Hospital Bags

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

After getting the most amazing and helpful answers from readers on what to pack for the hospital, our bags are packed and ready, so here’s the breakdown:

We decided to pack separate bags for each stage: labor/delivery, postpartum, baby and my husband’s brilliant idea of a “just in case” bag. And leave everything in the car except for the particular bag we need for that stage. That way we can bring a lot but not have to carry it all at once into the hospital room..
We have a large SUV, so we felt it was better to bring all we think we MIGHT need, since space isn’t an issue, rather than have to drive 20 minutes home and 20 back for that one thing.

Our labor bag:

This is the only bag we’ll be bringing in with us INTO the hospital when we first check in. Plus a few items that are too big to pack into a bag.

1. Swim trunks for hubby in case he needs to get in the shower/bath with me

2. Lavender oil diffuser. I’ve been using lavender oil while meditating to set a relaxing association, so arometherapy should help me relax even further in an unfamiliar environment while laboring

3. Fuzzy socks. I am a huge fan of warm soft “fuzzy” socks, so I got some for myself and thicker socks for hubby to walk around the room and be comfy in

4. Pretty pushers delivery gown for the labor. It has the perfect monitor and spinal (if needed) access and is meant to be disposed of once the delivery is over.

5. Super old comfy flats for the hospital

6. Flash difusser. I honestly don’t believe we’ll use it, since hubby isn’t “trained” to use flash, but I thought I’d put it in just in case. On top of it, lots of hair ties and a few headbands

7. Organic receiving blanket from Bambino Land to cover Alexis in while she is on my chest right after delivery. An organic Lukeeno onesie from Best Baby Organics (in case we’ll want to dress her right away. Which just made me realize that I need to pack a diaper as well in this bag.

8. Pads

9. Massage ball

10. Snack bars (my favorite kind)

11. Cheap oversized target underwear to be thrown out after labor

12. Blow up “thingy” for the birth ball

13. Speakers for the iPhone, so that I can play the Pushing Track of Hypnobabies out loud

14. External Flash ( which will probably not get used, because hubby doesn’t know how to and I’ll be preoccupied with other things, like pushing a baby out of my va-jay-jay)

15. Gatoraid (I am not a fan of gatoraid, but comparing the inrgedients of pedialite to gatoraid, I decided to go with this). To keep hydrated obviously. Though I’ll probably prefer water….

Not Pictured ( because I am still using the items or they’re too big to go into a bag and will just get packed in the trunk):

  • birth Ball and Base
  • camera, tripod, remote
  • fruit to snack on
  • a big body pillow for support
  • lots of other pillows
  • camera batter charger
  • hypnobabies guide
  • fuzzy blanket
  • lip balm

Our post partum bag:

This bag will get brought out when I get transferred from the delivery room into the recovery room.

  1. Clothes for hubby
  2. My Brest friend
  3. Towels. I packed old-ish towels, since half of you said they loved having their own towels and others didn’t like the idea of ruining them.
  4. More Target underwear I don’t mind throwing out afterwards.
  5. Lounge clothes for me that I don’t mind ruining, as well as some leggings and tops for when visitors come.
  6. Breastpads
  7. Toiletries, mother’s milk tea, nipple cream
  8. The biggest pads I could find
  9. More fuzzy socks :)
  10. My favorite item: cute designer hospital gown from Dear Johnnies. This will be the middle ground between wearing my own clothes and an ugly hospital gown. The nurses will have easy access to check me, and I will still feel cute ( well as cute as you can feel immediately after labor haha)
Not Pictured:
  • Blow up mattress for hubby to sleep on ( rather then the horrible pull out couch), since he’ll be spending every minute at the hospital
  • Tarp to put on the floor under the mattress so that it wasn’t gathering all kind of nasties from the hospital floor
  • Make up bag
  • Sweater
  • Sleep and nursing bras
  • A miracle healing lotion from Zita West (I’ll be blogging about this one- it’s amazing)
  • Our laptops
  • Lactation consultant’s number
  • Fuzzy robe ( do you notice a pattern? I love fuzzy fluffy things)
  • My going home outfit from Boob Design‘s spring line (that I didn’t even have at the time of writing this)

Our baby bag (my favorite):

This gets brought out from the car after the deliver is over and we’re in the recovery room.

  1. A few cloth diapers. As a new cloth diaper-er and a new mom, I am of course completely lost at the prospect of cloth diapering, I am hoping I’ll figure things out as I go. The reason why I packed 5 of them is because I don’t know how each brand will fit. After each day, I will give my mom a bag of dirty diapers and she’ll bring clean ones the next day. Luckily, babies aren’t supposed to poop too much in the first 2 days.
  2. RH Organic outfit: gown and hat. In case none of the pants/onesies fit
  3. Socks and a few more organic outfits of different lengths and sizes
  4. Cloth wipes (with a tea tree oil solution I made. Not pictured)
  5. Wet diaper bag to store dirty diapers in until my mom can take it home to wash.
  6. Miracle Blanket swaddle.
  7. What we think will be the going home outfit. From Sage Creek Organics.
  8. My favorite Shi Shu Blanket for the car seat in case it’s coldish.
  9. Bambino Land swaddle

Just in case bag

Just in case bag isn’t really a bag but a collection of random items thrown in the car JUST IN CASE. We’ve got:

Food “Bag”

My first “order” will be my favorite sushi roll, smoked salmon focaccia bread and a freshly made Napoleon cake! YUM!

That’s a pretty massive list, huh? But I feel like we won’t miss anything this way and everything will just sit in the car until we need it, so it’s not going to be inconvenient.

This was actually a lot of fun to write, probably because it makes it more real that soon we’ll need and get to use all those things.

 

UPDATE: Since I’ve been asked so much how my bags worked out, I’ll post a link here to the Reflections on Birth Experience post where I write about what did and did not get used.
Also read:

Also read:

Birth Story Part I
Birth Story Part II
Reflections on Birth Experience
Breastfeeding Journey
Breastfeeding Products that Helped 

This article belongs to The Art of Making a Baby ! The original article can be found here: Hospital Bags

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Comments (239)

  • Erin Maree

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    Hey,
    for some reason I thought I should comment and say hi :) I am actually a teenage girl reading your blog just because it interests me :) I took childcare in school (I just graduated) for 3 years so learnt alot about what you have been posting, but everytime I read a new post I learn more :D. I also live in Australia (I bet you never thought you would attract someone like me :D). Anyway I just wanted to let you know that I love your honesty of your posts and that you are so beautiful everytime I see a picture of you I do a double take I am sure Alexis will be so cute and beautiful (just like her mum!) and will have the best wardrobe ever!
    I just have a few questions to ask :)
    What is the age gap between you and your husband (I read somewhere on your blog that he was in his 40′s and you were in your 20′s but I could be imagining it)?
    What do you do when your not blogging, did you have a full time job- i’m guessing you don’t have one now and what does your hubby do (I’m just curious!)?
    Anyway keep up the blogging.
    Erin

    Reply

  • 03526643264545954811

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    We packed a lot too, it’s all part of the nesting process and it is fun, isn’t it? It certainly doesn’t hurt to bring it, especially if you’re leaving some in the car.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      We are leaving MOST of it in the car so it was easy to pack any conceivable and inconceivable thing we might or might not need. :)

      Reply

  • Jessica S

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    Why not coconut water for hydration? So much healthier than gatorade :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I really don’t like the taste of coconut water… And I heard it’s really not as good as it’s being touted (not that Gatorade is any better haha). I’m starting to think I just need to bring bottled water. I’m just not sure that sucrose in Gatorade would be more helpful…

      Reply

  • Shea

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    You are really bringing way, way too much stuff. Just a few items off hand most hospitals will not allow you to eat or drink duing labor. Red gatoraide is a really bad idea, if you have an adverse reaction or have to have a c-section you may get sick and this can give a false sense of blood in your vomit. Also if you need fluids you will recieve an IV.
    Another waste is the underwear and pads in your first bag, you can’t wear underwear during labor and wonn’t be wearing any for at least an hour or so afterward. Then you will be given mesh panties because they cut low for c-sections and hold the hospital ice packs well. The hospital also provides all the pads you could ever need. I would also call the hospital about the air mattress. More than likely it’s a big no-no. Not only can it be a fire hazard but it also would take up a lot of space and in the case of an emergency can be a hazard to the nurses and dr.’s. also keep in mind the nurses do come in your room during to night to check your bleeding etc. Most hospitals have birth balls for you to use. Also your pretty gowns may not get used if you have a c-section you likely will not be able to wear them due to serility and some hospitals even have policies against them. Some things I think you forgot, chapstick in your labor bag, I would move your robe and laptop to the labor bag. If they want you to walk you will most likely be walking the halls, not just your oom and the robe you cover you more. Your husband might want the laptop because if you get a epidural there’s a pretty good chance you will fall asleep and he will be very bored. I would also check your hospital policy on the cloth diapers. Most do not let you use them and provide diapers while the baby is in the hospital, especially if there is a complication and baby has to go to NICU.

    Rachel
    Mommy to 4 kids and 6 years as a labor and delivery/post partum nurse in central Flordia.

    Reply

    • Stefanie

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      This, exactly. It’s likely that you’ll only be allowed to munch on ice chips– no Gatorade. (I wasn’t even allowed to drink water during my labors.) As Shea mentioned, the hospital will provide you with pads while you’re there & they’ll be much bigger than the ones you’ve packed. My hospital did not provide the mesh panties, so I did need my own. As for the cloth diapers, leave them at home– meconium is like tar & will stain them. Just use disposables for the first few days. I don’t cloth diaper my boys, but from what I understand, the majority of cloth diapers fit babies 10lbs+, so there’s no need to pack them. No need to pack a diaper bag either– the hospital will provide everything you need to take care of the baby for the two days you are there. One extra thing you *should* pack is an empty bag– the hospital will send you home with tons of stuff (diapers, wipes, thermometers, paperwork, formula samples, etc) so you’ll need a place to put it! Definitely add chapstick to your bag.

      Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Hospital is fine with eating drinking, I’ll be declining an IV (in normal birth situation). Also I’m not planning for a c-section so I’d rather bring everything and then if I have a c section I just don’t use it. I do want to have my own pads just in case (some people said they preferred those), got lip balm as well.
      If cloth diapers aren’t allowed, we won’t use them. Just because the hospital might not allow certain things in certain situations, doesn’t mean I don’t want to bring it in case I can use it.

      Laptop during delivery might be a good idea, thank for the tip. He’ll have it in the car so if I end up with an epidural, he’ll bring it out- no need to bring it in right away, since we’ll be doing unmedicated childbirth.
      Totally see what you’re saying about blow up mattress, we’ll see if it works- there’s an area in the room in the back where you can be out of everyone’s way.
      Good tip on robe for walking hallways, didn’t think of that at all. I’ll pack one in labor bag.

      Oh question: if you don’t wear underwear for an hour after birth, what do you wear? Don’t you bleed or does it come in after?

      Reply

      • Tottums

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        You don’t wear anything, you’re going to be bleeding like a stuck pig. During this time they’ll stitch you up (if necessary) and let you pass as much as possible. Then they’ll clean you up, get you in a huge icepack pad, and then put the disposable mesh panties on you.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          So you just lie there and bleed? I guess I don’t get where the blood will be going in the first hour before you put pads and panties on.

          Reply

          • Caroline

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            Have you ever seen doggy pee pads? My hospital always had those on the bed underneath me. They will have your bed dressed to accommodate the bleeding and then will change it. You’ll also be delivering the placenta, being stitched up, etc in that time.

            Reply

          • Sarah

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            they put a huge pad-like blanket square on the delivery bed so it catches all the “extra” stuff after you deliver. But yes, they will put a mesh pair of panties on you after you deliver. They are not pretty but there is A LOT of leakage going on right after you deliver. You won’t want to be wearing anything else. The pads are HUGE and you will probably have an icepack tucked in there as well. i pushed for 3+ hours with my first and had some crazy bruising, swelling, hemorrhoids and a 2nd degree tear-so moving at that point wasn’t an option. Also, the first hour after delivery goes super fast-remember you still have to push out the after-birth and get stitched up from any tears, they also monitor you to make sure your uterus is shrinking to a normal size. And you’re being distracted the whole time with your new babe. Also if you end up with an Epidural you won’t be able to walk for at least an hour or 2 afterwards. Its sounds weird, but its really not, you won’t be thinking about no wearing panties because you’ll be so enthralled by your new baby! :)

            Reply

          • Tottums

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            You’re going to be leaking ambiotic fluid and bleeding all over yourself during both the labor/delivery and post partum process … and when I say leaking/bleeding … I mean GUSHING. You’ll be laying on pads which the nurses will change out periodically. Once in PP you’ll be in your mesh panties and robe. By day 2, I think I was ready to put on ‘normal’ clothes … but was still in mesh panties. In fact, I wore mesh panties for the first week PP. Some people only bleed for a few days, I bled like a stuck pig for 4 weeks, and spotted for another 2. Bringing ANYTHING pretty for yourself is completely useless. Use everything the hospital gives you.

            Reply

          • Katie

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            Isn’t that a gross thought to just lie there and bleed?! With both my deliveries they put mesh panties on me with a huge giant pad very shortly after delivery. I don’t remember lying there without anything on for too long, just until the doctor was through down there. Since I had epidurals both times, my legs were jello for quite awhile after, and my nurse came in often to change the panties and pads, and the big pad thing under me. I never had a icepack pad, either.

            Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            I doubt I’ll even think about what’s going on with me when Alexis comes out at first so it doesn’t scare me or gross me out. I was just curious how they handle not wearing anything while bleeding.

            Reply

          • Megan

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            I good labor and delivery nurse’s goal is that you DON’T lay there gushing blood and clots for the first hour. (I am aL&D nurse). That would be very, very bad. But that’s why you don’t where undies for the first hour or two bc we are constantly rubbingon your fundus (top of your uterus) to make sure it is clamped down to prevent a hemmorrhage. I say definitely bring the target undies- I hated the mesh panties and thought they were horribly uncomfortable. I never even put them on after my 2nd was born- I jumped straight to my granny panty Hanes (even post c-section), but use the hospital pads- wwaaaay more absrbant than store bought ones.

            Also- you say no IV but will you still have IV access (a hep-lock)? Most hospitals require at least that. If not will you be getting Pitcin I’m after delivery?

            Reply

          • Abbney

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            Yep! You lie there in your own afterbirth and get changed half hour to an hour

            Reply

          • 05778589365423473685

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            I have already had a baby and these comments are even scaring me! Honestly you will be so into your baby that it won’t even phase you what’s going on down there right after. I held my daughter skin to skin for her first 15 minutes and then nursed her for the next 45 before they took her away to weigh her and everything. It was just felt like it was me, her and my husband in the world even though I may have been bleeding all over the place but I honestly have no memory of that part.

