My Bags are Packed, I’m Ready to Go

37 weeks baby! I’d say this kiddo could come at any time now, but as of my appointment a few days ago she’s currently breech so hopefully we get her facing the right way first.  I have a referral for an External Cephalic Version (where a doctor tries to externally turn the baby) and I’m starting to use some of the positions from Spinning Babies to help the process along.

Wesley caught us by surprise by being a little over 2 weeks early (when I fully expected him to be at least a week late) so I had to direct Matt on what to what to pack while in the middle of contractions.  This time though, WE ARE PREPARED.* As soon as December hit we were pulling all the old baby gear out of storage, washing ALL THE THINGS, and generally nesting up a storm.

Even then I had an oh-so-fun round of false labor last Monday and still didn’t actually feel prepared. I went home from work early because I couldn’t function anymore and called Matt home from his work Christmas party so he could watch Wesley (and, ya’know, be ready to go if this ended up being the real thing). I checked in with my midwife a couple times, but since it was early enough to be unlikely and my contractions were holding at sporadically-steady (sometimes they’d last a few seconds, other time a minute but they kept happening fairly regularly without ramping up in intensity) she never had me head to the hospital.

What I’m Packing for Baby #2

It was a little easier to pack for a second delivery since I learned what was actually useful to me from the first time around…and some things I wish I had. For the record, I’m fairly minimalist compared to a lot of the lists out there there but if you’re not, that’s totally cool.  Bring whatever you think will make YOU feel comfortable.

Comfy clothes

Some people like the idea of their own clothes/gown to wear during labor, but I honestly didn’t care.  If you do go this route,I would suggest something dark (delivery is messy) and something designed for labor (they have a lot of extra snaps and openings for monitoring equipment and epidural access).

Keep in mind that your belly doesn’t instantly shrink after giving birth, so you’ll probably want some maternity-friendly clothes.  There’s also always a chance of a c-section (even if it’s not planned) so be conscious of where your waistband hits. Also, you probably don’t have to worry about underwear since the hospital will give you some positively stylin’ mesh knickers.

I’m packing:

  • Thermal joggers (not maternity, just sized up one)
  • Nursing friendly tanks/tees
  • Maternity leggings
  • Open-front Sweater
  • Slipper socks with bottom grips
Toiletries

Honestly, I’m pretty basic in this category,  I packed a little makeup the first time around but didn’t use it (but then, I often go without makeup).

I’m packing:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Loofah
  • Facial cleansing wipes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • lotion
  • chapstick
  • Headband (if your hair longer I’d recommend a hair elastic to keep it out of your face)
Breastfeeding Gear

If you don’t plan on breastfeeding, no worries–you’ve got less to pack! If you do plan on breastfeeding, I still suggest packing a few things besides your mammary glands.

I’m packing:

  • Combination nursing/pumping bra (I REALLY wish I had this in the hospital with Wesley)
  • Haaka manual breast pump (bring your electric one if you’d like help getting started with it)
  • Nursing pillow (I liked mine, but a normal pillow works in a pinch too and neither is completely necessary)
  • Nipple cream (I didn’t actually need this with baby #1, but better safe than sorry)
  • Nipple pads (it’s unlikely you’ll start leaking those first couple days in the hospital, but again, better safe than sorry)
Creature Comforts

Some people want to make their hospital room as homey as possible. Blankets, pillows, towels, and eye masks are frequently recommended  Personally I didn’t want to worry about more stuff to potentially forget…but I AM attached to having a good pillow.

I’m packing

  • My own pillow (with a pillowcase that won’t get mistaken for hospital bedding)
  • My own water bottle (the one the hospital provided the first time tasted like plastic)–something large, fairly leak-proof, and with a straw is a good option since you’ll want to be able to sip water easily from different angles.3 3q
Entertainment

Like it or not, you’ll be in the hospital for a while.  If you opt for an epidural you’ll probably even have good chunk of down-time (although if it’s the middle of the night you can just enjoy glorious, glorious sleep).

I’m packing:

  • Tablet
  • Phone
  • iPod
  • Book
  • Chargers + small extension cord (PSA: they also make extra long charging cords, I just used what I already had)
Miscellaneous
  • Snacks (for both you and your partner)
  • Camera (I have a nicer one in addition to my phone)
  • “Baby’s” gift for big brother (this has been recommended by a few sources for helping introduce a sibling…unfortunately we’re behind on this one so we don’t know what it’s going to be yet)
For Baby

For us, all the basic needs were supplied by the hospital while we were there–diapers, onsies, swaddles, etc.  All we really need are some things to get our baby girl home. For Wesley, I packed his diaper bag but this time I’m just going to throw stuff in my bag.

I’m packing:

  • 2-3 “coming home” outfits in multiple sizes (since there’s no telling how big the baby will be)
  • Hat
  • Photo props (I have a letter board to fill in with her birth info, a cute swaddle blanket, and girly headband)
  • Car seat + car seat cover (we didn’t bother with a car seat cover for Wesley since he was a summer baby, but winter in MN in now joke!)

 

*Which probably means baby girl will take her sweet time, but what can you do?

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