When you are newly pregnant with your first child, you really aren't sure what you need in your Hospital Bag for the labor hospital bag and end up taking everything but the kitchen sink. Here's what you'll really need for hospital bag essentials when you go have your first child.
Packing your hospital bag really isn't all that hard. It's just that as a new mom you over think things wanting to do it all correctly. Let me first say, don't look at hospital bag lists from companies. They'll tell you that you need everything because they are items they are selling. There are hospital lists that say to take everything from labor music to fancy, pretty pajamas. Take a look at hospital bag checklists by real moms. Especially the experienced ones. They've really pared down to the essentials. Listen, being a parent is expensive enough. No need to overbuy, am I right?!
When To Pack The Hospital Bag
Don't wait until the last minute to pack the back either. Your mind will be scrambled and you can't think of everything. Pack that mommy bag for the hospital and keep it handy where it's easily found. I recommend 35 to 38 weeks at the latest.
Guess what? The hospital provides just about all you need. From undies for you (no they are not attractive but all you care about at this time is your comfort and trust me, they are comfortable.) to pads (yes you'll need them but use theirs) to diapers for the baby. And they send you home with diapers too. Even if you don't breastfeed, they send you home with formula.
Who wants to take a bunch of stuff you won't need and you have to try to figure out how to get what you need to the hospital at 1 a.m.!
One thing that sticks out the most, was going with Deb to have one of hers and the hospital had nothing open and everyone was starving but no one wanted to leave. I mean who wants to miss the big moment?!
Hospital bag checklist for mom and baby (and daddy)
So on average your hospital stay is one to five days. The longer the stay is if a C-section or problem delivery. One tip I suggest, when you go for the tour, ask what they provide for mom and baby.
- First on my list is a necessity for me. Socks. My feet are always cold. The hospital is already cold so I need to come prepared.
- Cell phone and charger. You'll probably think this is something you just know, but trust me, you'll forget when in labor and thinking of everything else.
- Toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lens case and solution, and deodorant.
- A pillow. The hospital pillows kinda suck. They are super thin. If there is one thing I am picky about is a pillow. This is the time you need to be comfortable.
- Lip balm. Anything for chapped lips. My personal favorite is Burts Bees but take what you like.
- I have long hair and when I am working, sick, or anything strenuous I hate my hair in my face. Or worse, sweaty and in my face. Hair ties are a necessity.
- 2 big cups with lids and straws for water. One for mommy and one for daddy. Everyone forgets daddy but he's there too. Some hospitals provide big cups while others do not. It's best to have this covered.
- Clothing. Notice I did not say pajamas. First, for those of you who've never had a baby, do not take pretty pajamas thinking they will stay fresh and pretty. Odds are they will not. Personally, I hate gowns. They uncomfortably ride up. My personal preference is comfortable, dark colored pants and front opening (for breastfeeding) tops.
- Nursing bra (no underwire). This is up to you. There is so much information out there as to whether or not you need to wear a bra after delivery. I am not getting into that.
- Nursing pillow (leave in the car until needed).
- Underwear to wear home.
- Breast pads. If you are a new mom, trust me. Don't be caught off guard like I was with my first and 2 big round wet spots on my shirt....in public. Ugh.
- Hairdryer, straightener, makeup. You may think, hah. But, there will be pictures. Trust me.
For daddy (partner, etc)-
- Snacks for anyone hanging out for the labor (daddy, partner, mom, mother-in-law, etc). Remember that story from the beginning? It was true. We were starving and nothing in the hospital was open. And while you can take anything, I suggest protein bars or meal bars.
- Change of clothes for daddy (partner, etc.)
- Pillow & Blanket for daddy (partner, etc.). These things are provided for mommy but not daddy and he will be there the duration. These may be left in the car until needed.
- Prescription medication that's taken daily. It may be awhile
The hospital provides just about everything for your baby so baby's list is relatively small.
- Outfit for going home.
- Blanket, swaddle, etc.
- Car seat. This must be installed and will be checked by the hospital in most cases. If you are unsure, go by a fire department and they'll help you install correctly.
As I said, don't overthink it. You aren't there that long and you can do without more than you think. The biggest thing you'll want is your phone and charger to remember these moments. Followed by snacks and clothes. The other stuff you can live with if you forget them.
Have you had a baby? What do you feel were the most important items for your bag?