A couple weeks ago I shared what we packed in our hospital bags, today I wanted to follow up and share what we actually used and what just took up wasted space! We kind of got a full hospital experience since Foster was in the NICU and stayed with us the last night, so I feel I really know what you need and don’t need no matter what happens during your hospital experience!
I’ll be sharing our full birth story soon, but long story short – we were in the hospital from Tuesday evening until Saturday morning. We moved three times, into three rooms and experienced a lot of different things. The nurses at our hospital were BEYOND amazing, I seriously cannot say enough about them. The whole experience was not what we planned but it’s ok.
I figured it would be best to break down what we used from our hospital bags by stages of our visit – Before Labor, During Labor & Postpartum.
I was induced due to high blood pressure issues and we checked in on Tuesday evening. Most of Tuesday night, I felt completely normal. We brought my laptop in case we wanted to watch movies and I’m so glad we did. I also brought my Barefoot Dreams blanket and was so glad I did. Having a piece of home definitely helped with my anxiety. Although I felt fine, I was hooked up to a lot of monitors, cords, etc. This made it hard to move around so I’m glad I had these micellar face wipes. I also put on this Foster Name Necklace that RJ gave me and I had been saving for labor. We also used these long phone chargers our entire stay, honestly the only thing you MUST-HAVE.
When I actually started laboring the next day, we used a few things from our hospital bag and I was glad to have them. At some parts, I was really hot and this Fan helped a ton. This is also his stroller fan, so it’s really double bang for your buck. We also used my laptop during labor, a couple of times we put on Netflix to watch something to distract me from the contractions. It was a huge help in trying to painlessly pass the time. Once he was here, the nurse was able to put his footprints directly into his baby book and I’m so glad we brought it!
Besides that, we didn’t use a whole lot during labor. I’ve read a lot of posts where people talk about having chapstick and things like that, but I really just wanted popsicles, epidural and the baby out of me – so nothing was really helpful or not helpful that I packed. The only other thing I was glad to have immediately after delivery was a snack, as I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours at this point. I do think it’s worth throwing a box of cheez-its or something in your bag. The nurses got me food eventually, but for the first hour or so after birth, my nurses were dealing with Foster and there were 15 births the day of our delivery, so not too many extra hands. (the nurses were INCREDIBLE and asking them for a snack was the least of my concerns, however, I was glad RJ was able to give me something to eat without leaving the room).
Our postpartum experience was probably not the norm. I will be sharing our birth story soon with all the details of what happened after he was born but in the meantime, here are the things we are SO glad we brought. Once again, I was happy to have my blanket. It was a nice comfort and piece of home during a hard time. We also used our long phone chargers again in postpartum. We spent most of the first night either asleep or in the NICU, so we didn’t use much then. The next day/evening was slightly more normal in terms of postpartum, however, most of our day was still spent in the NICU. A few things we did use that day: toiletries! I was so glad to finally shower and my friend suggested packing a face mask or something. I brought this Elemis Cleansing Balm and it was such a nice treat after such a long, sweaty day. I also have LIVED, and I mean lived, in these nursing bras since the day he was born.
Our third day in the hospital, Foster returned to our room from the NICU so I think this is the most ‘normal’ in terms of knowing what we used/didn’t use. I was so, so happy to have my robe and wore it the entire last day/evening we were in the room with him. Up until this point, I slept in one of RJ’s giant t-shirts but since Foster was now with us and nursing, I liked having my robe. We also were finally able to take some photos with him! I used this Polaroid, and highly recommend as it has a self-timer setting. Due to Covid, we were not allowed any visitors so this was great to get photos with all three of us. I’ll treasure these sweet Polaroids forever. I also planned to use my camera to snap some photos but it was dead and we were exhausted at this point (day 5 in the hospital), so I used my phone. We did use his letterboard to get some shots with all his stats. We also used a couple of his blankets and loved having his hats for him to wear! Most of his clothes were WAY too big, but I did have two preemie outfits that almost fit.
I used all the hospital provided products for recovery, and stocked up to take a bunch home so don’t forget to ask! I did wear a pair of my underwear on the final day but could have survived without them as well. The other thing I feel like we used the most was this nightlight. I thought this was a silly purchase and figured we would never actually use it. Boy, was I wrong. I LOVE this nightlight and have used it every day for the last two weeks. It’s cordless, taps on and off, plus can be dimmed. It’s so nice for middle of the night feedings and changes. I swear that every mom needs this little light. I will forever gift this to any new mom moving forward.
Finally, I wanted to share a few NICU specific things we used and hope you never need them. The NICU is so hard and we were only there for such a short time! My heart goes out to any parents who have little ones in the NICU. And the nurses who work in there? PURE ANGELS. We didn’t necessarily need anything for the NICU, however, I only packed two nightgowns and a robe. I felt weird walking from our room to the NICU, through the hospital in either of these, so I had RJ grab some lounge clothes for me. In the future, I would pack one lounge outfit or at least bring a large cardigan to wear (I wore this one). Again, not necessary and hopefully you won’t be making trips to the NICU but I wanted to mention it.
Was this helpful? If you’re a mama and you have an item you couldn’t have lived without in the hospital, leave it in the comments so other Mamas to be can see! XO