Feb 26 2012

Top 10 Things a New Mama Needs at the Hospital…

I am not telling you what a new mama needs… I am asking you…

The day is approaching and I am finding myself pretty inexperienced and would love any advice you have.

I know I should take a bag of things with me to the hospital, and I am one of those people who likes to be ultra-prepared.  When I go on vacation, I make lists for weeks so I don’t forget anything!  But I find that when I sit down to make my “hospital bag list” I am stretching my pregnancy-brain a little further than its full capacity.

So, if you would and could – would you please share what are the top 10 things I need to pack and take with us to the hospital?

MUCH appreciated!

84 responses so far

84 Responses to “Top 10 Things a New Mama Needs at the Hospital…”

  1. Heather on 26 Feb 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Take a really great book. After the baby comes there is a lot of down time.

    A robe. If by chance your baby ends up in the nicu you will want a robe so you are not wandering around in just your hospitle gown.

    Clothes for the baby. I know that sseems obvious but with my first baby I did not have enough clothes for my little one.

    Nursing bra. If you are planning on breastfeeding make sure to take one to the hospitle. I recommended the very soft and comfortable nighttime kind that motherhood sells

  2. Evelyn Curtis on 26 Feb 2012 at 3:54 pm

    My advice is to keep it simple. Clean comfortable clothes to go home in. including clean underwear briefs to hold in an enormous pad. I have taken things to read and dobut have never actually done them. I personally am not the type of woman who does her hair and make up in the hospital….so I suggest shampoo etc, soap you like tooth brush, deodorant, brush, toothpaste, pony tail.

    Then few diapers for baby, a blanket, going home outfit, wet wipes, a hat burp clothe. Most hospitals send you home with a few things, like a bag full of formula…keep it, formula is expensive and you never know when you need it. Good luck!

  3. Melissa Wheeler on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Take your own pjs! It makes you feel more like yourself!
    Bring ‘post’ pregnancy clothes to go home in. I like to buy myself something new (but make sure it will fit. Most new moms won’t fit into pre-pregnancy clothes for a while).
    Take a notebook and camera to document all those ‘firsts’ that will happen in the hospital.
    If you have someone there, give them a list of pictures you must have ahead of time. My mom came, and I was so glad to turn the camera over to her, get the pictures we wanted, and I didn’t have to think about anything but my new little girl! Good luck!

  4. Melanie F on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:05 pm

    WARM clothes for the baby!! Hospitals keep their rooms so stinking cold. Your little one will be so much more content when their warm.

    There is a lot of down time, but you’ll be exhausted. Don’t be afraid to turn off the phone & stock pile on some sleep!

  5. Courtney Wilson on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Take your computer if you have a laptop, or your smart phone etc. It was really nice to be able to stay in the loop since I was in the hospital longer than I expected to be.

  6. Jackie Mitchell on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Take chapstick and lotion if you ever use them in your pre-mommy life. I have dry-ish skin and those items helped me so much! Also, the back of my hair was some kinda wacky mess after my labor and I really needed some conditioner later on when it was time to face the world.

    My real tip is that you really don’t need a ton of things. I took all this STUFF to my first birthing experience and then ended up just bringing it home and having to put it away. Hopefully you won’t be at the hospital long and there’s no need to burden yourself when your husband stands at the ready, needing stuff to do.

    A book I did not need, though I love reading. In the hospital I was either sleeping or staring at the miracle that was my perfect sons… Entertainment wasn’t really a big need for me ;)

  7. kimber on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:11 pm

    A book and a camera! (Those are the things we almost forgot.) So many visitors that you don’t want to forget to take pictures of with your new little love!

    (I’m not a TV person so a book was essential.)

  8. Heidi on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I just had 3 new grand babies this past month and the most important thing to buy is a breast pump. You don’t need to take it to the hospital since they have them for your use there but you need it!!!! Ameda purely yours or medela In style are good ones! Also just remember to take your journal to write all the details! Don’t forget your toothbrush!

  9. Brooke on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Chapstick.

    I also bring my own maxi-pads – the long, nighttime ones. I can’t stand the pillow-size things they give you in the hospital. Plus, after the baby is born, ask them to fill a plastic bag with ice (my nurses used a surgical glove & tied it off at the end). It’s the best for down there, especially if you have any swelling or stitches.

    Otherwise, I totally agree with the Keep It Simple recommendation. You will be surprised to find that you can easily pass hour after hour just staring at your new little one. Better than tv & books!

  10. kelli on 26 Feb 2012 at 4:39 pm

    a book? are you kidding me? I needed a camera, deodorant, toothbrush, and my own PJ’s. I have no idea how any of you had time for a book. If you get bored, just sit and stare and that brand new baby that God has sent to you. They even SMELL like heaven.

  11. Tammy Gale on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Toothbrush, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, comb, brush, maybe a blow dryer if you have to use one. A comfy pair of jammies or sweats/yoga pants, undergarments. A camera is a must. If I were to have a baby today I would take my laptop so that I could write everything down and keep up with all the social media and be able to communicate with those who are important. Also make sure that you have some go home clothes for you and baby. Remember, it took nine months to get to where you are and it will take more than 3 days to get back to what you want to be. Even though pregnancy clothes are not something that you want to wear when you are not pregnant, you may want to take some to go home in or get you a nice new yoga/comfy workout clothes that will be something new and exciting.

  12. Dani on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Lansinoh is a MUST if you are planning on nursing! It will help keep things from cracking.
    This one is a bit of knowledge to “take” with you… I wish I knew with my first to massage my abdomen deeply (after delivery is over and the doctor and nurses are gone). Use your knuckles and roll them in circles. If you don’t the nurses will. They are trying to get your uterus to shrink back down and they use massage to achieve this. I realized that I could tolerate it much better doing it myself. It isn’t pleasant, but it greatly aids in recovery. Nursing also helps with this. So try to do that often too.
    Good luck and enjoy every moment with that precious little one!!!!!

  13. Carri on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Having had 4 babies and now a grandma to 7 grandbabies I think the advice to keep it simple is great. You of course need plenty of things for the baby to wear at the hospital because they look so cute in their own clothes instead of the hospital onesies and a blanket, and you’ll be taking pictures non stop. Which brings me to the next thing.. your camera and MAKE SURE the battery is either charged or you have batteries for it. I never had down time so I didn’t need a book, my down time was spent either staring at this wonder God had placed in my care or sleeping. If breastfeeding you’ll need a breastfeeding bra and the breastfeeding pads. I had a LOT of milk come in on the 3rd day and when it did it soaked the shirt I was wearing because I didn’t have the pads in my bra. Clothes that you can actually wear which for me even though I was a size 6 before pregnancy I found I had to wear my maternity clothes home, no one warned me about this and I cried one whole day when I realized it was going to be a little while longer before I was back to my pre pregnancy size. A journal/babybook is good for writing in. Basic toiletries, brush/comb, make up if you wear it. Very Comfy PJ’s I preferred bottoms and tops over a nightgown so I could breastfeed easier. Also the underwear you’ll need to hold that huge sanitary pad in place. For the labor end I took hard candies for my mouth so it wouldnt get dry and never used them … the chapstick idea is a great one though. I am like you… lists and timelines and more lists, but really this is so natural and such a beautiful part of your life you won’t need much so long as you have those you love around you and that healthy baby in your arms. Congratulations and best of luck to your family. God Bless.

  14. Tiffany on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:12 pm

    In no particular order..
    1. Pj’s that button open in the front. Its much nicer to nurse with your shoulders covered.

    2. A small toiletry bag to shower and get ready. I was actually glad to have a little makeup on for the billion pics that end up in everyones photo albums.

