So, every time I looked at the hospital bag list, I came across what people had packed, but not many post afterwards stating what they actually came to need. After spending two full days in labor, two days in recovery and then staying as a nesting parent, I learned that there are some things you will and will not use. That being said, here’s my advice on what to pack for the big day according to what we came to need. :]
Putting in a ‘read more’ because this post if quite long, including the following sections:
- Hospital bag.
- What to leave out of hospital bag.
- Daddy bag.
- What to leave out of daddy bag.
- Last minute things to grab.
- Other things to think of.
- What our hospital provided for baby.
- Your own clothes for when your in recovery and going home. I mean sweats and tan tops or camis, even pajamas, something comfy. I took my own and am so thankful, I was comfy the entire time. (Funny thing is in a discharge class we had to attend, you could tell the first time mothers because they were the only ones in the hospital gowns - all except me - and everyone else had their own, they came prepared.) Remember, hospitals usually keep moms only 24-48 hours after birth (sometimes less, or even more, depending on how birth went), so pack what you’d usually need in that time period.
- Toiletries (tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, scrubbie, deodorant)
- Nursing or sports bras (if your breast feeding) and nursing pads.
- Muslin cloth or thin blanket if your breast feeding for easy coverup.
- Underwear - yes, the hospital will have some to provide, but it will be mesh desposiable one-size-fits-all panties that… Well, needless to say mine went right into the trash, the pad never stayed where I wanted to on it and it was a literal mess.
- Hairbrush, hair ties or bobbi pins.
- Slippers, socks or flip flops to move around in - get something easy to kick on and off, you’ll still prob be crampy and not want to bend much.
- Going home outfit for baby - bring something cute in both newborn and 0-3 months, you never know if your baby will be too long or a little too chubby for the nb sizes, so it’s best to be prepared.
- An extra empty bag - you’ll be getting gifts and maybe some supplies from the hospital, so have something to take them home in!
What to leave out of hospital bag:
- Pads! - if your hospital is anything like mine, they will provide you with amazing giant pads that absorb everythingggggg. I took my own and ended up using one through the entire stay, the hospital ones were so much more efficant.
- Lotion - see explanation below.
- Perfumes / body spray - you won’t even remember you bought them.
- Makeup - seriously… I didn’t pack any and I’m thankful, I was too exhausted to think of it coming out of labor and the rest of the time you prob won’t even remember it’s there.
- Flushable wipes for down there when you use the restroom - the hospital can provide you with a water spray bottle to help with clean up, and trust me the wipes actually sting.
- Stool softeners - the hospital can provide you with some, if need be.
- Hand sanitize - you’ll want it for visitors to use with baby, and for after you change diapers, but most hospitals provide them in the rooms.
- Diapers / wipes for baby (please check to see if your hospital has them first!) - we packed some just for the fact of going home, but the chances of you stopping anywhere on the way home with baby are slim to none. Save yourself the space.
- Two changes of day time clothes and a pair of pajamas (more then one outfit just in case you need to stay a bit longer then expected), boxers and socks.
- Toiletries kit (toothbrush, mouth wash, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, comb).
- Tylonal or ibouprofen - he may end up needing it, and the hospital cannot provide him with it. As well, if you need to end up staying with you child afterwards, the hospital cannot provide you with any pain killers and trust me, you will prob need them.
- Snacks for labor time and for the stay (check your hospital’s policy to see if they provide the dad a food tray at each meal - if not, pack a bit extra).
- Manila folder with paperwork (birth plan, insurance information if your not preregistered, anything the ob asks you to take in and sheets for free sample bags from similac/enfamil/gerber/whoever you choose).
- Camera / extra batteries.
- Anything you have set aside for labor (i.e. massager, ipod, cd’s, special lotions) - dad will have much easier access to these things.
- Entertainment for dad - we chose his gameboy ds, you may want a book, but there will be a lot of downtime during labor and when baby sleeps.
What to leave out of the daddy bag:
- Tooth paste - you’ll already have some in your hospital bag, why take doubles?
- Body spray - you’re going to be sensitive to everything and so is baby, they have showers available for dad if he starts to smell a bit… Well, ripe, lol.
Last minute things to grab:
- Phones and chargers - we all know it’s not possible to keep your charger in your bag unless you have a spare, so try to keep them in mind on the rush for the door.
- Breast feeding pillow, if you plan to breast feed - it was the only thing that gave us both a comfortable enough position to nurse in the hospital.
- Your own pillow - this is a personal preference I didn’t think I needed one and then half way through labor I was calling my dad and begging him to bring my memory foam one from home fo help me get more comfortable.
Other things to think of:
- Tablet (or laptop) - if your in labor a long time, or even in recovery, it’s a nice way to pass the time and keep family updated.
- Keepsake items - we took a blank onesie to have his foot prints put on and everyone who came to visit signed their name, we also took cards where people could write ‘wishes for baby’ for his keepsake box. If you have a baby book, you may want to also think of that.
- A few of your own baby clothes from home - you may want to have baby’s pictures done in a special outfit, as well most hospitals don’t supply socks or mittens. Quite a few of the other moms on the unit I stayed on did the same thing as me and bought a few one pieces, so their child was in their own home washed clothes the entire time. We even used one of his baby blankets while there. It’s a personal preference, though. :]
Things our hospital provided for baby:
- Basic clothing - they had tee shirts, onesies and sleeper sacks for baby to wear during your stay.
- Burp clothes / receiving blankets.
- Dry wipes that you moisten with water (so they can avoid skin allergies, also easier to store).
- Bulb syringe.
- Thermometer for us to use in the room.
- Ready-to-use bottles with formula if your supplementing or formula feeding.
If you have any questions or additions, please feel free to message me or send me an ask. I’m here for whatever questions you may have. :]