Thursday, September 25

What I'm Actually Taking to the Hospital the Second Time Around

I am naturally an over-packer. I love to be prepared and always have been even before becoming a mom. But at the same time, I really try to be an organized person and over-packing bothers me because then there is always so much more to put away when you get home. (I also try to be efficient, which you can also read as lazy, but I'll stick with "efficient";). Not only that, but I don't like having a big mess when I go somewhere, making it more difficult to find the things I really need.

That said, I think some of those "What to Bring to the Hospital" lists for when you have a baby are ridiculous. I mean, unless you know you're having a C-section or your baby is going to the NICU for several days, you just do not need that much stuff. Or I suppose if your hospital is far from home and in the middle of nowhere limiting your access to a store, then maybe.

But since any of those are rarely the case, I think the list can be cut down significantly. If you are a first-time mom, it's hard not to want to be over-prepared, I totally understand that feeling. I looked at tons of those lists before having Tenley and kind of went all out with packing. Now I don't know about other second-time or veteran moms, but I feel like all I need is a small bag of stuff and I'll be good.

Actual necessities:
Car seat (installed) for the baby. The hospital is supposed to check that it's installed correctly before you leave.

A blanket for the baby (the hospital will probably give you a swaddling blanket you can have if you forget one anyway)
Your phone and charger (to stay in touch with family members who can't make it or your husband in case he leaves at any point during your stay--thankfully Dalin never had to)
A camera (or phone with camera) and charger (you really need to capture your baby during those first days...they change very quickly in the beginning)
Hygiene items/toiletries (make sure you have some pads and nursing pads stocked up at home for after you leave!)
A loose and comfortable going home outfit for mom (Seriously, sweatpants and a tee or sweater is all you need...I can pretty much guarantee you won't want to be going out right away anyway.)
Note: I totally didn't look this good going home. I think this girl is still pregnant in the pic, but you'll probably look like this only lumpier. 
A nursing bra or two (I love Target's comfy ones! They're great!)
Some nursing pads (in case your milk comes in while you're there. I'm sure the hospital could provide some, too, and mine didn't come in for four days or so, but when it did, I NEEDED nursing pads or I'd literally soak right through my bras and things to come:P)
These were the only ones I liked because of the shape and the adhesive strip.
An outfit for new baby! (I think I was worried about blowouts which is why I packed extra clothes the first time, but for the first few days your baby only poops a tiny bit usually so not to worry until your milk comes in;)
I thought this was too cute and especially for winter (which is when little boy will arrive!)
And that's like it. I packed like two or three outfits last time, three or four baby outfits just in case, diapers, wipes, my laptop, a book, a few games, and several other things that I didn't even touch while we were at the hospital. We seriously just watched TV and talked the whole time before my labor started. Besides, nurses are always coming in and out in the beginning so there are usually plenty of distractions.

I wore the hospital gown the entire time I was there because, well for one thing, you are generally bleeding pretty bad and you aren't going to want to bloody up your own clothes. You also won't want to wear anything tight (I'm sorry to be the one to tell you if you haven't heard, but you don't magically go back to your original size. You'll have a very jello-y, saggy belly for a while so don't ditch the maternity clothes yet. I had thought that somehow this wouldn't be the case for me, but your body just can't return to it's natural shape when it's been stretched out for so long).

I also didn't use any of the outfits I brought for Tenley except when we actually went home. The hospital had a few little clothing items and since the nurses dressed her in those for me the first few times, I didn't really think about changing her. I think the hospital even provided a blanket for her and we could have kept it when we left.

As far as hygiene items and toiletries go, it's definitely nice to have makeup, deodorant, a razor (I don't think I brought one the first time, but they always make me feel more clean and put together) your own toothbrush, and, for me, a contacts' case. I brought other items, but ended up just using the hospital's shampoo and things. If I had forgotten anything important, my mom or Dalin could have run to Target like a block down the road or even home, which was just 15 minutes away. I wasn't really thinking about things like that at that point

The hospital used their own diapers and wipes for Tenley and sent us home with some, so I didn't even need to pack a diaper bag. They also let me try an electric pump while I was there, gave me lanolin cream, a nipple shield and other things to help me while breastfeeding. They were so helpful and it made my experience wonderful!

I'm sure it depends on where you go, but at Orem Community (which is this very tiny hospital that I just love because it feels so private) they provided the best care I could ask for. They gave me a giant water bottle full of ice water and offered me food and drinks as much as I wanted (after giving birth that is--they aren't supposed to beforehand but luckily I wasn't hungry anyway). They even let me get three drinks in one every time (I ordered cranberry, grape, and Sprite all together which was delicious;) and weren't even mad.

A soft, loose (washable...) robe (as an alternative to wearing the hospital gown the whole time--I really want one this time around so I won't feel so yucky)
Entertainment (you probably only need one thing at most...maybe your laptop to add photos over the next day or so)
Flip flops or slippers (so your bare feet don't have to touch the germy hospital or bathroom floors--I wore flip flops there since I had Tenley in the summer)
A nursing pillow if you're breastfeeding (definitely a comfort item but I used mine immediately and it helped so much)
Little gifts or treats for the nurses that help you (trust me, they do a lot for you--I'm so glad I did this for my nurses with Tenley. Think of it as a small tip for all they do, including cleaning up your blood from the floor, the bed, and anywhere else, inserting and removing the catheter, changing your bloody bedsheets, taking care of your vomit if you get sick, providing emotional support while you're in labor, helping you use the bathroom the first few times afterward, helping you get in and out of the tub, seeing you naked, and several other completely unappealing tasks. I mean, I know they're getting paid but is anyone really getting paid enough to do that stuff for a stranger?)
*Depending on your hospital (and you can ask in advance), you might need a blanket or pillow (and a change of clothes;) for your husband. Ours had an awesome little bed with blankets and pillows just for him, but it might have been a long two nights otherwise.

Do any other moms have advice on what to bring (or what you think I'm wrong about)?
What items were MUST-HAVES for you when you had your baby? (I know some people have comfort items which are necessities for them:)
Did anyone else feel like they way overpacked the first time?


  1. I think this looks like a great list! -- I made a HUGE mistake the first time and took every, single thing in the door when we checked in. I am not sure why I didn't think about having Mark run back out to the car after our baby came but I just thought I needed every. single. thing. The picture of us leaving is crazy because we have SO much stuff and I never even unpacked! My list for the next time, Lord Willing we are blessed again, looks much like yours.

    I found your blog over the summer and am really enjoying all of your updates! :) Blessings- Amy

    1. Me, too! I didn't use like anything I brought! I was too focused on having the baby and then the baby! I didn't really care about anything else. I don't think I even needed burp clothes because I'm pretty sure my daughter was just getting the tiny amounts of colostrum and she didn't spit that up.
      And thank you, Amy! I am so glad you enjoy reading!


I absolutely love to hear from you & will reply if I can!