Well whenever he comes we need to be ready, and that means.... packing for the hospital!
Today we received an unexpected package from my brother and sister in law. It really was perfect timing because along with several other very practical gift items (practicality is very much appreciated the second time around) was the most amazing diaper bag. This thing is intense! I'm so excited to organize it! It's going to get packed up for the hospital and after that there should be a pocket for just about everything two boys could possibly need.
For any first time moms wondering how to pack for the hospital my advice is to consider what you would use at home. You're most likely to be in the hospital only 2-3 days. In that short time do you need this particular item. For example, with Oliver we brought our laptop with us. We did use it but I think it will stay home this time. As much time as I spend on my laptop I think I can survive two days. If you choose not to bring something and find yourself wanting it you can always have someone bring it to you, since chances are you will have lots of people in and out to visit.
Pack light. You won't be in the same room the entire time. The book I read to prepare for Oliver recommended a smaller bag for labor and delivery, and sending for a second bag once you're moved to your own room. We did decide not to carry Nate's stuff with us while we were in L&D and recovery, but I don't know if a separate bag is necessary even for mom. I had a small duffel bag that made the entire trip with me. Then there was Nate's bag and the baby bag. This time it looks like baby and I will share a bag and Nate will have his small bag.
I didn't need a single thing out of my bag in L&D. I had packed a book but it never left the bag, (I do think I will bring my nook this time anyway. I was so wrapped up in what was going on- staying calm, trying to rest, and..o yeah! laboring!... that I never opened that bag. Hardly even watched TV.
As conscious as I am attempting to be NOT to over pack...it's what I do, I'm sure I'm bringing more than I'll need for the baby in 2 days.
*not quite everything is in here yet...but that's most of it.
Here's what's in my bag this time:
*Two nursing bras (one comfy one with no support so I don't now why even bother with it, and one that's more bra-like to wear to move around and come home)
*Big momma panties (it's all about comfy, not so much fashion! you want something you won't mind being ruined too)
*Burp cloths (but now that I think about it these probably aren't necessary because baby will most likely be on a colostrum diet and have very little milk to dribble or spit)
*Two nursing gowns (this time I just got two cheap nightgowns from Sears that have buttons instead of the maternity nursing gowns that are more expensive and didn't survive long last time anyway)
*Coming home outfits for mom and baby (remember socks and a hat for baby, and for mom I recommend yoga pants and a nice shirt for pictures- any dressier than that is your own choice, comfort is my #1 priority)
*Baby clothes and socks (really a coming home outfit is all that's necessary but you may want to dress your little one in something other than the too-big hospital onesie)
*Boppy pillow (brought a body pillow instead for Oliver, a regular pillow works just as well to prop up your arm and the baby while nursing so this isn't completely necessary either but the boppys are good to prop baby up for pictures)
*Blanket (I'm not bothering with a swaddling blanket because you will have hospital ones to use, but a heavier fleece lined blanket is nice to have to help baby regulate his body temperature and stay warm on the trip home)
*Camera & camcorder (remember extra batteries and/or charger unless you plan on having everything freshly juiced ahead of time...I'd probably still pack extra because all the pictures you'll take may drain it faster than normal)
*Nook (already mentioned how this probably is one of those things I won't need, but I'd like to have it with me anyway)
*Toiletries and make-up (you don't need your full arsenal, but keep in mind there will be lots of cameras and lots of pictures and you will want to like them...so look nice or at least nice-ish)
*Cell phones and chargers
Other things to consider:
*Extra pillows or blankets for hubby (he won't get the best sleep in the hospital so if he's picky to begin with these might be worth bringing in once you're settled down)
*Extra bags for gifts/ stuff you'll take from the hospital (the nurses will most likely give you plastic drawstring bags if you really need it, plus you can send things home slowly with visitors).
*Snacks/cash (the hospital I was in had really yummy food, but you will most likely be up and hungry before breakfast service starts...Nate doesn't think it is totally necessary to pack stuff because there is a dunkin donuts, a subway, and a walgreens just outside our hospital... ok by me!)
*A bathing suit for dad if you plan on a water birth or standing in the shower while laboring.
Things you'll take from the hospital: (pretty much whatever you can!)
*As many diapers and wipes as they'll bring you
*Some sexy gauze underwear (you probaly won't need them by the time your home but take them just in case...I still have like 8 pairs from when I came home with Oliver)
*Gauze pads and petroleum jelly (for circumcized boys)
*Squirt bottle (it's for cleansing yourself "down there" and is pretty soothing when you're swollen and afraid of even wiping believe me! plus it's great later to use on laundry to almost to powerwash baby's poo leaks off the onesies)
*Swaddling blanket (you probably have cute ones at home, but for sentimental reasons you will want at least one of the hospital ones to come home with you)