When I delivered my first son, it was via emergency C Section at 33/34 weeks and I had nothing packed. When I delivered my second son, I was over excited and I totally overpacked. Now that I’m getting ready to deliver my third son, I think I finally got it!
Since I had two previous C Sections, my third will be a C Section as well. C Section Recovery is a little different since we did go through major surgery. C Section mama’s are normally in the hospital for four to five days if there are no complications. This packing list is for a hospital stay for four days.
My girl, Brittany at the Ashmore’s Blog posted what’s in her hospital bag (since we’re 2 weeks apart!) make sure to check it out.
3 Big Undies – The hospital will provide you with as much post partum underwear for your stay as needed, but if you want a sense of normalcy, bring your own underwear. But make sure it’s big, NOT CUTE underwear. You’ll be bleeding, so you’ll have to maneuver a huge pad when you have to use the restroom. My friend who had a natural delivery said they give you an ice pack. You need to make sure you have underwear with lots of surface area to hold…everything. Some moms opt to stay in the hospital underwear the entire stay and go home in it as well. I prefer to get into my normal underwear after day three.
3 Robe/Gown/Dress/PJs – After delivery you won’t want to wear pants. You won’t want anything touching your incision even though it will be covered. You’ll be sore. If you want to wear pants or shorts, by all means! I like the convenience of one piece of fabric because it’s a lot less movement and maneuvering when you have to use the restroom. The first day I was in the hospital, I stayed in the hospital gown but after day two I wanted my own clothes.
4 Nursing Tanks/Bras. Personally, I bring four – a combination of either two nursing bras and two nursing tanks, four nursing bras, or four nursing tanks. I don’t know about you, but hospitals make me feel really dirty. Changing and having a fresh bra/tank each day makes me feel a little better.
4 pairs of socks and slippers. Hospitals are COLD. When you get a C Section they put these compression boots on you after surgery to promote blood flow. They make me think of space boots. After those are off, no matter how many blankets you put on your feet, your toes will feel like icicles. If you are up for walking around, DO IT. The longer you sit in that bed, the longer it will take you to recover. I personally like fuzzy socks and house slippers because its easy on/easy off. Some people prefer flip flops – but I think we can all agree that shoes with laces are just NOT an option.
LOTION & CHAPSTICK. There is something about a hospital that completely dries me out. I don’t know if it’s the air or the water but my skin is gross and my lips are SO chapped. Keeping lotion available for hands (because there will be lots of handwashing with a newborn) and arms and chapstick for your lips is essential for keeping your sanity!
Nipple Cream. So the hospital provides some sample sizes of lanolin but I found that some formulas were so sticky that it hurt to put on. So find some nipple cream that works for you and bring it otherwise you’re forced with putting on sticky nipple cream on your already cracked boobs. Nope. Nope. Nope!
I also packed:
A Nursing Pillow
Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, hairbrush, hair ties and claws, glasses,
and a few other non-practical, but practical hospital essentials.
Car Seat (base already installed)
4 pairs of Socks or Mittens for hands. So when my boys came out, they had nails longer than ME. I guess that’s what 10 months of not cutting your nails look like. AND THEY WERE SHARP. Omg. So sharp, one little swipe across the skin left like a little paper cut! If you feel comfortable cutting or filing your newborns nails in the hospital – cool. If not, socks/mittens over the hands are a good option.
1 or 2 Hats. The hospital provides a generic blue/pink striped hat. But it’s YOUR baby, you want some personalization, right!? Bring a soft hat as another option. If you’re having a girl, a hat with a big ‘ol bow or if a boy, a beanie representing your favorite sports team or an adorable print. Plus, all newborns look the same it’ll be helpful for nurses/stalkers on social media (like me!) when we look at pictures of your darling little squish.
4 Long Sleeve Onesies. (Regardless of the season.) Yes. Baby will be wrapped up in a blanket, but sometimes their little arms break free from the swaddle and hospitals are so cold! Major plus, if you put your baby in a long sleeve onesie with fold over hands so you don’t have to bring mittens!
3 Soft Blankets. The hospital provides receiving blankets for the babies. If that’s not your cup of tea, maybe bringing some blankets from home is a better option. For me, I packed a fleece blanket, a muslin blanket, and an extra receiving blanket.
Going Home Outfit. Yay the best part! Going home! Remember your baby isn’t acclimated to the outdoor environment yet, so when you pack a going home outfit – be practical! Don’t put lace leggings and a tutu on your baby if it’s snowing outside. Don’t put your baby in a fleece onesie in the middle of summer.
4 Outfits of Comfy Clothes. I’m talking sweatpants, basketball shorts, sweatshirts, tee shirts. You’re going to be living at the hospital for four days, not modeling for GQ.
Slides/Flip Flops. Slides are a good option for lounging slippers at the hospital or shower shoes. If you don’t have slides, then flip flops for showering are a must since hospital showers can be a little iffy.
Snacks. The hospital will have some snacks. There’s an option for going down to the cafeteria but after sleepless nights with a newborn, a nurse going in and out of your room, poking and prodding and taking vitals of your baby or Mom -- you’ll be too lazy to move. It won’t hurt to pack a backpack with some easy access snacks.
Garbage bag. This is a necessity for all the dirty clothes you, mom, and baby will be accumulating during your stay at the hospital. Anything dirty, just put it in the garbage bag and when you go home, dump the contents of the garbage bag in the washer, set the washer, throw the bag away, and let the mother of your child rest. It beats having to sort and figure out if clothes in the bag are dirty or clean.
Things I packed last time but I didn’t need:
A cute hospital gown. I wanted to get cute pictures of me and my family with a cute gown and all but that just didn’t happen. I bought it and it stayed in my bag. My intention was to change into it after I got out of surgery but I was cool staying in the hospital gown. Honestly, even if I did change into it – I would’ve bled all over it anyway. Sorry, TMI.
275649 Receiving Blankets. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but I totally overpacked on blankets the 2nd time around. The hospital provides blankets for the newborn. Some parents don’t want their baby wrapped up in a generic hospital blanket. Some parents think the blankets are too gross and itchy for their newborn. Whatever the case is – be practical, don’t bring 15 blankets (whoops!) for your newborn. Maybe one blanket a day but even that may be pushing it!
Towel. The hospital provided one. Some people are particular about their towels. Not I. It’s not like I was living at the hospital. A few days with a scratchy towel wasn’t the end of my world.
Hair Dryer and Make Up. LOLOLOL! - For real though, there are some super women out there that need to be done up. More power to them. The intention was there, but I didn’t have the energy or will power to put on a full face of make up or even blow dry my hair. Maybe I’ll bring some tinted moisturizer, some eyebrow powder, and some mascara. But that’s a really really big maybe.
Blankets and Pillows. Again, the hospital provided these for my husband. We totally didn’t need to bring our own.
Breast Pump. If needed, the hospital will supply you with one during your stay there. Unless your babies are in the NICU, you probably won’t need to use it since hospitals now encourage nursing instead of pumping. If you don’t plan on nursing, then the hospital will provide little bottles of formula and nipples for your baby.
Newborn Diapers and Baby Wipes. The hospital will provide these as well!
New moms/seasoned moms/grandparents – did I forget anything?
What did you pack in your hospital bag?
What essential things did dad pack?