I figured it was finally time to pack my hospital back. Not so fascinating piece of trivia: I bought the bag I've used for every hospital trip for my pilgrimage to Rome in 2000 for World Youth Day. Right after getting home from giving birth to baby girl, the shoulder strap broke, but I love the capacity of the bag enough that I'm willing to carry it by the handles. So, here's what I packed! At the end is a list of everything, including what's either not pictured (no of my underpants!) or not packed yet!
Toiletries: Deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, facial moisturizer, bar soap, hand cream, disposable nursing pads, razor (don't judge! I'm going to be able to actually see my legs for the first time in months!), shampoo and conditioner (travel size, not pictured) and my favourite lip chap. I find all the hospital very dry, so I made sure to include everything I need to stay moisturized and happy! I also have a zip up clear bag I throw my toiletries in.
New this time around, reusable cloth nursing pads with a waterproof zip-up bag for used nursing pads. Brand: Charlie Banana, bought at Fluffy Bottom Babies
These are new this time around too! Based on my own personal hatred of scratchy disposable pads and the recommendation of a friend who used them after delivery her second child, I decided to give reusable nursing pads a try. I have 12 of the postpartum style. Brand: Tree Hugger Cloth Pads, bought at Fluffy Bottom Babies
Two full pairs of pyjamas plus an extra top! I plan on living in these! I got them off the sale rack at Joe Fresh for about $7 for each set.
The ever essential nursing cover! Peekaboob brand, purchased at the Royal Diaperer last pregnancy. A real favourite for me!
Adorable and very large Lulujo swaddling blankets with cute little owls on it, bought at Fluffy Bottom Babies! While this may not seem essential, we got one of these for baby girl and it's still a favourite. Plus, the owls, they're so stinkin' cute!
This was a big ticket item for us last pregnancy: A delivery gown from Dressed to Deliver! This buttons down for easy nursing, is comfortable enough that I wore it pretty much the entire last month of my pregnancy last go around, and has hidden buttons all along the front and the back for easy access for fetal monitoring and (if I had wanted one) an epidural. The jersey fabric is really comfortable and breathes well, and I couldn't get over the fact that despite my messy delivery, the dressed pulled easily out of the way and washed beautifully. Seriously, one of my best delivery purchases!
A little hat I knitted for the little man after we found out he was a boy. I suspect it will be too big, and additionally that it will be too warm in May for this hat, but I made it, so it's coming.
This is a part of my packing I've refined a lot since our first baby. I used to pack a week's worth of clothes, but I've whittled it down to two pairs of yoga pants and three nursing friendly tops.
Adorable Bummis newborn sized diapers! 24 prefolds and three covers (Yes, only three covers instead of four. I somehow lost one. My eye is still twitching). I love these because they dip down to make room for the umbilical stump. They're also very easy to use and so cheap! I bought one pack for baby girl and loved them, so this time we got another pack the weekend we found out we were pregnant at Fluffy Bottom Babies!
I'm pretty minimalistic when it comes to baby clothes. I suspect he'll spend a lot of his time in just a diaper at the hospital so we can be skin to skin as much as possible. That being said, I got out two newborn sleepers we've had since we were pregnant with our first. They were shower gifts for sure and very cute!
After a little thinking, we also picked out a little outfit to bring the man home in! A pair of shorts (he'll have his legs covered with a blanket!), the "I'm the Little Brother" shirt my husband bought the day our oldest son was born from the hospital gift shop, and a sweet little knitted sweater, which was a hand-me-down from one of our families. It could be from my Mom, but it seems statistically likely (since she gave us so many from when my husband and his brother were babies) that this is from my husband's family. It's so tiny and cute!
The aforementioned bag. It looks pretty full, but there's actually quite a bit of room left in it!
My biggest tip for any Mom's packing a hospital bag is to bring whatever you think you'll really need, but know you can always send someone home for extras. Also, there's lots of stuff you can't pack more than a month in advance (like your phone charger, your camera, etc) so make sure you put a list of everything you need to add to your bag on top of everything inside your bag. When you're in labour, you'll be too scattered to try and remember what you're missing. Making this list will also soothe your nesting instinct nicely! I also recommend if you have older kids to have a note for whoever will be watching your kids with any information about their routine and eating habits that'll make things easier. That when they show up you won't feel obligated to explain at length that your kids love ketchup on everything and don't want any of their food touching each other (or whatever maddening eccentricities you feel that it's only fair to disclose).
So, for the sake of clarity, here's my packing list:
Nursing bras (2-3. Mine are all from Nummies and I love them! I have one that's a jersey fabric that's perfect for labour)
Nursing pads (both disposable and reusable)
Postpartum menstrual pads (yes, first time Moms, pads. Bring lots!)
Yoga Pants (2)
Pyjamas (2 pants, three tops)
Socks (the fluffier the better!)
Underpants (of the ugly and huge granny variety, you've got to hook those mega pads to something)
Diapers (24 prefolds + 3 covers)
Fancy receiving blanket (which I slept with in the bed for 2 weeks to get it smelling like Mama. Poor kid)
Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, hand lotion, face cream, razor, lip chap)
Baby clothes (two sleepers and an outfit to go home in)
Now here's the stuff I haven't packed yet:
Camera (with a huge pack of extra batteries)
Slippers (hard soled so I can wear them like shoes postpartum)
Granola bars (two packs for energy for my husband and myself!)
Nursing pillow (this will be carried separately as it's kind of huge)
Zippable wet bag (I like the Fabulous Wet Bag from Bummis, great for my clothes after labour and baby's diapers)
Gum (because it's dry in the hospital and it's distracting)
Tall water bottle (I hate Styrofoam cups. One contraction and I've crushed it and spilled water everywhere. Ugh!!!!!!!!)
Both phones and both chargers
Pre-loaded iPod with neat speaker system dock (Mama needs music, I`m going to sing this baby out!)
Small statue of Our Lady of Guadeloupe (my focus object)
Rosary (his and hers)
Water from Our Lady of Lourdes
Oil of St. Joseph from the St. Joseph`s Oratory in Montreal (anointing babies, it`s happening)