- Robe: I packed a robe for two reasons. One being that I didn't want to have to walk around the hospital trying to get contractions going and showing my rear end to the whole labor and delivery floor. The second reason being that if I didn't feel like wearing pajama bottoms, I could throw on a cami and put this over it so when I stood up I wouldn't be flashing visitors.
* I stuck to our room for our entire stay so I never had a use for this in the hallways. As for our room, it was so hot that if I'd have worn it, I'd have probably died!
- Comfy Pajamas/ Lounge Clothes: I'm not a big pajama person as I usually sleep in athletic clothes. So I packed a pair of loose yoga pants and a nursing cami to wear with them. I figured if I didn't feel up to wearing the pants, I could throw on the robe over the cami as I moved around. I also packed a nursing gown that I purchased from Motherhood but many of my friends suggested sticking to the hospital gown so that I didn't end up ruining my new gown due to those extra "fluids" I'll be losing.
* After the first day of swimming around in that ginormous hospital gown, I was so anxious to put on some clothes that actually fit. I ended up sticking with wearing just my nursing gown because it made it easier on the nurses to check my stitches and my bleeding than pants allowed.
- Nursing Bras: I packed two. Originally I had only intended to include one in my bag but a friend suggested packing two just in case I was in the hospital longer than the traditional stay.
* I didn't wear these while at the hospital because my milk did not come in. However, I did wear one home because it was much more comfortable than the bra I had worn to the hospital.
- Pack of Cheap Hanes Briefs: Oh the mesh undies! I know everyone knows about these. Some people like them, some people hate them. Just to be safe, I grabbed a cheap 8-pack of Hanes cotton briefs (yes, granny panties and I got them one size bigger than I normally wear) that I wouldn't mind throwing away if they were ruined. I decided to include them in my bag in case I wasn't a fan of the mesh undies.
* I didn't mind the mesh panties so I didn't end up needing these. I did try them on the second day though and they were a bit uncomfortable since I never wear brief styles. My suggestion is if you plan to take your own undies, take the kind you're used to. Next time, I'd take the bikini style. They still give you full coverage but won't be tight on your stomach and still allows for space for an incision if you were to have a c-section.
- Overnight Pads: Again, I know we've all heard about the massive pads that the hospital gives you post-delivery. Like the mesh undies, some people love them and some people hate them. Just to be on the safe side, I picked up a pack of giant overnight pads to try out if I didn't particularly care for the hospital's pads.
* The hospital pads were more than adequate and I didn't really mind them. However, since my bleeding was really not that bad, I tried switching to the pads I bought with me since they were about half the size, however, they didn't work very well with the mesh undies. And as I mentioned above, the brief style panties I had brought were just uncomfortable so I stuck with the mesh panties and hospital provided pads for my stay.
- Nursing Gear: Just in case we have to stay at the hospital longer than planned and my milk were to come in, I threw in a few pairs of nursing pads. I also threw in some lanolin and a nursing cover in case we have visitors when it's time for Harper to eat.
*As I said earlier, my milk didn't come in during my stay so I didn't need nursing pads. When it came to trying to nurse, our visitors usually stepped out in the hall so I didn't need the cover either. However, the lanolin cream was great to have on hand...especially since Harper had a hard time latching.
- Cheap Flip Flops: I refuse to walk around the hospital in my bare feet or just socks so I picked up a cheap pair of $1 flip flops from Walmart to wear to walk around in. I also figure they'll be perfect for the shower. The great thing is they're also stretchy so if I get to experience that wonderful post-partum swelling, I know they'll fit!
*I didn't wear these at all during my hospital stay. I thought I would but with all the nerves, anxiousness, and excitement, I didn't even think twice about walking around barefoot on the bare hospital floor. Looking back, I know that's gross but in the moment it doesn't even cross your mind!
- Make Up & Toiletries: Every mama I know suggested taking my own make up and toiletries. They all encouraged me to throw on a little make up each day to make me feel more human. So I packed a small make up case with the bare essentials, a travel size package of make up remover wipes, a bottle of shampoo, a travel size bottle of shower gel, a loofa, my toothbrush, toothpaste, and some deodorant.
* This is by far the thing I was most thankful to have packed. It felt great to wash my face each day and add a little make up. On top of that, I didn't look so drowned out in photos.
- Towel: I was told hospital towels stink because they're super thin and not very big so I decided to throw in my own bath towel just in case the towels sucked. After all, I really don't want to use a towel that feels like sand paper after my skin is already sore and dry from delivery.
*Our hospital's towels weren't that bad. They were fairly large and though not as soft as my towels at home, they still weren't that uncomfortable.
- Going Home Outfit: I decided to take a maxi skirt, cami, and button down shirt. I figure a skirt would be my best bet just in case I'm sore or end up having to have a c-section. A skirt would be loose and I can wear it higher to avoid rubbing on my stitches.
* I'm definitely glad I chose to take a skirt.I didn't have to worry about it not fitting and it was loose and comfortable for the thirty minute ride home.
- Lounge Clothes: Since Kevin will be lounging around throughout the day, he packed a couple pair of athletic shorts and t-shirts. Not only will they serve as his daily wear but he'll just sleep in them too.
