Somehow it’s that time already. It is really amazing how quickly those 40 weeks of pregnancy fly by. I feel like it was only a week ago that my husband and I were laughing about the cute round belly I was about to grow, and now in a few weeks it will be gone! In the midst of busy weeks at work and purchasing a house, the truth is: I wish I’d have had more time to cherish it. I’ll just have to make all of that “cherish-ing” time up once we meet our little one. We are so excited for the moment we meet her for the first time that I get butterflies every time I think about it.
But first: I’ve got to pack the hospital bag. I’ve been putting things to the side bit by bit, but the other day a stranger gasped and told me terrifying things when I’d told her I hadn’t had the bag packed yet (37 weeks and counting…my bad!) So, apparently the time is now, or…was a few weeks ago. Anyways, now that the “nice” stranger has gotten me into a panic, I figured I would share with you the items I’ve finally packed into my bag so that you don’t have to have the same conversation. Didn’t our parents teach us not to talk to strangers anyways? FOR MOM
Housecoat and Slippers: I’ve been told a housecoat will come in handy for pacing down hallways while in early labour, as well as the overnight stay. As someone who is perpetually cold, this seems like a no-brainer. Plus- it’s cute for those post-baby pics. I picked up the cute grey and white polka dot housecoat above from Thyme Maternity here. A pair of slippers may help during those hallway paces too. I picked up this cute pair of heart slippers at Chapters Indigo on sale- I’ve heard you shouldn’t invest too much in slippers as they are, after all, going to be walking on hospital floors.
Socks and Underwear: Apparently even in labour, your feet can get cold- which means that making sure you’ve got a pair of warm socks on may just help you be that much more comfortable (hey, I’m not promising a miracle of comfort, but any little bit may help)! The underwear (full coverage) are of course for post-baby to make sure they secure those monster size feminine pads (can’t wait for those…) The cute 4 pack of undies above are from Thyme Maternity here.
Lip Balm: I’ve heard that this is a must have. As in, if you forget it, you may need to send your partner down to the gift shop during labour and they may miss the birth of your baby (lol). I love Kiehl’s lip balm #1 here.
Nipple Cream: Ah, no better “welcome to motherhood” than a jar of nipple cream, am I right? Get used to it, because apparently this jar will be your new best friend if planning to breastfeed. I’ve picked up the Marcelle brand by Thyme Maternity here.
Water Bottle: Hospitals usually only have those little plastic/styrofoam cups that hold a sip of water. A water bottle will come in handy for both you and your partner during your stay. Staying hydrated is essential (especially during stressful times!)
Pillow: I’ve heard that bringing a pillow from home helps with the comfort factor of the hospital bed you’ll be staying in for at least 24 hours. The hospital does give you a pillow, but the comfort of home can’t be beat!
Camera and Phone Charger: Make sure you’ve got a camera packed for photos and don’t forget your phone charger for all of those fun “baby’s here!” calls.
Going Home Outfit: I have found the ultimate nursing shirt, and I think it may be my favorite shirt of all time! It is super flattering during pregnancy, and is perfect for nursing afterwards. No buttons, snaps, or zippers to fuss with when baby is hungry. I picked it up at Thyme Maternity here, and in addition to it being useful both for and after pregnancy, it is made of the softest fabric! It will be packed in my bag as it’ll be the outfit of choice when I leave the hospital- along with my maternity leggings (and to be honest you’ll have to pry those from my hands after baby is born).
Extras: I’ve also been advised to pack snacks for both me and my husband (so he doesn’t have to leave to get food and risk missing baby’s arrival) as well as some distractions if labour is lasting hours: deck of cards, phone, magazines, etc. Of course you cant forget toiletries and a jumbo pack of feminine pads (woohoo!) and breast pads if you are planning to nurse. Your partner will also need to pack some things including toiletries and a change of clothing as well; a pillow from home for your partner might be a nice touch too!
FOR BABY Car Seat: Safety first! You cannot leave the hospital with your bundle of joy, without a car seat (and rightly so). I’ve been advised to keep it in the car for a couple of weeks before the due date so that you have it in there in case baby decides to come early. I’ve also heard horror stories about sitting in the hospital parking lot frantically attempting multiple times to get the car seat hooked in correctly- save yourself the stress and do a few test runs before the big event! We picked up the Peg Perego Viaggio 4-35 here. We also picked up the Jolly Jumper 3 in 1 head hugger (here) for the car seat, which is great for newborns as it keeps their head secure from bobbing around. It has two inserts, one of which can be removed as they grow.
Nursing Pillow: It’s been recommended to me to bring along my nursing pillow to the hospital. Many Mom’s I’ve talked to wished they had, as it would have made it more comfortable when first learning to nurse (plus when you are exhausted, it’s a great rest support for baby). I picked up the Ergobaby Natural Curve nursing pillow here. It came highly recommended and is not quite a bulky as some.
Swaddle(s): You’ve probably received about 100 swaddles, so make sure to pack a few in your bag. You’ve received them for a reason. They will keep baby content and warm (mimicking the womb) and perks are they also double as spit up catchers! The softest swaddles I’ve found to date are the Lulujo Bamboo Muslin Swaddles here (I later found out that the owner of the company is Canadian, and was raised here in Nova Scotia no less)!
Take Home Outfit: Baby needs an outfit to wear home! I’ve packed a little 3 piece set with pants, button up wrap top and a hat, but I’ve also packed a few cute onesies as well. I’ve also packed socks, and a pair of scratch mitts to prevent baby from scratching her skin with those cute little nails. I’ve been finding the cutest onesies at Joe Fresh!
Blanket: I’ve also packed the cutest cotton blanket I’ve ever seen to keep baby warm for the trip to the car. Joe Fresh just launched a collection of simple prints including foxes, bears and bunnies in a selection of blankets, swaddles, bibs, and clothing. See the bunny blanket here. Depending on the season, you may want to pack something heavier or lighter.
Extras: Also in the bag for baby are a few newborn diapers, some butt cream, and baby lotion.
Not in the bag: the explosion of baby items unorganized throughout my house. I’ve got another couple of weeks right? I’ve heard it won’t stay organized for long anyways…advice from another stranger. So the big lesson here: don’t talk to strangers!