So, here I am, sitting at about 38-1/2 weeks pregnant, knowing that both of our boys were born at exactly 39 weeks and that my doctor would prefer that this little guy follow that trend… and yet I still don’t have my hospital bag packed.
With keeping up with our boys and everyday life, plus trying to prepare ahead for Christmas with a newborn, the hospital bag is more a list than a reality right now.
I know. This is totally our third kid.
I remember with my first pregnancy having my bag ready early, just like the books and websites all suggested, and even with my second time around, we were prepped by 37 or 38 weeks, as much as we could be. What couldn’t be packed ahead of time was written down on a sticky-note and stuck to the matching bag, so we knew exactly what we needed to grab when it was time to go.
And we’re working our way to that point this week, all the while hoping that Baby #3 really does stick with the trend of arriving on the exact day that I’ll be 39 weeks, rather than coming even earlier.
But since I do at least have my list, I thought I’d share it with you because I’ve added things I didn’t have the first time or two, and I’m sure there are things that I took before that I know I won’t need to bother with.
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LABOR & DELIVERY BAG
Okay, first off – I do make up two separate bags: one for immediate use with labor and delivery, and one for our postpartum stay in the hospital. This was a suggestion from the hospital from our very first trip to labor and delivery, and it works very well.
In the delivery bag, you want anything that you are going to need for the actual labor and delivery or up until they get you settled in your postpartum room after baby’s arrival.
The Bag – For me, I don’t need a lot for my delivery, but most of what I’ll take in will be going in my Kelly Moore diaper/camera bag (the Libby). I got this bag as a diaper bag when Josiah was little, and I love it. It fits everything I need when I’m out and about with my kids, but it also provides a space (and protection) for my camera and lenses. For the hospital trip, it will be more delivery bag than diaper bag, but once we’re home, it’ll be stuffed with diapers, wipes, changing pad, changes of clothes for the baby, diaper cream, toys, my nursing cover, snacks, keys, cell phone, wallet, camera, etc.
Robe – Because we all know hospital gowns aren’t the coziest or the covering-est, and I plan on doing some walking through the halls while I’m laboring. Of course, once we get closer to delivery, the robe can easily come off. You can purchase special delivery gowns to wear at the hospital, but I’m fine with possibly getting the hospital’s gown messy rather than something I brought with me and will have to clean later. For comfort and modesty, I’ll use my robe.
Slippers – Again, walking helps when you’re in labor, and my slippers have always been right there with me. I’ve gotten the same kind of slippers for years, even before I was married, to wear around the house, especially during the winter: Dearfoam Matte Spandex Ballet Slippers. I definitely don’t want to be walking around the hospital in socks, or worse, barefoot.
Nursing Bra & Pads – One thing that I didn’t know when Elijah (my first ) was born, was that I could nurse him pretty much immediately after delivery. I had no clue at that point what I was doing when it came to breastfeeding, besides knowing that I wanted to, so I waited until we were in our postpartum room before the nurse helped me feed him. With Josiah, I was better educated, and he was a way better eater, so he nursed as soon as they had his initial measurements in the delivery room. While my milk usually doesn’t come in before delivery, I’d rather be prepared with my Bamboobies nursing pads from the get-go. They are the absolute best nursing pads ever. (I used disposable ones of every kind with Elijah, and not only hated them but dealt with clogged ducts numerous times. With Josiah, I decided to try the washable Bamboobies and never had those problems. Plus they are so comfy and don’t leak!)
Birth Plan(ish) – With Elijah, I had printed out a birth plan with all my ideals for delivery checked off. As a first-time mom, though, the on-call doctor wasn’t impressed, even mocking me at one point because I was so determined to deliver as naturally as possible. She doubted me…until I proved her wrong. 🙂 When Josiah’s delivery came around, I didn’t print anything off, but I was much more confident and vocal about what I needed and didn’t, and the doctor (same one as Elijah’s delivery) now knew me and was fine with going along with my wishes. This time I should have my own doctor at the delivery, and we’ve already discussed how I hope this birth goes, so we’re all in on “the plan.” Of course, as with any delivery, I know to be flexible and listen to my doctor’s advice for the safety of my baby.
