I know that there are thousands of posts with the exact same title floating around the World Wide Web these days, but if you’re anything like me, you still enjoy reading them. I love seeing others’ approach to packing their hospital bag and the things that they personally find beneficial. A little secret, no two “what’s in my hospital bag” posts that I’ve ever read had all the same things. We women like our creature comforts, but that doesn’t mean we all need or want the same things to help us along in those first couple of days postpartum.
Since this is my third rodeo, I have learned a thing or two from packing for my two previous postpartum stays. My first packing attempt for Copeland was laughable. Y’all, I had a HUGE rolling suitcase packed FULL of things that I didn’t need or use, a full backpack, and a diaper bag with all the things, including a Sophie teether (because a newborn totally needs a teether, right?!) I got smarter with Atlee and only packed the necessities, but have learned of a few things that I prefer having with me for this final time.
Pajamas: I mentioned these pajamas in our Holiday Gift Guide. I LOVE these pajamas. They’re so incredibly soft and this is the third pair I’ve bought because I love them so much. I chose black to bring along with me to the hospital for obvious reasons.
Robe: I like to have a robe once I am transferred from the delivery room to the mother/baby suite. It’s usually several hours before you’re allowed to shower, but I HATE staying in the hospital issued gown, so I like to have a robe to throw on until I get the all clear to shower. I am bringing along this one from Target (in black).
Slippers: I don’t want to walk around barefoot on hospital floors and these are great to have for the cold hospital room. I got these from Target and they’re super comfortable, and since they’re cheaper than other brands of moccasin type slippers, I won’t care if they get destroyed.
Toiletries/Make-Up: Bring the things you love, but don’t go overboard. You’re not going to take a bubble bath or have the energy to primp like you’re headed to a black-tie event (hey, if you do though…you do you, girl!). Things that I like to have are dry shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, basic skincare needs (cleanser and moisturizer), lip balm, hair ties, and a brush. As far as makeup goes, I keep it simple here too; not trying to impress. I just delivered a baby, that’s impressive enough. I also try to fit it all in a single bag. I have this one from Pottery Barn (the same one I linked to in our Gift Guide) and it keeps my things nice and organized.
Lady Products: Your hospital will provide you with everything you need, but there are a few things that I prefer to what the hospital offers. This New Mama Bottom Spray is so much better than the stuff they give for healing/numbing your lady parts (in my personal experience) and all of the ingredients are safe and natural. I also love to bring along a few of these cooling pads, you just shake them and snap them to activate the cooling effect, and they’re absorbent (the icepacks the nurses bring are great, but they can be a bit bulky and hard to keep in place, so I like the cooling pads for during the day when I have visitors). The final thing is Tucks pads; the witch hazel in them helps so much with healing, but many hospitals don’t offer them so packing a container is a smart move.
Nursing Bra/Tank: You will want support, but you’re also going to want that support to be comfortable. I am bringing along my favorite nursing bra and my favorite nursing cami (thanks, Hannah for telling me about this cami! It’s amazing and insanely soft!)
Going Home Clothes: Ladies, keep it comfy and be realistic. Think leggings (I am packing these postpartum support leggings…psst..all of their leggings are currently 50% off for Black Friday), a loose t-shirt (I love these and these), and a cozy cardigan (this one and this one are currently in my bag). If you deliver during the spring or summer, a flowy maxi dress is a great option. Nothing fancy, just comfy. If you WANT to wear your pre-pregnancy jeans or heels home, I am 100% of the “you do you” mentality; whatever you feel best in.
Chargers For Phone, Camera, Computer, Etc.
Things That Definitely Aren’t Necessary, but I Like Having Anyway: A pillow from home. Umm, have you ever used a pillow from a hospital? You may as well be laying on a sheet of paper they’re so thin. A towel from home; the ones from the hospital are just smaller than I like, so I usually grab one of our older towels from home (in case I accidentally leave it, I won’t care). A sound machine; this makes me sound super high maintenance, but I am an extremely light sleeper and I like having one at night to drown out any sounds from outside my room.
Your hospital should provide you with everything your baby will need, but it’s totally fine to bring along some of your own things for your new addition.
Outfits: The hospital issues a basic kimono shirt or white onesie, but it’s fun to have a couple of outfit choices for the babe, including a going home outfit. My only piece of advice is to keep any outfits that the baby wears during the hospital stay as simple as possible. You don’t want to be dealing with lots of layers and frills and neither do the nurses. Onesies and footed sleepers are great options.
Hats/Bows/Headbands: Not necessary since the hospital provides a hat for your little one, but bring a few of these along if you want to switch things up a little.
For Dad (in his own bag that he’s responsible for getting together ;))
Pillow, blanket, extra t-shirt, toothbrush, and snacks. This seems super minimal and basic, but after Justin stayed around the clock when Copeland was born, I learned that he was more help to me when he was able to leave for a bit and come back refreshed. We live less than twenty minutes from our hospital so, during our stay after Atlee was born, I sent him home to shower, nap, and get food. Even though it was only for a few hours both days, it was a nice reset for him and he was able to help me more at night when I was exhausted. I plan to do the same thing when baby girl is born, that way, he can get a little time to himself and not go stir crazy in the hospital room. **This is what works best for us and may not be the best scenario for everyone. Talk about it with your significant other and decide what is best for y’all during your hospital stay.
Hopefully at least one of y’all found this useful. Not everyone likes the same things, but I have always found it helpful to see what other women have packed and then build my own list from that. After baby girl is born, I will be sure to share my postpartum must-haves, but until then, check out Hannah’s must-haves for after baby.
Hope everyone has a great week and a very happy Thanksgiving!