Like many soon-to-be first time moms, I researched everything before my little Elliott arrived. Which stroller on the market moved like butter with the push of one finger? Which car seat was 1000x safer than the next? Which nursing bra provided some nice oomph and support, but also easy access anywhere and at any time? And you better believe I read up on every check list that’s ever been published (okay, slight exaggeration) about what to pack in your hospital bag. Oh, rest assured – I was going to a pro at this new mom thing (ha! I was a little delusional. I blame the lack of sleep).
So when it actually came to packing for the big day, I got out my super cute expandable weekend bag and stuffed it to the brim. I needed all of the comforts. Robe – check. Pillows – check. And of course I needed things to do to pass the time, so I stocked up on good ol’ gossip mags. Looking back, I completely went overboard. If you’re delivering in Calgary (I delivered at the Foothills hospital, but I’m going to assume all of the city hospitals are similar), you’re not going to need much. Here’s my short and sweet checklist on what to definitely pack in your hospital bag:
- Throwaway slippers (you don’t want to bring those bad boys home)
- Pajamas. I bought a night shirt with a v-neck so I had easy access for babe’s feeding. I just whipped those suckers out!
- Phone charger. You’ll be taking a zillion photos of your newest arrival, and you don’t want to run out of juice!
- Something comfortable to wear home. I gave birth in August, so I wore a maxi dress home. Super cozy sweatpants would be great for cooler weather.
- Something for your newborn to wear home. I brought a super cute outfit, but of course it was way too big. A nice sleeper is really where it’s at.
- The car seat (obviously), but don’t bring it in until you’re being discharged. And learn how to use that sucker! We didn’t, and it was super stressful trying to leave as the hospital staff are not allowed to help due to liability reasons.
So, that’s pretty much it. You really don’t need to pack everything.. The hospital will supply you with items like mesh underwear (um, so amazing), pain killers, stool softeners, nipple balm, newborn diapers and diaper rash cream. You also don’t need to bring those “luxury” items like your breast feeding pillow (they’re huge!), pillows for yourself (I really just wanted to burn everything that I brought due to being a minor germophobe) or plush robes – you’re really only going to be there for 24-48 hours and trucking all of that stuff in & out is no bueno. Oh, and those gossip magazines that I mentioned earlier? I didn’t read a single page out of one of them. When I had a moment to myself, I just wanted to sleep!
But there is one item I would bring next time – a large water bottle. No one ever told me (and it didn’t come up in my research), but breastfeeding makes you incredibly thirsty, and those little white Styrofoam cups that the hospitals provide will not do you any favours.
Do you think that this list is too bare bones? I’d love to hear your absolute must-haves!