Rewind your mind to the last time you were hospital bound to pop out a kid. You arrive @ labor & delivery, then let out a little #@%! because you forgot to bring/wish you brought ____________ in your hospital bag.
I've seen lists upon lists of what one SHOULD pack but I want to know what you DIDN'T pack & truly wish you had. As you fill me in via comments below, I will update this post itself with a list I'm going to use to get own little bag packed. For a girl who loves traveling, have always sucked at packing. But something tells me I'm going to want to get THIS right. In the mean time, like the psychic "What to Expect" is, I got this link in my email box. Why not review this list too & tell me which things on you feel are superfluous? Thanks, loveys! Have at it.
- Pen and pad, for taking notes, or the What to Expect Pregnancy Organizer
- Your birth plan (several copies, so all staff, on all shifts, can get one)
- Stopwatch to time contractions
- Massage oils or lotions
- Your favorite pillow
- If you have long hair, a clip or scrunchie to keep it out of your face
- Sugarless candies or lollipops to keep your mouth moist
- A tennis ball or plastic rolling pin — both make excellent backrub tools — or an actual massager
- Snacks for during labor (your own snacks will be limited, and must be approved by your practitioner; your partner should pack sandwiches and nutritious nibbles so he doesn't have to leave your side to find something to eat)
- Diversions for a long labor: music, puzzles, magazines, books, a deck of cards, laptop, handheld electronic games
- Any mementos you'll want with you, such as family photos
- Your Who to Call list, and a prepaid phone card or calling card (be forewarned: Most hospitals don't allow cell phones)
- Camera and/or video camera — even if you don't want to capture your labor and delivery experience, you'll definitely want to capture your baby on film, and someone in the room will be happy to take your first family portrait
- A small basket of goodies for the staff to give along with the birth plan
- A baby care book, like What to Expect the First Year (if you want to lug it and think you'll have a chance to look at it)
- A baby book for recording everything (ditto)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash
- Hairbrush and comb
- All your essential toiletry items (don't forget moisturizer)
- Extra absorbent maxi-pads (the hospital will provide some, but you might want to use the brand you're most comfortable with)
- Snacks for after delivery — don't count on the hospital or birthing center to provide them in the middle of the night
- Champagne or sparkling cider to celebrate with
- Shower gel, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, and whatever else it takes to make you feel human again after delivery
- Extra pairs of underwear suitable for wearing with maxi-pads (no thongs, in other words) and a nursing bra
- Nightgown or pj's, socks, and slippers
- Comfortable outfit to head home in (remember you'll still look six months pregnant, so plan accordingly)
- Going-home outfit for baby (don't forget socks or booties and a receiving blanket, plus extra layers if it's cold). Bring along a few diapers, although the hospital will probably provide them.
- Rear-facing infant car seat. This won't go in the suitcase with you, of course, but when it comes time to take your newborn home, your partner should know how to find it quickly and install it correctly. Better still, install it in advance so you're ready to roll (after you're both checked out by the hospital staff).