            Reply

      • Amira

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        I know you do not want the IV but you really should have IV access in case there is an emergency. It’s nice to have before sh*t hits the fan. If you don’t need it no big deal. I’m saying this as a R.N. Also I wouldn’t bring red gatorade for the same reason as mentioned before. Good to have the bags in the car!!! Wishing you a safe and FAST delivery!!!!:)

        Reply

    • Liz

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      At 39 weeks with my first baby, I’ve heard a lot of DIFFERING and unsolicited opinions on almost every aspect of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. This has really been my biggest annoyance of being pregnant (yes, more-so than swollen feet and achy hips). What’s right for one person might not be for another. I would consider myself much like Elena, “I might as well throw it in there – someone once said it was useful – I don’t care if it doesn’t come out of the bag.” Sometimes the process of being prepared is purely mental. People need to realize that everybody is different, every hospital is different and most importantly, every single birth story is different.

      Reply

  • 15131305424778858448

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    Wow ! You do have a lot of stuff :)
    But it’s best to bring more than less !!

    I’ve never commented and I’m so glad I found your blog a couple weeks ago because my boyfriend and I want to start TTCing next year and your blog is full of resources !

    I hope everything goes well and as you want when your little girl decides to make her appearance !

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    you will use maybe 1/4 of what you are packing in each bag. wow.

    also, why are you bringing so many pads? does your hospital not provide them? the ones you’ll need at first are the industrial strength ones and the hospital will most likely give you a ton of them.

    Reply

  • Megan

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    I would wait on the cloth diapers. Don’t make any more work for yourself, or your mom, for the first few days. The hospital will provide diapers, or you can grab a pack of 7th generation diapers that will last a few days. Babies do poop a lot in the first few days- like every diaper a lot. And its thick sticky meconium, I cannot imagine trying to get that out of cloth!!

    Reply

    • Melody Kulifaj

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      7th generation are actually horrible diapers. There was a show created about how companies lie about their products and they were like offender #1. They actually DYE their diapers that brownish colour and when asked by the show as to why, they said it just makes them look different than the white ones. Its not because they are “natural”.

      Anyways Elena, I will be cloth diapering my boy too, but I found these amazing all natural organic biodegradable disposables for a couple weeks after he’s born just to make it easier on myself (they are however expensive but I 100% refuse to use regular ones on him, way to many disgusting and dangerous chemicals) and because of the sticky poop in the beginning.

      If you do want to use your cloth I would seriously recommend getting those disposable liners (bummis (?) makes them especially for cloth diapers) and you could line the diapers with them and it would help keep the meconium from laying right against the cloth and then you just take the liner and flush it in the toilet. Just a thought.
      Your bags have made me reconsider how I am packing mine, I like the idea of separate bags for different times, and unlike what most people have said I would rather pack more rather than less and be in the hospital thinking ohh I wish I had this or that..

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        The only reason I’m saying 7th generation is because I don’t expect to find anything else in retail stores and we don’t have time to order online for hospital if I go into labor. I’m not a huge fan of 7th generation. I use certain products for convenience as long as ingredients satisfy me. I remember seeing other brands that are better. Which ones did you find?

        Reply

        • Melody Kulifaj

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          http://www.broodychick.com/

          It’s a canadian company but does ship to the US. I know 7th generation is by far better than other brands out there, I just think its important to research and understand the products and its crazy that the actually DYE them brown

          Reply

      • Harinakshi

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        As someone who has been using cloth diapers for almost 4 years, don’t worry about the meconium poop in the cloth diapers. It doesn’t stain, and it washes out easily, you don’t have to dump or scrape it off, just throw it in the wash, it’s fine. It’ll be the easiest poop you deal with in cloth diapers until they start poop solid turds that roll off! I would suggest A LOT of newborn prefolds. Newborns can easily go through 12-18+ diapers a day in the beginning and even just laying a prefold inside a cover and just changing out the prefold will be much easier than anything else for the first few weeks.

        Reply

    • Amy

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      I cloth diapered from the get-go and meconium did not stain or stick to my diapers.

      Reply

  • Anne

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    I heard that the couple first baby poops are extremely staining because of the colostrum, so you better use disposal for the first 3-4 days if you don’t want to ruin your cloth diapers !

    Reply

    • Allison

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      I completely agree. Baby’s first poops are like black tar. Don’t use the CDs. Also, you don’t want them rubbing up against her new belly button.

      Reply

      • Erin

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        A friend of mine made me a couple of teeny tiny cloth diapers with a little cut in front to leave room for the cord. I found that normal-sized newborn CDs were still too big and rubbed up against the belly button. Just watch out for that. We did end up having to use disposables for a couple of weeks as well.

        Reply

  • thebabywife

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    I’d add some lip balm to your list – your lips will get very dry from mouth breathing

    I’d also recommend you don’t use your cloth nappies for the first few days. Baby’s first couple of poos will be black, tar-like, sticky and hard to wash out – your lovely nappies won’t thank you for it. Better to use organic disposable diapers until her poo changes colour

    xxx

    Reply

    • ally

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      Yes, the lip balm is essential!

      Reply

  • ????

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    ? ????? ??????????)))?????? ???????? ?? ????? ????????????,? ??? ???? ??????? ?????????.???? ????,???????????? ? ???? ???????? ??????? ????????? ? ?????? ?? ???????!???????,????? ???))
    PS ?????????? ???? ?? ???????, ???? ??????????? ????????????????? ?????????? ?????? ???????))

    Reply

  • ally

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    Just a thought– we CD’d from the beginning with the exception of the first few days because we waited til he had passed all of his meconium. That stuff is icky and not fun to get out of cloth. You might like a few disposables for that reason. Also, kimono-style tops are great for a brand new baby so the umbilical stump can breathe and not get irritated. I love the cheery orange going home outfit though.

    Reply

  • Michelle

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    I second the person who said grab some 7th generation diapers until the meconium runs through. Don’t get that sticky stuff on such adorable cloth!!

    Reply

  • Tottums

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    Babies actually poop a LOT in the first couple of days. A LOT. As in, many, many, many times. As a CDer myself, I would skip CDs for the first week or so, until all the merconium has passed. I can’t even imagine trying to get those stains out of pretty new fluff. Since you’re going organic 110% of the way, pick up some 7th Generation disposables to take with you for the baby instead. Also – don’t take pads for yourself. Your hospital will give you GINORMOUS HUGE GRAND CANYON absorbing things that have ice packs built into them and will fit into your mesh panties.

    Reply

    • Tottums

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      Also … you can leave the undies at home. You’ll be naked under your gown … no need for ‘disposable undies’ for you.

      Reply

  • Allison

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    Don’t bother bringing the pads. They won’t do anything for the PP bleeding, which is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. The hospital will supply you with monster pads, an ice pack and disposable underwear. Trust me, use the hospital stuff.

    Reply

  • KB

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    I’m a nurse. I guarantee you no one is going to let you put a blow up air mattress on the floor of the hospital room. That’s completely absurd. Leave it home.

    Reply

    • Melissa

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      I second this. I have worked in hospitals for 12 years. hospital floors are vile and just petri dishes of nasty bacteria. I don’t even wear my shoes in the house let alone would ever want to sleep on an air mattress on the floor. Trust me, a sore back would be much more tolerable than the things your hubby could pass on to your baby from sleeping on the floor. I’m not even a germophobe and this grosses me out

      Reply

  • 10718903742300435515

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    Its always better to have more than less, so you will be well prepared! Also, with my 2nd pregnancy i did bring my own pads…the first 24hr or so after delivery i was using the hospital stuff but after that my bleeding slowed and i wanted something more comfortable than the gigantic hospital supply-so good idea! but i 2nd the idea of chapstick in the labor bag! Also, i’ve used the miracle blanket for both my girls and L-O-V-E it!!! so good choice :) Good Luck, looking forward to read that you’re heading to hospital for go-time-you’ll do great!

    Reply

  • Rmoore

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    Just be prepared for extreme eye rolling from the hospital staff. And they don’t let you eat anything once labor starts… So you might want to just send the man out or to the cafe at some point after baby arrives.

    Reply

  • Kara

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    Please don’t ruin those beautiful CDs. They are going to want you to change her diaper often. It’s harder to tell how much they pee in cloth. You would need more than 5 for sure.

    Reply

  • Elena @The Art of Making a BAby

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    Totally see what you guys are saying about meconium ruining the cloth diapers. I guess i need to run and get some 7th generation ones. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply

    • Katie

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      The sun works wonders on stains though, and you have plenty of that in Florida! Hang the diapers out for a bit in the sun and that will take out most staining. If you do use your cloth diapers before she passes all the meconium, there are several great brands of disposable liners. Actually, disposable liners are awesome anyway! Maybe not as handy for runny newborn breast fed poops, but later on when she starts solids they are amazing. You just throw the dirty liner in the toilet and flush :)

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        I was planning on using liners and had them packed. But it’s probably a good idea to use 7th generation until meconium passes anyways.

        Reply

    • Corinne

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      Dude, meconium looks totally gross but it does not stain any more than poop from an exclusively breastfed baby. It washes out completely, don’t let that dissuade you from CDing the first few days. That being said, you’re going to need WAY more than 5 diapers for a day. I think there was at least once I changed my son five time in one hour at the hospital. They have a knack for starting to poop the minute you take a diaper off. And they pee a TON the first few days and you really should change them after every pee. And those one size cloth diapers won’t fit a newborn. The “fits 7-35″ lbs claim is grossly exaggerated. They may technically fit, but you’re going to leak with almost every diaper until they hit 10-12 lbs and you can get a better fit. Bring some newborn prefolds and a few covers if you have them (meconium doesn’t tend to leak all over covers like EBF explosive poops) and be done with it. You can pack way more prefolds too and not worry about how they’ll fit, just worry about perfecting your fold. Then promptly worry about changing it when you get home and get into the realm of newborn runny, gets-everywhere poop

      Reply

    • Harinakshi

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      The sun is your best friend. If you plan on breastfeeding the baby is going to have bright orange poop that turns all that pretty white material inside those diapers BRIGHT ORANGE. Lay them out in the sun after washing and the stains will be bleached away. I’ve replied once but I’ll say it again. Menconium poop does not ruin cloth diapers! I have cloth diapered two babies from birth and used cloth and I didn’t have to worry about stains until the BF poop was in full force. Seriously don’t worry about “ruining” those pretty cloth diapers, those diapers are meant to catch poop. And they will catch a lot of it. And they will stain. And you will spend the next two years sunning stains out of those diapers unless you eventually say “screw it” and only sun the ones you’re ready to sell. And once the baby starts solids their poops turn brown and brown is just about impossible to get out of the diapers! Get 2 dozen newborn prefolds and maybe half a dozen to a dozen covers for the newborn stage.

      Reply

          • Mel

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            I agree with Green Mountain Diapers Organic orange edged prefolds. Paired with a Thirsties Duo size 1 cover- it is perfect for a newborn. I would not be so worried about meconium, but all the diapers in your picture look one-size to me, and one-size diapers do not tend to fit newborns well (even big newborns have tiny legs) plus the rise tends to be too high which rubs the umbilical cord stump and can really irritate it and they also tend to be really wide between the legs. Most one size diapers start fitting well around 10 pounds, or 4-6 weeks. I think the diapers you have shown will just be way too big. I really, really love the Green Mountain prefolds and covers for the newborn stage. Good luck!

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  • Caroline

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    Did you check with your hospital about the blow-up mattress and tarp? I would be surprised if they let you use that for liability reasons. There isn’t all that much sleeping happening anyway so I wouldn’t worry about your husband being uncomfortable. He’ll be just fine. Also those rooms get crowded really quickly. With my last birth I had the largest room in our very new hospital and a blow up mattress still would have taken up far too much room. Be careful with your lovely fluffy blanket too. After both of my sons were born the sheets/blankets always ended up with blood stains on them.

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  • Ana

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    A bucket… The room will look and smell like a crime scene.

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  • Chelsea

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    I loved that post. It was so much fun to be able to see what you’re bringing : ) That was so helpful. I’m not even pregnant yet, but I like to be fully prepared and that was awesome. I’m so excited for you!

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  • Julie

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    Hi there!
    I would definitely have a bathrobe at all times in the hospital, it’s great for walking the halls in the hospital and even when visitors come. Honestly, comfort is the number one thing you would want postpartum. Pack loose clothes and I would suggest a longish loose skirt for going home. Even after a csection, the last thing I wanted to put on was pants due to the incision and all the pads and stuff, I imagine it would be even worse for a regular delivery. For the baby, the hospital gives you everything you need, they go thru tons of diapers and cloth would just be ruined. Plus the diapers can’t be touching the belly button. I liked kimono style tops for that reason for the baby rather than onesies. I did think bringing soft baby blankets though was a good idea. Also, if you will be using a breast pump, bring that so they show you how to use it and help you out. Good luck, can’t wait to see baby pics!

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  • Jill

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    Oh dear, are you kidding me with those pads? The pads you use will be the size of a canoe… Wishful thinking maybe!?! :)

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  • Lisa

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    Leave the pads at home. They will be good for the weeks of bleeding after you are home, but at the hospital they will be worthless. Take your period and multiply that by about 100 and that’s what the bleeding will be like. A few hours after I had my first, the nurse was helping me to the bathroom to clean up and I lost a clot that made a sound on the floor that nearly made my husband pass out. Think depends, not panty liners (which is basically what those will feel like).

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  • kara

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    That is way too much stuff. You need bigger pads. Your kid will poop ALOT in the first 2 days. Blow-outs, actually. The messiest ones! And again…way too much stuff!!!!

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  • Marcia

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    You’ll need at more than five diapers… Not sure who told you that babies don’t poop a lot in the first few days but they do- as well as pee. And might want to clear the air mattress with the floor because I highly doubt they will allow it especially if you plan on keeping baby in your room overnight.

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  • Nicole M.

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    I agree that CD’s at first might not be the best idea. I had a teeny baby (6 lbs 2 oz) and my Earth’s Best NB size were too big on her. The NB Pampers Swaddlers ended up being perfect in the beginning because they ran smaller and had the section cut out for the umbilical cord stump. Luckily, the hospital sent us home with a package. Also, the hospital will pretty much provide EVERYTHING *you* NEED especially the pads and panties. After birth, like someone else said, you’ll just be sitting on those blue “doggie” pee pads until a nurse takes you to the bathroom to help you with the panties and pads. The throwaway panties you have though will be great for the first few weeks when you get home. And those pads should be fine then too, just not right away!

