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What To Steal From The Hospital After Popping Out A Kid & Other Advice

I couldn’t think of a good title for today’s post so I just went with the above– if you’re a frequent reader I know you’ll understand.

To be clear, it’s not stealing. You’re technically paying for this stuff as part of your hospital stay so you might as well take what you can get. Also, I was TOLD by my nurse to take certain items because they would otherwise be thrown out, and I ASKED my nurse for a few additional items to take home. It’s not like I waddled out of the hospital with packages of giant pads and tubes of petroleum jelly shoved up underneath my dress.

GREAT advice! What to take home from the hospital after giving birth and other advice.

A lot of you told me in the comment section of this post what I should pack in my hospital bag. Many also told me what to bring home from the hospital (thank you!) so I made note and followed through.

During my hospital stay I made a list on my phone of supplies I wanted ask my nurse to round up for me before I went home. The morning I was going to be discharged, I asked my nurse if I could have some extra things to take home. She gladly obliged, wrote down everything I wanted, and brought it all back to me an hour later.

To be clear, here’s what I requested: 1 petroleum jelly, a couple pairs of mesh undies (the nurse brought back 5), 1 .25 oz lanolin sample, 1 package of pads (the nurse brought back 2).

Let’s start with the female personal care items. Many of you said, “TAKE THE MESH UNDIES, ALL THE MESH UNDIES!” So I did. They really are quite nice so don’t fear the mesh undies. Embrace them. My nurse said you can hand wash and line dry them to get a few more uses out of them but she said they tend to fall apart if washed in the washing machine. FYI.

I brought home 8 pairs of mesh undies, a couple packages of the gigantic monster pads, a peri bottle, and two packages of disposable wash cloths.

I set up a personal care basket in our master bathroom to keep things organized.

A note about pads: After I ran out of the monster hospital pads, I busted out some Always and Kotex pads. But after a while, they started to cause severe dryness down there. So I switched to these pads and these pads, and my nether region returned to normal. Well, besides bleeding nonstop for 6 weeks.

what to bring home from hospital

I also asked for an abdominal binder as soon as I could get out of bed. I ended up needing a C-section (see Owen’s birth story), but I planned to ask for a binder whether I had a vaginal birth or C-section.

Seriously, this thing is wonderful. Your belly feels so weird after being stretched to the max for months and then deflated like a balloon. The binder helps give support and sucks everything back in. It also helps after a C-section when you cough or laugh.

Mine is kind of scratchy so I wear it over my nursing tank, and then I throw on a lightweight t-shirt.

abdominal binder

Now on to the baby stuff. I’m just going to list everything.

• small tub for sponge baths (good puke bucket for the future)
• sponge/brush for baths
• petroleum jelly
• leftover diapers from the bassinet
• leftover wipes from the bassinet
• bulb syringes

We had enough pacifiers at home, but I’m sure you could also ask for a couple more at the hospital.

I’m breastfeeding, but if you plan to formula-feed I’m sure you can ask for more formula to take home as well.

baby items

My lactation consultant also gave me a bag of stuff to take home. If yours doesn’t automatically give you things, ask for them. Remember, it never hurts to ask.

Here’s what she gave me:

• 6 breast pump compatible nurser bottles
• 6 slow flow nipples
• 2 lanolin samples (.25 oz)
• 2 breast pump flanges
• box of nursing pads
• nursing sleep bra

NOTE: Every hospital is different. I wasn’t charged for the additional items my nurse gave me to take home. Trust me, I looked at my itemized bill. And please don’t comment or email me and attempt to school me on hospital finances and how me taking home a few extra pads and mesh underwear is going to cause my hospital to go bankrupt.

While not on the topic of stuff, here are some other things I learned while in the hospital.

1. You’ll forget about being self-conscious. I’ve never been nude or semi-nude in front of so many people in my entire life. I also never had so many people touch me in so many places in my entire life. I got over myself and any body-conscious feelings I had very quickly. It helps to think that this is their job and they see naked people all the time so you’re just another naked person. Or that’s at least that’s what I hope medical professionals think…

2. Accept your nurses’ help. They’re there to help and care for you. Let them.

3. Speaking of nurses’ help, don’t feel bad sending your baby to the nursery so you can get some rest. Brad and I felt really guilty about this at first. But, at night, when we would try to have Owen sleep in his bassinet in the room with us he would cry. The nurses said he wouldn’t cry in the nursery so I don’t know if he could smell me and wanted to be held or what. We finally gave in and would let the nurses take him for a couple hours, they’d bring him back to nurse, and then take him back to the nursery so we could get a couple more hours of sleep. I ended up looking at it as free professional babysitting.

4. Utilize your hospital’s lactation consultant. Ask them to assess your baby’s latch and check for frenulum issues. The morning after I gave birth I asked my nurse if the lactation consultant could see us as soon as possible. So if the LC doesn’t come around or your nurse doesn’t mention it, definitely ask to be seen. I saw mine a total of three times while I was in the hospital. In between the times she would check in, I would jot down questions I had for her in my phone. And ask for your LC’s card before leaving the hospital so you can call her if you have questions.

5. Keep in mind that the pain won’t last. At least that’s what I tried to focus on when the pain from the contractions was bringing me to tears. The pain is only temporary, well, at least for most people. It’s a few days of pain and discomfort, and then it gets better. And when it’s all over you have an amazing prize–  your beautiful baby. I also have to admit that now that I’m on the other side, I don’t remember the pain being that bad. But when it was happening? Woo, buddy.

6. One word: Colace. I was a little surprised that I had to ask my nurse for this. I figured they’d want to help a sister out and would be passing out Colace like Skittles, but that wasn’t the case. They were also weird about me bringing my own from home, which I kind of understand. But I wasn’t messing around in this department. And trust me, you shouldn’t either.

7. Document your experience. I kept a notebook and pen on my hospital tray table. Anytime something happened, I would write down the time and the event (ex: dilated to X, Y% effaced). While I know it’s not necessary, this helped me keep Owen’s birth story straight. I’d actually suggest having your partner write things down. I lost track of what happened after my contractions got really intense so I had to go back through text messages to some of my girlfriends to piece things together. It would have been helpful if I had asked Brad to man the notebook.

