What I Packed In The Hospital Bag
Thanks to everyone’s suggestions, I finally got my hospital bag packed!
Here is what I am bringing, along with some links to some things I didn’t have on hand and had to purchase.
Also, check out my post on Pregnancy Must Haves!
CLOTHES: At least TWO changes of comfortable clothes for Mom. After all, most hospitals say you will be there a minimum of 48 hours.
2-3 tank tops or t-shirts
2 nursing bras - I am all about the comfortable, cotton, cross style nursing bras for those first few days/weeks. I also bought a sports bra style, but am keeping that at home.
1 sweatshirt or sweater
3 pairs of comfortable underwear - One of those postpartum must-haves so you aren’t ruining expensive undergarments. Lots of women even suggest just tossing these out after a few weeks.
1-2 pairs of leggings - I am planning to wear one pair of leggings to the hospital and I packed a second pair for coming home.
1 robe - Robes were highly suggested for the recovery period after giving birth. Something to wear other than the hospital gown, but also easy for breastfeeding. I went with a light grey robe. Although, I will say some women warn against grey since you may have some - ehrm - leakage. Grey is my favorite color, so I guess we will see how this works!
1 nightgown, sleep shirt, or set of pajamas - I like the idea of a full button-down sleep shirt for those 24-48 hours after birth. I went with a black night gown. I have seen a bunch of options at Target and on Amazon.
1-2 pairs of socks
Flip flops - Lots of suggestions to bring flip flops for showering and walking around the hospital.
Tennis shoes - for coming to hospital / going home.
Headband or hair ties - I actually tossed one of my cotton head bands into the bag last minute. I have long hair and I like it to be out of my face, but a pony tail or top knot sometimes gives me a headache. I am thinking this headband will come in handy, especially if I want to look semi-presentable for visitors.
Chapstick - Literally EVERYONE recommended bringing chapstick, since the hospitals are dry.
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Smelling oil or scented lotion - recommended to help with nausea or to fight off hospital smells.
Small comb or hair brush
Your own shower supplies - lots of Moms recommended bringing your own shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. to feel more at home. I am opting to pack less and just use what is there at the hospital.
Postpartum care items - some Moms said to bring your own postpartum items (pads, wipes, spray bottle, etc.). However, the hospital does provide you with their version of everything you need. I set up my own postpartum care station in my bathroom for when I get back home, that includes Tucks wipes, witch hazel, a peri bottle, pads, nipple butter and more. I am going to take full advantage of what they provide at the hospital (and take some extras for the road)!
I do not want to bring much for the baby for a few reasons. The hospital provides diapers, wipes, and blankets. I don’t want a lot of stuff to carry in and out. And I don’t want to forget anything special at the hospital! I was able to fit all of the baby items into my husband’s hospital bag.
Infant gown & hat - word on the street is that we aren’t going to want fussy outfits. An infant gown and matching hat was the first thing I put in the bag for the baby. I am also packing a bow, in case we find out it is a girl and want something a bit more girly!
1-2 swaddles - I put 2 of our own swaddles in the bag. I figured they would be nice to have for photos and for practicing swaddling, as long as we don’t forget them at the hospital!
Boppy pillow - This is packed in the car with the car seat. I figured we can determine once the baby comes, whether we actually need to bring it up and then Dad can handle that :)
2-3 cotton onesies - Plenty of Moms suggested bringing a few of our own onesies for the baby to wear while in the hospital. I ended up putting in 1 long sleeve onesie (something cuter, coming-home-esque) and 2 short sleeve, plain white onesies for underneath the swaddles.
1 special blanket - this is mainly for photos and in case we get cold in the hospital. I think you could easily skip the blankets and just use what the hospital provides.
CLOTHES: At least TWO changes of comfortable clothes for Dad. My husband packed:
2-3 t-shirts - we made sure to toss in one nice(ish) t-shirt for any photos with baby.
2 pairs of black jogger pants
3 pairs of underwear
3 pairs of socks
Ball cap - good idea for bad hair :)
Tennis shoes - he plans to wear these to the hospital for coming and going.
TOILETRIES: Pretty much packing the same toiletries as I am.
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Comb or hair brush
OTHER ITEMS / MISCELLANEOUS
Based on a few suggestions by Moms and from our labor class, we ended up throwing a few miscellaneous items into our hospital bags, as well.
Travel speaker - I am following a few recommendations to create a birth playlist. I tend to be a lot calmer when I have my own music going, so we are bringing our Bose travel speaker and dock (don’t forget the charger or batteries). I will probably ask the nurses if they mind before I just start playing it, but I have heard most hospitals are very accommodating to whatever puts you at ease!
Extra long phone charger - the outlets might be far away from your bed. You might leave the house on 10% battery. You might not remember to toss in your phone charger. For all of these reasons, I bought an EXTRA phone charger specifically for the hospital bag and it is EXTRA long :)
Snacks - everyone recommends bringing snacks! For the Dads and eventually for Mom (after birth). Depending on what time you get admitted, the food options may be limited to vending machines. I ended up buying a pack of trail mix, a bag of Goldfish crackers, and tossing in some mints and gum.
Personal pillow - this was recommended by lots of Moms who said they didn’t love the hospital pillows. The trick is to bring a pillow you’re ok with leaving there (in case you forget it) and to use a brightly colored pillow case (so as not to mix it up with the hospital pillows). If I remember to bring one, great. If not, it isn’t the end of the world.
Tennis ball - something we learned in birthing class was that rubbing a tennis ball on the lower back is really effective to ease some of the labor pains. We threw one in our hospital bag just in case!
Hospital paperwork - anything you may have pre-filled out. Our hospital allowed us to pre-register online so we do not need to bring any hard copies of paperwork with us.
ID & Insurance card - we are planning that I will have my purse and my husband will have his wallet. Worth mentioning that the hospital will ask you for ID, so plan to have it.
Cord blood kit - if applicable, don’t forget it!
Car seat - of course, this should already be installed into the car. You will leave it in the car until you are about to be released from the hospital.
And there you have it! We ultimately packed one small duffel for my husband, which included the baby items and miscellaneous. And one small duffel for me. Keeping it simple, as we will still have the baby and the car seat to carry on the way out.