Hello to all my Expectant Parents! As you already may know, I currently have several people I know who are all expecting. I sent them many things on this list wanted to share with you too. This list consists of things that I didn’t know before and much of what I learned about what to pack for the Go Bag for the Hospital Trip after having 3 kids back to back. I hope you find this helpful!
Decent Sized Bag
We have the expandable Longchamp bag-it was a wedding gift from hubby to me to hold everything you’ll bring home. I think a duffel or even backpack would work well too.
Change of Clothes
Breastfeeding friendly shirt, if you plan on breastfeeding, for you to go home in; and a t-shirt for hubby in case things get messy during delivery or diaper change. Possibly a sweater in case you get cold with zipper or button front ( The easier to take off/ breastfeed, the better).
Comfortable bra ( you will be feeding baby often as you learn and practice latching the baby on and feeding her/him.)
Comfortable pants and appropriate underwear
You might not want tight pants- stretchy is good. You’re not sure how you will feel after or how you end up delivering the baby, until after you do it. Comfortable/ stretchy enough underwear and pants that is large enough to be comfy around stomach, chest and enough to fit and adult diaper( the contraption used post delivery is essentially an adult diaper indeed).
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Not sure if every hospital provides this.
Diaper bag or backpack
Keep important documents, baby swaddle, pacifier and all things you want close to you to meme it more easily accessible than searching through the duffle bag with clothes, possibly flowers , swaddles and other things you may be bringing home from the hospital.
Car seat (hopefully already installed)
I believe the fire station will check your car seat to see if it was installed properly. We had the car seat that went with the Britax B-Agile Stroller that we love and still have.
Car seat’s head and body support
This is so important. When we had Olivia, we had the Britax Car Seat, which was said to be for newborn and up. Though the baby fit snuggly in it, she couldn’t hold her head up and the hospital didn’t allow us to leave with her until they rolled up a swaddle to use it to hold up around her head (see photo above). Later on, we went ahead to buy the Britax Head and Body Support that needed to be purchased separately.
I’ve used Medela’s Lanolin and personally preferred it over Lasinoh. This was a must when breastfeeding! It wasn’t until I have had my second child and spoke to many other moms, that I learned about the pain that comes with breastfeeding. I don’t recall the pain lasting more than a week, so try your vest to see if you can bear with it for the week. Remember,”This too, shall pass.” I’ve read about it being a beautiful experience and great bonding, but I do t recall reading or hearing from anyone, the pain that first week. One hospital I stayed at had it, but the sample tube was so ridiculously small and almost impossible to squeeze out.
This was totally unexpected, but I assume you would only really need it if you were the leaking type. I was the leaking type. The minute the baby fed on one side of the breast, my other side leaked. It always leaked no matter which side you did first. I soaked my hospital gown the first time because I didn’t have any of the breastfeeding pads and I had to try to hide the wet spots when visitors came. After the first baby I always, ALWAYS brought a few to me in my hospital go bag. I had other friends who didn’t mean at all. If you turn out to be the leaking type, get Milkies, pretty much a silicone looking cup with a hole for your nipple to catch your leaking milk. You have no idea what a genius invention this was! You can read more about Milkies in this post. At night time, I would leak when I slept at times too, so they came in handy then too. I’m all for eco- friendly, but I’m all about being realistic and staying sane! Not sure how one would be able to keep track of all the washable nipple pads or have time to wash and sort then out, especially in earlier months. My favorite were the Lasinoh Nipple pads because they felt more cloth like, and were more absorbent than Medela ones that I also tried.
I leave the hand sanitizer on the side table for visitors when they came to visit and for myself. We love the EO Hand Sanitizer because it doesn’t dry out your hands, smells great and they are made from essential oils.
Car seat/ Stroller Footmuff (for winter babies)
Both Olivia and Esme were born in the winter, so we knew when we had Esme what we would need. Olivia was our first baby and she came home in a coat grandma had purchased for her. The coat was beautiful and seemed to be of great quality, but the material was a little stiff and not as flexible, as other coats. Our favorite coats for babies and children are from Patagonia. We never bought a winter bundler from them, it we do have 2 winter coats that are lasting and holding up even repeated use for the past 4-5 years. We just couldn’t buckle her in, so ended up putting her in a fleece set and covered amber with a blanket. Make sure that the coat baby comes home with is easy to squish. If it doesn’t budge much, it will be more difficult to buckle the baby. The footmuff and fleece had been the way to go for us.
