Posted: Oct 13 2016
Bringing a new human into the world is no joke. Even before said human arrives, there is an abundance of planning and preparation to do. Case in point—your hospital bag. I'm not exactly sure why this particular task causes so much angst, but my gut tells me it's because as mothers, we are planners and controllers. But as mothers about to give birth, we often loose the ability to control the situation (hello surprise labor or unexpected c-section). This bag is like our safety net. It's our life-line to the world outside the hospital. It's our last attempt to control the situation. Puts quite a bit of pressure on a bag, don't you think?
I am not going to suggest that I got it perfect the first time around, but I am feeling pretty good about my bag for "Round 2", and I wanted to share...or should I say, spill (the contents that is)!
I'm breaking it down into a few categories—things for NEW BABY, MOM, BABY DADDY, and 1st BABY (if applicable).
Let's start with NEW BABY:
1. Picture Worthy "Take-Home" Outfit
Think timeless. You want this moment (and the images capturing it) to feel classic. Olive actually wore the same outfit that my parents brought me home in. This time around, I am planning on a blue day gown by Feltman Brothers with a matching boy bonnet (yes, there is such a thing). Be sure to keep in mind the season and pack the appropriate coverage for head and feet!
2. A Beautiful Baby Blanket + A Usable Baby Blanket
This means pack at least two! Make sure you have a pretty one on hand for pictures and visitors and a good basics (or two) as well for the "real life" part of caring for a new human!
3. Super Soft Onesies
Most hospitals provide you with an "outfit" for baby immediately post birth, but you will want to be prepared with a few options of your own. Include a few (I recommend with feet so you don't have to keep up with socks) and with matching beanies to keep him or her cozy.
AKA—new born pacifiers (even if you think no...reality might be yes), a few diapers for the trip home, wipes (you ALWAYS NEED THESE!), and a burb cloth.
5. BIG Stuff
Don't forget your car seat (and have it properly installed ahead of time). And don't forget the Cord Blood Kit if you opt to do that.
6. FEEDING Stuff
Though most hospitals provide you with one, I suggest packing your own breastfeeding pillow so you can begin adjust to what it will really be like after the lactation consultant is gone and you are home alone figuring it out! And although it is really a pain, I do recommend bringing your own pump. It's nice to have an expert available to walk you through any questions on site.
Now for MOM:
1. Ensembles (clearly I am going to start here...)
Decide what you are going to labor in. If you are cool with the hospital given gown, more power to you. I wasn't super stoked at the non-ironed, overused gowns I caught a glimpse of on the hospital tour, so I purchased and brought my own hospital grade gown when I birthed Olive. Doing the same this time around...
Clothes for recovery are important too. I recommend dark colored (leaks happen ladies) visitor appropriate, pajama sets with easy access to nurse. I also think this is a time to step up your PJ game. There will be more pictures than you think and you don't want to have regrets over something silly, like what you are wearing!
BTW...BURU White Label has the perfect hospital jammies coming SOON!
Don't forget about your coming home outfit as well. Maybe it sounds boring, but I would stick with dark hues in solid colors (more slenderizing and classic) with an option to nurse. Remember that your uterus is still healing so pre-pregnancy jeans are most likely not a reality 36-hours post birth. Here are a few BWL I am considering:
Key pieces to include: 2 nursing bras, nursing tank, boyshorts or full coverage panties (hold on the thongs ladies).
3. Personal Care
Childbirth takes a toll on the body. I think it's really important to bring a little luxe into the hospital room to help you start feeling like yourself again. Pack the personal care products that make you happy—the smell good, feel good, can't believe I spent $$$ for that lotion kind of products. (Also keeping in mind that baby will be sensitive to your products so organic is best here). Don't forget a make-up kit and hair tools!
4. Healing Tools
While bonding with baby and soaking up every second of that newborn smell, don't forget to take care of yourself! The hospital will help you out with most of these things, but it doesn't hurt to bring back-up just in case! (For example - numbing spray. It's a must!) Bring your own lanolin and some panty liners or pads (in case you don't like the crazy HUGE ones they give you).
And pick up a bottle of Witch Hazel for your home (helps with itchiness and cleaning...down there). Oh—and don't be afraid to ask your hospital for a second squirt (or rinse) bottle to take home with you! Pack your prenatal vitamins and keep taking them! Now is not the time to stop supplementing.
5. For Your Feet
If possible, try to wear the same pair of shoes to the hospital that you can wear home. It saves on space in your bag. Most people are going to push socks on you. They made me feel dumpy, hot and any moisture on the floor still soaks through. I recommend the little rubber sole slippers that look like black ballet flats. They're comfy and cute plus slip and water proof.
Absolutely do NOT forget your shower shoes. I recommend grabbing some super cheapy flip flops that you can toss in the trash before you return home.
Moving to Your 1st Born:
This is new territory for me, but I fully understand the importance of preparing a bag just for Olive. Although she won't be staying overnight, there is the chance she could be there for extended periods of time. I think it's important for her bag's contents to be age appropriate and center around these key categories inlclude: activities, snacks, clothing and perhaps most importantly—a pre-wrapped gift from Baby Brother! In our case, per the recommendation of a dear friend and very talented photographer, Lindsey Belle baby boy is giving Olive her very own camera to document his arrival, and their journey together as siblings in her own way.
And now for Baby Daddy (and you too!)
The two of you just made a HUMAN! It's times to celebrate. Bring a little bubbly (the good stuff) or a delicious bottle of red wine. And don't forget to pack nice glasses. Why ruin a great bottle of champagne or wine with crappy glasses!?
I'm sure candles are frowned upon by hospitals—but a little ambiance goes a long way. If you aren't willing to risk it, then go with a diffuser or room spray to help beat the odd hospital smells and pick up some battery operated candles to get the look.
Happy Birthing, Mamas! Cheers to you and your super powers!