Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An Adoption Hospital Bag

Both of our boys were born in different towns from ours.  In either case, we really didn't know what to expect when we showed up at the hospital. We didn't know if we would be able to stay with either boy, given a room or if they would just have to hang out in the nursery until discharge.  I thought I would share my packing list in case you are expecting a domestic infant adoption and wondering what to bring!

This is what we brought, and what we did/did not use in our most recent adoption:

A bag for my husband and me
  A pair of PJs (neither of us wore these - we basically wore the same outfit the whole time we were at the hospital (approximately 1.5 days, I think!)
  2 extra outfits - I did change into clean clothes the morning after baby J was born.  The hospital had given us a private room to "room in" with him in the labor/delivery ward.  But I didn't use the shower in the room- that seemed a little weird for me to do!
  Camera, phone and battery chargers - Don't forget your chargers!
  A gift for our son's mother.
  We both brought a book/work to do while we waited for baby to be born.  I don't think I looked at a single page, but before M was born, D sat in the hallway and took a quiz for his MBA program!

The diaper bag for the baby
  1/2 of a small package of newborn-sized diapers - you never know what the hospital will provide or send you home with.
  4 outfits (2 piece style, with hats) - Baby J wore just a diaper and tops and was swaddled in the hospital blankets until discharge.  Then we dressed him in his sweet little "going home" outfit.
  4 pairs of socks
  2 of the smallest-sized bottles (before we left our house, I added 3 more to end up taking 5) - We didn't use these in the hospital because the nurses gave us those "ready-to-use" disposable ones, which are wonderful and I wish I had a million of those to use the whole first month!!
  1 package of newborn formula (we used Enfamil newborn first) - didn't use until we got home - by the way, my neighbor just told me that Target's formula is also made by Enfamil, has anyone else heard that?
  A pacifier - started using on the drive home, I think!
  A pair of baby mittens - but we didn't use these
  A warm snuggly to wear over his clothes - a must for winter babies, but we didn't use ours since it was unseasonably warm when we took J home. 
  A warm, soft jacket
  2 swaddles - didn't end up using these in the hospital because we swaddled him in the hospital blankets.

I totally forgot burp clothes and really could have used them!  We had some barfisodes in the hospital in the middle of the night that led to several changes of clothing.  Thankfully the nurses were super helpful and kept us well-stocked with receiving blankets and burp cloths.

I think the main thing is just to prepare for anything and be flexible because you never know how the hospital staff handles adoptive situations.  And since adoptions are not all that frequent, much of the staff may have never dealt with one before at all.  With Baby J, there was a very hands-on social worker present, but with M I don't think we ever spoke with a hospital social worker (but my memory could be failing me).

Any other ideas for what to pack for adoptive families? 

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