If you are expecting your first child you are probably equally nervous and excited about it. And you wonder about a thousand things at the same time. Congratulations, this is absolutely normal. You will do great. And do make things even easier for you, here is a short list of things for your hospital bag that I really needed as a new mom, and that nobody told me about before. All of these are super helpful either for nursing, at the hospital or to recover from birth.
A nursing light
No matter if you give birth at a hospital or at home, if you plan to breastfeed or to give formula, a nursing light will be super useful. If you turn on the bright normal lights you will not only wake up your baby, but also other people sleeping in the same room (like other Moms in the hospital or your partner at home). But a small nursing light can be enough to feed the baby or change a diaper. If you look for special nursing lights there are various options out there. There are the ones that need or plug or others that are battery powered. I personally love a flexible portable reading light that I can take everywhere. It is also flexible and adjusts to my needs in terms or brightness and direction.
A sleep mask and ear plugs
In the first few days and weeks with a newborn, sleep is a very rare thing. So you need to make sure you get as much of it as possible, even if it is in tiny bits. Daytime naps will become your favorite. And no matter if it is in the hospital or at home, a sleep mask and ear plugs are really helpful with that.
Baby nail file or scissors
When your baby arrives it already has fingernails (and toenails of course). And guess what, these fresh fingernails are pretty long in most cases. And they can scratch your own or baby’s delicate skin pretty heavily. The solution is pretty simple: buy a soft baby nail file or baby nail scissors with rounded edges or even an electrcial nail file. With these you can shorten your baby’s nails while they are sleeping. Another alternative are baby mittens. However I found them to fall off all the time. And you also will have to shorten the nails (on fingers and toes) sooner or later anyway.
Ice pads (padsicles)
If you give birth naturally and maybe even have tearing or an episiotomy that area of your body will be super painful immediately after birth. What really helped me was to wear ice pads. These are just normal female sanitary pads that have been sprayed with liquid and frozen. I got some at the hospital already, and at home I just made my own. You only need two things (optional three) things:
- soft sanitary pads
- camomille tea or extract
Then you just spray the pads with the water or camomille tea, and freeze them. Make sure they are not overly wet before you freeze them so they can still absorb some liquid later on. Take them out and wear them just like normal sanitary pads whenever you feel like it. Side note: they have been extremely nice in the hot summer weather when I gave birth.
If you give birth naturally you will encounter a new side of yourself ( I definitely did). There is a good chance that you will moan and scream during contractions. A LOT. And while all this moaning and screaming is helpful, your throat will be sore afterwards. And you will have to cough and wake up a sleeping baby.
That’s why I recommend packing some bon-bons into your hospital bag. If you get special cough bon-bons in the pharmacy make sure they are safe for breastfeeding. But normal ones should be just as good for that situation.
On some lists on what to pack in your hospital bag you might find lip balm. While this is not a bad idea, there is one thing you will need even more in case you are breastfeeding: nipple balm. Nursing will be new for your breasts, and as it is recommended to nurse your baby often, you need to protect your nipples. I recommend a balm made of 100% laninol, a fatty acid found in the hair of sheep. It is 100 percent natural and you don’t have to wash it off before breastfeeding your baby. And you can use it as lip balm at the same time.
I also recommend the Multi Mam compresses to prevent painful and infected nipples.They were a real life saver in my case.