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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Packing the Bags - In Need of Advice

So I've reached the point of pregnancy where all systems are go.  I've been given the "It could be any day now" lecture and handed a pamphlet describing when to call the hospital by the mid-wife.  Things are about to get real.  The moment will come where I will need to pile into the car, rush to the hospital, and birth my baby girl.  I've got to be prepared for that.  

But boy is it hard being prepared for something you've never experienced before.  

I've got a bag, actually two bags, that are sort of packed.  One is for myself and the other the baby.  My bag is full of things... toiletries, night gowns, flip flops, and various other articles of clothing for Shawn and I.  The baby's bag is a little more sparse...  two newborn outfits, because I can't choose just one, a receiving blanket, regular blanket, and a pacifier. Honestly, especially when it comes to the baby, I have no idea what I will need and what will just be excess crap to carry. 

That's where I figured you could help me!

If you've got the experience let me know what is a must to bring with you to the hospital and what sort of stuff will I not need or the hospital give me?  As a very organized and well prepared person for most anything there's nothing I hate more than being unprepared or wishing I didn't leave something at home that I'd really enjoy or need. 

So, what do I need for myself? the baby? Shawn?  What can stay at home?  What little comforts might I want?  And any other advice!  I can't wait for your help.  Its much needed. 


AmyBean said...

My hospital provided diapers for while we were there and a small package to take home, but I don't know if they all do. It's worth asking. My hospital also provided postpartum pads, and yours probably will also -- but I would advise you to pick up some of those to have at home, because Shawn is probably not going to know what to look for if he has to go by himself to pick them up.

But for the baby, you really have it just about right. Babies don't really need anything. If you're planning to nurse, you don't need any equipment for that (and even if you're not, the hospital will have those things to use while you're there). Make sure you have the outfit you want the "newborn photo" taken in, if your hospital does it there. Make sure that outfit is NOT yellow. Most babies get with some measure of jaundice and yellow outfits really don't look good. I learned that with my oldest. But other than that and the carseat, you're pretty much good to go.

T Lee said...

yep. outfits for baby, different don't know her size, yet. a favorite blanket, too, for the newborn picture in the hospital. make sure you have your things...a pillow, socks/slippers, hair stuff and make-up. for me, it felt great to get that shower the next morning, clean up and look presentable before the visitors started rolling in! don't forget your camera!! :D

Golden To Silver Val said...

When my daughter had her last child (9 yrs ago) she went in one day and came home with baby the next. So supplies for yourself can be kept to a minimum. You'll need something to wear home that fits (lol). An outfit to bring the baby home in...yes. The thing that stands out in my mind as the object the hospital was most interested in and actually came out to the vehicle and CHECKED it...was the baby car seat. If you didn't have the right model, the baby couldn't leave with you. They were very strict about that. Just enjoy this miracle that's about to happen. I promise....any discomfort you feel during birth will quickly be forgotten when you see that precious new being. God Bless.

T Lee said...

when i had my first two babies in 90 and 92...we were out of the hospital in 24 hours. in ga, new laws, have to stay 48 hours, so when i had this last one in 06 i had to stay 48, not sure what the rules are for you jennifer...but i'd plan to stay 48 hours. if you have the carseat that has a base that stays in the car...just bring the carseat to the room and snap her in there, it's easier. and just my personal advice...ask for an ambien at night and SLEEP> let shawn and the nurses have night duty while you are in the hospital!! my hubby did that. we kept him in our room with us the whole time we were in the hospital. they only took him out for their required stuff. i took an ambien and slept at night and hubby slept by baby and tended to him. they really bonded and i rested and felt ready to face being home without nurses (or a hubby) on call when i went home. respect the fact that your mind and body will be exhausted from childbirth and really rest it!! you'll thank yourself later. again, that is totally a personal opinion.

Anonymous said...

A small bottle of olive oil. You put a little oil on baby's bottom when you change it's diaper and it prevents the meconium from sticking. It makes a huge difference and you only need it for maybe less than a week. The hospital should have receiving blankets and gowns for baby, so you don't need to fuss over anything more than the day you leave for her.

Definitely bring a pillow. It can make your stay so much more comfortable to have your own that you're used to. BUT, put the ugliest pillow case known to man on it, so you don't forget it and it doesn't get filched. Lip balm for you, you breathe a lot in labor and your lips dry out. Snacks if you can have them, like grapes, crackers, apple slices and cheese. I know some places have NPO orders, but you are pushing a baby out which is quite a bit of work!

Good Luck!

Wyatt's Momma said...

It sounds like you have the right stuff. I wouldn't worry about bringing any more for the baby since the hospital will provide everything the baby needs until it's time to go home.
Another piece of advice is to take whatever the hospital gives you for the baby and yourself. Take the extra large pads for you and squirt bottle. For the baby take any diapers and wipes they give you because you can never have too many! Also, they will have extra formula to give you if you bottle feed. If you even think in the near future you may want to bottle feed take the formula they have because it will last for several months afterward. Hope this helps and I love reading your blog and looking at your pics! :)

Tiffany in Topeka said...

Having experienced this 3 times at three different hospitals, I really think you've got it covered. Leave lots of extra space in those bags. They send you home with so much stuff (the rest of the diapers, samples, stuff) that you need to have space to carry it all home. It sounds like you have what you need - a cute outfit for those "first pictures" pictures, and a cute outfit to ride home in. A few bibs is a good idea since spit-up is bound to happen - maybe a pair of booties and a couple of blankets. Don't forget to install a car seat or have one with you so you can bring your bundle home! And of course, your camera! :)

Best wishes to you and the lass!! Blessings to you!


