Hospital Packing List

If you're expecting for the first time like I was, chances are you're looking up hospital bag packing lists on Pinterest, blogs, and generally online. Some of the lists I came across while packing were extremely excessive, while others made it seem like I didn't need to pack much at all. If you're expecting, please know that while your time in the hospital may be short, at times it will feel long. And in the few days that you're there, you want to make sure you have exactly what you need. Nothing more (because having too much stuff is annoying in a small hospital room) and nothing less (because it gets frustrating when you realize you left something at home that you really wish you had).

I thought I'd share what I packed in my bag and what I actually used and didn't use. It'll be another list for you to skim through and will hopefully help you create your own packing list. It's important to be organized in advance when your due date is just around the corner. Have your bags packed early and also make a list of last minute things you may need to grab. Last minute things include your toothbrush, face wash, deodorant, hairbrush, etc. Make sure your husband knows where the last minute list is, since there's a good chance you'll be in a rush to get to the hospital. I ended up getting induced, so Alhamdulilah I was able to casually walk into my apartment, grab a few extra things, have some lunch, tidy up, and head to the hospital. I definitely wasn't expecting that, but hey, you really never know what's going to end up happening!

Images: Pinkblush, En Babies, Target, Amazon, Sephora, Old Navy

Images: Pinkblush, En Babies, Target, Amazon, Sephora, Old Navy

WHAT I PACKED IN MY BAG:

  • Nursing-friendly pajamas (Pinkblush PJs are perfect!)
  • Nursing-friendly tops (to wear at the hospital and to go home in)
  • Easy to wrap scarf (I'm hijabi, so this was a must. Jersey scarves from Haute Hijab are convenient, because ironing and scarf pins aren't needed!)
  • Pants that fit you while you were about 6 months pregnant
  • Maternity leggings (Liz Lange for Target leggings are so comfy.)
  • Nursing bra
  • Nursing pads
  • Nursing cover (En Babies nursing cover has great coverage.)
  • Boppy pillow (I didn't bring mine, but I wish I did.)
  • Lanolin cream
  • Flip flops
  • Shampoo (Either buy a small travel bottle or pour into a travel-sized bottle. Do the same with other toiletries.)
  • Body soap
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Towel 
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair ties
  • Makeup (After you take a shower and put on some makeup, you'll feel so much better. Trust me.)
  • Lotion
  • Underwear
  • Heavy overnight pads
  • Perfume
  • Deodorant
  • Socks
  • Phone charger
  • Camera
  • Lens
  • Camera battery
  • Camera SD card
  • Snacks (Dates, trail mix, and granola bars.)
  • Folder for hospital documents
  • Extra large bag to take gifts down to the car (The huge IKEA ones are perfect for this.)
  • Travel prayer rug
  • List of du'as (I kept them saved on my phone)
  • Small gift or box of chocolates for the nurses (Nurses are amazing and they deserve gifts and words of gratitude for all they do for you at the hospital!)

WHAT I PACKED IN MY BABY'S BAG:

  • Hat
  • Mittens
  • Going home outfit
  • Beautiful swaddle set for first photos at the hospital (Absolutely love Milkmaid Goods.)

WHAT MY HUSBAND PACKED:

  • PJs
  • Shirts
  • Jeans
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Book (Randall Munroe's "What if?" kept our minds off of the waiting.)
  • Magazine (Car magazines are Afroz's favorite.)
  • Headphones

I hope this helps any future moms out there! For the experienced moms, what's something you packed that you think was a must-have at the hospital?

Amira's Nursery Nook

It seems like not too long ago Afroz and I were living in the city, preparing to move to the suburbs after he got a new job. It was a fresh new start for Afroz and a continuation of my work with INKMADE from my new home studio. We found a decently priced apartment in a wonderful neighborhood close to Afroz's job and were excited, but sad to leave our old apartment near downtown Chicago. Just before we started packing our boxes to move out, I found out I was pregnant. We were ecstatic and our mindset now shifted from thinking of just moving to a new place to thinking about the home our baby girl was going to live and play in for the first time.

It just so happened that our new apartment had a huge master bedroom. We realized it was perfect for the baby, since there was enough space for a crib and changing table. I knew I wanted to keep her in the room with us. It would be easier to keep an eye on her and feed her at night. I didn't really think of a specific theme for her nursery nook. I just imagined something simple that blended into our existing master bedroom furniture, but also had a playful touch of color. 

After measuring the area next to our bed, we realized we had exactly enough room for a crib, changing table, and a Diaper Genie to sit right next to each other. All of the furniture came from IKEA. It's simple, affordable, and we love it!

I keep most of Amira's everyday clothes, blankets, bibs, washcloths, toys, etc. right under the changing table. All of her dresses and nicer outfits are hanging in a closet. I also have her diapers, wipes, lotion, baby oil, and creams on and under the table, easy to reach whenever we need it. We also put up two shelves above the table to hold some boxes of some of her shoes, socks, headbands, and books. I also put up a guestbook map that my friends and family signed during my baby shower. It's nice to read their thoughtful words as I'm grabbing a book to read to Amira.

