Hospital Bag Critique

I have seen several blogs where they did a follow up to their hospital bag post and talked about what they ended up using and what they wish they had brought. I found a lot of value in those posts and wanted to do the same.

Now that it is all said and done, I would still bring everything I did below.

Having three different bags was very helpful. Rob brought in each bag as it was needed so we didn’t have a lot to transfer from my labor room/OR to my recovery room. After P was born, Rob brought in P’s bag and my recovery bag. 
Labor Bag
My labor didn’t go as planned from the beginning so there were several things I didn’t end up using. However, since you never know what will happen, I do not regret bringing any of this. Since my water broke and I was not having contractions, I was put on Poticin right away and therefore I couldn’t get out of bed. 
1. Items to help with labor – We used music (A) for awhile but as the pain worsened, it just got annoying and I remember telling Rob to, “turn that damn music off”! We didn’t use the meditation balls, lavender spray and ice bag mainly because I was having back labor (B, D, E and F). We used the tennis balls in the sock (C) A LOT! They pretty much saved me from getting an epidural for 5 hours of active painful labor. 
2. Money for vending machine – Since I was pretty much in active labor until we went with a c-section, Rob didn’t have much of a chance to go to the vending machine until we were in the recovery room. 
3. Nightlight – We put this in my labor bag in case I had a long labor that lasted through the night. That wasn’t the case so we didn’t need it in our labor bag. In the recovery room, we kept the TV on so we didn’t really need it. I would still recommend having it though. It is very small and would be helpful if needed. 
4. Tape – I had brought this to hang up my visual focus but didn’t end up using it or needing it. 
5. Journal & Baby Book – I didn’t have time to go on the computer let alone write in a journal. We also only used the baby book after P got his first bath and they did his foot prints. 
6. Towels – Although towels would have provided a little home comfort, we didn’t end up using them. Rob got to go home to shower a few times when my parents came to visit. I only took one shower while I was there and since I had a c-section, I wanted to use their towels. 
7. Camera – This is a no brainer, lol! 
8. Plastic Bags – These were great to have to put my shower flip flops and anything else that was wet when we packed up to go home. 
9. Pillow cases – It was nice to have my own pillow and an older pillow case that I didn’t have to worry about getting messy. 
10. Labor toiletries – I used the Chapstick a ton. Rob used the tums like crazy. My heartburn disappeared the night I had P. The rest of the items I didn’t end up using. 
Some of the items we brought that were not shown in the picture is clothing (for both Rob and I), shower shoes, computer and chargers, phone chargers, snacks and toiletries. I especially used my MaryKay cleansing cloths to wash my face from my bed. You can purchase them here
 Parker’s Bag

I will make this easy and say that we used most of the items below and I still recommend bringing all of them and plan to do so the next time.

1. Two types of pacifiers – Although we tried both (Soothie and Avent) he didn’t take to either.
2. Hand Sanitizer – I had forgotten we had this in our bag but when I remembered, we started using it quite a bit.
3. Socks – P was swaddled most of the time but we used these when he was in his outfits and on the way home.
4. Mittens – These are a MUST!
5. Outfits – We put him in all of the outfits
6. Hats – These are also a MUST. The hospital ones are functional but not really pretty 🙂
7. Security Blanket – While not a necessity, I still liked having it around for P. Reality is he is just now starting to interact with it at 10 weeks. It was more for pictures than functionality.
8. A&A Blanket – We used the hospital blankets mostly but had
9. Bibs – We used these because the nurses had me supplement with liquid formula while I was there because I was having some BF issues. The liquid formula stains pretty bad.
10. Burp Cloths – We used the hospital ones.

Postpartum Bag

The Boppy (#1) was essential after P was born. I was able to rest him on it in my bed and the chair. It was especially helpful since I had a c-section. The breast pads and lanolin (#2-4) I didn’t use until a few days after I got home and my milk came in. I still think it’s an important thing to have on hand in the hospital just in case. Since I had a c-section, I didn’t need the witch hazel (#5) but know other mothers swore by it.

One of the things I wish I had purchased/brought with me was a nice hospital gown. I had talked about it in a previous post and a few people responded that I wouldn’t want to pay the money since it would get ruined during labor. I wish I had gotten one or two for the days/nights I was in the hospital recovering. We had a few people come visit and I wanted to look decent but it was painful to get dressed and hard to BF P easily. This would be a happy medium and make me feel a little more human. This is something I will be purchasing for next time!

I also forgot my prenatal vitamins and cranberry pills. I wish I had brought them because I went a few days with out taking them.

My biggest words of wisdom are to take EVERYTHING you can from the hospital. My Mom insisted that we take everything, even though I didn’t think we needed it. We use the wash basin to soak any cloths P stains upstairs after we change him instead of walking down and up two flights of stairs. We used the remainder of his wipes and diapers since he was too small for his cloth diapers when we got home. We used the large pads they gave me on his changing table which saved quite a few washes. I continued to use the squirt bottle, smaller pads and mesh undies till my incision healed a little more. Nothing went to waste!

Cookies for the L&D nurses!

This has been on my to-do list for awhile and decided I shouldn’t let it wait any longer! I wanted to have something special for the staff and L&D nurses that will play such an important part in one of the best days of our lives! I decided to use one of my favorite family recipes, Oatmeal Crispies. We quadrupled the recipe (broke it down into two batches) to make enough for everyone (and a few for me).

