What I'm Packing in my Hospital Bag
I cannot believe it's that time...I've officially started to pack my hospital bag!
At first, the idea of packing a hospital bag felt overwhelming. I asked all my mama friends for advice on what they REALLY liked having or truly needed while at the hospital to compile my list of essentials. Some of the ideas were helpful and some didn't seem necessary, but I loved hearing everyones advice. In the end, you just have to do what is best for you!
As a pretty minimal person, I didn't want to overpack or have a million things there when the focus should be on...you know, delivering the baby. I also know it would stress out my husband to have to lug a bunch of bags around. So, I really narrowed down my packing list to cover what was necessary.
Also, I felt so much better about what to pack after our hospital tour. We are delivering at an incredible hospital in Kansas City and they really stressed that less is more. They will be providing almost all of baby's essentials (i.e. diapers, swaddles, etc.), along with things for mom (i.e. pads, breast pump, etc.) So, they really were encouraging us to focus on just the essentials.
Car Seat & Base
This is a no-brainer. You cannot leave the hospital without a car seat and base. We plan to have our car seat inspected prior to delivering (on our to-do list for this week!), so that there is no anxiety attack about getting the baby home safe and sound.
I am going to pack as much as I can into my favorite weekender bag and may also bring the diaper bag. We shall see if it's necessary to bring a diaper bag, when really the majority of things are for me. I received this bag for Christmas a few years back and it's perfect to easily carry all the essentials.
Like I said, we are bringing the bare minimum for baby...
- Swaddles - soft swaddles in fun prints for any photo opportunities or visitors (even though the hospital does supply free swaddles to keep).
- Onesies & Hats - again, packing a few soft onesies and hats for baby that will work for photos or visitors.
- Going Home Outfit - a cute outfit that will likely get ruined right away to take baby home in!
- Nail Clippers - the hospital doesn't supply nail clippers, so these are definitely coming with us. I've heard that baby's nails can be sharp right off the bat. And mittens don't allow baby to self-soothe (hands are comforting), so these are definitely coming with us.
- Pacifier & Clip - not sure if these are necessary, but again, makes for a cute photo and might be nice to have on the ride home if baby is fussy. The doctor recommends not using a pacifier right away as you are working on getting the latch down, so we might not use this.
I bought a few things specifically for this hospital trip because I've heard a few stories that comfort is key, you won't feel 100% in your post-partum body and you don't want anything that could possibly get ruined. So...I spent some time shopping Target, Old Navy and other affordable brands for comfortable lounge wear just to have in my hospital bag.
- Comfy Intimates - socks, large underwear and nursing bras all in darker colors and soft fabrics
- Flip Flops or Slippers - I'm bringing flip flops that will work for walking around and showering, but know some people prefer slippers
- Soft tanks (2-3) - tanks that are nursing friendly and presentable enough for visitors
- Stretchy pants (2-3 pairs) - comfy sweat pants, joggers and pajamas with extra stretch. I sized up to a medium for a looser fit
- Nursing Gown (1) - I bought one nursing gown in black that has a pretty lace detail for any photo opportunities
- Robe - I bought a soft robe in a darker gray for lounging and breast feeding
- Cardigan - a long, soft and easy to throw on cardigan if it gets chilly inside
- Makeup Bag & Toiletries - I plan to bring my makeup bag with only the essentials (BB Cream, mascara, bronzer, lip balm, and concealer), along with my toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.) and a few hair ties! I also might bring my Vitamin E oil, which I've used my entire pregnancy to moisturize the skin and avoid stretch marks.
- Boppy Nursing Pillow - to make breastfeeding easier (hopefully!)
- Nipple Cream - the hospital provides this, but you can ever have enough
- Nursing Pads - another just-in-case item that was recommended and not provided by the hospital
There are a few daily essentials that will have to get thrown into my bag at the last-minute, but are also necessary including:
- iPhone - to text our family & friends and take all the photos! Since the iPhone X camera is so great we don't plan to bring a DSLR camera. Plus, our hospital has a photographer.
- Long iPhone Charger - this came highly recommended by mamas! Luckily, we had just ordered a few extra long chargers off Amazon, so I think these will come in handy.
- Snacks - I heard from many mamas to bring snacks! I plan to pack a few RX Bars, mini Trail Mix bags and gatorade. Anything small, high-protein/fiber and easy.
- Water Bottle - I believe the hospital will give you a water bottle, but I love my big Starbucks cup so much that it will have to come with.
- Wallet - with ID, insurance card and a bit of cash!
That's everything I am packing in my hospital bag! Dad is in charge of packing his own, but I do recommend a few comfy changes of clothing, a pillow and other everyday essentials for him.