After having my first daughter at a hospital more than an hour away from my home, I realized pretty quickly that forgetting something from your maternity bag can be a big no-no. That said; here is the list of items I simply forgot, and some that I learned from the experience are good to have!
The hospital has basic toiletries, but let’s face it, no woman wants to use hotel-style shampoo and conditioner. Bring your own supply and a pair of flip flops for the shower. Don’t forget Chap Stick – your lips will get dry from the hours of drinking nothing but ice chips – and your contact solution and case – believe it or not, most hospitals don’t have extras.
Your own pillow and blankets for dad
I was so happy that I brought my own pillow from home. It was so much more comfortable than the hospital-grade one. However, I did regret not bringing extra sheets and blankets for my husband. He stayed on the pull out couch and they didn’t have enough sheets for his bed.
Slippers and a bathrobe
The hospital-grade slippers and robes not only are not very comfortable, but they also are revealing. No one wants to walk down the hall to see their new baby and show the whole maternity ward their grandma-style, post-delivery undies! Cover up with something comfortable.
Grandma-style, post-delivery undies
Speaking of, these are a must! While the hospital will provide some underwear for you, they are very uncomfortable and may cause a rash. Head to Walmart and pick up a pack of extra big underwear, big enough to fit an oversized pad. Don’t worry if they are stylish; you will want to throw them away before you leave the hospital.
Thank you notes and stamps
You may have a round of visitors to see your little one. More times than not, they will bring gifts. While you definitely will need your time to rest, there is a lot of down time during your one- to three-day stay and it will feel good to get these things out of way before you go home.
Hair dryer and tons of make-up
Most hospital rooms now come with a hair dryer. Regarding the make-up, this is a personal preference, but I would recommend bringing only what you need to feel comfortable. It’s nice to have a few things to spruce up for those first family pictures, but you don’t need to look like a super model five minutes after giving birth.
While some hospitals still allow them, many doctors are banning video cameras from the delivery rooms due to liability. Check with your hospital’s policy before lugging the heavy equipment around. If you really want to capture some first moments with your new little one, consider your cell phone camera to save on extra bags.
You will undoubtedly leave the hospital with more stuff than you ever imagined a little baby could need. Leave the little tote bags at home and bring a big suit case with extra room for the extra items you will bring home. Helpful tip: ask the nurses for extra diapers, pads and even tissue boxes; let’s face it – you already paid for them, might as well take them home!
Cute, frilly head-home outfits
This is a person choice, but I would recommend skipping the frilly, uncomfortable outfits for bringing your baby home. Pick something cute, but comfortable, such as an adorable onesie or cute pajamas. Your baby most likely will have an accident in the outfit within the first few minutes of putting it on, and it will be frustrating to have to change them out of a seven-layer mess.
99 percent of women will not be able to fit into their pre-baby clothes when they leave the hospital. As much as you may think you are going to fit into your skinny jeans and favorite tee two days after having your child, reality is they won’t fit and you will feel worse about yourself for not fitting into them. Play it safe by planning to wear something from your maternity collection and consider it a bonus if it’s too big!