FTM series: the hospital bag.

by Janetha on August 20, 2014

in oh baby

i was super happy to hear that you guys are excited about me rambling about my experiences as a first time mom. i love that you agree that none of us have it all together, and we can learn from each other and what works for us individually.

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today i want to talk about my hospital bag.. which, for some reason, i did way too much research about before packing. seriously you would think i was packing for an expedition in the wilderness for eighty days the way i was doing research regarding what to take with me.

but, in the end, i consulted my BFF who just had a baby and based my packing list off what she actually used. i tried to trim it down, because.. well.. i live 20 minutes from the hospital. it’s not like i am traveling two hours when i go into labor and i won’t have family or friends available to access my things at my house (or the nearest target) so if i forget something, no big deal.

i thought it would be fun to tell you what i ended up putting in my bag and then, after i come home and blogging seems like something i can actually do (who knows how long that’ll be.. still not sure what to expect once the little dude gets here) then i will compare what i took to what i used, and what i wish i’d taken.

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first of all, can i just tell you about how traumatic it was for me to buy a couple items that i’ll need when i get home from the hospital?

a few of my inside sources told me i would need brief underwear aka granny panties (but i hate that term…) and it has been over a decade since i bought anything except a thong. sorry if that’s tmi, whatever. so there i stood, in the target underwear section, absolutely dumbfounded and wondering what exactly to buy. it’s not like you just know these things. plus, those bad boys come in sizes with numbers.. like 3, 5, 7, 9.. what ever happened to small, medium, and large? after spending entirely too much time staring (i know it was too much time because my contacts began to dry out and gloss over), i picked a few pair and called it good. i committed. i hope they fit.

item number two was a pack of maxi pads. i do not recall EVERY buying maxi pads in my life. like.. ever. i used them in my early teen years, but that was back when momma b did all the feminine hygiene product shopping! when mands told me i would need the biggest, baddest pads on the block, i told her she would have to go to target with me. she has four kids. she knows. i made her pick a pack for me.. i am confident they are the right ones. i should have made her pick my underwear, too.

pregnancy is so glamorous.

anyway.. the hospital bag. remember, i am clueless, so my list below is in no way expert advice. it’s just what i put in my bag and i’m hoping it’s all i want and need when D-day arrives! (i just wish i knew when that would beeeee!)

i am linking a few things so you can see the exact items i packed.

clothing.

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i am pretty indecisive when it comes to what i want to wear, so i decided to bring pants, shorts, and a nightgown so i have options. yeah, i am kinda weird.. but none of it takes up too much space, so i would rather just have one of each. aaaand you will see most of it is from target, because, well.. target.

  • a black robe
  • a pair of big, baggy black PJ pants—i found these ones with amazing reviews and when i received them i can see why they got such awesome reviews! they are the softest, comfiest pants ever. i need to snag another pair.
  • PJ shorts (they came with a tank, too.. but i am not taking the tank with me since i already packed the nursing tanks.)
  • a V-neck nightgown – i got this two sizes too big so i could pull it down if i need to have boob access ;)
  • two nursing tank tops
  • a nursing bra & a nursing sports bra
  • underwear (although i have been told i will probably just use the mesh underwear the hospital provides)
  • flip flops
  • socks
  • something to go home in—i chose my maternity yoga pants and a baggy V-neck T

toiletries, etc.

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  • contact solution, extra pair of contacts, and eyeglasses
  • travel size shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and soap
  • disposable face wipes
  • toothbrush & toothpaste
  • face & body lotion
  • deodorant
  • tucks wipes
  • lanolin
  • bang buster headband
  • bobby pins
  • hair elastics
  • hair brush & comb
  • a little makeup—eyeliner, BB cream, and neutral shadow

baby gear.

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other items.

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  • small notebook & pen
  • ipad & charger
  • iphone charger
  • camera & charger (make sure it has a camera card in there)
  • mints & gum
  • chapstick

for the dad.

