Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What to take to the hospital when you are in labor

Several of my close friends/relatives are expecting their first baby any day now... I am SO excited for each of them, and feel like it was just yesterday that I was packing a hospital bag (or 20) and waiting around for Baby C to decide he was ready to make his grand entrance into the world. 

I'm sure all of these friends are 100% prepared already; but, I thought this might be a good time to share my list of what I took to the hospital when Sam was born (you know, in case you've been wondering about it for the last seven months).

Yes, I took (and used) ALL of this.  Of course, it's important to point out that I was in the hospital a total of 4 nights, so I had more time to use things. (It also was summer - so depending on the weather, your list might change a little.)  I was especially glad that I took my own pillow, a cozy robe, and my blowdryer, straightener, and make-up.  It sounds kind-of vain, but it really did make such a difference when I actually felt clean and pretty. I was also really thankful for the itzbeen timer (you know how I love it) and the obvious things like my camera and cell phone.

There were also several things on my list that I decided I really didn't need next time around - snacks, for example.  And, some things I wished I'd had even more of - like outfits/hats/and blankets for Sam.  The hospital will provide all of that stuff, but it was all labeled in big black permanent marker with the hospital's name - hideous in photos. ;) I also wish I'd taken my own bath towel and a little fan --- I was BURNING UP during labor and no one in the whole hospital could seem to get their hands on a fan!  Haha.

I totally felt like I was moving in to the hospital when we checked in the night before Sam was born (well, really Jeff looked like it --- I just walked in carrying my cute gown and got in bed like a diva); but, in the end, it was worth it.

Moms, what did you think was the most important item you had at the hospital?  What should be added to this list?

*Midweek Confessions will be up again tomorrow.  See you then!


  1. I didn't pack in advance and labor came on before I could think through what to pack. But, I am here to say, it totally didn't matter. I sent my husband home, so he just brought me anything I didn't have a chance to grab.
    In my experience, the most important thing I did was take anything that wasn't nailed down from the hospital. We took diapers, snot suckers, all the special vaginal delivery recovery items (ice packs, mesh underwear, etc...), onesies, blankets. Kate totally went home in the hospital t-shirt and a diaper and that's it! Good thing it was June :)

  2. I actually made my husband the first night after my C-section go pick up a fan at the CVS across the street for our room because I was sweating those first two nights! It will be going back with us this time around.

  3. yes to at least 3 baby outfits~! i thought i was bringing too many, but he promptly spit up on two of them directly after putting them on making them cold and wet!

    as for momma, i am of the "less is more" school of thought-it stressed me out to preplan and i felt the hospital really had everything i needed, but my own robe was very much a bonus!

  4. Snacks is a good idea! I was very happy to have my make-up and hairdryer and stuff. I looked horrible when I look back at the pictures, even with make up on. I can't imagine if I didn't have it with me. I was in labor a long time so it was really nice to have a computer.

  5. the body pillow, aka my best friend. It was great during labor when I was so uncomfortable and afterwards, as I slept and tried to figure out how to nurse. A little piece of home always helps.

  6. Thank you for sharing this! I'll definitely be heeding your to-pack advice!

  7. My hospital had onesies, hats and blankets for the baby that aren't marked up and we could take them home. I definitely did! They also had a big box fan. My hospital is the "baby factory" of my city though so they've probably thought of everything. I recommend going on a tour and asking questions about what they do and don't have on hand!

    I definitely would bring your own pillow, towel for showering (the ones at my hospital were pathetically thin!), warm socks (a few pairs - TMI: the first time I stood up to go to the bathroom, they were ruined with blood. EW.), and a boppy (if you are breastfeeding - but even if not, I'm sure it would make bottle feeding easier!). Oh and your camera - seems obvious but I forgot mine and had to have my stepdad bring it up for me. That would have been such a bummer!
    Things I brought but didn't touch: most of my clothes except for a going home outfit - they had to check me so often that being in pants would have been a pain, my Kindle, and my iPod. I was too busy either taking care of the baby or admiring her to worry about reading books :)

  8. You must be a mind-reader...I was certain you had a super list, but never asked. Thanks for posting!!

  9. This will be great to know in the future..I hope Meg read this post!

  10. I think the must haves I took were slippers, my own pillow and my own towel. We also took a deck of cards because I was induced, so I was in the hospital for a long time before my labor progressed to the point of not being able to play! :)

    And snacks for my husband during labor were helpful and for me afterwards... sometimes I would get SO hungry between hospital meals, so it helped to have something I could grab!

  11. Okay, so first thing is that I just went to labor and delivery class last night and our "homework" is to pack a bag and bring it to class to show off next week, so this list is helpful. :) Honestly, the whole class yesterday freaked me out completely (umm... videos of people in labor... they look unhappy and uncomfortable and I know that I'm supposed to be glad I have more knowledge instead of being ignorant, but ignorant was less scary). Anyway, the list is helpful.

    Second, I totally had a dream last night that I met you in real life and we were hanging out. Creepy? I hope you don't think so. We had fun. :)

  12. My number one must have is chap stick! I also brought a mini fan that I found at Target. It was wonderful for labor, but I also used it in the post partum area. Our hospital does rooming in, so the rooms have to be warm for the babies. I was able to attach my little fan to the side of the bed, so mama stayed cool while baby stayed warm. Along the lines of rooming in, next time, I'll bring a night light. They require you to keep a light on and the dimmest one also shone right in my eyes.

    I brought my own nursing gown and pj pants and slippers for my husband.

    We loved having our dvd player for labor (I went unmedicated, so I didn't watch really intently, but it did help to distract me) and we also enjoyed watching movies during quiet alone times.

    I also brought snacks for during labor. My hospital wouldn't allow me to eat during labor, but my midwife really encouraged it, so I had to bring my own.

    Change for the vending machines.


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