    I didn’t have a cute gown to labor in but when I was on my final pushes, a nurse suggested I remove it so I could do skin to skin contact immediately upon delivery and it’s truly the best moment of my life, having my daughter lying skin to skin on my chest after birth. I highly suggest it :) I haven’t seen anyone mention this but since you’re going to do u-nmedicated birth, you’ll likely decline pain relief afterwards, which is probably a good idea. Honestly, it won’t help. However, my hospital gave me a can of Dermaplast medicated spray for down there and that was the biggest relief. I’d buy a can just in case they don’t give you any.

    And one more thing, I love coconut water (not sure I’d want it during labor though…) But the only brand I can drink is VitaCoco. It’s the one with pineapple. Love it.

    You’re so close, girl! I’m getting anxious for you to post her first photos!

    Reply

    • Mary

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      Looks like you’re thoroughly prepared!
      Ditto the others, leave the pads at home. You will need the ones that the hospital provides which are much bigger than any you can get at the store.
      Also, as great as cloth diapers are (I CD’ed w/ both of my children, as well), the nurses are going to want you to track your baby’s urination. They want to monitor how often she pees to ensure that her body is processing what she takes in. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to tell when newborns pee in a cloth diaper. They only put out a couple of tablespoons of liquid at a time and the cloth diapers are wonderful at wicking that moisture away. The diapers they provide in the hospital will have a strip on the outside that turns blue if there is any moisture in the diaper. This lets you know if your baby has been peeing. The newborn disposable diapers also have a cut out so that they aren’t rubbing against the baby’s umbilical cord stump.
      Good luck for a safe delivery!

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  • Jasmine

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    Hi there :) I have been following your blog for awhile now and excited to read your birth story. I live in Canada and have had 3 vaginal deliveries – 1 induced/epidural with doctor (12 + hours), 1 totally unmedicated/natural (2 hours from start to finish), and 1 partially induced (water broke but no contractions so induced with oxytocin – baby was born 45 minutes later!)/no pain meds.
    I like how prepared and excited you are – and how you are looking forward to labour. I totally looked forward to my labours – especially #2 and 3 as they were with my wonderful midwife and I wish that hubby was on board for #4 because the idea of never doing it again makes me sad. Yes it hurt like crazy and after #3 was born I remember saying I am so glad I never have to do that again – but an hour later I was thinking how awesome, and yeah, I could do that again lol :) All my babes were born in the hospital and after 2 and 3 we left a few hours after the birth. Things seem very different at our hospitals here and I dare say, our C/S rate seems a lot lower then the US (but that is just from reading everyone else’s comments and personal reading/research so I could be way wrong)….I have had many, many friends deliver at the hospital with no pain meds and things like eating in labour, no constant monitoring etc. are common place. I only had the IV’s in me because of the oxytocin and not just “in case” etc. I remember when I was being hooked up with baby #3 that I was drinking a steamed milk and eating a muffin – and the hospital delivered me lunch just before that so the no eating thing is very odd to me. I did take gatorade/vitamin water to all 3 labours and they were amazing (gingerale too)….no not very healthy but sugar and water were soooooo amazing during transition – I never wanted to eat during the labour itself but ice on the head and sips of my drinks were essential. As for you hospital gown, I LOVE that and always wish I had ordered one – although I ended up naked during most of my deliveries – well the unmedicated ones anyways – the feeling of anything on my skin made me crazy. Do you have a bathing suit top in case you are able to labour in the water at all? I was allowed to wear whatever I wanted even with the inductions and no one gave me hassles about my tank top etc. so I can’t see why your cute gown should be a problem.
    As for underwear, I have to agree with everyone else – I thought those mesh panties were strange and yuck when I first saw them on the hospital tours but took a whole bunch home with me after baby was born. I know that looking cute is important but honestly, those mesh panties hold everything in so nicely and are so comfortable, I had a hard time giving them up lol. If you don’t tear then the ice packs might not be necessary although they will feel lovely….and as for the pads, the ones in your picture do seem terribly small and thin – if you can buy some thicker ones it would be better for at least the first week. I took a bunch of the hospital ones home all 3 times to take care of things for the first week and then started using my one. I didn’t tear with #2 or 3 but after #1 I was shocked by the “collateral damage” down there – some tucks medicated pads (kept in freezer) were really soothing. Birth really is a messy business and right after you deliver, you will for sure sit on some of those pads for awhile while you deliver placenta, possibly get stitches etc. You will be so busy looking at your baby girl – you will not even notice time passing. I got up and had a shower about an hour after birth (glorious!!!!) and had a pee which they will require you to do and then put on the panties and pads.
    As for cloth diapers, I don’t use them but would agree with everyone that newborns poo a lot right from the get go and meconium is black and sticky. I really liked my newborn diapers that had the umbilical cord notch so it wouldn’t rub up on the stump – used those until it fell off after a week or so. I also think that she is going to be too tiny for those cute little cloth ones at first.
    Please take lots of pictures for yourself and don’t worry so much about angles and lighting. It won’t matter but you will regret it if you don’t have them to reflect on at some point. I have no pictures of labour/delivery for #1 and 2 – just the lovely aftershots of course. With #3, I had my best friend come and take pictures and video of the whole thing and I love, love, love them. They are for me only but it is so nice to revisit the event and see my girl born – I was too busy at the time to really pay attention to my surroundings!
    Anyways, I do wish you luck and hope you enjoy all the moments of you new adventure. Unmedicated is totally doable and wonderful – but my epidural birth was really awesome too – I almost named our firstborn after the anethesiologist lol – that said, I regretted not being more informed and ready to do it all natural as I had planned and hoped for.
    Cheers and good luck!

    Reply

  • 15602457496601340341

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    Wow, that’s a lot of stuff, but better have more than less when you need it right? :)
    Those small baby socks are just too cute :)
    Hope labor and delivery go as smooth as possible! hang in there!

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  • Edie

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    I CD but waited for a couple weeks. For one, that black tar poop is something. Yikes. Another, even my 9.5 lber didn’t fit into newborns until a couple weeks old.

    I packed a lot, but honestly did not open the bag until we were getting ready to go home! But Like you, we were a half hour away from home, so no running back for something.

    I had a natural birth, no IV or anything and was allowed to eat and drink (thank goodness). I snacked on honey stick for a burst of sugar and Luna bars. Also we had one of those battery operated fans and that was the most useful thing I packed. I got really hot in the birthing tub and the fan was amazing.

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  • Lauren

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    You’re deciding to pack a lot of good stuff, but like other commenters I thought I’d give you a little advice. I ended up packing WAY too much stuff when I went to the hospital and I totally regretted it. Especially when I had to unpack it when I got home!

    - Definitely don’t bring your own pads/ underwear. You’re going to need the HUGE pads the hospital gives you, and you’re going to want to save those pads to use at home since you’ll be bleeding for weeks and weeks. As for the underwear, if you give birth vaginally you’re going to want to keep an icepack as well as a pad in your panties (my hospital froze newborn diapers and that’s what I used) and regular underwear probably aren’t going to be big enough for that. If you end up with a c-section you’ll want the mesh undies as well because of the tender incision area.

    - I really, really, really wouldn’t recommend using cloth diapers at first. First of all you have to change a newborns diapers CONSTANTLY- I’m talking every few hours- to see what their output is like. Second of all, newborn meconium poops (and they will have quite a few of those) are IMPOSSIBLE to get off cloth diapers (I know many a person who has had their diapers ruined with that stuff!)

    But it’s up to your discretion of course! :) When I was in the hospital I LOVED my boppy pillow, pretty pushers gown, and toiletries- nothing is going to feel as good as that first shower post partum!

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  • Tina

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    I brought baby book for footprints. They did it shortly after my daughter was born ( while still in labor and delivery room).

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  • Melissa

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    Welp, I just tried to leave a long comment and then got an error message, so I’ll just rewrite the only semi-useful thing I said. :) You might want to consider bringing a pacifier. I had read not to give pacifiers early on so as not to mess up breastfeeding, and we didn’t actually give Riley one in the hospital, BUT when we went to leave, she freaked out when we put her in the car seat, and it was breaking my already emotional heart, so we gave her a pacifier for the ride home and she was happy and went right to sleep. You may not use it, but you may find you wish you had it even just for a quick car ride home when there’s not much else you can do to comfort her if she’s upset! Just a thought.

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  • Roxy

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    This post was very helpful. I have three more months before my baby is here but it’s always nice to see an example of other people’s hospital bags and see the different things I may need for my hospital bag.

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  • Julia

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    hard to tell from the photo, but are the cloth diapers newborn size or one size? Newborns require a totally different stash of cloth diapers that are a small size, then once they hit about 12-13 lbs they can transition to the one size diapers that adjust over time. I have heard that the meconium stains are impossible to get out so disposables are best for the first couples days. Also newborns can have anywhere from 10-20 diaper changes a day! So you need lots of diapers on hand, either cloth or disposable.

    Definitely call and ask about the air mattress, there are a lot of fire codes at hospitals and typically there can’t be anything blocking access from the bed to the door in case they need to wheel you out in an emergency. A good alternative might be some kind of memory foam for the pull out bed.

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  • me

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    Please do NOT take an air mattress to the hospital. There are very serious infections that are easily passed around. It’s the most digusting place, a hospital floor. Come on girl! Also, if you have a csection you will be in the hospital a few days, so make a list for hubby just in case he needs to pack more stuff to bring you from home.

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  • liz

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    that’s smart to have the separate bags because at my hospital the delivery room was a separate room than the recovery/postpartum room. So we did the same thing, had the delivery room bag and postpartum bag :)
    Good luck!

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  • Lily

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    Your one size diapers aren’t going to fit at birth. Not unless you’re going to have a 13 pound baby (the size they tend to start fitting). I mention this because I don’t want you to get completely frustrated that they’re not fitting and stop using cloth. The only one in your stash that you pictured that might fit are your Rumparooz.

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  • Lily

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    Also, I had to address the meconium “stains” comment of the poster above me. Meconium is one of the easiest things to get out. I have yet to hear one person have an issue with staining.

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    • Megan

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      I agree with Lily. Meconium is suppose to be easy to get out. But I won’t be bringing my CD to the hospital. I don’t want to have to worry about them while I’m there, and I’m not going to expect my mom to take them home with her to wash them. Also, like Lily said…the one sizes won’t fit a newborn….and newborn’s go through 10-12 diapers a day… so 5 won’t cut it.

      With the Postpartum bleeding… I used their pads and mesh panties. The panties they have are designed to be tight and help your uterus go down so your bleeding slows. Panty liners will not work. It will look like a crime scene in your underwear, and you will think your bleeding out.

      Also, your way overthinking L&D and Postpartum. They won’t let you eat anything and usually will only let you take in ice chips or water. While you aren’t planning for a c-section, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s a hospital liability to allow you to eat/drink anything before something that could result in an emergency surgery. Also, you won’t want to sit and munch on something, it’ll be the last of your worries. I labored for 36 1/2 hours with my son, and I didn’t even eat supper after that…nor did I eat breakfast or lunch. Labor is meant to be hard…and it will take a toll on your body systems.

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    • Abby

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      I disagree with this. My son had mega explosion meconeium hours after birth that stains his entire outfit and blanket. Was never able to get the stains out.

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  • Allyssa

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    Elena have you stripped your diapers and everything? Your diapers look like they’re the one size diapers. Alexis might not fit those if she’s small. You may want to get some newborn sized ones or some prefolds and covers to use (that’s what we’ll be using for the newborn stage). They’re cheap and people swear after them.

    I’ve been stalking this board since I found out I was pregnant in April 2011 (since miscarried of course) but now that I’m pregnant again, I’m back to stalking this board. http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a16235/cloth_diapering It’s really helped me

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    • Allyssa

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      ok apparently when I thought I’d read all the comments before, I hadn’t really. so ignore the duplicate parts of my comments. I’m glad to see what you’re bringing. I’ll definitely be using this post to pack my bags in September.

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Allyssa,

      I thought you’re supposed to strip them when they’re not as absorbent anymore? I washed them as per instructions, but that’s it.

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  • Julie

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    Kudos for cloth diapering, Elena! We used Bum Genius all-in-ones with our daughter and LOVED them. I also think those Pretty Pusher gowns are really clever. My hospital gown definitely got in my way during labor, I bet that gown would have been great.

    There were a couple of really good (albeit bossy) suggestions on this comment list. I say, pack whatever the heck you want and enjoy taking this special nesting time to prepare for your beautiful, unique birthing experience.

    Wishing you an easy, fast, medication-free, natural, vaginal birth. So excited for you!

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  • KMW

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    Ha!!

    Your packing is nothing short of ridiculous. I gave birth last month, I took half the amount of stuff as you, and I used none of it! You won’t have time to throw over that pretty organic blanket when your baby comes out and is on your chest. Wait until she’s had her first bath and is nice and clean.

    Two hospital gowns? Some hospitals don’t allow you to wear anything but their gowns, so you might want to check with them.

    You may not be “planning” on a c-section, I wasn’t either….but after 18 hours in labor and 4 hours of pushing and baby didn’t go anywhere, I had a c-section. My word of advice is expect the unexpected and definitely don’t assume that some things won’t happen to you (like bleeding/c-section), because they will. I’m 8 weeks post partum and I’m still bleeding.

    Use the diapers the hospital provides and don’t ruin those nice cloth diapers. You’re incorrect; the baby will poop A LOT the first few days.

    Good luck turning down that IV. If you end up having to be induced (another thing you might not be planning for, but as a first time mom it’s likely to happen) you have no choice but to have the IV. You also won’t be able to walk around or get in the bath.

    For your sake, don’t have too much of a “plan”, it will cause nothing but disappointment. Go with the flow, and don’t worry too much about your pictures. The real, raw experience is what you should want to remember.

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    • Melissa

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      Its not ridiculous. She just over packed because she can. The only three questionable items are the diapers (which shes changed her mind about), the pads (which, if she doesn’t use them who cares?) and the air mattress (which I would definitely not bring).

      If she doesn’t use the stuff, what does it matter? She’s prepared for everything, and what she may have forgotten, the hospital will provide.

      I can’t believe how rude some people are being to her. Give the girl a break.

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    • Jenn

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      Wow, you’re a peach.