  • yeah.. he’s on his own. he can pack his own bag.

so.. that’s what i have packed! i am sure it’s too much and i am also sure i will learn something from my experience.. but that’s what firsts are all about, right?

on the baby front.. i have been having contractions here and there and they hurt like a bitch! but they aren’t the real deal. i actually had to go into the doctor yesterday and they hooked me up to the monitor to make sure everything is OK since i was in quite a bit of pain. everything is fine, i am definitely having contractions, but my doc says my body is just practicing.. umm.. awesome. i can’t wait to feel the real thing. thank god for epidurals. i have my 39 week appointment tomorrow where i will get checked.. last time she checked i was dilated to a 1 and 70% effaced. i also had an ultrasound and he is 6 lbs 13 oz as of last friday.

we are definitely ready for him! last night my sweet sister in law showed me and marshall the ropes of the car seat to make sure we don’t put it in backwards and upside down. the plan for the pups is in place (they will go to their daycare, unless it is the middle of the night.. in which case they will hang out at home and then my mom will take them to daycare.) i really can’t think of anything else we need to do. so, yeah, come onnnn baby.

i hope this is the last post i post before i have this little man.. but i am still one week from my due date so i should just be patient. truth be told, it’s super hard to wait! it wasn’t until this past week that i started to get impatient. and now every day feels like ten. oh well, he will be here soon enough! can’t wait!

Qs~

1. what is the last thing YOU packed a bag for?

2. been there, done that folks.. any items you’d add to this list?

xo. janetha g.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee August 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Stool softener. Trust me on that one.

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Kim F August 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Aww you sound like you are almost ready!!! It will be any day now I’m sure! In case you don’t blog again beforehand..Good luck! I can’t wait to see pictures of the little guy!

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Katie August 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm

So funny. I was going to add that you need a bottle of Colace but Lee beat me to it. Be sure to sit on the ice packs they give you… and join a new mom group. I joined one at our pediatricians office and at our hospital. It’s been almost 12 years and many of us are still friends out of that group.

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Monica August 20, 2014 at 10:06 pm

I’ve heard dry shampoo is pretty handy to feel a little less gross and more photogenic. You can get Pssst pretty cheap at a drug store.

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Laurenity August 20, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Conditioner for your long black hair or better bang buster headband as you like.

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Janetha August 31, 2014 at 10:52 am

well.. it’s blonde.. haha

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Kate August 21, 2014 at 1:04 am

I love the note about Dad’s bag….I keep asking my Husband to pack something and he gave me a bathing suit for him to wear, in case I want to use the shower for pain relief he can come in with me. He has packed that and snacks…nothing else. We also live 20 minutes from the hospital and our parents live only 5-10 minutes aways so we are not worried about access to things. Good luck! I’m due September 1 so we are both very close!

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Becs August 21, 2014 at 1:32 am

Thanks so much for this! I’ve been reading your blog for years, & am now 12wks into my first pregnancy, so I’m hoping to learn from you! Good luck & I can’t wait to see your little man :) x

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Ella August 21, 2014 at 7:39 am

Thanks for this. I’m 29 weeks right now with my second and I thought I had my bag all figured out until I read your post and realized I totally forgot to add a notebook to mine. Thanks for the tip! Also are you bringing diapers and wipes for the little guy or does your hospital provide? I didn’t see them listed.

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Andrea August 21, 2014 at 8:05 am

The one thing that I really remember being glad I brought, was a comfy nightgown to change into after I could get out of that awful hospital gown. Something easy to nurse in, that is comfortable, and that you don’t mind all your visitors seeing you in. And some nice shampoos/body wash for when you actually get to shower… Ahh that was so nice to shower and change into my actual clothes. It sounds like you have that stuff on the list, but that is what I most remember. Good luck! Also, make sure you take advantage of the food! I had some amazing chocolate milkshakes at our hospital delivered right to your door whenever you wanted it :)

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Amy August 21, 2014 at 8:12 am

Make sure you bring 5 to 10 onesies or pj’s for your baby. I’m a mom of 2 and it’s insane how many outfits they get dirty in those first few days. Also this may sound strange but get Depends. I should have done it with my first but so glad I had them with my 2nd.

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Emily R August 21, 2014 at 8:36 am

I am so excited for you! I have yet to experience pregnancy but I am sure my hospital bag will be waaaaay overpacked whenever the time comes… I hope this next week flies by quickly for you! :)

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Maren August 21, 2014 at 8:40 am

don’t ever delete your blog so when I start making babies in a few years, I can look back on this post!! haha I am so clueless. The last thing I packed my bag for was to go to the gym this morning! :) So excited to fiiiiinally see your handsome little man! I’m gonna die if he comes out with black curly hair!!!

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betty August 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

c’monnnnn baby!

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Allison August 21, 2014 at 9:16 am

Your list looks great! I have an 8-month old and definitely over-packed for the hospital stay, but there is something to be said for the peace of mind it gives you to have everything, just in case. We also put a pillow or two from home in the trunk of the car. I figured if we needed it, my husband could run down and grab them. Turns out I gave birth when almost every other pregnant lady in a 100-mile radius decided to as well, and those extra pillows were appreciated by the hubster since the hospital was low on them. I’d also pack a disposable razor for yourself, for your armpits and maybe headphones. My husband watched movies on the kindle during the day while I slept and the headphones came in handy for that. Good luck!!

