Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Packing for the Hospital

I don't recall packing a hospital bag at all for birthing my first born (2 decades ago). I did, however, pack a bag with my next 2 kids. I studied Bradley Method® for each of them and am refreshing through my workbook for this last one. I mention this because the class workbook actually offers a packing list of "typical items."

The more time I have between packing time and leave time (for anything), the more stuff I think of that I simply must include! Yes, I'm a minimalist, but when it comes to travel I think of tons of stuff that will / would be handy to have or we might need in a pinch.

I've been slowly working on packing my hospital bag. I was down to owning about 3 pairs of socks, so I had to wait to get more. That said, there are a lot of things on the list that I just don't think I need to pack.

In the Car

Puddle Pads
Pillows (with plastic bag under pillow case)
Small basin
2 old towels (large & clean)
Blanket (clean)
Student Workbook
Full gas tank (keep car above ½ tank last 2 months)
Car seat (infant/convertible)

Notes: With my firstborn, my water broke before I went to the hospital. The last two have had to be broken by medical staff. I've put a single beach towel into the truck to sit on when we drive to the hospital. Also, did they really need to specify clean on this stuff? I think some of it was just in case we have to deliver on the side of the road! We keep a warm baby blanket and a receiving blanket in the truck anyway, for Sasha. The workbook will likely be a last minute add to the bag, unless we get finished reviewing it sooner.

For Mother

Lightweight bathrobe
Old slippers
Nursing bra(s)
Honey and spoon or honey straws (absorbed quickly into blood stream, fast than sugar)
Warm socks
Plastic trash bag
Your own pillow with plastic bags under colored pillow cases to help identify your pillows.
Hair ribbon
Chapstick/lip balm
Personal toiletries
Nourishing clear liquids, 1-2 qts.
Puddle pads
Clothes to wear after the birth
Fresh squeezed orange juice (for after the birth)

Notes: I'm pretty sure I won't forget Elmo! I don't own a nightgown anymore and did fine in a hospital gown last time around. My bathrobe is heavy and takes up a lot of space. I have no problem dealing with just the hospital gowns. Besides, this way I don't have to worry about getting blood on anything of my own. I have one, single pair of slippers. I plan to wear them TO the hospital. They are my main shoe lately anyway. I've packed a single sports bra. That is what I've used since Sasha and I don't expect to have a lot of milk before I get home anyway. I threw in some nursing pads, too.

If I'm permitted to eat or drink anything, I'm sure the hospital will have something available. So I don't sweat the food or drink ones. I've got some brand new socks, so they're nice and thick. I've packed two pair (in case one gets messy). I keep plastic trash bags in my duffle at all times for any trip. They're perfect for packing dirty clothes back into your bag. Hair ties and lip stuff are a part of my toiletries pack that I leave packed at all times as well. It is all set with deodorant and other necessities.

I've totally skipped clothes to wear home for a couple of reasons. I'm quite likely to strip naked once I settle into a L&D room. So my clothes may be fine for wearing home. Otherwise, Elmo will bring me clean jammies to wear home. They are all I have left to wear right now so I need them for NOW. Oh and puddle pads? Why would I take my own to the hospital??

For Coach

Quick Reference Guide
Bradley® Coach Card
Insurance Information for the Mom
Copies of the Birth Plan
Lotion for back rubs
Tennis balls for back rubs
Music & portable player w/fresh batteries, a/c cord
Washcloths - at least 2
Ice chest
Flex straws
Thermos of cold orange juice-at least two quarts
Watch for timing contractions
Personal toiletries
Swim trunks
Change of clothes
Mobile phone/Phone card & Roll of coins (for calls)
List of phone numbers
Deck of cards or other games
Food - snacks
Party cups, plates, knife and napkins
Camera, fresh film or memory and batteries
Video and/or audio recorder
Laptop computer for e-mail/pictures

Notes: Yeah, as he is even less likely to forget me as vice versa! My insurance card stays in my purse, which will go with us. I need to preregister with the hospital anyway, so they probably won't even need it. I didn't want or need any back rubs with any props with any other labor. They have a port for an MP3 player in the room. We might also pack DVDs. We both take our mobile phones with us everywhere we go. Our phones double as a watch and also keep our phone numbers in them. Oh, and we share one toiletries bag. The hospital has snack machines and a cafe. I could not imagine taking everything on this list! I don't have a laptop, the camera will be in my purse, and I'm not throwing a friggin' party!

For Baby

NOTEL All clothes should be washed before use.
Clothes to wear home.
Gown - undershirts
Several receiving blankets
1 outer blanket
Diapers (for newborn & babies 9+ lbs.)
Pins (if cloth diapers)
Baby book for footprints, etc.
Birth-Day cake
Puddle pad
Infant car seat

Notes: Baby clothes are my packing weakness here. I packed two outfits... but then you never know if you'll wind up with a blow out before you get out the door. Better to be prepared, right? The hospital will let us their receiving blankets while we're there. How many flippin' blankets do we need?! I've packed a single receiving blanket and a single heavy blanket since we are having a Winter baby. The hospital will even supply disposable diapers while we're there. They'll likely put Spencer's footprints on the back of a cutesy birth certificate and last time I got them to give me an extra footprint kit, too. I didn't actually use baby books.

My duffel bag feels kind of... spacious. There is still room in there... perhaps for bringing a hospital receiving blanket home. I've also got my breast pump set aside, per the Lactation Consultant's suggestion. I've put a Moby Wrap in with it as it may come in handy for nursing as well.

I've also begun to pack a backpack with distractions for Sasha. I've included her Leap Pad with a couple of books she hasn't seen yet. There are a few toys in the bag she hasn't seen since she stopped wearing diapers (it is my diaper bag). I've also ordered a travel Magna Doodle because she loves those things! She is getting a large one for Giftmas, too.

What do you think is a "must have" for a hospital bag?
What is the most ridiculous thing you've heard you should pack for the hospital?

Momma Jorje: Monday Minimalist
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