I drafted this whole post out when I was 39 weeks pregnant, a few days before I went into labor. Then I went into labor and had a baby and completely forgot about it. It's still great information, though. I hope it's as helpful to you as it was to me! ~ Beth Ann
This pregnancy has flown by. I feel like a giant bag of terrible mother because here I sit, 39 weeks pregnant and my son not only doesn't have a name yet . . . but he also doesn't have a going home outfit. To mask my terrible-ness as a mommy I have decided it's about time to pack a bag for the hospital.
Times are so much easier now since I've already had a baby, I don't feel like I need to look up every list out there and pack my entire house into my tiny little car in hopes that I don't forget ANYTHING. I've realized that it's only a few days, in the grand scheme I probably will not need all of the things I bring, and if I need something I didn't bring there are stores everywhere and the hospital really isn't that far from home. I don't ever want my husband to leave me alone at the hospital so I'd rather be fully prepared, but it's not that big of a deal if we forget something.
Here's a quick list of things that I deemed important enough:
1. Identification, paperwork for the hospital, and birth plan. Do you have a birth plan? It doesn't really need to be that specific. I had a long one for my first child and nothing went as I had wanted or planned so this time we'll just have the basics such as immediate skin to skin contact, and no bottles or artificial nipples and no food that isn't produced by ME. A good idea for this category is to call your hospital and find out exactly what you need to bring for them to process you. Some hospitals even let you check in before you even go into labor.
2. Going home outfit. This is where I'm a failure at pregnancy (what a great and totally forgivable thing to fail at!) because I still don't have a going home outfit for little guy. He's going to be the cutest though . . . whenever I find it. I also need to get some mittens for him, if he's anything like his sister he will definitely need them. Crazy face clawer. You will want something warm for them to wear, because no matter what time of year you're giving birth, it's going to be colder than inside your belly, and you'll want to keep that fresh new baby warm. Plus a baby all bundled up is just the cutest thing ever. To go along with this, perhaps a cute photo prop for all those cute sleepy pictures you'll be getting of little one! Also important for a going home outfit is making sure you have something with legs, so that you can strap them safely into their car seat.
3. Car seat. For me, the great thing about having children so close together is I can have them share things that I still have that still work. Ha! Lucky guy gets his sister's car seat. We use an infant carrier at first, because we really enjoy letting babies sleep. We'll see how this changes since we already have one child. Since we have an infant carrier, we can correctly install the base in our car without worrying about it being in the way of putting Tushie in her seat. I can't wait until we get our new car! :)
4. Electronics. We all use them, so make sure you pack all of your chargers and extra batteries. Don't forget memory cards! They're so important. Just go ahead and clear those out now so you'll have plenty of space for your new little one when the time comes. This time I want to bring a computer to try to help me keep my mind off of the pain while in labor. I didn't have anything last time, so who knows. Maybe it will help!
5. Toiletries. Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, contact solution if you wear them, eye drops, CHAP STICK, hair ties, lotion, your own shampoo and conditioner. Maybe some flip flops for the shower if you feel like you need that.
6. Clothes for you. Perhaps the father as well, or he could pack his own. I chose a comfy pair of pants that I wasn't too in love with to sacrifice if needed, which for me means one of the pajama pants without pockets. Seriously, who invented PJ's with no pockets?? I also just wanted to wear flip flops. I wasn't too concerned with wearing socks. I didn't find nursing tops to be that necessary my first time around, so I will probably just stick with the looser tank tops that I wear normally and a sports bra or two.
7. Nursing Requirements. Nipple pads are a must, regardless of if you plan to nurse because your breasts are going to leak no matter what you choose. I also loved my nursing pillow, and sports bras that are easy to pull my breasts out of comfortably. Nipple cream (or coconut oil) to help with the initial pain of nursing and to keep those things moisturized. They also help you avoid having your nipples stick to your nipple pads. Ouchie!
8. Extra blanket. For some reason they don't have extras. Ever. So when your husband is trying to sleep next to you, you'll want to be able to give him a blanket (and maybe a pillow) to help him be comfortable too.
9. Swaddling blankets. I love these things. I didn't bring them with Tushie, but I use them with her ALL the time, so I'm going to want to start this little guy with them as soon as possible too.
I made a list of things that I needed to pack last minute that I still use every day, or often enough that I didn't want to pack it yet and not see it for a month, and taped that list to the inside of my door. That way when I am leaving for the hospital and not thinking about anything except meeting my son for the first time I will still remember to pack everything essential.