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It’s 1:30 in the morning and you are awakened from your slumber either by your water breaking, contractions, or both. It’s time to head to the hospital.
You wake up your husband and quickly get dressed to leave – at least as quickly as your 38 week self can get dressed. You grab your hospital bag and you are out the door.
What is in that hospital bag? Is it packed with all your essential items? Today you will find out exactly what you need to pack in your hospital bag.
Hospital Bag Size
When it comes to picking the right size bag it all really depends on how you fold your clothes and what you are bringing with you. I packed a duffle bag with everything I needed. It wasn’t stuffed but it was plenty big for a 2 night stay at the hospital.
I probably would have done fine with this type of backpack for my hospital bag. It would have given me dedicated pockets for my needs and still given me enough room for all my stuff.
What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag
Below are the items that I found to be an absolute must have in the hospital bag.
You will want to pack your birth plan in your hospital bag. Be it just a one page sheet or a folder with huge details, this is probably the most important thing to have with you.
If you don’t have your birth plan yet and want to create one Earth Mama Organics has a free one you can get right here.
Trust me ladies the mesh underwear they give you will be absolutely awful. It slips causing the oversized pad they give you to not stay in place. This means you will wake up covered in blood and stained the hospital sheets.
Pack yourself some underwear that can be ruined. Either get a cheap packet of full coverage underwear – yes granny panties. Or pack old underwear like boy shorts or full coverage.
Bring your own pads. While they might cause you to change them more often our normal overnight period pads may be loads more comfortable than the diaper sized pads they give us.
My hospital gave me this huge canvas bag that had loads of helpful after birth products in it. It had these pads, mesh underwear, ice packs, and a peri bottle.
TAKE THIS BAG!
At least take that bottle because that thing will be a lifesaver after using the bathroom. In case you forget you can order this one here.
A Change Of Clothes For You
You will want to bring a change of clothes for you. While you will be in a hospital gown for most of your stay the change of clothes come in handy for leaving.
After going through labor, being poked and prodded, giving birth, and then spending a couple of days in the hospital you will want a fresh clean outfit to make you feel human.
A Change Of Clothes For Your Spouse
Bring an extra change of clothes for your spouse. I know they have an opportunity to actually go home at anytime to change but bring a change of clothes anyways.
Here’s why, your brand new baby will most likely spit up on you or your spouse at some point during your stay. Having an extra outfit for your husband will prevent his need to drive home and change often.
Additionally, most husbands can stay in the room with you so having clothes for them means they don’t need to go home. They can stay and suck in all the brand new baby glory too.
2 or 3 Outfits For Your Baby
We all pack at least one but I recommend packing a couple of outfits. It never fails that as soon as your child is dressed for those newborn pictures they will spit up all over their outfit.
Now you have backups so when your child spits up on the first outfit now you can change them quickly and have a clean outfit.
Bring some diapers with you, while the hospital usually provides these it never hurts to have an extra diaper or two in the bag with some wipes. Just in case you need them.
Hospital air is so dry your skin will probably start to feel it. Pack a lotion with you to slather on your arms and hands while you’re staying at the hospital.
A Little Bit Of Makeup
Those precious newborn pictures are probably going to include you in them. This is every woman’s dream to have pictures of her with no makeup on, bags under her eyes, and a huge hormone induced pimple while she gazes lovingly at her new child.
Pack some concealer, blush, lip balm, and mascara at the minimum and be prepared for those mother and child photographs that will take place.
Shower and Bathroom Supplies
After the first day in the hospital you are going to want to take a shower. My hospital had showers in each room. I couldn’t wait to take that first shower after birth.
After a superhero feat of pushing out a baby you will probably want to take a shower just so you can feel human. Pack shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a washcloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a brush.
Get those $1 small bottles from Walmart or Target to pack. They will get the job done without needing to overly pack and unpack your bag.
Pack some cozy slippers because socks won’t keep the cold from the hospital floors off your feet. I recommend a simple ballet kind of slipper paired with fuzzy socks to keep your feet warm.
Remember your phone charger. Purchase an extra one just to make sure there is one packed in your bag so you don’t accidentally forget it.
You will want to take pictures, jump on social media to announce, and make phone calls. Make sure you are prepared with that phone charger
Not Necessary But Useful Items
While these are not necessary items I do feel they deserve an honorable mention and be something to consider packing.
Newborns are kinda boring. Don’t get me wrong I sat in my bed and stared a lot at L during the 2 day hospital stay, but all he really did was sleep. I got bored in between waiting for him to wake up and be hungry or need a changing.
Hospital TV is boring too. A tablet would have been a great way for me to waste time in between feedings, changings, and cuddles.
If you don’t have a tablet, bring a book to entertain yourself with. The 48 hours after birth are long and you might need that extra help to relax when it’s time to sleep.
I wish I had packed snacks. While my parents took Rob to go get a burger and take care of our dog, I was sitting in the hospital wanting chips and oreos.
Pack yourself some healthy, or not so healthy, snacks just so you have something to munch on during that long 48 hours.
Hospitals are always cold. While I don’t mind it – if you are sensitive to the cold – you may want to consider packing a robe.
It will keep you warm and cozy in those cold hospital rooms while you wait to be sprung.
Extra Baby Blankets
Those thin hospital provided baby blankets may not be enough if you are giving birth at the end of February.
Consider packing an extra blanket or two to make sure you can cover the baby and the carrier for when you leave the hospital.
Packing Your Hospital Bag
When you are packing your hospital bag try to keep it well organized. Keep bathroom stuff in one area, clothes in another, and entertainment and snacks in another pocket.
Use whatever bag will fit everything you need and pack it at the beginning of your 36th week. Leave it in the corner of your bedroom where last minute add ins – like your phone charger – can be added as you grab it and head to the hospital.
Let your spouse help you pack your bag too. This way they know where everything is in the bag so when you ask for something they can grab it quickly.
Are there things you are taking with you to the hospital that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know what they are in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and pin this to your favorite pregnancy boards.
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