8. Definitely take a nursing pillow even if you don’t plan on nursing. I brought my Dr. Brown’s Gia pillow (which I LOVE). It’s great to nurse with, plus it’s a lot more bendable and cushiony than a Boppy so it can contour to your body better. Both Brad I used it to support our arms and Owen while we snuggled with him. I HIGHLY recommend getting one.

Here’s two-day-old Owen and me snuggling post-nursing session with the Gia pillow. Please excuse my crazy hospital bed hair.

o and me

There you have it. I hope some of you found this post to be insightful and helpful. Best of luck birthing your beautiful babies!

I recreated my baby registry HERE if you’d like to check it out!

PLEASE anchor your furniture and electronics! A child dies every two weeks as a result of a tip-over incident. I strongly encourage you to read my blog post on how to anchor furniture and electronics HERE. Let’s keep our babies alive and well.

how to anchor ikea dresser

GREAT advice! What to take home from the hospital after giving birth and other advice.

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  1. We came home with a ton of those bulbs one for each diaper bag and a few for upstairs and down. Ice packs and the numbing spray were life savers, no doubt. Can’t wait to read the birth story of sweet little Owen, he’s so cute!

    1. What are the bulbs for? Sorry first pregnancy. 🙂 and whats the jelly for?

      1. Bulb syringes are used to suck bodily fluids out of baby’s nose and mouth. The petroleum jelly is used in boys’ diapers after circumcisions so the penis doesn’t stick to the diaper.

        1. The petroleum jelly also works for preventing diaper rashes.

      2. Bulb is for sucking out snot and jelly is vasiline so really anything I used it for my son circumcision

  2. I took home several items as well and i think the best items to get are the breast feeding items and pumping supplies. Those items are EXPENSIVE in stores.

  3. I have seen all of my friends stashing away their hospital supplies and it always makes me chuckle. I am sure one day I will be thankful this information was shared and hey you are paying for it so you might as well use it and take some home to use!!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!

    1. Do not chuckle. 😉 Those disposable elastic panties and ginormous maxi pads are like gold… especially after your first baby is born.

      1. Oh heck no,I hated both from another procedure and made sure to take my own panties & pads. But the receiving blankets make the best towels for babies. I was given several to take home.

  4. Owen is an adorable prize for going through all the pain!
    Looking forward to your future posts on his birth story and what you actually used from your hospital bag. I’m pregnant with my first baby due Sept 8 and I cannot get enough of birth stories 🙂
    I’m also curious to hear what you ended up wearing the days following Owen’s birth – did you stay in the hospital gown or bring your own clothes? What about now that you’re home?

    1. Congrats!

      Since I had an epidural and c-section I ended up being in bed and unable to walk for about 30 hours. I just stayed in a hospital gown during that time. It’s kind of fuzzy, but I think I wore a nursing hospital gown for a while once I could get out of bed and walk around. Monday evening (I gave birth Sunday at 1PM) we had some family and friends visit us in the hospital and I wore a nursing tank top under one of my go-to Target maxi dresses that I wore throughout my pregnancy. And I ended up wearing that home from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. They’re kimono style so I can pull a section to the side to nurse. I WAY over packed for the hospital. Now that I’m home I’m wearing mostly nursing tanks with either a v-neck t-shirt or fly away cardigan.

      Best of luck birthing your baby!

  5. First, I can’t believe you have the energy to write a post. I’m impressed.
    Second, that binder is awesome. I wore it for quite a few weeks. It was especially helpful b/c I got sick 3 days after having her & was sure I was going to rip something open every time I coughed.

    My hospital didn’t have a nursery. I think I would have gladly taken a couple hours to rest, especially after being in labor then the c-section (which sounds like what happened to you, too).

    Congratulations again! Enjoy those snuggles =)

  6. Animo, guapa,…todo irá muy muy bien……..pero cuantos dias vas a estar en el hospital…….?cuidaros….bsos

  7. Congratulations again on little Owen! I love seeing pictures of him pop up on my feeds! He’s so cute!

    I was the biggest hospital thief ever. When Aliceana was transferred to a different hospital I soon ran out of all of the goodies, but she ended up being transferred to the smaller NICU in the maternity ward of that hospital and I kept stocking up on the pads that they left in the lounge to make the ice pads. I bet the nurses wondered where they were all going. (Although I’m sure the NICU nurses would have gathered supplies if I asked.)

  8. Wow your hospital was way more generous than ours. And I gave birth in the second busiest birthing hospital in the country! I can’t believe they didn’t put a binder on you from day 1. When they wheeled me out of the OR it was on me. Because I never took if off while there minus showering I developed a crazy rash. Making it extremely uncomfortable to wear even over a tank. So glad he is here safe and sound! 😉

  9. Lots of goodies in the hospital! I packed up some of the leftover mesh undies, pads, and extra things in my maternity clothes bin for next time. I was also trying hard not to expose everyone when I was moving around at first and my nurse said, “Oh, that’s ok. Don’t you worry, you’ll be showing me all your parts in just a bit, by then we’ll be besties!” hahaha and she was right!

  10. We adopted our son and brought him home from the hospital. Our birth mom only stayed one night and the baby had to stay a few extra days, so I was there for those. When we went to leave they gave us everything in our bassinet and then she came back with this HUGE bag of pre-made bottles, there were probably 100 bottles ( obviously there was no breast feeding going on! lol) two extra bags of diapers, and pretty much whatever else she could get her hands on!

  11. Colace/Metamucil/Citrucel FOR REAL. They tell you about the lochia, the leaky breasts, being naked in front of strangers during birth, the night sweats, the baby blues. But no one ever goes, “Hey, you know pooping? That’s going to be interesting (horrible) for a few days.”

    Had my first in June, natural vag birth. I straight up celebrated (ie, proudly announced to my husband) when I was finally able to go. (TMI? Whatevs, it’s the female experience, right?)

  12. I used to put together patient supplies at a hospital. it could vary from hospital to hospital, and you do pay for all off the things you take home; however, it is not a package deal. You pay individually for each item you take. EACH item is scanned, and charged to you. The more you take, the more you pay, and let me tell you, the prices are ridiculous! Hospitals keep careful track of their inventory, so if you take 20 extra pairs of mesh undies or just 1 diaper for the baby, it is documented and added to your bill. :(. Some of it is unavoidable, but if you’re paying any portion of your hospital bill out of pocket, you might want to avoid any unnecessary extras.

    1. julie sullivan says:

      Not true for every hospital. At my hospital all of the things you took home are not charged for individually, just part of the room charge.