"Cottage By The Sea" said...

You'll need warm, comfy socks, a new outfit to bring your baby girl home in, and your husband. That's all you'll have time for. Don't go to the hospital too soon. Do your early labor in the comfort of your home and then head out. Oh, and you're gonna need someone to man your camera (you'll be too busy) and lots of strength and spirit. Your smile and tears of happiness will automatically follow. Will be praying for you. You'll do great! Can't wait for the news.

Kristin said...

A warm (but not expensive) robe or sweater. Oh my gosh it can be cold in the hospital! And I ended up having c-sections both times, so I was pretty grateful for the little bit of makeup I brought to feel human during my almost 5 day stay. Plus it made me look like a radiant mother in pictures instead of the mess I actually was! Nipple cream if you're breastfeeding, because the first couple days can leave you a little raw while you and baby get the hang of things. My doc's office had given me a sample and it was plenty for my time there. And, this is an odd one, but put an empty box in the back of your car or some cardboard. People will send flowers and they can be a bear to get home without a flat, absorbent surface. :-)

Jessica @ One Shiny Star said...

I just had a baby 1.5 months ago, so this is rather recent for me - I know the feeling!

I second the box for flowers, I definitely wasn't expecting them, and wasn't sure how to get them home.

Aside from that, I didn't use most of the stuff I took to the hospital. I liked having my own nightgowns for after the birth, but the only thing I used before hand was my iPod. Don't worry about taking "entertainment" (books, cards, etc.) you won't have time for it, and sleeping is a much better use of your time, especially when you can send the baby with the nurses and sleep some.

So, the things I used: 1 night gown, loose enough to pull down to breastfeed if you plan to. toiletries, it was so nice to have my own shampoo and toothpaste. Hubby's razor. 2 outfits for baby, the hospital provided diapers and pacifiers and blankets and hats even! My camera.

Everthing else was just stuff my husband had to cart back and forth from the apt to the car to the room to the car and back into the apartment!

brandilicious said...

Honestly, for the baby you don't have to bring much. Our hospital had receiving blankets and baby wash and diapers and wipes. We were fine with a newborn sized feetie onesie to bring her home in (it was April and still a little chilly).

The one thing that I didn't pack and had my inalws bring me was the Boppy. It was helpful for family members & friends visiting and it saved their arms when they held our daughter.

I brought clothes for me but I only wore them once in the hospital since I ended up having a C-section, I was more comfortable in the gown (put on another gown backwards when I went for my daily walks around the floor).

If your hospital has wifi, it's worth it to bring your laptop. We especially appreciated it because we had a longer stay due to the surgery.

Be sure to bring your own slippers. The hospital provides socks with no skid padding on the bottom but I hated them :)

Tarah said...

Room spray!! I will def have it next go around.

Change for the vending machine

Pack loose pants, I was stupid and brought yoga pants. Then realized I had a huge diaper with ice shove in it. No way was I waddling around looking like I had a duck butt. My mom brought my mens PJ pants to go home in

After baby - I just wore nursing tanks, no bra and brought a zip up hoodie for when I wanted to be more modest.

Extra batteries for your camera, music (I was glad we had our iPod and the dock for the labor & delivery),

I brought magazines but my attention span wasn't there, total waste of space.

An elastic headband, lots of hair ties.

Anonymous said...

Car seat, properly secured in the middle of the back seat, facing the rear. Yes, they came out to check ours also. With our 2nd child, we were out of the hospital in less than 12 hours (insurance edict). I was glad to be able to shower at home.

Expect the unexpected but don't fret about it. We went in expecting a normal vaginal birth and she was born via c-section. 2nd child, doctor wanted me to go for vbac so I was hooked up to everything (gestational diabetes with both births, they had to break my water, higher risk 2nd time around). Gave me Pitocin and an epidural (THANK GOD!!!) and I pushed like I didn't know how (remember--c-section 1st time around). Almost had to go forceps but my DH went into overdrive with the cheerleading trying to get me to keep going and she was finally born. Still had to get an episiotomy.

I hope your birthing experience is what you wish for but in the end, it's all about the health of the mother and child. There will be more experiences and firsts for many years to come after the delivery. There's so much emphasis placed on the birthing experience but I can tell you once you hold your baby in your arms, it really doesn't matter how picture perfect the arrival went.

beersincannes said...

Bring a big bag for all of those extra diapers you can swipe! And all the other freebies like wipes too. And, snag one of those big pink and blue striped blankies that they will swaddle your baby in. You probably got lots of baby blankets but I bet none are big enough to swaddle in. The ones in the hospital are perfect! Wash them a few times at home and they will soften up. Unless you got some Aden+Anais swaddlers at your baby shower which are the best! Practice your swaddling in the hospital and watch the nurses - swaddling is KEY! I swaddled my boy until he was 9 months old - slept like a champ! Don't bother with too much stuff, you will be home before you know it. I didn't even want to take a shower until I got home and it was only 24 hours. But, definitely bring your toothbrush and your hairbrush and some hairties. And your iPad or laptop if it isn't too heavy. when it is 3am and you can't sleep, it is fun to keep you occupied. Good luck!

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