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What to Pack? Hospital stay & What to give to BM?

Our birthmom will likely have a c-section (previous breach pregnancy) or being induced a week early so that we could be there for the birth of our baby boy. We’re leaving in 2-3 weeks. We’re 12 hours from her and will have to stay in her state for 10 days during the stressful revocation period. We’re lucky that the area we are going to has great rates for condos in the off-season so we will at least have privavcy, kitchen and laundry room. I’m making a list of what to pack such as clothes, blankets, diapers, 2 brands of formula in case he doesn’t take to one, we would have another - same with bottles & nipples. A friend gave us a Rock & Play which folds down for easy travel and pops up into a cradle. If anyone has gone through this, what did you pack to bring wih you? Also, have you or how do you approach asking to stay in the hospital after she gives birth so that you are the one feeding & changing the baby? A friend of mine went through a different agency & they were able to arrange for her to be in the next hospital room. And since our baby will be born in January, we thought of giving our birthmom a heart necklace with his birthstone. If you have any other suggestion I would appreciate it?


We were able to stay in the hospital too.  I think most hospitals have accommodations and are familiar with what they do in this situation.  There was never a question of whether we were able to stay when we did the hospital tours.  Some hospitals were more flexible than others though.  But if all maternity rooms are booked up then most will send BM up to another floor so the baby will stay by the nursery.  At least that was how it was for us, we are in CA.  But all of that should really be in your birth plan.  Like who will hold the baby first, and what room the baby will be in.  Our lawyer submitted the birth plan to the hospital so they knew exactly what both of us wanted.  We talked about it beforehand so everyone knew.  Sometimes the BM will change her mind a little and want to spend a night with the baby or have a few hours, so everyone has to be a little flexible.

Also, most hospitals will send you home with some formula, whichever one they started him on in the hospital.  usually it’s enough for a few days.  Plus sometimes they’ll give you some diapers, soap, blankets, small tub, but again, might depend on hospital.  I was given all that stuff with my bio kids and adopted son and they were all atdifferent hospitals.  The necklace sounds great.  We didn’t give anything to our BM at the hospital, but gave her stuff when she visited which was 6 weeks after.  I also gave her a necklace with an angel on it and birthstone.

Good luck!

Posted by Rent98 on Jan 04, 2012 at 11:59am

Congratulations!  The rock & play is awesome!!  I wish we had that when we picked up our son last year.  You can buy formula at any babies r us so I wouldn’t even pack it.  Our son took Soy formula right off the bat so we wouldn’t have used the regular stuff if we’d brought it anyway.  Keep in mind that the hospital gives you a bunch of food when you leave.  We gave our son’s birth mother a robe, blanket, soap and lotion to help her stay in the hospital more comfortable.  The birthstone is a cute idea but it’s an intimate present and a constant reminder of the baby’s placement.  I don’t want to be negative about it but it’s something to think about.  I remember loving those little newborn nightgowns that don’t snap at the bottom.  Take a video camera…you’ll have some great memories which will be hard to put into words later.  It’s nice to have a video of exactly what you said when and where.  Good luck!!  It’s an amazing experience!!  Congratulations on your new addition!!

Posted by COCO on Jan 04, 2012 at 11:59am

We gave our BM a necklace with our son’s birthstone, but it was not a heart. I always think a birthstone gift is appropriate in this case. We also printed off a bunvh of pictures before we headed home and put them in a small album for our BM.  When we ordered the hospital pictures we had her pick out what she’d like also.
As far as what to bring…we brought too much and not enough. We had all his little outfits and not enough receiving blankets. Unless uoure in the middle of nowhere, there will be a baby store.  Remember, you have access to laundry so you don’t have to go too crazy. We also had access to laundry and brought our own baby detergent.
Think about things for you too. What will you want with you in the middle of the night?  A favorite bathrobe or sweatshirt?  A favorite pillow or afghan?  Or slippers?
You’ll be holding and bonding most of the time so anything other than the cradle (and carseat) you won’t need. If you are driving bring along some CDs of lulabys. You’ll be surprised how many you forgot about.
Bring a desk calendar and write down thoughts and events on each day. It can be a great journal/baby book.
And don’t forget the charger for your digital camera!!  Take pictures of your child’s first “home” where you are staying.

