I’m a bit obsessive about my hospital bag. After showing up at the hospital with just a toothbrush in my purse the first time, I promised myself that I would have a bag packed and ready by 34 weeks with all future babies. During my second pregnancy, I read lots of blog posts and watched tons of YouTube videos to see what other women packed before I started putting mine together. And in the end, I was very happy with what I packed. So happy that I’ve duplicated it for this birth.
I’m somewhere between an overpacker and a minimalist when it comes to my hospital bag. I don’t bring my entire makeup bag or a bunch of hair tools or a million baby outfits with coordinating bows, but I’m also not that girl who wears the hospital gown the entire time. Labor is hard enough without having to wear an itchy gown that shows your behind no matter how many times you tie it. So I like to wear my own labor gown during labor and delivery. Once baby is out and I’m settled into my recovery room, I’ll shower and change into a nursing nightgown plus a robe for visitors. I always treat myself to a new one (or two!) from Target since pajamas are pretty much all I wear in the weeks after birth. I pack a pair of slipper socks (love these!) and a pair of old flip flops to wear throughout my stay. I’ll stay in a nursing nightgown (I packed two this time) during my stay and only change into real clothes when it’s time to go home. For my going home outfit, I packed a maternity tank, a denim button down, Blanqi postpartum leggings and my favorite slides (I can’t find mine online, but I love this print too). I only bring one or two pairs of real (and larger than my normal size) underwear and I usually only wear them for the journey home. During my stay, I use the glamorous mesh undies the hospital provides.
For toiletries, I buy travel size for as many products as I can. And I only bring the basics: shower gel, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, face cream, deodorant, etc. I don’t bring any makeup other than lip balm, eyebrow pencil and mascara. Perhaps most importantly, I pack nipple balm and Lansinoh gel soothies to help me survive those first few feedings. I do not pack Dermoplast, Tucks, or any of my other postpartum essentials (post on those coming soon) because the hospital provides everything you need in that category. I do pack a towel and washcloth though because the hospital ones aren’t ever that great.
For baby, I always pack two or three coming home outfits. I’ve had one teeny tiny preemie and one average sized baby so I like to have size options. Because of the preterm labor scare I had this time, I purchased one outfit, hat and swaddle in preemie size just in case she did come early. I plan to donate them to the NICU if we don’t end up needing them (which I doubt since baby girl is already measuring 4.5 pounds at 33 weeks). I bring a special swaddle blanket, a few burp cloths (I tend to birth major spitters), a nursing cover and two hats. I’ve also learned to bring a portable white noise machine to help us all get some sleep in the noisy hospital. In the past, I’ve had a fully packed diaper bag with me “just in case,” but this time I organized everything into Jellyfish Design pouches and stuck them right into my suitcase.
For miscellaneous items, I make sure to pack a phone charger, headphones, a bluetooth speaker (or an Echo Dot), and snacks. I rarely leave home for a trip without my beloved Barefoot Dreams blanket and the hospital is no exception to that rule (the one I have is sold out, but this Disney one is adorable). A nursing pillow, like the Boppy, is an absolute must, especially if you are a first-time nurser. I also like to bring my iPad so I can watch shows or read a book during middle of the night feedings. And I highly recommend packing a special treat or small push present for yourself for after delivery. Some people like to pack small bottles of champagne. I’m more of a candy person so I ordered a Sugarfina candy cube filled with pink diamonds, of course.
And that’s everything I pack in my hospital bag! I hope this helps all of you new moms, or moms who were unhappy with the way they packed the first time. And if you’ve already given birth, please tell us what you couldn’t live without in your hospital bag.