Getting Ready: Hospital Bags and Postpartum Ideas

Avatar for thesunshinekid
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Registered: 09-22-2001
Getting Ready: Hospital Bags and Postpartum Ideas
Sat, 09-15-2012 - 5:14pm

There are so many BTDT moms around, I thought we could start a dialogue about what we are taking to the hospital and what we think we'll need around the house after baby comes home.  I'm sure we'll have plenty of good ideas and we should all get some "a-ha" moments!

I'm a notorious over packer - but, I'm going to try to get myself together a little better this time.  Last time, I went to the hospital on my own, unexpectedly.  DH managed to bring his stuff and totally left mine at home.  I was NOT a happy camper! However, I realized I could make it with almost nothing! 

For Me:

Nursing Bra - side note on this one: wear one to the hospital.  I wore a sports bra and I was uncomfortable trying to nurse that baby until I could get it off the next day!
Pajamas -  I hate having visitors in a hospital gown.  Plus, I'll freeze!
Toiletries - I like to have my own shampoo/conditioner, lotion, etc...I also like to shower as soon as I feel up to it after birth!
Nursing Pads -  My milk came in crazy fast last time.  I'm going to be prepared this time!
Hair Ties/Headbands - Something I forgot last time.  And regretted big time!  I wanted my hair out of my face so badly!
Makeup - We're one of those families that always has a camera around.  I don't want to hate all of the pictures.  I will be touching my face up throughout this whole deal! 
Yoga Pants/Sweatshirt - gotta have something to go home in!
Spanx - keeps your guts from feeling like they are going to fall out and is a nice support, honestly! 
My own pillow/Boppy - I'm pillow-picky, mine has to go with me.  I also love the added support of my Boppy. 

For DH:

The Cameras - He did remember the camera last time! 
Snacks -
He was starving after I delivered and they brought me food.  But, none for him!
Water Bottle/Coffee Mug
- Easier to deal with than having to run to the vending machines to refil tiny cups. This way he can focus!
A Sweatshirt - my DH is very thin and always freezes if the air is on very high like it is in hospitals.  He'll need something. 
Phone Charger  - That battery might be full when we arrive, but it will be DOA as soon as the baby shows up!

For Baby:

Going Home Clothes - We'll probably use something simple or even the outfit her sister wore home. 
Swaddling Blankets - I don't like hospital blankets!  They smell funky and they are so stiff! 
Socks - None of the hospitals we've ever used have had socks.  Uh -cold feetsies!!
Burp Rags - These serve two purposes - the obvious and also as a barrier for visitors when they ask to hold baby.  Shirts harbor a ton of germs.  I want to protect my baby. 

When we get home:

Pads - ugh.  But we're going to need them!  I am trying to decide if I will use disposeable, mama cloth or a combo!
Fruit and Veggies - To put this gently, it works better than a stool softener!  I love a good smoothie with yogurt, berries and kale to get things moving! 
Thank You Notes - As you recieve gifts or meals, you can just fill out a note and get it out quickly! 
Snacks - We normally aren't huge snack people.  However, the kids will need stuff they can grab by themselves. Plus, I'll be ravenous as soon as my milk comes in.  I'm thinking string cheese, granola bars, muffins, nuts and dried fruit, etc.
All of the obvious - It's easy to over look stuff like laundry detergent or dish soap when you're obsessing over impending delivery of a baby.  Oh, and there was this one time we came home with a baby and didn't have any diapers!

What are your ideas?


Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2010
I also overpacked with my son's birth. Dh won't be staying in the hospital, he didn't with my son either, he went home to the dogs, this time he is going home to dogs and ds. I am also allowed to eat and drink freely with this birth, so I have to member to pack for that too. For me: bravado nursing tanks, nursing pads, breast shells, jersey cardigan, yoga pants. A bunch of socks (in case I forget to slip on my slippers) and a ton of dark color sports bras and sleeping bras. I am planning a water birth so I want these for modesty. I figure I will wear the sports bras 1st and then if I get out of the water I will change into the sleep bra that is easier to nurse with when I get close. My pillow, my breast friend pillow and I am going to get the Belly Bandit. Makeup and all of my toiletries. Change of clothes for dh just in case. A couple of onesies and a sleeper or two for the baby and the going home outfit. Clippers for the baby's nails and a hat to get covered in baby smell for the dogs that dh will take home that night with him. Receiving blankets and my own soap for his 1st bath if I decide I want him bathed. For snacks I am going to bring granola bars, trail mix, apples and bananas, cheese crackers, frozen fruit bars and Gatorade. I always slept in my yoga pants and nursing tnk with ds and the breast shells came in really handy bc ds and I had one really bad latch that gave me a blister and I was very thankful for the shells. I also brought target brand hemeroid wipes that were a lot larger and nicer than the ones they give you in the hospital.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2008
My DH probably won't stay at the hospital either unless my sis gets here in time to be home with the dogs and DD.

