What should I put in my hospital bag? is a question I Googled regularly. I found tons of advice (as I’m sure you may be finding if that question is what brought you here!). Obviously, everyone’s needs are different, but here is what I will 100% be bringing with me next time and what I will most likely leave at home.
- Your own pillow– trust me, it’s a perfect piece of home, especially if your labor lasts awhile.
- Your own shower towel. Your first shower post labor deserves this. I was very grateful for a soft towel in that moment.
- Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that smells yummy. We went to Target and found some great ones in the travel-sized section. Here’s a great set I love.
- A robe & something cozy to lounge in during the day. (Let’s be real, you’re not lounging in that hospital room, but you get what I mean!) Avoid tight waisted pants! I wore a nursing nightgown and robe basically the whole time I was in the hospital.
- Cozy socks if you get cold feet.
- Slipper shoes or something to walk the halls in.
- Something to sleep in that’s not a hospital gown. Choose something without a tight waistband! I recommend a nursing gown whether or not you’re nursing. It’s comfy!
- A going home outfit for you— again, no tight waist!
- A going home outfit for baby (consider weather for this).
- Hairbrush and hair tie
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, and face wash
- A phone charger
- Snacks! For you & birth partner if someone is with you 🙂
What I brought but didn’t need:
- Games. We brought Yahtzee, cards, and other games thinking we would have all this partner time to play. A giant L O L. That was simply not in the cards for us (pun intended). We had a long, exhausting labor ending in a C-section that didn’t exactly inspire us to play dice. Once baby was here, we also weren’t about to pull out a game. However, I’ve heard of other people doing puzzles or playing a game when their labor stalled. I might bring a deck of cards next time, but I’d seriously downsize the game closet I brought previously.
- Make-up. This is a personal thing for me, but I did not use it at all! I know other folks who did use it, especially some who wanted to spruce up for photos. Do your thing!!
- A speaker. Gosh, I really wanted to use this! I had visions of soft, calming music playing during the final stages of labor, but it just didn’t happen. This is something I would maybe bring if I had space but wouldn’t stress if I didn’t.
- Other random things for baby. Something I didn’t know was that the hospital basically has you covered. Little babe is pretty much in a diaper and blanket-swaddle the entire time– they even give you a beanie! Our baby’s head was a little too big for the standard beanie, so they gave us one that a volunteer had knit that was sized for a baby closer to 6 months. It looked like the Lucky Charm’s leprechaun hat but it made him very easy to differentiate from all the other babies!
- *maybe unpopular opinion* A bra. Seriously. I thought I would want to break in my new nursing bra, but I don’t think I really wore a bra once in the hospital. First, my boobs hurt so there was no way I was locking them in. Second, I pretty much just hung out in my robe and nursed baby every few hours. I wore a comfy sweatshirt home and felt totally fine without one! Disclaimer: I delivered during COVID times, so I had no visitors. Maybe my opinion of this would change in the future?
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