Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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If you are reading this, congratulations as you are most likely expecting a baby and looking to see what is needed to pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery. Truly, a congratulations is in order as this is such an exciting time, so let me first suggest you take a deep breath and allow your excitement and nerves to coexist in your mind. Secondly, know that while it is so great to be prepared and have your hospital bag ready with all the things, the reality is you are most likely going to forget something and that is absolutely okay. Give yourself the freedom to walk through your labor and delivery, as well as recovery without any added pressure. Great, now I do hope that this guide is helpful to you as I wanted to share exclusively the things we brought with us in our hospital bag, including the items we used the most while in the hospital, as well as what we should not have packed, and the items we wish we had with us while in the hospital.
Okay, lets do this thing. I figured there is no better way than to start off with the actual list of what I brought with us to the hospital. As you continue to read through this post I will clarify on what we used the most and what we didn’t need, but for those who like lists, this is the actual list I went off of when packing our hospital bag.
To make things easier, I have this organized in three different categories. Focusing here on how I packed for the hospital specifically for mom, dad, and for baby.
For mom (myself) I packed the following items:
For labor and delivery:
For dad, I packed the following items:
For baby, I packed the following items:
For a little treat, I brought with us a Instax polaroid camera and instax film to have with us to capture moments in the hospital. Now, while I did not use it in the hospital, I have used it since and it has been such a special way to capture moments.
I am sure that when you finally get home from the hospital and unpack your hospital bag, you will realize that you brought with you way more than you possibly needed. For us, our induction began on Sunday evening and we did not get discharged until well after eleven pm Friday night. Therefore, our stay was very long and we ended up using most of the things that we brought. Although, I do want to highlight the items that were absolutely essential for us while in the hospital for labor, delivery, and postpartum.
Okay first things first, it is imperative to bring with you a long phone charger. You will be spending majority of the time in the oh so comfy hospital bed, while your significant other will be rotating from the couch-turned-bed and the reclining chair, therefore it is a great idea to have both of your phones plugged in to the nearest outlet with an extra long charger. This way you don’t need to worry about your phone running out of battery and you can be sure it is nearby to capture all the precious and sweet moments.
Something else that I strongly recommend and something that has completely revolutionized packing for me in general, packing cubes. Oh my gosh how have I gone anywhere before without them. I used a five-piece packing cube set from Amazon to organize everything in my hospital bag and it probably was the best idea I have had all year. From the actual labor, to the items needed for recovery and for baby, packing cubes are a must. I organized my packing cubes by having one cube strictly for the items I needed while in labor. Another packing cube included my clothes for postpartum, while another cube solely contained baby’s items. I also had a cube devoted to all of our electronics and chargers. From the bluetooth speaker, to our phones, the portable sound machine and fan, I felt like a nightstand drawer with how many cords we had and the packing cubes made it so easy to keep everything organized. Seriously, the packing cubes made everything so much easier.
Another item from our hospital bag that I really think is a game changer for the hospital was a portable sound machine. I got our portable sound machine as a gift from a baby shower, and oh my gosh it is a lifesaver. There are so many noises at the hospital and this portable sound machine is easy to clip on to baby’s basinet and have on throughout the night to help assist in sleep. The sound is extremely soothing and mimics the sound that baby is accustomed to in the womb, thus making the first few days a little easier.
There are really only two things I brought with me that I could have lived without. I brought to the hospital a nursing pillow, but didn’t use it at all. In fact, during our first day postpartum, I had my husband bring it to the car on one of his trips because we just didn’t use it. Especially for breast-feeding moms, personally, I found it a lot easier to just use the hospital pillows for support during feedings. The other thing I brought with me was an extra large water bottle. This is great for home, however the hospital had their own water bottle they gave me as a gift and it was just simpler to use that one instead.
Additionally, I wish I had not packed all the postpartum things that I did for recovery. The reality is that the hospital has all of that and more for you. I personally preferred the hospital mesh undies compared to the ones that I brought. In fact, I took several of them home with me to continue to use in the days following at home. I also used the pads provided by the hospital as well. Obviously, use your preference here, but I would have been just fine leaving those items at home.
The reality is, most of the things you can get by without when in the hospital for labor, delivery and recovery. However, it really is about comfort. Your body has just gone through the most physical task and your heart and mind have experienced more emotions all while functioning at a sleep deficit. Therefore, please keep your comfort in mind. If there is something that is going to make you happy or smile, then absolutely bring it and don’t you even think twice about it. For us, really the only one major thing I felt inconvenienced by was not having a hands-free pumping bra.
While I do not think it is necessary to bring your breast pump to the hospital as part of your labor and delivery must-haves, I do think it is a really good idea to bring with you a hands-free pumping bra. My personal favorite is the strapless zip-up bra by Lansinoh (super easy to use!) Especially if you are planning on breast-feeding, the lactation consultant at the hospital will encourage you to start pumping with the hospital breast pump to help encourage your milk to come in. While in the hospital, especially for me, while recovering from a c-section, having to hold the breast pump for an extended period of time with both hands was a tad excessive and I absolutely regretted not bringing my hands-free bra to the hospital. If you are planning on using a breast pump in the immediate days following birth, than I strongly recommend coming to the hospital equipped with your hands-free bra.
I think they should have hidden cameras in the postpartum room just to watch newbie mom and dad try and swaddle their baby. The number of times we had to call in the night shift nurse to come in and re-swaddle our baby boy in the middle of the night was too numerous to count. I wish I had brought with us an easy swaddle for the hospital to make things less complicated. (I did bring a swaddle with us, however it was a size large, and way too big to serve any kind of purpose). So definitely do yourself a favor and pack a swaddle. Stay tuned for my next blog post on our must-haves for the first six weeks of baby as I will be sharing our favorite swaddles there!
Well friends, I hope you found this helpful as you go to pack your bags for the hospital. I wish you all of the best as you embark on the best adventure of life.