What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 08-22-2011, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Since going to the hospital is so new to me as a patient what can you all recommend putting in my bag.  Like things I wouldn't even think of?  My midwife said def. Smart water and snacks, but what kind of snacks do you all usually pack?  I am packing what I need for my diabetes care stuff, but what else?


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#2 of 22 Old 08-22-2011, 02:27 PM
 
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I think's a thread a page or two back with hospital bag ideas...

 

If you google hospital bags and stuff like that you'll find the lists are all pretty similar.  Something comfy for birth, a few somethings comfy for after the birth (nice breastfeeding friendly jammies, socks, a bathrobe, slippers, etc), personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, shampoo and body wash, deoderant, chapstick, hair ties), camera and film, mp3 player, cell phone and charger, clothing for the babe, cloth dipes and/or mama cloth if you plan on doing that at the hospital, and so on.

 

For myself, I tweak the lists a bit and actually pack THREE small bags.  A birth bag, a postpartum mama bag, and a baby bag.  That way I don't have huge bags to dig through, it's easy to tell someone where to look for something, things don't get lost or left behind, etc.

 

Birth bag:

-binsi skirt, comfy sports bra, three pairs of socks

-burts bees peppermint chapstick

-a couple boxes of coconut water

-RRL tea (thernos but also tea bags to make there)

-chocolate peppermint luna bars, honey sticks, and big pretzle sticks

-thermos of tom kah gai (a thai chicken soup, technically a clear liquid and it tastes the same coming up as it does going down and since i tend to hurl a few times in labor... lol)

-wooden back rub gizmo (the kind with balls on the end of "feet"?  for deep pressure)

-birth banner or focus item

-extra virgin olive oil for massage

-homeopathics like arnica and pulsatilla & Bach Rescue Remedy spray

-little LED battery candles (a six pack of "votives" from walmart is only a few dollars)

-mp3 with birth music and hypnobabies

-digital camera, disposable camera, cell phone

-copies of birth plan, insurance paperwork, contact info for various people

 

Postpartum Mama:

-camera and cell phone from the birth bag

-homeopathics and bach remedies from the birth bag

-toothbrush, toothpaste, peppermint chapstick, comb, shampoo, body wash, deoderant

-pads for trip home (I actually like the mesh panties at the hospital and their pads are ok)

-bathrobe, 2 nice breastfeeding tops, 2 comfy maternity bottoms (usually skirts so I can "sit" on chux instead of having to deal with pants, but I also pack a pair of sweat bottoms), socks, crocs

-boppy and nipple cream

-really good dark chocolate

-whatever snacks are left from the birth plus packs of instant oatmeal (hospitals can generally rustle up hot water for you no matter what the hour so cup o soups and oatmeal are good)

-small "travel style" french press and good coffee, tea bags

-book (my tradition is to bring a Terry Pratchett discworld book lol)

 

Baby bag:

-outfit, hat, blankets for going home (hospital usually has outfits for use while there)

-diapers for going home (ditto the hospital providing while there, but if you want to cloth dipe there you'll need to bring dipes as well as a good wet bag)

-small snuggle cloth toy (I sleep with the toy for a week or two pre-birth so it smells like me... it can go with babe if we need to be seperated)

-copies of insurance info and pediatrician info

-STICKERS!  I get flower stickers at the dollar store and write on them with a sharpie... "I'm breastfed, no paci or formula" (with ds I also had "I'm intact! Don't retract!" ones too) then I put them on the hospital crib, baby's diaper, wherever in case babe is away from me.

 

In the car:

gifts for older kiddos

car seat

laptop and charger

A few fabric shopping bag type things... you wont believe how much paperwork and stuff you collect during a hospital birth.  Seriously.  Everyone and their cousin is marketing to new moms and they all find a way to get stuff to you while you're in the postpartum ward.  A few bags make life easier when you're ready to leave.

 

I know it sounds like lots, but it actually packs up really small since it's divided up.  It's already out in the car, but this time round the "baby bag" is packed into what is probably intended to be a toiletries bag.  The "birth bag" and the "postpartum mom" bag are both those soft fabric carry on type bags that are designed to fit under a plane seat?  Ok, the boppy is a bit bulky and there will be the three thermoses (coconut, RRL, soup) but still.  Since things get taken out of the car as needed and then returned to the car when done I don't have a lot to keep track of at the hospital.


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#3 of 22 Old 08-22-2011, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You are a wealth of information.love.gif  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


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And 3rdtri.gif with #3 bigeyes.gif Due in August 2013!!!

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#4 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 07:32 AM
 
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LOL!

 

Before staying home with the munchkins I was a reference librarian, and I am headed back to that field once the kiddos are older.  I have a nearly pathological need to answer questions.  That's me, info pusher!  ;)

 

Seriously, I drive people crazy in real life.  At least online people can skip ahead to whatever they want/need but in the real world I have to bite my tongue and remember that not only is it true that not all who wander are lost, but that not all who ask want an answer!  Glad some of the info helps though.  :)


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#5 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by wombatclay View Post

LOL!