    3. A hair tie. Bring two in case one breaks.

    4. Bigger baby clothes. I brought a newborn sized outfit for my son and it didn’t fit over his head! At least something to think about. ;)

    5. The baby book. Mine had a page for footprints and the nurses did it for me the same time they did the certificate. Plus it was good to write the birth story down when it was fresh (and when I had time.. once you are home time disappears).

    6. A notebook – I have a notebook for all things parenting, and I wrote answers to all my questions, nursing tips, notes from books i’ve read,etc. Its my go-to source now that I’m on my second baby. All your nurses will be a huge help, and I was glad I wrote everything down for after I was on my own at home.

    7. Baby wipes. They will give you diapers and dry washcloths…

    8. I also second the robe and the nursing bra.

  15. Carol G on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I have been through this six times, to the best of my memory:

    1- I was always STARVING after I gave birth and it seems that the hospitals are stingier with when and how much food you get. I would take a few favorite snacks. Avoid items with cocoa if you choose to breastfeed. Chocolate often causes more colic until the baby is about six months old. Peppermint and other herbs can dry up your milk supply. Some herbs should be avoided when pregnant or nursing.
    2- Take a brush and a small bottle of your own hair care as well as the other usual toiletries.
    3- A pair of your own underwear for keeping sanitary supplies in place. You may want to ask for extra sanitary supplies to take home.
    4- Phone numbers of those who you must notify once the child has arrived and you have an awake moment.
    5- Comfortable pajamas. Especially if you choose to breastfeed. Make sure that they button up in front or that the top is nice and stretchy to pull up. Some nursing bras are much better than others. Try them on and see how they work to make sure that they function well.
    6- A comfy sleeper, Onesie, and quality socks or booties for the baby. I have touchy-feely issues so I always feel the tags and seams in a shirt or nightie before I buy it to make sure that they are not rough against babies soft skin.
    7- Babies jobs can be huge. I buy one size larger diaper-closed snug. The hospital will have most everything you could possibly need for a little one while you are there. Remember to place baby on the diaper pad when changing a diaper. Also, if you are inviting in a boy, almost no amount of preparation will keep you from the occasional wet face or neck.
    8- A baby car-seat and blanket to go over the buckled up loved one.
    9- Reversible plush strap covers for the car-seat. The little ones neck can get pretty roughed up by the harsh edges of the strap.
    10- It is always SO EXCITING to bring a precious child home!

  16. Krystal on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I just had a baby a week ago, so this is fresh on my mind. A camera/ video camera and Landsinoh are musts. .(If you are having a lot of soreness/pain nursing, ask about Newman’s ointment, which is available only by prescription and has to be compounded by a local pharmacy. I know about a dozen pharmacies in Utah Valley carry it, so hopefully they do where you are. It’s really good stuff – way more powerful than Landsinoh and well worth the trouble to get if your insurance covers it.)
    Paper and a pen are good to have with you, too.
    Take loose clothing to go home in – you may end up having a c-section like I did with my first, and you will be glad not to have anything too close to the incision. I recommend maternity clothing or big sweats (comfy for your pregnant self, since you can’t count on how much smaller you’ll get while at the hospital).
    I wouldn’t recommend taking expensive things like laptops with you (atleast on the first day) unless you will have to have someone there to watch them in the event that you end up having a c-section. Besides, I’m not so sure it’s a good thing to be super tied in to social media. This time is for you and the baby. Don’t feel pressured to send pictures, status updates, and text messages when you should be enjoying your little miracle.
    Remember, you are not a pioneer taking off into the wilderness for who knows how long. If you need something, your husband, a family member, or a friend can go home and get it for you. The hospital really does provide all the necessities. You will be fine. Good luck. Enjoy the experience – it only comes along a few times in your life.

  17. Lindsay on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Bach’s Rescue Remedy…my husband’s job was to drop it under my tongue all through labor!
    Also, I wished last time that I had brought my heating pad to help dull the afterpains.
    Good luck with everything :)

  18. Emi on 26 Feb 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Flip flops, for the shower. Seriously.

  19. Megan on 26 Feb 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Yay – she’s almost here! I always over pack when we go anywhere too! Cameras for sure! I also think the idea of making a picture list of shots you want taken is brilliant. When you are in the moment, it will probably be hard to think about anything else but delivery and her. I brought along my boppy nursing pillow and never used it, I brought and liked using my own sleeping pillow instead – the hospital pillows are not the best. Next time, I will bring my own pajamas to wear instead of a hospital gown for after delivery. I would’ve felt so much better in my own clothes. I also took a shower and put on a little make up the day after she was born, it made me feel a lot better. I would just take your new diaper bag and pack it up with all the fun new clothes, diapers, spit up cloths, and cute things you have ready for your new little girl. Make sure to bring a hair bow or headband for her pictures. You can change her into her going home outfit for her hospital pictures. Next time I want to take a white t-shirt for my husband to wear, and when they stamp their little foot prints and hand prints have them stamp his shirt as well. I never had time for reading a book or any sort of entertainment like that. I was totally focused on my new baby girl and holding her or catching up on some sleep while I could. Congrats!

  20. tephiebd on 26 Feb 2012 at 6:53 pm

    A few things…
    1. Cozy socks…my feet were cold
    2. Slippers…to walk to the bathroom in
    3. Jolly Ranchers, life savers, etc to suck…you can’t eat while in labor…and these was tasty with those ice chips!
    4. Qrchival paper & stamp…our hospital didn’t stamp my baby’s feet and I wanted their new born foot print within a day on earth!
    5. Prep a mass email list to all those who will be interested in hearing the details…so you won’t have to call everyone. – include a pict
    6. Decide ahead of time potential photo shots of you, yours and the new one…so you can capture them!
    7. You’ll be starving after birth…plan on your hubby going to get you something yummy.
    8. A journal or lap top to record what happened pre-labor, etc. – You’ll love reading this in a few years
    9. Cute PJ that you know will fit…good in pictures
    10. Favorite lotion & lip stuff
    11. Something dear for your husband…

    Best of luck…nothing like heaven opening and sharing a bit of eternity. Make Eternity happen!!

  21. Lorna on 26 Feb 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Warm socks for labor

  22. Catherine on 26 Feb 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I’m about to have my first baby too, so I was excited to read everyone else’s comments! Some of the stuff I’d already heard, but some of it was new and helpful. One thing that I didn’t see mentioned that was told to me by a friend who just had her first baby – make sure you have slippers to walk around in, but take off when you get into bed. Hospital floors are not that clean and you don’t want to get anything disgusting in the bed with you and baby.

  23. Tammy on 26 Feb 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Hereis what I found helpful and in no particular order:
    1. All the phone numbers for those that you want to contact to announce that your new little bundle is here. I brought my cellphone to use as my phonebook as my hospital didn’t allow me to ‘use’ the cellphone.
    2. Camera so that you can pictures of that new little bundle with mama and papa.
    3. A robe & slippers for yourself. Helps to be more comfortable while walking around during labor or after delivery instead of wearing two hospital gowns!!
    4. Clothes for baby – bring 0-3 mths as newborn may not fit your little bundle very long. (a few of mine only fit for a couple of days!!!)
    5. Hat for baby – not all hospitals supply a hat for their tiny head.
    6. Loose fitting clothes for yourself – yes you are no longer pregnant but you are no where near the size you were before you were pregnant!
    7. Toiletries for yourself – you would probably like to refresh yourself or even have a shower soon after giving birth when given the okay to be up and around.
    8. SNACKS for yourself and hubby – both of you will want snacks at some point – him during the labor/delivery time and you for afterwards – some hospitals/doctors limit the food right after birth and I was STARVING!!!
    9. A pillow – a little something of home – made me feel a bit more comfortable both during labor and afterwards

    Here’s wishing the two of you the best as you await your new little ‘pink’ bundle!!! So exciting!!!

