There seems to be a huge trend of people sharing “what to pack in a hospital bag”.
To be honest, I really don't get this trend! So I made one to tell you, (depending on your hospital and if you have very specific needs) YOU DON’T NEED TO BRING MUCH.
I had a friend say pack like you're going to the cabin for the weekend and I couldn't agree more.
I recommend you call your hospital ahead of time to see what they provide. Ours provided a water bottle, a peri bottle, diapers (for you and baby), a swaddle, all of the things I would need postpartum… and let me take stuff home.
If they don't offer anything for you, I have a blog here that recommends what you'll need for YOUR repair.
Basically, I'm telling you not to stress out about it too much. Because if you do need something you don't have, the hospital is likely to have it or someone can go get it for you.
So, I packed the essentials and here's everything I packed…
You're literally going home in a diaper. You're not going to want leggings or any tight fitting pant. You'll want loose and comfortable. I packed several pairs of sweats and joggers.
2. Pack Comfortable PJ set
My husband got me a PJ set that he always asks why I never wear. He got it embroidered with my initials which was sweet so I packed those.
3. Sweatshirt & Zip up
You'll appreciate having layers in case you're cold or hot in the hospital and a zip up makes it easy to breastfeed if you're doing that!
4. Labor Gown
With my first pregnancy, I got a “labor gown” in a Frida Mom kit (which is a GREAT baby shower gift BTW). It opens up so you can easily breastfeed and is super comfortable. If you don't have this… no worries! The hospital will provide you with something… but it might be made of paper lol
5. Breastfeeding Tops
Anything you bring for a shirt you're going to want to make sure it is easy to breastfeed in (if you're choosing to breastfeed). I packed a henley tank top that I can easily unbutton. Regular old t-shirts aren't as easy to breastfeed in but I did pack a few of those as well, you just have to lift it up.
I'm glad I packed this in my hospital bag because it can be worn on its own or can be another layer.
7. Nursing Bras
With my first, I didn't buy nursing bras for… a while. No idea why, they're great!
My favorite nursing bra is called Sublime Sports Bra by Kindred Bravely and I have a code with them, HEYSHAYLA for 20% off.
8. Pack clothes for your partner in your hospital bag
I asked Seth if he had his stuff packed for the hospital yet… he shows me a pile of stuff with one t-shirt, one pair of sweats, and one pair of socks… oh, I love men.
He asked if he could just throw it in my bag… bring it on boo.
I have a little toiletries bag with all the essentials… my face wash, deodorant for Seth, deodorant for myself, toothbrush and toothpaste, essential oils (I didn't bring a diffuser but had my oils if I want them, and 8 sheep organic magnesium lotion which I really like and helps with aches and pains
10. Throw a Phone Charger in your hospital bag
An obvious essential. Some people say you want a 6 ft one if your bed is far from the wall or a plug in. I didn't do that but it is a good idea!
My feet are always cold and it's nice to have something on your feet when you're walking around in a hospital. These are the ones I ask for every year for my birthday!
I actually used electrolyte post delivery way more than I thought I would!
I used to use Liquid IV (and I still have a discount code with them… HEYSHAYLA25 if you're into it). But, my midwife said there's too much sugar in them, but that I still need to get electrolytes and recommended Nuun instead. They're just little tabs you put in water and I like them a lot (and they're on amazon and at target).
Absolutely crucial. Seth is the snack guy and I just eat whatever he provides. Some hospitals don't want you to eat but labor is tough work. I've found these sqeezers are a perfect solution, no spoon, easy to eat, easy to digest, quick hit of energy. I've also heard bone broth is a gread labor and post labor drink, Kettle and FIre is my fav!
I'm bringing headphones to listen to my Hypnobabies which I've done in both pregnancies and has mad ALL THE DIFFERENCE in being able to relax, have an unmedicated birth and not be afraid. If that's not your thing, you still might want them to listen to music or something else.
I have a ton of videos about it here.
I'm packing headphones with a cord… you have to choose between the possible annoyance of cords or the possible annoyance of dead headphones… pick your poison. I don't want to deal with dead headphones.
15. Don't forget to pack Baby Stuff in your hospital bag
Now onto stuff for the babe… your car seat (blog on non toxic car seats here) should be installed so you don't have to worry about that at the hospital, a blanket, and a couple outfits for the babe to wear and leave in. BUt to be honest we left ours in the diapers and swaddle.
When I pulled the clothes out to pack, I had forgotten how how small babies are when they're born and also how something so large could be inside of me right now.
16. Optional Items to pack in the hospital bag
Postpartum recovery: Some people say to bring all of the stuff you need for postpartum. Which, I have an entire blog post on all of the postpartum things you need here. That stuff is seriously more important to have when you get home with the baby than the baby stuff.
Breastfeeding: I have a blog post about the essentials here. Your nipples don't get too chapped and you don't need too much for breastfeeding in the first few days. I thought about bringing the Hakka but decided not to. I will just use that when I get home. Same with my favorite nursing pads. I have tried lots of these and these are the best. Unless you're in the hospital a few days your milk doesn't come in strong right away so you have time. But PLEASE see a lactation consultant before you leave!
If you bring your own Peri bottle, Frida Mom has a great one that is angled. The one the hospital gives you probably won't be and it's not as easy to use.
Water: Some sort of water bottle. The hospital will most likely provide one, but I also like to bring my own. I love Clearly Filtered and they have water bottles that have a filter in it so you can get great, filtered water anywhere.
Photos: A photographer, a camera, I even had a friend that brought a disposable camera and waited until the baby's first birthday to get them developed. Super cute, I love that. But, I did pack my Polaroid camera and regular camera to capture some of the special moments (if we remember).
Washing baby: Tubby Todd is the brand we use for clean soaps and lotions. I didn't want AJ bathed at the hospital (honestly not sure if she was or not), but don't stress too much about this.
Pillows or blankets: A friend recommended it and my midwife said… ew she wouldn't pack a pillow or blanket in a hospital bag! hahah
Hospitals are dry stale environments: You may want lotion or chapstick… I say if you want to do this, grab some coconut oil, you'll have a 2-in-1.
Gifts: Gifts for the nurses or a gift for dad (which I did the first time but forgot this time).
You can end up packing a LOT, but you really don't need to, it totally depends on your personal preference, how long you're going to be there and how much you want to carry in!
Oh, and pack a hospital suitcase, not a bag. It's so much easier because you can unzip it and see everything you have inside and wheel it and carry your baby, or just waddle yourself out to the car.
I recommend packing your bag at 36 weeks and then throwing stuff in over the next few weeks as you think of them.
Hope this is helpful in reducing the stress of packing the “perfect” hospital bag.
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