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Most hospitals will have a list of what you need to bring to the hospital for labor and your hospital stay but maybe we can generate a list of things people found the most useful. Also what were some things on the list or that you packed and you just didn't need?

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asked 12 Sep '09, 12:47

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Tammy ♦♦
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Wow, I can't believe these hospitals that wouldn't provide you with endless diapers, etc. We would have been screwed if we had to bring our own diapers, as we had bought Newborn size, and we unexpectedly had a GIANT baby who had to go straight into size 1 diapers. I guess we lucked out with our hospital. We stocked up on diapers, wipes, formula, and swaddling blankets from them before we left.

I know we brought a TON of stuff to the hospital, but I can't think of too much we didn't use. I know we brought some DVDs which in hindsight seems silly--we didn't really watch anything. The most important things we brought were:

  • Laptops: our hospital had free wifi. FTW!
  • iPhone: not only for calls, but for music, quick photos & tweeting during labor. ;)
  • Pajamas, robe & slippers: soooo nice to have your own things.
  • Maxipads: I wore the hospital panties (disposable!) but brought my own pads. Much better than what they provided.
  • 2 pillows: one for me, one for my husband, who slept on an uncomfortable cot for 3 nights, bless his heart.
  • Snacks: the hospital food wasn't great, and came at really inconvenient times. They also only brought one or two meals for my husband the entire time we were there.
  • Yoga ball: the hospital had one for us, so we didn't bring it, but it was awesome. Some people bring their own.

One thing I wish we had was a Do Not Disturb sign. We left the hospital a day early because the nursing staff was bothering us at all hours, waking up the baby just after we'd gotten him to sleep. I found out after we left that we could have put out a Do Not Disturb sign to keep them at bay. I wish I'd known that.

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answered 04 Oct '09, 06:35

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There's more, they only provided 1 pair of mesh underwear. Plenty of Maxipads though. During labor they brought me no food at all and it was 24 hours. Meals were good after the baby was born though and they gave me a menu to choose from for the day's meals. However, my husband was never given or offered anything. It was expected he'd fend for himself. On the other hand, the nurses didn't bug us too much and never woke either of us up.

(04 Oct '09, 11:28) Tammy ♦♦

I think it depends a lot on what hospital you're going to. These are the things we packed/wish we had packed for the birth of premature twin boys mid-October in Trondheim, Norway:

General items:

  • Video camera and photo camera. Remember to have charged batteries.
  • Mp3-player, a book or some other small item in order to kill time while in labour. After birth you'll probably be too occupied to worry about entertainment, so no need to bring more than one item really.
  • Cellphone, in order to notify near family of the newborn. Preferably a cameraphone in order to send pictures as well.
  • Laptop or something to go on the Internet with, in order to send more pictures and video, and to update social media sites like Facebook etc. This might seem superficial, but a big part of childbirth is close friends and the new family that is created. Bringing a laptop is especially important if the hospital stay is extended for some period, if near family lives far away, or if hospital visits are restricted because of swine flu.

For the parents:

  • Beauty bag.
  • Comfortable clothes. Having some sets of clothes is obvious for the mother, but remember this for the father as well. It's not like it's even remotely close to being comparable with the strain of a mother giving birth, but it can be pretty intense for the father too. During labour you have to support your girl during contractions, the delivery room is usually warm, the expectant mother might be sick and throw up all over you, twice... And during birth you might support her by pushing with her during contractions, and in addition you worry a lot and sweat a lot. In short, I used three set of changes during the first 10 hours after arrival to the hospital and having some extra clothes was very nice.
  • Slippers, or some sort of shoes which is easy to get on and off, really handy in multiple situtions with a newborn at the hospital.
  • Big towel, because the towels at hospitals are usually small, and a soft big towel feels really nice.
  • Comfortable shirt with buttons, because keeping the baby skin to skin is a wonderful way to bond between parent and baby, especially for the father who doesn't get to breastfeed. This might be extra important for parents of premature children, where the kangaroo method has been proved to help children born several weeks to early.

