What you really need to pack in your hospital bag
Whether you’re a planner or a procrastinator, at some point in your pregnancy (hopefully before labor starts), you will pack a hospital bag! If you haven’t figured it out already, you have very little control over when your little one will arrive, so we recommend being a bit cautious and getting your bag(s) organized by 36 weeks.
If it’s your first baby, odds are you’ll want to pack anything and everything “just in case”. Super normal. But trust me – you won’t need half of it! We recently asked over 50 new (and not so new) moms to tell us their must have items for the hospital (and what they wish they would’ve left at home). Here are their answers:
The Essentials (don’t forget these!)
- Comfy clothes – Yoga pants or leggings, housecoat, warm socks and/or slippers.
- Nursing tank and/or bra - A must if you are hoping to breastfeed your baby!
- Pads – Bring your own (those provided by the hospital are ridiculously massive!). Some moms recommend Depends to avoid having to worry about underwear.
- Oversized underwear – You’ll need some extra room in your underwear to accommodate the larger pads. One mama suggested wearing men’s briefs (for room and overall comfort).
- Nursing pads – Disposable pads are probably best for the hospital but it’s worth investing in washable pads once you’re home and have access to a washing machine!
- Nipple cream – Oh, they’ll be sore and you’ll be happy to have this packed!
- Snacks, Gatorade and a reusable water bottle – You’re going to be hungry and thirsty!
- Supplies for that amazing post-birth shower – This will be your first step towards feeling human again so pack whatever you need for a good shower (and don’t forget flip-flops).
- Lip balm and hand cream – Hospital air is always SO dry.
- A few items for baby - Onesies, a hat, a going home outfit, a baby blanket and/or swaddle blanket.
- Your toiletries/makeup - Sometimes a little freshening up makes all the difference.
- Cell phone - Especially for pictures and music.
The nice to haves
- Nursing pillow – Moms were divided on this one. It might be useful but it can take up a lot of space. The hospital should have plenty of pillows on hand if you need them.
- Baby wrap (or skin-to-skin top) – A wrap can give dad the opportunity to wear baby while mama gets some much needed rest between feeds.
- Heating Pad – Can be used during labor and post-delivery (for back pain relief). A microwavable heating pad is best, as some hospitals don’t allow electric ones.
- A roll of soft toilet paper – Just might help make trips to the bathroom a little less excruciating!
- Pumping bra – If you’re pumping every 3 hours, being hands free is a godsend.
- A bag full of baby clothes – Newborns typically stay swaddled in their diaper until it’s time to head home.
- Breast pump – The hospital will lend you one.
- Hair straightener – Ain’t nobody got time for that.
- That book you didn't have time to finish – HAHA. Just no!
There are probably a few more items you'll want to bring along, but less is more! Plus, if there's something you forgot, you can always have a family member/friend bring them to the hospital once baby arrives.
Is there something else you would add? Let me know in the comments!
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