      Reply

  • Anna

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    I was waiting for this post :) i understand every hospital policy is different and your hospital bag is so different for my Polish friends’ advice, so it’s always good to know others experience. From what I was adviced you would be missing: baby scisorss (seems babies can be born with long nails which are dangerous to the eyes), and -if your hospital doesn’t allow cutting nails (bacterias and hospital germs), than use mittens. Also: baby brush :)
    And, not sure if you packed: chargers! phone, laptop and camara chargers.
    Good luck and bring a healthy baby home! :)

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    • Deanna

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      those pads will only be good for wiping away the sweat on your brow…..leave them at home.

      And good luck with that air mattress. Its a fire hazard…..and I wouldnt be SHOCKED if the hospital gave your the green light on it. I slept on one of those pull out bed things when my son was in the hospital (for 3 days) and it wasnt THAT bad. He can suck it up for a night. Besides, he wont be getting much sleep anyhow….

      You may want to call the hospital and ask them their policy on the delivery gown you bought….they might have a policy against you wearing anything other than their stuff…..

      and I would also advise against the CD for the first few days/week. That black tar poop is awful…..They provide the diapers….use them.

      Eating during labor. You obviously dont know anyone that has tossed their cookies during labor. I do. I know several that ate a bunch of stuff and then promptly threw up all over themselves, their husband, and the nurses. I advise against sneaking food…..because throwing up isnt glamourous. Get some regular water or flavored water….the gateraid will give you heartburn.

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  • Meg

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    Just a thought on your pads. When I had my son, my midwives specifically warned against using Always brand, as the “dry weave” on the top of the pad is quite sticky and mesh-y, for lack of a better description. The problem with this is that with all the blood and sometimes stitches, that loose part can get stuck to your bits and be really uncomfortable to pull off if blood dries/stitches hook in, etc. I never use Always anyway, but a friend confirmed this was a problem for her. Just a heads up.

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  • Jess

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    I didn’t read everyone’s comments, so I don’t know if it was mentioned, but I have one more recommendation: Depends. They cover way more than even the giant pads and you don’t have to worry about them staying in place. I had no leaks at all, and they even kept me feeling dry-ish. My hospital did provide all the pads I needed, but only two pair of mesh panties. They told me I would have to rinse them out to use them again. Gross. I am usually pro-use what the hospital provides, but seriously: Depends.

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  • Lara

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    Just wanted to chime and say ditto everyone one the pads and undies (don’t bother – they provide what you need) and also ditto on those CDs not working. I was determined to CD in the hospital (wasn’t really worried about the meconium) and ended up not until we got home for various reasons, but if you want to you’ll need different newbirn diapers. Those OS diapers won’t for her until she’s 12 pounds or so. I had a NINE pound girl and we were in newborn diapers (little joeys mostly) until she was 6-8 weeks old. And none of those have the scoop for her umbilical cord; those will rub it raw (I see definitely a GroVia all in one and a BumGenius, a happy heiny, a Rumparooz, and an Oh Katy…we have all those and none will work until her cord falls off, even of she’s huge and the one size diapers fit right away.

    TTO solution also might be too harsh at this stage; plain water would work best.

    It probably won’t help much at this point but I have a packing list on my blog, as well as a link to a CD blog you might find useful.

    Good luck!

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    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      You think TTO solution would be too harsh? I thought it was pretty mild ( I put 2 drops +2 drops of lavender +olive oil(though I’m rethinking that one)+aloe and 1 spoon of organic mild baby soap). If that’s too harsh , how aren’t disposables? Do you think I should remake it with just water and olive oil and 1 drop of TTO?

      I’d like the link by the way, you didn’t attach it.

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      • Alexandra

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        I experimented with all sorts of solutions and found that the best thing for us was plain water. He has never had a diaper rash and it works great. I think you’ve already decided to get some disposables and I early would. In the very beginning the cloth doesn’t fit well and I found it hard to get under his umbilical cord stump.I started using his newborn diapers at one week and the one size at 6 weeks. We love it.

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      • Lara

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        At that quantity it will probably be okay – some recipes call for a stronger solution.

        If you do get some NB diapers and CD in the hospital, you can rub coconut oil in her booty to prevent the meconium from sticking to her! And it’s a great natural rash creme and lotion. And CD safe!

        Blog links are http://babyhtaketwo.blogspot.com and the CD blog is http://awesomeclothdiapers.blogspot.com

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          • Lara

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            Haha! Well, if you have any questions about CDs my email is on my blogger profile. Feel free to shoot me a note! I’ve only been doing it six months but we’ve had great success – no leaks, smells, etc. And I’m part of a large CD group that has people who have been doing it for years and people who are currently CDing newborns, so if I can’t help I can probably get the answer. :)

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      • Corinne

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        My hospital recommended washcloths with plain water for newborns. Anything else was too harsh for his little butt. They didn’t even have disposable wipes available

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      • Caitlin

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        I think the solution you made could possibly be too harsh on that brand new baby skin. I’ve cloth diapered both of my children and I work at a cloth diaper retailer. I’d recommend starting with just water and a soft cloth/wipe. If for some reason that isn’t working well enough, then I’d try adding a squirt of a gentle baby wash (I used CA Baby or Dr. Bronners Baby Mild) in with the bottle of wipe water. My approach is to always keep things simple and go from there. Just water works quite well :) And I’m so happy to see you bringing cloth with you to the hospital. We used cloth from the very start and had no issues. The one size diapers will be pretty big on your baby (unless she’s around 10 lbs). So, don’t be too frustrated if they don’t work well at first. If you are looking for some good newborn size diapers I’d suggest some Kissaluv size zero fitteds, Thirsties duo covers in size one and some good cotton infant size prefolds. Good luck!

        Reply

  • Ashley

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    One thing that helped me IMMENSELY was to put pads in a bowl (so the pads freeze in a shape that will fit your body), pour straight witch’s hazel on them (using a peri bottle helps with this), and stick the bowl in the freezer. It makes a great absorbant ice pack, and the witch’s hazel feels wonderful. I got a new one with every trip to the bathroom. It made a HUGE difference in my pain level, swelling, and the itchiness from stitches.

    This isn’t technically bag packing related, but I would make up a couple frozen pads before I left for the hospital, so they were ready to go as soon as I was home.

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  • Lisa

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    The hospital will have a pump, but you probably won’t pump unless you are super uncomfortable and the baby isn’t eating much (you won’t want to give a bottle anyway so early if you want to continue breastfeeding!)

    I was reading the comments below on panties after birth…and it’s so funny b/c I honestly have NO IDEA what I wore. I had an emergency c-section and I am cracking up thinking about it. I was 100% not in regular panties until after I went home…but I guess I really did wear nothing after labor. I definitely wore the mesh panties the rest of the times. The pads they give you are the size of phone books so you can’t wear regular underwear…also they will give you all the pads you need. Save the ones you have for when you are home. I stocked up on mesh undies & pads when we were there…I liked having them at home, too. They just seem to keep everything together.

    Good luck, can’t wait for the news!!

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  • Jenn

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    Elena… I am sorry you are getting so many negative comments. I don’t know why the mothers here are being such b—-es to a first time mom. Maybe instead of laughing at her and telling her everything she wants is stupid and ridiculous, you ladies could give her positive, TACTFUL guidance.

    The ONLY comment I agree on is waiting a few days on the CDs. It would suck to have them stained or ruined right out of the gate, and five is nowhere near enough. If I wanted to CD at the hospital I’d bring like eight per day, and even that’s pretty conservative.

    Everything else? Is fine. I packed even more than you and didn’t use half of it, but who cares?! I was glad it was there if I DID need it and it’s not like there’s a weight limit on hospital bags! Geez. I brought snack bars and snuck bites while I was starving in early labor. I did my research and I felt it was more important to avoid a C-section by not being dehydrated and starving than it was to prepare for the one-in-a-million scenario they don’t want you to eat for (emergency C-section where you HAPPEN to vomit on anesthesia despite anti-nausea meds and then HAPPEN to aspirate the vomit… come on).

    The pad thing is RIDICULOUS. Not everyone bleeds like “Call of Duty” after birth, and on my second day in the hospital I can’t even TELL you how thrilled I was to switch to some cheap regular panties and maxi pads. It was such a huge morale boost! I had ZERO issues using them. I can’t believe how many women are ordering you to leave them at home. Well, I’m ordering you to bring them!

    I can’t think of much else to suggest, except that the hospital is super boring (Alexis will likely sleep a lot, and days in bed are so long) so make sure you bring something to occupy a lot of time. The food at my hospital sucked, so you might consider bringing more snacks in your postpartum bag, just in case.

    You know, I don’t necessarily make all the same choices as you, but there are lots of different ways to be a great mom. I think you’re going to be great at this and I’m really rooting for your labor to go well. Good luck girl.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Jenn,

      Luckily, I see it for what it is. People having THEIR opinions about THEIR experiences and thinking that that’s the ONLY way it can happen. It IS strange that some think I SHOULD DO what they say or that they KNOW how my experience is going to work out or that I even care about their opinion, but it just makes me laugh. That being said, I do appreciate constructive advice and encouragement and un-biased opinions (like one size cloth diapers won’t fit a newborn until 12 lbs, or don’t put mattress on the floor cuz it’s so germy it’s unsafe).

      Also, I never forget this is Internet, so everyone and their mama feel the need to express their opinion whether it was asked for or not or whether it has any merit. In real life, I’ve never had anyone tell me what I SHOULD DO, only what THEY DID. Also, I think most of these people haven’t read all my posts and don’t know the reasoning behind bringing certain things that I mentioned in previous posts, but like I said luckily I am not one of those people who can be told what to do. I’ll listed to advice and do what I feel is right for me.

      I asked about what to pack in a hospital bag a few posts ago and got amazing answers and that’s what I went off of: packing everything anyone thought could be useful. If i don’t use it, it stays in the car, if I need it, it’s right there.

      It’s funny that you mention you switching to maxi pads, because that’s exactly why I packed them. A few people said they hated the brick pads from the hospital and were very happy to have some Maxi pads with them, so since I don’t know how it will be for me, I packed them.

      And I got my laptop with me for the boring moments, so I can blog or do whatever else I feel like doing besides rest.

      Let’s just hope Alexis comes by Thursday next week, or I am going to have to be induced which means I have to repack some of the things and re-do my birth plan a little bit.. ugh!

      Again thanks for the support!

      Reply

  • Jennifer A

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    I can guarantee you having done this 3 times. you will only use 5% of all of that stuff. and the blanket you plan on putting on the baby as it lays on your chest will be ruined by all of the blood, mucus and other bodily fluids. good luck!

    Reply

  • Elise

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    I mean this with no snark. You are way over thinking this. I get that you are trying to have a comfortable stay, but the worse thing you can do to make your stay uncomfortable is to severely irritate your nursing staff. An air mattress and tarp? Maybe after you have her you’ll realize how insane that sounds. The one size cloth diapers are for 10+lbs babies. Also I second the first poops you do not want in a cloth diaper. I would also be hesitant to put her straight into your own blanket. Organic or not it came from outside the hospital. Your home isn’t as clean as you think and your cats have been around. I don’t even know that they would do that. Honestly I brought a duffle bag for my daughter and I. My husband had his own small bag. He was uncomfy on the pull out couch, but he didn’t care. Half the stuff I packed wasn’t used, and I packed very little. We were so wrapped up in love of our little girl we never thought about what we needed. I am just being honest. I have to ask, if you were wanting so much stuff for the hospital why didn’t you just plan a home birth?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Just to quickly answer your question. I don’t WANT that much stuff for the hospital. I am packing it all for any case scenario that people suggested and leaving most in the car until I need it if I need it. The actual stuff in the room will be minimal. But that was written in the beginning of my post, so I’m not sure why some of you didn’t catch that ( besides the fact that it wasn’t read fully).
      Home birth vs hospital birth reasons- I want my OB and I want the safety of a hospital, since I don’t know how my birth is going to go (natural? epidural? c section? induction?). As it is it looks like I might have to be induced if she doesn’t come on her own…

      Reply

  • Amanda

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    I think you’ve got most stuff covered! I had my baby at a birth center and left 6 hours after I had my son so my experience was a little different but I brought a lot of the same things, including cheap target underwear! I would suggest bringing some disposable diapers, you can buy organic at Whole Foods, we cloth diapered and none of our cloth diapers fit at first! Also bring a small bottle of olive oil, our midwife put it on our babies bottom and it made wiping off the meconium super easy and it’s gentle on newborn skin. Someone suggested bringing chapstick in your labor bag, a great idea. My lips got so dry during labor. I found the mesh panties to be uncomfortable, I liked having my own. I had a hypnobirth and having peaceful music was really helpful. I drink mostly water during my labor but at the end I drank juice and the sugar gave me the boost of energy I needed to push, so the gaterade is a good call. Having your mom around to bring you stuff will be so nice! I wish you the best in your labor and delivery!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Oh, great idea on olive oil. I actually do have it packed since one of my friends recommended it for the same thing. I just forgot to include it into the list.
      And got chapstick covered as well.

      Reply

      • Kim

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        I agree on the olive oil. It was awesome, so gentle on their skin. I had midwives too and that’s what they said to use. I never used disposable wipes. I used those little baby cloths and tossed them in the wash. No problem.

        I also didn’t bleed that much. It was like a very heavy period. And I hated being in the hospital. I had 3 vaginal births and 2 of my babies had to stay in special care due to respiratory problems. The hospital is BORING! I couldn’t wait to get home.

        Good luck and ignore the negative comments. :)

        Reply

  • JBaby

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    The only clothes you’ll need for the baby is her coming home outfit. The rest of the time she’s there she’ll be in a long-sleeved kimono shirt and diaper wrapped in a blanket. And ditto the blanket for while she’s on your chest– save that for after she’s cleaned.

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    I can’t believe how many negative comments you are getting. Sure, you might be overpacking but I can see that you want all bases covered. Also don’t let people freak you out about tears and post partum. Not everyone tears, I did the perinial stretches like you are doing and I didn’t tear! And yes the first few hours are rough post partum, you’ll be sore but nothing Aleve can’t help and you’ll be bleeding heavily but it gets much better! I wore adult diapers for the first 12 hours because it felt more “secure” but the next morning I was in overnight pads and my own underwear. It all sounds horrible but you’ll be so in love with your new baby it honestly is not as bad as these women are telling you. I don’t know why they bother commenting other than to be bitches. Best of luck Elena and Alexis! Know that there are lots of people rooting for you and wishing you the best! :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thanks, Amanda! Post partum sounds pretty bad, but I’m looking forward to meeting Alexis so whatever needs to be done, I’m good with that.

