Packing Bag to Bring to Hospital

Updated on December 05, 2006
S.C. asks from Cortland, IL
40 answers

I am due in a month and figured I better start thinking about packing my hospital bag. I will be delivering at Kishwaukee hospital. I know to bring the basics (shampoo, deodarant, brush, underwear/ bras, soap, clothes to go home in for myself and baby) Does anyone know if they let you wear your own pajamas or do you wear the lovely hospital gowns? Anyone think of anything else I may need?

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K.G.

answers from Chicago on

This may sound silly, but my top recommendation is to bring a roll of nice soft toilet paper. The hospital has that cheap rough toilet paper and it makes an uncomfortable situation even less fun. Also, I wished that I had thought to bring my Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Spray with me. I used it when I got home, but it would have made the bathroom experience at the hospital easier too. (The spray you can live without, but seriously.... you'll be so happy you brought that toilet paper.)
Congratulations and best wishes!!!

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L.

answers from Chicago on

Everyone's has great ideas. Don't pack to much you won't be there long but definately bring snacks and $ for vending machines (mostly for bb's daddy). Also, a nice soft cushy pair of socks feels great no matter how you end up delivering.
Best wishes!

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

I also didn't bring my own pj's because of the bleeding. I messed up several hospital gowns so I was glad that I decided to stay in their gowns. I'd also recommend bringing a large supply of maxi pads for heavy bleeding. The hospital will give you pads but they are HUGE and it's like straddling a pole. Thinner, more comfortable pads will let you rest more and feel fresher. For my going home clothes, I had a jogging suit in 1 size bigger than my normal size. It was nice and comfy on my stomach and legs and it had that soft, fuzzy fabric inside and I found it very soothing to wear.

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K.

answers from Chicago on

S.,
Bring your own pillow (with a colored pillowcase so you remember it when you leave). Nothing will help you sleep better! Also, it's probably overly optimistic to bring anything other than maternity clothes to wear home. You'll leave the hospital still looking like you're about 7 months preg. (this will go down quickly). I ended up wearing the icky hospital gowns because they were easier to learn to BF with (shoulders snapped open) although I brought my own PJs. Bring a robe to throw over your PJs/gown if you want to go for a walk in the halls. And depending on how attached you are to your nice towels at home, maybe bring one for yourself after a shower. The hospital ones aren't very soft.

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Y.H.

answers from Chicago on

Hospital food is generally horrible - even at the nicer hospitals!

Whenever someone comes to visit - your husband, friends, etc. - ask them to skip the flowers and bring you whatever you crave - burger, chocolate, etc. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but the flowers are also a pain to haul in your car when it's time to go home.

Bleeding after birth is pretty heavy so I preferred to stay in the gown. The nurses will be coming in to change your pads every few hours so it's easiest that way.

Plus - tell your hubby to bring his favorite pillow if he is able to spend the night because the hospital pillows aren't so great.

Get all the sleep you can, be lazy on the weekends and take naps the second you feel tired. As soon as your baby comes, you'll be glad you stored up on your sleep.

Good luck and enjoy your little one!

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E.

answers from Chicago on

You can wear what you want, but remember you're wearing the Texas size underwear they give you with Texas size pads and you may not want to wear nice pj's...bring a robe of yours and leave the pj's at home. Bring flip flops. Hosp floors are gross! The first shower you get after the birth is the best feeling of your life but the shower floors are like anywhere else. (Socks, too.)

Good luck.

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T.K.

answers from Chicago on

I don't know about Kishwaukee hospital but from my own experience (my son was born in Dec.), I found that staying in the hospital gown was much easier since the nurse was coming in to check on my and I had to take care of myself (change pad). I had planned to wear by own pajamas but never did. I suggest slippers or socks with grippers on the bottom. Good Luck!!

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

Hi S.,

The hospital actually can't "make" you wear anything. If you want to wear your own clothes in labor and after birth, that is your right. I would agree with everyone else though, that you may find you prefer the gown because of the bleeding (it's not as bad as it sounds though, just a really heavy period for the first day or so for me).