For the mother:

  • Breastfeeding-bra and breast pads. But be aware that breasts might grow Dolly Parton-sized very quickly after birth, so be generous when choosing size.
  • Large sanitary pads. There will be blood...
  • Soft toilet paper. Same reason as above, there will be plenty toilet breaks, and hospital toilet paper is not very comfortable.

For the babies:

  • The clothes to take the newborn home from the hospital. Clothes that reflect the time of year the child will be born. For children born mid-October in the middle of Norway this means a bodysuit, woolen jacket, pants and baby cap. And possibly some nice blankets.

For those having twins:

  • Clothes of different colours. The hospital provides baby clothes while there, but they all look the same, and in order to early establish different identities for the children it is nice for visitors to easily tell them apart, so they are known as "Name1" and "Name2" instead of "The Twins".
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answered 21 Sep '09, 00:25

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edited 19 Nov '09, 03:27

Updated to reflect the experiences after giving birth to two boys mid-October in Norway, with an extended hospital stay of 13 days because they came 6 weeks early.

(19 Nov '09, 03:30) runaros

+1 for extremely beautiful layouting :-)

(28 Jun '10, 09:19) Fisherman

Some of the things we packed into the bag for our first baby was

  • Ipod + Cafe del Mar (all volumes) + some random Ipod speaker-dock thing <-- Ambient music during labour. MUST!
  • Warm baby sut and woolie hat for bambino
  • A few nighties for mum, single piece, easy access to breast area, etc.
  • Toiletries for mum.
  • 1 pair of clothes to leave. Have to be confortable ... because it will be sore down there. Eg. cotton tracky-dacks / loose gym pants, etc.
  • slippers.
  • reading book / laptop with net access.
  • mobile phone.
  • list of contacts in case phone dies/notebook dies.
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answered 17 Sep '09, 08:38

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edited 19 Sep '09, 13:26

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Tammy ♦♦
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I would pack your own pillow. During those long hours in the hospital bed, a little comfort from home can go along way :)

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answered 17 Sep '09, 16:45

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Very good point. I remember being at the hospital and feeling like I need my own pillow.

(18 Sep '09, 00:13) Tammy ♦♦

It's been a little while but if I remember correctly the most useful things for labor were a tennis ball for counterpressure, suckers, chap stick, a brush for after the shower, a notepad as my husband was documenting the events and times (e.g. broke water at 6:00 am, 5 cm at 9 am), and a bathing suit and snacks for my husband. I'm sure some other people can think of other helpful things?

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answered 13 Sep '09, 12:45

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why the bathing suit?

(15 Dec '09, 22:31) Artemis
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A bathing suit can be useful so the partner can join the mom for a shower and continue supporting her.

(30 Dec '09, 19:08) Scottie T

They generally don't want you using cell phones in hospitals. It's a good idea to bring some quarters with you for the payphone in the waiting area.

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answered 13 Sep '09, 14:49

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This depends on the hospital. Take the birth tour before showing up in labor so you know what your particular hospital's policies are.

(04 Oct '09, 20:24) Calvin's Dad

Number 1 on our list was our camera and 2nd was our cell phone chargers. Pictures are priceless and we had a lot of people to call, plus you never know how long you are going to stay! I've never heard of a hospital where you couldn't use your cell phone on the maternity ward. Do they still have pay phones? hehe

Regular things we packed were a pillow and blanket for my husband because hospital's don't usually have as nice of bedding for the husbands overnight stay. We did pack a few snacks, but our hospital was pretty awesome giving the dad food vouchers for the cafeteria and unlimited snacks from the hall station.

Besides toiletries and comfy clothes, everything else is just extra. Hospital's give out everything from baby clothes, blankets and even pacifiers, so there are few worries if you forget something. :)

I also agree with the laptop people, if we had a laptop that would be on our top list too!

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answered 18 Sep '09, 06:53

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Your hospital sounds great, ours did not have much for the baby but bare necessities, no clothes other then the "baby gown", no pacifier, and they only provided 7 diapers and, after that you had to use your own. I do agree that a camera is a must.

(18 Sep '09, 11:57) Tammy ♦♦

Those were 2 separate hospitals too, so I was thinking it was a general thing. Wow, that's crazy, 7 diapers?! I'm shocked.