Fleece/cotton bundler (for winter baby)
Since we had the footmuff, we only had to put our winter babies in a fleece or thick cotton bundler to buckle them in when they were coming home from the hospital; we have since used it to/from anywhere since we discovered this. We are huge fans do everything Hatley makes! Their equality and design are pretty much flawless. They were warm and much easier to tuck into the car seat. I’ve read somewhere that it wasn’t safe to put baby or child in a coat in a car seat anyway because often, the coat is so bulky the baby doesn’t get properly buckled in.
Some hospitals may have pacifiers handy, but not all. I always brought my own because I sterilized them before bringing them. It could help to have a pacifier cleaner spray or wipes. I never used those wipes or sprays then because I never heard about them until later when I had the other two.
Sterilized baby bottles
This is just in case you want to pump some milk into a bottle for the baby on the way home (especially if you live far from the hospital or don’t know when you would be able to stop over and feed). We’ve used both Dr. Browns and Medela, but Medela was hands down the best for being easiest to clean, being lightweight and doesn’t seem to make the baby take in too much air bubbles. Let’s just say I’ve experienced having to breastfeed a baby, who is strapped onto her car seat, while the car is in motion!
Yes, the hospital has the ones that wrap perfectly around the baby, but I would bring a larger one, such as the ones from Aden and Anais. They are large enough to use to a cover up for breastfeeding. They can be tied to the car seat if it is windy out and they can be used to swaddle too!
Newspaper the Day (of the day that baby was born)
This was a tip from a hospital that I took a class from. If you get to purchase a newspaper in the baby the baby was born, it makes for kind of a cool momento. We tried to do it with our first baby, but she was born on New Years Day and my husband has trouble finding the newspaper for that day. After that, we have forgotten to try to even do it for the other two. However, if you’re up for it, go for it!
You’ll probably be exhausted, but still want to take a billion photos of your baby! People may be calling you, texting you to congratulate you and your battery may get used up quickly.
Prepare it perhaps 1-2 weeks before your due date! And, remember to wash, dry, store in fridge and take it out just before using– be sure to pop the veins of the green cabbage to be effective). I wore this as an insert, under my bra and it helped so much cooling it down and releasing some of the breastmilk so gently and naturally; it was heaven sent. I’ve read about this Old Wives tale when I was dealing with engorgement and was determined to find a way to relieve it . My breasts became so full, hot to the touch and hard when my breastmilk finally came in. I did this for every baby and it is a must have that I recommend all parents that are planning to breastfeeds. My best friend recently had her baby and she says that it worked, but her mid wife informed her it could possibly inhibit breastmilk supply. However , she did mention that if she were to go through this again, she would mostly likely use the green cabbage anyway because she didn’t notice a decrease in milk supply. As always, ask your doctor first! Everyone is different. I just wanted to share my personal experience and now, my friends’.
Things to Note:
Some insurance companies ask you to call them on the way to the hospital. Call and ask ahead of time their requirements. They may also go over the duration of stay they will cover.
Underwear and Pads
The stretchy underwear and padding that you are given, ask for a few sets more to take home! You will be so glad you did. They are meant to be disposable. I love that they are breathable too and not tight in your crotch or stomach areas. You want those areas to breathe, as much as you want everything to be contained!
Ask for a lactation consultant at the hospital because lots of time, they are available and can help give you some one on one and breastfeeding tips, along with positions to try. If you need a shield for some reason, they will sometimes be able to provide them. If you need to pump, you can ask if they have an electronic machine.
Some (not all –from my experience at least) hospitals may have formula samples and they can give you some if you ask.
Don’t be shy to ask for extra onesies or swaddles if your baby needs it. The hospital ones are great because they’re super soft and have the side bottom snaps. I remember having to put on a shirt over a newborns head! Why aren’t all baby shirts side snap or tie closure for newborns? I was able to bring some of those onesies home from all the hospitals I birthed from.
It’s been over 6 years now, but one of the hospitals, gave us one, along with bottles to take home. I was gifted one at a baby shower too. These are awesome to take along if you plan to pump and store/freeze breastmilk or working on building up your supply, while out and about, or for if you go back to work . We had the Medela Hand pump and loved it enough not to test out others.
These are the things I could think of from the top of my head. Anything you think should make this list too? If you find this list helpful, please pin and forward to someone who would also find it helpful.
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