I packed 3 bags.
My bag, a bag for baby and a bag for my husband.
It took me weeks and I still wish I had them ready sooner. I have yet to have them ready by the time the books say to – for whatever reason it takes me a while. I hang them there and add as I think of things. Maybe next time I’ll refer to this post. 🙂
Each bag hung on a door knob for a couple of weeks so I could add things as I thought of them, washed them, collected them, borrowed them, or purchased them. I do think 3-4 weeks before your due date is a good time to start and having it ready 2 weeks before is critical.
Having had two babies now I feel like it’s better to be safe then sorry, but realize you are only at the hospital a short time and people are very willing to help by bringing you something you need or forgot. Only a few things are really imperative.
Another thing that greatly impacts what I would deem “imperative” is the fact that I have quick labors. I haven’t needed things to “keep me busy” as many families need. Although I did think about that, packed a few things, and prepared myself mentally for possibly of needing such distractions.
In my bag I packed:
1. comfortable underwear (2-3 pairs)
2. comfortable outfit to wear at the hospital after baby was born – I put mine on immediately with my second and felt SO much better. The hospital gown was just frustrating to me and I felt less in control. I chose loose fitting yoga/house pants and t-shirt plus an open front cardigan.
3. extra comfortable outfit
4. a nightgown – I thought I might wear my own during delivery but did not.
6. shoes to wear home
7. clothing to wear home – something that fit nicely around week 20 as that belly doesn’t go away immediately.
8. matching family shirts – a gift from a family member – which we used for photos
9. travel size shampoo, soap, tooth paste and toothbrush, deodorant – hospital has some supplies, but I prefer mine.
10. nursing supplies – nipple shield, breast shield, lanolin (hospital does give you some too)
11. hair ties and head bands (large and small)
12. warm socks
13. lip balm
14. nursing tank top – I prefer these completely to nursing bras and use them exclusively for at least 4 weeks after birth. (maybe more like 8 weeks) At around 8 weeks I made the switch to a good nursing bra by Thyme for more support. I found a white and a black on sale at Babies R Us (although I don’t think they sell the Thyme brand anymore) and wear a tank top (cheap ones from Forever 21) that can be pulled down with the bra but so that my tummy is still covered – just a personal preference.)
15. sports bra (good for laboring in)
17. Boppy nursing pillow
(I don’t take mine but MANY Mom’s use and LOVE it so I am including it.)
I had a list displayed in a prominent place for my husband.
“Things to grab”
These are items I needed daily until the birth, but would need them at the hospital. I went over this list with my husband so he knew exactly what I needed him to grab as I was laboring. Don’t you have those moments when “slippers” mean one thing to you and another to your husband? 🙂 I was hoping to avoid that so we talked the lists over ahead of time.
This is something I wish I had done with the first and wizened up and did with the second. So helpful!
My things to grab:
1. cell phone charger
2. our nice camera (I had him charge the batter and prep sd cards ahead too)
3. cell phone
4. makeup and curling iron/blow dryer (showed him the ones I wanted)
5. UGG boots or slippers (whichever is not on my feet)
6. my favorite pillow
7. Becoming Babywise book
8. Gift for big brother
1. nursing cover
I chose an InfinityMom scarf.
2. breast pads
3. swaddling blanket
I like bamboo Aiden and Anais blankets. And got the moonlight pattern this time.
4. 2 white, long sleeve onsies
I chose the ones with built in “gloves” – hand covers.
5. wee “scratch” mittens
I used these with my second to avoid scratches on the face.
6. outfit to wear at hospital
I immediately put my own outfit on my babies after bath as I find them warmer and of course cuter!
7. going home outfit
I planned colors that sort of coordinated with my outfit. 😉
8. hat to wear home that is small, snug, and for us themed!
We pick a special one. And chose one that was different a different color with our second so that we could tell hospital pictures apart easily.
9. pacifiers – Pop that sucker in!
I brought 2 kinds and do not head the “wait 4 weeks rule.
10. special props for photos
Our hospital does newborn photos.
1. socks (hospital floors are gross)
2. 1 pair of underware
5. matching family shirts (a gift from a family member)
6. pillow and warm blankets (the bed for dad is very uncomfortable)
7. phone charger