Last week I posted the first part of what to bring to the hospital: the Birth Plan and your Wardrobe, and this week is everything else I found helpful to bring to the hospital when having a baby.
• ID/Documentation. Yep, this is the ugly part, but it's better to have this at the ready in a folder when you arrive at the hospital. Even if you've pre-registered, be sure to bring your ID, insurance card, and hospital registration forms, if applicable.
• PILLOW. I seriously cannot stress this one enough. The hospital ones do nothing to make you comfortable, and BOTH hubby and I are bringing the fancy pillows we splurged on when we finally bought a new mattress this year.* Put your pillow in a brightly colored pillowcase so it doesn't get mixed up with the hospital linens.
*Buying a new mattress this year has since made sleeping anywhere else absolutely crappy in comparison, including the most cush of hotel beds. The new mattress has also negated the use of those ginormous pregnancy pillows, so it's been a total win-win.
• Toiletries for you AND your partner.Depending on how long you'll be in the hospital, you might get a chance to bathe. Your partner won't want to leave to go home to take a shower, so be sure to bring the essential toiletries for both of you: shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair ties/bands, etc. Oh, and don't forget to have your partner bring a few changes of clothes themselves.
• Cell Phones/Chargers. For staying connected and keeping family in the loop. Don't be afraid to post an announcement via text or social media telling friends and family that you're in the hospital, and you'll make another announcement online once baby is born and everyone has been examined and settled...they should take it as a hint to leave you alone until you're ready! If people continue pestering, don't hesitate turning off notifications or your device altogether!
• Some source of entertainment to pass the time. Whether it's a laptop with DVDs, a tablet, book, or even a deck of cards, it'll help to pass the time as your body gets closer and closer to active labor.
• Snacks for you, snacks for your partner/coins and cash. We brought a few packs of popsicles to the hospital, and OMG, I am so glad we did! The staff had me on a liquid diet for two days and those popsicles were my saving grace. If I had only had apple juice, chicken broth, and ice chips for that long, it would not have been pretty. Be sure to bring some protein-packed snacks for your partner, too, as they may not get a chance to run down to the hospital's eating quarters, or when they get a moment, the cafeteria might be closed for the evening. Bring some coins and cash as well to hit up any vending machines the hospital may have.
• Nursing supplies. They say it's best to attempt to nurse within the first hour of birth (and yes, it can be done if you have a C-section!), so be sure to pack a nursing pillow (my personal fave is the Boppy, which I happen to make slipcovers for!).
• Camera, battery, memory card. Essential for capturing those first little moments once baby is now officially an Outside Baby! Sure, your phone will suffice but if you've got a DSLR, this is definitely the time to bust it out.
YAY! You have an Outside Baby! Hope your birth was a smooth and pleasant one (well, as pleasant as it can be).
And now, what to bring for baby:
• For Baby:
• Baby Book: Be sure to ask if the hospital staff can stamp your baby book with your newborn's footprints as they prepare the birth certificate.
• Baby Nail File: You might want to file down baby's nails so your newborn doesn't end up scratching up his face right before his photo shoot.
• Homecoming Outfit: You know that outfit you searched high and low for, and when you found it, you couldn't wait to take it home, wash it, and put it in the hospital bag? Your little one will look so darling now that you can use it.
• Extra Bag: Your room might be equipped with diapers, wipes, blankets, and yes, those oh-so attractive mesh undies--take them! An extra bag will help pack the extra goodies you receive from well-wishers, too.
• Installed and Inspected Carseat: There are SO many resources available to educate new parents on the proper installation of their carseat, so please, please use them. This is such a hot-button issue that many parents and caregivers become prideful and private about; it is so vital to ensure you're doing it correctly. There are a plethora of carseats and vehicles, which make proper installation that much more difficult. Get your seat checked before you end up at the hospital. You'll feel SO much better on the most nerve-wracking drive home of your life!
Anything I forgot? 'Ol Pregnancy Brain is making me check and re-check this list, but if there's something you absolutely had to bring, and it was worth it, be sure to comment below!