Not another hospital bag post, you cry! Yes. I’m not even sorry because reading so many helped me immensely! Way back in December, I had a slight baby scare which thankfully turned out fine! Being so unprepared for the hospital frightened me into seriously thinking about packing my hospital bag at just week 24. Since then, it was not fully packed but I made it my priority to buy and organize what I needed. This week (at 34 weeks) I finally packed it along with the changing bag for baby.
After reading quite literally EVERY ‘what to pack’ article in existence, I have packed some of the highly recommended hospital bag essentials along with the things I deem applicable to me.
Conscious that a c-section might be a possibility, I have packed enough for a more extended stay than most women will have. I have still kept those extra items practical and to a minimum.
The Highly Recommended Must-Haves
- Baby Keepsake Book to get hand/foot prints and save the mess later!
- Camera/Tablet/Phone + chargers
- Boppy nursing pillow to practice good nursing posture
- Healthy snacks for after the birth in case the hospital food is truly awful
- Packing Cubes! All hail packing cubes. Seriously, these are packing game changers. Buy a set and never deal with chaotic luggage again!
- Basic toiletries
- Travel hair dryer. I don’t feel like standing for an hour trying to dry my hair with one of those pathetic hospital/hotel dryers that feels like a small child is blowing on your head.
- Cozy Socks with gripper soles
- Slippers with a solid sole
- Flip Flops
- Night Gowns x2
- Loose Jersey PJs for the last day (may not use)
- Light Jersey Robe
- Nursing Tanks x3
- Nursing Bras x2
- Dark colored, huge undies (so glam!)
- A basic overnight bag for Dad
- 1 Going home Outfit
- 4 Sleepsuits
- 4 Bodysuits
- 2 Hats
- 2 Pair Socks
- 2 Pair Scratch Mittens
- 3 Burp Cloths
- 2 Swaddle Blankets
- 1 Heavy Blanket
- 4 Diapers (a small supply for going home)
- Nursing cover
The Non-Essentials That Satisfy My Crazy
- My make-up bag (not full of my usual routine items but basic coverage favorites)
- The fact that all my packed night gowns/clothing match in some way
- Carefully planned baby blankets/outfits because again, matchy-match!
- A flattering, soft jersey midi dress for going home in comfort, ease…and style.
The ‘Will I Need This?’ Stuff (To Be Left In The Car!)
Do you get the sense that I’m an organization over-achiever?! Every hospital is different. Some will give you everything you need and others will let you fend for yourself for the most part. At least through extensive research on this, that’s the general consensus. So while many moms tell you point blank what not to bring, others have said they weren’t provided with it at all.
This is the stuff I am unsure about and have packed in a tote bag that will stay in the car. If I do need it, my husband can grab it rather than visiting the nearest shops with the world’s most embarrassing shopping list.
- Extra snacks/drinks in case the hospital food is unbearable
- Pain relief medication
- Post-delivery feminine products (this could be a post of it’s own and I won’t go into the gory details)
- Extra onesies in different sizes. Despite buying newborn and 0-3 months in various brands, they all differ. Some look tiny and others look far too big. I don’t want to take a thousand outfits with me but I would like them to fit baby, whatever size he or she turns out to be. This way I’ll have at least 2/3 outfits that will fit.
The Items I’m NOT Packing
- My own labor/delivery gown. I 100% plan to deliver baby in the hospital issued gown. I’m vain but not spend $50+ on a designer labor gown vain. An item of clothing that will most likely end up covered in bodily fluids and newborn gunk.
- A pillow from home. For the same reasons as above and also because there are about 100 of them on the bed I will be in.
- Athletic Pants. A lot of women suggest yoga pants or some form of comfy pants for after the birth. While I totally agree with the comfort factor, I understand there will be a LOT of checking down there after baby arrives. I will be in no mood to keep wriggling my way out of leggings for my nurse. Nightgowns it is!
- Hair tools. Straighteners, curling irons etc. Some people recommend them for photos but I don’t see it happening even considering as fussy as I can be with my hair! I’ll be blast drying and curling my hair around a headband to get loose waves for going home day!
Shop The Hospital Bag Essentials
What ‘ridiculous’ item did you pack and never use?
Even better, what ridiculous item did you pack and actually USE?!