My little sister is currently pregnant and due with my SWEET nephew in September. Throughout her pregnancy, I’ve answered any questions she has had, while the memory of my own pregnancy is still somewhat fresh in my mind.
As she is nearing her due date, we’ve begun to discuss those last few weeks of pregnancy, along with those first few weeks of being a new mom. One of our pending topics is the hospital bag; what to pack, what to leave behind. This list is based on my own experience, and will obviously vary from person to person based on your hospital or birthing center, and whether or not you are having a Caesarian Section or vaginal birth.
Top 5 Must Haves
- Your own pillow. The hospital ones tend to be more flat and there’s just something comforting about it!!
- Mints/Candies. Your mouth will get dry, and water will get boring. (Also comes in handy if your hubby eats something that makes you nauseous…or hungry).
- Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deoderant, lotion, mini loofa. I got travel size toiletries, but I made sure they smelled amazing. After the big event, you will certainly need to bathe. Buying different scents than I typically buy made it feel SO luxurious and energizing!
- Black, loose, comfortable clothing. Just trust me on that one.
- Humidifier. Ok so this one I didn’t have, but definitely want next time. I kept coughing while pushing because the hospital air was SO dry!!
Top 5 Leave It At Home
- Panties. You WILL use the ultra stretchy, extra ugly, hospital panties to house the ultra large, ultra awkward hospital pads. Be sure to grab a few extras from the hospital to bring home! You can switch back to regular underwear in a week or two. You’re welcome.
- Diapers & Wipes. Unless you’re extra picky, the hospital will provide these things. Make sure you take the leftovers in your room, too. You already paid for them in your room cost… TAKE THEM!!
- Make up. Ok; this one isn’t 100% true. You may want a few simple things since people will likely take pictures when they visit (assuming you allow visitors). However, you certainly won’t need your entire make up bag. A little tinted moisturizer, some great concealer to cover a little of the fatigue, and waterproof mascara or eyeliner are really all you’ll probably have time or energy to apply.
- Baby clothes. Aside from an adorable going home outfit (I would pack two in different sizes since you don’t know what will fit!), the hospital swaddle and hat will be most convenient for you baby to wear while you’re there, since the nurses will be checking temperature and heart rate every few hours.
- Forms of entertainment. I had read you should bring a book, magazine, games, etc. Mmk. But unless you’re having an epidural immediately or are completely alone, I don’t see how there’s time for those things. You’re either laboring, resting/napping, being checked by nurses, or enjoying your newborn. Don’t make your hospital bag more cluttered than it needs to be!!
Other basics to remember to pack:
- Nursing bra or tank, if nursing
- Boppy pillow, if nursing
- Phone chargers
- Thank you cards for your doctor and nurse
- Some form of money for your husband or support person to purchase their meals with (yours should be covered)
- A robe (in case you don’t feel brave enough to wear pants right away!)
- Car seat (make sure you know how to adjust the straps and that the base is installed correctly)
- Insurance information (there’s a lot of paperwork!)
- Chapstick (your lips will get dry. I promise.)
When To Pack
Let’s be honest- you can pack whenever you dang well please. 😉 35 weeks is an easy rule of thumb to start, or 37 weeks when you are considered “term”… unless you have a scheduled c-section, family history of going into labor incredibly early, or are having twins, in which case you may need to adjust accordingly.
Happy baby birthing!!