Are you expecting baby number one and have NO idea what to pack? You have come to the right place! I have created a checklist that will have you prepared for your delivery and postpartum stay at the hospital!
A couple of years ago when I was packing my first hospital bag, I did a lot of research. I watched a lot of videos, read a lot of blogs, and talked to a lot of people. I like to be prepared and I was pretty much clueless on what I needed. Like most first time moms, I overpacked. I brought tons of stuff that we never even touched.
When it was time to pack for baby number two, I packed just the essentials. My husband and I only packed this one suitcase for both of us and the baby.
Let me just start by saying, you never know how long you are going to stay in the hospital. If all goes well, you could be in and out within 48 hours. But, if there are some complications, you could be looking at much longer.
There is a balance between over packing and being prepared.
Part of the time you are in the hospital, you will be in their gown and won't need your own clothes yet. I recommend using the hospital's supplies for the majority of the time you are there.
Sweatpants/pajamas- Make sure you choose some comfy bottoms as you will be spending a lot of time in them!
Tank top or tee shirts- If you are nursing, make sure you still have easy access.
Shorts- Your hormones are all over the place and that definitely affects your temperature. Grab a pair of shorts just in case.
Socks or slippers *- I am not a slippers girl, but you will want something comfy to walk around in.
Sweater or jacket- Hospital temperatures fluctuate, chances are you are going to want one! Openings in front are perfect for nursing.
Going home outfit- I am used to dressing up, so I grabbed a pair of leggings and a sweater dress. I wore the same shoes home that I wore to the hospital so I didn't need to pack any. If it is summer or warm where you live, you can easily just use your shower flip flops! You probably won't be able to fit into jeans yet, so keep that in mind too. Make sure that your clothes are comfortable and loose.
Flip flops for shower- My husband and I shared one pair :)
Headband & hair ties- Depending on how your hair works best, I have found these very helpful to have on hand.
Old underwear or disposable underwear*- The hospital will probably have mesh underwear for you to wear. Honestly, I just wore those for 4-5 days after delivery. Some people like to wear "real" underwear, and some like these disposable.
Disposable pads *- The hospital will give you some, but towards the end of my stay I actually switch over to my pads because they are more comfortable. Trust me, you are going to be tender down there and if spending $5 on a package of nice pads is going to help you feel better, you do it. They are worth every penny!
I have bought the Walmart brand and gotten along great! I like to have 3 different sizes on hand. Those first few days, you need heavy duty pads. Then, you can go down to a lite pad. After a week or so, you can go to a very lite pantyliner just in case you leak unexpectedly (which you probably will).
If you are nursing:
Nursing tank top (1-2)- Something like these work great!
Nursing bra (1-2)- I bought these and love them!
Nipple cream or coconut oil- The hospital probably has some too.
Nursing pads- In case your milk comes in and you are leaking, you are going to want just a few. I use disposable ones like these and also reusable ones like these.
Sweatpants/pajamas- People will be in and out of the room all night and day. Comfy, but yet modest pajamas are helpful :)
Jeans- My husband is not a fan of just "lounging" all day, so it does his mental health good to actually put on "real" clothes.
Tee shirts & long sleeve shirts- Again, hospital temperatures vary, be prepared and have a few options.
Sweatshirt- At night this was very helpful for my husband!
Underwear- He might as well bring 3-4 pairs because you just don't know how long you will be there!
Socks or slippers- My husband is a big slippers person so these are a must for him!
Flip flops for shower- Again, we shared so that was one less thing to bring.
Swaddle or receiving blanket- These are great if you plan to grab a few pictures, otherwise, probably not a necessity. Our hospital provides swaddles while we are there and then sends one home with us.
Going home outfit- A cute little newborn size outfit. Don't forget the socks!
Sleepers (1-2)*- Again, a lot of times hospitals will provide clothing for the baby, but have some just in case!
Pacifier- Our hospital gave us a pacifier with our first little boy, but not our second. I was very thankful that I had packed one just in case!
Car seat & cover- Leave this out in car until it is time to go home. No need to add extra clutter to your room.
Diaper bag- Leave this in the car also. Pack any baby essentials in your main bag that way you won't have multiple bags to worry about.
Phone & chargers- Definitely make sure you bring that charger!
Toiletries Bag- Make sure you have your toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant.
Chapstick & lotion- Hospitals seem to be dry and you will not regret having this!
Snacks- You will be spending a lot of time at the hospital. Bring some of your favorite snacks and candy!
Entertainment (books, DVDs, laptop, magazines)- Depending on how long you labor, you could have a LONG time before baby comes. Bring some of your favorites to take your mind off those contractions.
Camera- If you have a nice camera, leave it in the car (as long as weather permits). If you or your husband feel up to it, snap a few shots. Many phone cameras take great pictures too, so this is not a necessity.
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THINGS TO LEAVE AT HOME
Nursing Pillow- I brought my boppy nursing pillow (like this one) with us for my first pregnancy. It was a nice luxury as I was learning how to nurse, but definitely not a necessity.
Towels and pillows- In many videos they recommended bringing your own pillow or towels so it feels more "home-y", but my philosophy is just bring the basics. You will survive a couple of days without your favorite towel. Again, that's just me.
Makeup- Bring the bare basics like mascara and foundation or skip all together. I bring a little to help me feel refreshed, but definitely not as much as I usually wear.
Breast pump- Depending on your plan and your baby, you might need to pump at the hospital. The hospital has pumps you can use. You also could just leave your pump in the car and go get it only if you need it.
Let me know in the comments section below what some of your favorite items are to pack in your hospital bag.