      Reply

      • Kim

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        Oh, and post-partum isn’t so bad (at least it wasn’t bad for me). Mostly just shock, thinking, wow, I just had a baby. LOL

        What was traumatic for me was the first BM. Oh Em Gee. Try not to eat much at first, let your body recover a little before sitting on the toilet. :)

        Reply

  • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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    Anyone has any idea on which one size cloth diapers run small enough for a newborn? Also, I really hate the idea of diapers rubbing the umbilical stump, but I thought I’d figure something out once Alexis is here, cuz I don’t even know how big diapers are on a newborn… Diapers with a hole for the stump? Ideas on brands (healthy disposables and cloth) are appreciated.

    Reply

    • Ashley

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      I used these http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/thirsties_duo.htm covers over these http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/diapers.htm prefolds for the newborn stage. I rarely even used the covers at home because they are so absorbent. It made it easier to tell when he was wet so I could change him right away, and it never even leaked breast fed poo. They were absolutely wonderful. Very easy to clean and very affordable. I had no problems with meconium stains. Regular poo stains worse, but it’s easy enough to sun out. They were much easier to use than I thought they’d be. Now that he’s outgrown them, I use them to stuff my one size diapers. I don’t know of any one size diapers that truly fit a newborn.

      Reply

    • Amanda

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      Elena,
      Huggies Pure & Natural have umbilical cut outs, we used those and Earth’s Best. I don’t think Earth’s Best had the cut outs but we were easily able to fold the front down. We use G Diapers cloth diapers and we had the smallest size and they were HUGE on him when he was born. He was 7lb 4oz at birth and 21.5″ long.

      I was also going to suggest Kotex overnight pads for you, they were the softest!

      Reply

    • Julie

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      Ditto prefolds and covers – the one-size diapers really aren’t going to fit right until around 12 pounds. And we have 36 prefolds – having that many AIOs would break our bank! Our baby was getting changed at least a dozen times a day in the beginning, if not more (he hated being wet). At 8 weeks we’re just starting to introduce fitteds and covers at night (we have a heavy wetter so AIOs don’t have enough absorbency without being HUGE) and pockets during the day so we can control absorbency.

      Reply

    • Alexandra

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      I only used a few, but I think Fuzzibunz one size might size down for a tiny one. In my experience Bum Genius and Happy Heinys would not.my son was 8 lbs and 29.5 inches at birth. We used green mountain prefolds and Thirsties covers for the beginning, next time I’m getting Fuzzibunz XS for the newborn phase. Cloth diapering is overwhelming at first, but with some experimenting it will become second nature!

      Reply

    • Melissa

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      Elena – my cloth diapering friend suggests using disposables for the first month. She’s used cloth ever since (she has an expandable kind, I don’t know the brand). I’ve always used disposables, and my favorite for newborns/first several months are the Pampers Swaddlers. I love that the newborns have a nice dip below the belly button. And Swaddlers have the yellow line that turns blue when the diaper is wet. Hope this helps.

      Reply

    • DrL

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      One-sized CDs WILL NOT fit a newborn. Will not. No way, no how. Get some KL0s and covers, or prefolds and covers, or just go with the disposables that you’ll be inundated with the first day you’re in the hospital.
      You don’t want to end up a frustrated CDing momma because you got caught up in the cute and didn’t realize the sizing issues. Learn from our mistakes. Get some nb diapers. Don’t worry about meconium, worry about fit.

      Reply

    • Caitlin

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      The only one size diapers that will be small enough for a newborn (lets say an avg newborn around 8 lbs) would be a Rumparooz. The rest will fit quite well around 10/11 lbs.

      Kissaluv fitteds have a snap down notch to keep away from the umbilical cord stump. You can also fold prefolds however you’d like to keep the diaper away from the umbilical stump. Thirsties covers are a great choice for a newborn (to go over the fitteds and prefolds) and the size 1′s have a notch to keep away from the stump.

      I like the Nature babycare disposables if you are going that route at the hospital

      Reply

  • Abbney

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    You realize you are only going to be there for 2-3 days right? I packed a quarter of what you have and only used half of what I packed. You say your husband is going to run to and from the car, where do you plan to park in the ER?? Chances are your car will be a 20 minute trip, and the stages progess VERY quickly, do you want your husband to miss them because you need something that’s in your car?

    I completely agree with PP with no food, I wasn’t allowed to even chew gum while laboring (I did anyway) and needed an emergency c-section, I was vomiting blue and I couldn’t enter the OR until everything was out of my system. Being a roll of quarters, and grab a power bar or trail mix from the vending machine? The first day I was so out of it and disgusting feeling it was just my husband and me which was wonderful I didn’t feel the need to be “cute”. I got all my visitors the next day when I was more rested and able to freshen myself up (and wear underpants). The hospital will have the breast pumps you could ever use…they are hospital grade, you don’t need yours.

    Break your bags down to Labor bag, Post labor/Dh bag, and a baby bag. And an empty bag for all the hospital stuff. I also want to suggest a folder and a small pad of paper, the folder for all the records and paperwork and thepaper and pen for instructions on how to get your birth certificate (you will forget) your peditriction will make her first appt (you will forget the time)…

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      ER? huh? The parking lot is about 10 second walk from the entrance to the Birth Center, a stand alone hospital building. He will only get the bag that we need for the stage we’re in.
      Why do you people just assume that things are going to be EXACTLY the same way you had them? lol Just too funny.

      I DO have my bags broken down to 3 different bags that stay in the car until we move into postpartum room. Sometimes I get a feeling that people don’t read the whole post before commenting.
      I don’t want any food from a vending machine, cuz it’s mostly crap.

      Tip on the pen and paper is good ( i think i got it from someone else), but we use iphones, which is where we’ll make notes.

      Reply

      • Alexandra

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        Agreed. Our car was so close to the hospital. And I delivered at a major, large hospital. They just designed it pretty well.

        Reply

    • Melissa

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      2-3 days – not necessarily. I was induced – went in on a Sunday night, had a c-section Monday, and didn’t go home until Friday (my state has a 4 day hospital stay with a c-section). That’s almost 6 full days in the hospital from start to finish. I used EVERYTHING i packed in my hospital bag, and then some.

      Not every hospital sends you through the ER. Her birth center more than likely has temporary parking right outside. I’d assume SHE would know this, since it is where she’s giving birth. Just because you went through the ER doesn’t mean she will.

      Again, with the food, what’s the case for you isn’t necessarily the case for her. I was induced on Sunday night, and was able to eat a full hamburger and french fry meal (or whatever I wanted from the menu) that evening. Only when I hit active labor was I reduced to ice chips, some juice, or jello.

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        Our hospital actually has a stand alone birth center away from the main building with its own parking lot right next to it. Literally, 100 feet from furthest parked car. That’s why we figured it’d be so easy to bring all that everyone thought we might need.

        Agree with food. OB said food is fine but I might not want to eat in active labor.

        Reply

      • Wendy T

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        I agree with 2-3 days, not necessarily.

        With my first, I had her at 7pm, so they made me stay overnight. We were home by noon the next day.

        With my second, he was born at 2:21PM so we were in the car by 8PM on our way home.

        Why do people stay in the hospital?

        *That’s a real question. Not snark.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Haha! I really hope I can leave sooner (if that’s what I’ll want). Hubby seems to think if everything is fine we’ll leave soon but I know he’s being a bit unrealistic and it’s not likely.

          Good for you for not having to stay there longer! :)

          Reply

  • Jen R

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    Hi,

    I recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts. The pictures you take are beautiful, my sister is a photographer so I enjoy looki at other people’s work. I wish I had this post to read when I was packing my bag for my daughter’s delivery. Second time around, for my son’s delivery, I did a much better job at packing and was more comfortable in the hospital surrounded by all of my things. I would rather bring too much than not have something I need. One thing I would add is a pair of flip flops for the shower, hospital showers can be creepy sometimes! Sending labor dust your way!

    Reply

    • Jen R

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      I just want to add something, don’t worry about the pain and all of the other uncomfortable things that everyone seems to love to remind you about. When your little girl is born you will not have a care in the world! I had both of my children naturally and yes it was painful but when they placed them on my chest the pain vanished and all I felt was pure joy and love for the miracles that my husband and I had created. And honestly the bleeding and recovery isn’t that bad at all, it seems like you’ve stayed healthy and fit so it will be that much easier for you. All in all enjoy the whole experience because it truly is a miracle!

      Reply

  • Mrs Loquacious

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    Some things I also packed for my bags: 1) Depends (better than pads and underwear if I am *really* leaky) 2) Sleeping bag for Hubbs 3) battery-operated tealights for the birthing room 4) vaseline-type product in case my baby has some seriously-sticky meconium poops 5) favourite Bible verses/quotes to help me focus during the labouring 6) organic bamboo/cotton baby hats/caps

    I also plan to pack G2 instead of regular Gatorade; fewer calories and I’ve been drinking copious amounts of it already so I am quite addicted to it. :) OH – and for food, bananas and yogurt drinks as well.

    Reply

  • Megan

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    Have you posted your birth plan? Do you plan to?

    Reply

      • Julie Gracilieri

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        Oh my goodness, would you consider posting your birth plan but turning off the comments until after you give birth?

        So many of your readers are judgmental and negative. As a fellow hypno-mom, I want so much for your time right now to be filled with ONLY positive support, thoughts and energy.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Julie,

          Most negatives are not my readers, they are randoms. I love my long time readers. :)
          I will post the plan and will think about turning off comments but most likely just let them be. Noone can say anything that will upset me or change my mind about things I’m set on.

          I do really appreciate your concern for me :)

          Reply

  • Mary R

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    I know many mamas who have used cloth diapers from the beginning. I’m not sure what brands you’re using, but it’s totally do-able. If I knew what I do now I would have used cloth exclusively from the beginning. Good luck =]

    Reply

  • Meg

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    Well I think pack what ever you want! Pack your car to the roof if it makes you feel good and prepared, who cares if you don’t use most of it, your peace of mind is the most important thing. Everyone’s experience is different, so don’t let anyone tell you what you need to do. Best of luck to you!

    Reply

  • Anthony

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    For all of you saying that she will not be able to eat and drink while in the hospital etc etc. You are incorrect. They certainly prefer that you do not, but honestly, speak with a nurse mid-wife (or hopefully you are lucky enough to have one as your care provider) and they will tell you that you are more then welcome to eat and drink. How will you have the energy to labor for hours upon end, and then push out a child if you are weak and exhausted and have nothing in your body as a fuel source?

    Stop being so critical folks. My wife and I have already determined to have food and drink in the labor room, and will probably do other things that the hospital would prefer we did not do, but it is not their birth and I am fully prepared to be the forceful and strong willed advocate.

    Reply

  • Amanda

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    One more comment! I was thinking about when my husband and I brought our son home one thing we sent my parents out to get for us was tap lights for our room. He stayed in our room for the first few months and at night when we were up for diaper changes and nursing it was nice to have tap lights because they weren’t really bright and were easy to find in the dark. Just an idea!

    Reply

  • Marissa

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    Just a thought. Your CDs look like OS (one size). These will not work for a newborn. It is possible to CD from birth. You just need NB (newborn) diapers. These have a snap down for the umbilical cord. I agree with the air mattress statement. The mother milk tea I would hold off on until you know what your supply is like. Confuse it unless you need to. If you over produce because of it tour milk make taste soapy and some babes won’t drinking it like that. Trust me… I have/had an oversupply. You have some tightish clothing packedthat you probably won’t want to go near. I’d reconsider it if j were you and pack baggy loose things that are super comfy. If your husband doesn’t know how to use it unpack it. Its a waste of your time, energy and space. Your pads are too small (sorry its a was truth). You need huge ones because blood will be all over for a while. The blanket you have to cover her while she is on your chest (normally used is a hospital blanket and for good reason) will be used to clean off all vernix, blood and amniotic fluid. You may want to rethink when you will use this. Pack some sports bras. Nursing ones take time to get used to and you are going to want to be comfortable. Hope this helps!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Thanks for the tip on mothers milk. I really don’t know when you’re supposed to use it and just packed it in case (thought I’d figure it out if I need it… Google it).

      Clothes I have packed are all loose and oversized. The only tight things I’ve got are leggings, just in case. Plus a few options for going home.

      Got nursing and sleeping bras…

      And the blanket for baby is for AFTER we wipe her down but before the major cleaning. I’m not worried about ruining it. We just want her to be covered in smth softer than hospital blankets.

      Reply

  • Marissa

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    After reading a few comments up I see you want to know what newborn diapers would be best. I would recommend fitted diapers with a cover.

    Something like this: http://shop.thegoodmama.com/Goodmama_Fitted_Cloth_Diaper_p/4210-432-54471103.htm With a cover like this: http://www.thirstiesbaby.com/products/cloth-diapers/duo-wrap/

    These a great for newborns! There are other brands that have great newborn sizes too like Fuzzibunz, BunGenius, Lil Joeys (Rumparooz).

    That or the cover with a prefold! I hope this helps you!

    Reply

  • SCF

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    Honestly, I wouldn’t bother with the lounge clothes. I had a c-section, but I just sat in bed the whole time and didn’t bother getting dressed. I wore two hospital gowns and called it good. I just wore hospital socks to visit in the NICU. I went home in a maxi dress, nursing tank and flipflops.

    Like others have said, those cloth diapers will not fit at birth. At all. The RaR MIGHT, but even that’s unlikely. Newborns have little chicken legs. Even my 9 lb 11 ozer did! We used disposabled for two weeks then switched to cloth once her cord fell off at two weeks. And even then she didn’t really fit my OS diapers, except the RaR. And she was ten and a half pounds then! We used Kissalove 0s and prefolds and some other newbornish diapers. But mine was so big she was busting out of all of them by 2 months, when we finally got enoug OS diapers to CD.

    Also, newborns poop. A lot. Explosively. My daughter pooped, multiple times, every single time she nursed. It got so we would wait 10 minutes after a poop to change her, because we went through 5 diapers in as many minutes once.

    My daughter did spend 2 days in the NICU,. but we also just kept her in the hospital t-shirt once she was in our room. It was easier.

    I do recommend bringing a 0-3 outfit as well as a newborn size for coming home, btw. No idea how big your kiddo will be, but mine fit in none of the cute newborn clothes so she came home in the one 0-3 outfit we brought.

    I also recommend ditching the nursing bras since you honestly will have no idea of your size after birth and just going with a supportive nursing tank, like the bravado, or even cheapy target ones. Much easier. I STILL use mine, 18 months later.

    I DO, however, agree with bringing your own undies and pads. Use the hospital ones for the first couple of days, but I felt a lot more human when I used my own. I can also say that we didn’t use half of what we brought either.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Lounging clothes just in case since I don’t know what I’ll be more comfortable in. Half the people said they wanted their own clothes, other half- gown. So I’m just covering all my basis- its just stuff that will sit in the car.

