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Going into labor? What to pack for the hospital!

have a couple of friends who are gearing up to welcome a new bundle of love into the world. This  got my wheels spinning back to those days when I was 38 weeks pregnant, nesting like crazy, and waiting for Lillian to enter the world. I still remember like it was yesterday: my ankles were swollen, my hips hurt, and I could not stop organizing Lillian’s dresser full of clothes. My bags were packed by week 36- ready for her to come early. I must have packed and unpacked my luggage for the hospital countless times.

In response to my nostalgia for that sweet time of my life, I decided to write a post in regards what to pack for the hospital from someone who spent over a week there.

I had a C-section, so thank heavens I over-packed. I was there over four days. There are plenty of lists out there saying what you do or do not need. Look at all of them. For real. Decide what is best for you. Yet proceed with caution- your husband or family will be hauling it upstairs, so use the backpacking strategy- pack only what is necessary for YOU.

Many websites encourage you to pack things like maxi-pads, diapers, wipes, and other paper products. If you are having your baby in a hospital you do not need these things unless you have a preference of brand. They will definitely charge you for everything in your room, so use it! I had two full packs of baby diapers for my use, plenty of wipes. and a multitude of maxi pads. Many toiletry and clothing items at the hospital for baby were also included. This included a hair brush, nose suction, swaddling blankets, baby hat and onesie, and more. There is no need to pack juice, unless you have a favorite kind, as they have juice there. I hope you get the point. Check with your hospital on what is included during your stay, but here is a short list of what most hospitals provide for you:

For baby
Baby hat
Baby onesie
Baby blanket (you may need to leave before you discharge)
Baby wash and shampoo
Comb and wash
Thermometer (ask for one it doesn’t hurt)
Bottle/ nipples
Burp cloths
Nasal suction

For momma
Ice packs
Fish net panties and maxi pads
Squirt Bottle (for mom after using bathroom, aah the memories)
Juice/ water- oh man they can make a magical fruit juice cocktail with that amazing crushed ice!
Food service (depending on the hospital)
Water bottle
Hospital gown
Soap/ Shampoo
Breast shields
Healing Nipple Cream for breast feeding (Lanisoh)
Hand sanitizer
Lactation consultant during stay
Newborn care manual

*** You can rent a breast pump if needed, it may be included in your insurance depending on plan.

Disclosure: make sure you check with your specific insurance carrier on what is covered. My plan was a high deductible plan, so once our deductible was maxed out, we were covered at 100%. That meant room service and all toiletries were not billed to us. So do make sure and ask your insurance before you take everything! You may need to ask for some of these items- for example- if you are having difficulty nursing ask for a breast shield. Otherwise they may not offer it.

Once you have figured out what the hospital will provide, you can make your own list of necessities  Some of you may prefer your own underwear to the ones provided by the hospital. I will tell you- I had a C-section and preferred what the hospital offered to my own. Some of you may prefer your own maxi pads. And most of us have a hand picked outfit for our little one to wear!

My list of items:
Layette outfit when it’s time to leave hospital
Comfortable and soft blanket
Socks/ mittens
 That’s it! The hospital provided everything else

Bath robe
Comfortable pants (which I hardly used except when company came)
Nursing bras
Nursing Camisole
Comfortable nightgown or two
Tank Tops with east access to nurse
Sweater in case it’s chilly
Underwear (I recommend buying cotton briefs in a size bigger than you normally wear, sexy I know)
Camera!!! And charge. You’ll take tons of pictures
My own toiletries- shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, deodorant, lotion, and face wash
Makeup in case you want to freshen up for pictures
Hair brush
Hair ties or clips
Snacks- I brought Annie’s Teddy Graham’s and trail mix but ended up wanting food from restaurants!
Water bottle, but the hospital should provide you one
Cell phone and charger
Magazines, movies, and laptop for before baby comes
Birth plan and books to encourage you plus any paperwork you’ll need to have signed (insurance, short term disability forms, and maternity leave if applicable)
List of phone numbers and contacts or email addresses for husband or family member to keep updated for big news! 
Any sentimental items to make you feel at home- picture of your family, aromatic spray, or journal. 
Your own pillow and blanket if desired- I definitely recommend

Am I leaving anything out? If you are expecting are you getting your list together? Fun fun :). 

Preparing For A Little One
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  • Reply Amy Lynn

    oh i am so glad i stumbled upon your blog through the blog hop! i am having my first little guy in june and this post is perfect 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    February 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm
  • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

    Oh congratulations! That is very exciting! I will check out your blog too. Good luck :).

    February 2, 2013 at 6:46 pm
  • Reply April

    I also loved Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Happy Mama Bottom Spray – it is perfect for that post-delivery soreness. Our son arrived at 37 weeks and the bag was only half-packed, as we use some items on a daily basis (toothbrushes, toiletries, etc), so for our daughter I bought extras to keep stored in the bag. It was much better – less scrambling when the time came to leave. I also recommend bringing a laptop (many hospitals have WiFi so you can update facebook on more than just your phone) and DVDs (many hospitals have DVD players in the recovery rooms, and it gets really boring hanging out for more than a day in the hospital!!!

    February 3, 2013 at 4:12 am
    • Reply Tiffany Cutcliff

      I did the same thing. Your so right about sample size toiletries. I will check out the spray you talked about sounds very interesting! Thanks for your input I agree on the laptop and movies!

      February 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm
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