As you all know by this point, I didn’t actually get to pack a bag for the hospital since Four came 5 weeks early. I was pretty unprepared when it happened and was only able to grab a few things before rushing to the hospital. I grabbed my phone, a charger, my ID, a blanket and some towels since I was leaking water like crazy.
But since having Four, I’ve gotten some questions from some of you soon-to-be mamas wanting to know what would have been in my hospital bag if I’d had the chance to pack one. And I thought that would be a fun post to put together! And actually, once I got to the hospital, I was able to recruit a friend to run by my house and grab a few things for me! So I ended up having a few things after all!
First things first, you should know that you really don’t need much at the hospital. They have EVERYTHING there that you actually “need” – and they have plenty of it! But there are a few things that might be nice to bring to make the hospital feel a little more comforting. With that in mind, let’s get into what my ideal hospital bag would look like!
Hospital Bag Packing List
When packing for the hospital, just think of it like you’re packing to go on a little trip for a few nights. Mentally go through what you’d want to have while away from home. This would include basic things like your wallet (and insurance information), a change of clothes, and any beauty stuff you like to have to freshen up! Don’t overthink it!
Packing list For MaMa
I feel like a lot of these items are pretty self-explanatory, BUT I will list them out because I know how helpful it can be for someone to just walk you through all the things. I know I wanted this when I was in your shoes!
- Shampoo, conditioner & body soap – This is not necessary but if you have a strong preference then bring your own! I just used what they had in the hospital shower.
- Brush, blow dryer, hair stuff/tools – Some hospitals might have a blow dryer and brush, but I’d bring your own if you can. The day after you have your baby, you might want to freshen up and it’ll be nice to use your own things. I had my friend bring me my Revlon brush/dryer and it was glorious to have in the hospital room – I blew my hair dry while laying in bed LOL.
- Hair ties or clips – In case you want to put your hair up! I wanted mine out of my face the whole time!
- Lotion – Totally not necessary, but again, up to you!
- Glasses, contacts, contact solution – I can’t see without my glasses, so I was sure to grab those before running out of the house!
- Skincare routine, toothbrush, toothpaste – just the basics, but worth noting!
- Makeup wipes – Honestly, you might be too tired to even do the whole skincare thing and these might come in handy! I didn’t use any skincare products while in the hospital.
- Makeup – You might want to put a little on a day or so after you have your baby for taking any photos but totally up to you! I personally didn’t feel like putting makeup on, but I did put a little tinted primer and concealer on to look more alive.
Clothes & Stuff
You probably won’t know how long you’ll be in the hospital until you know what kind of birth you’ll have, but I’d say packing for 2-3 nights is a safe bet. Again, you really don’t need much but let’s walk through each thing you might need and why, so you can feel confident and prepared!
- Pajamas – I had my friend bring 2 sets of pajamas for me so I could feel more like myself (the hospital gown is fine and all but it’s not the softest or the cutest LOL). Keep in mind that you might want something with easy snaps/buttons so you can breastfeed or pump (if that’s what you’re wanting to do). And it also might be nice to have a darker color (love this nightgown from Target!) in case any milk or spit-up spills on it! Just a few things to consider.
- Robe – I had a friend bring me one, but I didn’t wear it much! I mostly just wore it after I took a shower and before I put some more pajamas back on LOL.
- Slippers or fuzzy socks – You’ll just probably want something to slip on to use the restroom or if you venture outside your room for ice chips or something.
- Going home outfit & shoes – Literally, nobody will see you in your going home outfit unless you plan to take a photo in it, so don’t stress about it. But you need to know that you will most likely still look and feel 6 months pregnant. I had NO IDEA that I would still feel and look like that, so I didn’t even wear the outfit I had brought to wear home because it looked terrible on me. I ended up wearing a maternity sweater dress with sleeves (my whole body looked and felt swollen, including my arms. I wanted to cover up. Plus, it was February and cold).
- Underwear – The hospital has some mesh underwear for you, but I was really glad I had my friend bring me some postpartum underwear that were high-waisted. I found them to be much more comfortable and secure (AKA like they felt high on my body and held the giant pad up better). I was crazy and got size small, medium and large (ha!) because I didn’t know
- Nursing Bras – I just got a pack from amazon and they were great. If you really want to be prepared and don’t mind splurging, get yourself this three-in-one bra. It’s AMAZING. It has three different functions – nursing bra, regular bra, AND hands-free pumping bra.
