Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Hospital Bag for Minimalists

If you've reached this blog you've probably already spent the last several hours on Pinterest for the most perfectly packed bag for the big day. That was me, anyway, and I’m here to hopefully simplify things for you.  

REAL TALK: I had two stabs at packing my bag. The first try left me with a suitcase large enough to take a month vacation in and the second time I was able to downsize to a carry on suitcase. Even still, I could have taken so much more out. I'm a girl that loves options so packing is always a nightmare for me. 

FOR YOU (and potentially your spouse):

Music. Man, I can’t even begin to describe what a lifesaver our little speaker was. Music is everything to us, and we wanted our little man coming into the world with some melody in the background. We even were able to tell him the songs that played while he made his way into the world. Our pick was the UE Boom, but any speaker will do. Make sure you offline your songs!

Pillow & Blankets from home. The hospital will have their half inch thick pillows and maybe a sheet or two, but for the comfort of you and your spouse, bring some luxury from home. You have no idea what relief it will be to have some home touches during this time. Plus, my husband was really happy he had a pillow & blanket since we ended up going to the hospital at 10pm and labored through the night. My favorite travel blanket is the Brookstone Nap. SUPER COMFY.

Snacks. Great to have on hand, especially for your spouse. About 36 weeks pregnant I went to the store and stocked up on all sorts of quick grab snacks and put them in a ziplock and stored in my hospital bag. I knew this was something I wouldn't think of while in labor and throwing in all the last minute stuff so I went ahead and packed them early on. They won't go bad, obviously.

The hygiene stuff. Depending on what hospital you end up delivering at you will more than likely have everything you need in terms of hygiene. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure what to expect so I’ll point out which items I’m glad I had, even though I received some duplicates from the hospital.

 Earth Mama Bottom Spray. This stuff is amazing. I heard horror stories about people buying cooling sprays (ie Dermaplast) that ended up burning down there because they didn’t buy the right kind, and I’m more into the natural thing anyways so this stuff was amazing. As a bonus, it gives you the feeling of being in a “spa” since it has a great herbal smell to it, something that is warmly welcomed after feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.

  Tucks. Every blog will have this stuff. It’s fantastic. Get the small size, I didn’t even touch half of mine in the large tub. Plus, they offered more at the hospital.

Nipple Cream. My absolute favorite was Motherlove Nipple Cream. It saved me. I was struggling with the whole breastfeeding thing in the beginning because I immediately started cracking. This specific cream/ointment provided instant relief- and I tried several!

Nipple Shields (Medala Soft Shields). I didn’t even realize this was a product. Luckily, I had an awesome nurse at Stanford Children’s that also doubled as my breastfeeding coach. She brought me a pair of these to use/take home and I’m so thankful. Not only did it help me heal faster (otherwise, the cream you use to help heal your nips ends up rubbing off and is useless), but also saved my clothes from getting stains from the cream, which is really greasy.

Overnight pads. I hate ones with wings because they always fit me weird, so I preferred these from Always. Truthfully, I loved the hospital’s pads way better so be sure to grab several on your way out. They will also give you oversized underwear that I loved, especially in the first few days. A lot of people complain about them not being comfortable but come on, there is nothing comfortable about post partum. Nothing. Deal with the oversized undies and be thankful you didn’t ruin your own! As for the following week(s), go to Target and buy some cheap cotton underwear to get you through the lochia timeframe.

Water Bottle. You are going to feel like you just spent the past 100 days in the desert after you give birth. I couldn't drink enough water so I was glad I had my BKR 1 Liter water bottle. These are the jam and will change the way you drink water. Be sure to go to their website too and check out all of the cute names & descriptions for each of the colors.

Pajamas. I was bound and determined to be *that mom* that looked photoshopped in her cute after baby pics with her adorable little pajamas. You know, for all those Instagram pictures I was going to take. 

That was not real life for me.

