packing the hospital bag

packed yet still procrastinating…

I am currently on my 37th week of pregnancy, nearly full-term, and I just might go into labor any moment now. I’ve been procrastinating on so many preparations during this pregnancy, but the other night, I felt I seriously needed to pack for when I go to the hospital for delivery. So I was up until way past midnight packing my hospital bag. Here’s a list of the stuff I’d bring once labor comes a-knocking.

Front closure hospital gown. I need something easy to wear, and one that buttons down at the front so it will be convenient to breastfeed.

Nursing bra. I couldn’t find my nursing bras from when Ari and Uri were babies so I had to buy 2 new ones. I just bought the cheap ones, non-cotton, so it doesn’t soak easily. I might end up buying more later when I’m sure what size I should be getting. But 2 bras should get me through my stay at the hospital.

Blanket. It can get super cold after giving birth because of the anesthesia, so I packed a thick blanket, and socks to keep me warm.

Towel. I packed a microfiber bath-sized towel, even when I’m likely not going to be allowed to take a bath just yet. We are huge fans of microfiber, and since it dries super quickly, bringing a bath towel or a face towel is not much of an issue.

Panties. I have a stash of full-sized “granny” cotton panties that I wear under a dress to hide panty lines. I might need them in case I end up with a C-section so the elastic reaches beyond the bikini cut. But I also bought a pack of disposable panties, so I don’t have to bring home bloodied underwear.

Sanitary pads. Speaking of bloodied underwear, I only bought a pack of extra long, overnight sanitary pads. I don’t feel comfortable wearing those super thick maternity pads. So to avoid stains, I also bought a couple of adult diapers, which I won’t wear, but instead I’ll be spreading on the hospital bed, so I don’t stain the sheets.

Slippers. I packed along an unused pair of hotel slippers for walking around inside the hospital. Then I have another pair of comfy going home slippers.

Going home outfit. I chose a long maternity dress, which I no longer wear at the moment because my 37-week belly could no longer fit in it. I assume I’ll have less of a belly after giving birth and that I’m likely gonna fit in this dress when I come home from the hospital.

Toiletries. Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, soap, shampoo, moisturizer, lotion, the works.

* * *

For baby, here’s what I packed.

Baby clothes. From my current collection of hand-me-down baby clothes, I decided to bring longsleeved tie sides, pajamas and matching jacket, bonnets, mittens and booties. I also packed a couple of full onesies that baby could use as his going home outfit.

Swaddling blanket. This special blanket is designed to secure baby’s arms and legs in place, helping him sleep safely and securely by recreating the snugness of the womb. I also packed a couple of hooded towels, that can be used both for swaddling and for drying baby after his first bath in the hospital.

Binder. A binder is a piece of cloth wrapped around baby’s abdomen that is meant to apply some pressure to this area to prevent colic, and also to protect his belly button and his umbilical cord stump.

Wash cloth. I only have a handful of wash cloths but I have tons of bibs, so I’ll be using bibs more for wiping, bathing, et cetera. I also packed some flat gauze diapers also for wiping and as extra blankets for covering baby.

Diapers. I’m lucky not to have to buy disposable diapers this time, because we received several packs as gifts. I’m thinking the newborn disposables we have on hand should be enough to last at least a week or so. After which we’ll happily transition to using cloth diapers at home.

Toiletries. I packed some baby wipes and cotton balls for cleaning baby’s bottoms, a mild baby wash for his first bath, chamomile oil for relieving colic, baby oil for giving baby a gentle massage, and a tall bottle of alcohol for guests to disinfect their hands before getting anywhere near baby on his first days of life.

* * *

I didn’t pack a separate diaper bag for baby. I don’t have one, and don’t plan on getting one. I only stuffed one suitcase for both our things, but I separated all baby stuff by placing them inside zip-lock bags, after washing and ironing.

So at 37 weeks, I’m a step closer to getting ready for giving birth. I know I still have a number of things to prepare but I feel I’ve got the most important ones covered. Also, I take comfort in the fact that the hospital is just a 5-minute drive away, and everything else I could possibly need, had I forgotten, can be bought nearby.

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