Alright, Mama, you've done the morning sickness (ha, if only it were just then), the insomnia, the anxiety of getting through the first 12 weeks, lamaze class, you've read everything there is on breastfeeding, it's down to the wire. Time to pack those bags..but what the hell do you put in there!?!
It can feel overwhelming! Especially for those first time mom's out there. Honestly, just tell him to pack the whole house, who the hell even knows what you'll need, right? Well, let this mama of four tip you off to some must-haves to keep your bag light and keep you comfortable!
Packed Toiletries Bag
Guys, although this will probably be more expensive than your honeymoon, the amenities aren't quite as nice. Don't get me wrong, your nurses and aides will take great care of you, no doubt, but truth be told, hospitals aren't equipped with much more than a toothbrush, toothpaste, and all-in-one hair and body wash. I'm telling you, that first shower after birth makes you feel like a whole new woman. You're a queen. You either just pushed a human out of you or had it cut out - you need the good stuff! If ever you needed an excuse to go to Target, this is the best one. Go through the travel size body wash and hair care aisle, and stock up! Mine had all the goods. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, eye makeup remover, tinted moisturizer (because, homegirl, you won't have time for makeup for a few weeks), deodorant, I even packed extra hair ties and bobby pins. One thing I forgot that my hubby had to go home for was my hair brush, don't forget to put a small one in this bag!
At some point after delivery, you're going to want to get out of that room. Moving around and resuming activity as soon as you can is so important to prevent complications, especially for my fellow c-section mom's out there! Walking decreases your risk for post surgical blood clots. Your nurse is going to push you to do it regularly (trust me I am one) and did I mention, it is so important for you! Plus, hanging out in the dingy hospital gown is a downer, you're going to want to have something cute to cruise the halls in, and there's a sense of normalcy that you get putting on your own clothes again. Extra little bonus, it will make all the pictures everyone is taking of you and the new babe that much cuter! If you REALLY want to put on for the camera, Milkmaid Goods offers a matching robe and swaddle set in so many different prints - I did the buffalo plaid with this last little guy!
Another item you're going to want for all those walks we just talked about, comfy footwear! These will even come in handy walking around the room. Something about bare feet on hospital floors just feels gross. Sure they clean and sanitize the rooms, but if you've ever seen the things that can happen in a hospital room, and the array of bodily fluids that have made it to that floor, you'll want some shoes! Easy slip on and off is key, you don't want to bend over or mess around with laces and shoes that are a struggle to pull on, you will still be a little swollen.
I know, this seems like a given and ridiculous all at once, but it's 2018. The hospital isn't going to have one for you, and everyone you know is going to be texting you to check in and ask for pictures (while we're talking about it, don't feel like you need to answer these as they come in, or even at all. All that matters is you spending time with your new baby. It took me days to get back to some people). Plus you'll be taking all the pictures of the most beautiful human ever made, and you'll need a good charge for that app that helps track all your feeds and diaper changes.
Comfy Pants & Nursing Tanks
This is obvious, you're going to want to feel comfortable and like yourself. Things fit a little different right after kids, so loose fitting, comfortable clothes are basically your wardrobe, for, like, at least a month. In fact, for so long that when you actually put on jeans, you're like "OMG. WORK. IT. GIRL." While you're packing, make sure to put in a couple of tops and bottoms, although this doesn't make motherhood seem glamorous, you will for sure leak through both and need a replacement. I would even bring along some nursing pads to help with leaking through your tops. You can get the Lansinoh ones on that trip to Target for toiletries!
Everyone gave me shit about this, like I was being prissy for packing a nice, fuzzy blanket of my own for such a short stay, but let me tell you, it was one of my best decisions for my bag. Not only was it softer and warmer to cozy up with after having paper blankets and over-starched, crunchy sheets all over me, but I got to snuggle up my little man in it. Now I will always have that blanket with us at home. Our first snuggles, feeding, nap, all of those were had with this blanket from home, and that is something you won't get with hospital linens.
Now, if you're anything like me, you're also super stoked to pack the diaper bag with a whole bunch of goodies for them too! Truth be told, you need almost nothing for them while you're at the hospital. You'll be supplied with all the diapers and wipes you need, and a few white tops for your babe, but outside of a going home outfit (if you choose to do that, in which case I suggest packing them with whatever hat or bow in a marked ziploc so Daddy can help and knows exactly what he needs to put on them), there's no real need to pack them their own bag...unless that's your jam, too. Personally, I fully packed the diaper bag, plus, added a couple swaddles, knotted hats, and sleepers for my last little man! Totally over-packed for him, everyone knew it, but he was the best dressed baby up there, all my nurses told me so!
I know, I completely focused on what you need, but if I didn't, neither would you. You're all about that new babe, and I am all about making sure you don't forget yourself!
Snuggle them up, mama! The days are long, but the years are short!
*Bag pictured is our Itzy Ritzy Boss Diaper Bag
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