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Packing the bag

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So, I've suddenly decided that I need to pack my bags... (I guess being 36 weeks will do that to you ) What sorts of things did you/have you included in your bag? What do you bring to wear? What do you bring to wear for the baby? I'm hoping to go home as soon as possible, but you never know...

Thanks for the advice, mamma's!
post #2 of 12
clothes - I didn't bring anything special to wear, although if you want to I would suggest bringing a couple old big tshirts to labor in and for postpartum, ones you don't mind getting icky, because they almost certainly will. Bring a sports bra or bikini top too, they're a good way to be naked but preserve modesty (some mamas don't care, others do). Chances are you'll at some point want to take off whatever gown or shirt you're wearing, laboring mamas tend to get very hot. For the baby, I just picked out an outfit for the hospital picture, the rest of the time he was in the hospital onesies.

other stuff - bring anything you think might help you in labor... find out if the hospital has rice socks and birth balls. If not, consider bringing those. Hospital will likely have juice and popsicles available for you during labor, but if not consider bringing in gatorade. Snacks for DH (mild smelling ones though so he doesn't make you gag with icky breath). Some crackers or something easy to eat and digest for you, just in case you are hungry and need to sneak a bit here and thre. Other tools for labor - massagers, lotions, focal points, CDs/CD player. Chapstick, toothbrushes and toothpaste, mouthwash, hair ties or bands.

In general I (as a labor doula) have found that couples rarely use what they bring for labor. The most important tools that I've seen have been birth ball, rice socks, and the birth partner(s)'s hands and love.

For postpartum, bring whatever you think you might need.. toiletries and clothes to go home in, eg. If you don't plan on spending much time there, you probably won't need much.

I always tell my clients to pack three bags... one for labor, one for postpartum, and a third one with the stuff they look at and think they **might** need but aren't sure. That one can stay in the car the whole time, and if they never use it great, but at least they have it there just in case.
post #3 of 12
I packed all kinds of stuff with DD and didn't use most of it! The things I really used and wanted again were: a nightshirt to labor in (bought a cheap one at Walmart and threw it out after), my own pillow, socks, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, toothpaste/brush, hairbrush/ties, my own PJ's, clothes to go home, an outfit and blanket for the baby, the baby name books, camera and video camera, my own pads, bobby/nursing pillow.

Things I didn't need/use include: snacks (the hospital provided them), disposable diapers (the hospital provided them), my own underwear (the stretchy hospital ones were better), all the labor devices I brought except CD's (I spent most of the time in the bath or shower), fiction books/magazines, several extra outfits for me and baby, the heavy baby bunting (we just warmed the car up, those things are safe for use in the car seat anyway), other baby stuff (soaps, lotion, diaper rash cream, etc.)

I'll have to keep thinking! We are going to be packing soon too... I had this startling realization that I will be full term in just over two weeks! Yikes!
post #4 of 12
Some things that I was glad I had last time:
-CD for labor
-journal (you never know if you'll want to spontaneously write about your experience)
-extra socks (I was on my feet during labor and let's just say that after my water broke... ugh)
-my own pillow (the hospital suggested bringing unique/bright pillow cases so that any cleaners wouldn't accidentalyl strip the bed and take your pillow- she said that usually the hopsital uses all white)
-camera (sounds obvious, I know, but you might want pictures during the labor or especially right after- you might even consider grabbing an extra disposable in case something happens to the first one)
-snacks for after labor until release (sometiems you can only get room service from 7am-7pm)
-baby book pages for footprints and fingerprints (if you leave them under the bassinet, sometimes the nurses will just do them when they are doing the official ones)
post #5 of 12
Things I'm planning to pack:

For labor

hair ties
chapstick
birthing ball (the hospital doesn't have enough of these -- we'll leave it in the car unless it's needed)
birth plan
living will and health care power of attorney
health insurance cards
camera
drinks (clear liquids)
hard candy

For later

At least 2 outfits for me
beat-up old underwear (I hated the hospital undies)
nursing bras
pajamas/robe
snacks
2-player games
something to read
2 outfits for the baby to wear home (because you know if you only bring one, something is sure to happen to it!)
a receiving blanket
pillows and a blanket for my husband
toiletries kit
lansinoh (provided by the hospital last time, but I might as well bring my own just in case)
money for drink machines
car seat
sling
post #6 of 12
My bag is packed I am keeping it simple:
2 pairs of pjs
lots of undies and socks
going home outfit for me
toiletries
tea ( to help me pee after)
maxi pads

Baby
scratch mitts
hat
diapers
blanket
snowsuit
going home out fit

bfing pillow

I think thats it... our hospitals don't supply anything thus the pads and dipes.
post #7 of 12
So I have a question. I have never had a baby in the hospital (and never stayed in a hospital overnight). The thing I am confused about is this:
Do the babies need clothes to wear while you are at the hospital?
If not what do they wear?
Are you allowed to put them in clothes you bring if you prefer it?
Thanks!
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpop View Post
So I have a question. I have never had a baby in the hospital (and never stayed in a hospital overnight). The thing I am confused about is this:
Do the babies need clothes to wear while you are at the hospital?
If not what do they wear?
Are you allowed to put them in clothes you bring if you prefer it?
Thanks!
Our dd wore a hat, a long sleeve t-shirt (that snapped diagonally across the front) and a diaper the whole time we were there (48 hours). All were hospital provided. I am sure we could have dressed her but it was warm in our room anyway and we often had her wrapped up and always in arms. We didn't dress her until shortly before we were released. I would avoid most clothes (onesies in particular) anyway because the umbilical stump gets rubbed by many things. After we came home, we had her in t-shirts and a cotton sleep sack most of the time the first few weeks.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpop View Post
Do the babies need clothes to wear while you are at the hospital?
If not what do they wear?
Are you allowed to put them in clothes you bring if you prefer it?
Thanks!
My hospital provided shirts, diapers, a hat, and blankets for swaddling.

Of course we could put her in our own clothes if we wanted to, but we just left her in the hospital stuff until it was time to come home.
post #10 of 12
No one has mentioned this particular item - but it was really important to us last time.......

A camera. Extra batteries and/or film.
post #11 of 12
All the things pp's suggested.

Definitely an extra disposable camera -- our real one died 5 min. after the birth, so we were glad we had the spare.

Also, if you have out of town parents / siblings, you might want to pack a $5 calling card, since you can't use cell phones in the hospital, and a list of people you want dh to call and their phone #'s.

The hospital will provide hospital gowns for you and diapers and blankets and hats, etc for your baby until you are ready to leave. I was in hospital for two nights, and I did find the hospital gowns hard to nurse in modestly (since they tie up at the back), but I don't think I cared in the moment. This time I might bring a nursing shirt and bra, or I might just ask to go home right away.

Also, maybe its different in the states, but for some reason Canadian hospitals only provide these massive, really awful pads from sometime around the turn of the last century (well, maybe from the 1960's or so), so once you get over the initial nastiness, its kind of nice to have your own so you're not waddling more than necessary. Buy the most long, absorbent ones you can find and double them up.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jilly View Post
since you can't use cell phones in the hospital, and a list of people you want dh to call and their phone #'s.
Good suggestion! Although the rule on cell phones has changed, at least around here. You can use cell phones in your room, they just don't want them used in the hallways. It'd be a good idea to check with the hospital where you're delivering to make sure of their policy.... and even then, ask your nurse once you're there, individual nurses might look the other way for you.
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