I wouldn't worry about bringing too much. Going home clothes for you (big! it takes a little while to get rid of that belly) and baby. Shower stuff. Stuff for labor- massage oil/lotion, chapstick, small snacks, etc. Something for your partner too- definitely some change for the vending maching also. Cell phone and charger. Maybe music if you want to listen in labor. A nice soft nursing bra (the sport bra kind are nice for those first few days).

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M.R.

answers from Phoenix on

Congratulations! I have a 4 month old at home. The best things that I packed was a big robe and Nursing tank tops. I didn't wear any bottoms except the huge disposable underwear. The nursing tops made nursing easier and kept me covered. When I walked around I just covered up with the robe. Good luck and enjoy it, it is a wonderful experience.

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C.D.

answers from Chicago on

Everyone is correct. You can wear what you want. Bring more than one robe and just wear the gown. There is a little seeping of bodily fluids and if you have more than one robe it doesn't matter what you have on underneath.(or if you have little accidents)Bring as little as possible or have your husband take home as much as possible the night before. You just can't believe how much stuff you accummulate in 48 hours. And make sure you buy a big jar of TUKS. They give you some in the hospital but you are going to want to have some at home. They really help if you have to have stitches down there. Bring some snacks too. I went in at 6:30 am and did not deliver until 8:30pm, I was starving! Having a child is so scarey, no matter what people try and perpare you for, you just don't know until it happens. They'll be a lot of laughs later... but so well worth it. Enjoy everything!

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T.S.

answers from Chicago on

Don't forget your toothpaste. Also, I don't know if I would worry too much about your pajamas.... You will most likely stain it and you don't want to be wearing anything but ucky stuff anyways. You will have a very strong period for many weeks and I wouldn't wear anything at the hospital that you wouldn't mind throwing away in the end!

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A.H.

answers from Chicago on

I made sure I had snacks available for those with me in the delivery and for myself afterwards. They also told me to eat a meal right before coming to the hospital as they probably wouldn't feed me until after the baby was born.

I also had a small cd player and some cds for while we were in the delivery room. It was great to have the music in the background although both times we forgot to change the disc during the birth so it was off at that point. Both my kids were NEARLY born to the Gladiator soundtrack. lol. I needed some strong warrior music to push to!

I brought both my digital camera and one of those disposables - no one else really knew how to use my camera so the disposable was for them to get pictures when the baby was first born. My mother-in-law took some incredible pictures both times of my children as they were laid on my chest so I could see them for the first time, before they had even been cleaned up. They are the most amazing pictures! Then I got digital pics later, after we were tucked away in the regular room.

A magazine or book would be good, but you'll mostly be tired out and want to nap while you're in the hospital, so don't bring too many. I found that I was interrupted by nurses and visitors enough that I didn't have much time for much reading. If you plan to breastfeed you might choose your book to be about that, depending on what resources the hospital has to offer. I didn't get a lot of help the first time - just a lousy video - and had problems. The second time there was a nurse who sat down with me and helped me and I am still breastfeeding my daughter nearly seven months later as a result. (I was in tears and ready to bail on breastfeeding entirely two hours before we were to go home!)

I also had a to do list that included phone numbers for my husband to call after the birth. Some people called me in the hospital, but I was too busy basking in the wonder of my new little baby (and trying to get a little sleep in too) to call anyone! Don't forget to let your husband and others take care of some of that for you so you can focus on your new little one. Congratulations!

P.H.

answers from San Diego on

My personal experience is that I prefer to wear the hospital gowns...of course I also had two c-sections...I have never asked if i was allowed to wear my own night gown...but i am sure after you are able to get up and around it shouldn't be a problem...just call your hospital and ask.

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K.

answers from Chicago on

You don't want to ruin your pajamas so wear the gowns they give. If you walk around you wear two so your covered. Find out if the have a dvd,vhs or cd player and you can bring your own music and movies.

Here this is easier
Camera
Video Camera
Movies
Cds
Cell Phone and charger but if you don't have one get a phone card
If you write a journal then bring a journal
Slippers or they give you those sock slippers

Congratulations and enjoy every minute it goes by very fast.You can never take too many pictures so take a lot.

K.

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A.

answers from Chicago on

Yes, bring your own pajamas. You might also want to bring some things to do...book, word search, knitting project, start on the baby book, movie.
I'm due with my 4th child and I like to bring nice bath products...lotions, shampoos, body wash, etc.
Hope this helps...oh, don't forget the baby's new outfit!!!!

