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Paging Rosie: What to Pack for the Hospital

This blog was inspired by a question from one of my Twitter followers @sweetcaron. Let me start by saying the very first bag I packed to go to the hospital to deliver my oldest son was by no means a standard to live by.  I have come a long way since then and I am pleased to say my bag this time around was packed perfectly. The first time I had some great crime books (I kid you not, I thought I would have time to catch up on some much needed beach reading) and Skinny Jeans (yes feel free to mock me,  I thought I’d be able to wear them home from the hospital).

Since this first bag packing attempt I have been asked by many what are the necessities one needs to bring to the hospital and at long last I think I have the perfect list that I’d like to share with you.  I do want to preface this by saying that there may be some things on there that don’t seem particularly glamorous or maybe even useful, but trust me after you’ve had that sweet babe it will all make sense.

  1. Moisturizing stick for your lips, sounds random but your lips can actually get very dry during delivery and there is nothing more annoying than cracked lips when you are trying to focus on getting through a contraction.
  2. Hair Ties,  even though you may arrive at the hospital with beautiful locks, you will soon want them swept out of your face.
  3. Snacks,  you won’t be able to eat during labor but your partner will probably be starving especially if it’s a long delivery and believe me when I say you need his support and energy.  Also, after you’ve had your baby you will probably be hungrier than you’ve ever been and for reasons I still cannot understand you’ll never be able to find anything scrumptious at the hospital so come prepared.
  4. If you live in a city where food delivery is the norm (Hello New York City), bring some delivery menus with you to the hospital.  I can’t tell you how nice it was to order in our favorite Italian after both our son’s were born and not have to eat the questionable fish that came at hospital mean time.  No one wants to eat fish after you’ve given birth, I don’t care how much you love it!
  5. Comfortable clothes that won’t make you feel self conscious about your belly.  It will probably look as though you are 5 months pregnant for the first few days and so bring clothes that you feel good in and don’t accentuate the belly.  The hospital is no place to worry about getting back into shape, it’s to relax and enjoy your new baby.  I suggest clothes that also allow you to easily nurse if you plan to do so and that you are comfortable taking visitors and pictures in.  Cozy silk pajamas with button fronts are great (buttons make it easy for nursing), yoga type clothing with cozy wrap cardigans are also my favorite (especially as most hospitals tend to be very cool).
  6. Two Nursing Bras and breastfeeding pillow (this is bulky but well worth it).
  7. Flip-flops or similar type shoes you don’t mind getting wet and walking around the hospital in.  Many hospital rooms have the showers in the bathrooms and you may feel more comfortable keeping your shoes on in the shower.
  8. Mini Grooming Kit. Moisturizer, make-up, make-up remover, hair care, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste,  mini nail file for your baby (many babies are born with rough and long nails and you’ll want to file them down so they don’t scratch their face).
  9. 7 -10 pairs of underwear that you don’t mind throwing away.  No need to go into too much detail here but the disposable underwear provided by the hospital can be a bit flimsy so a pack or two of cotton panties is a good idea.  If you are going to have a c-section or think you might make sure they are very low rise to go under the scar.
  10. Depends (yes the adult undergarmet), not glamorous but you’ll probably need them so best to be prepared especially when you have visitors so you avoid any accidents on the way to the restroom.
  11. Be prepared with a contact list of people that you want to send the email or text to once the baby is born.  Most people do it straight from their phones but make sure you everyone’s contact information on hand easily.
  12. Cell phone charger, you are going to want to tell everyone the great news when your wee one has arrived so make sure to bring your charger.
  13. Note pad and pen in case you want to write any important information down that they may tell you at the hospital.  Or you may just want to write down some thoughts once you have met your baby.  It is truly one of the most amazing times in a person’s life and it can often be a bit of a haze so don’t be afraid to write things down from feelings and emotions to questions you want to ask the doctor or nurses when they come on their rounds.
  14. If you plan on nursing I suggest you bring the number to a trusted lactation consultant to the hospital.  Many hospitals will provide lactation consultants upon request but they have many people to see and often don’t spend enough time with you. If you have any problems or concerns make sure to call the lactation consultant and have them come to the hospital or meet you when you get home.  It is better to fit the problem however before it gets to bad so the earlier you can see a lactation consultant if you are experience difficult the better.
  15. Going home outfit for the baby and for you.  The hospital will probably dress your baby in a little kimono, hat and swaddle blanket.  I suggest bringing socks, blanket and two outfits of your own for the baby.  Remember though the clothes should be soft and comfortable and not complicated.  I know you probably have the urge to dress your baby in a cute three piece suit but stick with the onesies and kimono sets while the belly button is still healing.
  16. No need to bring diapers, wipes, bassinet etc…because the hospital will provide all this for you.
  17. Most of all remember your partner can always go and get what you forgot and as long as you and your new family are together enjoying the first very special moments together, nothing else in the world is really every going to seem as important again.
Comment Feed

19 Responses

  1. This is such a great list, I just put flip flops in my bag, because I didn’t think about taking them along as shower shoes. The only other thing I have on my list to pack for my trip is a camera. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but you know how it goes when you’re pregnant and seem to forget everything, even the obvious. :) Thanks for this great list, Rosie!

    lauravenables09@gmail.comAugust 19, 2011 @ 12:38 pm
  2. This is a great list – thank you! :)

  3. Laura you are so right about the camera, and a camera charger. It should be on the list. Thanks!

  4. Bless your husband for living with you. My God woman, what did women EVER do before you came along? Delivered babies without all this muss and fuss – that is what they did. You are obnoxious and if I were an RN and had to walk around the food delivery people in your room, I’d get you a mental health consult. Lip gloss, yes. A few pairs of underware, sure. All of this crap? No. Why are you and how on earth did you get a blog?

  5. Rosie, I have so much respect for you that words can’t describe. Just wanted to add my comment that will hopefully outweigh the hating comment below. I have just discovered your work and want to add myself to your list of huge admirers :) You are above and beyond of what a woman, wife, and mother should be. Truly amazing.

    • Wow! What an incredibly rude waste of time to create a comment like that! Seriously, get a life. I don’t usually feel the need to reply to such junk on the internet, but honestly?!?! This is a pretty basic list. I found it to be helpful. Most definently not high maintenance or ridiculous in any way. If you read just about any other list of suggested items to pack it will contain all of the above. I guess someone just forgot to take their happy pill today. Anywho, I thought this list was great and I enjoyed reading about the first packing experience. I also thought
      I would just jump right back into some prepreggo pants. Live and learn :) Happy packing ladies. And, remember that age old rule, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then just don’t say anything at all!

  6. Thanks Rosie! I am 3 weeks away from my C-Section and saved this when I saw it a few months ago. We are preparing all of our essentials, including our overnight bag and this list is a great help! The only thing I would add is a pillow for your spouse if he’s staying overnight with you (when I had surgery in January – that allowed me to get pregnant – the one thing he wished he had was a pillow from home) & yes the camera with charger. Thank you for all the information that you give on your blog, it is great information for posh women from the city or any woman from the suburbs and beyond! :o )

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. [...] Find a hospital where the baby will be born. You should also have contingency plans should you are about to give [...]