I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people that would rather be over prepared than under prepared. And this need to be prepared went into overdrive when I was pregnant. As soon as I found out, I researched everything I could think of that has to do with pregnancy, labor, and babies. I read books, pinned ALL the baby things, and googled every little thing.
So when the third trimester came around, I wanted to get my hospital bag ready to go! Of course, I scoured google and Pinterest for what people deemed “necessities”, and packed pretty much all of that, and then some!
I probably only actually used about one-third of everything I brought to the hospital, so I decided to make my own list of things I used/didn’t use, as well as things I wish I brought.
Read my Birth Story here.
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Let me start with things I brought but didn’t need/use.
- Boppy Pillow. Although I loved this and used it constantly during the first few months of my baby’s life, I actually did not even open the package in the hospital. Since I was new at nursing, I experimented with different positions, and the hospital pillows were enough support for me.
- Makeup. Now, this depends on your preferences, but I had no energy or desire to do my make up while I was in the hospital. I did have lash extensions done a few days prior, which I totally recommend, because you have pretty lashes with zero effort, and they last at least a couple of weeks. Maybe just bring the bare minimum, like some tinted moisturizer and mascara. You probably won’t want to deal with anything beyond that.
- Hair products, straightener/curler. Like I said, no energy or desire to try to get “dolled up”. I considered brushing my hair a huge achievement. Lol.
- A ton of swaddles and blankets. The hospital provides swaddles, so we didn’t even use our own until we got home. Maybe pack a couple if you really want to use your own.
- Diapers. Again, the hospital provides these, which is awesome, because you can never have enough diapers during those newborn days. Take all the free diapers you can get!
- A bunch of outfits for baby. Just stick with one outfit for going home, and maybe an extra in case of a messy situation. The whole time at the hospital, our baby was mostly just swaddled or wearing one of the little shirts the hospital provides.
- A bunch of clothes for yourself. You should be good with a couple of comfy sweats or PJs, or maybe a cute robe, and then a comfortable outfit to go home in (everything should be nursing friendly). Keep in mind your belly won’t disappear overnight, so don’t bring your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, because chances are, they won’t fit.
- *optional*Feminine products/pads, and maybe even underwear. The hospital provides all of these. Keep in mind though, the hospital’s undies are mesh, and their pads are huge! So if you prefer something less diaper-like, get some thin but absorbent ones(like these), and underwear that you won’t care if it gets ruined (think granny panties, haha). But grab at least one pair to go home in.
Also read: Must haves for Baby’s first year.
What I brought and used:
- Pacifiers. Hospitals don’t provide them anymore because they want to encourage and promote breastfeeding, but the pacifier was a lifesaver on our second day at the hospital when Matthew was super gassy and didn’t want to nurse. He finally stopped crying when we gave him the paci.
Nursing bra/tanks/shirts. Easy access is what you want!
- PJs, robe, and comfy, loose clothes. Maybe a maxi dress for when you’re going home. Don’t overpack! It’s only a few days, most of which you’ll spend in bed.
- Socks and slippers. The hospital provides socks, but they’re not very comfortable. And my feet were always cold!
- Phone, iPad, camera, and chargers for all of those. Take tons of photos of your little one, you will love looking back on that special time.
- Toiletries for you, and dad if he’s staying with you. (Toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrush, hair ties, lip balm, shower stuff, towel, deodorant, make up* optional)
- Clothes and stuff for dad. You can have him pack his own stuff, but double check it! Haha.
- Documents and paperwork (I. D., insurance card, hospital forms, paperwork for baby. Check ahead of time what the hospital will take care of and what you need to bring.)
- Car seat and things to take your baby home. (Outfit, socks, hat, blanket, pacifier.)
What I wish I brought:
- Gifts for nurses and doctors. I had some awesome staff help me through the whole journey, and I wanted to show them my appreciation! I actually had my mom go pick up some gifts. Gift cards or boxes of candy are always well received.
- My own blanket. The ones provided were kind of flimsy and not very soft. I was cold a lot.
- Dry shampoo! I did not have the energy to wash my hair during my three-day hospital stay( the First day was spent in labor), so I wish I had some dry shampoo to freshen up my hair.
- A postpartum girdle or some sort of support. I didn’t even think about how squishy I would be after giving birth. I got some shapewear shorts after I got home and they made me feel a lot better!
- Baby memory book! Not a must have, but I wish I had mine with me to write down all the details following Matthew’s birth.
You’ll also need a bag to pack all of your stuff into (obviously). I got a regular diaper bag before M was born, but I recently upgraded to a super cute one from Little Unicorn, and I love it! It doesn’t actually look like a diaper bag, but has all the compartments and changing pad and stroller hooks. You might need a second bag if you have a lot of stuff, a backpack or small duffel would work great.