As I approach 35 weeks of pregnancy, I’m starting to think about packing our bags for the hospital when Little Man decides to arrive. With my first born, I really didn’t even need a bag packed ahead of time because I started having contractions almost a day before she actually came. However, it was nice to not have to worry about packing everything while I was in pain.
I know there’s a ton of lists out there for this, but I thought I’d share my personal experiences and what items were actually the most important. Some lists that I used before my first was born didn’t give me enough of the right things, and some listed way too many unnecessary things.
So, first let me talk about Mom’s bag…
Mom’s Hospital Bag
1 – Toiletries
This one is definitely according to your own preference, but you’ll definitely want to make sure you at least pack these essentials…
- Tooth brush/tooth paste
- Any soaps for a shower (dry shampoo if you’re one of those that doesn’t wash hair)
- Hair brush, hair ties, head bands (whatever you’re preference is… I ended up having my hair down the entire time, which I didn’t expect but it was just the most comfortable for me)
- Make-up remover wipes (these were great when I couldn’t quite take a shower yet)
- Lip Balm (my lips were really dry the whole time)
Those items, I would say are the most important things, but if you’re anything like me, you feel like more of yourself with a bit of makeup. So, I brought…
- CC Cream
- Eyebrow pencil
- Travel Size Hair Spray
Again, this is your preference… maybe you don’t need any makeup at all or maybe you want your full makeup bag. Just remember how icky you’ll be feeling (especially before that shower) and make sure you make yourself feel as comfortable as possible.
2 – Clothes
This is another one based on preference and your individual needs, but I thought I’d share my personal experience with my firstborn. I knew that the obvious thing was that I’d need to still pack maternity clothes because your body doesn’t just bounce back to your pre-baby shape. So, I packed nursing tanks, maternity tops, and maternity leggings. I heard that I’d need some big underwear too, so I packed my boy short style ones.
I did not take into consideration that I’d be literally wearing a diaper, and leggings are not ideal what-so-ever. And on top of that… I. was. so. HOT! They make you wear the compression socks that go up to your knees and they were constantly covering me up. I had to have my husband go buy me some baggy shorts for my sweaty diaper butt.
So, I will not be making that mistake this time. Here is what I will be packing this time…
- Nursing Tanks (again, I was really hot, so just wearing a nursing tank alone was perfect.)
- Robe/Cardigan (this is nice to have if you decide to leave your room or when people come to visit)
- Baggy Shorts/Sweats (I’ll be packing 2 pairs of shorts and 2 pairs of pants… both one size up and in dark colors)
- Big Underwear (I’ll pack this, but the hospital provides those mesh underwear which work much better anyway)
- Socks (I didn’t even take these out of my bag the first time, but it will be colder outside this time around, so I’ll have them at least for the drive home)
- Going Home Outfit (I don’t even remember what I wore home with my first, because honestly, who cares? I’ll probably just pack a hoodie to throw over my nursing tank and wear my sweats)
- Flip Flops (you’ll need these for the shower… and I wore mine when I went for a little stroll through the hallways)
3 – Entertainment
You never know how much time you’ll be needing to waste either before or after labor. Make sure you have plenty of things to entertain yourself and keep busy/your mind off of things. We were very lucky with our first and spent very little time at the hospital, however, I will be sure to bring the following items, just in case…
- Phone/Charger (obviously)
- Bluetooth speaker (we listened to music while I was in labor, and it definitely made me feel better. Funny story… we just had my Pandora playing on shuffle and it just so happened that “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa came on as I was pushing! LOL)
- Firestick (we thought we were geniuses for bringing this with our first so we could watch our shows on Netflix/Hulu… but we forgot the remote so we had to watch cable anyway. We will not be forgetting the remote this time!)
- Deck of cards (Again, this wasn’t needed the first time, but I’ll still pack it just in case)
4 – Snacks
The hospital we had my daughter at had pretty good food, but it’s still a good idea to pack some snacks for both you and your husband. Pack the snacks that might not be the best for you, but you know that you’ll be excited to eat, because if you’re anything like I was, I didn’t have the best appetite and nothing really sounded good after labor.
I also had my large Yeti tumbler (that my husband had to constantly refill for me) and it came in clutch keeping my water nice and cold.
5 – Nursing Items
If you’re going to breastfeed, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need for nursing. Like I said before, nursing tanks are the best and most comfortable, but you can also get some nursing bras and some nursing tops. I also love my nursing night gowns. Not only should you have these clothing items packed in your hospital bag, but make sure you have several purchased ahead of time.
I made the mistake of having only a couple nursing clothing items before my first was born. You are not going to be able to do laundry everyday! Make sure you have plenty to last you a few days, otherwise, you’ll be like me, asking your family members to go buy you some more after the baby is born.
Getting back to your hospital bag… pack your nursing pillow to make those first frustrating days learning to breastfeed as comfortable as possible. And also, have nursing pads and nipple cream ready to go!
6 – Other Comforts
There are just a few more things you might want to consider packing for your own comfort.
- Pillow – The hospital pillows aren’t exactly the best, so if you’re particular to your own pillow, go ahead and bring it.
- Blanket – I didn’t find this necessary, but if your own blanket makes you more comfortable, go for it.
On a side note, my hospital provided the following items, but I’m sure not all hospitals do…
- Maxi Pads (the biggest ones, trust me)
- Peri Bottle
- Numbing Spray
- Breast Pump (the hospital let me use theirs, but they asked if I had mine with me so I could learn how to use it while I was there, so it might be a good idea to throw yours in the car)
Dad’s Hospital Bag
1 – Clothing
Dad’s are pretty easy. They just need to make sure they have a few comfortable outfits. I’m pretty sure Alex mostly wore gym shorts/sweats while we were in the hospital with our first. He brought jeans for going home in, but even that isn’t totally necessary.
And don’t forget the flip flops, if he wants to take a shower while he’s there.
He might need some running shoes because that’s literally all he does while he’s in the hospital. My husband lost 10 pounds! LOL
This is really up to him, but he’ll want the essentials like his tooth brush, shower supplies, and deodorant.
He might also want to bring his own towel if he’s going to shower.
3 – Entertainment
Whatever keeps him busy while he waits.
- Don’t forget the chargers!
4 – Other Comforts
These were both more necessary for him than for me, since all he had was a couch.
- Snacks (he actually get’s to eat before the baby comes, unlike you)
Baby’s Hospital Bag
1 – Diaper Bag
Obviously, you’ll want to bring the diaper bag that you will be using for your little one after they’re born. Here are the items that I kept in Lily’s bag at all times…
- 5+ Diapers
- Pack of Wipes
- Changing Pad
- Travel Size Aquafor
- Travel Size Babyganics products- lotion, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray
- Travel pack of tissues
- Extra onesie (for blowouts)
- Nursing cover
- Mom’s Essentials (I use the diaper bag as a purse so I keep things like my wallet, lip balm, feminine hygiene, etc. in it)
2 – Clothing
I think I threw these items in my bag or my husbands bag, but you’ll want to make sure you have…
- A couple onesies
- The going-home outfit
- Socks and Hat
- A swaddle/muslin blanket if you want to use something other than the hospital receiving blankets
- Warm blanket if it’s cold out for going home
3 – Car Seat
And, of course, make sure you have the infant car seat all ready to go in the car!
So, again, this is what I will be packing the second time around. I know there are a lot more things you can bring, and that is totally up to you, but you might be surprised how little you care in the end.