For some reason I didn’t really prepare my hospital bag before I went into labor with my first baby. It turned out that it didn’t really matter anyway--the things I needed weren't things that I would have thought to pack. So, even though I didn’t get it all right the first time (and probably will have room to improve even after the second time!), here are five things I’ll make sure to pack in addition to the necessary toiletries and things for baby:
Baby nail scissors. Baby girl may have come out a bit wrinkly and needing to plump up, but one area where she didn’t skimp on growing was her fingernails. Naturally I asked the nurses for nail clippers, but turns out that’s something that they do not provide. So we had to wait until someone was able to go out and get some for us, by which time she had scratched up her face (so much for those ‘perfect’ newborn pics!). Also, after using both nail clippers and nail scissors, I realized that I much preferred the latter—I felt like I was going to chop off a whole finger with the clippers because it was hard to see exactly what I was clipping. I’ve never had a problem with the scissors.
Baby wipes. The hospital where I delivered baby girl, and where I will have baby boy, provides these funky (really inconvenient) wipes that are papers that you have to wet in the sink. Honestly, I didn’t change a single diaper in the 24 hours we were at the hospital, but based on the feedback from my husband, those wipes were not very effective when matched against that wonderful, tarry newborn poop. So we’ll be bringing our own this time. (Note: you may or may not need these--what is provided depends on the hospital.)
Snacks. In the rush to pack the bag the first time around, I forgot to pack snacks, which was a huge mistake. I was VERY hungry after giving birth and we didn't have anything to eat. Chances are you'll work up an appetite, too. Not everything will sound good in the moment, so pack a variety snacks. Also, if friends or family will visit you and ask what they can bring, take them up on the offer; they’re happy to help! After having baby girl, Cronuts sounded pretty good, and sure enough one of our friends showed up with them!
Ear plugs. I slept horribly in the hospital. Whenever a nurse was paged, that came over the PA system, including the individual patient rooms. So this time I'll be armed with ear plugs to prevent this from being an issue again.
Comfy clothes for going home. The first time around I decided it would be a good idea to pack my maternity skinny jeans and a top to come home. After spending 24+ hours in the hospital with little rest—and having gone through childbirth—that was the LAST thing I wanted to wear. So I ended up going home in the same outfit in which I had arrived, my trusty black maxi dress. This time I’ll be doing it differently, most likely with a pair of smocked shorts, a tank, and a cardigan packed in case it is cool out (although I highly doubt I’ll need this in the Los Angeles summer heat!).
Did you get it right the first time? What else would you include on this list for your bag?