My fourth baby is due in three days! I have been working through my to-do list at a super fast pace. These waiting days are both highly productive and snail slow. I'm patiently (impatiently!) awaiting the moment when I will meet my little boy face-to-face.
Since we will be delivering at a birth center, my bag's contents are pretty slim.
Barring any unforeseen emergencies, we will likely be driving home with our baby four hours after the birth...so extra changes of clothes, toiletries, and other comforts from home should be unnecessary.
Two onesies from Little Me - Since I am delivering in the heat of August in Arizona, we're opting for a simple and classic onesie for the baby's coming home outfit. I'm bringing two "just in case," but only one should be necessary.
Swaddle blanket by Aden + Anais - Muslin swaddlers are my very favorite because they are breathable, lightweight, and generously-sized. In fact, I haven't bought any other kind since discovering these. We may or may not swaddle the baby in the short window directly after the birth, but I'm slipping one in the bag because they have so many possible uses!
5 Pampers Swaddlers newborn diapers - I'm brand loyal when it comes to newborn diapers. Pampers Swaddlers are ultra-soft and move with the baby. Five is probably way too many for the short period we will be at the birth center...but they're so teeny tiny they barely take up any space.
Mini baby mittens - Many babies come fresh out of the womb with itty bitty, super sharp fingernails. As a result, they can quickly cut their own faces...sometimes to the bleeding point! Poor babes. To avoid this, we like to bring along a pair of baby mitts. The other option would be to cut the baby's nail with clippers, but that can be a terrifying task for new parents.
Car seat - By state law, you will need a car seat to transport your sweet little bundle home in. An infant or convertible option will work equally well, but note that your baby will be miniature and may need accompanying head support pillows. Our son will be riding home in style in Safety 1st's OnBoard 35 Air Infant Car Seat in Juniper Pop!
Bikini Top - For both of my last two births, I ended up in the tub for transition and pushing. A bikini top was nice to have for this purpose - although any bra will do. P.S. Many women who have a drug-free childbirth end up delivering in their birthday suit.
Nursing nightgown by Bella Materna - After the birth, I typically take a shower and reach for a comfortable nursing gown. The gowns by Bella Materna are my go-to because they are silky soft, luxurious in feel, and offer ultimate easy access for breastfeeding. They also drape beautifully and are very forgiving over newly postpartum bodies.
Nursing poncho/cover - This is up to each mama's individual preferences, but I prefer to cover for modesty's sake and my own comfort...especially if visitors end up popping by to see the new babe.
Lansinoh lanolin cream - As you may have read/heard, breastfeeding is rarely easy and pain-free at the beginning. Both mama and baby need time to adjust. I stuck in a small tube of cream, but will likely not use it until we reach home.
Nursing pads - It is highly unlikely that nursing pads will be needed within the first 24 hours (or until milk comes in), but I'm throwing in a few anyway.
Earth Mama Angel New Mama Bottom Spray - This will be my first time to bring in a bottle of new mama bottom spray, but it sounds like a lovely thing to have on-hand to soothe sore bits after childbirth. Made with lavender, peppermint, and cucumber, it's meant to be a natural cooling mist for the postpartum period.
Other healing supplies - Tim's aunt is an OB/GYN so she gave us quite the stash of birth-related hospital supplies. I'll be bringing a tub of witchhazel pads, some granny style disposable underwear, and ice packs - thanks to her generosity. Almost all hospitals and birth centers will provide you with these items so don't stress about purchasing them.
Small snack - Since my stay at the birth center will likely be short, I'm hoping to just pack one snack for post-labor. A very specific snack - the Valdosta Pecan Mix by Sahale. I've brought that particular mix for the last two deliveries. This light sweet/peppery combo always seems to match up with my cravings exactly. I've already checked several local stores though and can't find them anywhere!
We'll also grab our digital camera on our way out the door! I need to be sure to charge the battery and clear the memory card beforehand so we have plenty of space for new baby pics.
I'd like to go out and grab a small gift for my attending midwife and nurse too, but my due date is looming so it depends on when this little guy decides to debut. Any ideas for little gifts of gratitude?
You will likely notice that all of the items on my list are for after the birth, rather than the birth itself. I know from past birth experiences that I tend to become very focused, internal, prayerful, and musical (yes - I sing/hum!) in labor. I never needed/wished for music, games, external focus points, etc. What I needed (and received in plenty) was something I couldn't pack in a bag - the encouragement of my midwife, nurse, and - especially - my husband.
What did you pack in your hospital bag?
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