  24. Shawna on 26 Feb 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Great thoughts! I think the simpler, the better. Birth is exhausting, don’t feel pressured to contact everyone right away. My husband has been in charge of notifying family with each our kids. I’m completely “offline” for the first couple weeks. Facebook, blogs, emails can wait. Newborns are amazing and they change by the second. Soak it up!

    Also- let your nurse guard the door. I was shocked with our first by how many people (from the hospital!) felt the need to contact us for this form or that program. Have them turn off your room phone. Only let the fam & friends in that you are up for. Sleep as much as possible. And it does feel great to use your own shampoo and wear your own clothes. Comfy is the best.

    Congrats!!

  25. Jeanette H Kirkham on 26 Feb 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I would pack seperate bags…one for during labor (really not that much, maybe a DVD to get your mind off things…I usually brought the long version of Pride and Prejudice) and one for your stay at the hospital. Leave the big bag of stuff locked in your trunk (or at home and hubby can bring it later) and bring just the necessities to labor with you.

    A couple of must items for me *PJs, my own, and comfy ones, possibly bring a couple pairs of bottoms in case you need to change them *underwear for those huge pads *my own pillow *fingernail clippers to clip baby’s long fingernails so she doesn’t scratch herself *chocolate *camera *a solid color blanket to use as a photo backdrop

    Remember labor is just one day and you get your bundle of joy after that! Seriously I didn’t enjoy being pregnant and would have gladly gone through labor several times if I could have skipped the pregnant part!

    SOOOOO excited for you!

  26. Dandi on 26 Feb 2012 at 8:54 pm

    IF you are getting an epidural, it’s nice to have cards, crossword puzzles, etc, to pass time while waiting for baby. You have so many other suggestions above that I think my list is pretty much covered. Some of the other comments I totally agree with and others I don’t. Guess that means everyones different and you’ll find what works for you.
    Here’s my favorite thing we did though, I brought my journal to write everything down as it happened. 9am admitted to hospital and dialated to 4cm. 12:30pm IV put in and dialated to 4cm. You get the picture. It’s been so fun to compare with each of my kids how fast some were and slower others were. In the end, it’s just all a blur to me unless I’ve written it down as it happened. Good luck.

  27. Rachel on 26 Feb 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I would bring extra socks and slippers. Everyone’s previous ideas have been great! I will second the recommendation for an ice pack. It really eases the after labor discomforts. When one melts request another one and another one. They really helped me. Good luck!

  28. Liz C on 26 Feb 2012 at 9:09 pm

    * Lavender or Peppermint essential oil soap. My nose is really sensitive, and post-birth bathing was a trial, but each of these two oils in soap helped me a LOT with the hospital and post-birth stuff.

    * Arnica Montana 30x homeopathic tablets or Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Huge help with soreness and aching after!!

    * Hook-up-the-front sports or nursing bras. I don’t like feeling all Ozark-bosom during labor or after, so the sports bras with hooks up the front were brilliant. I got basic support, they were dirt cheap ($8/2), and it was easy to unhook and nurse, without the more formal support of my regular nursing bras I used once I was home.

    * COMFY going-home clothes. A skirt, or leggings/yoga pants with a roomy shirt over a nursing undershirt were really comfortable.

    *Huge granny panties. Seriously, that’s the worst part of having babies. :)

    * Comforts: chapstick, nasal saline squirt bottle, nice lotion, squongy polar-fleece socks, light cardigan in a color you love. If you’re self-pay, also consider bringing your own items such as Tylenol, stool softener, etc, and then asking for an itemized bill and refusing to pay for anything you provided yourself.

    * Notebook and pens! I didn’t feel like getting on the computer, but having a notebook and pens solved my needs to write, make lists, daydream, etc. I put a list of contact numbers for important people in the front. DO put your Visiting Teachers in there, or the RS president. It makes it easier for us “New Baby Meal Coordinators” to have the info and not pester you at the hospital. :)

    * Music and headphones. Hospitals are really noisy sometimes, and I liked the distraction during labor. After, though, I wanted to hear the baby, and didn’t use headphones.

    * As others have said: SNACKS. The hospitals I’ve been in did a good job feeding me, but there was always a lag between delivery, and delivery of that first meal! Protein, fiber, and healthy fats are lovely. On meal forms, choose higher-fiber options as often as possible, and drink TONS of liquids to help your digestion get back up to speed without uncomfortable side effects. Dehydration is the *worst.*

    * And, as others have said, don’t bring everything with you. There will be relatives back and forth to visit, and they can bring up things as needed, so you don’t lose track of them at the hospital. We have four kids; I had a “go” bag with ONE, and then forgot that, too. And yet, I still had access to the comforts I needed, and the babies had clothing, so no worries. :)

  29. Heidi on 26 Feb 2012 at 9:39 pm

    A couple of things no one put on here yet… ear plugs because hospitals are loud. Next time I will take an eye mask too, because sometimes the nurses open the door at night just to check on you, or you might want to sleep in or during the day. I tried to sleep as much as I could, because in my experience the first few nights home from the hospital are the hardest, my babies slept great in the hospital, but not much at home the first few days.

    Snacks are a great idea too. My husband was so excited with our first baby he only had orange juice as we left the house. He started feeling faint during the delivery.

    I second the idea of bringing extra socks, underwear, and garment bottoms. You are going to be doing alot of bleeding after, whether you deliver vaginally or have a C-section. Often when I would stand up after being in the bed for a while, sometimes quite a bit of blood would gush and the pad isn’t enough.

    The woman who said to bring Tylenol… yes when I was checking out with my first baby I had a headache and asked for some Tylenol. Later when we got the bill (even with insurance), I was charged like $3 a pill. Gasp!

    One last piece of advice is don’t be afraid to limit your visitors to short visits, so that you can nurse your baby, get up to go to the bathroom, sleep, etc. Also don’t be afraid to ask your visitors (at hospital & home) to wash their hands or use antibacterial. We always had a big container of the antibacterial gel right near the front door. I always had someone say that they just washed their hands and they were clean… that’s nice do it again!
    Good luck & I hope you have a great experience!

  30. Liz on 26 Feb 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Things I loved at the hospital:
    my own pj
    a computer
    makeup, just a simple splash of color and something to style the hair does make you feel better
    snacks
    having my hubby bring me my favorite takeout after delivery! I was starving!
    and doing my toenails before I went, yup a girl has gotta feel pretty

  31. Michelle on 26 Feb 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I liked everyone’s suggestions- but must emphasize the socks for yourself- for labor and after. I never had time for a book during my 4 hospital stays. I just took maternity clothes to wear home-there was no way I was fitting in anything else till about a week later. And one of my pregnancies, I went in with a small cough- and it seriously took them 6 hours and signatures to get a cough drop for me. With stitches, I was in agony. So I make sure I have my own- just in case. Take the tiniest clothes you have for the baby. There is a lot of discrepancy on the sizes of their clothes even if labeled newborn. So take 2 or 3 choices. Also need socks for their hands so they don’t scratch themselves if their clothes don’t have those foldover sleeves. For the first week, those clothes that are just like a long dress and have elastic around the bottom are my favorite-or sleepers. Since you have to change them 2 or 3 times a day, no fuss clothes for baby are the best!
    Buy a pack of newborn size diapers, they will only fit in them for up for about 3 weeks, and size 1 will be too big for the first week. But you won’t need the diapers at the hospital, they will give you a pack.

