I have had 4 out of 6 of these kids in the hospital at some point. Most of them were breathing related (RSV/pneumonia) so I wasn’t prepared, but when number 3 had a bunch of surgeries I knew what to bring!
I’ve never had to stay for more than a week in the hospital with one of my children, and I count myself lucky for that. (And so blessed they came back home with me)..But there are some things I don’t think I could have “survived” without.
1) Cell phone charger. If you’re like me, you like a charged cell phone all the time. And when your little love bug is sleeping and you’re awake stressed out there is only so much day time cable you can handle. Facebook and Amazon shopping to the rescue! Keep an extra charger in your glovebox or purse and only use it for emergencies, or pack one in your bag if it’s a planned stay.
2) Snacks. I like to eat, my kids like to eat (if they are allowed!) Nothing is worse than not wanting to leave the room where your precious child is hurt or sick, but you haven’t eaten since yesterday. I pack a bunch of trail mix if we are having a planned hospital stay. Tastes great and has the stuff to keep you going. Our hospitals provide drinks.
3) A new toy. On our last trip to children’s hospital we had no idea if it was going to be an overnight stay or just a consultation. We decided to stop at the dollar store and pick out a few things for our then 7 year old to keep busy with that didn’t require too much movement or noise 😉
4) Extra clothes. Make sure you have a full change of clothing for you and your SO if applicable. A one night stay can easily turn into a few days and Monday’s yoga pants might not feel so fresh after a couple nights.
5) A book or kindle. Because even the good ol’ internet gets old.
6) Your toothbrush. Yes, most hospitals will gladly give you one..but in the land of $7 Band-Aids..it might be better safe than sorry if you don’t have amazing coverage. Plus hospital toothpaste is really really gross.
7) Shampoo and a towel. I have made do with what the hospital has so far except for when I’m there having a baby. So if you are picky about what you use in the shower, bring your own!
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I have had 4 c-sections, so that means extra long hospital stays. Here are a few of the key things I brought along (or should have remembered) to make the stay a bit more comfortable!:
- The perfect bag! For me it was the Ju-Ju-Be SuperBe most recently, and the BePrepared the two kids before that. Antimicrobial fabrics and machine washable…perfect for nasty hospital room floors when your birthing buddy drops it on the ground and a nurse ends up moving under a table in the corner..gross. All my stuff fit in there and I had room for all the stuff they send home with you! (read $10 box of tissues, & $40 pack of 16 count Huggies charged to your insurance).
- Your favorite pillow(optional) and blanket(needed!). Hospital beds suck. The blankets are scratchy, the pillows go flat and are plasticy sounding. I brought my favorite soft throw and the pillow off my bed. It was amazing during the contractions to cuddle up in my blanket while cursing the anesthesiologist for not giving you the epidural until after you sign the papers. After pushing for 3 hours without medication and being told you are probably having a c-section, paper work is the last thing you want to do. Recovery after said c-section was much cozier and comforting with my own bedding. I brought something like THIS.
- Toiletries. Bring your tooth-brush, toothpaste, hairbrush, and shampoo and conditioner. The toothpaste they give you tastes like minty socks, the tooth-brush was stiff enough to clean rust off my sons bike, and they only had this shampoo made from aloe that made my hair look like a troll. (I’m sensitive to aloe so the dandruff that ensued was disgusting, but after having a baby..a shower is needed lol).
- Chapstick and Make-up. Hospital air is SO DRY. You will have chapped lips by the second day if you are not prepared. If you wear make-up it’s really nice to have for those after baby pictures. I always look like I was hit by a truck after having a baby, but the make-up really does help put a dent in that, and I feel better. My hospital does newborn pictures and throw you in there, I hadn’t done my make-up one time and I’m still upset 5 years later haha.
- A belly binder! I swear by these things! I have only had C-sections, but I have heard these are great for vaginal deliveries too as everything is shifting back into place so support feels great. In my case with a c-section I couldn’t roll over, or sit up with out pushing a pillow to my tummy. I found out about a post surgical compression binder during my second pregnancy so I got one just in case. I have used it after my last 3 kids and make all my friends get them too! You can ask your nurse for one after delivery, but the one I bought on my own like the one I’m linking below was so much nicer. I went by my size at about 6 months pregnant to pick a size for my binder and it was able to tighten all the way down. It also helps with the uterus-about-to-fall-out-of-my-body feeling when you are hobbling to the rest room. Don’t even get me started on that first bm..you will want to keep this on..
- Comfy Clothes with a soft waist. I gave up trying to bring jeans a few kids ago. I don’t care how skinny you are after delivery, that tummy is tender especially if you had a c-section! I brought pajama pants and shirts I could breastfeed in for my hospital stay, and a regular t-shirt for the ride home. I also brought slippers, and comfy socks with grips on the bottom. A soft cozy bathrobe is also advisable.
- CAMERA AND BATTERIES!!! CHARGED BATTERIES!!!!!!!! THIS IS IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I FORGOT TO CHARGE THE BATTERIES AND I HAD TO MAKE A NURSE GO FIND ME SOME BEFORE MY DOCTOR COULD REMOVE MY CHILD FROM MY BODY! Ok, did you get that? Seriously, bring a few packs of Duracell batteries, and even a pack of rechargeable with the charger, you wont regret having too many batteries along!
- Last but not least, Cell phone chargers!!! Texting everyone baby pics, is one of my favorite things haha