When you pack your hospital bag…are you packing everything except the kitchen sink? Are you ‘pinteresting’ every variation of labor supplies? Stressing over what to bring, what you’ll need to be comfortable, what’s convenient, and yet trying not to over-do it?
You can call me the “hospital bag fairy” if you would like, but after 5 babies in 6 years… I’ve packed my fair share of hospital bags and found some wonderful basics.
A lightweight, long-sleeve robe is a perfect addition to your hospital bag. You are going to be having cold sweats, hot sweats, hormonal sweats, post birth shivers…basically your hormones will be wacky. Something like this robe will be a great piece to slide on and off when needed after baby is born.
I love nightgowns because they are soft and comfortable, while also being functional with all the doctors/nurses who have to look up the gown! Laughs…but hey, it’s true. After baby is born you will still be getting poked, prodded, and pushed, and a nice nightgown is something that will be easy access for everyone and anyone.
Always go for style that has a loose scoop neck, buttons, or easy access to pull down if you are planning on breastfeeding. The gown that the hospital gives you is stiff and open in the back, so remember to add a comfortable and simple nightgown to your hospital bag. You’ll feel covered while also able to feel a bit more like yourself.
I love bringing my Boppy Pillow because, for me, this is the easiest way for me to breastfeed. Adjusting to newborn breastfeeding is always a challenge no matter how many times you do it and I prefer to bring the Boppy to make it easier and more comfortable.
Also, I find the boppy to just be a comfy addition to rest with or help boost baby up when I am holding him/her or when siblings visit to aid in letting siblings hold new baby for the first time! At the hospital, nurses and lactation consultants will be available to help you achieve a latch and begin attempting feeds. Switching up positions, holds, and carries will have its own learning curve. The boppy was something that made it much easier. There are other similar products on the market to help aid in comfort.
I love this style because they accommodate for swollen feet, they are easy on and off, but also offer tread and comfort for hospital floors. I was a c-section mama and can attest the difficulty that is the first time to stand up and attempt moving. Having a comfortable pair of slip-ons were so convenient to keep bedside.
Blanket and Pillow
Personally…I love being comfy, and hospital beds are not intensely comfortable. After settling post-birth, I like to feel more human and settle into the spot that I am in, so I will pack my hospital bag with a comfy throw blanket for my hospital bed and a pillow with a colored pillow case (so it doesn’t get confused with hospital pillows).
This may seem like the least glam item on the list, however, it may be the most important item to me. Those mesh undies the hospital gives you are…meh. The pad slips and sticks, while the underwear crawls and climbs. Disposable underwear fit well, prevent leaks, and are high rise. After birth, I would use these in the hospital and at home.
Oh, and baby stuff!
As I was packing for my fifth baby, I was reminded that, truly, this hospital bag was about me. Mama. Things to keep me comfortable, feeling human, and also to get me through those sleepless nights. Baby usually stays swaddled up in just a diaper for most of the stay, so, bringing a bunch of outfits isn’t necessary. When packing clothes for the babe, I recommend sleepers that zip. Some brands even offer sleepers that zip from the bottom up, like these from Target. Making frequent diaper changes and vital checks easy!
The hospital provides you with items like diapers, wipes, soap, pacifiers, and even formula samples. Most hospitals and birthing centers offer in-person tours or virtual visits. That would be a great opportunity to ask those questions and get an idea what the hospital will offer, so that you aren’t packing excess.
Relax and enjoy, Mama!
It will feel like you have to have everything and more packed into that hospital bag. The “nesting nerves” will kick in and you will pace around worried you aren’t bringing enough. I ensure you that you are fine. The hospital stay becomes such a blur and moves so quickly that even if you showed up with your bag left at home, it would be okay.
Pack the things that will help you feel more comfortable and “human.” The truth is, the only thing that baby will need during the stay at the hospital is love from you, and that, mama, can’t fit in the hospital bag.