OK, truth be told, deciding what went into my hospital bag was almost as hard for me as deciding what went into Parker’s nursery. This was my first overnight hospital stay and my first delivery, so anticipating what I needed was rough.
The good thing is you don’t need much - just the right things (yes, unfortunately that means giant maxi pads!).
When the time comes, packing your bag will seriously be the last thing you think of so get ahead of it. I recommend getting your bag packed and ready to go by 36-37 weeks just in case you get any surprises.
- Pillow & Blanket: the hospital will have everything you need, but I found comfort in having my own pillow and throw blanket with me. There’s nothing like having a little piece of home with you when you’re in a foreign environment. Just make sure to leave the white pillowcase at home, so you don’t confuse it with the hospitals.
- Toiletries: tooth brush/paste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, make up, brush, lanolin or nipple cream (if nursing), overnight maxi pads (the biggest kind - you will need them) and a hair dryer / curling iron (optional). I had a slow delivery and combined that with the two days I spent in the hospital after, I just needed to feel normal again. When I finally got a chance to blow dry and curl my hair, I felt like a brand new woman :)
- Robe: Leading up to your delivery, you’ll be spending most of your time in a lovely hospital gown. A robe or nice big cardigan will come in handy when you want to walk around without feeling exposed.
- Cozy Socks: find a soft pair with a grip on the bottom, so you can walk around without putting shoes on.
- Pajamas: you’ll mainly be wearing PJs once your baby is born. Bring 2 sets of extremely comfortable PJs. You’ll be spending a lot of time in bed and in your hospital room, so don’t worry about impressing a huge crowd. Just keep in mind a few things 1) you’ll be nursing around the clock and doctors will still be doing check ups post baby. Nursing tanks/shirts and loose pants are super handy. Personally, I mainly lived in a funky pair of PJ pants and put on stretchy black leggings when I wanted to feel “dressed up.”
- Maternity Bra & Granny Panties: they are not the most attractive thing in the world, but pack a few pairs of oversized, full bottom undies. The hospital will give you mesh throw away undies, but it’s nice to have a pair of your own.
- Slippers / Flip Flops: whichever you choose is totally up to you. Flip flops come in handy in the shower, just FYI.
- Snacks: the hospital will typically stock their kitchen with juices, popsicles and soup for you, but pack your favorite snack or juices. I brought gatorade with me :)
- Going Home Outfit: something comfortable. I wore leggings, a tank and a cute cardigan.
- The Essentials: Our hospital supplied us with diapers, wipes, bathing supplies and a baby hair brush during our stay.
- Receiving Blanket: the hospital has everything you need, but it was nice to wrap Parker as newborn in a blanket I brought from home.
- Going Home Outfit: OK, I searched for months for the right outfit and it turned out to be a little unnecessary. Bring a long sleeve, footie onsie (weather dependant), a hat, and scratch mittens.
- Car Seat: installed and ready to go
- Thank you cards or small gift for the doctors and nursing staff
- Phone chargers
- Your Camera
- A Journal
- Photo ID
- Your insurance card
- Your birth plan
- Disability leave paperwork that needs to be signed by hospital staff
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