There's nothing like false labor to get a girl a-packin' her hospital bag, so this weekend when I got home from said hospital with the assurance I still had a couple days if not more until I meet my new baby, I got out my carry-on and packed like a whirling dervish. My last delivery (at 37 weeks, less than where I am now in my pregnancy), I was entirely unprepared and had to send my husband back for a few things so at least now, I know what I need and what I won't. With the hope that you'll benefit from the wisdom unto which I stumbled during my first go, here are the contents of my hospital bag this time around. Get ready for a surprising lack of glamour.
Everything for my husband, me, and my son-to-be fits in my favourite Burton carry-on; not only is it compact but its split-level design means that one zipped side is mine and the other will hold the boys' stuff. The front pocket is anyone's game. Here's the must-haves that make up my side:
- A nursing bra.
- Monat The Champ dry shampoo in case I go into labour with day five hair. Some people may just pack a ponytail holder but I'm committed to having my hair down for this event!
- A toothbrush and toothpaste.
- A nursing nightgown to wear after the after-delivery shower.
- BB cream, which I'll want this at some point to look like I've slept a wink or two.
- Monat Rejuvenique Oil for my skin, hair, whatever. Hospitals are notoriously dry.
- Face wipes (usually not my jam but in the event I can't walk to a sink, I'm not sleeping in BB cream!)
- A pair of undies, not to wear after delivery (because if you don't know the magic of the mesh granny-panties provided at the hospital, let me be the friend to tell you: help yourself to a few extra pairs) but rather, to wear in case of a long labour where I'm still happy wearing my own stuff.
- Washable slippers (these fave wool ones were made by my sister-in-law, Michelle).
- Comfy sweats that take my nightgown to shirt-town. And, just in case of an emergency C-section, they'd be my wear-home pants.
- Jeans for when I'm homeward-bound. Maternity jeans, that is. If no one's told you it takes time for your uterus to contract: eep, yeah, you're probably going to still look a few months pregnant for a bitsy which means you'll want easy-on pants.
- A nursing top to wear home.
- A magazine.
- An extra charger.
On the boys' side, it doesn't seem like my husband packed much. And where's his deodorant? A change of clothes, some slip-on shoes since he'll likely be wearing hikers that have more lacing hooks than a pair of skates, and that's pretty much all he needs, I guess.
I put these things on his side, too: a magazine and a bluetooth speaker because he'll be my DJ in Delivery. Music is EVERYTHING when it comes to my happiness so I'm counting on him to read the room. (When in doubt, I'll take The Beatles.)
And my favourite things to pack:
- A wear-home outfit for my new little boy.
- A carseat-friendly bunting suit to wear overtop.
- Two caps: one for hospital wear and one for winter weather.
- Muslin blankets in which to wrap him for visitors to hold, swaddle to sleep if that's his thing, or tuck around his legs in the car seat.
Not pictured are a couple of bananas I plan on grabbing from the fruit bowl as we fly out the door. I had my husband grab a lot of snack food from home last time before I found out vegetarian hospital food is a-okay. Even if you're not veggie, I recommend opting in for your stay.
And that's it! No robe because I'm happy to deliver in a plain cotton number I'll never see again, no birth plan binder because my doctor's around (phew!), no diapers because meconium in cloth diapers is not my scene and the hospital has plenty of tiny disposables, and no makeup kit since Rejuvenique Oil, hospital Vaseline, or whatever gloss I find in my jacket will suit my lips fine. Possibly, I'll get sentimental and pick up a journal to scribble in for my new son but as it looks now, my list is pretty complete. Although, now that you've peeked inside, if I'm missing any essentials from my hospital bag, I trust you to give me a nudge before it's too late!