Knowing what to pack in your hospital bag can be a daunting task. What is necessary and what will simply be in the way during the chaos? I’ve put together a checklist of the essentials in a downloadable format so you can maintain your sanity when the contractions strike.
– Socks (with grippies): The hospital will give you socks to wear, but if you bring your own you’ll feel a lot more comfortable.
– Music / Headphones: Create a soothing (or totally rockin’) labor playlist for the big day. It will either help calm you through painful contractions or motivate you to push that baby out. Either way, music can positively impact your birthing experience.
– Personal Items: You will want to pack a photo of a loved one who can’t make it, a teddy bear you’ve had since you were little, or something else that reminds you of your happy place and the people you love.
– Rolling Pin: This was recommended to pack by my mother, who will be my labor partner. She says it will help her be able to rub my back for a longer durations if I’m experiencing painful back labor. It’s a small enough item to not get in the way, and may turn out to be quite useful.
– Phone: For all of the “baby’s here” phone calls you know you are going to make
– Camera: Don’t leave this at home and regret it. Yes, your phone takes pictures and videos, but even a mediocre quality camera can capture truly beautiful images by adjusting it to the right setting.
– Phone Charger: 16 hours of labor can drain you and also your phone’s battery. Plus, you’ll be at the hospital for a few days and you don’t want your phone to die right as grandma and grandpa are pulling up to the hospital.
– Camera Charger: Again, batteries die. Don’t forget this.
– Going Home Outfit (several sizes): During your stay at the hospital, you will be given generic white onesies to dress your newborn in. You’ll want to have weather appropriate clothing and something cute to bring baby home in. Pack a few outifts in different sizes (size newborn may be too small if you deliver a 9 pounder!)
– Nursing Pillow: This is an optional item, but trust me when I say you’re going to want it. These things are truly amazing and having one at the hospital will help make positioning your baby much easier as you are trying to learn.
– Carseat: This doesn’t need to come into the hospital with you, but make sure you’ve got one in the car and ready to go to bring your bundle of joy home!
– Comfy Clothes (For Recovery): Think of what you would wear lounging around the house on a lazy Saturday morning. Sweat pants, loose tops, a light jacket, a night gown you feel comfortable walking around in, anything that is loose and makes you feel cozy.
– Panties: The hospital will provide you with the dreaded mesh underpants, but they are uncomfortable and a total nightmare fashionably. Pack a handful of cotton, comfortable panties that you don’t mind tossing at the end of your recovery; they will get ruined.
– Nursing Bras: Comfort and convenience are the key words here. Whether you plan to nurse or bottle feed, having a few nursing bras on hand won’t hurt.
– Flip Flops: Pack these for your after delivery showers and baths. Yes, the hospital is clean and sterile, but you won’t be allowed to walk around barefoot. So come prepared.
– Going Home Outfit: You can choose to go home in your sweats / night gown, or you can pack something more durable and public friendly. You will most likely have a lot of visitors, so dress in what you will feel comfortable wearing in front of others.
– Feminine Pads: Just take my word for it. Pack them. Pack lots of them and don’t even think about reaching for the tampons.
– Shampoo / Conditioner: The hospital will have these available to you, but if you are anything like me, you will want your products in your scents.
– Toothbrush / Toothpaste: Let’s keep the breath fresh, ladies.
– Make Up: Whether you are having photos taken in the hospital or just plan on being with friends and family during recovery, make up will help you feel more like your normal self. Your body is going to be feeling loose and strange and a little bit of make up can help you feel less like a disgusting milk machine and more like the beautiful new mom that you are.
– Prescriptions: If you are on any prescription meds, pack them in their labeled containers. The hospital will most likely monitor everything you take and you will need to let them know what you’re on/
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