(19 Sep '09, 06:37) Sabrina

Remember that Sabrina probably had to pay the hospital for the stay though. Our complete experience was covered by the gov't health plan.

(19 Nov '09, 11:29) Scott ♦♦

Nope, I didn't pay for the hospital stay...but we do live in the USA. I had insurance through a school district for my first baby and through my husband's work insurance the second. I asked around to my other American friends and they have all had similar experiences. But the gov't health plan seems to explain this for you, bummer.

(20 Nov '09, 06:01) Sabrina

Some hospitals do allow cell phones.

During both labors I had my laptop set up to play music while I was in labor. My husband had to shut it down when it was time to push, but having the music during labor gave me something to focus on rather than the pain.

I also took along a couple movies to watch when I was alone in the hospital room in the days following birth.

When my daughter came to see her little brother for the first time, we had a new doll waiting for her there.

And chocolate. The post-labor hormone withdrawal threw me for a loop the first time around. Fortunately my mom had chocolate on her. Nature's anti-depressant.

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answered 16 Sep '09, 21:30

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Check with your hospital in advance - in todays ecomony a lot of hospitals have made cut backs. I was in L&D 2 days ago and happenned to notice a new sign saying that effective Oct 1 our hospital will no longer be supplying diapers, wipes, maternity/maxi pads, soap, infant hats, booties, bottles, formula and a few other things that I cannot recall. Basically you should take everything you, your partner and baby(ies) will need.

Here is what I will take to this next delivery:

  • 2 pillows
  • robe
  • slippers
  • 2 pairs of jammies for me
  • a comfy outfit to go home in, socks, running shoes for me (the epiduaral causes LOTS of swelling so bring shoes that are very generous in size)
  • several pairs of underwear (grannies NOT thongs!!!)
  • flushable wipes for me (much easier for episiotomy care then TP)
  • a toilettry bag with shampoo/conditioner, soap, razor, facial cleanser, body wash, toothbrush/paste, lotion, chapstick, hairbrush, hair ties, q-tips, facial moisturizer
  • overnight maxi pads
  • a dozen Mr. Freezies with my name on them
  • snacks for my hubby -change for vending machines just in case
  • 3 sleepers and 3 diaper shirts for baby of varying sizes (as you dont know whether you are having a 5, 7.5 or a 10 lb baby and thats a big difference) to go home in
  • 2 warm baby blankets to get home in/put over car seat if windy/cold
  • 2 receiving blankets for swaddling, burping and general baby comfort on home day
  • the car seat of course and it's instruction for installation
  • a half a dozen newborn diapers (if your hospital does not supply them)
  • a half a dozen size 1 diapers (again you don't know which one will fit and you can buy more of the right ones when you need them)
  • 2 pkgs of unscented baby wipes (they are used for everything from diaper changes to spit up clean up to general clean up)
  • baby no scratch mitts, hat, socks
  • baby swaddler
  • face cloths
  • breast/nipple pads
  • breast pump and bottles just in case
  • baby shampoo/body wash and moisturizer
  • diaper cream
  • change of clothes and toilettries for Hubby
  • sleeping and pillow for Hubby
  • Ipod dock/speakers (or some other method of playing music)
  • cell phone chargers
  • laptops (most hospitals have wifi and you could be in for a couple of days)
  • webcam (Hubby's fam is in the UK)
  • camera
  • videocamera
  • deck of cards
  • focal point for me during delivery (something positive to focus on)
  • birth plan with my wishes and more importantly, contingency plans if things do not go according to plan for me or the baby (in case I am unable to communicate my wishes at the time)
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answered 01 Oct '09, 03:59

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We packed movies and several waiting for the labor to pick up. A fan will be a must if we do this again. I was getting so hot and they were turning the temp down more and more for me. My husband was so cold....I think a fan would have helped. I packed my own nightie but just ended up using the hospital gowns well I was there. With all the bleeding the first two days, I did not want my own to get ruined. We packed snacks for my husband, so he would have stuff to eat during the labor. I did some reading and listening to Ipod. Clothes to leave home in, something loose fitting. Clothes for baby.

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answered 17 Sep '09, 20:54

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Asked: 12 Sep '09, 12:47

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Last updated: 14 Jan '12, 09:06