Better known as, what WAS in my hospital bag. Whoops, didn’t do a single blog the second half of my pregnancy because well, pregnancy. Even though I’m about four months late I still wanted to get this out there to help all of you mamas to be! I’m actually glad I waited to write this because if I could pack my bag(s) all over again I’d do it a lot different. I know how it feels to be anxious and feel like you don’t have enough. I’m an over packer 100% and I definitely went overboard like I always do, better to be over prepared than under right?! In this case, I felt like I had way too many things in my bag to even get to what I actually needed.
Firstly, the bag I used to pack everything was a Carryall Oversized Tote by Logan and Lenora. We use this bag for everything when we leave the house and it doubles as a beach bag because they’re waterproof so they’re really easy to clean!
When I first started packing my bag I had 20-30 newborn diapers, a whole pack of wipes, diaper cream, the whole nine! Meanwhile, being a first time mom I had no idea that the hospital supplies you with everything you could possibly need. And they don’t even suggest using wipes on newborns right away so they give you paper towel type “wipes” that you just wet with water. Some people told me they hated that so they used Water Wipes. So you could pack those if you don’t like the idea of not using wipes.
The most important thing I could suggest to bring is shower products for yourself. I went to target and got a set of travel sized bottles so I could fill them with my face toner, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash. I kept them in a small waterproof bag to take up as little space as possible. I used a small Logan and Lenora bag and it was perfect. I also had a toothbrush and toothpaste in there as well. This also comes in handy if Dad is going to stay at the hospital with you like my husband did, he’s going to want to shower! I’m not sure if all hospitals are the same way but my nurses didn’t want me showering for the first day, so when you finally do get to shower you’ll want your own products and not what they’re supplying for you. This goes hand and hand with hair ties, bobby pins, head bands, etc. – anything that’s going to keep your hair out of your face before, during and after delivery. Even if you always have a hair tie on your wrist, just pack some extras. I packed a small Wet Brush so I didn’t have to remember to grab the one I use at home. Also, CHAPSTICK! It got really dry in our room because he heat is turned up so high to keep baby comfortable so chapstick was a lifesaver. I packed my travel makeup bag with some essentials and never wound up using it, but I would suggest it just in case you have a lot of visitors and just want to pop a little mascara on to feel human or if you’re having a fresh 48 session with your babe! Off topic, but I definitely recommend a fresh 48 session – you’ll look back at those pictures and be so so glad you got them done. Another staple I’d recommend bringing for yourself is a nice long robe that you can just throw on instead of wearing pajamas (brought a pair and never wore them!) or anything that’s going to make you uncomfortable, I found this robe on amazon and love it, I still wear it! I also packed comfortable nursing bras to put on when we had visitors, I still use these too, they’re so so comfortable and there’s no wire or anything in them so you can sleep in them comfortably too. I’m actually wearing one right now!
Oh and, don’t even worry about packing underwear because you’ll be wearing a giant mesh diaper and a huge overnight pad for the next couple weeks 🙂
After delivery, the nurses are going to want you to wear non slip socks when you’re getting up and down to go to the bathroom or to get baby. The hospital gives you these super scratchy socks that are not comfortable at ALL so I found my own non slip socks on amazon which I still wear because they’re so comfy, and who doesn’t feel much safer walking around on hardwood floors in non slip socks?! Unless you’re Tom Cruise in Risky Business.
I read on another mama’s blog that she brought her pillow and blanket and I thought to myself “hm that’s weird, because I’m sure you’ll have decent pillows and blankets and you’re only there for 2-3 days so that’s such a hassle” but I was SO wrong. Bringing my own pillow and blanket was heavenly to say the least. I told my husband that when he was packing the car when I went into labor that I wanted my pillow and blanket because I was definitely going to forget, and course he did (he’s the best). It was so comforting to feel like I was almost “home”.
Some extras that I brought along that aren’t 100% necessary included a going home outfit for Rori (plain white footed sleeper by lovedbaby), a few bows and a swaddle (I talked about Copper Pearl swaddles in my previous blog “Newborn Must Haves“, the softest ever!) – mostly for photos (YES, bring any kind of camera that you have, even your cellphone – just take a TON of pictures because you will regret it if you dont). On the topic of phones, do yourself a favor and get a ten foot charging cord. You’re not going to know where the outlets are in your room so you’ll want to be sure that your phone/cable can reach you for when you want to take those sweet newborn photos. Or when you have to shut off your “time to feed the baby” alarm. Another Copper Pearl staple that we love and also packed was their car seat cover, in case it was raining or too sunny so we could properly cover the baby while transferring her to the car. We also brought along a letter board for announcement pictures but never wound up taking them, which kinda bums me out!
I planned on breastfeeding from the moment I found out that I was pregnant so I really did a lot of research when it came to what I needed in the hospital, when I get home, etc. The biggest thing I could recommend to bring with you is Motherlove Nipple Cream. This was an absolute life saver in the hospital and the first couple weeks of being home. You don’t have to wipe this cream off before having baby nurse which is great when you’re sleepy in the hospital and can’t get up to get something to wipe it off with. I read all over that bamboobies nursing pads were something that you absolutely had to have, and for me personally I didn’t need them because while I was in the hospital my milk didn’t fully come in yet so I didn’t experience any leaking, but it’s good to have them as back up just in case! Another great tool for breastfeeding in the hospital, or even bottle feeding, is the Boppy Nursing Pillow. This was great when I was really tired and had little to no strength to hold baby on my own. And being a first time mom and trying to breastfeed for the first time, it was great to have some support.
Let’s talk essential oils. These really don’t get the best rep, but I’ve found that if you have the right blend, diffusing is so calming, even now for Rori! I started experimenting with different blends while I was pregnant to promote better sleep and just keep me relaxed in general. When I started getting closer to the end of my pregnancy I went looking for a blend to help with contractions so I found a blend of clary sage (do not use until you start having contractions in active labor – this oil can bring on labor and would not be good if you’re preterm!), lavender, copaiba, rosemary, sandalwood and ylang ylang. This smells amazinnnnng! I combined a few drops of each into a roller bottle and topped it off with concentrated coconut oil. I had Lucas roll this on my ankles and spine as soon as my first contraction started and through my entire fifteen hours of labor.
For you dads out there, just get in the car to go meet your precious babe. I’m kidding, Dad’s matter too! We got this backpack for Lucas and it’s a great size for a few changes of clothes and some essentials that Dad will want while he’s there, deodorant, cologne, wipes, his own shampoo/body wash, etc. – plus he can use it whenever him and Rori go somewhere when it’s just them so he doesn’t have to use my Kate Spade Diaper Bag!
Also a tip from the hubby himself: guys, bring cash because when the kitchen closes and you’re still up at 2am and want a snack, you’ll have to go to the vending machines! Unless family loads your room up with snacks, which ours did too but we still ate a lot, whoops.
“It was almost like staying in a hotel, except you come out with a great prize” – Lucas
You will of course also want things like your wallet, insurance card, hospital forms and birth plan (if you have one). The best advice I can give for packing would be to make a list of all these things (give or take whatever you prefer) that you can print out and check off as you pack, we did this and it really helped so much to ease my mind!
I hope this helped you if you had no idea where to start or like me, completely over packed. But of course if you feel better over packing, then do that! You’ll always want to make your hospital stay as easy and smooth as possible. Good luck mamas! Xx