The first time I had to pack a hospital bag I had NO idea where to begin. I read a bunch of lists online (thank God for Google!), then picked and chose what made sense for me. When it comes to packing for anything, I'm not one to overpack. The items below are more or less what I brought with me to the hospital with my first, and I didn't feel like anything was forgotten; if anything I felt like I had too much!
- PJ with buttons/nursing friendly - the pjs I packed are sold out, but these are similar.
- Socks - my feet were really cold while I was in labour.
- Nursing bra/ tank top
- Flip Flops and/or slippers
- Diapers and/or Pads - adult diapers saved me postpartum!
- Underwear - I bought a pack of "granny panties" from Costco
- Toiletries (travel sized) - face wash, face cream, body wash, hand cream, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, deodorant, Evian facial spray
- Nipple Cream - Dr. Newman cream is a life saver!
- Peri bottle - the hospital gave me one the first time around, so this wasn't necessary but you can pack one just in case.
- Reusable water bottle/ tumbler - must have for me while labouring
- Charger (extra long cord)
- Pillow (non white case)
- Camera (charged), or you can just use your iPhone
- ID/ Health Card
- Going home outfit - keep in mind you'll still look about 5-6 months pregnant. Bring something comfortable, as well as something that won't bother your incision should you have a c-section. With Stella, I brought Lululemons and a loose sweater since it was winter. This time I'm bringing my Dwell & Slumber caftan or my Smash + Tess romper.
EXTRAS FOR MAMA
- Cooler for Placenta - I use Graceful Birth Doula Services with my first and plan on doing the same this time around. I think it was a HUGE help during my recovery and highly recommend it.
- Cord Blood Kit - we chose CReaTe Cord Blood Bank
- Hypnobirthing affirmations and music (these are on my iPhone) and headphones
- Car Seat - install this a few weeks before your due date.
- Car Seat Canopy - I have one from Milk Snob.
- Swaddles - the hospital provides one but I like to have my own.
- Newborn Hat - we were provided with one, but I packed a white, pink, and blue one of my own.
- Coconut Oil (or olive oil) - I use this as everyday “diaper cream” but it’s especially useful for babies first poop since it’s so sticky!
- Pacifier (sanitized)
- Going home outfit - I packed a sleeper, hat and scratch mitts.
Disclaimer: my husband packs next to nothing for a month long vacation, so his necessities may be different than your partners LOL
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- iPhone charger
- Neck pillow
Call me crazy, but I also left notes for my husband, or whoever is to bring my bags to the hospital. This is just in case I'm not home when I go into labour, or unable to bark out commands while in labour LOL - it gives me peace of mind. My note is placed on our bags and looks something like this:
"Please bring 2 bags, cooler, and cord blood kit.
Ensure I have my ID (health card)/ wallet as well"
I also included notes for during/ after labour, which includes instructions for the placenta encapsulation and cord blood banking. My husband is fully aware of what to do, but there is so much going on once baby is born I want to ensure we don't forget anything. You can include a birth plan as well if you create one.
Lastly, if you have a child at home that requires any special instruction (i.e. school drop off/ pick up, meals etc), leave those instructions for whoever will be watching them while you're in the hospital.
I'm pretty sure I captured it all, but if you think of anything else please leave your suggestions in the comments below!