So last week I shared what I packed for the boys while I’m gone. Today I’m sharing what I’ve got packed in my hospital bag! Packing the hospital bag is so fun to me and almost necessary for me to slow down and fully comprehend that yes, we are going to be having a baby soon. Actually, I’m not sure anyone can fully comprehend the change that happens when you go from carrying a baby in your womb and bam, just like that, there is a child in your arms, but for me, packing that bags helps me understand it at least a little.
Here’s the link to the hospital bag I packed for baby #2. This time is pretty similar, but I’ll go through again what I will be taking, and what I suggest leaving behind.
So I actually pack two bags. One is a small bag I can throw in my purse, I call this my labor and delivery bag. I’ve got this dumb fear of showing up at triage thinking I’m in labor and them laughing and sending me home. And I don’t want to be that pathetic woman dragging her bag back out to the car with her haha, plus, a big bag would just get in the way during labor.
Labor and Delivery/Triage Bag:
Rubberbands- Nothing is worse than wanting your hair up and having no rubber band. Definitely worth throwing a few of these in.
Camera- (with charged battery and charger if you need it)- If I could only bring one thing to the hospital with me, it would be this. You can never recreate those first moments when they’re born and even if you’re not a professional, you’re going to want those first moments documented. Don’t forget your memory card(s).
Sports bra- After I had my last one they told me at my hospital they allow you to wear a bra during delivery as long as it has no underwire. I hate that way it feels to be all…free flying underneath that hospital gown, so I’m definitely doing that this time.
Phone charger- Everyone is going to be wanting the play by play, and your phone will die fast so bring along your charger.
Smart Phone/Tablet/Laptop- Something to keep your mind busy when you’re bored. I sat in triage for 6 hours one time with pre-term labor. I was so bored out of my mind. Bring something to keep you busy.
Lip Balm- The hospital is sooo dry, you’ll want it if you don’t already carry some in your purse.
Cash/Change- My husband always gets too excited when I tell him it’s time, and even though I tell him to go eat his way to the hospital, he either forgets or labor takes so long that he’s starving a few hours later. Most hospitals have a vending machine you can grab snacks at but they only take cash. Plus it’s a good way to entertain your husband.
My post-partum bag
Robe- I’ve got this post-partum outfit thing down to a tee. Three steps: yoga pants, nursing tank top, and a robe. I hate wearing the hospital gown any longer than I have to, so as soon as they’ll let me, I change. My robe is cotton and so light weight so I can leave it on most of the time and just open it to nurse. I feel much more covered than just a tank top and it’s so pretty that it looks like you have a nice top on. My robe is from this etsy shop, but I’ve been swooning over this fringy one and this option is great if you’re scared off by the white print.
Yoga Pants- Take a pair for each day you’ll be staying +1. That first day there will be a lot of blood. Just being honest here. You’ll want extras. Take something comfy, I take black pairs that way if the lovely diaper you have to wear after leaks, you won’t be ruining a white pair of pants.
Nursing tank tops- If there is one thing you go buy right now, it’s nursing tank tops. Specifically, these nursing tank tops. They are by far the best I’ve found, and I’ve found a lot. You’re not going to want to deal with a nursing bra and shirt those first few days. In fact, even the first few weeks I live in these. You don’t want to invest in a super expensive nursing bra that you won’t fit it four weeks anyways at the start. These have pretty good support from the built in bra, and that’s coming someone who’s not exactly flat. Do yourself a favor- buy these suckers in every color. You can thank me later. (p.s. they also now have a “shaping” version of this tank top, here.)
Big, comfy, undies- Nothing more fun than the huge amount a blood you’re about to expel from your body. The hospital will provide you with these giant, mesh-y undies that some people say are fantastic, but I think are horrible. I mean, they are one size fits all, and I’m by no means a size 2, but they fell off of me every time I stood up or moved. That is not what you want when you’re trying to trap blood from going everywhere. Just being completely honest here. I like taking undies that fit snug but are by no means tight. I go a size or two up from my pre-pregnancy size and just buy a pack of ones I don’t mind throwing away. You want them big because- 1. You aren’t pre-pregnancy size yet. 2. You’ve got to be able to accommodate all those pads and ice packs and lovely things they have you storing down there post-baby.
Toiletries- That first shower post-baby is going to feel like the greatest shower of your life. The hospital isn’t a hotel, so plan on bringing shampoo, conditioner, soap, facewash, etc. etc. I like bringing small sizes of the same stuff I normally use at home. It makes me feel more normal and less like a bomb just exploded down there. I bring my make-up too, just the basics, some foundation and mascara because it feels good to get dressed up a little.
