Technically baby number three, but this is my second delivery.. but that was just too much for a blog title, but you get the idea. As I am approaching the end of my 35th week of this pregnancy, I guess I would say it might be a good idea for me to start thinking about what is going in my hospital bag.
Truth be told..I basically broke the internet searching for what in the world to pack in my hospital bag when preparing for the twins’ birth. I scoured pinterest that led me to blogs that led me to making a list longer than you can imagine for what I was supposed to be packing. But really, what else could I have done while laying in the bed for months leading up to our hospital stay..? I was a master list-maker from the thrones of bed-rest.. and I can promise that Jordan can attest to this. Needless to say – I was overwhelmed and basically I over-packed. I literally brought two bags for me (and the girls) and didn’t even crack the zipper for the 5 days we were there. I thought for sure I would be dressing the girls (and myself) while we were there.. which meant I needed 10 outfits between the two of them alone, and they never came out of the white tee shirts the hospital provided until the day we loaded them into the carseats for discharge.
I had a friend ask me recently if I wrote a blog post about packing for the hospital when I delivered Parker and Jolie, and the answer was a big fat N-O. For my second delivery I decided to take what I learned the first time I packed a bag and put it to use this time. The List is what I think will work for me based on what and how things when the last time I was post-partum
- Toiletries — basically bring whatever makes you most comfortable for your post-baby stay. For me it is shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, toothpaste, mini shower pouf, toothbrush, facewash, hair dryer.. you get the idea. I was in the hospital for four nights and five days, and because I was in the hospital for a longer stay than typical, I brought my regular size bottles of toiletries. I ended up only taking a shower twice while in the hospital – I wasn’t in the best shape and moving around the first couple days was pretty painful (bed rest and abdominal surgery don’t mesh well..) but, after I did- I felt SO much better! You could probably stand to leave the hair dryer at home, but that’s totally your preference.
- Lip balm — I mentioned my favorite balm in this post, but have also come to love the Honest Co. organic lip balm after receiving a sample it in my bundle of prenatal vitamins last month. Hospitals tend to have dry air and I ended up sending Jordan out for some last time, so I am sure to pack it for this hospital stay.
- Hairbrush + hair ties — the topknot is my very best friend, so I want to make sure I’ve got something to hold my hair up – especially when me and the little miss are learning to nurse and of course it is a refreshing feeling to get your hair off your neck.
- Support Binder/Abdominal binder/Belly Band — whatever you call it, you will appreciate it after your baby is born. My OB prescribed and provided one while I was in the hospital, but it is my understanding that not all docs will do that – so it might be something to ask about before heading to the hospital for delivery. It helped to make it seem like not everything was going to ‘fall out’ the moment I put two feet on the ground to make the journey to the bathroom 4 steps away.
- Stretchy, soft + comfy clothing — The first day of my stay (D-Day) I was in no shape to get dressed. It wasn’t until day two that I was ready to be in my own clothing. I made sure to pack a couple of each item incase I needed to change due to a run in with teeny baby poop/pee or spit up.
- Pants (2-4 pair): For my fellow C-section mamas, look for pants that you can wear higher or lower than your bikini line – yoga pants with the wide, fold-over waistband are great. I have this pair and this pair in my bag ready and waiting to be worn. Super soft and super stretchy.. and even though they are maternity, they are really perfect for postpartum wear.
- Bras (2): Just say no to the underwire. I stopped wearing underwire bras months ago.. and if you are planning to breastfeed you’ll need to say bye-bye to that kinda support from now until the end. I have packed two nursing bras – this one I have talked all about before (HERE), and this one is new and as pretty as a nursing bra can get:) I also plan to wear my favorite bralette so I’ll have it with me in case I need it. While not a technical nursing bra, it is stretchy enough to be BF’ing friendly.
- Tops (2-4): If you’re planning on nursing, keep in mind ease of access for breastfeeding. I wore these maternity tanks throughout my pregnancy with the twins, and they were fantastic for breastfeeding- they have great stretch and hold their shape very well. I wore them as undershirts every time we went anywhere. I’ve gotten a handful more for this pregnancy, and plan to wear them again postpartum for nursing. Whatever you bring- make sure they are nursing friendly if you plan to breastfeed.
- Sweater: Even in the middle of the summer, I plan to bring a light sweater or shawl. You could even bring a robe if that’s what you prefer – but not all three:) I am cold-natured, and hospitals are notorious for freezing you out. Also would be great to have something to cover up with while you are walking the halls.
- Slippers– You’ll be up and moving around, walking your room, and the hospital hallways is important for recovery (and sanity). I wore some slipper booties that I tossed in the trash before we went home.
As bad as you want to, he/she doesn’t need their own bag..
- Beanie — the hospital usually provides one, but I had some custom made for the twins and again for this little girl. This is a total preference, but I just love these beanies for my teeny baby’s heads. I’m not usually one for a monogram, but they are just perfection.
- Take Home Outfit — I picked out something easy – just the sweetest little sleeper outfit (to match her beanie). Since I’m not totally sure what size she’ll need, I have packed both newborn and 0-3 months. You could also do just a onesie and stretchy pants. Keep in mind that gowns aren’t able to be used in the car seat – so leave those for home wear:) Don’t forget the socks to keep those teeny toes toasty!
