Picture this: You’re seven months pregnant with your first child, you’re sitting in the recliner squealing with laughter as your husband feels the kicks through your taught stomach, and it suddenly hits you: you’re not prepared for this upcoming day in the slightest. Emotionally, you’re ready. You both have spent so much time dreaming of this moment, and you feel that you’re prepared to take on motherhood vigorously. Now that the day is approaching, however, you realize just how unprepared you actually are - practically speaking. You don't know where to start when it comes to baby proofing, and what are you supposed to bring to the hospital on the big day?!
Luckily for you, The Invite Lady is here to help answer these questions and more! While we can’t promise that your anxiety and fears will disappear for good, we do promise to give you an extensive list of to-do’s and tips so you can feel at ease for a little while. Over the next few weeks we will be bringing you weekly articles to help you and the new moms in your life, so share the knowledge and insight, and maybe grab a few of these items for the new mom in your life! Trust me, you want to be the friend that steps up and takes the reigns - that is the friend who receives special aunt and uncle privileges.
Let’s start with the hospital to-go bag! Currently, I am just a few weeks away from my due date, and the pressure of what items to bring with me started weighing heavily, so I took the time to poll over four thousand women in various mom groups and put together a list of their must have items! It’s never too early to pack most of these items, and if you’re looking for a practical baby shower gift you absolutely MUST get these for your friends. There will always be baby clothes, adorable onesies, and cute dresses, but your practical gift will help make her upcoming day so much easier, and she won’t ever forget that. I’ve made it easier to shop by finding all of the items on amazon for you. Check out the items below, pass this along, and stock up!
Thank You Cards: Whether you need them for your baby shower or for the support team you have during birth, you absolutely need quality thank you cards in your arsenal! We have an endless array of designs for you to choose from AND customize to your desire! Taking the time to send a thoughtful message of thanks to those that have supported you throughout this entire new journey will make them feel special and loved, and you'll feel satisfied! Pro tip - stick some blank ones in your go bag and spend a few minutes of your recovery time writing notes to the staff of the hospital, and I guarantee you get a little special treatment ;)
Hair ties: The amount of women who suggested ponytail holders was overwhelming! If you have long hair, you need to throw quite a few ties in your bag according to these moms. Goody has you covered with this colorful, non-metal 60 pack of assorted hair ties, under 5 dollars and currently with free shipping from Amazon! Don't wait until the last minute to try to find the one and only hair tie you have left - it will go missing when you need it the most! Buy a new pack and immediately stick it in your bag.
Lip care: Another overwhelming response was lip care! Chapstick, lip balm, coconut oil, the list for lip care was endless. The most important thing you can do to prevent and heal chapped lips is drink plenty of water, but apparently we're going to need some extra help during this experience. Above is my personal recommendation: Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning balm is made with kokum, shea, and cocoa butter, which all work together to prevent and heal any damage while making your lips feel like they were just bathed in satin.
Dry shampoo: No one is going to feel like tending to their hair during and after childbirth, and no one should feel pressured to do anything with their appearance! For me, I enjoy feeling dolled up and clean - it makes me feel high vibe, and I'm always my best when I'm feeling so good about myself. Dry shampoo is the easiest and quickest way to soak up the oil in your hair and give you a fresh and clean look, without all the water and hassle! When it came to dry shampoo moms across the globe had this comment in common: get as close to unscented as possible! Anything fruity, tropical, or sweet sent their stomachs turning, so stick with unscented or baby powder smells. And don’t forget your hair brush! I suggest buying a new one at the closest dollar store near you and immediately putting it in your bag.
No slip socks: This is one thing most hospitals will be providing for you, but quite a few women agreed that those socks were not very comfortable. If you’re the type of person that needs maximum comfort (I am, no shame!) you definitely need to shop around for your own version of no slip socks! Most stores will have their Christmas socks marked down at the moment, and you’ll definitely find some fuzzy, no slip socks among the crowd!
Shower shoes: A lot of hospitals will require a few things from you before they discharge you, and sometimes a shower is one of them. Be sure to bring your own shower shoes for safety and hygiene - ultra grip, comfortable, and clean. The ones listed above are a personal favorite of mine!
Overall, these women had a lot of insight and suggestions to offer, and I'm definitely going to be listening. The items above are items you can purchase and throw in your bag right now without thinking twice. The items below, however, are ones you'll want to write on a piece of paper and check off as you get closer to the due date! In other words, you use the items below pretty regularly already and you can't afford to shove them in a bag right now. Just keep this list by your front door and make a quick check mark beside each one before you walk out!
- Makeup bag with makeup essentials, if you enjoy getting dolled up
- Face wash, wash cloths, facial wipes, body wipes, face towels
- Compact mirror
- Cellphone charger
- Camera, batteries, camera charger, game system chargers
- Snacks: salty and sweet!
- Games: crossword puzzles, sudoku, handheld game systems
- Hobbies: crocheting, knitting, drawing, coloring
- All toiletries you use at home and on vacation - if you even think about it, bring it!
- Nursing bras and tank tops
- Your own comfortable towels, bath robes, and pillows from home
- Your own diapers if you do NOT plan on using Huggies or Pampers (both brands provided by the hospital)
- At least four days of clothes for baby and you
- Large underwear, disposable underwear for you (Depends is a fan favorite)
And the biggest tip of all, topping out our survey at over three THOUSAND votes and comments: bring a bag that has plenty of space left so you can smuggle hospital items home and save some money!
Next week we'll discuss tips and tricks for getting your house baby ready. In the meantime try to relax, keep your feet propped up, and if you know a pregnant woman in your life go buy her a cute backpack for the hospital and take her a casserole!