    2. It is different depending on where you go. The hospital system I work for does not charge for any of this.

  13. What a great post! I just had my baby girl 4 months ago and I wish I this sooner! I luckily had a sister who I could ask but I never though of asking the nurse for extras.

    I couldn’t agree more that you truly forget the pain (I thought that was a farce when I heard it, but totally true!) Enjoy your little one they grow up too fast!!

  14. Loved the abdominal binder. For some reason, they didn’t give it to me for my first c-section but I knew to ask for it for the 2nd. Chucks (those blue underpads they use at the hospital) are awesome for major spills, washer overflows, and when kids are puking. So absorbent, I actually just bought a package from the drug store to have on hand. Also, the little head scrubby for preventing cradle cap. I still use it sometimes to gently exfoliate. Your hospital was way more generous than ours! Congratulations!

  15. I read a lot of blogs…like a lot. And this is seriously more helpful than most other baby-related things I’ve read. My husband and I are about to stop preventing (“trying” freaks me out…ha!). PLEASE keep the advice, pictures, and real talk coming!

  16. I also got one of those tummy binder things – from Brooke Burke’s website. It was like $60 – but it was so comfy to wear and didn’t make me feel flabby and I really popped back into shape quickly. And on the mesh undies – righto – loved them!! Don’t buy new undies for a while! We stole diapers and formula!!

  17. It’s amazing but true what you said about forgetting the pain of labor. I remember when I was in the thick of it I swoooore that she was going to be an only child bc I was never doing it again. But just a few days later, I was having a hard time remembering what the contractions felt like, and now (less than a year later) I’m already contemplating doing all of it again, bc “it wasn’t REALLY that bad…” Haha

    Congrats mama, great job to you and the hubs on adorable baby making!

  18. great tips. wish i would have written stuff down. great advice.
    enjoy your new bundle, mama. he’s precious.
    ps – nosefrida. it seems disgusting but works SO much better than the bulbs and is WAY easier to keep clean. even the nurses told us not to use the bulbs more than a few times before tossing them.

  19. we raided the place too! a tip from my cheap husband: start stealing diapers on day one. they replace them daily, so by the time you go home, you will have quite the stash already. and then, of course, take whatever else is left before you go home!

    also, i asked for some extra crack-and-shake crotch ice packs. OMG. heaven. and the spray foam pain reliever that goes on top of it. getting the monster pad, the ice pack, and the spray into those lovely mesh undies is a little bit like playing Jenga, but it’s worth it.

    AND! those puppy pad things are great for a few things:
    1. so you don’t bleed all over everything
    2. so the baby doesn’t pee/poo/puke all over your bed (we would put it down, then a blanket, then the baby)
    3. and later on, good for baby naked play time, so your floor isn’t covered with pee/poo.

    congratulations and enjoy little Owen! he is beautiful!!!

    1. The numbing spray was the best thing we brought home.it was really expensive at walmart.

  20. Ask your doctor for a copy of the hospital notes- they are the minute to minute info the doctors/nurses write down, It’s a great keepsake without you having to worry about actually doing the writing. Also, you may get asked about your sons delivery in the future if any health issues pop up and having the details are extremely helpful.

    I’m not a fan of colace- I discovered after my 1st chid that drinking prune juice in the weeks leading up to giving birth combined with some high fibre muffins post birth does the trick.

    It’s interesting reading your post because using a midwife here in Canada (which is a very popular choice) is extremely different. I was home 3 hours after giving birth and brought most of the supplies to the hospital myself. Even when I gave birth with doctors I had to bring my own diapers etc.

    1. I bet your average hospital bill is significantly smaller than the average bill here! I wouldn’t mind having to supply all the disposables myself if it meant a significantly smaller bill.

      1. Yeah I’m sure her bill is smaller since Canada has free healthcare …

        1. Actually, we pay monthly premiums for our healthcare, as well as taxes.

  21. Thank you so much for sharing this! I’m due in 7 weeks, and this is incredibly helpful. So excited for you and your little one!

  22. Congratulation on your little one! My oldest son is also named Owen, we will be sending him off to college next Sunday. How quickly the times goes. Eighteen years later, I am still grateful for the container of Tucks medicated pads that the hospital sent home with me. Mama’s hiney needs a little love too.

    1. I was reading down through the comments thinking I can’t be the only one who was extremely thankful for the tuks pads! One of my nurses gave me an extra container. I found when I had my second baby last summer that my hospital stocks a drawer in the room with extra stuff in case you use all the pads and mesh underwear that are in the bag you are given.

  23. The sponge bath tub becomes a great “getting sick” bucket when they are older. From a mother of a 6 and 8 year old.

  24. Great advice and I cant wait to hear what you did/didn’t use. My hospital bag is looking to be a little too much. Overpacking much, I think so. Congratulations again on little Owen’s arrival!!

  25. An FYI on the Lanolin to anyone out there who may be sensitive to wool (i.e. wool sweaters make you itch). DON’T USE IT! They gave it to me in the hospital with my first with no warning and I slathered it on thinking this would help. Within a week I developed a rash all over the front of my body and had to stop nursing due to the pain. NOT PLEASANT. Being my first this completely unhinged me…that and the horrible lactation consultant we had.

    Also, hospital bag…bring your own pjs…buy a cheap strappy nightgown and bring your own robe. Those hospital gowns get old quickly.

  26. Hi Chelsea – I just wanted to say congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!!! I absolutely LOVE your website and have “borrowed” some of your ideas – especially in my home office. Thanks for all of your wonderful tips and enjoy that wonderful baby:)

  27. Congratulations, he’s gorgeous! I have birth last year, but am in the UK, so it’s all free on the NHS. You will generally get anything medical you need provided free for the duration of your stay, but are expected to bring all personal care items for you and baby, eg pads, breast pads and nappies (diapers). Things like disposable mats to put under you were provided, as was my first maternity pad, as well as breast pumps and kits for the duration of your stay. Also, as my baby wasn’t able to latch, although I had hoped to exclusively breast feed, all formula, bottles and teats were provided in the hospital, and I took a few home with me as well. Food and board is also free in the hospital, and I had a private room for most of that time. Also, we get free dental care (this isn’t usually free on the NHS) and free prescriptions (usually £8 a time) for the duration of your pregnancy and for a year afterwards 🙂 So not that many hospital freebies, but a lot else thrown in!

