Hey mamas and mamas-to-be! This is one of my most-requested packing lists, so I figured instead of just doing a video on Instagram, I’ll get it all out here on the blog. There are a million things you could and shouldn’t pack in your Hospital Delivery Bag, so I’m going to be as brief as possible and even tell you which things on THIS list you can skip and why! Ready?
First of all, there are three lists here. Why? Because you’ll want a bag for you, a bag for your hubby (partner, etc), and the baby’s bag.
Things that can stay in the car until you need them are: the carseat, your nursing pillow, your favorite pillows (for you and hubby) and the champagne. The champagne should stay in the car simply because, let’s be honest, it’ll stay chilled in the car, not in the hospital. I kid, I joke…ok no I’m serious.
Comfortable pajamas (nothing with a tight waistline) – You know those loose “boyfriend” style pajama pants with just a tie or the super loose shorts that practically fall off you? Yup, bring those. You never know if you’ll have a c-section and tight clothes will NOT be your friend after giving birth. Plus, you’ll be stuffing them full of granny panties and GIANT pads after birth, so just keep things comfy. Your top should be flowy and comfortable or give you easy access to your boob, plain and simple.
Lip balm and moisturizer– Hospitals circulate DRY air. As in, you’ll be sucked free from moisture the second you step in there. So between that and the huffing and puffing you’re about to do, pack plenty of lip balm and thick hand cream and make sure your partner knows where they are in your bag.
Hair dryer– IF you plan on showering there, remember it’s not a hotel. So pack your hair dryer. For my first birth, I ended up waiting to shower until I got home, but you just never know how sweaty and nasty you’ll get while you’re there, or if you end up staying longer than expected. Pack it just in case.
Towel – same goes with the towel. I never showered there, but the ones they offered me were the size of a hand towel and bleached half to death…pack a towel.
Face wash – after I gave birth, I went STRAIGHT to the bathroom and asked for my face wash and toothbrush. I needed to feel refreshed and new and using your favorite face wash will do just that trick. Plus, they don’t have anything but antibacterial soap there or baby shampoo, so just keep that in mind.
Toothbrush, paste – goes without saying, you’ll be there at least one night…pack accordingly. Hint: remember when you went to the dentist and they gave you a minis pack of everything? Toss that in your bag.
Toiletries, makeup – take this to mean whatever you will. I don’t expect you to walk out with your glam squad makeup on and you don’t even have to take pictures in the hospital, so pack whatever you feel comfortable with. That said, shower stuff, deodorant, any post-delivery care products you think you may try, and any makeup you feel like you need, pack those.
Nursing bra – you may end up naked your whole stay, wrapped in hospital gowns, and that’s cool. Just throw in a bra just in case so when you leave you are ready. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to start getting familiar with those clip closures on the straps.
Sports bra – if you plan on laboring in a tub in the hospital, you may want a sports bra on. Or not. Totally up to you.
Panties – like the bra thing, you may just use their disposable mesh panties. Good for you. I know I didn’t and ended up wearing some of my older granny panties that I packed, just because that made me more comfortable. Be prepared for both options.
Leggings/soft shirt (going home outfit) – Pack something comfy to slip into for the ride home. Think “six months pregnant” when you’re packing because you’ll still be bloated, full of fluids and have a belly. Also, pack that soft cardigan or zip up hoodie you love, because you’ll be taking it off and on in the recovery room as your hormones make your body temperature fluctuate.
SNACKS – You can never be too prepared here. Think Clif bars, LaraBars, packets of nut butter, peanut butter crackers, lactation bars (if you had trouble breastfeeding in the past, or just in case), bananas or apples as you’re running out the door…if you have any dietary preferences, just keep in mind that even if you fill out a meal request form, sometimes they just deliver whatever they made and tell you your NEXT meal will follow your preferences. This happened to me and I was so glad I had a ton of snacks and then someone brought us food from the outside world later. On top of that, you never know what time of day you’ll deliver and the kitchen may be closed and it’s too inconvenient for someone to bring you food AND you basically just ran a marathon.
Water bottle – they have cups at the hospital…the size of a to-go small cup with straw. So just pack your favorite water bottle so you can chug more conveniently without asking someone to run to the ice machine for you every 10 minutes.