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Jen August 21, 2014 at 9:26 am

Ugh, my water broke on the one pair of yoga pants I was going to wear after giving birth (at home, before we left), and even more water got all over the SECOND pair of yoga pants, which I wore on the way to the hospital…I didn’t realize every time I had a contraction more would come gushing out. So I wished I had more pants and that I’d brought a towel for the car! God willing, you will not have the same problem :)

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Rachel August 21, 2014 at 10:07 am

snacks!! bring a few of your favorite baggies of trail mix, peanut butter crackers, granola bars, etc. you’ll be happy to have something that’s not hospital food, and especially if it’s 4am and the cafeteria is closed!! :)

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natasha August 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

The floors always have a little area with a fridge and packaged goods (crackers, broth, fruit cups, icecream (:, cereal/milk etc. that’s always accessible or a staff member can bring something.

You’re also able to store stuff from home there too.

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Carey August 21, 2014 at 11:16 am

Good luck!!!! So excited for you and ditto to all the previous comments about never deleting these posts… I’m going to need them in the next year or so. Thanks for always being real, your little guy is getting a super duper mom.

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Kristen August 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

Also pack a sun dress to go home in if you are sore down there. You wouldn’t want to wear your yoga pants and feel uncomfortable on your way home

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Kellie August 21, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Depends. I have a pregnant client now and she was told to pack them. After having three children of my own, I wish I would have thought of that. So much more comfortable than those pads. You have to wear big underwear anyway so just get them already leak proof.

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natasha August 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I don’t have baby experience but I do have hospital experience so….

1. Hospital scrub pants are great and large with drawstrings plus you can leave them there so you don’t have to worry about laundry and dirty clothes. Hospital socks are usually comfy and have tread on them so you can safely shuffle around with warm footies (:

2. I find hospitals to be really cold so I always sneak in a heating pad especially if they don’t have a way to control the heat in your room.

3. Earplugs and an eye mask…self-explanatory. Noise and lights 24/7.

4. A few magazines since tv can be a pain after awhile.

Here’s hoping he comes soon and isn’t late….oh my!

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Stephanie August 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Definitely bring a towel for showering! Usually hospital towels are small and thin so you will want a nice towel to dry off with, its a simple luxury. Also make sure you have shower shoes/flip flops.

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Ashley August 21, 2014 at 4:11 pm

As of yesterday I am six weeks postpartum with my first baby and when I packed my hospital bag it looked like I was packing to travel around the world….twice. I did way to much research and watched way to many YouTube videos. And spent way to much money on shit I didn’t use. My husband thought I was nuts but hey I was nuts when he married me lol. Anyhow did I use half of it? NO! I had to be induced for two days and all they wanted us to bring in the room was toiletries and whatever my husband need and if we have a laptop iPad etc. but I was in the hospital gown for the 3 days I was in the labor and delivery ward. I went to full weeks past my due date my daughter did not want to budge! It wasn’t until we got in our I recovery room that I actually opened our bag. My husband went home and showered a few days before I went into active labor since nothing was going on, so all he really used was his pjs and one outfit. I delivered early in the morning and just stayed in my hospital gown until I could walk again without feeling like I I had just gotten by a bus and run over by a herd of rhinos. Seriously you lose all shame and the last thing on my mind was looking cute and showering! Here’s what I actually used:

Shower flip fops
Towel from home
One nursing tank (I brought bras but didn’t wear any of them because my milk didn’t come in until after I got home also the hospital provided me with nipple cream)
Yoga pants to go home in
Capstick
Socks
Tennis shoes (I wore them home because I wore them to the hospital I the night I got admitted to be induced and my bag was so stuffed they wouldn’t fit, plus my ankles were the I size of tree trunks from all the fluid they pump in you)
Whatever you need to shower
Hair tie
Outfit for babe (my daughter was eight pounds ten ounces so no newborn stuff fit, be sure to bring the next size up!)

I left the pads at home and just used up the hospital ones while we were there they are huge but they are free and the mesh undies are pretty comfy oh and don’t forget to ask for the pad with an ice pack in it! It’s heaven!!

Sorry for my novel but I couldn’t help but laugh and totally relate to this post. I opened Almost every pack of grannie panties at target and was tempted to try them on over my clothes!

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Ashley August 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Oh and forgot a pillow for you and one or three for your husband, my husband slept in a recliner while we were in the labor ward it wasn’t until we got in the recovery ward that he actually got a pull out couch.

