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Packing for the Hospital: What to Take

I wish I’d remembered to bring: "A hair elastic. I didn't pack anything to keep the hair out of my face during labor, which is funny because I keep hair clips and elastics everywhere at home. Must have been pregnancy brain!"

I’m glad I remembered to bring: "My fluffy bathrobe," says Tracey B., a mom of one in Hartford, Connecticut. "Being in my own robe at the hospital was comforting. And it was nice to look decent with family popping in and taking pictures.”

I wish I’d remembered to bring: "Slippers. The hospital socks they give you with the little nubby things are so scratchy, they twist all around on your feet, and are just blah!"

I’m glad I remembered to bring: "My pedicured toes!" says Lisa B., a mom of two in Phoenix, Arizona. "With my first, I’d look at my toes while I was pushing and thinking, ‘Wow, I hope no one notices my feet.”

I wish I’d remembered to bring: "Dried fruit, a tasty way to get my digestive system to start moving again."

I’m glad I remembered to bring: "Extremely large underwear. Huge!" says Stephanie C., a mom of one in Dallas, Texas. "After you give birth you have to wear a gigantic pad, and the hospital’s mesh undies aren’t that fabulous."

I wish I’d remembered to bring: "A sleeping mask, or even a scarf to wrap over my eyes. They tell you to rest once you have the epidural, but all the flashing lights and activity keep you awake."

I’m glad I remembered to bring: "Wet wipes," says Lauren G., a mom of two in Little Falls, New Jersey. "I was very sensitive after giving birth, and wipes were way better than toilet paper."

I wish I’d remembered to bring: "My favorite lotion. The hospital soaps and sheets are on the rough side and it can get chilly, both of which cause dry skin."

I’m glad I remembered to bring: "A pair of comfy pants to go home in," says Desiree W., a mom of one in Las Vegas, Nevada. "You’re larger than you think you’ll be when you leave the hospital, but I felt fine in soft, elastic-waist pants."

I wish I'd remembered to bring: "An iPod. It would have been a way to deflect family who dropped by to chitchat. I love them, but it was like, Look, I’m in labor here!”

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