 

Before staying home with the munchkins I was a reference librarian, and I am headed back to that field once the kiddos are older.  I have a nearly pathological need to answer questions.  That's me, info pusher!  ;)

 

Seriously, I drive people crazy in real life.  At least online people can skip ahead to whatever they want/need but in the real world I have to bite my tongue and remember that not only is it true that not all who wander are lost, but that not all who ask want an answer!  Glad some of the info helps though.  :)

Well, I think we like having you around. thumb.gif
 

 


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#6 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Great idea with the stickers  & sharpie!! I remember with my dd she came back from a quick trip to the nursery for weight check with a paci in her plastic tub and I found myself biting the head of the nurse... "Seriously lady, you can't read the 3x5" index card on the end of the tub that says NO PACIFIER!" lmao. I'm sure a sticker stuck right on baby's onesie would work better!

 

 


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#7 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by punkymommy View Post

Great idea with the stickers  & sharpie!! I remember with my dd she came back from a quick trip to the nursery for weight check with a paci in her plastic tub and I found myself biting the head of the nurse... "Seriously lady, you can't read the 3x5" index card on the end of the tub that says NO PACIFIER!" lmao. I'm sure a sticker stuck right on baby's onesie would work better!

 

 

I know, I was very excited, now to go to the dollar general down the street and pick up some stickers.  thumb.gif
 

 


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#8 of 22 Old 08-23-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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I got the idea initially from a no-circ thread... a sticker right on the babe's dipe so there would be NO confusion about the matter (there have .  And it seemed to be applicable to so many things (like paci) that might come up in the event of a seperation.


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#9 of 22 Old 08-30-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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I haven't been on here in months, but with my little one due in around three weeks, here I am. :-)

 

I made a big elaborate list of stuff initially, but when it came time to actually pack the bag, it's really bare bones. I'm a no-nonsense packer generally and after we took our hospital tour, we found out our hospital is pretty plush with what they provide. So in the end, this is what I'm bringing -

 

Couple of changes of clothes (comfy things like six month maternity jeans, yoga pants, tank tops, nursing bra, maternity underwear).

Couple of change of clothes for my husband.

Swim trunks for husband (for shower/birth tub during labor).

Toiletries (all the usual, plus my belly cream and foot cream).

Cosmetics (so I can look presentable in those going-home pictures).

Going home clothes for baby.

Special receiving blanket for baby. 

Camera with extra batteries.

Cell phone charger.

Maternity leave paperwork for my employer (have to have the attending OB fill out a section).

Six pack of sparkling water (I just can't get along without the stuff).

Tetris card game. 

Whatever book I'm currently reading. 

My purse (which always has my wallet, cell phone, keys, etc. in it)

 

And that's really it. Hospital has ice/hot packs, birth balls, oil, etc. so I feel okay about not bringing an arsenal with me. The only thing that irks me is the snacks. I'm not worried about eating post delivery since shockingly their food is pretty good, but their "official" policy is still the antiquated clear liquids only for laboring women. We plan to spend most of our time laboring at home if all goes well, so I'm not to worried about it since I can eat whatever I want then. But I might sneak in some peanut butter in a tube and some honey sticks just in case I'm there and I need an on the sly energy boost. 


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#10 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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Thanks everyone for posting these..I have never stayed in a hospital in my life so am nervous.

 

I am trying to keep it simple also.. We are close to the hospital so I figure hubby can always get stuff for me after the birth if necessary. For snacks i have 2 luna bars, 2 packs of instant oatmeal, 2 packs of emergen-c ... I also treated myself to the new Tina Fey book and am saving it for the hospital. 

  I plan on using the hospital's pads and diapers for the couple days we are there and then switch to cloth when we get home. but i packed a few cloth things in case i have a freakout about the chemicals touching brand new baby skin.  :-)


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#11 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 06:39 AM
 
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I can't remember if it has already been said, but make a list of things that you are using now and can't pack (toiletries, mp3 player, oils, etc.) and put it on top of your bag so that you don't forget those things when you are in labor and finishing up your packing.


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#12 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 07:13 AM
 
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I found that putting those things on top of the bag isn't always practical (mostly because I'll use something and forget where I put it or the idea of always going to the bag to get my shampoo is a PITA). What I've done is I have a toiletries bag or a basket of things that I keep in the bathroom and only things going to the hospital go in it. Then I leave a note next to the door, to be checked on the way out, because my bag is already in the car. It's also a good reminder for hubby to grab his laptop on the way out the door too.  That's just what has worked for us.

I've also packed bags for my son for when he's staying with a friend while I'm in labor until Dad can go get him. Clothes, PJ's, snacks, medicine, permission slips for anyone who might be caring for him to provide health care in an emergency, diapers, wipes, a toy or two, books, videos we approve of (only because that's what everyone else is used to doing and it's really short term anyways).
 

