What Should You Worry About Packing When Having a Baby

Me at 30 weeks

Me at 30 weeks

Here’s the first “real” post of my worry series. I missed last week due to life, but I’m not worried about it!

What should you worry about packing when having a baby?

If you Google this question, you will be taken to several well-meaning sites that let you know you need to get that hospital bag ready around week 35 or 36; and in it, you need to make sure you have items for yourself during the delivery, items for your partner (seriously–I saw a website where the writers want you to pack for your partner, too), and then items that you will need after delivery. These include but are not limited to: iPods, camera, bathrobe, slippers, toiletries, relaxation items, eyeglasses, comfortable shoes, snacks, and on and on and on. It’s like you are packing for a two-week cruise on a deserted island instead of having a baby. Might as well throw your swimsuit in there, just in case you want to pretend your hospital bathtub is a hot tub.

Here’s what you really need to bring with you when you are having a baby:

  • Yourself
  • Maybe your partner

Without yourself, no baby is going to be born at the hospital. If you don’t feel like worrying about getting all this stuff together, then don’t worry about it. You honestly only need yourself at the hospital to have the baby.  Now here are a couple other items that would be helpful and make life easier:

  • Your medication list or your actual medication (if you take anything while pregnant–the hospital needs to know this)
  • Your insurance card and driver’s license
  • Glasses or contacts
  • Your birthing plan

I hate to add that last one because it is probably causing some poor 20-week mother reading this blog post to go into a tizzy. But honestly, if you have a strong feeling or your partner does about the use of drugs or not or anything else, you need to have agreed upon this and talked to the hospital staff about it BEFORE you are in the throes of labor, because baby (pun intended), it hurts.

Here are a couple other items that we found useful in the hospital, but that we did not have packed in a bag because we had no bag packed when my water broke at 33 weeks. My hubby got these for me after the C-section:

  • A bathrobe and slippers (so I could walk down the hall to the NICU without showing everyone my backside)
  • Socks
  • My computer (to communicate with people about how KB was doing)
  • Our camera

Again, we got these AFTER she was born because the hospital was only 20 minutes from our house.

Here’s my point: please don’t spend time worrying about that bag you are packing for the hospital. It’s much more important to enjoy your pregnancy (if possible and you are not in too much discomfort) and get some sleep. If you enjoy decorating, then spend time getting your child’s room ready. Stop reading Internet sites that have a list longer than 8 items of what you need for the birth. And dear God, your partner can pack for himself!

If you already had a baby, what’s an item you NEEDED in the hospital? 







1 Comment

  • Amen, sister. My birth coach said the same thing about baby gear (if you’ve walked into a Babies R Us lately you’ll understand how daunting it can be to know “what you need”). But, the bottom line is, you have what you need: two loving parents and your new baby.

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