I just made a whole list of things for myself and my friend (who is due four days before me and will be a 1st time mom). It's exhaustive, but hopefully will make my stay more pleasant.

For mom:
nursing pads
2 nursing bras
maxi pads (though they'll probably have them at the hospital)
Earth mama bottom spray (This is what I'm bringing with me this time, but the hospital will probably have witch hazel pads and some kind of spray for vaginal pain)
nipple cream
nursing shells (or gel pads for relief, if wanted)
nursing pillow (they should have pillows there, but I like my own nursing pillow)
makeup (for photos)
hair brush
hair elastics
tooth paste
tooth brush
comfortable slippers
warm socks
comfy pjs with nursing access
two changes of clothes (something loose and comfortable)
underwear that you don't care about getting ruined
snacks maybe in case of long delivery room stays (if allowed)
your own shampoo and conditioner (if desired)
camera (fully charged)
camera charger
phone charger
towel from home (if you don't like the small, scratchy hospital ones)

For baby:
newborn diapers if you have a special preference (otherwise hospital should supply them)
2-3 baby outfits (in a couple of sizes- newborn, 0-3 months just in case baby is bigger)
baby mittens (if outfits don't have them built in)
socks (if outfits do not have footies)
baby caps
baby shampoo (if there's a special kind you want to use, otherwise they'll probably use Johnson and Johnson)
soft baby brush for photos
pacifiers (we started using them right away, some like to wait until nursing has been established)
baby receiving blanket and swaddle blankets
installed car seat (they wheel you out to your waiting car, so you won't need the car seat/carrier in the hospital, just installed in the car when time to go home)

Lilypie Maternity tickers
Avatar for thesunshinekid
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2001
I have always sent a blanket home in advance. Just calms my nerves. My dogs are young and both are herding breeds, but they are VERY good with children. I don't foresee any issues, but I'll be sending the blanket home, regardless!

Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2008
I did it last time and I will probably do it again with this one, although the dogs weren't that interested in the blanket or the baby for that matter. I was actually quite offended because after being at the hospital for two days and coming home, they ran right by me to the door to go outside when I got home and didn't seem interested in me or the baby at all. I was expecting something totally different. They were cool with her from the start and jealousy didn't really start until later on when she was a little older. They're very good with her though (and extremely tolerant).
Lilypie Maternity tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2005

My DH will defiantly be bringing home blankets, hats, and probably tee shirts to let the dogs smell and also to wash. We have 4 fairly large dogs, ranging from 35 lbs to 70 lbs. We have one dog (the 35 lb dog) who is really possessive of me and has been clinging to me like glue for most of the pregnancy. She has also been trying to step on my belly the past few weeks which she knows she is not supposed to do. We have another one , a female who is about 50 lbs and not fixed, who cuddles with my stomach and gives it kisses. Our other two just ignore the fact that I have a belly. I know that three out of our four dogs will be just fine around the baby, although my try to smoother her with kisses, but the smallest we are just not sure of. She was rescued from a military base in Italy and lived with this one family for about a year before they moved back to the US. One problem is that her former owners gave her away fairly soon after having their second baby and we think the male might have beat her since she is afraid of males (well not my DH, but strange males). She came to live with my IL's about 2 years ago and attached herself to me right away so she might think of the baby as a threat so hopefully if she gets used to the smell for 3 days she won't be aggressive towards our little baby.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2010
We brought home the first hat that's they put on ds. It has some blood and vernix on it so we knew for sure that they would have his smell before he got home. There was no aggression, and they still sniffed him and licked him at every chance they had. I think they really like the breast milk and spit up more Thsnksgiving anything. Lol
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2012
Mon, 09-17-2012 - 8:10am

I think the biggest issue with dogs and new babies is that they often loose allot if not all of the attention that they used to receive from the momma. I also brought home things that the baby used to introduce them to the scent and then when it was time to bring the baby home I had dh take the dog outside for a brief walk and brought baby inside and put her in her crib with the door shut. When dh was back I spent about 5 mins quality time with our dog and allowing him to explore the house (minus the room with baby) before opening the door to the baby's room to allow that to be explored and then introducing them. After that I always tried to make a concious effort to spend quality time with my dog and not to shoo him away just because I had the baby. He was actually quite interested by the baby and would get up next to me on the couch whenever I was feeding/holding her.

I have to admit I am very worried about my 3 yr old dog (a mini poodle / shi tzu mix that we rescued 2 yrs ago). He is extremly territorial and does not like anyone that he doesn't know and strangers are most definitely not welcome in our house but he will probably be fine with time and close observation.

I think everyone has some really comprehensive lists so I am not going to include mine (it is all covered). I did notice one thing missing from the coming home section that I want to add - frozen meals, enough for 2 weeks minimum. I also used ducolax as a stool softener in the first week or so.

Edited - I think I remember reading at least one post that mentioned make ahead meals (bad memory)

Proud Mom to Annika (4), Jamie (3), and 4 angels. Anxiously awaiting Baby #3!