  28. I work at a hospital most of these items are yours already. If it comes in your room in package it is yours. Diapers formula spray etc. Otherwise it is trashed.

    1. YOU ARE RIGHT. anything TAKEN INTO A PATIENTS ROOM HAS TO BE TAKEN HOME OR IT WILL BE THROWN AWAY. It cannot be used by someone else. Ask for extras, most hospitals get the formula and diapers and some other supplies from the companies for advertisments.Even if they charge out for the items, the insurance will pay for them.

      1. And having your insurance pay is ok? Don’t you pay the premiums?

        1. Michele Gerra says:

          Isn’t that the point of having insurance…for them to pay. Even if someone had Medicaid the insurance company would be charged an outrageous fee by the hospital. So why not take home the things in your room, as already stated, they can not be used by a different patient. Not even the open pack of diapers can be used for a different baby. Are we really going to cause a ruckus over a couple pair of mesh panties and some big pads? Heck, you are lucky to get a full 24 hours after birth for care, so the items you can take home for self-care make sense.

          1. I was referring to the items you suggest you request and one of your commenters said her “cheap husband” started stock piling on day one. Justify it however you want …

  29. Take as much breast lanolin as you can get your hands on – it costs more per gram than gold. You’ll use it for you, but it’s also awesome for babies and toddlers when winter and colds come. Use it on their chins, noses, and cheeks to protect them from moisture and chapping and keep them soft. I always put it on my kids faces before sending them out to play in the cold.

  30. Do all hospitals have those stomach binders? And wow a nursing bra? I only got a visit but no goodies 🙁 that’s amazing good for you!!!

    1. I have no idea about the abdominal binders at other hospitals. I asked my doctor during a routine visit before I gave birth if the hospital had them and my doctor said “yes, ask for one”. I know you can buy abdominal binders online and in stores. Yeah, I think the LC gets a lot of samples from companies to give out to new mothers, the bra being one of them. Or maybe the hospital gives her a nice budget to order stuff for new moms.

    2. Mine didn’t offer it, but I asked for one and they brought me one. I was charged for it, but I don’t think it was an outrageous price.

  31. You might want to check an itemized hospital bill ! There is a basic admission kit supplied to all patients………but the hospital requires charges for items other than that. If your nurse was given a “list” for you to take home either you were charged for those items or your nurse stole them for you.
    If you were charged for them as you should have been, I can guarantee you the cost was at least 3-4 times what you would pay in a store!

  32. Congratulations on your beautiful baby!

    I’m a nurse at a hospital on the post partum unit and let me just say that yes you should definitely ask for things but don’t get upset if some nurses don’t give you stuff. Yes, those of you that have insurance, it does pay for your stay but for my hospital only so many packages of diapers, wipes and any other extras are covered for each patient. Most hospitals don’t get reimbursed for extra stuff employees give you. But I will always give patients extra stuff if they are polite and pleasant. So just a word of advice be nice to your nurses 🙂

    P.S. Yes, we see so many patients bodies and it is just a part of our job so no need to be self conscious.

  33. Love your tips! I am a grandma now and reading this for my daughter who is going to give me another grandbabe in the spring. But I am remembering back 18 years when I delivered my youngest. We were underinsured at the time, with no maternity coverage! We had to arrange with the hospital and pay in advance a set fee for a 24 hr discharge. Since it was my third baby leaving quickly was not a problem, but the nurses felt so bad for me that they loaded me up on supplies. They were happy to send me home with ample supplies of everything! Several packages of diapers, ample formula for supplementing, they kept bringing forth more and more goodies!
    So new moms should not be afraid to ask! The supplies are there for the taking, if you don’t get them someone else will. The staff is usually happy to help out a new mom!
    BTW, Your little Owen is beautiful, look at those rosy cheeks! And hubby is a cutie too, bet you are the cutest family.
    Thank you for your support to other new moms out there! God bless!

  34. Wow this brought back some memories! It was only 9 months ago, but it feels like ages. I used that pink tub to soak and wash breast pump pieces and now bottles. Love it! Helps keep his items contained and not waste too much water.

    I totally wish I had snagged some of those plastic under-the-nail cleaners from the nicu. Loved those things.

  35. It’s been many years-23-since out youngest was born. I too loaded up on stuff from the nurses. I especially liked the lanolin. I washed my hands so many times a day they were raw. That really helped. Also, bring home the wash basin. It’s great for storing stuff on the shelf, later hauling toys or storing Legos or blocks, lots of things for a disposable bucket. As for the pain, what pain!? I have an angel.

  36. Congrats on Baby. My daughter was born July 31st. I will add that I have found the Nose Frida much better at removing snot from baby’s nose than the bulbs. It’s easier to clean as well. Another tidbit that has helped: Our baby gets upset with gas and burping doesn’t always alleviate the discomfort. Our doctor recommended taking her temperature rectally to release some of the air and that has worked wonders. She calms immediately.

    Good luck to you,

  37. I definitely agree with this post! As an OB nurse, we are always more than happy to send you home with extra pads and pull-ups! The only advice I have is if you ask for things like lanolin or petroleum jelly, make sure your hospital doesn’t charge for them. At my hospital we have to pull these from our med cabinet which automatically charges. After I had my son, I learned these items were $25-30 each. While my insurance covered some of this, it would have been cheaper to buy at Walmart. Also, if you forget something for baby, like mittens, socks, clothes, or blanket, ask your nurse! So many people in my community donate these, and we always have way more than we need. Most of the time they are gently used items, but some still have tags on them! My hospital also doesn’t charge for pump equipment or hand held pumps. We have a community pump and every mom that wants to use it has their own tubing and phalanges. Just get in good with your nurse and she’ll hook you up. Trust me, I am much more willing to give out goodies to moms who were kind, understanding, chatty, and listened to the teaching and advice I offered, than a patient who I thought was rude!

  38. This is a very interesting article and the title says it all. I also work on an OB unit. Most people aren’t aware that insurance pays a flat fee for your delivery. When you ask for more things, this is stealing and what causes the prices to skyrocket. I don’t mind some things that are needed but we are not there to stock your nursery. OB is usually the money losing unt of the hospital so the more you take the more they lose. Just felt I needed to let others know the truth behind “stocking up” before you go home!

    1. When I worked in NBN many companies donated things or our people and the babies. The hospital wasn’t charged for formula or diapers. The insurance will pay for chux and other stuff Moms may need.