One of my favorite things in Amira's nursery nook is her mobile. One of my friends gifted it from my registry and I'm so glad I added it on there! She absolutely loves looking at the little hot air balloons move and listens attentively when the song plays.

I put some more baby shower goodies on the shelf, as well as some props from a maternity photo shoot we had a while back. I honestly didn't plan exactly what I was going to put on the shelves, but it all came together pretty well. The storage space is useful and there's also room for a few cute props for decor.

Afroz and I are big on making the most of small spaces. We love living in an apartment that has just enough space to be comfortable and not crowded. I'm sure in the future we'll eventually move to a bigger space as our family grows inshaAllah, but for now, we enjoy our cozy apartment and love Amira's little nook in our master bedroom.

SOURCES

Crib: IKEA SUNDVIK
Crib Bedding: Babies R Us
Mobile: Target
Changing Table: IKEA GULLIVER
Changing Table Baskets: IKEA BULLIG
Shelves: IKEA LACK Wall Shelf
Shelf Storage Bins: IKEA KUGGIS
Frames: IKEA RIBBA
Art Prints: Rifle Paper Co.


Our House Flip Project

Many couples dream of going on "baby-moons" during their pregnancy, but we decided to do a little something different. We spent most of my pregnancy sketching, gathering light fixtures, ordering tiles, updating spreadsheets, studying properties on Redfin, and talking to contractors. For us, working on a house flip was another version of a "baby-moon." It was a huge accomplishment for both me and Afroz right before we both became busy with parenthood.

A few years back, Afroz and his family bought a foreclosed house in the suburbs. They rented it out for a while after doing a little work here and there. Afroz and I always daydreamed about renovating the house. We had so many ideas, but it was difficult for us to do anything, because we lived in the city at the time and I was busy with school. Once we moved to the suburbs, we decided to devote some time and money to finally fix up the house. We knew it was going to be tough with my pregnancy and Afroz being at work most of the day. We had to get the house sold before my delivery, which meant we didn't have much time to shop around for everything we needed, so we stuck to finding the most reasonably priced retailers near us. Thankfully, we found a wonderful contractor to turn our renderings and sketches into a reality.

We made sure to create a budget and also logged all of our purchases on a spreadsheet. Being organized was extremely important for this project. Otherwise, we would go over budget immediately. We also had to remind ourselves that the goal for this house wasn't for it look 100% perfect; nor was it to remodel it according to our taste completely. The goal was to remodel it according to what sells and to make a decent profit.

This house had a weird layout. It was a single-family house with two bedrooms and what seemed to be two poorly designed kitchens. One was large and had outdated cabinets along a wall filled with wood panels. The other one was very small and seemed completely out of place. We decided to get rid of the smaller kitchen and transform the larger one. We immediately knew that the new kitchen would be the heart of the house. 

Kitchen

We went with simple white shaker cabinets for the kitchen, along with silver hardware. We combined it with subway tiles and a white/gray quartz countertop. The size of the kitchen was perfect for an island and we topped it off with silver pendant lights above, along with recessed lights.

Floor Tiles: Floor and Decor
Subway Tiles: Floor and Decor
Cabinets and Countertop: Total Kitchen and Bath
Hardware: Home Depot
Light Fixtures: Home Depot


Dining

The space we decided to call the dining room was essentially a family room for the previous owners. Since there was no dining area in the house, we thought its proximity to the kitchen made it a perfect space for a spacious eating area. The dining room was also covered in that hideous wood paneling. We decided to clean it up and add new light fixtures. Instead of spending money on brand new hardwood flooring, we decided to install unfinished flooring in the dining room. Then we had the existing flooring sanded and stained in the rest of the house, so everything matched perfectly.


Living Room

The living room had a fireplace and flooring that really needed some work. The newly stained hardwood flooring created a seamless transition between the dining and living room. We also added recessed lighting, which allowed the room to look more spacious and bright.


New Bedroom

Since there were two kitchens, we felt like the smaller one needed to go. It looked more like a bedroom or a den to us. We had the cabinets removed, added a small closet, and painted it a light gray tone to match the rest of the walls in the house. 


Existing Bedrooms

The existing bedrooms just needed some patching on the walls and a fresh coat of paint. The floors were sanded and refinished. We also changed the bedroom doors and closet doors, which really allowed the rooms to look brighter.


Bathroom

We didn't devote a huge budget for the bathroom. We expanded an existing linen closet, painted the walls, and cleaned up the fixtures that were already there. In hindsight, we wish we gave the bathroom a better makeover, but hey, we learned our lesson.

IMG_20131006_154223.jpg

Thankfully, we sold the house around the time of my delivery. We were so nervous, but in the end, we were able to stay within our budget and were able to get the property sold. It took a lot of time and effort, but it was a great experience. Afroz and I were able to learn so much before we buy our own house one day inshaAllah!

All photos of the updated property were taken by Redfin. If you're looking to buy or sell your home, we definitely recommend Redfin. Our agent did an amazing job and Redfin's services were very professional and helpful. This isn't a sponsored post; we just really loved working with them!