      Nursing bras- I meant the sleeping stretchy kind from target not the actual bras that you wear under a shirt.
      Got 4 outfits of different lengths for Alexis (that was mentioned in the post). The organic stuff doesn’t seem to come in newborn sizes only 0-3, so we measured the length and packed a few different ones.

      Thanks for all other tips!

      Reply

  • Melissa

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    Sorry people are jumping all over you here. I wanted to comment on just a couple specific things:

    As said in a prior comment, I wouldn’t bring the air mattress (it’s just not really necessary), and I’d use disposables at least until the belly button falls off. Those first days poops are horrific….even after you get home. Like, you’ll be in the middle of changing and it will keep coming like a playdoh fun factory. ;) But you shouldn’t need to bring your own diapers to the hospital at all – they should have a drawer in the bassinet with everything you need, diapers and wipes, and will (should) let you take some home, too.

    On the pads – I had a c-section so I didn’t bleed all that much except the first night. The hospital gives you these HUGE pads (as someone else said, like depends – they’re the largest pads I think you could ever imagine (here’s a picture: http://parentcollective.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/img_17842.jpg) and they are awesome while you’re bleeding heavy so you don’t worry about leaking. But while you’re not wearing one, they put these large square disposable pads underneath you on the bed so that any fluids can be easily taken away. Once your heavy bleeding stops, they give you normal maxi pads – without the weave like Always has.

    And on the underwear – I found the mesh underwear to be amazingly comfortable (and perfect for keeping the pads in place!). I took a bunch extra pairs home with me. I was appalled at the woman in the comments who said her hospital made her wash them out, I can’t believe a hospital would do that, and I can almost guarantee your birth center will let you have as many pairs as you want. If you DO end up with a c-section (which I know you’re not planning for but neither was I, mine was emergency), the mesh is really comfortable because you can pull it up OVER the stitches. Any pants or normal underwear rubbed right at the incision too much early on.

    I thought I was overpacking when I went in to, because I always overpack, but because I was there for almost 6 full days, I used it all. In fact I needed more clothes in the end. I think your list plans for really any scenario.

    Good luck!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Yeah we are rethinking the whole air mattress thing, mostly because of what a reader said about germs. We might still leave it in the car since it doesn’t really take up room just in case.

      It’s funny about the poop because I was reading a breast feeding book and it said the first day expect 1 poop, second 2, third a few more and then it’s gonna explode, so I was kind of going off of that.
      I don’t really want to use hospital stuff for Alexis because we want all organic, with minimal chemicals (like disposables), however of course I’ll use whatever I need to for myself, whether it’s mesh panties or depends- whatever the situation is going to be.
      I’m sort of planning for all case scenarios. I don’t exclude a possibility of medicated birth or a csection and hey, I might have to be induced too (which will probably up my chances of c section). So I’m sort of covering all my basis here and packing everything everyone found useful in all their situations.
      I’d rather have it lying around in the car than deal with doing without- its just stuff…

      Reply

  • Sophie

    |

    Hey Elena-

    I don’t know if advice is welcome or not (I don’t have time to browse the comments below) but I would strongly recommend leaving the cloth diapers at home. We cloth diapered all 3 of hours but didn’t start using them until a few weeks in and after a lot of practice. Our cloth diapers (smallest size) were too bulky for my full term girls and uncomfortable at first for our son. The cloth diapers take some time getting used to for both momma and baby so I really recommend sticking with pampers at least in the hospital. That’s it!

    Good luck!!! So excited to hear goood baby news!!!

    Reply

  • pink2283

    |

    I want to say I 100% agree with your comments that what works for some won’t work for others.You def have to do whats comfortable for you. I am a planner and packed a lot as well(I had also planned a hybnobirth) , and while yes there were somethings I didn’t use and will know for next time I would rather be over prepared than under. I also brought my own pads, and ended up liking the hospitals fine, I am SOOO happy I brought my own baby blankets because of the harsh chemicals the hospital washed with. For the record my hospital let me eat and drink right until it was clear that a c-sections was more than likely, and while I wore panties for the start of labor will all the grossness and checking they have to do it was just easier not to have them on after awhile. I would just make sure your hubby knows whats packed, so he can help pack when you go home. Mine looked shocked when he had to help pack up and ended up leaving my cell charger at the hospital. ( also bring your laptop/cell chargers) Good luck all the best to you!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Lol at your husband. I would expect mine to be lost too but we made a list together and packed together (I even had him read the comments to the post where I asked for advice on what to pack, so that he knew why and what).

      And ditto on hospital blankets, we are so using our own. We’ll only have her be dried off initially with hospital blanket (though I’m not sure I like that idea but hubby doesn’t want to ruin our blanket too much), but then wrapped into our blanket afterwards.

      Reply

      • Megan

        |

        If you are wanting her to be swaddled in your personal blanket right away let your nurse know during labor so the blanket can be placed in the baby warmer so it will be warm for her. Babies cannot regulate their temps very well so we always wrap them in warmed blankets. Skin to skin works great, too, but it is nice to have a warm blanket over top of momma and bay.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

          |

          Good tip! I thought my husband would hold it while waiting for her to be placed On my chest but a Warmer is better.
          We’ll do skin to skin but she’ll need to be covered with smth as well, hence the blanket.

          Reply

      • Organic goddess

        |

        Have you considered bringing your own organic cotton sheets for the hospital bed? The chemicals the hospital uses to wash their laundry in is so harsh and you don’t want you or your baby’s delicate skin touching it. You’d need to bring several sets as they change the sheets sometimes twice a day.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          I figured that wasn’t an option… :(
          And what size?
          We’ll just have her swaddled and/or dressed while sleeping in bed….

          Reply

    • Happytalia

      |

      We used the newborn diapers at the hospital while we were there, they were pampers swaddlers. Wedid not cloth diaper in the hospital. After this, we switched to newborn cloth diapers, kissaluv brand size 0 with thirsties covers in size xs. We had 20 diapers and 6 covers. Once my son was big enough switch to fuzzibunz, at about 3 months, we went to all in one diapers, we have 18 diapers. Other people use prefold cloth diapers for the newborn stage.

      Check out jilliansdrawers.com and pinstripesandpolkadots.com for good cloth diaper resources, or even the cloth diapering board on the bump.com

      Reply

  • Meg

    |

    You don’t need breastpads. They’re to soak up excess milk as you let down and your milk won’t come in for 3 – 5 days, well after you’re already home.
    DON’T put a newborn in cloth diapers!!!!! You will NEVER get the meconium out! Use disposables for the first week.

    Reply

    • Melissa

      |

      That’s not always true. If she is there more than 2 days her milk will probably come in before she leaves and not all hospitals have them. Mine didn’t and I had to resort to putting washcloths in my bra.

      Reply

  • 08370918660894877829

    |

    Wow! The amount of stuff you are bringing just blows my mind! But I do understand, you are a first-time mother, after all. I certainly overpacked quite a bit with my first child, but it ended up being with the wrong stuff, since I spent three days being induced, had an emergency c-section and was in the hospital for an entire week. I needed more of my own personal cleansing products, because although the hospital does have soap and shampoo, it’s just not the same.

    I do think it’s a good idea to bring extra underwear. I really loved the mesh panties because I felt like they held the pads in place more securely, but I have a far different body type than you, so it’s all about the fit. I wouldn’t bring towels though. The hospital can give you all the towels you will ever need and you won’t have to worry about throwing them out/ruining them/washing them.

    The time right after delivery until you go home can be just as crazy and overwhelming as labor, just without the pain, so you don’t want to have to worry about re-packing so much stuff, or forgetting something that might get lost in a drawer or under the bed or thrown out on accident. Simpler is always better.

    Reply

  • Mackenzie

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    We used our own blanket when my son was born, and when the nurses took him overnight, it got dirty (explosive diaper) and it got put in the hospital laundry and we were not able to get it back since they couldn’t find it. Just a little tip in case you’re expecting to use your own clothes and blankets for her while she’s in the hospital. Let all the nursing staff know that in case it does get dirty, that you want it back to wash at home.

    Reply

  • Mamato2

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    I’m going to ditto Megan (….While you aren’t planning for a c-section, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It’s a hospital liability to allow you to eat/drink anything before something that could result in an emergency surgery….). I wasn’t expecting to be rushed into emergency surgery after delivering my son vaginally and drug free. But my dr couldn’t stitch me up in the L&D room, and the other OB surgeon had troubles in the room so off to surgery I went. So even if everything goes according to plan for the delivery, something else could happen so its better to be safe than sorry. I’d save your snacks for after the baby arrives.

    I disagree with Lisa (…The hospital will have a pump, but you probably won’t pump unless you are super uncomfortable and the baby isn’t eating much (you won’t want to give a bottle anyway so early if you want to continue breastfeeding!)…). The hospital did have a pump which I started using after 4 days of trying to nurse her. She blistered my nipples because of her poor latch (had a mouth/lip issue) so I bottle-fed her the expressed breast milk. You may not get your milk in before you leave the hospital and you can use the pump in between feedings to help stimulate your milk ducts (think supply-on-demand here).

    And I know this has nothing to do with your packed bags, but I wanted you to be aware of it. Day #3. Considered to be the day when the hormones kick in and you can break down over the drop of a hat. I was an emotional mess with both of my kids (son, vaginally & daughter, c-section) on grand ol’ day #3. If you have any issues, they will feel amplified. Its all normal and understandable…your body has just gone through a traumatic experience and is trying to cope with it.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      The fact that I’m not planning a c section doesn’t mean I don’t realize it might happen (hence the overpacking for any situation that might occur).

      Do you think it’s a good idea to pump in between feedings even before the milk comes in?
      I’ll packing a pump just in case since a few readers said they wished they had it, but I didn’t really think I would use it unless there’s an issue (NICU).

      Reply

      • Mamato2

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        The fact that I’m not planning a c section doesn’t mean I don’t realize it might happen (hence the overpacking for any situation that might occur).

        No, I realize that. My emergency surgery wasn’t a c-section, it was repairing me after my vaginal delivery. So even though my delivery went fine, the after part didn’t. Has your hospital told you their policy re: food? (was it part of the hospital tour/pre-check in process?)

        Do you think it’s a good idea to pump in between feedings even before the milk comes in?

        I’m glad that I did, but I also had supply issues and needed the “extra help”. Its definitely something you can try if you have problems. You can also try pumping after you nurse, to help bring your hind milk in faster. Hopefully you’re one of the lucky ones and have a good supply right away.

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Doc said it’s fine to eat but I might not feel like it cuz your stomach shuts down in labor.

          Re: pumping, are you still talking about the time before my milk comes in? I know I’ll be pumping after between nursings.

          Reply

          • Julie Gracilieri

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            I’m no expert, and I know our bodies and milk supplies are all different but I never pumped in the hospital. I just had my daughter at my breast as often as possible. I believe it’s better for both of you – so she can perfect her latch, have the skin on skin contact and your supply can come in naturally. My lactation consultants in and out of the hospital felt very strongly that I wait 3 weeks before pumping. Not sure if anyone else can weigh in on this, but it might be something to think about.

            Reply

    • Lisa

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      I was just saying the hospital will have a pump, if you wanted to leave yours at home. Not that you definitely won’t want to pump! If you want to pump in the hospital, pump. But the lactation consultants will probably just have you breastfeed as much as possible. I pumped b/c the baby was sleeping so much and I had SO much milk (I was like a cow…no trouble with my milk coming in) and I was so uncomfortable. I never even ended up using my pumped milk (what a waste, ugh). But pump if you want!! It’s kind of a pain to pump. Good luck. I’m no expert but I did breastfeed for 10 months and never had any issues…my friends think I am a good source of info :)

      Good luck with cloth diapering! I also cloth diapered. My faves were Bumgenius Organics and GMD prefolds! (which I was surprised…thought I would hate prefolds!!)

      Reply

  • M

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    Do you have breast pads? Even though your milk might not come in right away, you will probably want some.

    Ask for a blow-up donut to sit on. One of the nurses brought me one and with my episiotomy, it was heaven. I don’t know how ice packs vary from hospital to hospital, but the ones our hospital made from baby diapers were the best. I didn’t ruin pants from blood so much as they got soaked from ice packs.

    Just wear the mesh underwear they give you and use their pads. They know what they are doing. Take mesh undies home, too. I’m sure they’ll give you a few pair. Don’t even bother with your own.

    Finally, yes, I know most of what you have will be out in your car, but you really do have a ton packed. My guy came 5w 2d early, and I had my husband pack stuff for me while talking to him on the phone while I was at the hospital. I got by just fine on two pairs of pants, two tanks, two bras, socks, camera and cell phone, very few toiletries, and an outfit for the baby that I had to send my husband out to buy after the baby was born because he was too small for anything we had at home.

    Reply

      • Zeinab Gathier

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        First time comment. :)

        Just wanted to tell you how refreshing it is to read your blog and see how much you care for your baby already. You’ll surely be a FANTABULOUS mum!

        It’s always good to hear from other mothers, especially when going through the journey of becoming a mother for the first time but always go with you instinct as you will always be “The best” for YOUR baby!

        Didn’t read all the comments that are up here but two things i thought might be useful during your hospital stay are a pair of flip-flops (for whenever you take a shower) as hospitals’ floors are always full of germs and a small bottle of hand sanitizer if you have visitors (or even for yourself really) just in case you are into this type of things!

        WIsh you all the best for whenever this little princess decide to show up!
        If I am not mistaken, you used to be a model so I guess she is just trying to be fashionably late ;)

        PUSH HARD AND ENJOY!

        Reply

        • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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          Yay to first time commenter ;)
          Flip flops was suggested here and one that I’m definitely using. Hand sanitizer- brilliant! I didn’t even think of it, but will totally pack! Thanks!!!

          Reply

          • manda

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            My hosptial has hand sanitzer pumps in the hall outside of every room….on all floors, not the L&D and postpartum rooms. So you might not need that.

            Reply

      • Holly

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        And ask for some of those gel boobie pads when you’re there! They are heavenly!!! Your hospital should definitely have them.

        And, have your hubby read the pamphlets in the postpartum room. We did not read them, and when I was browsing them at home, we realized that we could have had a candle-lit filet mignon and champagne dinner in our postpartum suite! (I know you’re a veg, but still!) We also realized that I did not watch the mandatory “coming home” video.

        Reply

        • 02754447004654848897

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          I agree. I loooooooooooved the gel pads

          Reply

      • M

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        Yup, there they are. I missed them!

        Reply

  • Laurie

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    Hi Elena!
    I keep checking your blog to see if there are any updates!