  39. Having just had my second c-section three weeks ago, these things are fresh in my mind.

    We received a nursing pillow from the hospital (like a Boppy but a bit more…not as stiff). That was a surprise as we didn’t with our first one (but, to be fair, #1 was born in a different state so, perhaps, different state, different rules?).

    The LC gave us a little nursing calendar notebook thingie, which I’m not using but I imagine others would find it useful.

    All the pads. All the diapers. All the wipes. Also, as #2 spent time in the NICU (jaundice so he was under the Bili Lights), we got a few things from them, as well. The little 3 oz. disposable bottles and extra nipples, teeny little bottles to store breastmilk, a nuk, the hat he wore when he wasn’t under the lights, petroleum jelly (a couple tubes), samples of formula (in our case, Similac), a messenger bag (which contained a package of diapers – size 1), and probably some other things I’m forgetting.

    I know that some hospitals will give you a blanket, we got a sleep sack with #1…

    And yes, the nurses are there to help so seriously, let them! Same with the LCs.

  40. I just had a baby a few months ago (wish I had seen this first!) and some of the wipes we got sent home with were called MediChoice wipes – if your hospital has those, grab as many packages as you can! I waited forever to use them because the packaging looked kind of low grade and generic – but they are awesome. Bigger than normal wipes and thick, like cloth. I was pathetically excited when my husband randomly found another package the other day!

  41. You can also sit on the nursing pillow on the ride home and it makes the bumps a little easier to handle. Also, the numbing spray! For the love of all things holy, take the numbing spray!!

  42. I think my favorite thing I took home with me were the chuks (giant blue pads). They make great disposable changing cloths for changing the baby when you are on the go. I didn’t have to worry about what might have gotten on the blanket I would have laid under him and then carrying it in the diaper bag after. Just lay it out, lay him on it and change him. then toss the chuk with the dirty diaper. 🙂

  43. Oh wow, I don’t even know what half of that stuff is! You’ve given me so much to research!

  44. Cheryl Lane says:

    Wanted you to know that you are charged for everything you get in the room. They have a charge sticker that they remove before the items are brought to your room. You are not stealing just taking what you have been charged for. So justly so take everything you can get your hands on. I once went to an emergency room and asked for a sanitary pad and got charged for 12 of them, a whole package.

  45. Don’t forget the Dermoplast! I was so in love with that stuff.

  46. I also took the thermometer they used for my little one, they throw them out when you leave so you might as well & the witch hazel pads & hydro cortisone cream for me…my nurses were great I came home with 3 extra tubs of the witch hazel pads & 4 tubes of the cream plus like 4 of the ice packs they give you right after delivery too

  47. Mesh undies, they can be washed in the washing machine, mine have held up for a good 2 years.. why I’m still keeping them in my underpants drawer and wearing them is a mystery.

  48. Sarah Langford says:

    I’ve been a follower for quite awhile, but I saw a pin to this post on my Pinterest and just realized I have the same duvet cover as you! I’ve had such a hard time decorating my master bedroom because of that duvet, but I’d love to see what you did with it! So if there’s anytime you want to give us a tour of your master bedroom, you know I’ll be reading that post!

    1. Hah! I always wondered when someone would be all, “Uhhh, you’ve been at this blogging thing for nearly 4 years, and you’ve never shared your master bedroom with us.” So truth be told, I’m going to focus on our master bedroom/suite this year. I don’t know if I’ll keep that duvet or not, because like you, I’m having a tough time working with it. And I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t find a matching bedskirt so I had to buy a cream colored one at Target. Kate from Centsational Girl has the same duvet, and I think she styled her master bedroom really well around it (http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2011/08/master-bedroom-update/). I hope that helps for now. Stay tuned for a master bedroom makeover!

  49. Awesome list! I’m on #3 and didn’t think of a couple things on this list! Did your hospital actually give you that abdominal binder?!

    1. Thanks, Darby! Yep, they actually gave me two binders– one for right after I gave birth and a smaller one for when my tummy would eventually go down a little a couple days after delivery.

  50. I thought I was the only one hoarding all of the above items after each birth (2)! I ended up having a miscarriage this year and with the profuse bleeding I was able to use those 4 pairs of mesh underwear and giant pads that I had kept just in case. Thanks for a great post!!

  51. i was unaware of the abdominal binder, but will definitely ask next time. Biggest 2 things for me were making sure I received my breast pump right through the hospital, your OB just has to write a prescription for it for most insurance companies to cover it. And the other thing was Tucks pads. They had the most amazing circular, cushy, container full of pads and they worked miracles on my poor lady bits.

    Lastly, anything that is starting to “run low” ask the, to refill it with whatever they are able to the morning/afternoon of your discharge. The nurses are totally in-the-know on what is going to help you the most and are more than willing to stock you up before you leave. Take any and all diapers, onesies, hats, thermometers, etc. anything in the bassinet. They cannot reuse anything that was in your room, so don’t feel bad about taking anything. If you don’t it will just be thrown away!

  52. As an LDRP nurse with a major hospital system in Ohio I want to clarify some things about your article. First and foremost nothing is free in a hospital, not anymore. With recent changes in the healthcare industry and the changes being made by the WHO and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, the things you consider free to “steal” now cost the hospitals hundreds of thousand. In the old days, formula companies, and other baby product suppliers used to provide hospitals, with the likes of tape measures, lanolin, bulb syringes, formula, diapers, mesh undies but now the hospitals are required to pay for these items items at the same price you pay for them at a baby big box store. Your fee for the delivery and hospital stay remain the same, but the cost of what you are Taking now comes out of the department budget. This has caused some OB units to close and/or merge with other hospital systems. And don’t think this doesn’t affect the raises to the nurses who are there to help you, because it does.

    With baby friendly, hospitals are now pay out of pocket for all those items that used to be free. Yes we would like to help you with what you need but don’t be ridiculous. If you can’t afford a box of pads for after delivery maybe you shouldn’t be having a baby that you can’t afford.

    If you want rest in the hospital, how about telling all your visitors to stay home so you can bond with your baby. It’s proven by evidence based nursing practice that breastfeeding moms get more sleep with baby in the room than not.. With the Baby Friendly Health Initiative infants remain in the room unless they are taken for required testing such as hearing screens and PKU’s. If you are breastfeeding and we cannot give your infant nipples, pacifiers or supplements how well do you think we can care for your infant outside the room.

