If you’re pregnant, you’ll probably do what I did and read around 100 posts talking about what to put inside your hospital bag. There are so many opinions out there on what you should bring, but before I start, you should understand everyone’s bag SHOULD be a little different. I was induced when I had Roman and from my understanding, I was only going to be in the hospital for 3 days. Well, I was wrong and ended up being there 5 and I ultimately was not packed properly for that. Let me also go ahead and say the posts on Pinterest that you see reading “The Ultimate Hospital Bag” with almost 75 items listed are unrealistic! You’re not moving in!
Here is a list of items I think are essential when it comes to your hospital stay:
–A Gownie: One of my good friends is a nurse and she made the comment “you don’t want to know what happens in those hospital gowns or how they’re washed!” and from then on I was sold that I needed my own. I got so many compliments from the hospital staff and they’re great for skin to skin and breastfeeding. I lived in mine for the first 5 days.
–Comfy PJs: A lot of posts suggest a robe but I never found one I was in love with. I opted for a great pare of nursing pajamas. I also made sure to have loose fitting sweat pants and sweat shirt. Make those sweat pants your “going home” outfit. No one expects you to look like Kate Middleton when you leave that hospital! Be comfortable!
–Nursing Tank: I skipped the nursing bras and opted for nursing tank tops. It was just easier than having extra tops.
–Slippers & Flip flops: These are the only shoes I brought. Roman was in the NICU, so comfy slippers to walk down there every few hours were a must! Flip flops for the shower!
–Your Own Pillow: If you’re like me and you’re a pillow snob, you’ll want to bring your own. It made me so much more comfortable.
–Large (Dark Colored) Underwear: The most granniest of panties you can find! After delivery, you’re going to be wearing huge ice packs and pads. You’ll want the most comfortable underwear you can find! I say dark colored because well… you just popped out a little babe…A N D clots happen. Let’s not stain anything!
–Towel: This may be an unnecessary item to some, but for me, this was a must! My first full day in my recovery room, I wanted to shower. The towels were so worn and gross, I ended up having my mom bring me one from home.
–Hands Free Pumping Bra (If you’re breastfeeding): Since Roman was in the NICU, I didn’t always get to nurse him with all the cords he had. Sometimes I had to pump in my room and give my milk to a NICU nurse. It was nice to have a hands-free bra so I could do other things while pumping.
–Dry Shampoo: You might not have the time or energy to shower and no one wants to look like a greaseball!
–Makeup: I think there is a huge debate on whether or not women should bring makeup with them to the hospital. Well I did, and I don’t feel bad about it! Now I didn’t bring a huge bag of makeup. I kept it simple with tinted moisturizer, eyebrow pencil, and waterproof mascara. This way I didn’t feel like I looked like a complete zombie!
–Facial Water Spray: If you forget your entire hospital bag, at least make sure you have this! I was roaming Sephora before I delivered and picked up a two pack of these and now I’m obsessed. While in labor, I was getting so hot! In between contracts and pushing, I had Brent switch off between spraying my face with this water spray and feeding me ice chips. You can do a mini fan, but the cool water just felt so much more refreshing.
–Fridababy Fridet: The hospital gives you a peri bottle but I loved having this one. The tilted nozzle makes it easy to use and it holds so much more water.
–Postpartum Cooling Spray: I feel like EVERYONE suggests Dermoplast to help with recovery. Well, I bought it, and hated it. I only had 2 stitches, but man, it stung so bad! (and by the way don’t buy it ahead of time because the hospital gives you some). I also brought with me Earth Mama Perineal Spray and that’s all I used. It’s so soothing and helped me recover so fast!
To go along with this: Tucks Pads
–Booty Wipes: Just do it, you’ll thank me later.
–Toiletries: Deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, brush, hair ties/clips, etc.
–Pillow/Blanket: Brent brought a huge fleece blanket and pillow to sleep with at night. Although, I didn’t want it to look like we were moving in, so the first night I made him leave it in the car until bedtime.
–Laptop or iPad: Things can get pretty boring at the hospital for dad, so Brent would use my laptop to watch Netflix.
–Clothes: Again, everyone’s length of stay is different, but: joggers, vneck tshirts, and a zip-up for dad are perfect. I’ve seen some women have their partners all dressed up in their delivery photos… let your babe’s dad be comfy!
–Toiletries: Deodorant, Toothbrush, Razor
–Snacks: You’re probably not allowed to eat until after you deliver, but he can! Hospital snacks are limited, so we brought our own.
–Carseat & Base: I feel like this is a no brainer. A nurse will check before you’re allowed to leave that you have one installed.
–1 to 2 Onesies: The NICU preferred we dressed Roman in buttoned footies or a gown to help with the cords. I’ve linked the two I used and love. If you don’t have a NICU baby, still only bring 1 onesies, then a hat and swaddle if you want. Don’t go overboard on clothes, they’re really not necessary.
–Nail clipper/file: Since Roman was a week past his due date, his nails were so long! I had no idea the hospital wouldn’t cut his nails for me. Apparently, they don’t want to risk cutting his skin? Whatever the reason, I made my mom bring Roman’s clippers from home and some mittens just in case.
What you Do Not need
–Pacifiers: The hospital pacifiers are hands down the best. It’s weird. They’re the same Soothie pacifiers you can buy in the store but for some reason theirs feel so much softer. Roman preferred the hospital’s over the store kind. Brent and I were bad and would take Roman’s pacifier away in the NICU so then, the nurse would give him a new one, and we would get to go home with extra. Shhh….
–Baby’s Diaper Bag: You could bring it, I did, but it isn’t necessary. It was just another bag to carry and your little babe’s stuff should easily fit in your bag.
–Boppy: Check with your hospital during your tour if they provide them. Mine had them so I didn’t bother bring one. I honestly only ended up using it to sit on.
–Breastpump: I brought mine and ended up just using the hospitals. Plus, they give me sanitized pump parts to use so I didn’t have to worry about using my own. Check with your hospital about what they provide first.
–Pads: This is a personal preference but I was ok with the ones the hospital gave me.
–Diapers and Wipes: Save your own! This is one thing every hospital provides AND they’ll send you home with extras!
Ultimately there are no wrong choices when if comes to packing your hospital bag. Most hospitals are going to have everything you need in terms of recovery and baby. I would highly suggest a hospital tour. The tour is a great time to ask questions and see what all your hospital has to offer during your stay. Hopefully this post helps you pack for your big day!