Still playing catch up but I wanted to make sure I did this post! This summer, I asked you guys for advice on what to pack in my hospital bag and what to skip. Everyone had SUCH great advice and I thought I’d share my own advice on what worked for me.
First, let me say that having your hospital bag ready to go is imperative. My water broke unexpectedly in my sleep and I’m so glad both Mike and I had our things ready to go!! I was in a bit of shock when it happened, but it was a breeze to just throw everything into the car and zip away.
Also, I would say if you’re not sure if you’re going to need something or not, pack it. As long as you and your partner can carry your things, there’s no harm in having a few extra things even if you never touch them. It’s one less thing to worry about and who cares if it looks like you overpacked. I can say with certainty that how high maintenance I looked was the last thing on my mind when I was in labor 😉
WHAT I PACKED vs. WHAT I USED IN MY HOSPITAL BAG:
– Toiletries (travel sized shampoo/conditioner/lotion/face & body wash, deodorant, hair brush, hair ties, chapstick, a little makeup, toothbrush/toothpaste, etc.)
Pack the good stuff. Originally I purchased travel sized items, but at the last minute I threw in my favorite products and it was worth the extra space/weight. That first shower after giving birth was tough for me and it was so nice to at least have some “luxury” products to make me feel better.
– Nursing bras, nipple cream, nursing pads, and a few recovery products
I wore one nursing bra going home, but my milk hadn’t come in yet so I didn’t need anything the extra pads. I still haven’t touched the nipple cream– instead I would have packed these nursing cups, which I ordered from my phone the day after Jack was born to help protect my nipples. I also didn’t use any of the recovery products (shared more about why I hated most things in this post). I wish I had brought my own pads though– I hated the ones from the hospital.
– One pair of loose pajamas, a comfortable dress to go home in, flip flops, socks, underwear, and a robe
Didn’t need the robe (felt so gross I just stayed in the hospital gown and then switched to the loose pajamas) or the socks (I was boiling hot from hormones). I was so glad I brought the loose, dark pajamas because it made me feel a bit more normal/presentable after the first day. My sandals were also necessary because my feet were so swollen nothing else would have worked!
– Two outfits for baby (in different sizes)
I dressed Jack in the little shirt the hospital provided for the most part, but I’m glad I packed the outfit for photos and bringing him home. I embroidered two onesies– a newborn size and a 0-3 month size just in case. Again, so glad I did. Super simple, nothing over the top and it looked so sweet with the hospital-issued blanket and cap.
– Long iPhone charger, book, Airpods
Accidentally left behind my book and didn’t use my Airpods at all. In fact, I was pretty distracted the whole time. I downloaded a book on my Kindle app and couldn’t get past a few pages in. The charger was definitely necessary though– and now I wonder how I lived without a long charger to begin with. Game changer.
– Hospital “packet,” license, insurance, etc.
Definitely worth having these forms filled out ahead of time. I was so uncomfortable and it was the middle of the night, so it was great just to hand it over and not think twice.
– Reusable water bottle, cough drops (my friend said they helped her a lot leading up to the delivery!), snacks
Didn’t need any of this. I couldn’t eat! They gave me a water bottle! Since I tested negative for COVID, Mike was allowed to go get food and snacks throughout the day(s) so we didn’t need to have packed anything.
– Camera, charger, and memory card
SO GLAD I PACKED THIS! I didn’t need the charger, but having a real camera was the best. I’ll cherish those photos forever.
– Towel, pillow
Very glad I brought these. I almost didn’t, but so many of you recommended it so I did.
WHAT I WISH I BROUGHT:
– Another towel and another pillow!!!! I actually didn’t mind the hospital pillows as I usually don’t sleep with pillows anyway, but I did use it for nursing. And it would have been easier had we had one for each of us. Same for the towel. I brought an old towel (don’t bring anything nice/light) and it would have been helpful to have had another one. The hospital ones weren’t great.
– A mini “go” bag to keep next to the hospital bed. I wish I had packed a little bag with small necessities to keep next to me in the hospital bag. Once I was in the bed, I wasn’t moving at all because of the amniotic fluid situation and then I got an epidural. I hated having to ask Mike to fetch things from my tote which I couldn’t reach on my own. I actually had the Longchamp bag with me, but it didn’t dawn on me until I got home how dumb it was to keep it in the tote and not just leave it next to me. I’d put Chapstick, breath mints, ponytail holders, etc. in it. Anything you think you might need for small comfort.
DRUM ROLL… THE BEST THING I BROUGHT
Hands. Down. The best thing I brought with me was an eye mask. THANK YOU to everyone who suggested I pack one. Mike and I both brought ours and it was such a blessing. I didn’t sleep the first night in the hospital at all, but I ended up getting a solid five hours of sleep the night I was in labor after the epidural and I credit the eye mask for it. In fact, when a nurse woke me up at 3am to check how dilated I was, I didn’t even realize the lights had been on because the eye mask did such a good job at blocking out the light. I brought this exact eye mask and oh my word it is glorious. It’s now my best friend basically. It was comfortable, blocked out ALL the light, and actually helped me reduce stress I think too. It’s a little expensive, but worth every penny.