presents for the hospital

Comforts and luxuries for the maternity ward or for any patient.

I have four new grand children so I have recent experience with the inside of hospitals. A few weeks before her due date, each daughter packed a ‘Go-Bag’, ready to grab when labor begins and she heads for the hospital. They have shared some great ideas about what to pack to make their stay more comfortable. These ideas are useful for anybody who will spend a few nights in the hospital.

The first items are a packing list for any new mother or patient. The remainder are ideas for what you can give them to make their hospital stay easier.

Think about hospitals. They are reassuring places, with experts who will ensure great outcomes. They are also busy, 24 hour institutions with noise, light and possibly germs. They are not the place for valuables or treasured clothing. A new mom or patient should feel safe, clean, comfortable and surrounded by a few personal things which remind everyone that he/she is a person with a life – and not just a patient.

Packing list for a new mom or patient:

Keep up appearances and feel as normal as possible.

It’s probably not the time to pack the extra-fancy-nightie or have overly grandiose expectations for anything to wear. What will make you feel more human? Getting to pamper yourself during that first shower. Oh, the first shower – when you get to transform yourself back from the animal to the refined person you have in your own head.

Make sure to have:

Your own products, from shampoo and conditioner, to facewash and moisturizer. The hospital sometimes provides amenities, but there is comfort in having your own.
Towel – the hospital ones are tiny and scratchy.
Shower flip flops
Blow-dryer and hairbrush
Makeup, if you wear it.
Toothbrush and mouthwash  I like the electric toothbrushes from Quip, from $25.
A soft robe like the one from MM LaFleur. MM Robe

A change of clothes for going home, plus possibly an extra set of pants/top for the hospital.

Soft pants that will pull up over your grannie panties and enormous pad, a blousy shirt that covers your still-soft and round belly and huge nursing boobs. See our earlier article on post pregnancy clothing.

Soft socks or slippers

All Birds Wool Loungers can be washed when you get home. They come in 8 colors, $95.

Rothy’s loafers have rubber soles and you can go into the washing machine at home. Rothy’s Loafer, $165.

Clothes to take home baby! Nothing too fussy since you’ll still be tender and will just want baby looking cute enough for photos without an ordeal to get him/her dressed. Bring soft blankets.

Car seat for baby (they won’t let you leave the hospital without it)

Will siblings come to visit the new baby? You might want to have a gift ready ‘from the new baby’.

A phone and chargers.

A camera, a video cam and chargers. While lots of people just like using their iPhones, consider higher res photos if you can get them, for posterity’s sake.

An iPad. Basic cable in the hospital may doom you to endless re-runs of Sex and the City and the Twilight franchise…. with an iPad, you can stream whatever you like!

Don’t bring valuables… but you will want a simple lock on your suitcase to secure your phone, iPad and other items while you are, um, otherwise engaged.

Keep Everything Clean

Your own hand sanitizer may suit you better than what the hospital provides. See the ASE article on hand sanitizers.

With the excitement of the baby, everyone is getting out their iPhone for pictures and to send the news – but is it germ free?   Wash your hands and touch a clean screen. One hundred Zeiss Wipes. $8.49

Supporting a new mom or patient in the hospital – Gifts

This short kimono robe from Roberta Roller Rabbit is made of crisp, washable cotton. While it is not designed for maternity, it is sure to make the new mom feel like her best self. Jemina Kimono Robe. $95.

Seraphine offers this soft stretch jersey lace trimmed maternity robe. Definitely more chic than the hospital gown she will be wearing underneath. Maternity Robe $65.

This three piece, pima cotton, Roberta Roller Rabbit set includes a robe for mom and a hat and gown for the baby. Three piece set $155.

This set include cashmere socks, a soft, tee-shirt nightgown, a robe and a stretchy brief.

Hatch to Hospital, $248.

Bring fresh pillow(s) and brightly colored pillow case to make sure they standout from the hospital pillows. Pair of Roberta Roller Rabbit pillow cases. $50

Palm shaped massager with ball bearings. $8.90.  

Print some crosswords or Sudoku. You can make copies from a book or download the Puzzles from the New York Times. Sudoku, $7.97. Sunday Crosswords, $12.91.

Feeling generous? Arm her with music. Make playlists for different moods and bring Airpods or headphones. She will use these at home for some late night dancing with an unsettled infant. Apple Airpods, $159

Comfort food, drinks and appreciation (bribes?) for the hospital staff

These champagne gummy bears are delicious and have a decidedly adult taste. She is having a baby, not becoming one. One box is $8.50 plus shipping. She will want more than one.

One of my daughters received a basket of fresh cookies and reassuring candies like Werther’s Caramels, $3.40. She was VERY popular with the nurses.

My girls like the LaCroix Sparking Water, $23.74 and had them on ice as incentive to stay hydrated. Try the Grapefruit.

See the ASE article with links to exceptional candy.

Dad can sometimes sleep over, so here is a packing list for him.

If you have the travel bag from a long airplane flight, that is a good start. He will have eye shades, ear plugs, a small toothbrush and toothpaste and a comb.

Sleeping bag or light blanket and this Cocoon Cotton Travel Sheet which is like a sleeping bag liner. It is a clean layer on a hospital couch. In eight colors. $35.

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