Monday, June 4, 2012

hospital bag essentials...

so now that I've had a baby I'm clearly an expert on all things labor and delivery and newborn care, right? hah. not a chance - but I did take a few notes on things I packed (and didn't pack) that could be useful to those of you who are soon to be following in my footsteps into first-time motherhood... so I figure I'd share my all-knowing wisdom thoughts...

first up - the hospital stay... here are the essentials that I'm glad I had...
1. my own toiletries... I was so happy when I was able to shower and that I had my own soap, shampoo, facewash, conditioner, etc.

2. phone charger - no brainer, but don't forget it!

3. if you have an iPad, bring it - for when the baby is sleeping and you're wide awake... games/email/hulu, etc. [we had our laptop too, but only pulled it out once so I could setup my out of the office alert - maternity leave, hells yeah!]

4. Baby Log App (on my iPhone) - thanks to Melissa that recommended this app, it made keeping track of all of the feedings, dirty diapers, etc so much easier!

5. Comfy slippers - things I wish I had done - gotten a pair for DJ - since he was up out of bed more than I was and he kept stealing mine! [thief....] [comfy/warm socks also a must-have!]

6. Comfy clothes for your significant other - it was great for DJ to have sweatpants, clean clothes to change into after showering, etc. He was also really happy to have his sweatshirt since the hospital was pretty cold.

7. Clothes to dress your baby in - most hospitals give you little t-shirts you can dress baby in, but we had so much fun dressing her everyday - especially with the amount of pictures you take while at the hospital (or at least that we did, haha)

8. Swaddling blankets - we've been swaddling Penny since day one - so it was great to have blankets on hand at the hospital to help her sleep better and keep her bundled up! (we love Aden & Anais - but more on that during the "our first weeks with a baby post" which is hopefully coming soon!)

9. Nursing Tank-tops and maternity yoga pants - I'm so glad I packed these... the minute I could shower and change into my own clothes I did - if you're breast-feeding I highly recommend packing nursing tank-tops, makes life so much easier/comfier!

10. If you're breastfeeding:

  • lanolin - my nurse gave me some but definitely have some on-hand because you will need/want it!
  • Nipple shield - I didn't end up using this at the hospital but did when we got back home (more on that later) but I had it at the hospital just in case (better safe than sorry)
  • Boppy/My Brest Friend - I brought my Boppy and this made getting adjusted to breastfeeding so much easier for me, I'm glad I had it rather than having to pile pillows around myself in that big ole hospital bed!

11. Light-weight Robe - I was hot one minute and cold another... this made it so much easier to adjust my clothing to what my body was feeling...

12. Snacks! DJ and I were so happy that we had snacks to nosh on (cheez-its, chips, cereal bars) - it was nice to have stuff right there in the room rather than having to run down to the cafeteria for a little snack every time we were hungry.

13. Gifts for the Nurses - we went the not so creative easy route and just brought Godiva chocolates for the nurses (little two pack of truffles for $5)... our nurses seemed to really appreciate the little thank you and it was a great way for us to show them that we were grateful for all they did for us! (and the nurses did love us - but I think that's more for our sweet dispositions than our lovely gifts, haha) I've also seen a lot of people make goody bags, etc that were probably cheaper and more personal but I was just not in the mindset to be creative those last few weeks of pregnancy...

Things I packed that I didn't need:

  • underwear... get ready to laugh but the mesh underwear they provide you is amazing [in fact, be nice to your nurses and ask for some extras to take home, I have no shame - I did and I'm SO happy I did] 
  • my "fancy" camera -- I didn't pull it out once, I just used my iPhone... in retrospect, might have been nice to snap some "good pictures" of sweet pea when she was that small/just born but let's be honest - I was exhausted/overwhelmed and more interested in just staring at my baby and being present/taking the moment in
  • laptop/books/magazines - you won't touch them. trust me.

Things I didn't have that I wish I did:

  • Slippers for DJ [so he wouldn't steal mine the whole freaking time we were there]
  • Pillow/blanket for DJ [he had some but they weren't too comfy]
  • More snacks [what? homegirl likes to eat]
and because no post is complete without pictures of sweet Penny - here are a few of our favorite pictures of her from our time at the hospital (aka her first few days...)
so that's that.
hopefully this is helpful to those of you heading to labor and delivery in the next few weeks! I'm so excited for y'all - your sweet babies will be here before you know it -- and what they say is true... will never be the same!


Rachel said...

thanks for the advice! And I love all the sweet pictures :)

Candace said...

I was waiting for this post! I am starting to think I should pack my bag. I know I have like 55 days to go but better safe than sorry, right?

Thanks for the tips!

melissa said...

Penny is so precious! I die for those sweet little cheeks.

Great hospital packing list!

Norma said...

Such cute pics!! Btw, GO GATORS ;)


Smart Ass Sara said...

Oh man. Matt never slept at the hospital with me because I didn't need him! Not going to lie, a few days of him not snoring was awesome. But I did end up reading a bunch of books because I read out loud to both kids. Olivia didn't care so much but Jackson really liked it. :) One thing I really liked having in the hospital was the sitz bath and the fact my nurse brought me warm blankets and socks on the hour. She was kind of amazing. And I had her for both kids. AND I was in the same room. It was weird.

Nikki said...

Snacks, did they let you eat?!

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