What to Take Home From the Hospital (Besides Your Baby)


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During my third trimester I spent a lot of time thinking about what to pack in my hospital bag, but didn't think much about what to bring home from the hospital.  I had a c-section, which means that I spent 4 nights in the hospital with the baby.  I rotated through a bunch of nurses and each one told me to be sure to take home something else.  In the end, I probably overdid it and ended up taking some things that I never used and ended up donating.  In hindsight, here is my list of the most useful but not entirely obvious things to take:

  1. The Medela Symphony (hospital grade pump) caps and tubes in case you rent a Symphony pump later.  You should ask a lactation consultant to show you how to use the pump  and then remove the pieces from the pump when done, otherwise they throw them away. I didn't know this and had to buy an expensive kit when I decided to rent a Symphony pump.

  2. 1-2 Medela Parts Kits  (similar to this one but it also includes bottles) -- I got one from the lactation consultant and then the nurse put another in my bag just before I was discharged.  The lactation consultant told me that they are worth $50 each and I really use all the parts! The one that they give out is meant for the Symphony, but all the parts (other than the tubing) can be used for Medela personal pumps (like the Pump in Style Advanced).  Note that in the pocket within the parts bag are membranes (white flexible disks), if you don't look for them you will likely inadvertently toss them.  The Medela skinny bottles can be repurposed  --  the other day I saw a guy in Union Square storing his pot in one (I use them for measuring water, for formula, and most recently to store bubbles).  FYI, in the beginning (until you are ready to put baby stuff in the dishwasher) keep a big bowl of soapy water in the sink or on your counter at home, throw dirty pacifiers, bottles and parts in and wash 2x/day, medela breastmilk soap works well.

  3. 1-2 sets of Medela breast shells (clear hard plastic for relieving irritation, great for first week if you get sore or scab).

  4. 1-3 comfort cooling gel pads (you can use each a few times).  I kept these in the refrigerator in my hospital room.

  5. Pacifiers -- if you use pacifiers in the hospital, every time one falls on the floor throw it in your bag to sterilize at home.

  6. Disposable dry wipes -- these are awesome - cut in half or thirds, wet and use as wipes at home.  When you run out use Kleenex hand towels or Viva paper towels (I used the latter but it has since occurred to me that the former would be more convenient). If you have a wipes warmer put them in there.  I switched to regular wipes at around a month, I tried multiple brands and my favorite are from Honest.com (also see my post on Diapering Essentials).  

  7. Receiving blankets -- I used these in the beginning to prop my arm while nursing.

  8. A few pairs disposable underwear (they get itchy after a while) and pads.

  9. If you are considering formula feeding or even supplementing, ask for formula.  The hospitals don't give it out unless you ask because they want to encourage breast feeding.

  10. Peri Bottle.