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e August 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

this is great! hope little man comes soon :) i’m due w/ bambino #1 in december, so this is certainly timely. can we talk about the whole giant pads, ice packs, squirt bottles, etc??? i feel like i trust my doc and the folks at the hospital to get things done… and while i’m there i have lots of help. but getting home? with an infant i’m still getting to know? and having to take stool softeners and squirt down my bits after i use the bathroom? uhhh, i’d like a little more info here. haha (clueless moms episode 2?)

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Ashley August 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Congrats on your babe! There are no words to describe the happiness you will feel when they plop him on your chest after you just went through hours of hell. Nothing else in the world matters and you will be ready to do it all over again…then the drugs start to wear off lol. But seriously it’s the best feeling ever when they place them on your chest and they look you in the eyes so so precious! My husband has a great picture of that first moment. You would never even know that I was getting my pikachu stitched at the same time! Ok so let’s talk about the floatation devices that they also refer to as the maxi pads they give you in the hospital, they are huge and feel like your wearing a diaper but trust me you’ll need them! It’s gross but I was lucky and stopped bleeding after two weeks. The ice pack pad is literally like the angels were released and started signing! Your lady bits are super swollen, duh you just shot a bowling ball out of you, along with the hemorrhoids you could get from pushing (I was lucky and had three of those bastards I thought about naming them..kidding) the ice pack and witch hazel pad is awesome! Just trust me! The squirt bottle is also a life saver again your whoha is the size of Africa at this point and you don’t want anything touching it with a ten foot poll!! All you do it put warm water in it and squirt front to back after you pee when you go number two you gently wipe the back….which brings me to another topic…that scares the shit out of me (no pun intended) I didn’t ended number two up going until three days after I got home from the hospital. And after spending countless hours trying and my husband hovering by the door asking if I had drowned it finally happened and don’t worry nothing will break or fall out. But do take your stool softener. They will give you some at the hospital or should if not ask when you are in recovery and I had already purchased some to take when I got home. I promise this sounds awful and some parts are but it’s worth every moment and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

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Mollie @ Sprinkles of Life August 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

your account and all the details brought back so many memories!! I forgot about the hoo ha squirter! That thing was magic! lol

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Madeleine August 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Dermoplast! This was a life saver…Also, sitz bath

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Gina August 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Nursing pads! I didn’t bring them and had some definitely leakage. Slippers in case you need to walk around the hospital. I attended a breastfeeding class a few days after my baby was born and wore slippers around the hospital. Good luck-being a mom is amazin (this is coming from someone who never thought she wanted kids).

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Alyssa August 22, 2014 at 6:35 am

I love the idea for this series! I’m due a month from tomorrow with my first so I’m in the same clueless boat. Packing a hospital bag is on my to do list this weekend. I feel like I’m putting it off because that’s giving the universe permission to let the baby come any day. I usually travel like I’m moving to a place for five years so this is one time I want to only bring things I will actually use, mainly because I don’t feel like unpacking a ton once I’m home with a new baby. Good luck!

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Kristen August 22, 2014 at 7:02 am

I’ve got to agree with Lee, get stool softeners now. And some Advil or something. The moment they discharge you from the hospital they can’t give you any meds. Sometimes there can be a few hours to a few days longer before they discharge your baby, which can leave a new momma really uncomfortable.

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Mollie @ Sprinkles of Life August 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

Those PJ pants! I want!! I will prob be making an order soon! :) Congrats on the new little guy! Can’t wait to hear some stories!

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AshinMT August 28, 2014 at 9:51 am

Yo! This is possibly on the wrong post but felt you may get it sooner.

I am dying to know where you got that bear constellation lamp for the nursery?! I have been googling some very creative combo’s to search the internet for it but no dice. My husband and I are expecting our little dude on Christmas Day (!YIKES!) and your nursery is seriously the closest to what I envision it being like. My husband would freak over that lamp for sure, so would like to surprise him.
Also, while I am here- i am a big time way beuno supporter of the first tiem mom series stuff. I feel totally clueless and my usual plan-y self is kind of shutting down with anxiety. I have purchased like 4 onsies and just feel like i dont know where to start. Also, the feelings, yo.
Thanks!

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Janetha August 31, 2014 at 10:44 am

Hi! Sorry for the late reply.. I had my baby haha. It is from Land of Nod!! Best of luck to you, it’s the bessst having a baby. xoxoxo

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Bing.com September 19, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to
give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your articles.
Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?
Thank you so much!

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