Real Talk: Must-Have Hospital Bag Items

What. A. Whirlwind. The last few months have flown by; it seems like we were just having our gender reveal party, and here I am sitting on the couch, burp cloth on my shoulder, as our newborn sleeps.

Our son arrived two weeks early (blog post coming soon with his birth story), and thanks to a good friend urging me to pack my hospital bag at my baby shower a couple of weeks prior, I was prepared.

Honestly, packing my bag was really hard. I did a lot of googling to see what to include; some of which was helpful, and some seemed a little much. Most of the blog posts I read mentioned things like packing a cute robe, baby’s going home outfit, makeup, etc. Uhhh …. reality check.

Giving birth is hard work, and in a perfect world I would have cute hair and a picture-ready glow from my Clinique highligher, but after an incredibly long and exhausting labor what I needed and wanted most were comfort items from home.

Here’s what I packed in my bag, followed by a list of things I wish I would have included (note: none of these items are sponsored). I thought I had severely overpacked, but I ended up spending four nights in the hospital and wore most of the clothes I packed.

Hospital Bag Items:

  • Baby’s Going Home Outfit | Pack a couple of different outfits in various sizes. We went to put 0-3 month onesie and pants on our kiddo and he was swimming in them. We ended up really liking onesies with a zipper like these for newborns.
  • Boppy Pillow | Super helpful for feeding the baby, but also good for yourself to sit on post delivery. I know it sounds crazy, I’m sitting on one now as I write this – try it!
  • Car Seat | This is a given, but don’t forget to install the base and have it checked a few weeks ahead of time.
  • Chargers | I packed three 6-ft chargers, and we used all of them.
  • iPad | This was a game-changer for me. I was induced and labored for a long time, so streaming shows on Amazon and Netflix helped pass the time.
  • Lanolin | If you’re planning to nurse, Lanolin is really helpful.
  • Loose-Fitting Tops / V-Neck T-Shirts | During the end of my pregnancy, I wore Eric’s undershirts to bed – I didn’t originally pack this, but had him bring one to the hospital. Something about the familiarity of this shirt helped me sleep better.
  • Lounge Pants | In my case, yoga pants were not comfortable and the lounge shorts I packed never got worn. I lived in these lounge pants from Target.
  • Nursing Bras | Whether or not you decide to nurse, these nursing bras from Amazon offer support and are really comfortable.
  • Snacks | These are key not only for your partner, but for you post labor. It was nice to grab a granola bar to snack on in the middle of the night post feedings.
  • Swaddle Blanket | We didn’t use this in the hospital (they provided a swaddle), but it was really helpful for the car ride home to keep our son cozy in his car seat.
  • Toiletries | I didn’t bring makeup, but I did bring my own toiletries and hair dryer. For me, a hot shower helped relax my sore muscles and feel like I was starting the recovery process.
  • White Noise | Eric actually used a white noise app on his phone to sooth our baby while I was trying to rest, and it ended up helping not only baby, but me, get good sleep – especially with the revolving door of nurses.

Things I Should Have Packed …

  • Blanket | A super soft, warm blanket from home to make the hospital bed more comfortable.
  • Pacifier | This may be controversial, but if you’re not planning to nurse a paci can be helpful to sooth your newborn between feedings. A client from work (who is a new dad) said he and his wife did this – I wish I would have taken his advice!
  • Pillow | hospital pillows just suck … I would have brought a pillow, maybe two, for Eric and me to use.
  • Towels | A post-delivery shower helped make me feel better. However, the super tiny, (like the size of a kitchen towel), scratchy hospital towels are no good. One from home would have been incredible.

In addition to my bag, Eric also packed a bag ahead of time with clothes, toiletries, snacks, etc., for himself. This turned out to be really important, as we ended up in the hospital unexpectedly and he slept on the couch in the room for two nights.

What are items that made all of the difference in your hospital stay? I’d love to add them to this post for my friends who are mamas-to-be!

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