    Also, right after you have delivered, you will hold the baby for a moment, before they whisk it away to clean it off, and wrap him up, while you go through stage 3 delivery, and they stitch you up. Check with the nurse on their procedure, they may clean her/him up and put drops in their eyes before you even get to see them them at all. Ask if they can please hold off on putting the silver nitrite in their eyes for a while so you can get pictures of the baby without their eyes all shiny. They give the baby an official bath about an hour after birth, they can put them in then.

  32. Jen B on 26 Feb 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Let’s see if I remember –
    - Music . . . we always brought very soothing music (we brought instrumental church music & some quiet songs) & some way to play it quietly. It seemed to make everyone calmer and really brought the spirit into the room at what can feel like difficult times (nursing was very difficult for me)
    - I loved having my laptop, it let me email pictures to my family & watch movies . . .although if you have an ipad or iphone, that could work instead.
    - Definitely button or snap front pjs. Easy access for nursing & you feel so much more comfortable
    - Phone numbers & email addresses!!
    - Favorite shampoo & lotion. I think that heaven feels like that first shower after giving birth.
    - snacks, snacks, snacks . . . nursing mamas are VERY hungry mamas.
    - a baby book or guest book – everything will go by in a blur & this will jog your memory. It also allows guests to write notes to you & the baby.
    - your journal – to record thoughts & feelings. This may be the last time that you can sit down & really pour out your thoughts for a while.
    This seems like a super long list, but It can nearly all fit into a small bag. Aside from clothes for the baby, a car seat & clothes for yourself – the hospital can generally provide what you need.

  33. Jen B on 26 Feb 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I forgot – good hand sanitizer (the hospital will probably have some, but it’s usually very drying)

  34. Becky on 26 Feb 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I agree keep it simple! The most important for me was a blanket and pillow. Also, warm socks and a nursing bra. For my 2nd child, I took my own pair of pajamas, hair brush, deodorant, lotion, and mascara… I felt much more like me. :) A camera is a must. My hospital had everything else, it was wonderful! Also, don’t feel afraid of asking for no visitors. My husband and I loved not having people visiting until we were home for a few days. Those first moments are very special. Enjoy!!!

  35. michele on 26 Feb 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I am a planner too! and I have worked many years as mother/child nurse on L&D and postpartum.

    Here are things that “I” am glad that I had; or wished I had had!

    My own pillow – I hate the plastic huge hospital pillows.

    I sleep with ear plugs at home… so I definitely needed them… but even if I didn’t, hospitals can be noisy!

    Deck of cards and magazine – hubby and I played games during the ‘downtime’ I brought a book, but I couldn’t concentrate on reading, the browsing of magazines was about as much as I could really concentrate on!

    My own modest pjs and undies. I bought a pack of generic granny panties. The hospital provides these ‘l o v e l y’ mesh/knit panties to hold the napkins in place… They are HORRIBLE.

    Flip Flops, slippers. You’ll be making lots of trips the to bathroom, and hospital floors are nasty (I know the rooms are cleaned, but seriously… the floors are still gross!) The hospital will give you those stylish sock footies, but do you really want to walk on the floor with them and then put them in your bed? or take them off and on?

    My own toiletries. I know the hospital can provide all of that, but it was nice to have my own brands of stuff…

    Car seat (yes.. hubby had to make an extra trip home for the carseat!)

    Camera – CHARGED or spare batteries.

    Cell phone charger – your cell phone will die making all those calls.

    My advice: enjoy it! Relax but stand up for what you need/want. You are the boss, not the nurses.

  36. Ginger on 26 Feb 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Good running shoes to get yourself out of there. The best way to not get a C-sec is to stay out of the place, where they like to manage birth. The best way to keep that baby from getting hospital germs is to keep the little darling away from them. Most people think I’m crazy, but I didn’t like the infections and C-secs at all. Home is a beautiful place to birth your baby.

  37. Maggie on 26 Feb 2012 at 11:24 pm

    A list of people you need to call, especially if you have a long labor. A take home outfit for you and the baby. I also brought a blanket for my baby. It helps for others to identify the baby when he/she is in the nursery. A journal to record any thoughts or impressions you may have. If your hospital does not do anything special for the new parents, bring something for both of you to celebrate the arrival of your new baby. Also, anything that is a part of you and will make the whole experience easier. It can be a treat, lotion, even toothpaste. We also had brought a CD of music my husband picked out to help me relax and some to be a “soundtrack” of the event (don’t ask).
    DO NOT FORGET a copy of your birthplan – who can be in the delivery room with you,etc., and your scriptures, and warm socks.

  38. Linda Watson on 27 Feb 2012 at 12:33 am

    Looks like everyone has covered everything. Bring your favorite music on your ipod.
    Don’t forget car seat as they won’t let that baby go home without one in the car. “}
    And the best thing is remember to take your memories of this pregnancy and the knowledge that you will be a wonderful mother to a little one who has been entrusted to you.

    And…. everyone that has children started out as you are and look how great the children turned out with a novice for a mom. “}

  39. Shae J. on 27 Feb 2012 at 1:11 am

    I am not the type to film the birth, but rather RIGHT AFTER my daughter was delivered my mom videotaped for us. Just in time for the baby’s first cry, and footage of me holding her for the first time. I have already watched this over and over again. My husband took pictures right away as well, I was SO grateful to have someone there to videotape RIGHT AWAY as well.

    “Comfort” snacks for you and hubby, stool softener, a robe or your own pjs.

  40. Steffanie on 27 Feb 2012 at 1:27 am

    I would definitely take my own pillows.

  41. Beth on 27 Feb 2012 at 1:31 am

    Socks! As others mentioned, hospitals are cold, and I could never seem to keep my feet warm enough. Third time around I brought a few pairs of really thick slipper socks and it was wonderful.

    Congrats on preparing for your new addition! Exciting times ahead! :)

  42. jen on 27 Feb 2012 at 2:19 am

    I’ve had six babies, so I’ll just add the few things that I wished I’d had, or were lifesavers when I received them:

    Chapstick – during labor this is a lifesaver.

    Snacks for both of you. During labor it’s nice to have something for your dh so he doesn’t have to leave the room. I also put any medications he took in older rx bottles (so his name was on the rx) for during our stay. He never missed a dose of necessary meds. I also liked being able to grab my own nourishment without needing to ask someone.

    Bring consecrated oil, if you are LDS. If you or baby need a blessing, it’s on hand.

    Dermoplast spray. It’s available in the first aid section of any big box store. It’s a cooling lidocaine spray, which was heavenly on that sensitive healing area. Spray away every few hours.

    Phone WALL charger. It’s amazing how quickly your battery drains.

    Also, if your hospital happens to offer those great mesh disposable panties, get some extra. Ask each shift nurse for a few, and you’ll have a good stash. These are excellent during that first week, and the throw away option can’t be beat.

    Good luck!

