A few weeks ago, as I was nearing my due date, I got a lot of questions about what I was packing in my hospital bag. Although I didn’t pack my bag until about a week and a half before San was born, I spent about three weeks before that compiling a list of things I needed, and then tweaking it as time went on.
I can hardly remember what I packed in my bag with my boys, but my list this time helped me bring exactly what I needed, and I had hardly any extras.
Here’s what I brought:
- Slippers/Socks: I’m sure the hospital floors are cleaned every day, but I still liked having a pair of slippers to walk around in so I wasn’t barefoot. But if you don’t have slippers, bring a pair of socks or flip flops. I brought two pairs of socks anyway so I could wear them in bed when it was freezing cold in my hospital room (which I knew it would be).
- Robe: After wearing an ugly hospital gown for hours and hours, I really wanted to be able to put on something fresh and pretty. This gorgeous robe from Pretty Plum Sugar was perfect because it’s incredibly soft, allows for easy nursing access, and made me feel so feminine and pretty. Plus, it’s a great coverup for when guests come visit in the hospital.
- Heavyweight Cardigan Sweater. Another thing to keep me warm. I brought a big chunky one and slept in it both nights when I was freezing.
- Compression leggings. I know a lot of people like pajamas, and I do in the right setting. But after delivery when you are wearing giant pads and mesh underwear, a pair of loose pants might be comfortable, but personally I prefer a pair of pants that’s super tight and keeps things from feeling saggy. I brought both of my compression yoga leggings and they were perfect.
- Sleeping Bra. The moment you start nursing, you’re going to want to start using a sleeping bra. This one is incredibly soft and comfortable (size up one size if you’re nervous since the band around your ribcage runs a little small).
- Nursing Bra. This isn’t an essential actually because you could just use your sleeping bra the whole hospital stay if you don’t want to switch to a regular one. I brought mine, mostly for my coming home outfit.
- Two or three comfortable tops. I wore my leggings both days in the hospital, and on top I just wore soft tees that were easy to pull up for nursing. I brought this one and this one and they were perfect.
- Coming Home Outfit. Save room in your suitcase and wear a pair of pants to the hospital that you can wear home. I brought this pair, which was perfect because the elastic panels gave me extra room while my uterus was still swollen (but I didn’t need a pair with a full belly band).
- Toiletries. This is all individual to each person of course, but I made sure I brought my makeup, toothbrush, dry shampoo, deodorant, a hair tie, and makeup remover wipes. Also my hospital didn’t provide any shower gel or shampoo — I wish I’d known in advance so I could have brought my own (and didn’t have to jump out of the shower to pump hand soap out of the sink dispenser!)
For the baby. The hospital provides nearly everything you need — diapers, wipes, blankets, clothes, etc. So really you don’t need very much, but it’s fun to bring a few things to make that brand new baby feel like your own.
- Hat: The hospital provides a little hat, but I liked having a little hat to take him home in. These ones from June and January are my favorite and they come in a million colors.
- Baby Nail Clippers. Those babies are born with razor claws. Our hospital didn’t provide clippers or a nail, so it was helpful to have a pair on hand when he popped out with super long nails and I was concerned he would scratch his face.
- Camera and charger. Don’t forget this! We had my friend, Tara, come photograph us in the hospital (which I can’t recommend enough — it took the pressure off me and my husband to get some good photos!), but I was still glad to have my own nice camera to get some other shots of the baby when she wasn’t around. Don’t forget an extra battery or your camera charger!
- Phone charger. An essential — your battery will be drained in a second with all the texts and calls you’ll get with a new baby. So don’t forget it!
- Snacks. My hospital provided three meals during the day for me, and although they were nice meals, there were hours in between when I had no food and I was starved. I was glad to have brought a bag of granola bars, cookies, fruit leather, nuts, and a few other snacks so I could eat them throughout the day when my newly nursing body was desperate for food.
I’ll be sharing some postpartum essentials on the blog in the next few weeks too, so make sure you check back and don’t miss it!