There are those moms who pack bare minimum. They use what the hospital supplies and keep it simple. Those women, I envy. I wish I could make things that easy on myself, but alas, I can not. I basically way overpack and spend months thinking about, planning, sewing and crafting my way to the baby’s birthday like an outta control OCD fruitcake. It’s ridiculous and I wholeheartedly admit that right up front. So when I share with you what I pack, make, take along with me to the hospital, I am by no means suggesting you do the same. No need to spread my craziness around!
But the truth is that I chose to celebrate the birth of a baby and make it special because…well…after the first half-dozen kids or so, everyone else is kind of…over it. They are “over” me continuing to proliferate so I just keep the party going anyhow. Did that sound like self pity? I hope not…it’s just the truth. First baby, big big deal. Second baby, yippee. Third baby and people wonder why you keep popping out people and past that it’s just pure crazy. And that’s ok with me. I accepted my craziness more than a decade ago. And now I invite all of you into my crazy life every day here in the blog…
So here’s what I pack:
1-A Labor Bag
Since most hospitals have gone to the “labor in one room, stay in another after delivery” policy, I bring a special bag packed just for labor. This bag includes my gown and pillow case, quick fix make-up, charger, breath mints, and a few things for baby. I also keep lip balm, lotion, hand sanitizer and a family photo handy. Oh yes, and I never go anywhere without a bunch of Christmas cards. That way the nurses actually believe me when I tell them how many are in our family.
I also pack flip-flops (yes, they are monogrammed…I’m southern) for walking in room and showering. I have some cute crocheted slippers with bows on the toes for bedtime and some little anklet socks. A whole ‘nuther level of crazy is my pretty hospital gown and matching pillowcase with– yes — monogrammed earrings that coordinate.
Oh, and in case my hair needs to be tied back I have matching hair ties too.
I know most moms breastfeed or at least try to right off the bat, but if for any reason, like me, you choose to formula feed, check with the hospital for what brand they provide. Most times I have noticed it is not my preferred brand so I bring mine with me.
I also bring pacifiers and of course– a monogrammed Tervis for ice chips/water.
2- A Post Delivery Bag
This has all my clothes, accessories, and baby things in it. I way over-pack but I hate being stressed that with every blowout poopy this child will be relegated to a plain blankie and hospital t-shirt. And before you think me
snobbish, please keep in mind that four times I have adopted a child as a newborn and they came to me in stained hospital clothing. It broke my heart to see this precious gift wearing borrowed clothing. So I have since yet to come out of my “wearing something special or mommy made” mode after those experiences.
I have my nightgowns, matching baby gowns and burp rags and blankies…plenty to outfit several babies! I also bring bras and if you’re nursing, get some comfortable nursing sleeping bras for support and comfort.
I also bring along thank you notes for nurses who work with me during my visit and friends who bring gifts. Takes two seconds to write a note and in my postpartum fogginess if I don’t do it right away I know I never will!
3- The Party Is Here Bag
This has a hospital door wreath, name and footprint plaque, bassinet wreath, banners to hang on the wall and yes Christmas lights and an extension cord. Oh and paper flowers: they look nice and last longer than the real deal.
4- My Toiletry Bag and Going Home Outfits
Yes, I over do it…as of this needs saying again. I bring a lot of soaps, shampoos, smelly things and even a hair dryer and barrel curler to the hospital. Why? Because I want to look and smell nice. I want to feel better because I look better than I may actually feel. I like to shower and have my room smell like anything other than a hospital for 30 minutes and take my time caring for myself after the birth with the little luxuries that make me happy. It’s silly. But hey, with this many kids my husband and I have only ever had three “sleep away” dates since we became parents, so I use every opportunity to enjoy the relative quiet and time “alone”…even if it is postpartum.
5- Snack Bag
I bring along a few special snacks and treats for hubby and I in case we get the opportunity to just hang out and watch a movie while feeding our newest babe. This time I purchased pre-packed boxes from specialty stores on Amazon plus a few KIND bars and granola treats too. We usually bring some precut fruit and drinks as well. If it sounds like we are picnicking– well, we are. And I hate it when hubby leaves my room to go get food so I try to reduce that need ahead of time.
6- David’s Bag
He brings just a couple changes of clothes, his toiletry bag, and the camera stuff. Oh and a laptop to watch movies on. I try to coordinate him for photos so that our pictures look nice. Honestly, as long as he has a razor and fresh undies he’s a happy man. What a pair we make!