I hated packing bags for the hospital. Absolutely hated it. Well, really, I just hate packing bags of any kind, but there’s something about packing a bag FOR A BABY that makes it feel so much more intense, especially the first time around. Probably because having a baby is a pretty big deal, and having everything you need does seem pretty important.
Well guess what? You really don’t need as much as you think you do, and hospitals pretty much have it down to provide you with most everything that you need. Still though, feeling sorta kinda prepared feels good, right? Well, before you rush off to look at Pinterest’s 17 thousand packing checklists (seriously, how do you choose??), take a moment to learn from a few of my packing mistakes.
I present to you my hospital bag for Baby #1 (with commentary–you’re welcome), compared to my hospital bag with Baby #2.
Hospital Bag Baby #1 (you can laugh, it’s fine):
- 2 pairs of pajamas, not nursing-friendly (If you decide you want to try and breastfeed, you’ll want nursing friendly pajamas.)
- 2 cute outfits to choose from for going home that I thought would look good in pictures (Uh, you guys, I packed jeans. Don’t pack jeans. And really, don’t try to be cute. Be comfortable. Be practical.)
- Socks for every day (Nope, that’s silly.)
- Toiletries: I packed whatever I used on a regular basis (Nah. Don’t do this either. Regular-sized toiletries take up waaaay too much space.)
- Regular panties that I wore during pregnancy (Wrong again. You won’t be able to wear regular panties. Even the ones you wore during pregnancy. Get some special ones [see below] or use the mesh ones the hospital has.)
- Pillow (Don’t bother unless you want a nursing pillow. Although I would even suggest leaving that behind. Pillows are a-plenty.)
- Thank you cards (WHATTT???? Get outta here with that.)
- A book to read to the baby (And that.)
- Baby #1’s Baby Book (Personal choice. For #1 I brought it and worked on it, for #2 I didn’t even have one yet, ha!)
- Breast pump (Nope. The hospital will have one, and it’s probably better than yours.)
- Purse/wallet/etc. (You’ll really just need your driver’s license and insurance card.)
- iPad, phone, chargers (Because, duh.)
- Paperwork given from the hospital (Hey! It wasn’t all shit.)
- 2 swaddles (They have swaddles.)
- 3 pairs of socks (Nope. Babies feet don’t get dirty. Duh, Court.)
- An outfit for every day + a couple extras in case they got dirty (so like, 5 outfits) (Oh god, no. They have onesies. Keep it simple.)
- His going home outfit (Okay, that’s fine.)
- 1 bottle (What was wrong with me? They have these if you need them.)
- 2 blankets (One is plenty. Zero is also plenty. They have them.)
- Hat (Okay, that’s fine.)
- Pacifier (This is up to you. I’m hearing that some hospitals aren’t offering them anymore, but ours did.)
- Baby toys (Ah geez, I’m laughing remembering this. Hell no.)
- Diapers/wipes (Nope. They have aaaallll that stuff.)
- Vaseline (They have this too.)
- Car seat + infant insert (Okay, yeah this is important.)
Hospital Bag Baby #2 (this is a little better):
- One comfortable outfit to wear home: as in, maternity leggings, a nursing tank, a huge sweatshirt, and comfortable shoes. I didn’t give a shit what it looked like in pictures.
- Two pairs of comfortable pajamas: I treated myself to new ones that I thought were pretty and of course postpartum/nursing friendly. Like these and these (I personally like the blue ones in the second link).
- Two nursing tanks: Bravado Smoothing Camis are my favorite!
- A lightweight robe: I went with something like this, so I could remove it easily and it wouldn’t be too hot.
- One pair of socks with grippers: The hospital usually has the socks with grippers, but if you want to get some of your own for when you get home, these are really fun!
- Postpartum panties: I got these on Amazon and they were only $20 for a pack of three! They’re designed to hold those monster pads that you need after birth, and if you have a c-section they fall above the c-section incision. I loved these, which meant no mesh hospital panties!
- Toiletries: I got travel size everything and packed it all ahead of time. For things that I couldn’t buy ahead of time, but still needed (like my glasses and contacts, hair dryer, brush, makeup), I made a list of those things and kept it on my dresser. That way, if I went into labor, I could just grab ’em and go without even thinking.
- Body Wash + loofa
- Body/Hand Lotion
- Brush/Hair Ties/Bobby Pins
- Hair Dryer/Straightener
- Foundation, blush, mascara (This is obviously not a necessity, but sometimes it feels good to wear makeup.)
- Contact Solution
- iPad, phone, chargers, camera
- Music playlist: I put together some songs that would be motivating and soothing during childbirth.
- Paperwork from hospital
- Driver’s license and insurance card
- If you are considering childbirth without drug-intervention (i.e. no epidural): you might consider packing a sports bra. My second birth was a VBAC without drug intervention, and to help with pain and relaxation I got in the bath. I took everything off except for a tank top, but a sports bra might have been more comfortable.
- 2 onesies + 2 pairs of softs pants
- 1 pair of socks or booties
- Going home outfit: I got Baby #2 a personalized hat from this Etsy store, and then just put him in something simple like a white onesie and some sweet little pants.
- Car seat + infant insert
Okay, Mama. I hope this helped ya out a little bit. Get ready for wildest and most exciting ride of your life!
Ur a Mom Now.