Colored pillowcase and favorite pillow – If you bring a favorite pillow, bring a colored pillowcase so they don’t throw it in the laundry at the hospital. Hospitals keep white cases on all of their pillows and will toss the entire pillow in the laundry, never to be seen again, everyday. So, if you want that pillow to go home with you, pack a different pillowcase.
Playlist, portable speaker – if you plan on bringing your playlist to listen to, bring speakers too, just in case. You never know if when they say “speakers available” they’ll actually just point out their 90s boom box in the corner, and then you’re screwed.
Nipple balm – this goes along the toiletries line, but don’t forget to pack this if you’re breastfeeding! Your body will be going through SO many new changes and it’s good to just start from the get go with nipple balm after breastfeeding. You don’t want to have to deal with cracked, broken skin there from the get-go. This one is my FAVORITE and you need one in every room.
Nursing pillow (keep in the car) – you may or may not want your nursing pillow in the hospital. They’ll help you prop with lots of pillows or may even have one for you to borrow, but be prepared to whip yours out just in case. Set yourself up for success with breastfeeding! Keep the pillow in the car and if you need it, send someone out to get it quickly.
Glasses, prescriptions – don’t forget the things that make you function. Period.
Phone charger – between your playlist, a million photos, that Instagram update and a thousand people to text…don’t forget a charger.
Socks, flip flops – you’ll be walking around a lot and bare feet are just a no no in the hospital. Pretend this is college again or a strange hotel, pack socks and flip flops and decide once you’re there which you’re comfortable shuffling about in.
Champagne – um, not even joking. You just pushed a watermelon out of you (or had it cut out). Pop some bubbly after! Keep it in the car, especially in the winter, to keep it cool and don’t be shy about telling someone to go get it for you after you cross the finish line.
Carseat – have it installed and ready. You can have the local fire department check your placement too! Be prepared. You need to drive away with that carseat correctly installed.
Onesies – if you want to dress your baby up in anything other than the hospital-issued white top, then pack something tiny and cute. I love the organic cotton ones from Tane Organics! They’re so soft and cuddly.
Nightgown – if you plan on rooming in with your new baby, make sure the nightgown you pack is either truly a gown (no closures at the bottom) or a zipper onesie. There’s nothing worse than panicking with buttons at 2 am.
Baby wrap – if you have something like a Solly that you plan on using, you may want to bring it to the hospital, you can wrap the two of you up tightly, skin-to-skin, or even encourage daddy to get some kangaroo care time in.
Swaddle – the hospital has plenty of these, so decide if you have a special one or if you want to use theirs.
Weather appropriate outfit – walking that baby out the door and getting into the car is quick, but be prepared for anything. What if your car stalls on the way home? Is baby ready for the weather? Just throw the correct items into your bag and have peace of mind.
A notebook – I have to write down EVERYTHING nurses and doctors tell me, because an hour later I know I won’t remember and I’ll be wishing I had written it down. I ordered a newborn notebook from May Designs because it’s great to have everything in one place from the beginning. We used just a plain notebook last time, but I love the organization of this one.
Leave everything else at home. Remember, you’ve paid for everything that’s in the room, so the diapers, wipes, disposable changing pads, etc that they encourage you to use to practice taking care of your new baby are all yours. Use them, take them home.
Pajamas – he may sleep in skivvies at home, but those nurses don’t knock and he needs to be a bit more covered up, so don’t let him forget some “loungewear”.
Snacks – my husband doesn’t eat unless he’s fed 98% of the time…don’t let your birthing partner pass out because they didn’t see you eat. Make sure to tell him to pack trail mix, power bars, etc and money for the vending machines.
Tums, ibuprofen – hubby is NOT the patient at this hospital so make sure he packs his usual go-to’s for heartburn, headaches, etc so he doesn’t have to run to Walgreens.
Colored pillowcase and favorite pillow
Change of clothes
Note: this is not a sponsored post. I was sent product by some of the companies pictured (Oat Mama, Tane, Earth Mama Organics) and the rest was purchased by me. Any recommendations are genuine. Any links to Amazon are affiliate links.