  43. Marcie on 27 Feb 2012 at 2:29 am

    Ok, I’m going to second a few of these because I think they’re important: Granny panties for sure. They will give you these horrible mesh things and pads that are HUGE so having your own comfortable undergarments to help with the bleeding is a plus (and garments do not do a good job at that!)
    Definitely a camera — but I agree, if you want to bring a laptop just leave it locked in your trunk. Unless you have a realllllly long labor you aren’t going to need it for awhile and since you start out in a labor room and then are transferred to a recovery room (at least at UVRMC you are … some hospitals are different) then you have to load allllll your stuff with you to go to another room. Not worth it.
    Bring two outfits — especially if you are expecting a lot of visitors. It’s a lot more comfortable to greet family in a baggy t-shirt than a hospital gown :) And remember, if it could fit you when you were preggo (comfy shirt and yoga pants are great) then it will be your best bet for wearing home from the hospital. With my first baby I brought a t-shirt that was baggy on my skinny pre-preggo body but didn’t fit me at 9 months pregnant … and guess what? It was still way tight on me going home because I still looked pregnant! One day isn’t enough time for your uterus to shrink, and it’s true, you’re sore and tired so comfy baggy clothes work great.
    Also, don’t forget your hubby … hospitals don’t feed the dads so having snack foods for him helps if your labor is long and he gets hungry. I didn’t want my hubby to leave for a snack run while I was laboring :) I also recommend having a few healthy snacks on hand … hospital food is NOT healthy with their white rolls and jello desserts! You want your body to heal and you want to help things along with your first after-baby bowel movement (not fun, but oh well) and all those refined foods do not help with that. Some healthy drinks and natural/fresh snacks are nice. We just put a few in a little cooler and kept it in the trunk so we could grab it if/when we needed them.
    And of course, a going-home outfit for baby. They look so sweet in the hospital shirt and beanie that first day (and they keep them wrapped up and warm in hospital blankets) so I didn’t bother with putting my baby in outfits until it was time to go home. Bring a backup just in case of spitting up or other accidents though :)
    good luck! our fourth is on the way in 3 weeks and I’m’ not even ready to think about the bag yet!

  44. Shannon P on 27 Feb 2012 at 2:47 am

    flip flops for getting out of bed and not wanting to walk on the hospital floor, thank you notes so you can get ahead of the game if you are up to it, a camera!!! your own comfy (and cute) pj’s and clothes to go home in for you and baby, your car seat, and blankets…good luck!!! :)

  45. Shanell on 27 Feb 2012 at 3:11 am

    The only thing I remember is the music we brought. Comforting, relaxing music that calmed me during labor and added to the little piece of heaven in my little room afterwards, with just the three of us.

    It’s been nearly twenty years, but I can still hear the music and see my husband (newly a dad) holding our sweet son and rocking him in the nearby chair. It is a picture in my mind I will never forget – I think the music cemented that picture in my head.

    I LOVE to read – but never even thought about it then…. I think I slept when I wasn’t loving my babies.

    Good luck – this is the most precious of all experiences.

  46. mekei on 27 Feb 2012 at 3:18 am

    well, people really covered this but i’ll put in my list too.
    a fan – like one that looks like a big giant leaf – so your husband can fan you in labor.
    i never used a tennis ball to have rubbed into the small of my back for back labor but it’s an idea.
    your own nursing nightgown
    nursing bra
    lightweight robe
    quick to get into slippers or flipflops
    phone and recharger
    extra strength tylenol – for me it was all i needed and if i just took those every how many hours and stayed on top of the pain it was enough
    you may need stool softeners at some point
    i don’t remember any time for a book. i kept my kids pretty much in the room.
    camera (extra batteries?)
    going home clothes – sorry these will be like size when you came in, make them super comfy and big and easy to nurse in and not white pants, you will be bleeding still when you go home
    whoever said granny panties was right
    cute going home outfit for baby – and blanket (could be brought later but WHO do you want picking it out)
    they will bring car seat and head cushion for baby when they pick you two up
    i have 9 children and got through the first 7 all natural childbirth then had to have a dang c-section. yuck.
    best of luck. enjoy.

  47. Tracy on 27 Feb 2012 at 4:08 am

    Socks, lip gloss, lansinoh, a camera, nursing bra and garments, clothes for the trip home for you and the little one, a car seat, a receiving blanket, and a warm blanket or cover for the car seat depending on the weather. Good luck!

  48. Kathryn Burt on 27 Feb 2012 at 4:29 am

    1. Tennis ball – I have serious back labor with my kids. Even if you’re planning on an epidural, having your hubby or a nurse use a tennis ball to massage your lower back is heaven.

    2. At least one washcloth – I throw one in the mini fridge in a plastic bag. I use it during labor. I get really hot and need something cold on my face or neck to help me focus. We tried wet paper towels once and it just made me mad.

    3. More than one size baby clothes. The only time my daughter wore newborn sized clothes was in the hospital. Never again. I would recommend having at least one set of 0-3 month clothes in there, just it case. You don’t know how big that baby is going to be.

    4. Anything that you use in your personal shower at home. Put it in travel sized bottles if you like or bring the big bottles from home. What ever makes you happy. Personally, I don’t bother with makeup or my blow dryer at the hospital. Honestly, I barely have enough energy to shower let alone go through my whole bathroom routine. Plus, you never know when the doctor or a nurse is going to come and check on you. You may not have time.

    5. Notepad and paper. Also, see if the hospital will give you a copy of the menu to look over at home. I was in labor all night with my son and I was too tired in the morning to think, let alone choose a meal. He was born in the morning around eight and I couldn’t focus long enought to order food until lunchtime. I was one hungry momma. With my daughter, my labor was induced, so as soon as the nurse was done putting my IV in I grabbed the menu and planned 3 meals, a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then, after my daughter was born, my husband ordered me something to eat. I didn’t have to think about it. Also, the nurses will have all kinds of information to give, both while your there and before you are discharged. They tend to give you all of this info on seperate sheets of paper. It’s nice to have a place where you can jot down the most important, essential info. Then you don’t have to dig through all of that paper to figure out when you have to be to your follow ups or who to call if you’re having problems nursing (if you choose to do so).

    6. Non-maternity undergarments. Those puppies do not fit a smaller tummy after they’ve been all stretched out. Make sure you have some soft, comfy nursing undergarments as well. Even if you don’t plan to nurse long term most doctors recommend it for the first 6 weeks, so you might as well give it a try.

    7. A favorite pillow, jammies, or slippers. Afterwards, you have to stay in the hospital something like 24 hours. Hospital beds are not comfortable. Period. Bring anything you might need to be comfy and feel at home. It’s a short stay, but a lot happens, and it can be kind of stressful.

    8. Baby book and journal. When you do have some down time, if your feeling up to it, it’s good to jot down some notes about the birth. Don’t worry about details, just get down the essentials, nurses names, time of birth, baby’s stats. You can feel in the details when you’re at home. Trust me, you will never forget the whole story, but sometimes the little things are forgotten.

    9. Post pregnancy clothes. This can be something new, that’s a size or two larger than pre-pregnancy, or some early maternity clothes that got too tight over time. Whatever you think will make you happy and comfortable. I do not suggest wearing your pjs home. It’s good to leave the hospital feeling as much like yourself as possible. I think it helps get your head on straight for this new change to your home and family.

    10. Camera. I can’t stand to have the camera anywhere near me before or during labor. Some people like to have every little detail documented, I am not. Once the baby has entered to world, go for it. My husband goes crazy and gets pictures of everything.

    I am so excited for you! I know that this can be viewed as something scary. You don’t know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to feel. Just know that this is what Heavenly Father created women to do. You are more than capable of doing this. Between you, Heavenly Father, and the doctor this baby will come into the world just as it should and you will have the opportunity to hold one of the greatest blessing you will ever receive.

    Congratulations and good luck!!!

  49. Lindsey on 27 Feb 2012 at 4:39 am

    Something to keep you busy if you are induced!

  50. Kari on 27 Feb 2012 at 5:30 am

    All the comments cover most everything. I would add one more thought. I have 6 beautiful children, after the first two I thought to write in my notebook or journal a letter to my baby. The spirit is so strong after having a baby and what a wonderful thing it is to have my thoughts and feelings of that specific child recorded for them to have. I wish I had known for the first two.
    Also, be bold with the nurses. They are trying to do their job but sometimes it is a lot for a new mother. Don’ be afraid to let them know when that is happening.