Posted by MamaLion on Jan 04, 2012 at 12:07pm

I created an Excel spreadsheet.  If you would like me to email it to you I would be happy to!

Posted by pednurse91 on Jan 04, 2012 at 12:27pm

I made a list and put it on my web site:

I actually wouldn’t take formula, unless you’re using organic. The hospital will give you formula and you can buy more in the town where you’re staying.

The time in the hospital belongs to the birthmother, who during that time is, of course, the baby’s mother. Before you ask the hospital if you can stay, you need to ask her if you can stay. Our son’s birthmother wanted us at the hospital, but the hospital wouldn’t let us stay there. Later, she said that she regretted having us there all the time; she wished she had had more time with him while he was still hers. Our daughter’s birthmother didn’t want us at the hospital at all.

Check with your agency/attorney to make sure that you’re allowed to give presents. Some states are very strict. We couldn’t give anything of value until after the TPR was signed (no revocation period) in Missouri, for example. I think a birthstone necklace would be lovely, if it’s allowed, but it may be something you want to give later, say for Mother’s Day.

Good luck!

Posted by rredhead on Jan 04, 2012 at 12:35pm

We didn’t stay at the hospital because we wanted to give the BM some space and time to consider her decision. 

When we first went to the hospital to meet our daughter, we took the BM homemade cookies (which were a huge hit), comfy socks and fancy lip balm to make her hospital stay more comfortable. 

When she was discharged from the hospital, we gave her a box of extra soft kleenex, (which might seem weird, but she and her family appreciated it), a small photo album with notes from us and pictures from the hospital and a stuffed animal.  We chose a stuffed animal that had meaning for us and bought 2 of them.  We take a picture of our daughter next to her stuffed animal once a week to send to her BM so that she can see her growth.  We print out the pictures for her to put in the album we gave her.  We gave these as a way to mark the beginning of and our commitment to our open adoption. 

Definitely take your camera and write down your experiences.  It’s a very special time, but so overwhelming that it’s easy to forget the details!

Posted by ericagwen on Jan 04, 2012 at 1:22pm

We didn’t stay in the hospital. DH pricelined a hotel and I thought we’d be moving to a condo situation fairly quickly but they were all so great at the hotel and made us feel so comfortable it was easy to stay. We brought our pack n play but DD didn’t like it much at all. She spent most nights sleeping in her carseat right next to my side of the bed. Some nights we just coslept so that worked out too. If we do this again, I’d give serious thought to NOT bring the pack n play because it took up a lot of room in the car.

I packed a bag for me, a bag for DH, and a bag for DD. This was fine for while we were in the one hotel waiting but we were cleared to leave days before we were cleared to enter our home state and had a long drive to make so there were 3 more hotels in our future. THAT was a huge pain in the butt having all our clothes in a separate bag. So I would recommend having a combo “travel” bag that includes everyone’s stuff for one night just in case.

We did not bring a carseat because I was afraid that DD’s first mom might change her mind. So we bought it there. We did not bring formula, and decided that we’d start her on whatever she was eating in the hospital. We did change it before we got home but I didn’t want to have so much stuff in the car that I didn’t know what to do with. We didn’t bring diapers. We relied on what the hospital gave us until Mom had signed off and we were free to go.

We DID bring a snap-in stroller frame (handed down by some friends)  which was a lifesaver. And we did bring lots of onesies but ended up buying even more because what we had was gender neutral or even a bit blue and people kept calling her HE and 2 little girls told me in BBRUs that she didn’t look like a girl - that was enough to get me to invest in some more clothes. lol

Remember that as long as where you are going has some stores, you can get almost everything you need once you are there. You have the luxury of laundry (woo hoo!) and some space. Your son won’t need much except onesies, receiving blankets, a hat or two and your love.