- Hands-free pumping bra – This of course depends on your plans or what ends up working for you. I know some moms don’t want to pump, but I had no idea what was going on and started pumping in the hospital because the nurse told me to. I would have killed for a hands-free pumping bra to hold the pump parts in place (rather than using both hands to do so). I was pumping every 3 hours while in the hospital and getting up in the middle of the night too. If you don’t get the bra I recommended above, then this hands-free pumping bra is great too. The difference is that you’ll have to take off your regular bra to put this one on each time (still better than holding the things in my opinion!).
- Boppy Nursing Pillow (and a pillow cover for it) – Everything is a bit difficult and awkward at first and it helps to have some kind of support to hold the baby in position. Plus, if you do end up getting this pillow, there are so many different ways to use a boppy!
- Nipple cream – The hospital had some for me, but you might want to bring your own just in case? I didn’t end up using it much in the hospital; it wasn’t until I got home that I started really using it. But that’s just me!
- Phone charger with a long cord.
- Anker portable chargers – I rely on these all the time and bring them with me almost every time I leave the house. They’re the absolute best!
- Snacks – Bring your favorites because the vending machines are spotty at best. My two favorite snacks I remember were sour patch kids, fruit, and this trail mix from Target that I will forever be obsessed with.
- Night light – Not necessary but I used this when I needed to pump in the middle of the night. It was nice to have something softer so I didn’t have to turn the harsh hospital lights on.
- Pillow – You certainly don’t need a pillow, but the hospital pillows aren’t particularly comfortable. Bring one if you can! I realize all the pillows might feel like a crap ton of stuff (with the poppy pillow and blanket), but if you can swing it, bring it!
- Blanket – Another thing you don’t need but I was personally SO GLAD to have. I didn’t like the hospital blankets or the sheets, so I was glad to have my favorite blanket with me.
- Heating Pad – I was SO glad I had this (my friend brought it). My back hurt and I had some cramps, plus I just found it really comforting to have the warmth. I highly recommend bringing one!
As far as postpartum things like pads and peri bottle, I really feel like that’s unnecessary for the hospital. They truly do have everything you need. For when you get home, I really liked the Frida mom ice packs, Tucks pads, Frida mom peri bottle, and some big pads. A lot of people say they like diapers/depends – I did NOT. I preferred wearing a pad and tight underwear – I felt more secure that way.
Also, I had someone bring my pump to the hospital but I didn’t even need it. The hospital had one there for me to use while in the postpartum room that I actually ended up renting from them (the Medela Symphony). But I know some people bring their pump to the hospital, so I wanted to mention it just in case you wanted to bring yours! My guess is you’d be fine if you didn’t bring it!
Packing list For Baby
I didn’t pack anything for Four, but I had my friend bring me a going-home outfit. But one thing I didn’t think about was that the going home outfit needs to have legs so that your baby can go into the car seat! I had a gown for him and that wasn’t ideal! The hospital had plenty of receiving blankets/swaddles, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and anything else the baby might need. In my experience, the only thing you really need to bring is a car seat and an outfit for her/him to wear home.
- Infant car seat for taking baby home.
- 1-2 going home outfits – Make sure it’s an outfit with legs so baby can fit in a car seat. I brought a gown for him and while it was fine, I think something with legs would have been more practical. If you have room, maybe pack a few different sizes? The outfit for Four was HUGE on him.
- Socks for keeping baby’s feet warm.
- Hat – The hospital has these so you don’t really need one unless you’re wanting a personalized one.
Packing list For Dad
Make sure Dad packs a bag too as he’ll probably be staying a few nights with you! He just needs his usual toiletries, some clean clothes and underwear, and then a going-home outfit. Plus, the usual things like wallet, phone charger, etc. Duncan mostly wore sweatpants and comfy clothes while we were at the hospital and then he had a collared shirt and pants for going home. Throw in some pajamas and slippers!
- Lounge clothes for wearing around the hospital
- Underwear and pajamas
- Slippers if he wants some cozy shoes for wearing around the room
- Going home outfit and shoes
- Phone charger, wallet
- Headphones – not necessary but might be nice for him to have
- Blanket – The couch/bed they put your husband on isn’t great and it might be nice for him to have his own blanket if you can swing bringing one! He also might want a pillow? But this might be too much to carry LOL. I just know Duncan didn’t sleep well with the setup he had (couch, scratchy sheets and a crappy pillow).
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