When I sat down to write this post the first time around, I was 39 weeks pregnant. I had packed my hospital bag somewhere around 34 weeks, but had continued adding and removing items as I over analyzed my stay in the hospital. I couldn’t want to get to the point of actually throwing these bags in the car; and I had no idea just how soon Ben would be doing just that.
Today, my baby boy is over a week old and sleeping soundly in his crib for nap time. And I now have a been there done that attitude about this whole child-birthing process.
But a week and a half ago, I was no such expert. I had researched on Pinterest, asked the mothers in my family and guessed my way through packing my bags. If we had a normal 36-48 hour hospital stay, I would have been 98% perfect on items needed. But pregnancy, childbirth, and raising these little things don’t always go as planned. Next time, I will be prepared for anything.
And here is the bottom line, you should be too! Your birthing experience is going to be amazing. They call it a miracle for a reason! The last thing you want to do is make a list for your equally as exhausted hubby to have to run home to grab you a razor for your suddenly woolly mammoth under arms (yes, this happened).
Below, I am breaking down what I packed in our hospital bags for Mom, dad and Baby. Then we will cover the forgotten items and the items that I really didn’t need to bring at all.
Mom’s Hospital Bag
This bag is the one where things were forgotten (remember the razor?), so we will start here.
I read numerous checklists and posts written by moms, labor and delivery nurses and doula’s a like. And all said the same thing: think warm and comfy, because hospitals are cold. And even though it was 90 degrees outside the day we finally left the hospital, I am so happy I was prepared for the chilly hospital air.
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Face Wash
- Tooth Brush & Tooth Paste
- Eyelash Curler & Mascara
- Hair Ties/Scrunchies ( I love scrunchies because they’re loose and don’t pull on my scalp)
- 3 Nursing Bras: I highly recommend this three pack from amazon. I bought two pack and have another set in my amazon cart right now. They’re soft, supportive and comfortable so I can actually sleep in a bra.
- Pajama Pants/Sweat Pants
- 2 Loose fitting leggings: I went to Forever 21 and picked up about 5 pair of black leggings in a size up so that my post pregnant stomach wasn’t being squeezed (you will still look 5 months pregnant when your bundle of joy comes out).
- Zip-up Hoodie
- 2 Button up shirts: I bought the one pictured above from Old Navy in an XL and it is my all time favorite loose shirt.
- 3 Nursing tank tops: I’m obsessed with these v-neck tanks, specifically as sleep tops because I can just pull out my breast to nurse at 3 AM! The ones pictured above are from the Gap Clearance Outlet in Hebron, KY (which I recommend to anyone in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati Area for maternity basics) but was able to find this similar set on Amazon.
- Slippers: currently living in these.
- Non-slip Fuzzy Socks: mine are from Cabella’s and are infused with Aloe. I have like 8 pair #obsessed
Dad’s Hospital Bag
Our bag is one bag, in truth, but has all of the necessary items for both Ben and I during the stay at the hospital. Ben’s portion of the bag basically includes a change of clothes and the camera since he will be able to run home to shower, and check on our fur babies.
- Camera & Charger
- Bluetooth Speaker: this was amazing to have in the delivery room. Ben played classical music while we pushed through active labor and into transition. It really did help calm me down and helped with coping with the pain.
- Laptop & Charger: I didn’t use this as much as I thought I would. I figured I would want to watch Netflix or write while I was bored…I really wasn’t ever bored.
- Kindle (fully charged):I did not use this once. Again, I was never bored. HOWEVER, now that we are home, this is my best friend again.
- Change of Clothes
- Sweat Pants & Sweatshirt: I can’t stress this enough, hospitals are cold.
- Heating Pad: I had back labor really bad, so this was incredibly helpful to have while in labor. I am so BEYOND happy I brought this with me and won’t ever not bring one.
- Snacks: there is no way of knowing how long you will be in labor and delivery (I was in labor for a grand total of 25 hours!) and even though you’re doing most of the work, hubby needs nourishment as well and you are probably NOT going to want him to leave the room much at all.
- Powerade: I bought a six pack of powerade for Ben as well to make sure he stayed hydrated through our long labor.
Baby’s Hospital Bag
For the baby’s hospital bag you are going to want to pack light. EVERYTHING is going to be supplied for you other than a going home outfit. We kept things very minimal because we planned on packing up the leftover diapers/wipes and other items that were in our room for him.
And we took everything #notsorry
- Going home outfit: I packed two sizes, Newborn and 0-3 months because I had no idea how big our boy was going to be. I am glad I did as well because the adorable coming home outfit I bought from Etsy still doesn’t fit, and he was nearly 8 Ibs!
- 2 White Onsie’s: You just never know when he’s going to pee or poop through that adorable outfit you picked.
- 2 Sleepers
- Boppy: If you do not have one get one, if you have one bring it with you! Boppy’s are not only great for feeding, they are also really nice to have when family comes to visit because it assists in holding if anyone isn’t comfortable holding an infant.
- Infant Car Seat: Get that base installed in the car by 34 weeks, you do not want to have to figure it out later. We have the Britax B-Safe 35; I highly recommend Britax as they are always a leader in child saftey.
Things I Didn’t Need
- Camera & Charger: I was not thinking about photos through labor and delivery. And when he was out, EVERYONE had their phones out and on him. This just sat in the backseat of the car.
- Kindle: I thought I would get bored sitting in the hospital. There was not a moment that I was bored, when there was nothing to do I slept.
- Fuzzy Socks: The hospital put non-slip socks on my feet when I was in triage being admitted. They gave me a fresh pair the next day as well. After that, I lived in my slippers.
- Swaddler: Those white blue and pink hospital blankets are perfectly fine and I suggest taking extras home with you.
- Pajama’s for Baby: While in the hospital you’re going to want to just leave him/her in the shirt the nurses will put him in. They have to check his vitals and do blood work each morning, make it easy.
Things I Forgot
- Razor: I don’t know how but my underarm hair grew like crazy while I was in labor. Maybe just me, but DO NOT forget.
- Body Wash: Shampoo kept me from smelling, but there was nothing better than coming home to real body wash.
- Leggings: I only brought two pair of leggings to the hospital, this would have been perfect if I had an average hospital stay after delivery. Pack an extra, just in case.
In the end, whatever you bring will be perfect. There is no one way to pack a vacation bag and there is no one way to pack your hospital bag. You’re unique and your birth story will be unique as well! Just don’t forget to take care of yourself while in the hospital, check that tolietry bag!
I was beyond lucky for two reasons. 1.) We live about 15 minutes away from the hospital. Ben was able to go home each day to give our dogs some love, shower and change. 2.) The nurses at our hospital were just amazing. Even after I had been discharged they offered help and were there for me.
A year and a half from now, when we are in the talks about baby number 2, I will be so ready for anything that the birthing process throws our way. A short hospital stay. A long hospital stay. You name it. My bags will be ready and I will have nothing I don’t need.
I hope that my list and experience with said list, are helpful to any mommy’s to be. Drop a comment below if there is anything you packed for the hospital that you couldn’t have done without!