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

Staci-
Did you take a childbirth class and receive either the Lamaze magazine or New Parent magazine? They both have lists that you can start with. If not, here's some advice:
What kind of birth are you planning? Totally natural? Then you need to pack many comfort tools.
Birth Ball, rice socks, ice bag, small handheld fan, chapstick, massage tools, unscented massage oil, ICEEs (better than popsicles-don't drip and you can set them down during contractions), CD player and multiple types of CDs (you get tired of only piano music!), extra pillows wrapped in garbage bag with your pillowcase over it (you only get 2 in hospital), aromatherapy machine (plug in or battery), lavendar and peppermint scents, class manual or a book which will remind your partner of various positions to try, food for partner to snack on, change of clothes for partner for after the birth he can freshen up, "Brush ups" for if you throw up you can rinse your mouth without getting out of bed and feel better right away. These are just a few to start with. Pack a bag of your personals, a bag for your labor tools and a bag for baby. Good luck!

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H.D.

answers from San Francisco on

There are alot of great suggestions I could make for what you should bring for YOU and I am sure most of the women here will suggest most of what I would. But have you thought about what to bring for your husband/coach?? You may want to include a book, something for him/her to listen to, money for vending machines or the cafeteria, a camera, their toothbrush and toothpaste and anything else you can think of that will make THEIR stay more comfortable with you. Also put in a note for them to find, something sweet and loving because darlin, you may not be nice to them in the hospital room! Hehe! Also, inform them before hand that salami, tunafish and anything else smelly while they are there is OUT! My ex (hence the EX) decided to chow down on a tunafish sandwich. There is nothing more nausiating than that and when you are in the middle of contractions its the LAST thing you want to smell! =)
Good luck and welcome to that wonderful thing called motherhood....

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R.P.

answers from Chicago on

wow, I hope all of the "bleedy mess" stories didn't freak you out. Don't let it. But you will have all sorts of bodily fluids running out of you whether you have vaginal or c-section delivery. I found that bringing my own pillows with a different color pillowcase other than white was very helpful. It's so much more comfy when you're trying to sleep or just rest. Also, the cell phone issue varies from hospital. The hospital will provide you with disposable undies, super maxi pads that look like they came from Chernoble, and topical meds. Take EVERYTHING they give you. But it's nice to have books, magazines for the downtime. Good luck to you and I wish you a quick delivery. Your life will never be the same again, and you're going to love it.

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T.G.

answers from Chicago on

Hi S.! I brought my own nursing gown with both my babies, but I was such a bloody mess I didn't want to ruin it. So I never put it on. I hope you have a wonderful delivery!

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

Hi S.,
Congratulations, and how exciting! I had to wear the gowns in the hospital, but maybe you can check on the hospitals policy before hand. One thing that was very important to me, was a calling card. You can't use your cell phones in the hospital, and you usually can't make any long distance calls on your room phone. And I also made a list of the people my husband or I needed to call and their numbers, because if you are like me, you don't remember them because they are in your speed dial. :-)!! Good luck and congrats again!

J.

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R.

answers from Chicago on

I was allowed my own pjs once I'd delivered. I wouldn't take nice new ones (same goes for underwear) though - just something comfortable and easy to breastfeed in, if you plan on that.

You will also need:

Camera
Slippers, socks or something to wear on your feet (I had my flip flops)
Phone card and/ or change
A bit of cash but not much

I needed make-up!

A magazine or something to do might be a good idea - my son slept a lot and when the visitors had gone & I couldn't sleep, I had nothing else to do and got bored!

Good Luck

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K.H.

answers from Chicago on

HI S.
Congrats, I used the hosiptal gown because of the bleeding. I didn't want to mess up my things.

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L.G.

answers from Chicago on

Hi S.!

First of all, congratulations and good luck!! You have gotten a lot of good advice here so I'm just going to tell you about the thing I packed that I found to be the most valuable -- a box of HoHos. Nothing helped me more as I sat alone in the middle of the night trying to figure out how to feed my new baby than the comfort of chocolate and the rush of energy I got from the sugar.