We made up bags for the following groups/people:
Main registration desk

Triage desk
Triage nurses
L&D nurses station
The delivering Dr
Birth Photographer

And included this on each one:

Our hospital bags

In all honesty, I started thinking about our hospital bags around 3 months, starting collecting lists around 6 months and have started packing our bags as of now :o)

I am a planner, packer, over-preparer (not a real word, I just made it up) and I am 100% okay with that. I want to be comfortable and have as much as I can predict I will need before and after. I am sure there are items listed below that I will not need but only I will know that and only after I go through this experience. To make is a little easier, we packed 3 different bags that will come in at different times during our stay; labor, baby, postpartum.

Labor Bag

1. Items to help with a medication free birth:
    A. iHome with labor mix
    B. Meditation balls
    C. Two tennis balls inside a sock to help with back pain/labor
    D. Fan
    E. Spray bottle with lavender scent
    F. Hot/cold bag
2. Cash for vending machine
3. Nightlight
4. Tape to put up visual image to focus on during contractions
5. Notebook to track and record significant things that happen and a baby book for babies first foot and hand prints.
6. Towels for personal comfort
7. Camera, charger/extra battery and USB for laptop
8. Shopping bags for wet flipflops and bathing suit
9. Old pillowcase covers
10. Container for bedside table to hold:
    A. Chapstick
    B. Lotion
    C. Baby powder
    D. Nail-file
    E. Tums (I heard hospitals can only give you a few and that won’t be enough for me!)
    F. Altoids
Not shown in pictures:
1. Clothing for DH (change of cloths, bathing suit, shower shoes and sleepwear)
2. Sweatshirt and shower shoes for me
3. Computer and charger
4. Phone charger
5. Snacks for DH and hard candy for me
6. Toiletries including; shampoo, conditioner, soap, MaryKay products, headband/hairbands, comb/brush, toothbrush and toothpaste, and deodorant.

Peanut’s Bag

1. Two different types of pacifiers. We are not 100% sure we will introduce one to Peanut in the hospital but I wanted to have them on hand in case.

2. Hand sanitizer. I am sure there will be a ton of this in the hospital but I wanted some right at the bed to use.

3. Socks

4. No scratch mittens. And yes, I NEED these… Just ask my Sissy if you think I don’t.

5. A few outfits. The monkey one is Peanut’s going home outfit!

6. Hats of both gender 🙂

7. Security blanket my Mom made for Peanut (I have a matching one for the hospital).

8. Two receiving blankets for pictures.

9. Bibs

10. Burp cloths

Postpartum Bag

1. Bobby pillow with custom made cover made by my Mommy to help with breastfeeding.

2. Soothing gel pads

3. Disposable breast pads

4. Lanolin

5. Witch Hazel for pain management

Not shown in picture:
1. Clothing for DH
2. Comfortable clothing, including nursing tanks, for me. A dress and pants and t-shirt to go home in depends on how the birth went. 2+ Moms have said dresses are better for c-sections.
3. Extra bag to bring home items the hospital gives you.
Here are some references I used to back our bags:


After 9 months of planning, Peanut’s nursery is finally DONE (minus a baby)!!! I am so thankful for all those who helped along the way. 

I originally wanted a nursery set that all matched from Buy Buy Baby but quickly realized that the matchy matchy look just wasn’t for me. From there, I decided to create something visually appealing using a mixture of woods and colors.

You can find the tutorial for all of these projects on my DIY craft blog, designsBYmcm.

Rob got a chance to paint the wooden prop plane I found in Lancaster after a Boeing Stearman, one of his favorite planes! It was also his idea for the parachuting turtles 🙂

Since I LOVE my Cricut, I knew I wanted to use it for some of the pieces. For the ABC piece, I used the following cartridges; Storybook, Tear Drop, George & Basic Shapes, Plantin Schoolbook, Create a Critter, Doodlecharm, and Speaking of Fall.

Rob and I really liked these two quotes and wanted Peanut to see them everyday. The one on the right I plan to say to Peanut every night before they go to bed.

The bedding is from Target and was the inspiration for the entire nursery. We looked at several cribs but fell in love with the Gulliver Spindle Crib from IKEA. The mobile was inspired by Pinterest however, I made the mistake of not looking at how they created it so I had to do a fair amount of altering to get the product I was looking for. The wall decal is from a site called Word Decor ~n~ More. 

My best friend, Michelle, made these for Peanut for Christmas. She is so crafty and even created generated pictures of what Peanut would look like based on pictures of Rob and I. We hung them using cabinet knobs from The Home Depot.

We purchased the dresser and nightstand unfinished from Derbyshire and my Mom stained them.

The bookcase was a gift from my Mom at Peanut’s Shower. It was from Wayfair. The shelving on the right is from Improvements and I thought it was a great addition to the room.

Our Maternity Photos

Today was our maternity shoot and I can’t belive it is finally here! I feel like I booked it forever ago 🙂

I had originally found Heather Bee for our Birth Story photos and we hit it off right from the beginning. When Rob and I started talking about maternity photos, I knew we wanted Heather to take them! We asked her to come to the house so the photos would have more of a personal context.

Rob, Sissy and I spent a few hours last night getting ready for the shoot. I had seen a lot of pictures on Pinterest and created a board just to keep the ideas in one place and to show Heather. She was great and we were able to take almost everything on the list! We took some in the nursery, living room and outside in the woods behind our house. There is also a shot of us at the mailbox 😉