ink doesn't transfer to the page next to it.
- Info stickers and cards for baby's bed
I personally do not circumcise my boys and I do not formula or bottle feed any of my babies, so I do not feel comfortable with my boys being retracted or any of my babies being given a pacifier or bottle unless there is a true medical need. The best way to make sure that everyone knows your wishes is to have info stickers and/or cards in your baby's hospital bed. You can get info stickers and cards for your intact boys at the Your Whole Baby Shop. I haven't been able to find any info stickers or cards for "Do Not Bottle Feed" or "Do Not Give Pacifier", but you if find some, please please please let me know so I can link it here and get some for my sweet boy due in July!
- Car seat
This right here is more important than anything. You cannot take your baby home if you do not have a car seat. Make sure that your car seat is not expired and that you do not have any accessories on the seat that it did NOT come with. Purchasing items that did not come with the seat, unless made by the company and is approved for the seat, is dangerous because it has not been crash tested with your baby's seat. Also make sure you are up to date on your car seat safety knowledge. Straps are supposed to be snug and coming from BELOW the shoulders for a rear facing child and chest clip is supposed to be even with the armpits. To read more about car seat safety, click here.