When I went into labor with my daughter Julianna, I was super nervous of not having everything that I needed in my hospital bag. After experiencing what it’s like to give birth and staying at the hospital for 3-4 days after an emergency C- Section, I was able to recognize the items that were really necessary for me and the baby. Now, the second time around, I’m packing only the “essentials” for us. This is what our list looks like:
1) Slippers: You’ll need them to walk around the hospital. Nurses will have you walk a few times after you give birth to prevent clotting.
2) Flip Flops: I used them to shower because I did not want to put my bare feet in that shower; especially knowing that gross stuff has gone down through that drain. Yuck!
3) Gripper Socks: I used them to walk around the room and to keep my feet warm.
4) Pillow + blanket: I like sleeping with my own pillow because if not I get neck pains. The pillows available at the hospital aren’t that great and they flatten out. Having my own blanket to keep me warm was also nice. I tend to get really cold and the ones at the hospital are kinda rough and not as warm. That is my personal preference though.
5) Comfy Clothes: I took cute dresses, comfy pijamas/robe, and one black sweater that would match all my outfits. Make sure to pack enough clothes in case you have an emergency C-Section. If you do, you’ll probably stay in the hospital for 3-4 days.
6) Nursing Bra: I personally didn’t use a bra during my hospital stay. I just thought it was easier for me not to wear one. I just wanted to be comfortable – but that was also my personal preference.
7) Toiletries Bag:
a) Shampoo + Conditioner + Bath Sponge + Body Soap + Body Lotion
c) Contact lenses case + contact lenses liquid
d) Regular glasses in case you can’t use your contact lenses
e) Hair ties + clips
f) Basic make-up bag
g) Face wash + moisturizer
h) Make-Up Removal wipes
j) Hair Brush
8) Nipple Cream: I didn’t use my nipple cream until after I got home. I didn’t need it while I was at the hospital. My nipples didn’t feel sore until a few days later. Maybe it’s a good idea to have just in case though.
9) Lip Balm: My lips got very chapped from eating ice chips for hours and from labor itself.
10) Camera + cellphone + respective chargers:
11) Big and comfy underwear (preferably dark colored):
12) Maxi Pads: (no tampons are allowed). The pads provided at the hospital are HUGE and look like diapers. Not cute.
12) Cute going home outfit for pictures: I liked wearing a dress because I didn’t want pants touching my painful c-section incision.
13) Blow-dryer + dry shampoo + flat iron: I personally washed my hair as soon as I was able to because I felt super gross, sweaty, and stinky after being in labor for 37 hours. I’m glad I had taken my blow-dryer and flat iron to look decent. However, if you don’t feel like washing your hair, dry shampoo is an absolute lifesaver.
14) Movies + cards: I rented 2 movies from Redbox. I’m so happy I did because my husband and my mom were entertained during our stay. You can also download some movies to your Ipad/ Computer if that’s your choice. My room actually had a DVD player. Phew! I also played cards with my husband to kill some time. You can ask about this when you get the tour of the hospital.
15) Insurance + ID + OBGYN papers + birth plan:
16) Breast Pump + small bottle: I decided to take mine just in case. The first few days after I gave birth, my milk supply was really low; which is absolutely normal. Your body begins to produce more milk as demands increase. I remember not even producing an ounce the first few days. However, after like 5-7 days, my milk supply had doubled! However, the use of a breast pump while your baby isn’t eating is great to help you produce even more milk.
- Cash: For vending machines in case he wants to snack
- His favorite snacks
- Pillow and a blanket for him to be comfortable as well
- Comfy clothes + socks + flip flops
- Onesies: Size NB and 0-3 months. Some babies are born too big for NB clothes, so it’s better to be prepared than sorry.
- Cute going home outfit for pictures: Some hospitals offer professional photos (at your own cost) before you leave the hospital. If you chose to do those, it’s good to have a nice outfit for the baby to wear.
- Hand mittens: to prevent face scratching
- Infant Car seat: Have the infant car seat installed in your car BEFORE your due date. If the car seat isn’t installed, the staff won’t let you leave the hospital without it. I liked having mine installed by the 36th week or so in case I went into labor before my due date.
- Pacifier + Pacifier clip: Some parents don’t want to give a pacifier to their child and I respect that. However, I like having one just in case my baby won’t calm down with anything else.
- Blanket: The ones at the hospital are very basic. It’ll be cute to see your baby in a cozy blanket when you go home.
- Nursing Pillow: I personally wasn’t a fan of nursing pillows when I had my daughter. However, I think I’m going to give it a second try this time around. They definitely offer support when feeding your child.
- Swaddle: I personally like the Velcro swaddles (Swaddle Me) because my daughter would easily unwrap herself from regular blanket swaddles. These were a lifesaver for me before I sleeped trained my daughter.
- Baby toiletries: If you want nurses to use your own specific brand when the baby is bathed for the first time, make sure to pack it in a little zip-lock bag. It’ll be easy to find, grab, and give to nurses when needed. If you don’t care, they’ll use the generic stuff. I personally like using products with fewer chemicals such as Aveeno, Honest, or Babyganics.
1) Make sure to shave before going into the hospital. You will definitely be sore after labor so it’ll make things easier if you’ve shaved beforehand. However, just take a razor in your toiletries bag for armpit hair (we all know that grows quickly).
2) Charge your phones, cameras, Ipad, and any other electronic devices. Make sure you also have memory space for pictures and videos. You’ll probably be taking a lot of them.
3) Have your hospital bag + diaper bag packed by the time you reach 35-36 weeks pregnant. Have the bags in your car (the car you’ll use to go to the hospital and where the car seat is installed). This is useful in case you go into labor before your due date.
4) It’s not necessary to take diapers or wipes to the hospital unless you want to use your own brand. The staff will give you everything that the baby needs! The brand they use is usually Pampers or Huggies.
I hope this list is useful for your upcoming labor! It’s a beautiful experience so enjoying it to the fullest is a must. Good luck and feel free to leave comments below if I’m missing anything that was useful for you!