You are finally getting ready for the new arrival and now it’s time to pack your bags! So what do you need to bring to the hospital? When I was pregnant I spent plenty of time scouring the internet to see what I needed to bring with me on the big day. I can definitely say that I way over packed for the first baby’s arrival. So what are the essentials, and what can you leave at home?
I’m a procrastinator and always have been, so I waited till the last minute to pack my hospital bag. None of my babies came early, in fact, the last one was a week past her due date and I had to be induced! That is certainly not the case for everyone so I’d advise to pack as much as you can a month before your due date. I suggest packing a bag for you and a bag for baby. My husband also brought his own bag for things he needed without having to run back and forth all day to the house.
- Sweat pants (or comfy shorts depending on the time of year)
- Tank tops (or nursing tanks)
- Loose fitting t-shirts
- Comfy bra (or nursing bra)
- Flip flops
- Depends disposable underwear (or comfortable panties)
- Going home outfit
First let’s start with clothes…think comfort, not style. You’re going to be giving birth to a baby, not walking a cat-walk so don’t over think it. Sweatpants and loose t-shirts were my number 1 go to clothing choice. If breast feeding you will want some nursing tanks and nursing bras that are easy to adjust. If you are not breast feeding then bring a sports bra or a bra that is comfortable and doesn’t require much effort. Bring some cozy socks and/or slippers to walk around in, and don’t forget flip flops for the shower or a faster option for when you need to get up. I recommend investing in some of the Depends Disposable underwear rather than worrying about packing underwear. You are going to bleed after delivery and the mesh panties the hospital provides were really bulky and uncomfortable. I sent my mom to get some Depends for me after I had my 3rd baby and I can’t believe I didn’t try them sooner. They were a huge life saver for me and much more comfortable. You may also want to pack an outfit for going home. My first time I brought jeans thinking that after I had the baby I’d be able to fit in them. Boy was I wrong. Don’t stress too much about it, but you are probably not going to fit in pre-pregnancy clothes right away. I decided to just wear my sweat pants and t-shirt home with the 3rd baby. Comfort is key for me.
- Face wash
- Hair dryer
- Hair brush
- Dry shampoo
- Hair ties
- Make up
Okay, so for toiletries you don’t really need to go overboard. You will need some shower stuff such as shampoo, conditioner, and soap. Grab some travel size items so they don’t take up too much room in your bag. Hair dryer, straightener and hair brush are things that I needed but some people don’t feel the need to put in that amount of effort and that’s totally fine. Dry shampoo is a must have for me and helps minimize effort between hair washes. I brought my makeup as well, but I kept the effort to a minimum, no need to do a full glam face everyday, just enough to cover the bags under my eyes from lack of sleep. Don’t forget chapstick! There’s something about hospitals that always dry up my lips for some reason.
- Swaddle wrap of your preference
- Several outfits for baby
- Burp cloths
- Nursing Pillow
- Car seat!
Here is where I way over packed the first time. I brought tons of outfits for the baby and never even used half of them. I decided the last time to just bring some easy outfits like the gowns that you can roll up instead of undoing when changing diapers (which you will do a lot of). I also like the footed sleepers, they are convenient and eliminate too many layers. I really like the outfits that have the sleeves that you can turn inside out to cover baby’s hands to keep them warm and stop them from scratching themselves. Do pack a cute outfit for going home so you can take a picture of them in their going home outfit before leaving the hospital! Nursing pillows are great for breastfeeding so bring one if you plan to, but if not I think you can really do without it. Last but not least, don’t forget the car seat! The hospital will not let you leave without one so it is very important! Not that you would drive baby home without one anyways, right?!
- Phone chargers
- Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
Hospital food is not always the greatest, so with that being said, bring some snacks to keep you satisfied between meals. You will definitely need to charge your phone to keep in touch with friends and family and send everyone pictures of your adorable new addition! I brought my own Advil because even though the hospital can provide you with some they wont for your significant other, and sometimes it’s just easier to have it on hand than to wait for the nurse to come check on you. You might also want your own pillow and blanket to make that hospital bed a little more comfortable.
- Phone charger
Dad will be able to come and go more easily than you will so there’s not a whole lot he will need, but you should definitely consider having him bring his own pillow and blanket because the hospital couches are not that accommodating.
What NOT To Bring
- Tight fitting clothes
I mentioned before that you should not expect to fit in old clothes right away, and to just focus on what is comfortable for you. I just thought that it was worth mentioning again. The hospital also will provide diapers, wipes, formula, and bottles for baby. If you are not sure, call ahead and ask or check their website for the list of things they recommend you bring and what they will provide for you and baby.
Now that you are all packed you can rest up and relax before your new arrival. Every one told me to get plenty of sleep before the baby and they were 100% right! Your life is about to change in such an amazing way, so soak up every moment and try not to get too caught up with stress and anxiety.