I’m a day away from being considered “full term” in this pregnancy. Though it is still three weeks from my actual due date, if I go into labor tomorrow, we will have a new baby on our hands.
It’s exciting and terrifying, all at once. The novelty of “oh, I’m going to have a newborn sometime way off in the distance” has worn off. Rather than sit and fret, I’ve been doing what all moms-to-be do: nest.
On my list of “to do” items is to pack my bag for the hospital. I want to be able to grab that sucker (or more accurately, have my husband grab that sucker) and roll it out the door when the time comes. Since I am using a lot of items on a daily basis, I have a checklist taped to the rolling suitcase that includes last-minute needs like my toothbrush. That list manages to keep growing but I haven’t run out of room…yet.
So here is my personal checklist of must-haves for my stay in the hospital. I based this on my own needs and also suggestions from friends who responded to a prompt on Mumbling Mommy’s Facebook page.
1. Food. In my experience, hospital food is actually pretty darn delicious. That being said — going through labor takes a lot out of you. Add breastfeeding to your new routine and you can get pretty darn hungry in that little room. Pack a few snack items, like cereal bars or my favorite — Larabars. I even threw in a few bottles of Ensure. When I had my daughter, my good friend Maddie and her mom brought me some fast food when they visited and it was like the nicest, yummiest thing ever.
2. “Real” clothes and slippers. Hospital gowns are awkward. They serve the intended purpose but once your delivery is complete, you will want to be out of it. Rachael suggests packing Yoga pants and comfortable tops. My kids bought me a pair of Angry Birds pajama pants that are making the trip. Pack comfortable clothing that is acceptable for guests. You will also want something for your feet — whether that means slippers, socks with tread, or flip flops (my choice).
3. Laptop/Tablet. While you are going to be busy with your new bundle of joy, there is always time for a little online action. Most hospitals have WiFi services and let’s face it, your real and pseudo friends on Facebook really do not want to wait a few days to hear the weight and length of your little one and gush over the first pictures. In some cases, a good smartphone can suffice here.
4. Camera and uploading accessories. Smartphones are GREAT for instant uploading/emailing of photos, but you will want to have some old-fashioned digital shots too. The resolution of photos from a camera will be much higher than anything you take on your phone and more album/scrapbook worthy. If you need a cord to upload your shots, be sure to pack it along with an extra memory card and batteries.
5. Nursing pillow and other breastfeeding gear. Make breastfeeding even easier on yourself and bring all of the items that you will need to do it right. If this is your first time going the nursing route, here is a short list of what you will want from the get-go: Nursing pillow (like a Boppy), nursing pads, lanolin-based nipple cream, nursing bras or easily accessible clothing, and an enormous water bottle (you’re going to be really thirsty). I would also recommend a nursing shawl, like a Hooter Hider. Elizabeth suggests a wrap sweater to serve as a nursing shawl. Tricia points out that lanolin also makes a great chap stick during delivery.
6. Chargers. Be sure to include your list of chargers on your last-minute checklist. This includes one for your phone, laptop, tablet, E-reader, camera and videocamera.
7. Baby clothes. I had zipped up my suitcase yesterday when I realized that I needed to pack for one more person — my baby. I threw in several newborn onesies, layette tops, baby mittens, BabyLegs (pants/leg warmers — love!) and a knit hat. If you plan to cloth diaper and want to begin while you are at the hospital, throw in a few of those too.
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Tags: Angry Birds