I looked for a post out in the world to help me figure out what to pack in my fabulous new baby bag (pictured and linked below) for a scheduled c-section and didn't find as much as I hoped. Then I realized, I've done this before. So here's the post I'd hoped to find. With a (hopefully) fairly typical and uneventful surgery and hospital stay, I am expecting to come into the hospital on a Thursday morning and leave on the fourth day. That morning, I'll get dressed and ready in one set of clothes that I'd like to recover in. Unfortunately, no food or beverage after midnight, but I'll try to be as well rested as I can be while dreaming of warm ginger ale and cold jello (two key recovery requirements, especially the ginger ale - trust me!).
What I'm bringing:
- Comfortable nursing-friendly clothes for me: soft nursing tops like the one pictured that I already love, black cotton pants and a light robe. In the past, my temperature was all over the place post-delivery, so I'd like a couple of options. How many of each will be up to you. Honestly, I'm bringing one spare set of pants and one extra shirt (in addition to what I wear to the hospital). It's a short stay and I won't need more than that.
- Cozy cute slippers. I'm actually a little obsessed with the non-skid socks that my first hospital gave me for recovery. Cozy and non-skid, win. Cute? Not so much. So this year I treated myself to a cute pair of non-skid slippers that are even cozier. I've already broken them in pretty much every day around the house.
- A warm set of zipper pjs and a hat for the little bird to come home in. We learned with Little Bear that snaps are the worst when you're tried (and I'm just the worst with snaps).
- Very basic toiletries. I swear by the Yes to Cucumbers face wipes, my regular moisturizer and lip gloss. I am low maintenance by nature, but I'm keeping it even simpler in the hospital. That's what works for me.
- My Lily Jade diaper bag. I love it. I use it daily as a purse and work bag during the week and pack it up as a diaper bag to use with Little Bear on the weekends. It's actually a great size to fit just these items without the diaper insert. I'm keeping the diaper insert at home, loaded up with my toddler/newborn/diapering essentials to pop back in once I get home (and feel like leaving the house, which may take awhile).
- A favorite blanket for pictures. Solids (to me) photograph better, so I'll bring one with that in mind. From our current collection, my most likely choice will be a white Aden & Anais muslin blanket. For swaddling, I'm sticking to the standard issue hospital blanket. In our experience, these are the best for getting a snug wrap.
- The Baby Connect App. We were surgically attached to this app with Little Bear. Keeps track of all feedings, diapers, sleep (we didn't track that until he was older and sleeping in more defined chunks), weight, temperature, etc. The data is shared across caregivers, so we could take turns entering info.
- Chargers. I actually keep a couple of chargers in my purse wherever I go and still manage to forget them when I need them.
What I'm not bringing:
- Snacks or too much entertainment. The typical labor-focused post wants you to pass pre-baby time happily. After the baby comes, I'll either be snuggling her, sleeping or seeing visitors. Too much stuff is just more to bring home.
- Loads of baby clothes. In the hospital, she'll be swaddled and will likely have little kimono shirts. No need to pack for a long stay.
- My nursing pillow. With Little Bear, I brought it on the crowded subway to the hospital for surgery. We were lucky that he was so little that the hospital pillows sufficed. I loved using the nursing pillow once I got home and had more space, but I don't think I would have missed it in the hospital.
- The car seat. We'll have it set up in the car by the time we leave the hospital. I remember panicking that we weren't taking it with us when we got there. Or carrying Little Bear out from our room on the 10th floor in it. Like they might not let us have him without seeing it.
- Any more than the basics. Though we'll be in the suburbs with a car this time, we felt overloaded on the way to and from the hospital in the city with Little Bear. Anything you bring in with you, you have to schlep back out (at which point you'll be adding anything visitors bring to leave with you, a surgical incision and...of course...the baby!). Keeping the load light will be key for me since I won't be able to carry anything except the baby (and only if she isn't in her car seat).