I can NOT believe our delivery date is approaching so quickly! This week was so incredibly tough at 38 weeks to make the decision about our birth plan – I always assumed babies come by themselves when they’re ready and a natural birth would be exactly what we could do, but things change when your baby ends of being huge and is showing zero signs of wanting to come out!
I’ve been panicked for weeks about sudden labor (before we found out she was nice and cozy where she is) and I immediately started packing our hospital bags, preparing the car seat and ensuring everything was in place for whenever it may happen. Now that we know our labor and delivery is more scheduled than originally anticipated, it has helped us to better prepare for what’s in our hospital bag, and I’m sharing with you all exactly the top things other parents have advised us to bring for the long journey ahead!
Whether you’re going through labor or relaxing after a C-section, you’re going to be held up in that labor or recovery room for many days, and having entertainment is super important, especially if your significant other is with you too. Books, videos, movies, or even tablets are great to help pass the time when your newborn or spouse are not in need of your attention. If you’re anything like me, ambient noise can be bothersome, so don’t forget a set of headphones for you and your spouse so you’re not causing too much noise.
Hospital food is definitely OK, and usually hospitals or local areas have some kind of alternative fast food option, but don’t forget those late night munchies when everything closes. Vending machines become your only option, so pack a few dollars in change or even some bottled waters and snacks to enjoy between meals or when you get the craving.
There’s nothing comfortable about wearing mesh panties and a hospital robe for several days straight, so pack some comfortable options for you to relax in when all the medical necessities are complete. A nice robe and warm socks are a good start to returning to normal and still being accessible for feeding and medical checks.
Although your little one feels like a massive bowling ball in your stomach, there’s no real way to know exactly how big they’ll be before they arrive, so having both newborn and 0-3 month outfits in your bag will help with making the transition home easier. Most hospitals require you to have a “hospital approved” outfit to walk out the door, which usually means a onesie, pants, socks, hat, and even mittens and a jacket in cooler months. Be over prepared to help expedite your day getting out the door.
Ask your hospital if they offer in-hospital newborn photo sessions. While on our hospital tour, our nurse made sure to note that newborn photographers come by 10-24 hours after birth usually to take newborn pictures for you, so if they do and you have something special you’d want them shot with or in, make sure to pack it. We have a cute sign with her name on it that I bought for post-hospital photos, but with the convenience of them being there, I made sure to pack it in her diaper bag.
Some people, like myself, can sleep just about anywhere on any set of pillows and blankets, but with visitors around if other recovering moms are there, or even screaming newborns, sometimes you just need your own pillow or ear plugs to get the rest you really need. You just went through either a major surgery or a marathon of labor, plus now you have your newborn to care for, so before you leave the hospital, rest as much as you can before the real work starts. These items are great to have just in case!