As my due date quickly approaches, preparing an overnight bag for the hospital is something I have made a priority. Having spent five days in the hospital with my son, as a result of some complications, I know that while you don’t need to pack “everything and the kitchen sink” you do need to bring along some key items to make yours, your partner’s and, of course, your baby’s stay as comfortable as possible.
So I’ve rounded up a few hospital bag essentials to share with you.
There are a number of things you are going to want to bring with you as a mom-to-be in preparation for this hospital stay, but like I mentioned earlier, there are a few key items that you don’t want to miss. Here they are:
Comfy PJs and Clothes
Remembering that I was the only one to show up to the breastfeeding class when my son was born wearing a hospital gown (a somewhat embarrassing memory), I now know that I need to bring a really comfortable set of PJs (or preferably a night gown because I want as little elastic bands on my skin as possible after the birth) and one or two comfortable outfits for after the birth. You might want to walk around a bit, and believe me I felt a lot more comfortable once I put on my own clothes and took off that hospital gown.
Nursing Bra/ Tank Tops and Maternity Underwear
For my first pregnancy, I purchased nursing bras after we came home from the hospital and this time around I am really happy that I have a few to bring with me. Nursing bras make nursing just a little bit easier, especially in those first few days when it can be hardest. You want to be comfortable and part of the comfort when it comes to nursing is access. If you don’t have the right bras it can be a bit difficult to do, so do yourself a favour and bring these along with you. Maternity underwear is something that we often associate with pregnancy, but I love my maternity underwear and now know that comfort after birth might actually be even more important
Nursing Pads, Nipple Cream and Pads
Everyone’s nursing experience is going to be different. You might have a lot of milk to start or you might have to wait a while for it to come in. Either way, you want to be prepared. These nursing pads from Munchkin are super thin and discreet that you can barely tell they are on. They also have a sticky side to stay in place when you attach them to the inside of your bra. The great thing about these pads is that they are so thin; you can pack a whole bunch of them into your bag without taking up too much space!
If you are planning and able to breastfeed it’s a good idea to bring along some nipple cream as well. You can get a bit tender and you want to make this experience as comfortable as possible for you and baby. If you start cracking, breastfeeding can really start to hurt, so be sure to pack a little nipple cream as well.
Depending on the birth, you may need a lot of heavy-duty pads for afterwards. The hospital may provide some, but you want to be prepared if they don’t.
Towel & Flip Flops for the Shower
For me, these are staples. Let’s’ not kid ourselves here; birth can be a bit messy. I was really happy to take a shower and having my own towel and some flip flops to protect my feet from the shower floor was an absolute must for me.
Earphones & Journal
Music, a good Netflix Series, podcasts … the list of ways to use earphones while you are staying in the hospital is endless. Having been induced with my last pregnancy and spending a lot of extra time at the hospital with our son after the birth, meant that entertainment and distraction from some of the stresses was needed. These earphones from Sudio are the perfect way to listen to some calming music or watch your favourite Netflix series while you’re in the hospital, especially if you are in a semi-private room or ward, and don’t want to be blaring your favourites for all to hear. These earphones are super light (they take up no space at all in your purse or bag), produce awesome studio-quality sound and give you up to eight hours of wireless freedom! They are a must have for your hospital bag!
While you might not have any time to write about your experience, if you do (like if you are getting induced and are waiting for labour to begin) it might be a good idea to get some of your thoughts down on paper as a way of coping with any stress. When my son was in the NICU after he was born, and we were sent back to our room after feedings, I would write to help pass the time and calm down. It’s also nice to record the first few days with your little one to look back on later.
Packing for a new baby can be a bit of a challenge, especially if this is your first. Here are a few items for baby you’ll want to make sure to bring along.
Who doesn’t love a cute onesie! They are the perfect little outfits for your newborn and when they are 100% organic cotton like this one from Jr. Authentics, it makes them that much better! I love the unique designs from Jr. Authentics and can’t wait to share more of this company with you in an upcoming feature this fall!
Depending on the season you might also want to bring along a long-sleeved onesie like this adorable triangle-shape neutral from Mawdsley Loves which is perfect for this cooler weather! Since we did not find out the gender with this baby, or for my son, I am a big fan of neutrals.
Diapers, Wipes & and Cream
These are a must! I would say pack a small bag of diapers (20-30 newborns), a pack of wipes and some diaper cream (just in case). The baby’s first poops are intense and you want to be prepared for the mess.
Ok so swaddling was something that I found a little bit difficult with my son and while I can’t blame the blankets entirely I think they had a part in this struggle. So I am suggesting that you bring a swaddle blanket like this adorable one from Bonjour Baby Baskets. This blanket is specifically designed for swaddling, which means that the material, 100% muslin (an open weave, lightweight and breathable fabric) is perfect for keeping your baby comfortable. These blankets are also a little bit larger than the average baby blanket so it makes swaddling a lot easier when you have more material to work with.
Cute Coming Home Outfit for Baby
You will probably want to swaddle your baby and keep them in onesies for your stay at the hospital, but when it’s time to go home you’ll want a cute, weather appropriate, outfit for them to come home in. This adorable outfit from Bonjour Baby Baskets is the perfect neutral option.
The hospital bag is often filled with all things mommy and baby, but if dad is planning to stay overnight as well, he will need to bring a few essentials of his own.
Comfy Clothes & Pillow
Pack a few pair of clean underwear and track pants for the overnight portion and because dad doesn’t always get a bed, my husband slept on a chair the first night of our stay when our son was born, and then we squeezed into the hospital bed for the remainder of your stay. Dad may want to bring a good pillow to try and get a bit of shut eye.
This is truly an incredible experience and while mom might not be a fan of cameras in the delivery room (to be honest I am so not ok with that at all) dad might want to capture some moments after the baby is born.
As you prepare for the birth of your little one I hope this list helps!
Happy Packing Mamas!