    I have not read the comments, but wanted to say, I have had 2 babies, and after # 1, my husband was gripping to the nurse we had the day after she was born about the AWFUL couch/bed. The nurse told him next time, to ask for a roll away! They don’t advertise it, and it’s first come first serve if any are available. So when the time came for #2 we got to the hospital at 7am, baby was born before 9am and just after, he already asked for the roll away for that night! They did have to check and they kind of gave him the side eye, but they came thru. They brought iin that evening, and he said it was 100x better than the couch!

    You might want to ask if they have a roll away for your hubby.

    Wanted to input, I LOVED having yoga pants and a nursing tank with a pretty lightweight robe to wear in the hospital. I felt ultra comfortable nursing and having a million visitors. I highly recommend cheapy undies for the first few weeks. Also, put one of your old towels around the base of the toliet you use the most at home. I understand everyone if different, but at least for a day or so, the act of pulling down pants to go, would release a not so pretty sight!

    Here is to some labor dust to you!

    Reply

  • Rockie

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    Wow I can’t believe I sat and read 90% of these comments! Elena this is awesome. I’ve wondered what I have to pack and have asked a lot of questions from my friends that have delivered. This packing list was AWESOME! Thanks. I’m really confused though, why people have to comment on the fact that you are packing too much? So what if you are? Are you harming anyone? You don’t use it you don’t use it! On a different note, a friend of mine suggested I take my own receiving blankets because of the chemicals used to clean the hospital ones they can sometimes cause a reaction to the newborns skin? Also someone suggested I buy that days newspaper for keepsake!??? But love this list will use it as a guideline for mine! Good luck can’t wait to hear the good news that you’ve finally have given birth and have Alexis in your arms!

    BTW how many days do they keep you in the hospital in the States for non-c section births?

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      Haha! Check out the hospital bag question post instead (link in this post at the top), it has definitely more useful answers as to what to pack rather than what not to pack like in this post (though a few comments here were helpful too). And I derived this list from all the suggestions. Many different people found different things helpful.

      Totally second the person who told you about receiving blankets- that’s why we packed ours…
      Newspaper- not so sure… I’m more of a tech girl, I haven’t touched a newspaper in 9-10 years.
      Though if it’s your thing, a blogger friend of mine does amazing baby newspapers made from ones you collected for the day she was born (7x7xmommy.com)

      Reply

  • Sarah

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    i just thought of something else you may want to add to the labor bag. A lil’ hat for Alexis!! I know you want to make sure she’s in organic at the beginning and you’re packing a onesie and blanket, but the hospital staff will also want to put a hat on her to help keep her warm-so you may want to bring one of your own :) good luck-you’ll do great! (oh and someone mentioned a folder for all the paper documents you get, i also HIGHLY recommend that as well).

    Reply

  • Jasmine

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    I have nursed all 3 of my children exclusively from birth – never supplemented etc. – the boys nursed until they were 2 years old, and my 9 month old is going strong. I just wanted to mention that it is probably better to let your body regulate its supply before you start bringing a pump into the equation. Unless you are having problems with your milk coming in, just keep nursing frequently and on demand. Babies nurse a lot – like every 2 hours a lot and sometimes for a very long time. The more you nurse the more likely your supply will come in. I would hold off on using the pump until your supply is established (think 4 + weeks) and go from there. This was the advice of my midwife so something to think about. :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I’m not planning on pumping right away unless there’s an issue with Alexis not being able to feed right away or whatever. I want my pump in the car just in case.

      Reply

      • M

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        In that case, the hospital should have high grade pumps you can use.

        Also, I don’t know if you looked into it, but some insurance covers a pump.

        Reply

      • L

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        Just finished nursing my son after a year. Unless the baby is in the nicu or jaundiced, you won’t need to pump and you won’t want to. You’ll be feeding her every 2 or so hours and it will take you 45-60 minutes to feed her each time. 10 times a day. You’ll likely want to sleep between feedings.

        Let your supply come in naturally, you shouldn’t be pumping for prob 2 weeks pp. Also, if you need a pump the hospital grade pumps will be available and they will work 100x better then any consumer grade pump.

        Reply

  • Melissa

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    I want to wish you the best. I had my daughter at 32 weeks. I PROM at 31 weeks and I never got to pack any bags. I was in the hospital for a week and my husband had to go back to work during that time. He was coming to visit me at lunch time when I called to tell him that I was getting moved to L&D. We weren’t prepared at all. Our beautiful girl was born at 4lbs. After 23 days in the NICU she went home and is perfectly fine. She’s now 4 1/2 months and weighs close to 15 lbs.
    I say pack an entire moving van. Why not, if it will give you piece of mind that’s all that matters. In fact, pack a hospital bag for me since I never got to pack one.
    My only suggestion would be to get a pedicure so you have pretty toes. Everyone sees your feet. I was to hot to wear socks. I wanted one before but didn’t get a chance so DH have me a pedicure during my labor. It was very relaxing and made him very popular with all the nurses.

    Reply

  • Alexandra

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    I think having your pump is a great idea. DS had a hard time latching so I pumped to help get my milk to come in. I didn’t have to give him a bottle. I put the pumped colostrum on my finger and he sucked it right off. If they have hospital grade pumps available use that, but if not, I think having a pump is smart.

    On another note, I don’t know why people are jumping all over what you’ve packed. I am certain that on their first trip to deliver a baby they didn’t have the perfect hospital bag. Besides, who hasn’t gone on a trip and packed way more outfits and shoes than necessary. This is no different. As a first time mom, you’re doing your best to guess what you’ll need. That’s all you can do. Having a baby is overwhelming enough (in a good way), so why be wishing you had something you could easily put in your car. Maybe sometime in the future you can post an updated list with what you used/didn’t use/wish you had. I did that with my list for two reasons…1) for next time and 2) for friends so they can see my logic for not wanting certain things now.

    Good luck!

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

      |

      Actually I feel that I would pack the same next time because each experience is different even for the same woman. And the whole point of packing for me was to make sure I have what I might need in any situation.

      I’ll definitely write a post about what I found useful but in no way do I presume that things that I didn’t use this time won’t be needed next time.

      Reply

  • Cody

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    I think it’s good that you are prepared for all the options you have envisioned in your head, and you are clearly excited for the arrival of your little one which is awesome!
    I would just make sure that none of these things–the air mattress and tarp, or the fact that you have all these bags and different things for the different stages of delivery become a hindrance to the most important thing going on which is your labor and delivery.
    If the air mattress makes it hard for the doctors and nurses to get into your room and check on you and your baby–then if it was ME personally, I’d ditch it (sorry husband–I think he’d understand!)

    If having my husband run out and get another bag meant he might miss something or cause unneeded chaos in the room (running in and out, interrupting etc)–again if it was ME, I’d not worry about it (I’d rather have him there to see everything!)

    If changing gowns made it difficult for the doctors to do their jobs..I personally would rethink that, because I wouldn’t want to interrupt them getting my baby out safely.

    I’m sure you will exercise good judgment when the moment comes. Good luck!

    Reply

  • Holly

    |

    Elena- I love how prepared you are! Out of all of your stuff, my absolute favorite is the Brest Friend. I sent my husband home to get mine. That is the most wonderful baby invention EVER.

    While I did not pack nearly as much as you, we also brought movies, scrabble and other games to L&D. A friend also brought me trashy magazines! I was in L&D for 60 hours, so it came in handy. Hopefully you will go fast, and not need this!

    I was induced. If you get induced, be very weary of eating. I was sneaking food left and right and then experience the most painful heartburn of my entire life. I later found out that it was b/c of the pitocen. For the heartburn, the nurses gave me some sort of concoction that tasted like grape juice mixed with vinegar and it burned like hell going down. I wish that someone had warned me!

    Are those mini happy heiny’s? Those did fit my daughter when she got up to 8 lbs. Before then, Lil Joey’s were the only cloth diapers that fit. Also, we have to use cloth wipes on her, as most brands of disposable wipes cause her to rash. Mechonium will come out of your diapers- just let the florida sun bleach them. All baby poop stains till 6 months, but it coms out with some sun-bleaching.

    Best wishes to you, Elena, you’re going to do great!

    Reply

  • Bryanna

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    oh man… what cruel person told you newborns don’t poop much? my kid passed ALL her mec within 12 hours by pooping every 40 minutes. and she continued to poop MINIMUM 5 times a day for a month. Whoever said your kid won’t poop much is lying to you. babies poop a LOT. Yeah, breastfed babies can go up to a week without pooping and it isn’t constipation (they just use/digest more effectively) but it is HIGHLY unlikely that’ll happen in the first few weeks.. and it doesn’t happen for most.

    Reply

  • Jane

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    You dont need the pump. A non hospital grade pump won’t do anything before your milk is established anyway (not strong enough), and the hospital will have pumps you can use if you need one to establish your milk supply (if baby isn’t latching or something). If she is you DON’T want to pump, your body makes the right amount of milk by responding to the demand from your baby, pumping too much will cause an oversupply which is really bad to deal with

    Reply

  • Jenna

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    Bendy straws! You might be in all kinds of weird positions but will still need to be able to drink. With a bendy straw you can drink no matter your orientation!

    Reply

    • Cody

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      I feel like this is probably something the hospital probably provides but that’s just me.

      Reply

  • Kristen

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    As a L/D nurse, I have to say “what the heck?” No matter what your hospital told you, you are NOT going to be able to eat or drink. While you don’t plan on a c-section; who really does? I bet your hospital perfoms them at a 60-70%, so at least prepare yourself. You are NOT going to be able to use your own pads (we need to monitor your bleeding and your pads are not going to work for that). You are not going to lay on a puppy pad and bleed like an animal. You are given a pad, ice and mesh panties immediately after birth and stitching (if necessary). Your pad is changed often by the nursing staff so it can be monitored. You lay on a puppy pad in case of a bleed through, but we would never let a patient lie in their own fluids. Nasty! You cannot bring your own organic blankets into L/D and place the baby in it, or on it. You also can’t dress the baby in labor and delivery.

    Have you talked to any other mothers, or have you visted your hospital? I would hate for you to expect one thing and get a disappointing experience. It’s a beautiful experience, but not if you had your mind set on some kind of Beyonce Knowles celebrity birth experience; because that isn’t reality.

    Heres wishing you a wonderful experience.

    Reply

    • Melissa

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      60-70% is a bit extreme, don’t you think? that would mean 2 out of every 3 women had a c-section delivery. That’s absurd.

      Reply

    • Holly

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      Kristen, where are you an L&D nurse? I think I read that LA and NY had high rates like that. I was able to look up my area hospitals and choose one with a lowered % of C-sections and none of them had nationally reported rates that high. That is absolutely appalling. Also, plenty of the babies in the nursery were in their own onesies (mine wasn’t) and hats brought from home. Also, some of the nurses allowed me to eat dried toast, others only allowed clear liquids. That said, next time around, if I am on the pit, I won’t be eating. Lesson learned!

      Reply

      • Melissa

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        That last line made me laugh. The night of my induction, I could order whatever I wanted from the menu. So I ordered up a burger and fries.

        I spent from 11pm that night all the way to the OR for my emergency c-section vomiting. In fact, the OB commented that I would be a good pusher because I pushed so well while I was puking. Lesson learned, indeed.

        Reply

  • Kat

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    When are posting your birth plan?

    Reply

  • Lynn

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    Wowzers, who knew people would get so crazy about what someone else is packing for their hospital stay. Like you said, everyone has a different experience, I think it’s a great list. I have 2 children and had 2 completely different birth experiences. I used and needed different things each time. I also liked have a lot of my own personal things with me, hated the mesh underwear, I was in my own clothes as soon as I was given the green light to shower.
    One thing that helped me the second time around was making sure my pillows were in a colored pillow case. When I gave birth to my daughter (my first), I left my pillow at the hospital. It was in a standard white or cream pillowcase and totally blended in and got left behind, total bummer! I’m very specific about the pillows I can sleep on! When I had my son I bought a red pillow case so it would stand out from the hospitals linens.
    Also, bring flip flops for the shower!!
    Best wishes to you and your husband, don’t listen to any of the negativity, it WILL be an amazing experience.

    Reply

  • Nicole

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    I agree withchecking with your hospital. Even though your dr. may tell you that you can do something like eatin or not getting an IV it is up to the hospital (nurses.) most dr’s have no idea of actual hospital policy. I don’t think people are trying to be mean but more trying to be real. Yes everyone is different but until you have given birth to a baby you really have no idea what it will be like at the hospital. I think people are really trying to say lower your expectations and don’t go overboard. The more requests you make like an air mattress, own baby clothes, personal blanket for baby after birth, hep loc, etc. The more likely you are to get the nurses on your bad side and that is never a good thing. Best of luck hopefully it all goes smoothly.

    Reply

    • GoogleUser

      |

      Awesome idea to split the bags – I split into two, but ended up having them both in because I didn’t pack as well as that!

      I don’t know whether I’ve missed them or if someone else has suggested (I couldn’t be bothered reading through some of the ridiculous comments!), but I would take a stash of muslins in with you, I took 3 and they weren’t enough, I used them for everything!

      Eco-disposables – I used Nature Babycare and Beaming Babies (the latter I still use now and again), I don’t know if they are available in the states. I use cloth but didn’t until her cord had fallen off (we tried and because we didn’t have specific newborn ones, we couldn’t keep the cord dry enough).

      All the best – I can’t wait to hear the good news! Enjoy those amazing first snuffly cuddles – unforgettable! x

      Reply

  • Kristy

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    As moms we should be providing each other with support, not snide, snarky comments. I took way too much stuff when I had my first baby as well, but you live and you learn. Taking too much is not going to hurt anyone. I’m sure Elena will use what she needs, who cares if the rest sits in the car or stays in her bag. It may be more or less than what you used. I can’t figure out why this post brought about such nasty reactions from people. To each their own, right?

    Reply

  • Abby

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    My son pooped A LOT after he was born, especially meconeium. Sometimes hospitals will provide diapers, sometimes not. I would bring disposables diapers because meconeium stains and is IMPOSSIBLE to get out of clothes. You don’t want to ruin those beautiful cloth diapers with black poop stains

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  • DrL

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    Also, I would love a postmortem of the whole experience, esp what you did and didn’t use, and why. You’ll likely look back on this for baby #2 and realize that you’ll do things differently the next time around.

    Most of all, don’t worry as much about who looks cute. Enjoy the experience, which is getting the baby out safely to meet the world.