- Camera & charger
- Laptop/tablet/iPad & charger
- Cell phone & charger
- Any meds you’re taking (talk to your doctor first, obviously) — I have packed my prenatal vitamins and Omega-3’s
- Insurance card/ID/etc: —They’ll ask for them in the mountain of paperwork you’ll be signing at check in and check out.
- Boppy or other nursing pillow (if you’re breastfeeding) — I didn’t bring the My Breast Friend Twin Pillow or the Boppy the first go round, but really wished I had. When I was first learning to breastfeed I would set up mountains of pillows around me – and it still didn’t get both of us in the right position. I definitely have this ready to go!
- Car seat — You don’t need this until you’re leaving, so it can just stay in the car. You can also bring your car seat cover – if that’s something you have preference for. Winter/Summer babies probably would appreciate the protection from the sun/cold.
Stuff You Think You Need, but Probably Don’t
- Underwear (other than what you wear in) — I brought several pair of oversized cheap cotton panties that I planned to wear and toss, but, really the hospital provided mesh panties is the only way to go. I didn’t get into real panties until I got home. I couldn’t hurt to bring, but I can all but promise you wont be wearing them.
- More than one newborn outfit — Like I mentioned earlier, I way overpacked and brought outfits for the twins that they never wore. The hospital gave use little t-shirts and swaddle blankets for your own use, so you really only need something for the trip home. You better believe I’ll have extra hairbows and such, but anything else I plan to leave at home.
- Newborn care items — The hospital gives you everything! My hospital is ‘baby friendly’ and does not provide a pacifier, but everything else- you name it: diapers, wipes, snot sucker, blankets, whatever you can think of. We went home with a TON of stuff, even a couple Halo braind swaddle sleep sacs (amazing).
- Diaper bag — you don’t need any newborn care items, so you don’t need a diaper bag. As bad as you want to bring it (I did and didn’t need it) just leave it behind. It will get its fair share of use.
- Pads — When I was packing my hospital bag for my stay with the twins, every single blog/site I landed on told me to bring pads. The hospital will give you some that are BIG enough and absorbent enough for what you need – you cant actually get those at the store:) I’m telling you, mesh panties and giant hospital pads all the way.
- Nipple cream/pads — the hospital provided these.
Parker and Jolie HATED the nipple cream and even if I had just a teeny bit they would scream their head off – so I have doubt I will use it this time at all..
- Breast Pump — I brought my own, but ended up using the hospital grade they provided during my stay, so I don’t plan to bring it this time. After nursing the twins I always pumped just so I could make sure I was telling my body I needed to make more for feeding two!
When I first sat down to write this post, the very thought stressed me out and made me a tad overwhelmed- but its not so bad. Hopefully this is helpful- I am notorious for going back and reading my own blog posts for reference – and I am pretty sure this will be referenced a couple more times before little miss is here and again for the next babe (next babe?!)
I’m packed and ready!
This was so helpful! I'm about 6 weeks behind you and I've felt anxiety looking at the many versions of 'what to pack' lists there are. I'm definitely bookmarking this!
I'm in the Dallas area too…would you mind sharing where you're delivering? I'm wondering if most of the hospitals provide the same type of 'extras' you spoke about. Thanks!
I usually pack my hospital bag around 36 weeks as well. 🙂 I am on baby (and hospital) #4 and I completely agree with you on so many levels! I never pack a bag for baby, always bring comfy clothes for myself (I hate sitting around in robes like so many moms seem to enjoy), only bring one "going home" outfit for baby… the only real places we differ is I HAVE to have my own pillow (I double case it), and I haven't really felt the need for the Boppy ever, but obviously everyone is different! 🙂 Also, the one newborn care item I do make sure and bring is a baby nail file. When my son was born his nails were SOOOOO long and they didn't have anything there (it was their policy not to cut baby nails). He had to spend a lot of time under the bilirubin light so he couldn't wear the hospital-provided long-sleeved shirt with the attached mittens, I had to run out to Babies R Us and pick up an infant clipper and files!
Love this and totally agree. I had my first 6 months ago and way over packed but now know for next time what I dont need to bring! 🙂 May I ask what tummy tightner(or whatever they are called) thing you use? I have heard so much about these and want to get one for my next after pregnancy! Thanks!
Mine wasn't a name brand specifically.. it was whatever the hospital provided after my OB prescribed it after birth. After looking into them while preparing this post, I would probably suggest that it most closely resembles this one: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WFR34O?tag=mypostpartum-20 but, its promises to make you get your 'pre-pregnancy shape back sooner' are silly:) But the claim that it 'helps minimize pain by providing evenly distributed pressure to the abdomen, waist and lower back' is what you want to look for. Hope that helps!
Amber – love this post – since my baby is now 36 lots has changed. My boys are 8 years apart (although many losses in between) so I was very concerned about adding another – however, my baby gave his Big Brother a gift when he came to meet him at the hospital and because we only gifted our kids on Christmas, birthday, Valentine's and children's day – he knew it was very special. They are best buds. My daughter in law is pregnant and due in late October. It also seems that your hospital provides a lot more than ours do here in NC. I can't wait to see the pix when P&J meet your new little girl. It is going to be pure love
I promise you you need this! Baby Girl *wont't scoff or scream at it. It was a game changer after nothing worked with Lukas and a no-brainier once Cece came along. Buy 3 or 4! I never chap, crack, or bleed with it unlike the other stuff that was given to me.
6 Comments on Packing for the Hospital | Baby Number 2