Forever ago (seems like) I made a packing list for going to the hospital to have Jim. http://nearlydawn.blogspot.com/2008/01/bring-your-granny-panties.html
Now that I've been-there-done-that-paid-the-hospital I have created an updated list for my friend Gil - she's set to deliver in a few short weeks! Go give her some luv.
The NEW List, with commentary:
You will want to pack two bags for the hospital or birth center: a small overnight bag for the items you'll both need during labor and a larger bag for everything else that you'll need to be comfy for a day or 2. In our hospital it was required… They wouldn’t allow us to bring more than a VERY SMALL bag into the OR prep room. Even if we’d had an L&D room we couldn’t have checked in with much more. You might check your hospital’s regulations.
**To make sure you don't forget items that you may use daily and won't have packed until the day you leave for the hospital, attach a reminder to the bag that lists the item(s) to add.
**Be sure your bag includes telephone numbers for: OB Doctor, back-up rides and support people, and arrangements for pet care.
- Flip Flops for when they let you walk/shower - great idea
- loose comfortable sweats to come home in - great idea
- toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant
- your favorite snacks and beverages & sports drinks - great idea
- A hair tie / Hair clips
- Something to read
- A going-home outfit
- Infant car seat
- Baby book for recording baby's first footprint/handprint
- Clothes for hospital baby photo
- The list of folks to call when labor starts, during labor (friends and family), after baby has arrived (extended family and friends, Insurance, FMLA/work-related contacts)
- Chargers for Cell phone / Camera
- Change for the vending machines and/or soft drinks
- PJs for the hubby, change of clothes
- favorite snacks and beverages - great idea
- music you guys both like – this is good whichever kind of delivery you have
- toiletries, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant
- something to read during the early stages
- Your own pillow (use a patterned or colorful pillowcase)
- Laptop was useless in our hospital – no wireless – check in advance
- It's always nice to pack a few extra ziplocs to hold wet items and dirties.
- Sports bottle to keep water handy for yourself
Everything else from our list was just fluff... :)
Oh, while we were in the waiting room before my c-section I talked to a Mom that was checking in to have her 4th child. I noted a total lack of bags, while we appeared to be going on a vacation. She laughed and said, I did that for my first baby too. Now, I just bring my purse - most things I really need are in there anyway. Everything else, the hospital will provide (or hubby can go get) if you ask nicely. So, there you go...
I figure planning to have a baby is kind of like planning for a wedding. You think "I will just DIE if I don't have that whosiwhatsit I want...", but when the big day comes you don't really notice the object you so coveted, instead something you never could have imagined becomes the one thing you desprately crave.
Two last tips:
The mesh panties - they are the ONLY way to go... I've seen people talk about how horrible they are, and they suggest you bring your own reg from home. Well, we can just agree to disagree then. There is NO WAY I want even my worst underwear to have that amount of blood and yuck in them. You would have to throw away every pair you put on. Feel free to pack your own, if you want though. :)
The Birth Plan – this was such a joke… do one for you, if you want, but the nurses will just laugh at you if they find out you have one. EVERY birth is different, and while planning the higlights might be good (like do I want drugs/no drugs) - the real details kind-of work themselves out of necessity. Plan to be surprised... Especially when it comes to how willing you are to get naked in front of strangers. :)