A final picture of our family of three as we head out to the hospital with my hospital bag all packed!
Well, the time has finally come. I decided that we were far enough along that I should pack my bag for the hospital, simple enough, right? I wish.
First, I have to decide what I REALLY need in my bag. You can find sample lists of “must-haves” for your hospital bags all over the Internet, but as I’ve looked through a lot of them, I chuckle at what they consider “must-haves” and what I just consider extra stuff that I won’t touch and will just have to unpack when we get home! Some of the items I consider less mandatory and more personal preference include the following:
1. Inspirational music mixes to encourage me during labor- I’m pretty sure my husband’s breathing annoyed me last time I was in labor, so the thought of hearing Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” during a contraction will make me want to throw something across the room. Silence is golden, in my book!
2. Incense – This may be a calming to some people, but I don’t need any lavender or jasmine or patchouli scents wafting through my delivery room. And I’m still wondering: is it really even legal to have that in a hospital room?
3. Thank you cards – I actually saw this listed on a hospital bag checklist, I promise. Now, you can ask my family, I love to write a good thank you note and I try to follow the Southern hospitality rule of sending one within three days of receiving a gift, but there is no way that I’ll be jotting down thank you notes while I’m in the hospital and I think most people would be understanding. Besides, if I do have extra time, I’ll be using it to cuddle a squishy, beautiful newborn.
So, with all that being said, what are the items that I think are most important? Here’s a few of my must-haves that you might not think about:
1. A couple changes of LOOSE comfy clothing – I plan on using the hospital gown to actually give birth (no point in getting any of my clothes covered in nastiness), but I remember from my first delivery that I was also very ready to be in comfy pajamas after a few hours. You can only tolerate a gown with an open back for so long, amiright, ladies?
2. Snacks – I was ravenous after I delivered my son, and the nurses were so sweet to scrounge up a peanut butter sandwich for me, but I want to go in prepared with some items this time. I’ve packed some almonds, dried fruit and a trail mix that should help stop my rumbling tummy.
3. Comfy shoes – Don’t go and pack any tight tennis shoes or fancy cute flats. It is a very real possibility that your feet will swell after you deliver, so give yourself a break and pack some flip flops (these are great for the shower too) or slippers. The less trauma you feel about your body at that point, the better.
4. The camera – This is a biggie! We have a big camera that has its own bag, so this is what I’m most afraid of forgetting. But, those first few minutes are so special and you will want pictures no matter how sweaty or gross you may think you look. And to go along with this one, maybe the baby book so the nurses can throw in some footprints for you!
5. Toiletries – There is something about a shower, brushing your teeth and putting on a little make up that will make you feel like a million bucks. So I made sure to include a few things that will make me look (and smell) pretty after delivery.
6. Chapstick – I’ve already been told that I won’t be offered anything besides ice chips once I’m in labor, and with it already being cold and dry in most cities around the country, your favorite lip balm may just come in handy.
What do you all think? Is there anything else that you wouldn’t dare head to the hospital without?
A little about Emily: Emily is married to her college sweetheart, Jeff and is mom to a 2-year-old little boy named Boone and soon-to-be-born unnamed little girl! Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, her husband’s job moves their family around quite a bit. In the past six years, they’ve lived in Kansas, Tennessee, Calgary, Canada, Colorado and now currently reside in Kentucky. Prior to kids, she worked as a staff writer for a newspaper, but now she focuses on freelance writing in between chasing Boone around and exploring her ever-changing hometowns.
Tags: birth prep, hospital bag, must-do