Before I gave birth to my sweet baby girl, I was searching every single article and blog and YouTube video I could find on what to pack for your trip to the hospital. I was scared about the birthing process and going to the hospital in the first place, so not knowing what to bring added to the stress! I read many different opinions on what to pack but in the end I just did what I thought; here are the things you REALLY want to add to your hospital bag.
These may be a little different for some people depending on who will be with you in the hospital. I packed for myself, my husband, and my baby girl. So for my husband and I, I packed 2 travel toothbrushes, travel toothpaste, travel mouthwash, brush, spray bottle, husband’s travel size mousse and hairspray, loofa, travel shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, razor, hair ties and bobby pins, my makeup just in case I wanted it, witch hazel pads for your crotch after birth, lanolin nipple cream for breastfeeding, lotion, and chapstick. I definitely wanted and needed my shower after I gave birth, and my husband showered with me, but some women don’t want to use hospital showers so you might not even bring your shower stuff. And don’t forget a towel because the hospital towels are small and scratchy.
We planned on staying about 2 days so for my husband I brought 2 pairs of socks, 2 underwear, 2 shirts, pajama pants, and he just wore the jeans he wore to the hospital. For myself I had a long sleeved stretchy night gown type thing, 1 nursing bra, loose bottoms and t-shirt that was breast feeding friendly, 3 socks, socks with little grippers on the bottom, and a going home outfit which was a thin long sleeved teal shirt and loose black sweats. I wanted to try to labor in the tub so we brought our swim suits also. I wore the hospital gown from the time I arrived until I took a shower after I had my baby and I never ended up wearing the night gown I brought. I never labored in water either so our swim suits were not needed after all. Make sure you do not bring any clothes you really love because you’ll have lots of bodily fluids from you and your baby everywhere! And black is the best color because you will be leaking from all kinds of places… (yay!)
The only electronics my husband and I brought were our cell phones and chargers, and our old iPhones to use as cameras since we do not have a camera. Both of our moms however brought their nice cameras. Don’t forget chargers or batteries! Also it might be a good idea to bring your laptop, iPad, iPod and headphones, or portable DVD player if you have any because you may be stuck at the hospital longer than expected or might get bored during labor. We didn’t have any of that and that was okay for us because we had a tv in our room, left the hospital the next day, and were occupied with visitors and the baby anyways.
4. Diaper Bag
I brought our baby girl’s diaper bag along and had several things in it. A few newborn diapers (hospital provides lots of diapers), pack of wipes, diaper rash cream, baby lotion, nail clippers, couple burp rags, 2 swaddling/receiving blankets, a bib, 3 pairs of socks, 2 sleepers, 3 or 4 onesies, 2 bottoms, a hat, 2 mittens, a jacket, and a little stuffed puppy her grandpa got her. I also brought a generic Boppy pillow and her very soft purple blankie.
Most of the time you are not allowed to eat during labor, but whoever is with you will probably be starving. And you may also give birth during the hours that the hospital cafeteria is closed, so it’s nice to have some snacks. I packed a couple different kinds of granola bars, trail mix, crackers, applesauce, pop tarts, and bottles of water. My husband and family who stayed with us were happy to have a little something to eat. Don’t forget to bring quarters and dollar bills for the vending machines also.
6. Pillows and Blankets
Hospital pillows are small and very flat so we brought my pillow and my husband’s pillow along with a blanket for my husband to sleep with. Remember that hospitals are usually very cold so you may want an extra blanket for yourself also.
7. Baby Book and Important Documents
We did not have a baby book at the time but it’s a good idea to bring one if you have it because most hospitals will stamp your baby’s feet right in the book for you. You will also need any insurance papers your hospital may require. Don’t forget you and your husband’s ID’s and your insurance card as well. I didn’t have a birth plan but if you do then bring a copy for yourself, you doctor or midwife, and one for the nurses so that everyone is informed and on the same page.
So there you have it, a hospital bag checklist. I used nearly everything I brought with me. This list might change depending on who is with you, how many babies you are having, and what kind of birth you are having but at least you now have the basics. Congratulations on your little bundle!