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K.K.

answers from Chicago on

I wore their gown at night only because of the bleeding and my own clothes during the day. I found sweats and a button down shirt like a flannel to be comfortable. The button shirt was good if you plan on giving nursing a try. Also, they give you mesh underwear to wear while you are there. Remember to bring clothes that you will fit in when you go home. I know you may want to just go flat bellied after that baby comes out, but that's not the case. I wore the same clothes I wore there. A little big, but comfie. Snacks are also a good idea, more for your hubbie than you. Also, when ordering your meals, order 2 and then your hubbie can eat too. We did this with both our kids, a tip the nurse told us to do.
Good luck,
K.

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R.B.

answers from Chicago on

S.,
My son is 5 months old...I wore the ugly hospital gown. I did not want to worry about changing clothes much (I also had a c-section and I was very limited in my mobility). I delivered in Arlington Heights, the food was pretty good, but I'd pack some snacks for your husband. I only brought an outfit to go home in, sweats work great! The hospital provided a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and lotions, so I overpacked as well. Make sure you bring a larger/nursing bra that you'll hopefully fit into. I brought one that was 2 sizes larger than normal, and it was still too small due to engorgement (I was in for 4 days).

Congratulations on the baby, enjoy every minute, and accept all the help that is offered to you! :)

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D.K.

answers from Chicago on

Hi S.,
Are you planning on a regular delivery. If so, remember you will only be there a maximum of 2 days, likely discharged 24-48 hours after delivery, as long as everything goes OK. So my recommendation is, do not over pack. I did that, except I finally figured it out with #3, and it was a hassle, because many times the rooms are small and storage is nil.
I had a c-section with all mine, but as soon as I could get up on my own, I was in my own PJ's. But if you delivery regular, you will be bleeding alot, so until that stopped with me I kept the lovely gown on rather than stain my PJ's.
Don't forget an outfit for the baby. They typically will let you dress them special for their hospital picture.
Also, if you are picky about the hospital food, bring some snacks.
I live in Sycamore, but delivered my kids at Delnor, as my insurance has no doctors in DeKalb county. ARGGGHHH. I would be interested to hear about your experience there. I know a couple nurses at Kish, but no labor nurses.

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T.R.

answers from Chicago on

S.~I delivered at Hinsdale and Rush-Copley. You wear their gowns during delivery and then you can change into your own. I always brought CD's to listen to during delivery. Don't forget the baby book so they can put the baby's footprints right in it after birth. And, of course, don't forget your list of people to call. Congratulations! T.

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N.O.

answers from Chicago on

Hi S.,

Ah, the bag! Congrats...I wore the gown until I gave birth and then I wore my own pj's. I would recommend a long nightshirt b/c the nurses will be checking up on your "delivery areas" (for lack of a better term) to make sure things are ok. Don't worry, by the time you deliver they could put a bus stop in your room and you could care less about your privacy...all modesty goes out the window :-) Maybe also a pair of slipper socks or slippers so you can walk around in something more stylish than the brown hospital socks.

Enjoy your delivery...it's an amazing experience. I can't wait to do it again and I'm the last person you would've thought you'd hear that from before my first delivery.

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A.S.

answers from Chicago on

I agree with previous responses that you don't even need to worry about your own PJs. I brought a robe and PJs and all sorts of stuff. Books, etc. In the end I think all I used were clothes to wear home for myself and my daughter, my toothbrush and my husband ate the snacks. I didn't change out of the hospital gown for the whole 2 days I was there. Didn't even wear my own underwear home since they give you the postpartum stuff to accomodate ice packs and what have you. I'd highly recommend bringing as little as possible b/c you'll have your hands full enough leaving with the baby for the first time, and probably gifts and flowers people will bring and send.

Good luck!!!

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B.D.

answers from Chicago on

S.,
I agree don't pack to much. We packed a small word puzzle book, a deck of cards, a small bottle of lotion ( for someone to rub on your feet or where ever.) The hospital usually gives you slipper socks. We brought a change of clothes for me, the baby outfit, car seat,money and we even brought our own snacks (fruit bars, fruit snacks, small bag of chips for the dad) Don't forget the baby book so you can put the foot prints in. That's the one thing I regret not bringing. Good Luck and enjoy your bundle of joy!
B.