Camera – My good camera, charged and with a cleared memory card is an absolute must, even if it’s my hubby or mom taking pictures and not me. Capturing those first precious moments with my little guy are priceless.
Baby Book – Because we don’t want to miss getting his little footprint in it. We may not fill out the whole book over the next year or two, but those prints will be there! 🙂
Cell Phone with Charger – Not only do we need to be ready to let family and friends know when our little guy is officially here, but I may just play some music this time around during labor. I’ve never wanted a playlist or anything before, but I might this time. Having our Amazon Prime account means that I can stream whatever music I’m in the mood for, whether it’s calming and encouraging praise and worship or as I’ve joked (but may totally do it) – Christmas music. Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
Snacks for Hubby – Some doctors say, “Let the momma eat during labor,” and others don’t allow it. I’ve never really been hungry during labor, anyway, so beyond the popsicles that the hospital provided, I didn’t need anything. Brad, on the other hand, might want a granola bar or two to get him through, depending on when we end up at the hospital and how long the process takes this time. I’d rather have him there beside me than traipsing through the halls looking for a vending machine or headed to the cafeteria!
Once baby is born, and we’re all snug in our own little room, I’ll need my main hospital bag. Beyond the usual clothes and toiletries of any overnight stay, I plan to pack:
Nursing Gown – I purchased a Dressed to Deliver Gown that can be worn for either a hospital delivery gown, a nursing gown, or even a maternity dress. As I said before, I don’t plan to wear it for the actual delivery, even though it’s really comfy, because I don’t want to risk getting it messy and then not having it to wear during the rest of my hospital stay. I’d much rather have it as a nursing gown, especially since it has snaps on the shoulders that make it perfectly designed for kangaroo care skin-to-skin. Not many nursing gowns offer that.
Extra Undies – I have learned from my previous two deliveries that those awesome mesh panties from the hospital are so one-size-fits-all that they don’t stay comfortably in place for me. So, I end up wearing a pair of my own over them, to keep them a bit more snug and secure.
Pillow & Throw – I always take my own pillow because it’s more comfortable, and I know I’m going to need the best possible rest I can manage (haha- in the hospital!) Tip: Make sure you use a pillowcase that isn’t plain white. That way it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital bedding. I’m also planning to add my flannel throw into the suitcase this time around because I hate being cold, and I always seemed to be during my last two stays.
Dry Shampoo – This is a new one. I didn’t discover the awesomeness of dry shampoo until last year, when I had to start taking Elijah to school and picking him up every day. Before then, I was staying home with our two boys most days, so if I didn’t get to wash my hair for a day or two, no one noticed. However, having this on-hand at the hospital, when I may not get to (or feel like) getting a shower immediately after delivery or before visitors come, will help me feel a little more pulled together.
Small Mirror – Having a small stand-up mirror available to touch up or do my makeup and hair at the hospital bed is always helpful.
Goodies – While our hospital always provides new mommas with a constant supply of snacks and treats during their stay, I’ll also be taking along the goodies that came in my Amazon Baby Registry Welcome Box.
So far, everything I’ve listed has been primarily for me. But what about our newest addition?
For him, we’re packing a few long-sleeve side-snap shirts (good for not rubbing on the tender umbilical cord, and yes, the hospital has them but usually in sizes too big), mittens (my kids have always scratched their little faces as newborns), socks (not sure they’ll stay on), sleep gowns (we love those for the first few weeks because they make diaper changes so easy), & a coming home outfit (two, in fact – one newborn size and one 0-3 months, just in case he’s a bigger boy). Of course, we’ll also have the car seat along with a carseat cover (I call it our “hot potato” because it’s silver and keeps our babies warm).
That’s my list. Now all I have to do is make sure I get it all packed and ready in the next few days before this little guy decides to make his arrival. 🙂