It’s coming to the end of your third trimester and It’s time to get your hospital bag ready! This is when it really hit me that I was about to meet my baby soon. However, I procrastinated so hard packing that bag because well 1- I hate packing and 2- being a first time mom I didn’t have the slightest clue on what I actually needed. Not to mention I’m not a big fan of hospitals so I wanted to make sure I packed everything I needed to ensure I would be as comfortable as possible. I turned to google and started looking up lists online. Boy are there so many! Well, here is ONE more for you. But I’ll tell you what, this is the list I wish I had found. It’s got what you need, what you’ll want, and none of all that other nonsense that you buy, pack, and end up lugging around for no damn reason. Trust me I brought so much more and you DO NOT need it. Also, there are some things on this list that will make you think well I definitely don’t need that, but again, trust me, you will totally want it with you and it will make your whole birthing adventure a lot less stressful, and a lot more dreamy. The entire time at the hospital was so amazing for me and I wish that same experience for every mom-to-be.
First of all, I suggest packing two bags. One bigger weekender bag and one smaller one [you won’t need your purse, just your wallet] to keep things organized.
- BUBBLY – Yay your precious baby is here! Time to celebrate. Whether you bring champagne or sparkling cider, popping a bottle [with a great big whoo!] and sharing a celebratory sip with your family makes everyone even more excited and laugh. My sister brought us champagne so we didn’t have to carry it and we just used the water cups in the hospital to share with everyone.
- A ROBE – You definitely don’t want to stay in the hospital gown the whole time and a robe is super easy and comfortable to nurse in, use the bathroom in [I took it off completely & hung it on the back of the door], and sleep in [silk robes can make you sweat when you sleep so go with cotton or knit]. I bought this knit robe from Target and it was the best! It was the perfect length, super soft, and it didn’t make me sweat or get cold.
- PAJAMA SET – You’ll want something comfortable and easy to hang out and nurse in if you don’t want to wear your robe the whole time [like I did]. I suggest getting one with pants [just in case you don’t want to take off your robe, you can just throw these on under it] and a top that buttons all the way down [for nursing]. Even though I didn’t wear my Pajama set, I still recommend packing one because every birth is different and you just don’t know how long you’ll have to stay at the hospital. I bought one like this.
- A NURSING SLEEP BRA & NURSING PADS – You’ll want to bring a comfy nursing bra and nursing pads just in case you’ll need them so you don’t leak through your clothes. I didn’t need them because I only had colostrum in at that time, but leaking through your clothes would definitely not be a pleasant experience and you’ll need them when you get home regardless. I bought this pair of nursing bras and I love them so much I just bought another pair. These are the nursing pads that I finally found. It took me so long to find some that were comfortable, not large, or flat. These get a bit smaller and even better after washing.
- FUZZY SOCKS – I only recommend bringing one pair because I only wanted socks when I was actually giving birth. And what’s better than fuzzy ones?
- SLIPPERS – I didn’t want to walk around the hospital in my socks, and I definitely didn’t want to walk around barefoot. Especially in the bathroom. But you want to be as comfortable as possible, and slippers always make me feel more at home.
- MUSIC – This was KEY. I played music the entire day I was giving birth and it was such a stress free, fun atmosphere. It made me feel extremely relaxed and everyone, even the doctor and nurses, sang along and danced which was amazing. I played Pandora & Spotify on my phone and it was just right. Not to mention, Naima was born while Aretha Franklin “Respect” was playing so what a fun story to tell her too!
- TOILETRIES – Definitely bring everything that you use to start and end your day at home. It will make you feel 100% better. Everyone’s daily regime is different but I brought: my toothbrush/toothpaste, travel size shampoo/conditioner & body wash [I didn’t end up taking a shower because I was barely there for 48 hours, but you never know what will happen and how long you’ll have to stay], facial cleanser, moisturizer, minimal make-up [yep I wore make-up at the hospital because looking great made me feel great and you take a lot of pictures], dry shampoo, deodorant, & hair ties.
- GOING HOME OUTFIT FOR YOU & YOUR BABY – Pack something cute but comfy because you’ll want to take pictures but squeezing into anything uncomfortable will just make you miserable. Also you’ll want to wear the same shoes you arrived in because you don’t want to have to pack another pair, so keep that in mind. For your baby, pack a cute newborn outfit but nothing too crazy. Honestly a onesie is your best bet. Also, I would pack a newborn size and a 0-3 month size because you won’t know how big your baby will be [Naima was 7 lbs 7 oz and too small for the 0-3 month size and I almost didn’t bring any newborn sizes].
- SNACKS – Most hospitals have food [Rex Hospital had great room service that delivered breakfast, lunch, & dinner] but you’ll want small snacks in between. Just bring a few of your favorites that you and your partner can share.
- DVDS – All there really is to do is watch tv on your downtime and cable can have some awful choices at the hours you’re up. A few dvds will work [first make sure your hospital has a dvd player in the rooms], even if you just use them for background noise. Thankfully a friend brought some for us because we didn’t pack these and we were so bored.
- EMPTY TOTE BAG – You’ll get a lot of great things that will help with your first days back at home so you definitely want to bring a separate bag to stash them in and an empty tote won’t take up any space in your bag. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the nurses for extras that you want to take home. The nurses are there to help and if they can spare it, they will. I asked and got so much more.
- CAMERA, PHONE, CHARGERS – You’ll want to document & share all the first moments of your baby’s life and you’ll definitely want to keep your phone and camera charged so you don’t miss a beat.
- STARRY LIGHTS – This may sound crazy but it was the perfect touch. Again, I’m not a fan of hospitals and definitely not of those bright fluorescent lights. During the day we opened up all the blinds and only used the natural light, and at night we kept the bathroom light on and only turned on our string lights in the room. We brought two and put one beside my hospital bed and one on the other side of the room and it was marvelous. The nurses even commented on how lovely it was. It was a much softer, relaxing light and it made our nights so dreamy with our new baby. I bought battery-powered fairy lights like these and it was perfect.
- CARSEAT – Don’t forget to have your carseat installed [along with an infant insert] to take your special cargo home.
Everything else your hospital will have ready for you! They will provide you with wipes, diapers, blankets, etc. that your baby will need while there. They will also provide you with underwear, pads, and ice packs which I loved, but bring some of your own underwear and pads if you don’t think you’ll like them. However the awesome ice packs are pretty big so they might not fit or be comfortable in anything but the mesh underwear.
Congratulations on your new baby! Make sure you ask your nurses every question you can think of and ask for any help you need because their knowledge is invaluable. I also used some of the paper in the room to write them all a thank you note because I was so thankful for everything they did and just how wonderful they were during the whole process.