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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hospital Bag Necessities

The moment I found out I was pregnant of course I started planning every moment including what I would wear to and from the hospital, which outfit Penelope would wear home, what Devon could wear as I delivered so I could have good pics lol - I was crazy. But the one thing that I kept googling over and over and I kept asking myself, "What do I really need to bring in my hospital bag???" And every single person would either say nothing or list a boatload of stuff and it got frustrating and, as usual, I over packed. WAY over packed. I had TWO suitcases. In my defense, it was the end of March and in true march fashion in Virginia, it is warm one day and freezing the next and the day I delivered it was a warm 75° outside and the day we came home from the hospital it was in the 30's!!! We FROZE! But I came prepared for any and all weather, believe that.

Whenever we decide to try for baby #2, I won't make the same mistakes twice.. I guess I thought I was going to give birth in the woods out in the middle of no where because I literally brought everything that OF COURSE a hospital would have... Learn from my craziness.. I promise you'll be glad you did! 

Things TO bring:

-Comfy Clothes
Because I promise you that leggings WILL NOT be okay. Whether you have a natural birth or a c section, the pants are TIGHT and you'll be wearing a pad so damn big that that you will LAUGH like I did when I picked them out of my bag to get dressed on the first night after delivery. Big, loose sweatpants are going to be your BFF. BRING EM' - and an over size sweat shirt/shirt because whether you like it or not, you WILL still have a belly right after you deliver, regardless of how that baby pops out. It's part of the process and there's no shame, just bring clothes to be comfortable in, seriouslyyyyy that's all that will matter. I am type-A when it comes to going out and looking decent and I have never looked back ONCE and wished I had worn something different. I wore black drawstring pants, a black tanktop and a black robe over it all. 

-A Robe
Bring one! It covers your butt from the big pad you have to wear and it shields your boobs that are exposed 98% of the time, especially since you're breastfeeding a newborn. It comes in handy when you have guests that arrive as well and I will be bringing mine next time FOR. SURE. 

-Toothbrush
Because my electric toothbrush doesn't compare to a regular toothbrush in the slightest.

-Shampoo and Conditioner 
I'm picky about my shampoo and conditioner and the ones they offer are cool but I'd prefer my own.

-Underwear
And when I say underwear, I strictly mean granny panties or boy shorts. The next time you'll wear anything else will be anywhere from 4-6weeks. It sucks but i promise you're so wrapped up in your newborn that you could careless. Those 6 weeks after birth seemed soooo long ago now :( 

-Your Breast Pump
If your goal is to breastfeed, bring your pump!! Even if you don't plan on using it for awhile, make sure the lactation consultant shows you the proper way to use your pump and to ensure it's working properly. Obviously I had never used one before so having her show me was super helpful. My next go-round I'll start pumping right away tho.. Some women don't need to but I feel like I need that extra push to get my milk to come in so I'll bring mine and start pumping as soon as baby #2 arrives.

-Not breastfeeding? Bring bottles!
Nothing is harder than having a baby with nipple confusion/preference!!!! Especially with a bottle that's hard to find like the ones that the hospital would offer. I'd personally start with one that feels like the breast such as Tommee Tippee or the LATCH bottles made by Munchkin.
Although some babies prefer Medela bottles.. That's something you'll have to figure out along the way but thankfully, you'll figure it out FAST. Which brings me to my next point: Put tons of different bottle brands on your registry ;) Even if baby #1 doesn't use them, baby #2 could LOVE them! 

SNACKS!!!!
This one is so important because the moment they determine you're in labor, don't expect to eat anything other than ice chips or a Popsicle. The last time I ate  the night before my water broke was around 4:30PM. I didn't eat dinner that night and my water broke around 11:45PM and since it was my first experience with it, I wasn't 100% sure I was in labor because there were no contractions at all so I figured we'd go to the hospital to and "just see" what they would say and after that, I would get something to eat; WRONG. They watch you like a hawk and I was way too excited to even think about food so after 18hrs of labor and OVER 24hrs of not eating, I. Was. Starving! Big mistake because on top of just delivering a baby, I was left with the absolute WORST stomach ache of my life after I finally got some food. Next time, I WILL sneak some snacks for myself before I do that again. You can also buy them in the hospital but make sure you take time and eat them. Don't wait it out like I did because that's the last thing you wanna deal with after all your body has been through.


For the baby(s):

-Boppy 
Even tho we only used ours for like a week after she was born, some babies/mamas love it and some don't see the hype.. That was Penelope. We pretty much tossed it after we got home from the hospital and never looked back. I will still bring it to the hospital every time I deliver because some babies enjoy being laid/propped up in it and It's worth the extra baggage for the "just in case" moment.

-Clothes
Bring cute clothes and be sure to buy one preemie outfit!!!!! Bring one 0-3m, and another 3-6m. Make sure all outfits have socks and hats! Newborns need both and you'll be glad you have all 3 sizes to put on your new boo. Penelope came out with feet so tiny and ankles so small that she had to wear preemie socks for the first month of her life, along with a preemie outfit, all of which she fit into for about 3 days but during those 3 days, the tiny newborn outfit SWALLOWED her! I'm glad we brought them. And make sure you bring long sleeves and pants for the little one because hospitals can get freezing cold and babies can't control their body heat like we can so if you aren't prepared, expect a screaming fit from your newborn.

What you WON'T need:
-Pads
The hospital will provide you with everything you'll need for about the first 3 weeks! I received a care package right after delivery that lasted me for about that long! Even if your hospital doesn't offer those packages after birth, make sure you ask them to bring you supply after supply, after all, nurses will be in and out of your room just about every 2 hours for the remainder of your stay anyways so don't hesitate to ask them to load your stock up... Those mattress pads they give you are necessary after birth for a few days so you want to make sure you get enough to last you.

Diapers
Even tho we only use natural/organic diapers for P now, I still used the crap out of the diapers the hospital offers! They usually are the Pampers Swaddlers and they leave you with a ton of packs laying around, so make sure you grab em' up. It saved us a few times because with your first, you have no idea how often you'll go through packages of diapers and since we have to order Penelope's from Honest, having these spare packs around while we got used to how often we needed to buy diapers, was a huge lifesaver, especially right after delivery and you don't want to leave the baby for a second just to run to the store. P also stayed in Newborn diapers until 2 months old, which usually doesn't happen so I was completely unprepared as I had only bought maybe one or two packs of newborn size diapers because typically they grow out of them so quickly and that wasn't the case with us so I'm glad we had backups! (I didn't put newborn diapers on my registry either because that's how much I had heard that newborns wear NB diapers for next to no time!)




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