What should I pack in my hospital bag?
Real Mom Problem
“This is my first pregnancy and I'm getting to the point where I want to start getting my hospital bag ready so it's not a last minute thing. My hospital provides some things but I've been told that it's best to bring everything you will need such as wipes and pads because I may not like theirs.”
- 1. For yourself, pack as if you were going on an overnight trip: you'll need toiletries, pajamas, and a change of clothes
- 2. For the baby, pick out a special going-home outfit
- 3. If you plan to breastfeed, include breastfeeding basics like nursing pads, a nursing pillow, and nipple cream
- 4. Don't forget your electronics! You'll want a camera, your cell phone, something to listen to music with, and the appropriate chargers
Real Mom Solutions
Don't leave packing your hospital bag to the last minute; when labor starts, you'll want to be ready to go! Check out what these moms suggest you put in your hospital bag to be as prepared as you can be for delivery and your hospital stay.
Pack All the Basics
A sturdy bra! Nursing pads, a robe, slippers, some comfy go-home clothes, baby's clothes to go home in (I would go with something comfy as well, like a sleeper -- baby's first car ride and all), shampoo and soap, a loofah, contact solution (if needed), glasses, stuff like that, things you would take on an overnight trip. Plus nursing pads -- they are a life saver.
For labor: music (and something to play it on, i.e. CD player or iPod with speakers), lip balm hard candy, lozenges, or lollipops to suck on, hair bands or clips. For after delivery: Camera (video and/or still. Don't forget to charge it). Cash/change for potential vending machine runs (you can also bring a small cooler, stocked with goodies). Nursing bra/pads (although the hospital gowns usually have handy little snap-open shoulders. And who cares if you leak through their couture sleepwear?). For your stay: Bathrobe, non-skid slippers or socks nightgown or cozy, loose-fitting PJ's (although, sometimes the hospital gowns are not as horrible as you might have heard), toiletries-- including shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and contact lens solution and case (if applicable), hair brush/hair dryer (some hospitals have hair dryers; others may not), pillow (with a colorful pillowcase so it doesn't get thrown in with the hospital laundry), "granny" panties, magazines or other reading material, maxi pads, and an outfit to wear home. For the baby: Going home outfit and cap, receiving blanket, diapers, wipes, diaper cream, undershirts, and a new stuffed animal.
You will want to bring a change of clothes (you will most likely still need maternity clothes till your uterus and everything else shrinks down), hygiene stuff, camera, cell phone and charger, clothes for baby, diapers, wipes, a book or something to do while you are waiting, nursing pillow, nursing cover (in case you are breastfeeding and have a visitor at feeding time).
I wish I had brought some nightgowns. I hate hospital gowns and my stomach was too saggy for normal shirts.
Hospital Packing List: tooth brushes, toothpaste, deodorants, lip balm, eye liner, mascara, lotion, breast cream, breast pads, maxi pads, hair brush, hair scrunchie, nursing tank top, cotton maternity shorts in black, cotton stretch pants or skirt in black, panties, socks, nursing pillow (Boppy), pillows, camera and charger, laptop and charger, iPod and charger, snacks, bottled water, coming home outfit and shoes, back-up outfit, socks, onesie sleeper, receiving blanket(s), hand mitts, nail file/clippers, diapers and wipes, car seat.
I packed the laptop to upload pictures, the camera to take the pictures, nipple cream and Boppy pillow for breastfeeding, PJs and a couple sets of clothes, just in my bag. I didn't bring shampoo and conditioner and probably should have as well as body wash and stuff.
Keep It Simple
I took jammies and jeans and a shirt to wear home. Shower things. Makeup. Phone and charger. Camera with new batteries. Clothes for baby. And that's really all I needed. You don't want to over pack.
I will say after having two babies that sometimes less is best. The first time I packed everything I could possibly bring and my husband had to lug it from room to room and it was a pain when we were leaving. They will have wipes and things for baby, so a coming-home outfit and PJ's is all you really need. As far as pads and panties for the first few days you bleed so much I wouldn't want to ruin my own panties and I was never able to find pads that were as wide and absorbent as the ones they provided. Not all hospitals have pacifiers now due to encouraging breastfeeding so if you plan on using one, I'd buy a pack of the soothie kind which is what the hospitals used to use. Other than that, just toiletries, a comfy outfit to go home in and that's about it.
Consider Adding These Extras
I'm bringing some of my own toilet paper -- hospital toilet paper is like sandpaper!
A hair brush! I've forgotten mine twice now in my hospital bag.
My midwife gave me great advice to have not only your normal camera, but a disposable one on hand as well. Just when you are sure yours is fine is when the batteries will die or it will somehow malfunction. I brought my own pillow and some clothes for me and the baby.
Bring cookies or some kind of treat for the nurses and thank you cards for the staff. Have a gift for your new baby's sibling(s). Bring a bag to take home any gifts you receive.