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S.N.

answers from Chicago on

I just had my baby on the 27th and I would recommend just bringing a robe but wear the hospital gowns they are comfortable and you may want to change them frequently the only other thing I would suggest are the disposable wipes other than that just the basics

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J.P.

answers from Chicago on

Things to bring with you.

*Your insurance card
*Whatever you think will make you comfortable.
If you bring pillows, you may want to invest in those plastic waterproof covers.

I delivered my twins at Rush Copley and yes, you can wear what you want after you deliver, but I chose to wear their gown and brought my own robe. Make sure to bring maternity clothes for the trip home.

* Car seat for baby.
* outfit for baby pictures (if you choose to pay their outrageous fees)
* a digital camera (or a cheap disposable)
Do not bring diapers, cause they will probably let you take home all of the ones in the bassinette thingy.
* Nail clippers/nail file (most hospitals find it a liability for the nurses to cut/trim the babies finger nails, so they won't allow them to do it)
*movies for the wait

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J.S.

answers from Chicago on

You will also want a robe and slippers for roaming the halls. At my hospital your were allowed to wear whatever you wanted, of course I would suggest wearing their loving frocks the first day for any "accidents".

Good luck. I just went through this 6 weeks ago today.

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B.

answers from Chicago on

you should ask the hospital. most of them allow you to wear your own after your able to take your first shower which you'll want a.s.a.p. i packed some snacks for myself like crackers and peanut butter or fruit etc. good luck to you .i hope everything goes well.

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J.

answers from Chicago on

I think most places will let you wear your own PJ's if you like. I would suggest being open to what they have to offer you at the hospital just because of the bleeing you may be doing after delivery. Maybe bring something comfortable that you are not too attached to. I also found that those cleansing cloths witht the soap or cleanser already on it are helpful too. Just in case you don't feel like going through the whole drill, but could use some freshening up.
Best of luck!
J. C

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C.

answers from Chicago on

I didn't even bring my own pajamas...just used the hospital's. And actually, the nurse told me just to wear the gowns because you still might be bleeding and you don't want to get anything on your good pajamas.

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Y.

answers from Chicago on

I had 3 c-sections at Kishwaukee!! The rooms are great!! Have you been given the tour yet? Are you taking lamaze? Who is your doctor? I had Dr. Dubrick who was fantastic! I hate hospital gowns so I bought a cheap little gown for the hospital that I did not care if it was messed up since I would throw it sway when I left. That way you are not ruining any good ones but are not walking around with your backside hanging out! The nursing staff was incredible! With my thid I was there for 12 days, 9 of them on bed rest before the surgery. They took really good care of me. Make sure you take something for down time. Not that there is usually a lot of that but when the baby sleeps after you may not be able to sleep during the day. Email me and I will be glad to answer any other questions about Kish. Congrats and don't worry about the facilities or staff. They are the best! You can stay in the room the whole time. There is a recliner for dad, a dining area with a small table and a mini fridge. Good Luck!
[email protected]____.com

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S.R.

answers from Chicago on

I Had both my boys in Evanston , IL. But I think most hospitals are the same. You wear the hospital gowns until you give birth, then after I was able to wear my own pajamas.

hope that helps.

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C.G.

answers from Dallas on

Congrats!!

Pillows
Chapstick
Hair brush (I almost forgot it!)
Baby Book to have them put the baby feet prints in
lotion

**make sure you ask for lots of samples - we came home with TONS of stuff!!

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A.R.

answers from Chicago on

I brought a journal to write down my birthing experience so my new daughter could read it later in life. Also, I was going to breastfeed and having my wishes to nurse her immediately after birth written down was a big help (I was so exhausted from labor!) You can keep your baby with you for up to an hour after birth before they put in eye drops, etc. It is amazing how alert they are for this first hour... I loved being able to hold and nurse her while her vision was still fairly clear and we could have immediate eye contact.
I also took a breastfeeding book with me so I could reference it if I had any probs with nursing. You may want to bring a babycare book with you whether you are nursing or not, just in case you have questions (or your What to Expect when you are Expecting book.)
Congratulations!!!
-Amanda

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