It’s almost go-time and you may be thinking it’s probably about time to get serious and pack your hospital bag. But what do you really need to bring to the hospital? In all honesty – not much! The hospital will provide a lot of the things that you really need (e.g. those “fancy” mesh granny panties and all of the other self-care items you’ll need post-birth).
That being said, there are a few things that can make your hospital stay much more comfortable. Two nights (or more if you have a c-section!) with a new baby, in an unfamiliar environment can be strange and overwhelming, so it is definitely nice to have a few comforts from home, even if you don’t necessarily have to bring them. Here are the items we packed for both of my deliveries.
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1. Cell Phone Charger
Your labor could be really long or really short (lucky lucky!), but either way, you’ll want to make sure you have a charger for your phone (one for your partner too!) in order to keep in touch with friends and family, take tons of pictures and videos, and to enjoy any little moments of down-time.
Hospital floors are cold, you guys! They will give you socks, but if you have a comfortable pair of slippers that you love, pack ’em up and bring them.
Another one for comfort. The rooms are cold, and a comfortable robe to cover up with is definitely nice to have.
4. Breastfeeding Friendly Tops and Pajamas
Newborns feed very very often (see here for our sample newborn schedule to get an idea of just how much), so you’ll want to have tops or dresses that are button down or easy to slide down/up. I also don’t love hospital gowns, so I packed my favorite nursing friendly nightgowns as well (I legit own five of these — they’re that good!). Consider sizing up one to make sure they are not too tight on top.
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5. Nursing Bras
Unless you plan on hanging out in a hospital gown or pjs the whole time, bring at least one nursing bra with you. Having had two very close together, I’ve basically lived in this bra and this one (racerback is key!) for the last two+ years. They’re both incredibly comfortable, so they are great for those last few very pregnant weeks, and of course, for post-partum.
6. Nursing Pads
Aaaaah, nursing pads are so necessary if you’re planning to breastfeed! As you start to figure out how to nurse your little one and your body is adjusting your milk supply to fit baby’s demand, you may find that you’re leaking milk…everywhere. I quickly found that leaking through my tops and bras was very uncomfortable, so I invested in some nursing pads as fast as possible. After having my son and trying a few different brands, I found these to be the best, handsdown, and made sure I had plenty stocked up before my daughter was born.
7. Favorite Toiletries
Taking that first shower after delivery can be a little bit daunting, but also oh-so-glorious. The hospital will have everything you’ll need – soap, shampoo, conditioner – but if you have special products that you love, bring them! Adjusting to life after an event as major as birth — and also having a new life to care for while you’re healing — is a big deal! Anything that helps you feel normal and like yourself is worth bringing.
Confession: I brought a flat iron, a travel hair dryer, makeup, and all of my own bath stuff, and you can bet I used all of it! (But also, don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lens solution, and all the other everyday essentials!)
1. Baby Keepsake/Memory Book
I am admittedly a big scrapbooker/memory keeper, so having a baby/pregnancy book was important to me. It’s amazing how quickly you forget the little details, so the second time around, I made sure to bring mine with me to the hospital so that I could jot down anything I actually wanted to remember (not much! haha) from the delivery. I used this book throughout my pregnancy for both of my kids.
Also, a great tip a friend gave recently, is to ask the nurses to put your baby’s footprints and/or handprints in the book. I somehow never thought to do this, but it’s brilliant!
2. Swaddle/Outfit for Newborn Photos
You can check beforehand to see if newborn photos are an option at your hospital, but some do offer photo services. I purchased a gorgeous swaddle from Milkmaid Goods (their selection is vast and the quality is wonderful). Posh Peanut also has some beautiful options and gets great reviews. Etsy is also a great place to search!
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3. Going Home Outfit
Bring two options – one in newborn size and one in size 0-3 months. Often times your little one may surprise you and not be so little, and therefore won’t fit into the teeny tiny newborn size, so it’s a good idea to have options.
For Your Partner
1. A Pillow and Blanket
Most hospital rooms will only have a (very small) couch/lounge chair for your partner to sleep on. Make sure they pack a bag of toiletries and clothes, but also bringing a pillow and blanket can really help make that tiny couch just a tad more comfortable.
2. Bottle of Champagne/Sparkling Cider
I 100% did not feel like drinking anything post-delivery, but I did have a sip of champagne after doing the ceremonial clinking of glasses to celebrate our little one finally arriving. (My labor with my son was 36 hours y’all. I deserved it.)
The second time around, I knew to request my husband pack sparkling cider. 🙂 It’s a very big moment. Enjoy it!
Still getting prepped and want to make sure you have everything you need? Get a free, detailed checklist to help you pack everything you, baby, and your partner need for the hospital.
Is there anything I’ve missed? What are your must-haves for the hospital?