  51. Megan on 27 Feb 2012 at 6:17 am

    For sure take Slippers. I had to get up and walk in circles for hours when delivering my last baby and my own slippers were much better then those sock things the hospital gives you. Also Bring your OWN PILLOW. The hospital pillows are NOT the best! Besides the basic common sense stuff like clothes for you and baby, nursing bra, underwear, toothbrush (it’s so nice to brush your teeth once you are done delivering), shampoo, cond., a little make up. And for sure your camera. Something to write all those special moments in. And I loved the idea about bringing a white T-shirt for your husband to put your new little ones hand and foot prints on. Take the baby car seat and leave in car. Utah Valley Hospital tests your baby in the seat for a couple hours before you can take them home to make sure they are ok in it (only if your baby is really small like mine was) But they still need to see the car seat. And most important when you are not loving, holding and snuggling with your new little joy, SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP! I can not say this enough. You will never sleep like you did again. SO sleep as much as you can. Congrats and good luck. It is such a wonderful experience. In that moment when they come into this world I think it is the closest thing to heaven we can get.

  52. Sarah on 27 Feb 2012 at 6:23 am

    I’m going to go against the grain entirely and suggest you just stay at home. :) My fourth was a home birth and it was the most amazing experience of all my labours. Plus I didn’t have to pack a thing. ;)

    Congratulations on your impending arrival! All the best.

  53. Kimberly on 27 Feb 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I would definitely encourage doing the hospital tour. That will give you an idea of what they offer. Are they private rooms with a shower? Do the rooms have tv and dvd players? How about a cd player? Stuff like that. That said, get as much sleep as you can. With your first baby the hospital usually makes you stay a couple of days to make sure you are comfortable with everything and to help if you have any questions. (Take advantage of that :)) Bring a comfy pair of slippers so you don’t have to step on the cold floor. Bring comfortable pj’s and a robe. Hospital gowns are not that comfortable. Make sure they are nursing or easy to nurse in pjs if you are going that route. All the other things are toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, Chapstick (you’ll want this for the delivery). Cell phone & Charger, Cameras and Chargers. Books, laptop to download pictures, journal, phone numbers of people to call. And the car seat in the car and ready to go. Something that is super important to have is a birth plan. You can tell everyone what you want to have happen but to be honest in the moment things can get emotional and exciting and people can forget what they are supposed to be doing. This is also good for the nurses and doctors. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP. This is your experience and you know what you want. There are some doctors that may want to look over your wants to do what they want but you are the one giving birth not them. :) It was hard for me when I had my first and I didn’t know what I was “allowed” to say or have. But again I stress, this is YOUR birth experience. :) On my birth plan I had everything from who was in charge of what( holding my hand, taking pictures, what pictures to take, etc.) Also let your husband know who you want to come in first and when you want them to come in. If he knows this ahead of time he won’t get caught up in the moment and invite everyone in. :) With my first baby I didn’t even think about it and my hubby was so excited and proud of his bundle that he invited everyone in while I was still in the delivery room. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I couldn’t enjoy it, not to mention it didn’t give me any time to stare at my baby and enjoy him. So the second time asked my hubby to not let anyone in until we are in the recovery room, to allow me to present myself and the baby and give us some time with the baby. 100 times better! :) These are just some of my thoughts. Sorry so long. :) Enjoy every moment!!!

  54. Chelsie on 27 Feb 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Lansinoh!!! Start using it NOW!! seriously!! No book!! You’ll be nursing holding and loving your girl and if not- SLEEP!!! phone charger, slippers, FLIP FLOPS FOR SHOWER, and baggy, comfy clothes for you, carseat, outfit for baby, and your own Tylenol and stool softener is a great idea! And the spray someone mentioned especially helps down there- ice packs yes! Undies to wear under garments, and secure everything, makeup and your own shampoo and cond!! And a brush and hair tie- you can look presentable but don’t feel pressured to get “ready”. nursing bra is great but don’t forget nursing garments too! So much more convenient! Enjoy your little girl!!! The time will go so quickly!! Smell her and hold her and kiss her and enjoy that first little while where she sleeps a TON!!! Congrats!!!

  55. Kim J. on 27 Feb 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I didn’t have my boppy with me the first time and since I will be having my second in a couple of weeks, that is at the top of my list. Nursing was difficult for both of us and the boppy makes it a lot more comfortable. Even though it is kind of big, I think that it is worth having.

  56. Aimee on 27 Feb 2012 at 4:36 pm

    so much good info already…..my list
    1) slippers and cheap flip flops
    2) your own pillow
    3) granny underwear, pj’s and a special blanket (to each his own, but I don’t wear my garments for a few days at least…I have had 3 c-sections and you always have people coming in to check you everywhere) plus I LOVE, and babies love too, the special cuddle time the first few days. Take off their clothes, leave them in their diaper and hold them close skin to skin. If you have a night gown with buttons in the front it makes it easier. Put a blanket over them and you and enjoy loving your little piece of heaven). The pediatrician would come in and just move the blanket back, check baby and say “oh perfect! That is all a baby needs right now.”

    take a breath, I always get a bit nervous at the end. Have your hubby give you a blessing and write a letter to your baby who will be here soon :)

  57. Michelle on 27 Feb 2012 at 5:03 pm

    FLIP FLOPS for the shower, walking the halls, etc.
    Your favorite extra long overnight pads. The hospital will provide some, but I was always more comfortable with my own.

  58. Leslie on 27 Feb 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Take something to read or listen to, or both! Take your car seat, baby’s first outfit, overnight things like toothbrush, toothpaste, contact supplies, make-up, etc. The most important is the CAMERA!!! Good luck!

  59. Janarah on 27 Feb 2012 at 7:50 pm

    CHOCOLATE!! After my first baby was born I needed some chocolate. I had to send my husband out for a treat. For the next 4 babies I packed some in my bag!!!!! Good luck!

  60. Alisa on 27 Feb 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Here is my SIL’s blog post just before having her 2nd baby. You might find something useful…
    http://elleapparel.blogspot.com/2012/01/pregnancy-info.html

  61. Becca on 27 Feb 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Food for hubby. My poor guy was starving!

  62. sue on 27 Feb 2012 at 10:11 pm

    A SENSE OF HUMOR!!!!

  63. Jeanine Crane on 27 Feb 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Keep it super simple… you don’t need a ton of stuff! You’ll only be there for a few days max and if you forget something then your husband can always go retrieve it later!
    Here is my must have list:

    toothbrush/paste… and any other toiletries you feel you may need. (I always use the undies and pads they provide there at the hospital so you don’t really need that)

    comfy jammies… something you wore during your pregnancy because although you may feel a lot smaller you still won’t fit into any “pre” clothes…

    if you are nursing: a boppy and some lanolin cream

    your own pillow with a pillow case that you don’t mind getting dirty

    Camera, laptop, cellphone and chargers!

  64. Lisa on 28 Feb 2012 at 12:04 am

    The only thing I have to add to everyone’s great ideas is this…

    A notebook (like a composition notebook) to record everything medical about your child. Record every visit from the doctor and what he/she says about your baby in the hospital, and every visit to the ped. afterwards. Include questions that you want to ask, along with the answers you get. Also include copies of the prescriptions that your child will receive over the years.

    Have a separate notebook for each child. I soooo wish I had started this when my first baby was born. It makes it easy to look back and see what/when illnesses that they’ve had when you need to fill out medical forms or releases when they are teenagers. Also very handy when they become adults to have a complete medical record. (I heard about this idea from one of my other favorite blogs: Controlling My Chaos)

    Good luck and congratulations! New babies are such a blessing from Heavenly Father.

