pregnancyAnd my knowledge is your gain, my friends. I’m going to give you the shortest class ever of everything you need to know to prepare yourself that time when your water breaks.

Pack Your Hospital Bag

There are tons of lists around the internet that speak to what you should pack in your hospital bag. And I’m going to tell you something crazy: you probably don’t need a lot of the stuff those “lists” tell you to bring. Because your hospital is going to have most of your actual birthing needs under control, let’s talk about what you should really be prepared to pack:

For You:

  • Comfy pants: you guys, I can’t stress this enough. Bring one pair more than youthink you will need. And make sure they’re black. Because no matter what kind of birth you have, you won’t be losing all of the baby weight overnight. And you WILL be bleeding. So skip the undies (your hospital should have giant, super unattractive mesh ones you can wear instead) and load up on the jammy pants, my friends. You will need them.
  • A sweatshirt: In all likelihood, you’re not going to want to change a million times when you’re in the hospital (unless of course, your pants get bloody. Sorry, TMI but reality), so you’ll likely only need one. The temperature can change a million times when you’re in the hospital, so it’s nice to have something warm in your bag – even if it’s 97 degrees outside. Oh, and skip the robe. Unless you already own one, investing in a black robe that you’ll wear once is a waste.
  • Stretchy headbands (and extra ponytail binders): After you have baby, you are going to be exhausted. You will likely not want to shower. And if you’re like me, you just want your damn hair out of your face so that you can catch a thirty minute nap every now and again. So pack yourself some elastic headbands – they’re great for covering up your greasy hair, keeping it out of your face while you’re laboring and helping you forget that you haven’t actually styled your hair since thirteen days before you gave birth.
  • Warm socks: Hospital socks kind of creep me out. So that might be a personal preference.
  • Sports or nursing bras: I don’t think we need details here.
  • Tank tops that aren’t low cut: Ladies, if you’ve never had a child before, let me explain what happens when your milk comes in. You know how big your boobs are during pregnancy? THEY WILL TRIPLE IN SIZE. If you’re planning on having visitors, make sure you bring some nice, high cut tanks with. Trust me here.
  • Something to wear home: Actually, I would just wear whatever you wear to the hospital. It’ll save you some time and valuable packing space!
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste: Yeah, you’re going to want to brush your teeth. A lot. Trust me.
  • Cell phone charger: If you’re afraid you’ll forget it when leaving for the hospital, buy an extra one to shove in your bag. Trust me, this is one situation you want a fully charged phone for.
  • Snacks and beverages: Again, for you and the hubs, because there won’t be snacks on demand when you’re in the hospital. And it’s likely that the cafeteria shuts down around 6 PM. And let me tell you what the worst is: being up at 3 AM, feeding an infant,starving – and having nothing available for three long hours.
  • Your camera: For us, this actually means our “fancy” camera, because we’re the parents who usually just take pictures on our phones.

For Baby

  • Two sleep sacks: Yes, our hospital provided a sleep sack for Ricky when he was born. But there’s something about having a new baby that made me want to let him sleep in hisown  Bringing some onesies and our own sleep sacks was a great move, I think.
  • Hats: Bring a couple in different sizes – Rick never fit into the newborn or three month hats – so I was glad we had some options.
  • Swaddle blanket: They had receiving blankets at the hospital, but I wanted to learn from an expert how to swaddle with my own – and the nurses were great teachers. Plus, I think Ricky got used to his “regular” stuff right away.
  • Going home outfit: This is what you take pictures of, the thing you remember the most. We brought Ricky home in the cutest little blue striped giraffe outfit with these matching knit booties. Ack. That’s still one of my favorite images of him.
  • Properly installed car seat: You should definitely do this in advance. I think I had mine put in about four weeks before my c-section. Most hospitals won’t let you leave without seeing the baby in a safely installed car seat, so it’s certainly important to make sure you’ve got this one covered.

What not to bring – the baby things the hospital will provide

  • Jewelry
  • Lots of cash
  • Breast pump
  • Diapers/wipes
  • Formula

Remember, anything you bring you have to carry in and out yourself – and when you’re ready to leave the hospital, you’re not going to want to have to sit around searching for this that and the other thing!

So what did I miss?