Friday, November 29, 2013

The Hospital Bag

Recently some friends have been posting “What to pack for the hospital” posts on pinterest.  I decided to click on a few to see if I did it “right”.  I guess not.  I couldn’t believe what some of the “experienced” moms were telling people to pack!  So here is my list – take it or leave it J

What to pack for baby:

-Going home outfit.  Something comfy more than cutsey.  With Clara we packed 2 outfits, one boy and one girl, since we didn’t know what we were having.  With Hazel, we didn’t pack anything.  I put my sister in charge of purchasing an outfit and bringing it to us in the hospital.  Make sure your outfit is washed.  Bring socks.
-Carseat.  They won’t let you leave without one :)

Things I skipped:
  -diapers and wipes – they provide you with all that you will need 
  -additional clothing – again, everything you will need will be provided
  -nasal aspirator – they blue one they give you is way better than anything you can get at Target.
  -nail clippers – I was way to freaked out to go after long nails on my baby with a clipper.   Hazel had crazy long nails and they rubbed off on their own in a day.
  -pacifier – if your baby needs one, the hospital can provide you with one.
  -mittens – I’ve read some interesting studies on how detrimental the use of the baby mittens really are.  Both of my girls were hand suckers – so the mittens would have just been in the way… and soggy.
  -hat – again, they will provide you with one. Our girls rarely wore hats beyond those first few moments immediately following delivery.  I love to smell my baby’s head.

What to pack for you:

-Going home clothes.  Something comfy.  I wore yoga pants and a zip-up hoodie home both times.
-Clothes to wear after the birth.  I preferred to wear my own clothes after the delivery instead of the very fashionable hospital gowns.  With Clara, I was changed a few hours after she was born.  With Hazel, it was more than a day because of some complications I had.  Neither time were my stitches or anything checked, so having easy access to “down there” wasn’t necessary.  I would suggest dark pants, like black or dark brown.  (I had to laugh when one blog I read, where the mom has 5 children, had pictured some light yellow, flowery PJ pants to wear.  Umm, it’s like a scene from chainsaw massacre “down there”… light colors are not recommended!)  You will want a top that is easy to nurse in.  I suggest something that zips up the front.

-Nursing bras
-Socks, slippers, and flip flops
-Your own pillows
-Hairbands or a headband.  Annoying hair in your face will not be tolerated.
-Usual toiletries.  Shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, etc.
-Phone, laptop, ipad, etc and chargers
-A camera your husband can operate.  It's highly unlikely that you will be the one taking those post birth photos - you'll be busy. 
-Change for the vending machine and/or snacks for your husband.  I was in labor for 22 and 12 hours.  Even though YOU won’t be able to eat during that time, he will need to.
-I brought a large tote to take home all the extra “stuff” you accumulate - paperwork and gifts.  I also received some additional pumping equipment each time.  It’s nice to have something to get all that stuff home in.
-Phone numbers for your employers HR dept and your insurance company.  I needed to notify HR of the start of my maternity leave, and needed to add baby to our insurance.  It was nice having those numbers handy.
-If your husband is staying with you:  a change of clothes for him and his toothbrush, etc.  Paul also brought his own pillow and blanket.

Things I skipped:

- Boppy pillow.  Just seemed like 1 more thing to haul along.  The nurses will give you all the pillows you need to help with nursing.
- My medications.  I have a few medications that I take daily.  These were provided to me daily during my stay.
- Breast pump.  If you need to use one, they will have one you can use.

- I preferred to just use the pads and mesh underwear the hospital provided.  If you want to bring your own, just be warned that it’s going to get gross… so bring big undies that you are willing to toss.
-Nursing pads – it’s highly unlikely that your milk will come in while you are still in the hospital, but if it does, the lactation consultants can hook you up.
-Hand sanitizer.  The rooms have sinks.  And soap.  And probably even purell mounted on the wall.  It is after all – a HOSPITAL room.

Be sure to pack all your stuff in a girly bag.  My husband got numerous compliments while carrying my Vera Bradley bag :)

What were your must-haves?  Any OB nurses want to weigh-in?


  1. I would have to agree with your list! I would add: candy or breath mints to suck on while in labor, since you can't eat for a long time.

  2. Thanks. Things I need to start thinking about.

  3. I totally agree, although I did bring my own boppy pillow both times.
    Maybe a note pad to take notes, either about the details of the labor/delivery, or to remember who visited and brought gifts, so you can write thank you's later.
    It IS amazing what the hospital provides you with (for you and the baby), the pads and mesh underwear the hospital provides are much better than anything I had at home. Why ruin your own underwear? And the pads I would have brought from home would not have done the trick.
    One thing I learned from child #1 is to bring home from the hospital anything you opened. Whether is was a pack of diapers, wipes, butt cream, pads, etc., because you will be charged for it whether you use the entire pack or just one.

  4. I'd add your own pen. You have to sign a bunch of stuff, and our nurses wanted me to write down when baby was fed or changed. The nurse would always run off with the clipboard and 9 times out of 10 the pen wouldn't come back with it.

  5. Chapstick & a baby beanie if your baby might be a big one. My first was 9lbs 4oz & the hospital didn't have any hats in her size!

  6. I took Gatorade to drink during and after my 4 hour labor. It was a much needed energy booster!

  7. as an OB nurse I highly suggest deoderant and wipes to keep yourself clean and smelling fresh ;) also bring your own TUMS, for ladies with heartburn. Who wants to pay an outrageous bill for 1 TUMS when you can bring like 80 of your own for free?

    1. Good ideas Renee! My hospital supplied wipes, so I wouldn't have thought to pack those.

  8. Your own towel. I'm a small person but those hospital towels are TINY

  9. Your own towel. I'm a small person but those hospital towels are TINY

  10. This is good but it all depends on your hospital. I'm in Australia, and the hospital I delivered my second son at didn't provide nappies, wipes or clothes. I had to provide all that. They also didn't provide pads or mesh undies for me (my first hospital did). Next time I'll be packing some Depends!!

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