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I can't remember if it has already been said, but make a list of things that you are using now and can't pack (toiletries, mp3 player, oils, etc.) and put it on top of your bag so that you don't forget those things when you are in labor and finishing up your packing.



 


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#13 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 07:31 AM
 
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Oh, yes, I just meant to put the list on top of your bag.  But your way definitely would work too :)

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#14 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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I brought way too much stuff with my first and second. With my third, I only brought toiletries (don't forget lip gloss/chapstick), a change of clothes (yoga pants, tank top, undies, and a bra), the baby's clothes and diapers because I don't like the bleached out diapers for newborns, as well as my laptop/charger, cell phone, and camera. I don't think I'll bring anything else with this baby either because we try to get out of there ASAP. 

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I brought way too much stuff with my first and second. With my third, I only brought toiletries (don't forget lip gloss/chapstick), a change of clothes (yoga pants, tank top, undies, and a bra), the baby's clothes and diapers because I don't like the bleached out diapers for newborns, as well as my laptop/charger, cell phone, and camera. I don't think I'll bring anything else with this baby either because we try to get out of there ASAP. 



Thats pretty much exactly whats in my bag! lol! down to the yoga pants, tank top and undies and bra, lol. I threw some socks in there too cause who knows what the nurses are tracking in and out of the room with their shoes from other rooms. YUCK.  I have babies clothes and diapers, a bottle of Recharge, 2 Luna Lemon Bars, toiletries, arnica montana, a couple of receiving blankets in case the ones they have are stiff and yucky from industrial washing. I cant find blue cohosh which I wanted to bring in case I have any heavy bleeding post birth, which is a bummer. Other than that I have Dhs swim trunks and a change of socks and underwear and a tshirt for him. We just need to grab our toothbruses, ipod dock, camera bag and car seat. I want out ASAP too so packing for a vacation isnt an option for me.


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#16 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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Actually, you did say list ... sorry pregnancy brain strikes ... not to mention I was having contractions last night that made me wonder if this were really it. It wasn't ... went to bed and everything came to a halt. Maybe my body was telling me I need more sleep.....
 

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Oh, yes, I just meant to put the list on top of your bag.  But your way definitely would work too :)



 


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Quote:
Originally Posted by channelofpeace View Post

I can't remember if it has already been said, but make a list of things that you are using now and can't pack (toiletries, mp3 player, oils, etc.) and put it on top of your bag so that you don't forget those things when you are in labor and finishing up your packing.



Yep, that cheat sheet list is looped right through the handle of my bag. Leave it to me to get so caught up in the moment that we walk out the door without something critical, like our keys to get back in! 


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#18 of 22 Old 08-31-2011, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've also got my list on my bag.  thumb.gif


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#19 of 22 Old 09-01-2011, 06:06 AM
 
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I just remembered I need to throw the baby book in the bag too, since our hospital will put in foot prints for us. No messy inkpads for me at home with a squirmy newborn! 

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#20 of 22 Old 09-01-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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I almost forgot that one. I just put it in my bag last night. :)
 

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I just remembered I need to throw the baby book in the bag too, since our hospital will put in foot prints for us. No messy inkpads for me at home with a squirmy newborn! 



 


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#21 of 22 Old 09-10-2011, 04:01 PM
 
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Okay... one tiny little addition to my bag, for the baby. Over the last month or so, my husband has started reading a bed time story to him several nights a week while we lay in bed unwinding. We both usually read a bit before going to sleep, so we thought we'd start including the baby. :-) So I've packed two small books so we can read to him on the first two nights he's here, at the hospital - On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman and Happy Birthday To You by Dr. Suess.


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#22 of 22 Old 09-12-2011, 04:07 AM
 
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My list is pretty minimal .  . . comfy clothes for me - post labor (nursing gown and stretchy pants and camisole) nursing bra. 2 outfits for babe, plus going home outfit, nursing bra, extra t-shirt for DH (no matter what kind of birth, he's bound to get sweaty and want a fresh one)

 

I need to pack toiletries. I have travel sizes of nearly everything, so I can just pack those. Good camera and phone charger need to be packed also.

 

Nursing pads . . .  though I don't remember leaking at all in the hospital last time, but last time I had an (unplanned) c-section. Hopefully this time will be a vaginal birth, and with that, maybe milk will come in sooner. better to be prepared!

 

Oooh, I want to get the gel cooling nipple pads - they were great with DS! (he didn't like nipple cream, and I hated having to wipe it off everytime he nursed because he didn't like it)

 

Our hospital is clear liquids until or unless you get an IV, then it's nada except ice chips and hard candy. so need to pack hard candy. (hopefully won't need it, but better to be prepared!)

 

For me, that's it. It will all easily fit in one not very big bag.


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