A Look Inside My Hospital Bag
I started writing this blog before Leo arrived—he's almost one year old now!—and never got around to sharing it. With so many of my mama readers with a baby on the way, I thought it'd be a great time to share what I packed in my hospital bag—along with some "wish I had my..." suggestions from after the experience, too.
Most importantly, don't over pack! Just take the necessities and things that'll make the experience more comfortable and memorable.
GIVEAWAY ALERT: There's a sweet giveaway for new + expectant mamas at the end of this blog post. I know you're going to love it!
13 Things to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
1. A Pillow
Having your favorite pillow with you can help make you feel more at home during your hospital stay. This is one of those things that you see on someone's list, and you think, "Am I really going to cart a pillow to the hospital?"
Your labor may take a LONG time (twenty-four hours in my case!), and you're going to want as much rest as you can possibly gather, and having your pillow from home is just one more way to make yourself comfortable enough to "relax". If possible, use a pillow case that ISN'T white, so that you can easily identify yours against all of the white hospital pillows. Some like to take their body pillows along, those that are super helpful to snuggle with during pregnancy.
You may want to bring your nursing pillow, too (my favorite, hands down, was the My Brest Friend for its handy snack pocket and ability to help lighten the load of a sleepy, nursing newborn).
You'll want to bring some support leggings or sweatpants, a loose tank top, and a comfortable robe. Don’t forget a nursing bra or tank if you plan on breastfeeding. (And don't bring any of your absolute favorites, either, they may get soiled during labor and postpartum.) A pair of flip flops is a great addition, too, since your feet will likely be swollen after delivery.
It’s basically your favorite comfy house slippers or the socks you’ll get at the hospital. I bought a pair of fluffy slippers from Urban Outfitters that were perfect! Ugg makes great options too, like these which I love!
You might not want what’s on the menu at the hospital, especially if you end up having an extended stay. It's a good idea to have your favorite snacks and comfort foods on hand. Don't forget dad's favorites, too! (My favorites? CLIF bars and KIND bars.)
5. A Candle
Hospital lighting isn’t the best, especially to baby’s fresh, newborn eyes. Keep lighting dim and light a favorite candle, maybe one with a light, pleasant scent. You may want to check with the hospital first on this one, since some might have rules against it.
You’re typically not allowed to eat or drink during labor and your lips can really dehydrate because of it. If you're like me, you can't live without your chapstick! Have your favorite on you at the hospital. My go to at the moment is Beauty by Earth.
7. Personal Care Items
You may be in the hospital for 2-4 days (or more), so you'll want to bring a few things to make you feel a little more fresh + clean than you probably feel.
- hair and body washes
- dry shampoo
- facial cleanser
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- hair ties and clips
8. Onesies and Swaddling Blankets
If you don’t want to use the onesies the hospital will provide, make sure to bring your own. Depending on the time of year, you may not even put baby in a onesie until the day you leave. With a summer baby, it's entirely possible to swaddle up in a lightweight organic blanket like these from Aden and Anais.
9. Diapers and Wipes
The hospital will likely outfit you with diapers and wipes while you're there, but if you want to use a specific brand or type of product right from the start, you should bring them with you.
Many families opt to cloth diaper their babies these days, but we decided to use Bambo Nature’s disposable diapers. We love that they’re free of harmful chemicals and allergens, like latex. They’re super leak proof and absorbent, easily lasting all night, and we've never had to worry about rashes.
For wipes, we use WaterWipes. They're made using purified water with a drop of grapefruit seed extract. They’re safe for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic, and suitable for use on newborns. There is nothing that comes closer to water on a towelette than these wipes.
10. Going Home Outfits for You & Baby
You may want to have a cute and memorable outfit for photos of your baby leaving the hospital and arriving at his or her new home... but don't forget about yourself, either! Leo's outfit was from Paige Lauren LA.
Choose items that are loose fitting and comfortable (you'll be around 5-6 months "pregnant" after labor & delivery). Choose an outfit that will make you feel good, your body will have gone through a lot, it’s not the occasion for your favorite skinny jeans.
11. A Gift for Your Newborn Baby
If you’re on your second baby, like I was, you might want to bring a gift from big brother or sister for baby. Let the older sibling choose the present so he or she feels included. A personalized lovie or blankie are sweet, sentimental options, and big brother or big sister will feel proud to see baby loving on the gift they chose.
We also had a gift ready for big brother Ryan from his new baby brother - a garbage truck Ryan would not sleep without on his first night at home while his baby brother was still at the hospital with mama. It was the sweetest thing!
12. A Carseat
You definitely don't want to forget to bring a carseat to the hospital! Our favorite car seat is the MESA Infant Car Seat. Our boys love taking a snooze in the comfy chair, and it's so easy to pop them from the car to the store with the Vista stroller. There's also a handy attachment that allowed us to adapt the stroller to fit baby Leo and big brother Ryan at the same time.
13. Your Good Camera
We invested in a new "good" camera just before our first was born. We had a decent digital camera, but parenthood made us want something a little more fancy to capture all of the beautiful moments to come! We did quite a bit of research and chose the Nikon D5500 & we've gotten so many compliments on the quality of our family prints ever since.
Was this hospital packing list helpful?
I'd love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments... and my seasoned mamas, do you have anything you'd add to my list from your experience?
It's time for a new mama giveaway!
If you're an expecting or brand new mama, this one is for you! I'm partnering with @thegivingcrate to give one Happy Mama with this beautifully curated new mom gift box valued at $108! Details on how to win are below the photo.
To enter to win this beautiful gift crate:
1.) Click here to join the Happy Mama newsletter. (You'll also get a copy of my free birth plan template to help you, your husband, and your midwife or doctor get on the same page for the big day.)
2.) Leave a comment on this blog post and tell us why you're in need of some pampering.
One winner will be randomly chosen from those who do both #1 and #2 above. Our happy mama winner will be announced on Instagram one week from today on January 18th.