  65. Lisa on 28 Feb 2012 at 12:06 am

    Here’s the link to the medical record organization notebook that I’m talking about….

    http://www.controllingmychaos.com/2011/06/health-records-organized.html

  66. Maria on 28 Feb 2012 at 4:27 am

    Everything has been covered. You want to keep it minimal.

    1) Book/laptop/movie for the down time.
    2) Snacks for the hubby.
    3) Slippers/fuzzy socks/flip flops
    4) Camera!
    5) Lanolin ointment if you are breastfeeding.
    6) Granny pannies
    7) Nursing bra
    8) Comfy going home clothes (Either a skirt or yoga/sweat pants I would suggest)

    If you aren’t going to have any extra help when you go home. I would strongly suggest taking a sleeping pill the first night and have them feed your daughter 1 bottle. My sister in law (who has 8 kids) recommend it to me and it was a lifesaver.

    Good luck and enjoy these moments! They are so hard while in them but they are so precious.

  67. Erin W on 28 Feb 2012 at 6:55 am

    Great suggestions so far. I would just add:
    Many people have suggested bringing a nursing bra. Be aware that as your baby begins to nurse and your milk starts to come in, your breasts might (probably will) become very large and sore. I wasn’t comfortable the first couple days (week?) in a regular nursing bra, but *loved* my soft, night-time nursing bra. You can get them at any Maternity story, I think.

  68. Diana on 28 Feb 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I agree … everything has been covered. Think of what your greatest creature comforts are. What do you like when you are feeling sick, or needing to feel nurtured? What makes you feel better when you feel gross?

    I find it interesting the different things that different women find necessary, and the different experiences.

    I’ve been admitted in preterm labor, went to the hospital thinking that I was just going to be sent home, so I didn’t really bring much, except a list of phone numbers, my cell phone charger, and my camera ‘just in case’.

    What I REALLY missed :

    1: A COMFY change of clothes for discharge. (MY husband couldn’t find a matching outfit, so I got a maternity ankle length corduroy skirt – not so good for getting in and out of bed post c section – and a top.)

    2: Earplugs. But the hospital rounded up some stiff uncomfortable ones for me.

    3: My nursing bra, and nursing pads. My milk came in with a vengeance and the hospital had no nursing pads to put into my (non-nursing) bra. The rough wash cloths that I had stuffed in there added insult to injury, but were better than nothing. Hubby went to the store, but wasn’t able to bring nursing pads until time for discharge.

    4: My own shampoo and toiletries. When I finally got to shower, the hospital shampoo worked, but smelled nasty, and there was no
    conditioner. The fine tooth comb that they had wasn’t very fun either.

    Every hospital I’ve been to (four different ones in three different states) have had small samples of Lansinoh, mesh granny panties, and hats for baby.

    Other things I’ve found helpful : Thank You notes, scriptures, and a journal or notebook. I find that there is a small window of down time and I feel that the dews of heaven are sooo fresh, and I want to write a letter to baby, or just write down my thoughts.

  69. Janna on 28 Feb 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I always take my journal so that I can record my experiences and feelings during those quiet hours in the hospital. I love the intense feeling of the Spirit which accompanies the new baby. I take my scriptures and a book to read also (when I/we are not sleeping) so that I’m not tempted to turn on the TV and drive away the Spirit.
    Other than that, I take the normal things that have been mentioned (with each baby I take less and less, though).

    Good luck…just enjoy the experience!

  70. Jessica on 28 Feb 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Take a sweater for you to wear. Right after the baby is born, I would be really really cold.

    I also took a couple DVDs that I liked to watch during labor, to help me unwind a little.

    Also pack some diaper cream-I like Burt’s Bee’s the best. Those first few diapers can be a little rough on a new one’s bum.

    Pack your own Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Some hospitals give it to you as part of the maternity package, and others nickle and dime you for it. My Sister In Law paid $4 a dose last year when she had her son.

    Don’t forget a charger or extra battery for the camera.

    For when your milk comes in, if you are swollen and in pain, my Dr. recommended to me to put cabbage leaves on my breasts to help the swelling go down. It sounds crazy, but it worked great.

    Take some snack food to eat. Sometimes hospital food is kinda gross, and they give you small servings.

    Good Luck!!

  71. Lora on 28 Feb 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I think all the needs at the hospital have been covered, so I have advice for getting your picture taken.

    To avoid the “ugh! I look like I have been through a mixer” look, when someone takes a picture of you, have them take it from the side of the bed, with you looking up at the camera. It is so slimming and it makes you look so much better!

    You will do great!! : )

  72. pricilla on 29 Feb 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I have had 6 kids in the last 8 years so I have become quite a minimalist out of necessity. Hospitals provide most everything you will need. I don’t take much, but here are my must haves:

    Lap top or smart phone for updating statuses and getting pictures up quickly.

    Nipple shield for nursing (target, about 8 dollars). You can also ask for one there, but they can be stingy about giving them out so I just bring my own and pull it out when I need it. If you don’t know what it is, start asking around about it, it is the only way I have been able to stay with nursing.

    Lanolin, although it is easy to ask for samples at the hospital. They will give you lanolin and nursing pads, just ask.

    Warm socks for sure, 2 or 3 pair.

    Chapstick

    Make up and toiletries so you can feel human again and for taking pictures.

    Outfit for taking baby home in.

    A couple of outfits for hubby. Mine usually never leaves my side so he appreciates a fresh change of clothing.

    I don’t worry about clothes for me too much other than a clean set of undies to wear home and a nursing bra. I just wear the same clothes I arrived in to leave in and wear the hospital gown and undies they provide while there.

    I also HIGHLY recommend having someone there besides hubby to take pictures and video during labor, birth and after. I edit them to black and white. Moms are great for this. You will never feel so close to heaven, so close to Diety and photos really bring it all back. I LOVE giving birth, so I want to remember everything.

    Thats pretty much it. Just enjoy lots of baby cuddles skin to skin and try to sleep a lot before you go home, because you won’t have as much help there.

    good luck :)

  73. AJ on 29 Feb 2012 at 5:07 pm

    What wonderful advice! I leave my comment for the dad to be…the hospital I stayed in had good accomidations for me, the mother. For my husband it was not as good. As hard as it was, I sent him home at night to get a good nights sleep in our own bed, without nurses coming in. It is hard to sleep in a hospital comfortably and many sleepless nights are ahead. I felt better the next day having my husband refreshed so I could nap when he arrived, giving him time with the new one. After 6 kids this worked for us… enjoy those first days together with your new addition!

  74. Kat on 01 Mar 2012 at 1:02 am

    Simple is best. I took too much, but didn’t know what to expect. I recently had a baby, so I made a list when I got home.

    Toiletries that make you feel comfortable.
    Chapstick or lip gloss for during labor. My labor was short, but my lips got dry!
    Camera.
    A blanket and outfit for baby to go home in or for pictures.
    My room was so warm, so a thin robe that didn’t make it too hard to move around was great.
    I had a DVD in my room. I love reading, but just didn’t feel like it in the hospital. But, a movie in the background during labor or in my room later was nice sometimes.
    A notebook to write thoughts or experiences.
    Comfortable clothes for going home.
    If your hospital isn’t too close to your home, maybe a shirt or toothbrush or a few minor things for your husband.

    I would suggest just writing down things when you have a chance. You think you couldn’t possibly forget details of such an amazing, life altering, wonderful experience, but you do. I wish you the best.

