How To Pack A Hospital Bag
There are 5,000 lists out there about what to bring to the hospital.
The hospital will offer you grippy socks but I’m not sure the cotton count, or if there’s even cotton in them and they’re all about size 10 so do yourself a favor and bring either your favorite pair of slippers or a new special pair, or an old pair you don’t care about. You’ll be so happy not to walk barefoot on the hospital floor and this little creature comfort goes a long way.
Be careful though – that first trip to the bathroom after delivery is a blood mess! As in an actual bloody mess so perhaps keep the grippy socks on for that trip but settle in for the rest of your stay with your own cozy indoor footwear.
Ok, the nitty gritty and fairly self explanatory
Clothes to wear after the first day and clothes to wear home
Probably something lose and comfortable, but getting out of the hospital gown may help you feel more like yourself or there’s always lounging in your pajamas
Clothes for photos
If you want to get glammed up – most hospitals now offer professional photography services – the photo shoot, however, should always come fourth after baby’s feeding, rest, and your own meals. A pre-photo shoot shower is totally optional.
With that said, you can bring your make-up if you like to wear it.
Let’s talk about toiletries. The hospital has all the essentials you’ll need – toothbrush, toothpaste, soap – maybe shampoo, maybe skin lotion, maybe a hair dryer…but there is something to be said for stepping into a warm shower after delivery and using your familiar smelling shampoo and soap. You might even want to choose something luxurious or an aroma you associate with a spa trip. Bring your choice face wash and moisturizers. Your own wellness routine will make being in the hospital feel less clinical. Don’t forget your partner will probably want their favorite stuff too!
Nursing Bra or Tank-top
You may leave the hospital before your milk is even in yet, and you may be content to wear the hospital gowns for the duration of your stay. Regardless, it’s a good idea to put a nursing bra or tank top on at some point to practice getting to your breasts and buckling back up…skin to skin is easier of course but if your milk does start to come in, you’ll want a supportive nursing bra to help manage the engorgement.
Bathing suit for partner
If you want to utilize the tub or shower in labor and the hospital and want your partner in there with you for emotional or physical support, you can be naked but they need to wear a bathing suit. And some moms are more comfortable with a bathing suit top or sports bra on in the water as well but no need to cover up the bottom ½. Everyone needs to see what’s going on down there anyway.
Birth preference worksheet
If you want it for reference, though be careful, since if you get too attached to any one way of doing things, you can guarantee that option will be the first out the window. That’s why we call it a birth preference worksheet and not a birth plan, per-say.
This could definitely be viewed as an extra or superfluous item but in addition to using music to help during labor, I find that rooms where a new family is playing music typically are calmer and more zen. Not sure which comes first – the music or the zen people but if you like music, if it calms you, then bring some speakers with you to the hospital.
On that note – flamelss candles and essential oils or massage oils could all be helpful during labor if you enjoy those things. Hopefully though, if you’ve labored at home long enough you won’t have time to set up your spa. If you do have time though, this can be really soothing.
Pillow and/or blanket
This goes back to the slippers idea – where a little bit of your own intimate belongings can really go a long way for your comfort both during labor and afterwards as you recover and learn to care for and feed your baby. Hospital pillows just aren’t the same as the ones we have at home and sometimes they’re short on supply in a hospital. Likewise, your own blanket from home may be just the homey touch to tuck you in for your naps and rests during your stay. Keep in mind if you use the pillow during labor though, you may want to replace the pillow case either while you’re there or toss it when you get home if it becomes soiled or stained.
You’ll want to bring 2 outfits to go home in – 1 in size newborn and one in size 0-3 if you have a slightly bigger baby. You’ll probably also want a hat and a blanket to bring baby home depending on the season.
And if you’re going home by car, you’ll need a car seat.