Looking for a hospital bag checklist? For a first time mom, I was SUCH a slacker when it came to packing my hospital bag for labor. I was lucky I didn’t go into labor a few weeks early, because I would not have been prepared!
I remember making a HUGE list of items that I thought I needed during my stay, only to find out I didn’t really need the things I thought I did.
In fact, before I go over my must-haves, here are a few things you definitely DO NOT need to bring with you:
- MULTIPLE OUTFITS FOR BABY: You’re only going to be there for 2 or 3 days max. Other than a going home outfit (Umm, this one might be the cutest one I’ve ever seen for a baby girl! And THIS ONE, oh my gosh for my little boy!) I would not stress about bringing more than *maybe* one other cute outfit to put baby in, for a photo op. Honestly most hospitals provide long sleeve white onesies, so no worries, baby won’t be naked! 🙂
- UNDERWEAR: WHAT?! DON’T BRING UNDERWEAR? NOPE. Whether you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section, you’re going to be bleeding a TON after you give birth. Hospitals provide really fancy, super stretchy mesh underwear for this reason. Things are going to get messy…so leave your own underwear at home and take advantage of the disposable ones they provide you. ALTHOUGH, these lovely postpartum panties are a godsend to have once you return home.
- HAIRDRYER: Nope, don’t need this. Trust me, you aren’t going to care about your wet hair.
- BABY BOOK: You’re not going to have the time or energy to write in this thing. Leave it at home. I do REALLY love this one though for when you get home!
- DIAPERS AND WIPES: The hospital provides all diapers and wipes for baby, so you do not need to worry about bringing any of this stuff!
Alright, now that we’ve cleared up some space in your bag, here are nine items you don’t want to forget:
PSST!! I see you are in the middle of packing your hospital bag…before you read my super awesome article, CHECK THIS OUT! Hillary from Pulling Curls is a fellow labor and delivery nurse, and she created a fantastic ONLINE PRENATAL COURSE. That’s right, she goes over EVERYTHING, and you don’t have to even have to leave your couch! You get all the benefits of a traditional in-class style course, but you get to enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. There’s even a Beginning Prenatal Class you can try FREE first if you’re not prepared to buy anything right now. Pretty brilliant if you ask me! 🙂
Your phone is going to be running on low battery with all the texts, phone calls, and pictures you’ll be taking. So, common sense, just don’t forget it!
YOUR OWN PERSONAL TOILETRIES
I’m definitely a minimalist, and I do not mind using hospital toothpaste or soap. But, there is something to be said about having your own stuff with you.
BABY’S GOING HOME OUTFIT
You do need this! The going home outfit is important, and that picture will go in the baby book. I just ran across some adorable outfits from Gigi and Max, and they have so many different choices! If you are having a baby girl, who doesn’t love this one?? And, OH DEER I’M HERE, oh my goodness, I just can’t you guys!
I see how yucky those floors get and how they get cleaned. Bring some $1 plastic flip flops from Old Navy.
LOOSE PJ PANTS
So, I am totally a yoga pants kind of girl. I live in them. But in postpartum, you’re actually going to want to bring some loose pj’s or sweat pants. Reason being, you’ll be wearing diaper size pads and huge mesh underwear. Tight yoga pants don’t go over these so well. I LOVE this set from LamourLove, or if you’re looking to spend a bit more, this one from Ekouaer. (they are specifically for breastfeeding too!)
YOUR OWN PILLOW
News flash…hospital beds aren’t so comfy. Your own pillow can make a BIG difference when you are trying to get a little more shut eye. Do yourself a favor though, and leave it in the car until you get to postpartum. You won’t need it on labor and delivery. You don’t want to run the risk of getting birth juice on it. (Birth juice: blood, amniotic fluid, vernix, meconium, urine, sweat, tears….etc.)
IF YOU PLAN ON NURSING…..
BOPPY OR MYBREASTFRIEND
I actually had both of these, and it’s really your personal preference on which one you decide to use. I liked both for different reasons. When baby is so little, these pillows are SO NICE to have for breastfeeding. Whenever I am assisting a mom with nursing and she has one of these, I’m like SCORE! I think they help with getting the perfect placement. You can snag a boppy here, or a mybreastfriend here 🙂
SHIRTS THAT OPEN IN THE FRONT
I brought a TON of big t-shirts, thinking I would just want to be comfortable in postpartum. Well, I did want to be comfortable, but my t-shirts never got worn. I stayed in a robe and my nursing bras the entire time I was in the hospital, until it was time to pack up and go home. When you are new to breastfeeding, it makes it SO MUCH EASIER to wear shirts that open in the front. When baby is small, it’s much more comfortable for you to open up your shirt as opposed to lifting it. Zip-up jackets, button up pj tops, or a good old fashioned robe.
NURSING BRAS AND/OR NURSING TANK TOPS
This goes along with the above recommendation. I’m all about comfort, and I feel that nursing bras are waaaay easier and more comfortable to stay in than sports bras or nothing at all.
Make sure you get a nursing bra with no underwire. LOVE THESE. They are super comfy and come in a pack of two 🙂 If you’re more of a sports-bra kind of gal, these are for you! Very nice for sleeping as well!
*Update* THESE are also totally awesome, wire-free, and won’t break the bank! You get 5 for the price of 2!
There you have it! Like I said earlier, I’m a minimalist. Don’t over-pack. It’s just more you have to UNPACK when you get home and have a baby to take care of. Did you bring any (or all) of these items with you to the hospital? Tell me in the comments!
Founder, Labor Teen