My due date is just days away and while I didn’t think that I’d still be pregnant, I did manage to procrastinate when it came to getting my hospital bag ready.
After having two kids already, I am confident in knowing what I do and don’t need for my stay. Living in a small apartment in New York City with two kids has made me a little bit of a minimalist because of our lack of space. I have adapted that in most areas of my life and didn’t want to overpack for my hospital stay.
Lack of space is everywhere in New York City, including our hospital rooms. I have to share a room with another person who just had a baby as well, so space is not only limited, it’s not entirely mine to take over with all of my stuff.
I’ve been really emotional lately as I near the end of this pregnancy because it mostly likely will be my last. Although I didn’t want to overpack, I did take a lot of time figuring out exactly what I wanted to take with me. Along with the essentials, there were many things that I put in my bag that have a special meaning behind them.
With this being my one and only little boy that I am about to welcome into the world, I went with a blue theme. I’ve been immersed in all things pink for over four years now, so I went all out in blue with many of my outfit choices for the hospital stay. While I was able to go through with my “blue” theme, I still managed to be practical and keep my bag packed with only essentials.
Packed and Ready To Go! 1 of 14
I took advantage of the fact that I am having my first boy and went with a blue and grey theme in my bag. I wanted most of the things that I was wearing and using and that he is coming home in to have that baby boy blue theme.
The Bag 2 of 14
I'm not the biggest fan of diaper bags and wanted to find something that I could put Baby's things in and my things as well, while not looking anything like a diaper bag. There is no better time to start using this bag than when we welcome our baby boy into the world. I was surprised at just how spacious it was and it can hold every single thing that I need for the hospital, which means it will have plenty of room when I use it as a "diaper bag."
Keep in Touch 3 of 14
To keep me busy during labor and during my stay at the hospital, I knew that I had to bring both my iPad and my iPhone. Technology is such a great way to stay in touch with family and friends that don't live close and, of course, to share that first picture with the world!
Capturing the Moment 4 of 14
While I plan on bringing my DSLR camera, I know that most of my photos will probably be taken with my iPhone for convenience. It's amazing how well the photos turn out on an iPhone, especially when you add different lenses to them. I love this lens kit from Optrix that easily snaps onto your iPhone so that you can get more professional looking photos with your phone. I love that this kit includes four different lenses so that I can get a wide variety of shots of my beautiful little boy.
Labor and Delivery 5 of 14
While I've never really thought much about what I will be wearing during labor and delivery, I did this time. This will most likely be my last pregnancy and I really wanted to make this one special. I continued with my baby boy blue theme and got this gorgeous polka dot hospital gown to wear when I arrive at the hospital. It has snaps on the shoulders so that I can easily start breastfeeding my little guy when he arrives. This gown will make for beautiful blue photos during those first few moments of meeting him.
A Nursing Essential 6 of 14
When I gave birth to my youngest daughter I remember asking for nipple cream at the hospital because my nipples were sore and chapped from early stages of breastfeeding and was shocked when they told me that had nothing for me. This was one of the first things that I packed because I knew that I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. I love this nipple butter and used it with my youngest. It's reassuring knowing that it's all natural and completely safe for my baby.
My B(r)est Friend 7 of 14
I didn't know how much I needed this pillow until I forgot it after giving birth to my youngest daughter. I've tried a lot of nursing pillows and by far think that the My Brest Friend is the most comfortable not only for me, but for baby. This makes those first few attempts at nursing so much easier and less stressful. I'm also so happy I went with a gender neutral color from my last pregnancy, because most everything that I bought was pink!
Comfort and Style 8 of 14
Giving birth can take a toll on your body. I am usually sore for most of my stay at the hospital, which is why it's so important for me to be comfortable. Since I plan on nursing, I needed clothes that are nursing friendly, but that I could still lounge around in in my hospital bed. I wore Belabumbum after giving birth to my youngest and have worn a lot of their sleepwear throughout the year that I nursed and this pregnancy. I love their navy blue polka dot sleepwear and thought that it was nice enough for me to wear when guests stop by while still being extremely comfortable for me.
Take Control of the Belly 9 of 14
Pregnancy can do a number on your ab muscles, especially after three kids. I wore the Belly Bandit all the time after Avery and plan on doing it again for this one. It not only helps me strengthen my core muscles in my stomach, but it also helps support my back, which tends to hurt a lot when I first start nursing. I plan on wearing it as soon as I can get out of my hospital gown and into my real clothes so that I can start to strengthen my core right away.
Keeping Warm 10 of 14
My hospital experience with Avery wasn't the best and I don't think it will be much better this time as they still have not renovated the rooms. February is one of the coldest months here in NYC and with window AC units in each hospital room, it leaves a little bit of a cool draft in the room leaving it quite cold. Hospital blankets are not only thin, but they aren't soft at all. I've used aden + anais swaddles with all of my kids and when I found out they made a blanket in my size, I knew I had to get it. I've been using this all winter long and it is the softest blanket I've ever felt. It's a must to keep me warm during my stay.
Swaddle Him Up 11 of 14
There is no denying that the baby nurses at the hospital are professionals when it comes to swaddling. Even after three kids and many attempts, I still can't get it quite as good as they can. I love the softness and breathable fabric of these aden + anais bamboo swaddles and used them with both of my girls. They are much softer than the blankets provided at the hospital. I also want the nurses to teach me their skills on the blankets I'll actually be using when I take my little guy home.
Sweet Sounds 12 of 14
I swear by a sound machine for restful nights with both of my girls. I've taken this sound machine with me every single trip that we've ever taken and it is my best travel companion. Unfortunately here in NYC you have to share a hospital room with another guest because there simply isn't enough space in the hospitals for everyone coming in. Not only does this sound machine help me void out the noise of my roommate (which was absolutely necessary with my last roommate who snored loudly,) but it also helps the baby sleep better as well.
Taking Him Home 13 of 14
I cannot wait to take my little guy home. It's a moment that I often dream about. The going home outfit is so important to me because there will be plenty of photos taken as we make our journey to our new life together. It's cold here in NYC, so I had to make sure to get something warm enough, while not too bulky. Sticking with my blue theme, I fell in love with this classic sleeper from Ralph Lauren. To keep his head warm, my dear friend, Stacie, who is a clothing designer and has her own children's line, Duchess and Lion Clothing Co., made this hat for him. I am so in love with it and can't wait to take him home sporting this!
Take Me Home 14 of 14
For anyone who has ever had a baby, you know that your body isn't quite ready to go back into your pre-pregnancy clothes right away. I still want to be comfortable and stylish as I leave the hospital and I am almost always most comfortable in a dress. Unfortunately most dresses are not nursing friendly, but I did find a line, au lait, that makes nursing friendly dresses that are comfortable and stylish. It's also important for me to have a great nursing bra during my stay. I wore Bravado Designs nursing bras the entire time I nursed Avery and loved the way that they felt, so I am once again going with what I know and wearing them during this nursing career. Tights and booties just make any outfit look good, while still being comfortable.
More from Lauren on Babble:
- Pregnancy Confession: I’m Terrified to Have This Baby
- 20 Baby Names to Celebrate the New Year
- 10 Ways to Get Better Sleep While Pregnant
- Babble Blogger Favorites: Best Strollers of 2013
- 8 Tips for Sharing a Small Space
- 11 Stylish Pregnant Moms to Follow on Instagram
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!