    There’s a lot you don’t know about what goes on, maybe you should ask the nurses who are there to help you.

    1. Oh, and by the way, all those tubes of lanolin and tucks, etc, are charged out to your hospital stay now. Not free. You will end up paying for it in increased healthcare costs, company’s and out of pocket dollars and percentages.

      1. Not true for me. I got my itemized hospital bill and none of the things I used or was given to take home were on my bill. Not every hospital is the same.

        I don’t think taking home a couple extra pads and mesh underwear are going to drive hospital costs up. People using the ER as their PCP and administrative pay is what’s driving costs up.

        I guess I should also add that I’ve never been hospitalized, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to the doctor for an illness so I feel like taking home some extra supplies that probably cost a total of $25-30 (because the lanolin tubes were, in fact, samples because my LC told me), which were GIVEN to me, isn’t all that bad.

      2. I gave birth last year, and my nurses were encouraging me to take everything in the room. They explained that due to health and safety regulations, anything not hermetically sealed would have to be thrown out when I checked out so it would be wasted if I left it. This included unopened packs of diapers and pads because they’re not hermetically sealed.

        So, while your hospital may be very detailed and specific on inventory, that simply isn’t true for all hospitals.

    2. I feel like you’re assuming a lot of things. When I mention getting rest I’m talking about at night, when visitors aren’t present. During my entire hospital stay we had a total of 7 visitors over the course of 2 days, and none stayed more than 2-3 hours at a time. And I couldn’t rest with my baby in the room at night because it turns out he needed white noise to sleep, which we didn’t know at the time and the nurses didn’t recommend. He slept better in the nursery because of the noise whereas it was silent in our room. This is obviously something I’ll note if/when we have more children.

      So women are supposed to be concerned about the hospital costs when they’re staying there? After just having major surgery and giving birth I’m supposed to ask my nurse how much a .24 oz of lanolin is going to cost the hospital or me? Yeah, right.

      1. 7 visitors staying 3 hours!? That was half of your 2 day stay. Your baby is suppose to eat every 2-3 hours, when did you have time to sleep?

        1. Yeah, my parents and my husband’s parents stayed for about 3 hours the day my son was born. And we never had a single visitor, usually people came in pairs or we had a handful of people in room, so it wasn’t like one visitor came, stayed 3 hours and then another visitor came for another 3 hours so it wasn’t half our stay. Probably over the course of our 48 stay, visitors were there for 8 hours total. Plus, I would feed my son even if visitors were there. If they didn’t want to watch me breastfeed they didn’t have to look.

    3. Natalie A says:

      CLEARLY you need to retire Ally. I am just glad that rude nurses like you don’t work in the hospital I delivered in. I actually have several family members and friends who are nurses and showed them your post above and all of them were shocked at how awful and resentful you seem to be. It’s nurses like you that give the good ones a bad rap. I would SERIOUSLY consider hanging up that stethoscope and retiring because you seem to be doing more harm out there in the world than good. Lastly, you are 100% incorrect in your assessment of the hospital charges, the charges depend 100% on where you deliver and what kind of hospital you deliver in, check the facts of what you’re saying before you attack someone (Again still shocked YOU are working in an environment where HEALTH is a concern. )

  53. I found this after the birth of our second daughter last March. I’m due with our son in 7 weeks. I had a wonderful nursing staff, one RN in particular who “adopted” us as her main patients, telling other RNs to take her other rounds so she could spend most of her shift helping us. She was truly a wonderful nurse. Without asking, she brought extra diapers, hats, booties, pacifiers. She even braved the snowstorm to come to work to make sure she called “dibs” on us that shift. I hope I get her this time around, if not, I’ll be sure to ask for many of these items! One thing we didn’t do, which I will this time around, is make goodie bags as a thank you to all the staff that helps us during our visit. We did, however, leave a message on the board thanking every single staff member for their kindness, professionalism, as well as making our stay extremely pleasant, signed the baby’s name and family. I felt it the least I could do to let them know I appreciated them.

  54. I’m a nurse, and I can tell you that you are absolutely spot-on about the whole “just another naked person” thing! Seriously, do not stress over this – we really aren’t surprised by anything, and besides the parameters we measure for your health, we’re certainly not judging your body at all.

  55. I found the feminine ice packs to be a wonderful soother, and since they are kind of a hot commodity and they don’t send them home with you, I made my own! I took a newborn diaper, tore it open at the top of the waist band (where the little design is), made some room all the way down through with my fingers, and poured in some ice cubes. I folded the top down, fastened it with the diaper tabs, shook it to even out the ice cubes and there you have it. Just place in your underwear and it’s an instant soothing pack 🙂

  56. Congratulations on your little man. So precious. I breast fed with both my boys. With the first one I used the cream they gave me for my breasts. I thought at the time that my first son was a good breast feeder, but I was sore the entire time. When the second child came along, I didn’t use any creams. He was a much better breast fed baby and I was never sore once. Is it the child or not using the cream? I don’t know. Just throwing that out there…If you run into that problem, you may want to NOT use the lanolin. Again congrats.

  57. The nurses at my local hospital insisted I take most of the supplies. With my second (2 years ago), the nurse came in the day I was being discharged & told me what to take, when I asked my sister in law who is a L&L nurse at another hospital 45 min away, she said it was because I was already being charged for all the items, they accounted for restocking fees for the 3 days I was expected to be there for, so specially diapers & pads they had a set number they calculated I would need & charged me accordingly. If I didn’t take those things with me, they got tossed, obviously not the diapers but the tubs of stuff, the sprays, etc.

  58. I also had a c section and try as I might I could not find more comfy undies than the mesh ones. I brought home about 10 of them and I washed and dried mine right in the washer and dryer. They last about 3 washes and buy then I was ready for different undies any way. First time moms-take the bulbs!!!! There is not a single one you can buy in any store that works like the ones the hospital has.

