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So you are getting near the end of your pregnancy and you are wondering what to pack in your hospital bag when having a baby. So what do you really need to pack? You don’t want to be overpacked and you don’t want to not bring something that you really aren’t going to use.
Here is a list of what I packed when having a baby at the hospital and below that are items my friends have packed and I wish I had or they found to be useful.
Going home outfit for your baby
Set of clothes for you. I didn’t know what size I would be after giving birth, so I packed some maternity jeans. I found them comfortable and figured they were guaranteed to fit me after birth.
A couple sets of pajamas and socks. This just consisted of a pair of pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. The hand-out my midwife gave me suggested a pair of pajamas that buttoned down the front. For the first birth I did pack one of my husband’s button up flannels, but didn’t feel like wearing it. I had no problem with just pulling up my shirt to nurse.
A nursing bra. I brought what they call a “sleep bra”. So there isn’t an underwire in it and it had a lot of stretch so I was hopeful that it would still fit after birth if I changed sizes.
Boppy Pillow – a must if you are planning to nurse.
Cell phone and charger.
Rubber band(s) for your hair
Shampoo/conditioner – I just stuck some of mine in small travel size containers. There was some already in the shower available for my use.
Cloth diapers and a wet bag – I brought these, because I wanted to use them with my baby from birth. For one birth I did bring some cloth wipes as well, but the wipes at our hospital were like thick paper towels (a lot softer than paper towels) that we would wet down in the sink. So I decided to just use theirs. One less thing to pack. The hospital we went to had a supply of newborn diapers in our room for our use. If you are planning to use disposable diapers, you might not need to pack them – check with your hospital.
Nipple cream – your nipples will thank you. If you are nursing, you will be sore. Even if your baby is correctly positioned. I can almost 100% guarantee you, you will want this.
Birth plan – if you have a birth plan, make sure to bring this. Mine was very straight forward, but with my last 2 births, I arrived at the hospital at crowning or slightly after and it wasn’t relevant at that point.
Insurance card – they will want to check this before they check you in. If you have the ability – pre-register with the hospital before you go into labor. This will save you time when checking in.
Breastfeeding book – I brought The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I had glanced through it before giving birth and thought there might be some things in here I would want to refer to when I was actually trying to nurse my baby. I did read some of this at the hospital.
Anything You are Planning to Use During Labor. For me, this was my Hypnobabies/Hypnobirthing CD’s, discman and headphones. Essential Oils were a must for one of my best friends.
Some different things my friends brought and used:
Water Bottle – I used the large water bottle that I was given at the hospital. I could see when I was getting low on water to ask for a refill. My friends liked having their own water bottle though. If you want a water bottle that will keep your water ice cold, this is a great one!
Baby soap – if you plan to give your baby a bath while at the hospital, some chemical free baby soap is a great thing to bring. We waited until we were back home to give our babies their first baths.
Heating pad – this is helpful for the after birth pains. I also found a heating pad to be so, so, so helpful when in labor on the drive to the hospital. The one I had needed to be microwaved to heat it up and we weren’t allowed to do that when we were at the hospital because of burn concerns. So, bring one that you can heat up without a microwave and if you have to plug it in, then bring one specifically for the car ride also. I would have loved to have this for the after birth pains.
After Birth Remedies – There are many different remedies my friends used for after birth pains. I wish I had thought to pack this. Some of the most popular items they brought were AfterEase tincture and Arnica tablets.
Snacks – If you have special dietary needs, this becomes more important. i didn’t pack any snacks. I wasn’t hungry during my labors. I have friends who were though. They also used the snacks after labor and delivery, during their hospital stay. When I became hungry, I just sent my husband on a food run to one of the resteraunts in the hospital or one of my visitors would bring it. Many of them called before coming to visit and would ask if there was anything I needed. Even if I told them no, some of them still brought me some snacks.
Lotion – If you use lotion normally, make sure to bring some.
Make-up – I have some friends who feel more comfortable wearing makeup than going without. They packed a minimum amount of makeup. I think a couple mentioned just packing some mascara and lipgloss. They were concerned about all the pictures that would be taken and wanted to know they wouldn’t’ be looking totally horrible.
Underwear/pads or Depends – I just used what the hospital had. I have friends who wanted to use their own pads and had special underwear to throw out after they left the hospital that they wanted to use during their stay. I have other friends who used Depends and swear that is the way to go after birth. They are absorbent, comfortable and you can throw them away after each use. They won’t use anything else for future births.
Own pillow – I have some friends who wanted to use their own pillow. I felt fine using the one the hospital has, but if you like yours, bring it.
Slippers – I don’t have or wear slippers, so I just wore my socks.
I hope this hospital packing list has helped you. Let me know in the comments anything you packed and found incredibly helpful.
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How to Prepare for a Natural Birth
Get Ready for Baby – 7 Tasks to Complete BEFORE Baby Arrives
Getting Ready for Baby – 8 More Tasks to Complete Before Baby Arrives
What You Need to Research BEFORE Having a Baby