I have always been an excited early packer. Vacation next month? Better start packing now! So of course my hospital bag was no exception. I started packing around 30 weeks, convincing myself that this was completely acceptable because I wanted to be ready in case I went into labor early. Since I started packing so early, by the time I hit 34 weeks, I couldn’t even remember what I’d packed. So I took everything out and started all over again. By the time I hit 38 weeks, I had forgotten all over again (thanks pregnancy brain). So of course, I took everything out and repacked... again.
Fast forward to me going into labor. I FORGOT MY HOSPITAL BAG. That’s right folks, after all that packing and repacking, I left the dang thing on the floor next to the garage door. Really, my husband left the dang thing, but that’s a debate for another day. The truth is though, of all the things that I packed, there were really only a few that I truly felt I needed. My husband brought my bag to me after our girl was born, and having way too many items packed ended up being super annoying. I just birthed an entire human being, the last thing I wanted to do was stand there digging through a bag fully of half my worldly belongings. So, I have put together a list of the only items that I think were actually useful to me during my 48 hour hospital stay.
- Extra long cell phone charger. Chances are, unless you are staying in a fancy new hospital, the plug in for your phone charger will be just slightly too far away from the bed. You’ll either be leaning over every time you want to check your phone, or you’ll have to physically get up. I recommend going on amazon, buying the extra long version of your phone charger ( I bought the 6ft) and packing that. You can thank me later.
- Robe + Nursing bra. Despite the multiple sweatpants, sweatshirts, night gowns, and leggings that I’d packed for myself, I lived in a robe and a nursing bra the entire time I was in the hospital. You just birthed a baby... I promise you, you do not want to be messing with pulling your pants up and down or worrying about whether or not your adorable postpartum diaper is showing. Find a robe that you feel both pretty and comfy in. I got multiple compliments in the hospital from nurses and family about how pretty my robe was, which was just the confidence booster I needed at that time. Plus, it’s easy to open up for skin to skin time/nursing.
- One swaddle + matching hat/bow. I packed like 3, thinking about all of the photos I would take of my little baby in various swaddle/bow combos. I used one. Because surprise surprise, hours after giving birth you just do not have the energy to put together a photoshoot for your newborn. I put my girl into one matching swaddle/bow set, took a quick announcement photo, and ended up changing her right back into the hospital outfit later because it was just easier (and she honestly looked so stinkin cute in it).
- A going home outfit for you. Be practical about what you choose. I remember after having my first baby, I hadn’t realized the extent of just how pregnant I would still look when leaving the hospital. I’d packed a relatively tighter fitting tank top and leggings and majorly regretted it when it came time to put them on. The second time around, I went with a super loose fitting house dress. I got mine from Dwell & Slumber but there are a ton of similar brands out there.
- A going home outfit for baby. Even this isn’t completely necessary since the hospital will provide you with a basic outfit. I brought a cute little newborn romper thinking that I would take some going home photos, but my baby had other plans and cried as soon as we put her outfit on. Every photo I have of her in the car seat is of her crying and it ended up feeling like it just wan’t really worth the hassle.
- Personal hygiene bag. I’m talking toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wipes, and maybe some face lotion. The hospital will provide you with some of the basics but for me, having the comforts of home in that situation were so important. Hospitals are not fun. Having the toothpaste that I enjoy, and being able to easily wipe my face with my favorite cleansing wipes, and having my favorite hydrating face lotion were major comforts to me.
- Chapstick. This goes with very little explanation. They will not let you have water while in labor. Your lips will be so dry. Chapstick=very very necessary.
- Cozy socks. Hospital rooms floors are cold and hard. Do yourself a favor. Bring the fluffiest comfiest pair of cozy socks you can find.
Each situation is different and depending on yours, there may be a few other items you’d like to have with you. Had I been further away from home or been in the hospital longer there may have been some other items that I would have wanted. But for me and my situation, these were the only items that I really ended up needing. My best advice is to keep it simple. There will be plenty of time for all of the extras once you get home.