Thursday, April 10, 2014

Top 10: Hospital Bag Edition

Worried about what to pack when you head to the hospital?  Some couples bring absolutely everything and later realize 90% of the items were never touched.  We each thought of five must-have items we found necessary during our hospital stay.  We didn't include a few essential items since we figured they were pretty obvious, but just to make sure we cover it all:  Don't forget your phone, phone charger, camera, and "coming home" outfits for the twins...  

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1. Comfy Pants. First and foremost- bring something that you know is the most comfortable thing in your closet.  For me, it was my Gap drawstring pants and pure body tanks (both maternity).  Not too constricting, and easy to move around in after delivery.  I ended up bringing several pair of comfy pants, along with tank tops and flowy cardigans.  These essentials were easy for layering everything in case I got cold.  Hormones were still raging at this point, so I brought enough options for my five day stay (post c-section).

2. Cotton Underwear (2 sizes two big). Ladies!  This is no time to pack a thong or something "cute."  In the hospital they will give you gigantic pads to wear, so naturally you'll need gigantic undies to go with them.  I also liked being able to toss them in the trash every day when I was done, so I bought super cheap ones from Target.    

3. Big Mirror.  Jordan bought me one of these mirrors when I went on bed rest.  I loved that I decided to bring this along so that I was able to freshen up/put on my makeup while sitting in bed.  The bathroom in a typical hospital room is small and the mirror isn't low enough for you to sit to "get ready."  I also brought the pure basics when it came to makeup, face wash, toothpaste/toothbrush.  

4. Hair Wrap for hiding dirty hair.  It was day three before I felt up to standing in the shower to wash my hair and clean up.  Having a hair wrap to hide my dirty hair made it easy to seem put together when guests came to visit.   

5. Hand Sanitizer - For you and your guests.  I threw this in my bag on a last minute whim and ended up going through an entire bottle in five days.  

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1. A cozy cardigan is essential while you're at the hospital.  Whether you're breastfeeding or not,  crazy hormones will most likely cause hot flashes so it's nice to have something you can easily remove.  Bring cardigans that are loose-fitting and wrap around you.  Leave the snug ones with buttons at home.  Actually, leave anything that could be classified as "snug" at home.

2. The Undercover Mama nursing tank is a strapless tank top that attaches to your preferred nursing bra. When it's time to nurse, all you do is detach your nursing bra flap and the tank top comes down with it. I never felt nursing tanks alone offered enough support but I still wanted an extra layer under my tops to prevent everyone from seeing my stomach as I nursed.  The tanks are also LONG and do not ride up.  

3. It's time to go home from the hospital!  Everyone is taking pictures and you're still in pajama pants.  Bring a maxi dress to wear home--a black maxi dress is even better.  It looks great but is so comfortable and doesn't hurt your incision or other sensitive areas.  Delivering in the fall/winter?  Wear your cozy cardigan over the maxi dress.  See? I've got you covered.  :)

4. The Life is Good Low Cut Snuggle Socks are amazing--not too warm, so soft, and very durable.  My feet were pretty swollen after my c-section so I did not wear these as much as I would've liked.  However, I packed all of them.  In case you can't tell, comfort is key while you're at the hospital.

5. I wish I would've brought our own towels.  The ones provided were fine.... but they weren't our towels.  And when you're staying in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar bathroom, there is something so nice about having something familiar.  I won't lie: There is a chance they will never look the same again.  So if your towels are really expensive, discontinued, etc., maybe skip this one.  Otherwise? Bring 'em.

Honorable Mentions:
Ipod Dock to play your favorite tunes
My Brestfriend Nursing Pillow
Pillows & extra blanket - for your partner's window seat/bed :) 
Baby Hats

Items we thought we'd need but ended up getting/using from the hospital: 
Breast pump
Breastfeeding accessories (latch assists, nipple guards, etc.)
Bottles (for supplementing if needed)
Swaddle blankets (Amber's hospital used the HALO brand zipper and wrap swaddle blankets)
Onesies/outfits (Neither of us changed the twins out of what the hospital provided until the day we went home.  They were always swaddled except for diaper changes or baths.)
Feminine products
Water cup
Belly band (If you have a c-section, make sure your hospital provides you with this!)

What were your must-haves at the hospital?

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  1. Great lists! Especially the hair wraps...a MUST for the days after c-section but before you can hit the shower. My husband was a genius and found an attachment for the iPad where we could connect our memory card from our camera. Since our babies were in the NICU for 5 weeks this allowed our visitors to see the babies (we only took our parents and siblings into the NICU) without us having to awkwardly tell them they weren't allowed in the NICU. We were shocked how many people actually thought they would be able to visit the babies in the NICU! And I think everyone enjoyed scrolling through the hundreds of pictures we took.

  2. Great lists! I wish I had brought my own swaddle blankets for my girls.