  59. Thank you for your post. I’ve had three kids and expecting baby #4 any day now. I wanted to remind myself of the goodies to take from the hospital and your posting was very helpful. I see so many comments: some are wonderfully helpful and some are a little harsh. It’s generous and kind that you took the time to share valuable information and people should appreciate it and not judge. I thought I would mention that some of the items from the hospital are not available for regular resale. For example, the hospital where I delivered my 3 kids had a great dry wipe that came in a little blue box. I used these dipped in water to wash baby’s tush. Better than store-bought wipes with chemicals, and not available in stores. The nasal bulb things were not available in stores (other versions were available but not nearly as effective as the hospital ones). The blue pads are not available in stores (however you can find similar items). The baby blankets at the hospitals were amazing and you can’t find those elsewhere (they swaddle really well from years of washing). There may have been other items, I just cannot recall. Things like diapers and lanolin can easily be purchased so I was less focused on those. And personally I found the mesh undies to be painfully irritating to my skin so I am bringing granny panties (for my c-section). I was also curious about the tummy binding. I never did that before but now I will bring one with me to try! My OB said I may be too sore to wear it initially and she recommended I wait until after I leave the hospital. Anything I took from the hospital was always with my nurses’ blessings. I’m not in the medical profession but I can appreciate it’s not an easy job. When I encountered kind nurses (which was 99% of the time) I made sure to express my gratitude. They make a big difference post-op. This time I want to bring gifts to leave for them. 🙂 Best of luck to all the women having babies and if you are reading posts like these, you’re ahead of the game!

  60. I wanted to also say that the thermometer and tissues were life savers. Anything and everything that is in your room has to be thrown away when you leave anyway, so you’re already charged for anything that’s in your room. Opened or not (at least at my hospital). I went home with 2 bulb syringes, 3 boxes of tissues, 2.5 packages of diapers, a thermometer, pads, Tucks pads (AMAZING for those horrible hemroids)….I even still have some of my pain spray (which I’ve used on other small wounds). If it’s a medical or “disposable” item….TAKE IT. Seriously. If you don’t end up needing something, you can always donate it to a friend 😉

    1. I’ve never worked on an OB unit that had disposable thermometers and I’ve worked in 3 different states and 4 different facilities. Please ensure that they are, in fact, disposable because hospital thermometers are not cheap.

      1. I got a “free” thermometer. It was by no means a fancy thermometer, but I was told to take it home. I’m a nurse and I’ve see thermometers that aren’t meant to be taken home.

        I really don’t think they items she said she “stole” we’re really stollen. So much waste in healthcare. I read this list a long time ago, but from what I remember of the list, everything would have been tossed had the not “stolen” them.

  61. My mom, a nurse for 25 years, tells me everyone really is just another body when it comes to nakedness. You aren’t wrong. 😉

  62. Ariana Lockington says:

    I just love reading your posts. I am expecting (currently 6 weeks) and I love reading blogs about peoples’ advice and experiences. I also love how you are not overly formal. Its more like having a conversation with a friend. 🙂
    I love your organizing ideas the most. And the Saga of Owen (as we call it) is awesome.

    <3 <3

  63. Bekkah Shutt says:

    Thank you for all of this!! I’m due with our first in 6 weeks, and I’ve felt like a total deer in the headlights! This post is going help me get so much more organized.

  64. Thanks for this. I’ll be going in for a Csection this spring. I had a binder from my last one, but of course I cant find it now. Since its a csection they wont needed this time around, but to others who may be reading take these home too, the icepacks (or Padcicles as I call them or you could make your own), crotch spray and Hemorrhoid pads are amazing. I took the ones they gave me home, plus had my hubby go get me more. All three together feel amazing on the Downstairs after some Major Stretching or Ripping.

  65. Girrrrl my son will be 4 in April I still have the one and only pair of mesh undies I got from the hospital (didn’t know you could ask for things) I use them as pant protesters when that time of the month rolls around! And they are machine washed everytime still going strong! bt you bet whenever this baby makes her debut I’ll be taking more freebies just like you did!

  66. This is probably going to sound weird, but adult diapers (depends) were my saving grace after having my second kid. I didn’t have to wrestle with getting those giant pads in exactly the right spot. The pads always bunched up on me in the most uncomfortable way. They made me feel like I was wearing a diaper anyway, so why not actually get some? And the mesh undies were a nightmare for me the first go round. The ones I got were incredibly scratchy.

    1. I’ve heard of women doing that, and I can totally see the appeal. If I didn’t like my mesh undies I probably would’ve gone the Depends route. 🙂

  67. Christina says:

    I don’t know that I have actually ever commented on something before but your post makes me so mad I had to! This is ridiculous. You are taking advantage of the system by taking all of these supplies home. I understand the extras already in your room or asking for one or two things but to make a list is just greedy! Those supplies are covered FOR YOUR STAY! You wonder why health care is so expensive… Because people like you just take, take, take. And of course your nurse gave them to you, she wants to make sure you rate the hospital well. I’m sure underneath her blood was boiling. Shame on you, it’s your baby, buy your own stuff. The panties are disposable! Buy cheap ones at Walmart! By the time you go home you don’t need those giant pads….if you do there’s a problem. Ridiculous!!!!

    1. I don’t think taking home a couple extra pads and mesh underwear are going to drive hospital costs up. People using the ER as their PCP and administrative pay is what’s driving costs up.

      In addition, I’ve never been hospitalized, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to the doctor for an illness, so I feel like taking home some extra supplies that probably cost a total of $25-30, which were GIVEN to me, isn’t all that bad since I, personally, don’t put a lot of strain on the healthcare industry.

      I also breastfed my son, so I didn’t use the hospital’s formula. So I like to think it all evened out. Oh, and while I’m on the topic of formula, I received a boatload of formula samples from companies, and I donated a giant bag of them to my local domestic violence shelter. (http://bit.ly/1VxfBlL) I could’ve given them to a friend or thrown them away, but I decided to give them to people in need. But feel free to judge me “for taking advantage of the system”.

      And how do you know that I didn’t need the giant pads when I went home, 2 days after giving birth? I like to think I know my body and uterus better than strangers.

      Enjoy your Sunday!

    2. I just have to say, I had a C-section and STILL used those giant pads for at least a week after leaving the hospital. Everyone has a different experience. I’ve been a long time reader of Chelsea’s blog and I don’t consider her post at all offensive. I was glad to read this post prior to giving birth as I had no idea what to expect. We all pay through the nose for healthcare and taking home some extra comfort items (that the nurses give to you) is not STEALING, you may want to read the definition of stealing. Have a blessed day!

    3. I’m pretty sure “there’s NOT a problem” if you need those giant pads after leaving the hospital. Myself (after all 3 births of my children) and most of my friends as well, ALL needed them for a good week or more after leaving the hospital. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to mention that ALL women’s bodies are different!! Pretty harsh to say that someone has a “problem” if they need a pad more than two days after GIVING BIRTH!!!

