This week we have Karly from Penny & Lu in West Kelowna sharing her top 10 must haves when packing your hospital bag. When deciding how much to pack, it really depends on how long you're staying. You might only spend 24 hours there after baby is born if everyone is healthy and doing well, but everyone's situation is different. I would only pack for max of 2 nights. If you need to stay longer your family can always bring what you need.
The hospital bag will mostly be for you. I share at the end what was included for us for baby, but lets start with the key items to pack for yourself.
It was the most important thing in my bag! I think there are a lot of great options for 100% lanolin nipple cream out there, but I used Medela. It's fine for baby, and I was told by my nurse to use it after every feed. 1000% use it right away from the start after every feed, if you can remember to! It really helps to avoid chapped/cracked nipples and helping them adjust to all the use. My nipples still hurt for a few days but it saved my life. ALSO nipple cream is great for chapped lips.. which you will get during labour.
Something comfy to wear
Lounge pants + nursing tank or a comfy/flowy nursing nightie would be my suggestion
A hair tie or headband
really simple but totally nice to get any hair off & away from your face.
Only bring things that stay good outside of fridge, unless you bring a little cooler. Gatorade was great to bring for afterwards! I also packed a bunch of power bars for snacks --HIGHLY recommend Clif Nut Butter Bars, stuffed with peanut butter... holy moly they are good.
Deodorant, a toothbrush + toothpaste and shampoo are the basic necessities. I also made sure I had chapstick but you can also use the nipple cream if you don't have that.
Charging cables + phone
Charging cables are helpful with how quick batteries can die. I made sure to also have headphones with me, so I could listen to anything I had planned during birth (relaxation/meditation etc) or leading up to it. Depending on how fast/slow your labour is, pre-downloaded movies or shows on an ipad might not be a bad idea.
Loose fitting clothes, easy to put on shoes
Keep in mind you're going home still looking pregnant so you won't be ready just yet to break out the old pre-pregnancy clothes.
As part of your clothes I would also include a breastfeeding bra / top to make things easier.
Granny panties, extra huge pads or adult diapers
The mesh ones they give you are amazing --stock up on those if you can! The hospital here only sent me home with 1 pair of their mesh undies but definitely take what you can get!
Even though you're not leaking milk, nipple cream can and will stain your clothes/bra and will show if it's anything other then black, from what I found (if it's 100% lanolin) --A friend of mine makes really cute ones and they are reusable! Check out @sewbrightcreations for the reusable nursing pads.
I didn't pack these BUT that would be really nice to have. I brought flip flops which were great for in the shower and quick on/off but not as comfy as slippers could have been.
Baby needs almost nothing - they supply diapers, wipes, blankets & a hat. Bring an outfit for baby to go home in and two receiving blankets for beside babies head in car seat, and that's about it. You could bring a newborn + 0-3 month size outfit if you wanted because you never really know how big baby will be. I also took my own swaddle and matching cap that I made and brought a pair of baby booties with me.
Thank you SO much to Karly from Penny & Lu for her writeup on the top 10 must haves for your hospital bag checklist. Penny & Lu creates apparel & baby accessories, as well as custom teepees in the Okanagan. Karly started sewing different projects for her daughter while she was pregnant and has decided to share her creations with everyone. She puts a lot of time & effort into what she makes to ensure the quality is excellent! Check out her website & social accounts for more!
To learn more about Sewbrightcreations & their nursing pads, check them out here!
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