I know it's been a few months since I had my last baby...(how is he 9 months already?!)...but I've been reminiscing on those first few days after he was born since he's been earth-side for nine months now.
Nine months in, nine months out, right??
So I was thinking as we mark this moment in time, we should discuss some more newborn stuff! Without further ado, I present to you 6 Things to Pack in Your Hospital Bag! These items were my must haves.
1. Nursing Supplies - cream/ointment/balm, soothies, nipple shield, pads
If breastfeeding your baby is a goal of yours, you'll definitely want to make sure you have what you need for that - it's hard enough as it is, so make sure you have the right supplies! I personally loved the lanolin cream from Lansinoh. My life savers for pain were the Soothies Gel Pads. I stuck them in the freezer after I bought them, and made sure to throw them in my hospital bag right as we were leaving. We kept them in the fridge in our hospital room, and boy, did my nipples thank me a few days later for not forgetting them! We also needed a nipple shield to help both of my babies get a better latch. The lactation consultant at the hospital actually brought me one after my first son and I were working to get the hang of it. It saved me from quitting right then and there. We did have to use it for a few months, but (as with sleep!) we got the hang of it and were able to wean from using it with more time and practice. I know some lactation consultants recommend using nipple shields and others don't; I think it depends what your goals are. In my case it made things easier and more manageable, allowing us to continue our breast feeding journey. I'd definitely ask your provider their opinion.
2. A Comfy, Cozy Bathrobe and Slippers or Sandals
You're going to be tired and exhausted from having a baby...not to mention the hardcore snuggling you're about to endure during your hospital stay...you definitely want to be comfy and cozy! I'd recommend bringing a bathrobe or two. They are nursing friendly and easy to cover up if nurses, doctors, or visitors come to your room. Sandals or slippers are easy to slip on from the bedside. This is especially important if you've had a c-section and are avoiding bending. You'll also want something that is quick and easy for if you're able to get out and about, walking laps around the delivery floor for recovery.
3. Nursing Friendly Tops and High-Waisted Bottoms
Both my babies were breech, so it was imperative that after having major surgery, I didn't want to be wearing anything that would rub against my incision. You also still might look about 6 months pregnant after your delivery, so it's nice to have something high-waisted because you may feel a bit more comfortable. But, maybe not - I think that can be a very personal decision. I also made sure to pack tops that were easy access for my babies to nurse. Anything that you can easily pull aside or unbutton works wonders. I doubled a lot of my maternity wardrobe to also be nursing-friendly so I wasn't spending as much money overall.
4. Special Swaddle
Okay, this is just a sappy idea that I LOVE and did for both my babies. We got a matching swaddle, hat, and robe set. I lived in my robes throughout our hospital stay as well as when I was on maternity leave. We used the swaddles for plenty of naps and snuggles. Since both my boys are beyond that stage now, I have saved those specific swaddles in their baby boxes for them. Maybe someday they will use them for their babies. It makes for nice photos too.
5. Sound Machine
Did you know you can prioritize sleep for your baby right from the first day they are born? We brought one of our portable sound machines to the hospital with us to help set the stage for good sleep right from day one. One of our nurses even commented on what a great idea that was!
6. Cell Phone and Charger
You're not going to want to forget these items, especially in the hustle and bustle of getting to the hospital before the baby decides to make his or her arrival! You'll want your phone for obvious reasons - to take a million photos of your newest addition and to share your good news all with all your loved ones after the arrival. You'll definitely want to stay charged up. It might be nice to have some music playing during your labor too - make a push playlist! There are also apps for tracking contractions pre-baby, and for tracking feeding, diapers, and sleep once the little one arrives.
There you have it - my must-have items for your hospital bag! Happy packing, mama!