    4. I have had to utilize emergency care at my hospital twice at $150 a pop. I have also seen good people having to arrange payment plans due to one ambulance ride so I’m pretty sure the hospitals can manage on allowing new mothers a few extra supplies. Also, not all new mothers know what they are allowed to ask for when in the hospital and I walked out with nothing but my baby so consider Chelsea’s extra supplies my share.

    5. Mrs. Sibona says:

      With the birth of both of my boys, my nurses loaded up bag after bag of pads, chux, panties, formula, diapers, shampoo, and just about anything else that they could find.
      My first-born son was born in Texas. We came home with 12 Walmart-sized bags FULL of samples and extras. In addition, La Leche League GAVE us a pretty awesome breast pump. I insisted time after time that we pay for it, but she refused to the point where she was getting upset that I kept insisting. We ended up sending a donation a few weeks later that covered the cost of the pump and a few extra $20’s to help out for the next Momma.
      My second-born son was born in Kansas. We came home with 10 of the same sized bags, equally full & awesome.
      On both hospital bills, there were no costs added for our bags. They actually gave us a substantial discount because we were able to pay cash for both deliveries & stays.
      If a package, of anything, comes into your room, they have to open it. Once it is opened, it is no longer “technically” brand new and therefore it is disposed of after you leave. Our nurses encouraged us to take everything that was opened every day because they would bring in a new pack of whatever during their next rounds anyway and open it right in front of us.
      It is not the Momma’s of the world that are driving up hospital costs. It is the people that don’t pay their bills after they leave. It is the pharma companies that charge the hospital $600 for a single bottle of aspirin. It is the supply companies that charge $50 for a box of off-brand Kleenex. It is the insurance companies that refuse to pay part of the bill because it is considered “unnecessary”.
      Educate yourself before you accuse anyone of anything immoral…

      1. Mrs. Sibona says:

        And I required pads for 3 weeks after both of my C-Sections, just an FYI for you.

  68. #7 is excellent advice! I was in labor with our 4th and now 11 yr old son. I had few problems during this pregnancy, other than what one doctor tried to call round ligament pain. When they put in the epidural, something happened and I vaguely remember them saying, “Come back to us…” (Never had issues with the other epidural.) After that, I don’t remember much until a horrible, searing pain and bulge where my uterus ruptured. It wasn’t until about 4 years later that my hubby filled me in on what he remembered. Wish he would have documented things so that all the holes were filled in, but I’m just grateful that we’re both alive with no major problems. Congratulations on your sweet bundle of joy!!!!

  69. This post was so helpful! I am 7 months pregnant and had no idea hospitals would give away these kind of items for patients to take home. Very informative so a big thank you!

  70. I am ansolutely stunned by the thought that stealing from the hospital is ok. Its one thing to take what is in your room but this is ridiculous. Nothing is “free”. We are all paying. Have pride in being able to take care of yourself instead of trying to get things for free. If the items are samples from companies leave them for those that really can’t afford to buy them. I hate what this says about peoples values. And the fact that you write not to call you on it shows that you did know it was wrong. Disapointing.

  71. I had a couple of nurses ask me if I wanted extra pads and stuff. And the lactation nurse was pushing those creams on me, which at the time I didn’t know I needed! So yea, ignore the trolls. Some people aren’t happy unless they are looking down on someone. ?

  72. Natalie A says:

    Some of these women are psychopaths! Recently discovered by becoming pregnant that a LOT of women are reminiscent of the “mean girls” in high school where they feel like everyone obviously is in need of their overbearing and pushy advice. Shame on you ladies for not having the poise to keep your opinions to yourself and let the lady blog about what she wants to blog about. You don’t like something she says, feel free to exit the web page and find another blog more suited to your tastes. I mean grow up people, there are other FAR more pressing issues to freak out about than a few things some new mom asked the hospital to let her take home. I cannot believe how many women in here are guilty of “MOM SHAMING” Fortunately this is America and ALL of us are free to do as we wish when it comes to raising our children AND birthing them, chastisizing another female publically isn’t something to be proud of, and for those of you that actually have daughters of your own, SHAME ON YOU!!! what are you teaching your children?? That it’s OK to be a coward and hide behind a message board in someone’s personal blog and bully them?! I would be willing to bet 100% of the women in here that expressed their negative and overbearing opnions would be hard pressed to do anything like that in person. Grow a spine ladies, and stop hiding behind a computer bullying other women, at least now your ugliness is here for the world to see forever. I am disgusted with some of the posts I have read here, makes me angry to be classified in the same sex as most of you. Chelsea, I think your blog is lovely and everything you post is very helpful, thanks for sharing all of the helpful advice you have been sharing…ignore the trolls, those women clearly have other underlying issues at hand that they must deal with.

  73. Add to take home those absorbancey mats they lay on the bed under your sheet in case a leak, they gave me a few…those come in handy when hanging out with new babe on couch (or where ever ) and babe needs changing and you don’t wanna go to his nursery lay one of those down because we all have had that little babe tinkle as soon as the old diaper comes off and before new one goes under…..also great to toss in diaper bags for changes on the go and is toss able if soiled the mat included with diaper bags isn’t….
    Also I was specifically told at the hospital by the labor and delivery nurses that the items such as diaper and formula is not paid for by the hospital and is given by those companies for the new mom’s to take its there for the moms to be given to take and take home so all the finger shakers can calm down. I think those companies are doing just fine and know their business and marketing plans.

  74. Jennifer Lyon says:

    Thank you SO much for this amazing treasure trove of information! As a first time mom giving birth in a few months, practical advice is invaluable! Thank you!!

  75. I gave birth to my baby sixteen years ago, but the whole thing is still fresh in my mind, ha ha! I had one other tip for you new mommies–if you have a vaginal birth, bring home lots of exam gloves (in my case, latex free) to use for ice packs on your battle torn lady bits. OMG, I cannot even begin to tell you how good it feels! You fill the glove with ice and then tie it at the “wrist”. It fits perfectly into the mesh panties. It does get messy though, which is why you need a bunch. Good luck Mommies!!

  76. Congratulations on the little one (who is not so little anymore i’m sure!). And thank you for sharing those suggestions, the hospital you went to was very generous!

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