Nursing Balm- If you’re planning on nursing, plan on using some kind of nursing crème/lanolin product. My favorite by far has been The Honest Company’s. It’s not super goopy, it’s organic, and it didn’t stain my clothes. These products make nursing so much less painful and help you heal fast if you get cracks or other painful nursing problems. That’s it on the left below.
BE Firming Eye Treatment- (pictured on the top right) This stuff is the best. When my oldest had colic for seven months, I rarely got more than two hours of sleep in a row, and that was on a good night, yet everyone said I looked great. This stuff was my secret. Three tiny drops rubbed beneath my eyes and on my eye lids every morning and night and I always looked well rested. I’ve always had a bad dark under-eye problem and I don’t anymore. You can buy it from this site or they have it in stores at Ulta.
Flip-flops- Something easy to throw on to walk down the hall to the nursery and definitely good to have for showering.
Clothes to Wear Home- Don’t worry about dressing super cute or anything. Let’s be honest, everyone’s looking at that baby, not us! Yoga pants and a top for the win.
Baby’s Outfit to Wear Home- You need something to take that sweet baby home in; I love picking out something special for my babies to wear home and then I keep it in their baby box as their first outfit. Obviously, think about what kind of weather you’ll be taking them out into, and make sure you’ve got a hat and some socks no matter what season it is. Our hospital won’t even let them leave without a hat on. Carters always has some great little sets, this baby will be wearing this set home and here is a really cute little girl one.
Mittens- Babies can scratch their pretty little faces up soooo fast and those scratches seem to stay forever. They sell great little mittens to protect them or some onesies come with little mittens that fold over their hands. Either way, take some!
Baby Wipes- Most hospitals are no longer providing wipes since some babies are sensitive to them. They provide these wipes that you have to get wet and are really stiff and really hard to get poop off with. I just take my own small pack of wipes to use since I prefer them. Honest companies are great because there isn’t anything in them for the baby to react to.
Blanket- You’ll need a blanket to bring them home too. For summer babies, think lightweight muslin, (I just bought these cute ones that are the picture), and for winter, something nice and thick and warm (this baby will get to be snuggled in this one at home). Even if you think it’s super hot out, the a/c might be cold in the car or house when you get there and a blanket will keep them from getting chilly.
Car seat- Can’t leave without it! It’s not actually in my bag, but have it at the ready! I usually just leave it in the car after 37 weeks that way it’s already there.
An extra bag- I’m gonna copy this one straight from my last hospital packing post, because it was great advice. “You get so many gifts while in the hospital, you’ll need an extra bag (I just folded up a canvas market tote inside my overnight bag). There’s the free gift from Similac or Enfamil, which is quite bulky, welcome gifts from the hospital (ours included a silver spoon and cookies), plus any gifts your friends or family bring, and then there’s all of the items you take with you when you leave like the diapers/wipes/etc. I’ve heard of some people going overboard and even taking the pillows, but really it’s just the disposable items that you can take. Good to Know: A good rule of thumb is if they opened the package for you, it’s yours to take. I take the diapers, cloth wipes (they make good cleaning rags), the blue pidddle pads they have under baby, and the pink ones they have on your bed. The reason I take the last two is because the blue ones they have under the baby are awesome for putting under your changing table cover in case baby gets it messy; it makes for easy clean up, they also fit great in bassinets. Same for the pink ones. I use them under the pack and play sheet (those pack and play mattresses can be ruined if they get too wet), in the crib under the sheet, or anywhere else I need them. They’re great to have around.”
What I brought the first time that I won’t bring again:
Baby Book- I wanted to get their footprints right in the baby book, but the labor and delivery nurses told me that the staff nurses would do it, and the staff nurses told me they didn’t do it. They did do them in labor and delivery, just on a pretty take home certificate, so I do have them, and I just put that in the book. I didn’t have time/energy to write in anything in it in the hospital, so it ended up being forgotten about and taking up lots of bulky space in my bag. This time, I’ll just leave it at home.
Nursing Pads. Most people’s milk doesn’t come in in the hospital, and if it does, your Lactation Consultant should have free samples of them, you just have to ask. Not everyone even needs these so, not worth the space.
Most important part- enjoy getting ready for your new baby to come! Life is about to get crazier and better than ever before!