I thoroughly research what to pack in my hospital bag when I was pregnant with Eloise. I thought I had everything I needed and more. In hindsight I would give myself a grade of a B. I did pretty well but this time around I feel like I really know what I need and what I don’t. So consider this packing list thoroughly vetted, real mom researched and uber comprehensive. I also included a list of things I have on hand for when we get home. What am I forgetting?
- Bag: I love this bag from LandsEnd. It is super roomy, easy to carry and has a zip top. I will hold everything I need and then some. Last time I didn’t bring a big enough bag and I totally regretted not have enough space for everything I wanted to bring.
- 4 nightgowns: 2 long sleeve, 2 sleeveless. – while I only plan on being at the hospital 2 days I am bringing extras in case my stay is extended and/or in case I need a change of gown, if you know what I mean. I remember preferring the gown over pants to keep my tummy and lady parts area free of anything tight or constricting. Obviously, this is personal preferences but I am borderline obsessed with the Gilligan & Malley line at Target – so super soft, excellent value and hold really well.
- 2 robes: Again, went with one from Target in black and my pretty Doie Lounge robe from Eloise’s birth. Since I had Eloise in the summer I didn’t wear my robe that much. However, being that it is the dead heat of winter I will likely wear the robe more.
- Undies (4-5): Black, black and more black undies. Black for obvious reasons. However, the hospital does provide some real nice mesh undies that are actually quite comfortable for those first few days. This time I am going to try to snag a few extra pairs to bring home with me.
- Nursing bras: For the hospital, I am keeping it simple and sticking with these, you guessed it Gilligan & O’ Malley ones. I like that they are soft, comfortable but supportive and provide easy access with no snaps or straps. I will have some more supportive Bravado Designs bras waiting for me at home though.
- Comfortable clothes: Last time I stayed in my nightgowns the entire time. I actually think I went home in one. In my defense, it was June, they were plain, jersey cotton, knee length night gowns that could easily be seen as a dress. Again, given the season, I probably won’t be going home in my nightgown so I am planning on bringing some comfy cotton pants, a maternity tee or two and a sweater cardigan. I am keeping with the maternity tees for comfort reasons. I know that I won’t want anything tight on my mid section.
- Travel size toiletries: the usual: toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, lotion, chap stick, etc. The hospital where I am going to deliver actually supplies some of these but I like having my own.
- Make up bag: Obviously. Enough said.
- NEW: a towel: I remember being freezing after my showers at the hospital last time. They provided a flimsy little thin towel and it was less than ideal. This time I putting in one of my own for a little extra comfort.
- Slippers: My cozy Ugg slippers have a VIP pass in my hospital bag. I won’t dare leave home without them.
- NEW: Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter: last time I brought Lanolin and it was a great idea. The hospital actually gave me Lanolin so this time I am going to bring EMAB Nipple Butter to use as well.
- NEW: Bamboobies: Super excited to use these super soft cotton nursing pads this time around. I will probably throw in some disposable pads as well.
- NEW: My Brest Friend Nursing pillow: I didn’t bring a nursing pillow last time and we ended up buying the My Brest Friend in the hospital. This time I will add it to my bag – it was invaluable to have in the hospital!
- Cell phone, IPad and subsequent chargers: These are pretty much a no brainer but we watched many Arrested Development episodes while I was in labor with Eloise so it was super nice having the IPad. Some people bring books and/or music so if that is more your speed then include those in your bag.
- Cameraand charger: Put Dad or another important person in charge of this one – you are busy enough!
- Photo ID
- Insurance Card
- Pre-registration papers (if applicable)
- Any other important documentation you may need
- Outfits: I have a pink and a blue going home outfit with matching hats, a couple other of Eloise’s gender neutral foots and 2 long sleeve newborn onesies. I recall Eloise wearing the onesie and several swaddle blankets for the majority of her stay in the hospital. I put a ton of thought into her going home outfit and she ended up wearing the onesie home covered in blankets! With it being so cold this time around, I know this little one will have proper clothes on but still be covered in blankets.
- Swaddle Blankets: While the hospital provides plenty I am bringing my new aden + anais Bamboo swaddle blankets, too. They are so super soft and of course, a gender neutral pallet.
- Pacifiers: A WubbaNub and MAM pacifiers. We didn’t end up using them in the hospital with Eloise to avoid nipple confusion but I will pack them again just in case.
- Warm Blanket: I went with the Little Giraffe in white for heading home and hospital use should it be necessary.
- Car seat: I think you all know you can’t leave the hospital without the baby in a carseat and I beyond thrilled that BabyK2 will be riding home in style in their brand new Cybex Aton.
- 7 A.M Enfant Car Seat Cocoon: Again, cold Chicago temps demand protection from the elements. Of course, we plan to be outside for about 2 minutes but still, can’t protect the little guy/gal enough.
For BIG SISTER:
I am so excited for Eloise to meet her new bestie but want her to feel special when she comes to the hospital so I am including these few things in my bag.
- Big Hugs Elmo: Eloise loves Elmo so Tyler and I thought there is no better gift than a huggable Elmo himself.
- Big Sister Book: Second to Elmo, Eloise’s favorite things are books so I picked out this cute Big Sister Book for the babe to gig Eloise along with Elmo.
I will leave the packing of Tyler’s bag to him… I have enough to think about! In all honesty though, if you husband is planning on staying overnight in the hospital make sure he packs a bag too. He knows what he’ll need for a few nights away.
WAITING FOR ME AT HOME:
There are a few things that I think are helpful for every new mama to have waiting for her at home. Some apply to breastfeeding (denoted with bf) so just ignore those if you are not breastfeeding.
- Super size pads. The hospital will likely send you home with some but have more waiting for you at home. I like the Always overnights (for day time use).
- Tucks pads. Witch hazel pads are soothing on the lady parts. Again, the hospital sent me home with some but I have a spare on hand.
- Nipple cream (bf). I have an extra container of Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter as well as Lanolin. You can never have too much of this stuff, promise.
- Soothies Gel Pads (bf). I already have some in the freezer, they do wonders for soothing sore breasts.
- Breastpump and extra accessories (bf). A breast pump may be a no brainer for you breastfeeding mamas but make sure you have extra accessories on hand too. Last time around, I lost one of those teeny tiny white membranes around 3:30am and had to pump one side at a time = fail for an overtired mom.
- Water bottles. Last time around, I did not drink enough water in the early breastfeeding days. I won’t make that mistake this time around. I am pretty sure Santa is bringing me the Tervis Tumbler water bottles from our mama to be gift guide.
Woah, this was a short post that turned into a long one. I hope this helps all of you first time hospital packers and veterans alike. I would love to know what I am missing – do tell!