March 10, 2009

What to Take to the Hospital When You're Having a Baby

It has been ten years since my last trip to labor and delivery. Twelve the time before that. So... I decided to ask around and get a few tips on what to take to the hospital with me that I might have forgotten. I figure in ten years there might even be something new and exciting that I need to add to my list. I took ideas from books I have read since I got pregnant this time (refresher courses) and the hospital tour I went on to check out our delivery room (amazing all the new gadgets and gizmos they use in modern day LD rooms). I even got some great tips from the kind people that read and comment here on my blog (Thanks!). What I've put together is a comprehensive list for packing up and moving in to your local hospital maternity wing for a day or six (depending on if you end up with a C-section or not). So if you have a babe on the way, you'll be a step ahead of the rest with this hospital bag check-list.

I know the list is long, but trust me - there's no kitchen sink hiding in there. If you are like me, you probably enjoy a thorough list and don't mind marking off things that aren't useful to you. So take this one and make it your own. I'm sure you'll come across something you hadn't thought of (I know I did!). I mean, if you have to go squeeze out a watermelon-sized Viking child, you might as well do it in as much comfort as possible. For me, that would include some SERIOUS narcotics (luckily the hospital has those, so I didn't have to put them on the list).

Sprittibee's Hospital Packing List for Labor and Delivery

Snacks and Cameras:

Small igloo with ice
snacks: Belly Bars, Yogurt Covered Raisins, whole grain crackers, plum baby food for mom, dark chocolate, fruit leather, apple sauce, cheese sticks, drinks for kids and spouse/mom
medicated tucks witch-hazel pads (kept in cooler)
tapes/film for cameras
charged batteries for cameras
video and 35mm/DSLR Cameras
list of photos not to miss while there (wrinkly feet being #1 on said list)

Important Stuff:

phone number list for people you want to notify when baby is born
wallet with ID/checkbook/medical cards
cell phone
purse and keys

Baby Stuff:

car seat
diapers and wipes
onsies and the frilly outfit you want to take your first photos of baby in
burp cloth
baby's first stuffed animal for photos
socks and hat/cap
baby book (make sure you get footprints when they do it for the hospital paperwork)

Mom Stuff:

change of clothes for coming home: underwear, maternity jeans, sweater or shirt, robe, nightgown, slippers, socks, shoes
bathroom bag with overnight items: toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, make-up remover, make-up, lotion, q-tips, clips or headbands, hairspray, rollers and hairdryer, pads
nursing bra and nursing pads, pump if you aren't renting from the hospital or buying one later
extra blanket or pillow
labor tools (exercise balls, massager, oils, lotions, etc. - depending on your birthing plan)
watch or stopwatch
book to read
thank you cards to mail for your shower if you have free time
ipod (some newer rooms have docking stations)

Labor Partners (Spouse/Mom/Kids/Friends):

overnight bags similar to moms with bathroom stuff and a change of clothes
pillows and blankets if spending the night
change for vending machines
money for cafeteria or gift shop
things to keep busy: crosswords, books, cards, travel games, paper and pencils to draw, clipboards, gameboy, paperwork, magazines, laptops, ipods, newspaper

I have almost everything on the list packed up and ready to stuff in the back of my truck today. I'm on my way to the doctor at 9:30AM, hoping she'll find that my cervix has some good things to say about delivery being imminent today or tomorrow. You know the story about the dude that went 'postal'? Well, my husband says I need to get 'patiential' on her to help her change her mind about inducing a tad early. Not sure how anyone could consider a 9lb. baby boy a 'preemie' and I hear that 37 weeks is medically term (doc said so herself). That means I'm serving my boy an eviction notice tomorrow!

Hopefully my next post will be of sweet hospital photos of my Viking boy's wrinkled feet. Stay tuned!

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Heather S. said...

I just had my 3rd about 7 weeks ago! I was scheduled for a c-section at 39 weeks, but still went into labor 5 days prior to that. I didn't have anything ready because I was measuring small and my body was not doing ANYTHING at my 38 week appointment. I was going to pack the weekend that I went into labor!!
Your list looks great! My only thought is that you may not need to take diapers and wipes. At our hospital they supplied all that (they didn't even want us using wipes yet - we had to use warm wet rags that housekeeping took care of washing). Also, they let us take home all of the diapers that were still left in the bassinet at the end of our stay. We ended up bringing home more than a package worth of diapers!!
I pray all goes well for you!

Rhonda said...

I hope baby comes soon. :)

Were you serious about 6 days? I've had 2 c-sections and stayed 3 days with both. By the end of 3 days I was very, very ready to go home. I can't imagine staying 6.

Anonymous said...

Best thing ever is a Boppy nursing pillow - and not for nursing - rather cover it with a blanket/towel and sit on that to comfort mommy's parts once viking has exited....not to mention the hole fits an ice pack perfectly!

Just sharing the secrets...praying for you!

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Holy moly, girlfriend! That's a lot of stuff. I was in 4 days with a c-section for my oldest, and I know I had less than half of that list. :-) You crack me up.

Hope everything comes together soon, sweetie! Praying for you.

SchrefflerFamily said...

I overpacked for my hospital visit too. But you never know what you will want once you are there.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Just remember you have to get all that home, too. :)

I pack light. Always. Even with my 2 C-sections, aside from the camera stuff, clothes and the car seat, the hospital provided everything we needed. (Both my stays were 3 days).

Can't wait to meet the little guy! We're praying for you!


Leslie M. said...

You sure are a Packer! Were you a Boy Scout.. You know, be prepared?? hahahh

Ok.. the next Blog Post is the one, where we meet the little guy, right?? Prayers.. to you and the Family.. From my fingers to God's ear!

lori said...

2, had stuff....

Have it ready girlfriend...especially the camera and chocolate!:)

love you!!

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

I am praying for you, Heather!

Julo said...

Hey! I just had baby #4 in November and I decided to bring my own night gown. It made such a difference in how I felt! I chose one that was dark colored with little hearts made of cotton and a bit of spandex from Target and wasn't too long. It made me feel more modest (as modest as you can be when having a baby!) and wasn't as uncomfortable as hospital gowns. I made sure I hiked it up when necessary and it came completely clean once I got home. I also brought my own robe.

Oh, and I did my first natural birth (the first three were with epidurals) and I felt like I could go plow the field afterwards! I also had a Christian Doula who was WORTH EVERY PENNY (and was two hundred dollars cheaper than an epidural :) ).


Christina.B said...

I feel like I have had my bags packed forever. I sent the baby an eviction notice but he( or she) could not care less.

Maybe our little ones will share a birthday.

patiently waiting...


Anonymous said...

I've been told to bring things like your own buttpaste because the hospital will charge you if they provide you any and it will be about three times the actual price. When my sister has her first son, she was charged $15 for a $5 tube of cream. A few years later when she had her second son, she brought her own and saved that money. They charge you for Tylenol too so I would also bring that and just make sure they know when you take it.



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