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    • Elizabeth

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      Wow, post-mortem? You do realize that means after death. I’m sure you MEANT to say postpartum! Horrible mix up of words. I think Elena is a very prepared and educated woman. She has obviously dedicated herself to learning as much as she possibly can about her pregnancy and the birthing of her child. Whether or not she uses all or any of what she is bringing is irrelevant. She’s bringing what SHE wants. I would rather bring more of what I need than not enough. It amazes me how people think that they know what is best for someone else!

      Good luck to Elena, baby Alexis and her husband. I wish you all a wondeful, happy and healthy birth. ; )

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      • Abby

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        Nope, postmortem was the right word in that context.

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      • DrL

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        Postmortem, as in after it’s over, which is how it’s often used these days. No, I didn’t mean after anyone died. Sheesh.

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  • Mrs Wils

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    Hi Elena,

    I am a long time reader, first time commenter (and am 34 weeks pg myself!) and just wanted to let you know that your packing looks great! Very similar to what I have packed. It’s way better to be prepared and have more than you need than not enough…

    Good luck! Looking forward to reading about your labour and birth! :)

    Mrs Wils

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  • Sarah

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    I went into my labor and delivery with a birth plan and I don’t know if it was just my nurse situation, but you have to know that nurses are dealing with births all day long. They have a system down and do things the way they want. You can tell them what you want and how you want things, but they (in my case) won’t care. They will roll their eyes and not want to deal with any diva-attitude. The last thing you want to do it get pushy with your nurses. I had nurses tell me how I was going to do it, not ask what I wanted. Long story short, while this may be a life-changing, brand new experience for you, it is nothing more than a day-to-day, repetitive job for the people who will be caring for you. It’s unfortunate and I’m sure not all nurses are like this, but for this reason I plan on further having home births.

    Also, I know everyone has their own opinions on the matter, but God forbid a baby’s skin touch a hospital bed sheet or a pamper is put on him/her. I think everyone forgets how unbreakable babies are. You might be surprised how rough and tumble the nurses handle your daughter. She won’t break ; ).

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    • Bubbles

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      Hi,
      I work in a hospital and have worked labor and delivery so I thought I would offer some advice. Nothing wrong with bringing too much stuff, who cares? I will repeat what other said, no air mattress. That would not be allowed, not because of germs but is a safety hazzard. Also I had my baby at a hospital, I had an OB (not even a midwife) I wore my own clothes (people can wear whatever they want as long as medical staff has access to what they need) I ate and drank through my labor and did not even have a saline lock (loop) in my hand. They are not a for sure thing that you have to have. I am a nurse and in case of emergency, believe me, the hospital can have 20 experts in your room in a matter of seconds. IVs are not required, they only take seconds to put in.
      Good Luck!!!!

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  • Tara

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    HOW EXCITING!!! I literally cant even wait for you to have her! and so i can read all about it! :) I love that you are so organized!

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  • 09746109382354995847

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    i think it sounds like a great list, it is awesome that you are so prepared! good luck and I hope you have a quick labor and delivery!

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  • Verna Stephenson

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    I liked wearing my own clothes/underwear/pads at the hospital. I felt much more comfortable and normal in my own stuff. I wore all dark colors or stuff that could get thrown away so I wasn’t worried about bleeding. I liked having everything packed up and ready to go. Makes it seem so much closer that way!

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  • Jordan Jenks

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    Okay, I’m totally unpacking my things and doing what you’re doing with different bags for the different stages of the hospital. I hated the idea of lugging everything in at one time and didn’t even think to pack for L&D and separate for PP! I have a ton of stuff packed too because IT IS our first time and we want to be as comfortable as possible – so we’re really the only ones who know what will make us feel as comfortable as possible – even just knowing that there are things in the car (even if we don’t use them) I think will make me feel more at ease. I bought my own pads and undies to throw away after because I know that I’ll feel better even if I end up using what the hospital provides. You go girl!

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  • JessicaB

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    Have you talked to you doctor about what to bring? To be honest, I don’t think they’ll let you eat or drink while you’re in active labor there at the hospital… And the reasoning for this, is just in the event that you’d need an emergency c-section. Also, hospitals generally provide diapers for your baby to use and will even send you home with some so no need to pack anything for baby really, other than the outfit to wear home. And also–again they usually want them to wear standard hospital gear or just a simple onsie/baby-tee.. something easy to get off in case the baby needs skin to skin contact (warms baby up and soothes baby quicker).

    Also.. the hospital gown and the birthing ball.. You should call and check with the hospital what they will allow and what they will not allow. They may not allow outside gowns to be worn.. and they may have restrictions about birthing balls–or perhaps they have their own for patient’s to use. (there are sometimes odd laws or insurance restrictions/policies for these things)

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  • Jillian

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    Seriously, folks, read the blog carefully and read the comments.

    It was kind of annoying trying to dig through the 50+ people saying the SAME THING, even AFTER Elena had replied to the issue. And, you couldn’t have all posted at EXACTLY the same time! I was hoping to find some good advice throughout the comments for the future, but it was a painstaking business.

    Also, if I were a commenter who felt strongly about an issue, I would say it from my perspective without insisting that Elena do it such and such a way.You would not like her to tell you how you SHOULD do it, so pay the same courtesy.

    Thanks, Elena for sharing, and for your patience.

    And a shout out to Anthony, another poster: you are an awesome husband! : )

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  • 05778589365423473685

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    I’m so excited for you guys and your new baby. I’ve been a reader for awhile but have never commented. You seem like you’re going to be really well prepared- which is awesome even if you don’t use everything. I love the pretty pushers gown, I have never heard of them and I might just pick one up for my next baby. Also the miracle blanket is amazing- seriously we used it so much that one of the little flaps started to tear after four months- don’t me wrong it’s really well made- we just used it that much. One more thing- with the cloth diapers. We weren’t able to use ours for about a month after our daughter was born because they were too big. Our daughter was 7 lbs 10oz at birth. The only type I had were fuzzi bunz in size small so I’m not sure if some of the ones you have are cut smaller or not. I just wanted to give you a heads up on that one in case all your diaper were slipping off little Alexis. Best wishes- you’re going to do great.

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  • pam

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    oh shoot, pack all you want. who cares if you use it or not? i was hospitalized about 2 weeks before my triplets were born, and by the time i left, i needed two carts to bring everything home (not including babies, sadly.) i brought my own fan and even christmas decorations. :)

    good luck with your labor and delivery. i sincerely hope that things go according to plan, because once your little girl arrives, things will find a way of NOT working out like you dream they will. (not that that’s a bad thing!)

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  • sweetbay

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    I know a million people have weighed in, but here’s my 2 cents: get bigger thicker pads than you have pictured. I am very petite and the gigantic hospital pads gave me a “bed sore” on my inner thigh. Horrible! Get overnights, that’s what I wore for over a week afterwards, changing every 2 hours at first. Good luck and congrats!!

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  • Cari

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    I had a natural birth in October 2011. I have a few suggestions that helped me:
    Bring popsicles. Our hospital had a freezer and my hubby just went a got me one every now and then-very refreshing and kept my energy up. We bought some lavendar massage oil from Whole Foods. He rubbed it on my lower back with a massage ball during transition contactions. It warmed up as he rubbed it in and it helped a lot. I was propped on my knees leaning over back of hospital bed. I took a sip of icewater in between each push, you will be exhausted and so thirsty during pushing. I drank a smoothie on my way to hospital (light but filling-you will more than likely throw up whatever you eat/drink). Be generous with nipple cream-I loved motherlove nipple cream (amazon.com). I pushed on bed in a 45 degree angle on back and ended up with 3rd degree tear. Try to push in a different position (i know you plan to). Buy Tucks pads to lay in pads. Good luck!! You can do it. I was able to do it with lots of prayer and a very supportive hubby. Also, bfeeding really hurt at first but got sooo much better after a couple of weeks. Dont give up. We are still going strong at almost 4 months.

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  • Lindsey

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    I dont know if you’ll get the chance to read this before leaving for the hospital, but I recommend getting some depends and getting the insides a little wet. Pack them in the freezer an bring with you. The cold will feel so good and they were the best at holdin it all together. Just an idea, in my pp underwear were giant hospital pads, lined with a numbing cream, and tucks pads. I also had a numbing spray. It will be a while before peeing is a quick trip.

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  • Jessica Rose

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    I think those are awesome lists. There is nothing wrong with overpacking as long as most of it will stay in the car until it’s needed.

    One thing I did notice, a lot of people said you don’t wear underwear during or after labor. For me, I wore some Target underwear during labor and the nurses did not mind at all. If I had to be checked, they just moved them out of the way or took them off one leg. I was leaking a ton from Cervadil and Cytotec (I had to be induced) so having some underwear on was just much more comfortable. When it was time to push, we took them off completely.

    After labor, I didn’t even bother to wear the underwear I brought, the mesh panties were MUCH more comfortable. And since I used hospital pads and the packs, the mesh ones held everything in a lot better than my underwear. I can’t remember how long after delivering Laila I put the mesh panties on.

    I hope everything goes well and I can’t wait to hear the birth story!

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  • Abbey R

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    Congratulations on your pending arrival! What an exciting time!

    Like most of the women have said, you have packed WAY TOO MUCH!

    Save those ugly panties and those big old pads for when you get home… you will need them then.

    Use the hospital pads, they are made for that much, umm, yuck!, and will be able to handle it… always, not so much.

    The hospital will provide all the care that you need, the medicine, etc. MAKE SURE YOU ASK FOR A SITZ BATH WITH WITCH HAZEL… YOUR CHA CHA WILL BE THANKFUL!

    If they don’t have witch hazel, get your hubby or a friend to run out and get some and add it to the warm bath and just sit there… you can do it at home. It will help with the healing of not only your birth but if you get hemroids as well (gosh I loved that huge german nurse I had!!).

    Don’t try to be super women at the hospital. Give yourself some grace and just use disposables. There is so much going on, the last thing you need the stress of the cloth. I do cloth diaper myself (and really like it) but there are times that you just got to use that disposables! Huggies makes a great diaper, the natural time. I also really like the “little snuggle” line as well.

    Just try and relax… soak it up. And make sure you ask for the laceration consultant everyday. You may not think that you need her, but you do. They are awesome and can really teach you a thing or too!!

    Good luck and push hard!!

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  • K

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    The only thing I would recommend is the Always Infinity pads. They are thin but super absorbent and I used them after both of my babies. (or you can pack them if your bleeding ends up being light). I didnt feel like I had a diaper on. I used the hospital items when I was there but when I got home switched to those pads. Good luck and I totally packed a ton of stuff when I had my first child. Its all a learning experience and this is YOUR experience. Have fun!

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  • Lisa B

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    Just a quick thought on the gatorade – my midwife recommended emergen-C. Very good for you, keeps you hydrated. You might want to switch it out. Comes in packet so you can use it with hospital water and ice.

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  • Callie

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    Just an FYI. Whomever told you newborns don’t poop was lying. Not only do they poop often (think every time they eat) they poop meconium which may as well be tar. I cannot imagine how hard that would be to get out of CD. You may want to look into disposable diapers (maybe the 7th generation ones) for those 1st few days.

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  • Sara

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    Oh my goodness. New moms are so funny!

    I have to ask, in this economy, how responsible is it to purchase an unnecessary $30 labor gown if it’s just going to be thrown away after the birth? Wouldn’t that $30 be better spent on someone less fortunate?

    Just a little food for thought. ;)

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  • 16392941035300804724

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    As a cloth mama. I recommend using the disposable diapers the hospital provides while in the hospital. Maconium poop is nasty and hard to clean out of diapers and there is a lot of it. Otherwise I recommend getting the disposable inserts(biodegradable) so you don’t get any nasty stains or ruin your diaps right away. :) I know there are two kinds one is flushies which acts just as a barrier so no poop touches the diaper you still have to use an insert and the just a disposable insert.

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  • katie

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    I totally second this! Depends are definitely the most comfortable way to go. I used them after both my births and it was totally smart. Do this!

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  • 10137221992723836332

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    Wow, people were TOTALLY rude about YOUR birth bag. I bet you’re glad you brought everything that you brought, because you had it all just in case. Now, if you decide to have more kids, you’ll know better what you needed/didn’t need for next time. :) Glad your little girl is here now. Enjoy!!

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  • Bee

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    I’m making my list for my hospital bags and I wanted you to know that I remembered this posting about yours. It was SO INCREDIBLY helpful! We live far from our birth location and also believe in being prepared for everything (instead of left wishing we had brought something we hadn’t). Thank you for sharing!
    ~Bee

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  • Christina

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    I love your lists! As a fumbling packer (for anything really), I wish I would have seen this when I was packing for my two deliveries. You cover anything and everything needed or wanted! I don’t cloth diaper or use organic clothes, but WOW, this is great! I think I’ll come back to this when I have my next baby! :)

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  • Amanda

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    To all of you who are telling her about how she’s bring to much, and she’s not going to use it and why spend so much money and the hospital isn’t going to let her do this and that I have a couple of things to say: 1. Get over it this is the way she chooses to plan and “nest” everyone does it differently there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with it 2. Do you honestly think that someone who has planed out all this to take to the hospital just in case she needs/wants it has not checked into what the hospital will allow her to have and finally 3. She may not use all or any of it but knowing it’s there will take away a little bit the stress that comes with having your first baby and that’s all that matters.

    Just an FYI with my first son we went into the hospital to be induced and left the bags in the car and when the contractions started I was in so much pain and scared that I wouldn’t even let my husband walk to the parking garage to get it. So my advice is everything you think you need for the first day taking it in. :-)

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  • Marie

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    I just want to say that I love the amount of thought that went into trying to be prepared for every possibility. It doesn’t matter if you use ANY of the stuff, because I firmly believe it is the thought that counts. My baby girl just turned 13 months this week, and I can say that nothing has gone as planned (but she is smart, healthy and beautiful), but being physically prepared for things helped when I wasn’t prepared mentally and emotionally. You will be an excellent mother because that is your goal, and clearly, you care a lot. Best of luck to you, you will be great. No matter what.

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  • Babies411

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    I love how you divided your bags…what a great idea! I LOVE cloth diapers, how did they hold up after baby’s meconium poops? Meconium is the reason I recommend chlorine-free disposable diapers for the first few days of life.

    Check out these pre-packaged bags full of organic and natural products for mom, baby and labor coach: http://mypuredelivery.com

    Keep up the great work!

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  • Milissa Cheves

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    Great ideas on your hospital bags. It is always better to bring too much than not enough. I wish I would have had some of this stuff the first time around.

    Many people of comments that you are not allowed food or drink during labor. My hospital allows you to eat what ever you like. It is a teaching hospital and is a bit ahead of others. They said that the practice of not allowing food is not evidence based. There is no real-world evidence that eating during labor causes harm.

    Reply

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