  75. Jess on 01 Mar 2012 at 1:34 am

    Some of these are repeats:

    –socks! for you and baby
    –comfy clothes. jammies, yoga pants…anything with an elastic waist :)
    –a pacifier. Many hospitals don’t provide them.
    –snacks! You get hungry when you’re nursing!
    –your own shampoo, lotion, chapstick…anything you use daily

  76. Becca on 02 Mar 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I haven’t read most of the comments, but here are the things I wanted:

    1) Socks… sometimes you’ll be freezing, sometimes you’ll be overheated, but socks are always nice.

    2) I loved having my Nook. I was in labor for 27 hours at the hospital and I didn’t want to look at my IV, so being able to read with just one hand was nice.

    3) A laptop. My husband and I caught up on tv shows while I was in labor and after the baby came we were able to Skype with my family (they live 1000 miles away… literally).

    4) Snacks. My midwife would’ve let me eat if I had brought them, but the hospital staff would only give me fluids. It’s nice to eat something if you end up being in labor for a long time (or if you unfortunately give birth in the middle of the night and they don’t have food for you to eat)

    5) Cellphone. You’ll end up calling/texting a lot of people after the baby’s born.

    6) Hair stuff. It’s easier to feel cute when your hair isn’t a total mess.

    And this isn’t a “thing” you need in the hospital, but make sure to ask to have a board certified lactation consultant come visit you if you’re planning to breastfeed. Even if they tell you that all the nurses are lactation nurses, unless they’re board certified that doesn’t mean anything.

  77. Jamie on 03 Mar 2012 at 1:36 am

    Think creature comforts. What makes you feel comfortable at home? That is what you need at the hospital-and you will need it ten times worse. For instance, socks are nice at home, but clean cozy socks in the hospital are luxurious. The first shower after the birth is HEAVENLY! Take advantage and enjoy it with a nice loofah and body wash. Lotion, chapstick, hair elastics and headbands. I always needed a journal so I could record the details right away. You forget faster than you think. I always read books and magazines afterward, especially when we were just waiting around to go home. Baby sleeps a lot so don’t get bored. When I was getting ready to go home after my 4th was born (6 months ago), I had only brought yoga pants. I really wished I had brought something that I felt cuter in. Also, some of your favorite snacks for the hours after the birth. The hospital time is my favorite-time with baby and hubby, no pressures from home, work and other kids. It’s wonderful! Good luck!

  78. KC on 03 Mar 2012 at 3:56 pm

    It’s not so much what to take, but what to do…
    I would just remember that the YOU control what happens.
    The nurses told me NOT to give my son a binki if he was going to breastfeed. He would never latch on, and I gave him a binki and a bottle but still tried to breastfeed and it was about 2 weeks later that we were home and I was struggling with older sister and he was fussy and he LATCHED ON! after not even trying to breast feed for over a week! (bring your own binki if you don’t want to use the lovely green, cover your whole face, ones)
    Don’t feel bad if you can’t get your daughter to latch on. It’s NOT a crime to NOT breastfeed. I actually pumped for the first month and bottle fed my son. It was fine!
    (actually, I bottle fed my daughter and breast-fed my son. My daughter is fine, my son has allergies and asthma!)
    Also, if you don’t want to use the hospital dry-until-you-run-them-under-warm-water wipes..ask for wet ones!
    The squirt bottle will be your BEST FRIEND…don’t forget that!
    Wear comfy clothes while at the hospital..don’t worry about the hospital gown. I even wore some stretch pants under my huge baggy t-shirt.
    Undies are really important..and bring your own pads too.
    Ask for laxatives!
    And THE BIGGEST THING….relax! Enjoy your time with your new baby! Because before you know it, they will be in 1st grade and slamming their door in your face when they throw a fit! haha!

  79. Blair on 03 Mar 2012 at 7:03 pm

    I’m a first time mom as well, and has NO IDEA what to take to the hospital. Most of the stuff I didn’t even use and there were things that I wish I had thought of!

    1. Socks, NOT slippers! My feet were very swollen afterwards and trying to keep my balance in slippers was super difficult.

    2. Nursing tank tops–Modesty kinda went out the window for those two days since the nurses just did as they pleased while I was trying to breastfeed but it would’ve been nice to have those underneath my gown so I wasn’t COMPLETELY exposed.

    3. Sugar-free candy

    4. Chapstick

    5. Hair ties

  80. Jenny on 05 Mar 2012 at 6:31 am

    Everyone is so different, but here is what helped me:

    1.PILLOWS! I brought several of my own pillows in colorful pillow cases (so I knew which ones were mine) and they were great. My hospital bed was not very comfy and pillows helped a lot.
    2.SNACKS for your husband (and/or you) and something for hubby to do, especially if you have an epidural you may be able to sleep (heavenly!) for a while and he’ll have nothing to do.
    3.CAMERA I didn’t want any sweaty, tired, pictures of me in the hospital, but I wish we had taken more pictures of the baby.
    4.HOSPITAL GOODIES! I use absolutely everything the hospital will give me. If you are in pain, ask for help, the nurses should be able to suggest something.
    5. CARSEAT and baby clothes. They won’t let you leave without a seat. Make sure the base is installed already, it’s no fun trying to figure that out after discharge. Most police stations have free careseat install experts that you can take advantage of well before you have the baby.
    6. A SWADDLING blanket was very helpful for our baby. We brought a “swaddle me” brand that was very snug and warm for her and easy to use. Some hospitals are kind of cold and some babies like to be swaddled for comfort.
    7. Ask for a BLESSING from your husband before you go into the hospital, if you are feeling nervous. It was very comforting for me.
    8. Small BOTTLES of ready-to-feed formula (the hospital may or may not give you some,) or a NURSING PILLOW, depending on your choice of feeding. Either feeding method is great.

    This is not a hospital item, but it’s ok if you don’t immediately fall in love with your new baby. Bonding doesn’t always happen right away – but it will! I was so overwhelmed and in pain at first that it took a while for me to get used to the whole idea of being a mother. Good luck! This is such a special time!

  81. Sally on 11 Mar 2012 at 3:27 am

    The phone number of a pro-breastfeeding friend, or a breastfeeding counselor that you are already acquainted with! You can count on getting inconsistent, if at all helpful, information in-hospital. The rest of it you can send your husband home to get, haha, but really helpful breastfeeding support, at any hour, is truly priceless. Best of luck! So excited for you. <3

  82. ginger upshaw on 12 Mar 2012 at 11:13 pm

    A roll of quarters for the vending machines (for hubby – nurses will bring you everything), own pjs that are LOOSE, and a baby outfit that has snaps and not zips just in case baby needs a little help from NICU. They have to have snaps so the monitoring cords can be thread through. Congrats!!

  83. Melissa on 20 Mar 2012 at 12:14 am

    You are going to be sore so bring 1-stretchy yoga pants to go home in, and 2-slip on shoes so you don’t have to bend and lift your legs too much.
    3- a snack one salty one sweet.
    4-your own pillow
    5-camera
    6-insurance card

    At home have a 7-stool softener, 8-hemorrhoid cream, and 9-plenty of pads.
    A 10-boppy type pillow is nice to sit on to relieve the pressure.

  84. Cari on 24 Apr 2012 at 11:44 pm

    For c-sections and a long hospital stay: ear plugs, eye covers, flip flops, socks with traction, a back scratcher, a list of all those people’s numbers you will need to call along with the number of your pediatrician’s office and OBGYN, camera, a newborn-sized outfit (that will be too big for the tiny bundle) including a hat, makeup and toiletries (you will be photographed a lot!), and any snacks that you might need between the (yucky) meals the hospital will provide. Can I recommend prunes or other high-fiber foods like raisin bran?

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