When we were packing labor bags for #1, my goal was overly prepared but only slightly. I am a horrible overpacker in general but I really didn’t want to bring too much with us since we wanted to be in and out of the hospital as quickly as possible. I ended up packing a small suitcase with mostly baby and my clothes and toiletries, a small duffel bag with Husband’s things and our labor tools, and our camera/laptop bag, plus pillows and our birthing ball. We used… nothing. Well technically we used clothes and pillows and our camera and laptop but not until after V had arrived. We literally left everything except my purse in the car because we weren’t positive I would be far enough along to be admitted and then once we got there things picked up quickly and Husband didn’t go back down until after we had already had visitors come meet her.
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This time around I’m trying to be more practical about what I think I will honestly use. We bought this diaper bag and that’s what I’m shooting to stick to. If it doesn’t fit, I’m not bringing it (except for our laptop/camera and the pack of diapers *see below*). Here’s what has made the cut so far.
Clothes for the three of us
This is an obvious one. We are super laidback about a “coming home outfit” and don’t buy separate girl and boy ones. I honestly don’t even remember what outfit I packed this time but I think it was a baby animal onesie with some little white footies with ducks on the feet. For me, I packed a nursing tank, yoga pants, and this robe I treated myself to (I got the blue one for a steal on Zulily). Husband has yet to pack his clothes but his usual is a t-shirt, athletic shorts, and a sweatshirt. I don’t pack undies for myself because the mesh hospital ones are so amazing. And I wear the hospital socks while in labor so I don’t ruin any of mine.
Diapers and wipes
We went back and forth about whether we wanted to start cloth from the hospital or not. I decided on not for several reasons – we’re using a new system this time around and I would like to go through the learning curve in the privacy and support of my home, not with nurses hovering over me and I would rather not have a bunch of diaper laundry to do as soon as we get home from the hospital. However, V has always been super sensitive to diapers and wipes so we decided to bring our own instead of using whatever brand the hospital has. We’re going with these diapers and these wipes for the hospital but I do hope to switch to cloth as soon as we get home (especially since I only bought one package of diapers!).
Homeopathic and natural remedies
Even though we didn’t end up using them last time, I firmly believe in the power of homeopathic and natural means of coping with labor pains. This time I’ve packed Arnica (both the 30c and 200c), essential oils (I’m not a huge lavender fan so I’ve got clary sage, peppermint and frankincense packed), my heat wrap (love this thing but we don’t have a microwave anymore so it rarely gets used at home).
Bringing snacks is so important. With V, I didn’t eat or drink anything after we got admitted, so close to 9 hours of hard back labor and I could not bring myself to drink. After V was born, we had friends bring us food but they got sidetracked and didn’t arrive for another 5 hours and we stupidly didn’t order food (doing that as soon as baby’s out this time lol) so I was starving. This time I’ve got Larabars, jerky for Husband (and breath mints!), some honey sticks, and almond butter packs, along with a water bottle and a frozen bottle of coconut water (I plan to take it out to start thawing while I labor at home, and will probably have some red raspberry leaf tea or my pregnancy tea while I labor at home). The hospital food is actually pretty good so I mostly focused on bringing things that would be easy to snack on during labor or immediately after.
And that’s about it. What were your must-haves for your labor bag? Anything you’d add?