- A nice comfy and soft robe. If you happen to want to walk about while in labor, you have something to cover your backside. Me? I had an epidural within an hour of arriving in L&D. No pacing the halls there. But, our sweet Jack spent the nights in the nursery, and it gave me something to throw on when I woke up at 1 am to sneak down to peek at his sweet face.
- Nightgowns or "day dresses". I found that the idea of even comfy pajama or yoga pants just didn't do it for me those first couple of days. I picked up a couple of cute empire-waisted nightgowns and paired them with cardigans since we had visitors in and out. I'm a dress girl, anyway. If you're nursing, you'll want to make sure you bring something with easy access.
- Some slippers and furry socks. Listen, I swelled up like an albino watermelon after I had Jack, and it was even a stretch that second day for me to get my Ugg slippers on. I spent most of my days in those furry grippy socks that you can find in the hosiery/sock department at Dillard's.
- My favorite toiletries. I splurged on my favorite shampoo and conditioner, favorite body wash, and a new lipstick. Whatever I thought might make me feel pampered, I bought it and packed it. I did my hair and makeup every day in the hospital because it made me feel like myself. Did I look amazing? No. (See albino watermelon mention.) But it made me feel a little more like myself.
- The nitty gritty. I'm not going to go into the un-pretty items in my bag for postpartum care, but feel free to e-mail if you're curious. There are some great suggestions in the comments of this post.
- An outfit for coming home. Remembering to balance total comfort with the fact that this will be photographed and in my family memory album forever. No pressure.
- Chocolate malted milk balls. This is absolutely not needed and a personal preference.
- An extra bag. You'll need an extra bag to tote home all the diapers, wipes, and samples of all sorts of things that baby product makers send to the hospital to convince you to buy their stuff. Stock up on those newborn diapers!
- Electronics. We'll have at least one laptop and our phones, plus camera, and then the chargers for all of them.
- Headgear. The baby will be learning to regulate her own temp over the next few days, so it's good to keep a hat on her head. The hospital provides one (usually pink and blue stripes), but I've packed my own too. And let's not deceive ourselves--I've got some bows up in that bag too. Can't stop won't stop.
- 2-3 soft baby outfits. I'm a huge fan of babies in gowns because I cannot deal with snaps in the middle of the night. Again, the hospital will provide the baby with something to wear (like those plain white diaper shirts) so this is up to mom's discretion. I packed some for Jack and only used one on the second day.
- Baby fingernail scissors. The hospital will not take responsibility for cutting tiny fingernails. If my girl comes out in need of her first mani, I'll be prepared. I prefer the little scissors over clippers because you can be more accurate with them.
- Our paci of choice. We gave Jack the big green button the hospital provided (upon request), but I switched him out within days of getting home. This time, I've already boiled the pacis I'm hoping Annabelle will take and will have them on hand if she needs one in the hospital.
- A boppy. Whether you bottle feed or nurse, this is really a lifesaver on the arm muscles.
- The baby book. I had Jack's with us but forgot to have visitors sign in or have the nurse put his footprints in it. This time, I have fully briefed the husband on the expectations for this book to make it a team responsibility. If you come visit me, remind me to have you sign it!
- Coming home outfit/blanket. You can take this as far as you want. We are big on the coming home outfit. It's her first fashion debut, so you can imagine that sister has a sweet dress and beautiful accessories.
- Infant carrier. This is an obvious item, of course. We'll leave ours in the car, and she'll ride down in my arms to save some space in our room.
Notice that I am not packing snacks for my husband, although many people will include that in their lists. I have full confidence in Mr. G's intelligence and stomach that if he gets hungry while I'm hyped up on ice chips and laboring to deliver our baby he will excuse himself and go find something to eat outside of my presence without me even knowing. I do, however, plan on sharing my malted milk balls after she is born. Experienced mamas, what else would you add to the list?