I have a handful of friends who have recently asked what I packed in my hospital bag when I was having the girls, so I thought I would write a post so it’s all in one place. Obviously this list is a little different for everyone depending on what you like, but here is what worked for me!
- Pillows from home in bright colored pillow cases so they stand out from the hospital ones. The hospital pillows are not that comfortable so you’ll be glad to have something comforting from home.
- If you plan to nurse, having your own nursing pillow with you will give you some good practice with it while you’ve got lots of extra hands to help you.
- Toiletries seem obvious, although the hospital will provide basic soap/shampoo for you. I actually bought a bunch of new make up the second time around and splurged on the nicer travel size shampoo, etc. so I felt like I was treating myself a little. That first shower after you’ve had the baby feels so nice, you won’t want to use the generic bar soap at the hospital.
- Nursing tanks & yoga pants can work for your coming home outfit or an outfit to wear when you have visitors at the hospital. I like these tanks from Target - http://www.target.com/p/gilligan-o-malley-women-s-cotton-nursing-cami-assorted-colors-patterns/-/A-13793418 – keep in mind that you’ll still look like you’re 5-6 months pregnant, so size up on them.
- A nice, colorful bathrobe can be a great piece to throw on over your hospital gown when you’re walking the walls in labor or for warmth in the hospital room with easy nursing access.
- Button down PJs were another favorite of mine to wear as an outfit while you’re in the hospital. Buy some that have a pattern or some color to them so you feel a little more like you’re getting dressed. It can do wonders for your energy level!
- Cozy slippers with a rubber sole. You won’t want to put shoes on everytime you get out of the hospital bed, but you probably won’t want to walk around on the hospital floor barefoot or just in socks either. These are the perfect compromise between the two.
- Electronics: iPhones, iPads, laptops (for loading pictures if you want) and all of their chargers/batteries!
- Camera & battery pack or charger (this could also include a video camera if you wanted). Don’t forget those extra batteries and/or memory cards! You don’t want to miss out on getting a picture when your little one is just minutes old because you forgot to charge your camera!
- Pacifier: If you plan to use one, most hospitals these days (at least the ones around me) don’t give them out anymore because of the big push to help with breastfeeding. Both of my girls have used paci’s since day 1 and both have been champion nursers, so don’t be afraid to use one if you want to.
- Coming home outfit for baby: Some people will say not to do a gown (it can be a little tricky with a car seat strap, but in my opinion, they are so tiny and their little legs scrunch up so much anyway that it’s tricky regardless of what they’re wearing.)
- Baby Book: You don’t need to bring the entire baby book, but we brought ours so we could get the girls’ footprints and handprints done by the nurses in the nursery. You could just bring those pages if you wanted to save some room. Both of the girls’ baby books are from Way Cool Designs and I love them!
- Last, but not least, the infant car seat! Both of my girls are winter babies, so I brought thick cozy blankets to cover them up with once they were in their seats. (It’s not recommended to add any of those snug blanket insert things into a car seat unless it came with one.)
A couple of other items that weren’t on the list that you might want to consider:
- a bag of clothing, toiletries and bedding for your husband if he’ll be staying the night at the hospital with you
- An extra bag (could be baby’s diaper bag) for all the things the hospital will give you. (TIP: every time that cart is in your room with your baby, stock up on diapers and wipes! They will re-fill it every time it goes back to the nursery so you can get a good stash of diapers before you even leave the hospital.)
- Snacks if you don’t want to eat from the food court or hospital restaurant
Hopefully I’m not leaving off anything major – and hopefully this is helpful for anyone preparing to pack their own bag!