Like a lot of first-time mommies, I was so terribly unaware of what I needed for the Big Day with my first baby. Now that I’ve done it once, though, I totally know exactly what I need and how things are gonna go down. To make it easy, these are the 25 things I’ve already packed in my Hospital Bag.
I feel like I did everything wrong the first time, both by overpacking in general and under-packing certain things. This time around, though, I’ve got this.
25 Things in my Hospital Bag
- The first thing I’m packing is hand soap. I don’t know why, but the soap they have at the hospital makes me nauseous. So, this is a must-have. I was in the hospital twice with my first baby and both times I couldn’t eat because every time I did, I had my hands close to my face with that smell. This time, I’m going to have a variety of scents to help me.
- My iPad and my husband’s iPad, both loaded with new movies we’d like to watch, as well as our Netflix logins loaded. We really appreciated that during our last rodeo.
- Seems stupid, but I’m packing half a dozen hair-ties or headbands. Just something to keep the hair out of my face.
- My glasses and contacts–including solution. I like to switch throughout the day and I’ll probably want to do the same on THE day.
- No-slip socks or a pair of flip-flops. First off, it’s super amazing taking a shower after giving birth. But that doesn’t mean I want to catch whatever exotic foot fungus the women before me have left behind. Beyond that, the floors are slippery and no woman has perfect balance after giving birth. Best to err on the side of caution than end up splattered in a hallway after raiding the vending machine.
- Shower travel set for me. Japanese Blossom is my favorite scent and so much nicer than the complimentary shower stuff offered by the hospital.
- Shower travel set for daddy because let’s face it, I’m not the only one who’s going to start smelling funky after being in that room for a couple of days.
- Tiny hair brush to go with the hair-ties. I’m going to be busy enough on the big day without adding in the worry of fly-aways and tangles. Plus, once the big show is over, it’ll be nice to brush my hair and really relax.
- Toothbrushes and paste. The good stuff, too. I don’t want to think about my ganky breath or mossy teeth when I’m bringing new life into this world.
- Cute coming-home outfit for baby. I have to admit, this one has been changed in and out of my bag a few dozen times already. There are so many cute outfits, so I know I want this one to be special.
- Back-up coming-home outfit in case baby makes a mess of the first one. Which, lets face it, is very likely going to happen.
- Change of clothes for mommy. Just need to keep in mind that bending, tight, pinchy–none of that works. So, something uber-comfy like a maxi-dress or, well, that’s like the most comfy outfit ever, so just do that.
- Change of clothes for daddy. Don’t worry about him–he can wear pretty much anything. You can even let him pick it out if you want.
- A little baby blanket–one my mom made. But if you’re mom’s not into that, these will do the trick.
- Headphones and while we’re at it, a sleeping mask, too. Hospitals are noisy, and bright. Nurses (amazing nurses!) bounce in and out of the rooms all night long. Headphones will go a long way toward blocking out the noise, and a sleeping mask will give me a chance to rest.
- Bikini panties. Don’t judge me on this one. After spending nine months as an incubator for another human being, the hospital staff tried to convince me to wear a diaper-looking thing. No. Noooo. Yes I’m a mom, but I’m also a woman. And bikini panties do a lot toward helping me feel like I’m becoming myself again.
- It’s kind of a no brainer that a Nursing bra should be in my bag, but when my friend gave birth last month, that was one of the things she forgot. No biggie, her husband went home and got it for her, but since I’m planning ahead, I’m going to make sure if my husband runs out for any errands, they involve double cheese and possibly extra onion rings.
- Giving birth is a bit like taking part in the longest nudie show ever. Basically, from the moment I entered the room, my girly bits were on display for everyone to see. As with the panties, a comfortable Robe is a big step toward getting my body back. It’s hanging up that “The Show’s Over, Nothing To See Here” sign for the world.
- My own water bottle. Hospital water is a 50/50 gamble. There’s a 50% chance it’ll be disgusting, and a 50% chance no one will be around for refills when I get thirsty (again, love my nurses, but things do get very busy). By bringing my own bottle, I can avoid the gamble and enjoy my favorite cherry/lime infusion.
- Change for the vending machine. Seriously. Don’t skimp out on this one. A lot of hospitals have gift shops where snacks can be bought during the day, but everything closes way too early. When three a.m. rolls around and that hankering for Doritos hits, that change will save my life.
- Extension cord for our electronics. Seriously, I don’t want to be six hours into labor and have my cell phone run out of juice. Or have my laptop die in the middle of a movie.
- Hospitals are COLD. Not even just a little cold, I’m talking watch your nipples freeze and fall off of your body like pebbles cold. A Hoodie is essential in keeping me warm, without making me look like a weirdo buried under eighteen blankets.
- Wallet. Don’t laugh, this one is easy to leave behind. And one of the first things they want at the hospital is your ID, and your insurance information. No wallet means a delay in checking in. Which is not something I want to risk when it comes time for that little seven-pound butterball to roll forth from my loins. But by putting it on the list, I won’t have to risk anything.
- A small pillow for my back. My first time, I totally needed this after I had the epidural and had the baby–apparently, between the two, my back ached. Weird. Until I need it, daddy can use it to sleep on.
- Wet wipes for visitors to wipe-down their phones. So, apparently, those things are filthier than a toilet-seat, at least according to the NICU nurses. They make you wipe those things down constantly. No reason I shouldn’t either if baby’s in my room. I’ll be like Oprah with those things. “And you get a wipe, and you get a wipe, you all get a wipe!”
So there you have it. These are the 25 Things in My Hospital Bag. No more ‘oopsies’ when I walk out the door because I planned ahead. Sure, this list might change a little as the big day approaches, but at least by making it early, I’ll have something to work from. Plus, maybe my list will inspire you to make a list of your own. Good luck to anyone reading this, and congratulations on the new edition!