We were trying to get back to our comfortable home within 24 hours and between the nurses visiting every hour, catching family members up on the East Coast with the news, doing the whole mom thing and breastfeeding every 2 hours, I didn’t even get one photo of the three of us together. Luckily our friends who visited us did. Needless to say, I wish I was that person. If you are, by all means, pack the cute PJs. Just make sure they are button down- it’s way easier because the nurses will be checking you frequently.

Bring Your Pump (if this is your choice to breastfeed or pump). A lot of times hospitals will have lactation consultants who can give you the run down of how to use your specific pump as well as check it to see if the sizing is correct. The flanges that come are not one size fits all, so bring it with you! Or if you are trying to conserve space leave the machine at home and bring the flanges. 

My Breast Friend or Boppy. I see use for both of these. My Breast Friend is better for breastfeeding, IMO. It provides a sturdier space for support when breastfeeding and is adjustable to your ever changing body, unlike the boppy. It's also great for those long rock to sleep sessions because it takes a lot of the weight off. That being said, for post partum (AKA the ride home from hospital) the boppy is great to serve as a cushion for your toosh. I personally happened to break my tailbone during labor so it hurt extremely bad to sit down. The boppy played a crucial role aiding in comfort. I also loved having the boppy later down the road to act as a prop to help my son sit up. I recommend getting both, but maybe just bringing the boppy for the hospital. It will be frustrating because you are so swollen and the boppy won't fit like it should during those first couple weeks. Hang in there though! And use other pillows to help prop while at the hospital.

Don't forget the other usual suspects- deodorant, toothpaste/toothbrush, hair brush, etc. One nice little luxury that my sister in law told me to bring was a good sample of your favorite shampoo/conditioner/hair product. That first shower after giving birth will make you feel human again. Have something special to make you feel special! I went to my local salon and asked for a few samples of my favorite shampoo/conditioner during my last visit before Waylon came. It was great to have and made me feel good after giving birth.


Again, the hospital will have everything. My suggestion would be to have a few spare wipes/diapers for maybe the car ride home just in case. Truthfully, its easiest to just have a spare "changing table" setup in the back of your car for these emergencies anyways. If you have a longer trip between your house and the hospital you may want to have a full on diaper bag, otherwise just be minimal.

A Going Home Outfit. Adorable. I spent hours finding the perfect outfit on Zulily. Did Waylon get to wear his? No. Again, we were wanting to get out of there and get home. But please do it, and take a stinken picture!

Swaddles. Specifically, Adan & Anais-so worth it. I got some bamboo fiber as well as “regular” because sometimes swaddling with bamboo fiber can be tough because they are so soft and slippery.  Bring two. One to swaddle and one to cover the carseat while taking him outside. Or better yet, get yourself one of these, from Covered Goods. It's a nursing wrap, buggy insert & carseat cover all in one and it even disguises as a scarf!

Aden and Anais Burpy Bibs. These are great. I have 7, for each day of the week and I love them. Waylon spit up a lot when he was really little, so having the extras a great way to delay laundry. Bring one for hospital.

Zoli Nail File. This is great because you never know if your baby will come out sporting talons or not. Yeah, you can bring the mittens but I was too afraid that my son would somehow wiggle them off his hands and swallow them in the night (I know, I'm literally insane). So, for me it was awesome to have a nail file and the one I linked to above. The Zoli is great because I was so terrified of accidentally snipping his poor tiny fingers and the Zoli was super effective and super safe.

I never used a pacifier during those two days at the hospital. In fact, Waylon didn't start using the pacifier until about a week later.

And that's all I can really think of as far as packing for your baby. I didn't bring a toy, or a wubba nubba or anything like that. Your baby is going to be so busy between sleeping, feeding & tests that they won't have time for any of that stuff. By all means, have it ready for them at home (and remember to boil your bottle and pacifier nipples before going to the hospital), but don't worry about having it at the hospital.


1 comment:

  1. LOVE the earth mama bottom spray! I was traumatized by the dermaplast!! I strongly second the pillow and blanket idea as well! Life savers. I also loved your insight about taking pictures- it is so much harder than I had envisioned it to be!