What You Actually Need in Your Hospital Bag
Before packing my hospital bag, I asked a ton of friends what they brought and also scoured several bloggers’ sites for their lists. Some were long, some were short, but I know myself and knew that I wasn’t going to be getting dressed and ready everyday after having a baby, so I went pretty light!
After going through it all, I found that I still brought way too much! Of course, depending on how you feel post-birth, you might be more inclined to shower than I was. The day after, I still felt groggy from my epidural and the lack of sleep that started when my contractions hit at 2am the previous morning. The list below is everything I brought, plus a few side notes on some items that I didn’t really need to bring or didn’t end up using.
A couple of things you might want to consider are music and essential oils. They can be motivating and relaxing during labor and pushing, but if you read Owen’s birth story last week, you’ll know that we weren’t at the hospital long before it was time to push and that we didn’t have to push for long, so it didn’t make a difference to me!
What to Pack in your Hospital Bag
- makeup (wishful thinking here, I never put it on)
- hair dryer (hospital had one, but I was too tired to use it!)
- mini shampoo & conditioner
- body wash
- glasses and contacts
- contact solution
- face wash
- day/night cream
- body lotion
- hair ties
Probably the most important stuff I packed! I was surprised to find that out of all the stuff the hospital does provide, toilettries were not on that list. No soap, no shampoo, no lotion. I mean, did I think I was going to a hotel? Haha! Either way, I’m glad that I brought all my own stuff as well as my favorite skincare products. It felt like a real treat to put those on after a shower.
What I Packed for Baby
- swaddle (hospital provides these, but if you want a cute one)
- blanket (no need!)
- extra something to take home to the dog (the hospital gave us a swaddle and hat for Oliver)
- Wubbanub (Owen didn’t take it until a few weeks, but not bad too have on hand for fussy babies)
For the most part, Owen was in a little white shirt that the hospital had, or in just a diaper and swaddled. I thought I’d want to dress him in cute outfits, but I was so tired and sore, putting him in clothes was the last thing on my list. We did put him in a cute outfit to leave the hospital though! You can’t put a swaddled baby in a carseat, so having something to take them home in is important. Since it was cold, we brought a long sleeve onsie, pants, socks and a hat and then tucked this swaddle around him in his carseat.
What I Packed for Me
- long cardigan (perfect for layering over button downs and nursing tanks)
- button down shirt
- nursing bras
- nursing tanks
- yoga pants (didn’t use these)
- comfy stretchy pants (wore these everyday and home)
- nipple cream
- nipple pads (I didn’t need these until my milk came in after we got home)
- pads (hospital provided these)
- water bottle (hospital had giant cups of water)
- Boppy nursing pillow (super handy!)
- iPad with books or movies (didn’t use—slept any chance I could!)
For the first day and a half, I stayed in the hospital gown—mesh panties and all. Why? Hmm, they were comfortable and again, I had very little energy to try and put anything else on. Plus, you’re sore, so pants were a real struggle! I thought I’d want to get dressed and ready to leave the hospital, but I was in no mood. I wore a button down, sweatpants and sneakers home, ha!
What items did you pack in your hospital bag? Anything that you really loved having with you?