As for what to give Mom, I think it all depends on your relationship with her. We decided on jewelry, because I was afraid something big and bulky like a robe would get noticed at her home (Mom had hidden her pregnancy somehow). And secondly I wanted it to be something that she could wear close to her heart. I decided on a butterfly necklace as DD’s room is decorated in butterflies - a decision we made at BBRUs while we were picking up supplies and registering. It allowed me to tell her a story about the why on the butterfly. We chose a blue butterfly for September, the month our DD was born. It wasn’t sapphire but it reminded her of that too. She said so. Lastly I got the impression that Mom had very little just for herself and I wanted her to have something that no one else would help themselves to. It seemed like so little to do for her - she’s such a lovely woman and she has changed our lives so much. So I wanted to make it special and meaningful and personal. But every first Mom is different. Follow your instinct - you’ll know what is right.

I’m so excited for you! Safe travels! Cannot wait to see pix of your bundle of joy!!


Posted by yesimln on Jan 05, 2012 at 12:13am

The rock and play will be a great help.
Sleepers with or w/o feet.
Birp clothes
Soft blanket
The hospital will give you some basic items and it is easy to run to the grocery store for more.
A care bag or basket for birth mom for the hospital is great.
I made a cute onsie, a cute PJ, and a bib that said, I get my GOOD LOOKS from my birth family and I get my GOOD LOOKS from my birth mom, both of our birth moms and the nurses all loved it. You can make it online at places like inktastic, zazzle, etc. for $8-20 dollars. 
If the birth mom says it is ok for you to be there then call the hospital in advance and let them know about the adoption plan and request a bonding room if available. Both are birth moms wanted us there and gave us a bracelet to go to the nursery and see the first bath, etc. We also ordered the birth moms foods as they were very hungry after. One didnt want to be alone and asked us to stay and one didnt say so we left and gave her space. Just see what the BM wants or play it by ear.
I like the necklace or any keep sake type item.
I also made a cute baby book of my babies first few weeks and gave to the birth mom right away as I know the first few months are the hardest. You can use online sites like smilebox, sutterfly, picaboo, Costco, etc. Right after the baby was born I asked the BM if she wanted me to take a pic of her and her baby and send it to her cell hoine, she really liked that so she had a pic right away.

Posted by Private And Foster Mom on Jan 05, 2012 at 3:12am

Thank you soooo much for all your wonderful ideas. BM called last night and one of the things she said was, “This is your baby and you should be there every step of the way.” She also said she would expect us to feed & change him in the hospital because he’s our son and we had better practice. LOL. We try to be very respectful of the BM & her family and not assume anything so it was special to hear her say that. We’ll definitely check w/the hospital about the bonding room.

Posted by IheartGA on Jan 06, 2012 at 3:52am

We too traveled for our older daughter’s adoption.  Our daughter’s birth mother had us listed in her hospital plan as she was having a c-section too and in case some decisions needed to be made if she was out of it for the baby we could jump in as necessary.  She also had the baby room in with her so we visited during the day bringing her food from local restaurants for lunch and dinner.  We would leave after a few hours to give her time with the baby and to take a break ourselves for all the excitement and some of the stresses.
Don’t forget an infant car seat and base, hospital will not allow baby to be relased without it.  We got a snap-n-go which is a frame like stroller that the infant seat snaps into for ease when walking and packing as its so much lighter and smaller than a full size stroller (bought it gently used on craigslist).  We had our daughter sleeping in the car seat to keep her head elevated and close to the bed for the overnight feedings too.
We packed kimono undershirts, onsies and baby towels and wash clothes.  We had some diapers and two kinds of bottles.  We used our down time before the baby was born to stock up on diapers, wipes, etc. and the Hospital gave us formula and diapers.  Our daughter’s birth mom wanted to give her breast milk so we rented through the hospital a pump machine for her to have and use.

Our daughter’s birth mother was released at the same time as the baby and both came back to our hotel suite.  We spent the next 10+ days together and visiting with extended birth family.  It was such a great time to have to spend with everyone!

We too had a gift for her but we also gave her some comfortable pajamas and slippers for her hospital stay.

We had flowers delivered to her right after the birth of her daughter too.

Good luck!

Posted by mommysquared on Jan 07, 2012 at 3:22am

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