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Well ladies, it is getting close to that time! I’ll be getting my bag ready in about 2 weeks and thought I’d blog about all of the things that I’m trying not to forget. Plus, I found a site or two that threw in some extra stuff that I hadn’t thought of. Have fun and happy packing!

2008

Here is just my list of items to take that I found useful with my first child. You don’t have to take all of these items; determine what you feel is necessary and take it with you or have it in your car. Please comment below if you have any additional items that would be useful to readers.

For You

  • Documents – Make sure you have already registered and take your photo ID, insurance cards, your living will, and birth plan.
  • Cookies or chocolates- These are not for you but for your nurses! I just bought some natural cookie dough that’s ready to be thrown in the oven. When my due date was approaching I would bake a dozen or so each day. Should I not go into labor, the family had fresh cookies to munch on. The day I went into labor, I had my dozen ready and took them into the hospital with a thank you card. The nurses were all too grateful and I was instantly put on the ”good” list. Anytime I needed anything they were more willing to look at my birth plan carefully. Who said a good bribe was a bad thing?
  • A large exercise ball – my doula brought this during my first visit, but this time I will be taking my own. This came in great during labor; whether I was sitting or kneeling, it helped with my contractions.
  • Fruit, nuts and snacks – you might be in labor for a while and you’ll want to snack on some healthy treats to keep your energy up. I had a little cooler we prepacked several times prior to actually going to the hospital.
  • Liquid – you can rely on the hospital for water or you can take your own juice and water bottles.
  • Music – If you are planning on a natural birth or an epidural you may want some of your relaxation music in the room to help you focus for the hours prior to the hardcore labor. Take either a handheld device with headphones or a little speaker pack to set up next to your bed.
  • Clothes – I knew I wouldn’t be in the hospital for more than a day so I planned on wearing the same outfit home that I wore to the hospital. In addition, I took a nursing bra, 2 cute sleeping tanks, disposable or old underwear (a couple of pairs that you can throw away), flip flops, and socks. If you know you are going to be having a c-section then you’ll want to take a few more sleeping outfits, a robe and some slippers. Remember, if you don’t want to ruin your clothes just focus on cute tops to change in and out of for sleeping and for wearing during the day. If you don’t plan on wearing the mesh underwear the hospital gives you then you can take your own but don’t plan on saving them. Afterbirth is a time of heavy bleeding and you’ll probably ruin anything you try to wear on your lower half. I was only in for 1.5 days and didn’t need much. My baby was in the room the whole time so there was no need for me to be up and out of bed when visitors were there. If I had to go to the restroom I just asked them to leave the room momentarily so I could walk around without everyone looking at me in my cute hospital undies. You’ll need to look at yourself and what will make you comfortable. The less I had to pack, the better.
  • Toiletries – Plan like you are going on vacation. Take all of your toiletries, shampoo, curling iron, hair brush, hair dryer (most hospitals don’t have one in the bathrooms), hair products, makeup, deodorant, nipple cream, lip moisturizer, glasses, contact solution, and so forth. You’ll want to shower after delivery and being able to dress up your top half will make you feel that much better. Try and take fragrance free items. Don’t take perfume. Your baby is new to smells and you don’t want to overload them with heavy perfumes and fragrances right after the birth.
  • GUM! – This is important to take with you! You may want it or need it and you may have to give some to your husband and doula. You never want to be in situation where one of you has bad breath and you are in for hours of long labor with their bad breath in your face. Trust me, having one of your helpers have bad breath is probably worse than the contractions!
  • Gift for your doula - It might just be something small to show your gratitude for them being present during your birth, such as a gift certificate or a candle.
  • Family picture – Take a family picture with you if you have other children to set next to your bed. When they arrive they can see that you are thinking of them.
  • A bathing suit – Yes, this might sound weird but if you are in a shower or a tub during labor you’ll want this.
  • Comfort items – If you are someone who needs additional comfort items like a soft pillow or blanket, take ’em with you.

For Spouse

  • If he plans on staying overnight, he will need his toiletry bag and a change of clothes.
  • A bathing suit – If your partner plans on getting in the tub or the shower with you for support he’ll need his as well.
  • List of people to contact – This list should be established prior to going to the hospital. We had three lists. A list of family members and their phone numbers in my phone as to who to call as we headed off to the hospital and who we’d call once the baby was born. Our second list was a list of people we wanted to text to tell them we were on our way to the hospital, but who we didn’t necessarily have to call. The third list was our huge list of family and friends that we text once the baby arrived, along with a photo. These lists were compiled prior to going to the hospital and the two lists of texts to our family and friends were created as groups so that all my husband had to do was send out one message and it was sent to 50+ people at once. You don’t have to do this but we like to keep everyone informed and up-to-date.  I hate knowing a friend has gone into labor and then not hearing for 2 days as to how it went, the size of the baby, if she is okay, etc. Dads are usually too busy to be on the phone calling everyone and some hospitals don’t allow cell phones in the rooms. Texting is a fast way to keep everyone in the loop and it reduces the number of phone calls.
  • Cameras – DON’T FORGET THESE! Take a camera, video camera, chargers, tapes, memory card and a cell phone with camera capabilities. You’ll want the doula to help you take some pictures before and after the birth. The phone can come in handy, particularly if you are on Facebook and want to upload a photo of the new baby or include it in text messages.
  • Gift –  For dads, you might want to have a cute onesie of his favorite sports team for the new baby. I tend to focus on meaningful gifts for dad that aren’t necessarily for him, but will mean something to him and can be used for the baby.

For Baby

  • For your newborn – Bring an outfit to go home in, a blanket, an all natural pacifier (if you plan on using one), infant finger nail clippers or an emery board, (sometimes they need a trim and the hospital might not supply them), baby gloves or covers (in case you can’t cut their nails), and make sure the car seat is installed and ready.
  • Diapers – The hospital will supply you with diapers. If you’re using cloth diapers you’ll want to take several cloth diapers, diaper covers, pins or snappies, a little bottle of olive oil (apply this to their bottom to help get the meconium off in between changes for the first few days) and your waterproof bag for dirty diapers.
  • Baby Book – Some hospitals will stamp your baby book with the footprints.

For Siblings

  • Gift -  For siblings, this gift can be anything from a blue or pink toy car to a new baby doll. Having a present for the older children will help them realize that they haven’t been forgetten and will give them something to focus on when they have to leave the hospital without you.

For Home

  • Stock up before you leave for the hospital – You’ll want to make sure you have long overnight pads ready and waiting for you upon returning home. You’ll need these anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the birth of your child. Having organic witch hazel on hand is also great for your sitz baths. The hospital usually gives you a squirt bottle to clean your self after you go to the bathroom, but if they don’t you’ll want one of those as well for warm water cleaning. You’ll be amazed as to how great this will feel!
  • Warmer for wipes – For me, I found that using the warmers for the wipes or for your own cloth wipes was really helpful for the first few weeks. The baby is so new to his/her environment that using warm wipes helps to not shock them each time you wash them with cold cloths or wipes. I did this the first few weeks until my son adjusted, then stopped using the warmers. They tend to dry out the wipes quickly.

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