*As expected, Kevin stayed in basketball shorts, undershirts, and tees our entire stay so I'm thankful we packed him a few pairs!
- Going Home Outfit: Kevin packed a nicer outfit to wear on our way home. But nothing too nice. Just a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and polo.
*We didn't know if we were going to be able to go home until 6:30 on Friday evening. They finally released us at 7 so Kevin didn't bother changing into his going home outfit. He just wore his basketball shorts and t-shirt home.
- Toiletries: Kevin threw in his toothbrush, a travel size bottle of shower gel, and a stick of deodorant in with my toiletries. We'll share the toothpaste, shampoo, and loofa sponge.
*Kevin didn't take a shower at the hospital but he was glad to have his own toothpaste, toothbrush, and deodorant on hand.
- Cheap Flip Flops: I made Kevin take his cheap flip flops to wear in the shower as well.
* Since Kevin didn't take a shower at the hospital he didn't use these. He just wore his rainbow flip flops around.
For Harper Doodle:
Thanks to the hospital providing pretty much everything, Harper gets to pack light. I'm not even taking her diaper bag.
- 3 Outfits: The average hospital stay is 2-3 days so I figured Harper would need at least two outfits and I threw in an extra just in case she was to mess up one while in the hospital
* Since Harper stayed swaddled for our entire stay, we just kept her in the little t-shirts that the hospital provided. So we only ended up needing one outfit for when she went home.
- Pacifiers: I'm not going to be one of those mama's that refuses to give her baby a pacifier until their baby is three weeks old. So many of the mamas I know started giving their babies pacifiers in the hospital so I went on and threw in a few types in Harper's bag to try out while we're there.
*Harper wouldn't take a pacifier at the hospital so we didn't end up needing these.
- Chapstick: I read on tons of lists to include chapstick. I thought it was kind of a crazy idea but after spending four hours in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, I totally saw what the fuss was about. It truly is super dry in the hospital and just in those four hours that I was there, my lips felt like sandpaper. So I've definitely threw in a tube in my bag!
* Our hospital room was so warm from where we had to keep it above 72 for Harper that there wasn't a chance for my lips to get dry so I didn't even use this.
- Boppy Pillow: We've packed Harper's boppy pillow but are going to leave it in the car until we see if we need it. Several people suggested learning to nurse with a pillow; whereas, some suggested learning to nurse with a boppy so I decided to bring ours along just in case plan A doesn't work.
* I took the boppy pillow but ended up leaving it in the car. I just used my personal pillow and the hospital pillows while trying to feed Harper and they worked great.
- Personal Pillows: Kevin and I are both taking our own pillows. Afterall, when the nurse at the hospital tells you the only thing you need to bring is your own personal pillow, you better take the warning and do it.
*I loved having my own pillow. The hospital pillows are super flat. By flat I mean, I needed 2 to 3 of them to be even close to the size of my personal pillow.
- Camera/ Camera Charger/ Camera Card: Do I even need to explain?
* My best friend used my camera to take pictures of the delivery. However, the rest of our stay, we just used our cell phones to take pictures. It made it easier to update everyone on social media.
- Cell Phone & Chargers: Definitely don't want to forget those!
* Used them both non-stop!
- Laptop & Two movies: Since I'm being induced and have to be admitted into the hospital the night before, Kevin and I know we're having a long night ahead of us so we decided to go prepared. So we're taking my laptop and we packed two movies we've been saving to watch for the occasion...Guilt Trip & Parental Guidance.
* Kevin and I did actually watch part of a movie on my laptop the night we were admitted into the hospital. We'd have probably watched both of the movies we had taken if we hadn't have been so tired that night!
-Book: For the same reason as the movies, I decided to throw in a book in my bag. I'm sure I'm not going to get any sleep the night before I'm induced so I figured I might as well take something to do. Afterall, there won't be much on tv at 2am.-
* I didn't end up reading my book at the hospital because if we weren't watching tv, we were on our phones playing games or texting our friends with updates.
Looking back over this list, I realized I overpacked. I knew some things I probably wouldn't need but since the hospital was thirty minutes from our home, I decided to take the items just in case. On top of that, they fit in my bag so I figured why not take them? However, next time I"ll be packing light. I'll also be adding a few things I didn't consider taking. Here would be my list for the next go round.
- 2 Nursing Gowns (I wore the same one for two days so I'd like to have an alternate next time)
- A couple of pairs of bikini style underwear and a few overnight pads for when my bleeding tapers off and I want to wear something a bit more comfortable and practical
- Make up & toiletries
- Tube of Lanolin
- Tube of Lanolin
- Going Home Outfit (dress or skirt definitely!)
- Personal Pillow
- Personal Pillow
- Basketball shorts, t-shirts, under shirts (for skin to skin)
- Going home outfit (just in case we left earlier than we did this time!)
- Toiletry items
- Personal Pillow
- Personal Pillow
- A couple of cute swaddle blankets (since you can't see baby dressed in cute outfits, might as well bring cute blankets since the hospital ones are pretty plain)
- Going home outfit
- Camera/Camera Charger
- Cell Phone/ Cell Phone Charger
- Baby Book ( I wish I had thought of this before. We could have had the doctor's stamp Harper's feet and place them in the book instead of having to include the copy they gave us.