As I’m sitting here at 38.5 weeks thinking of the fact I haven’t yet packed my hospital bag essentials, I find it pretty funny because with my first pregnancy, I think I had my bag packed by 35 weeks – at the latest! Maybe it’s because I’ve never gone into labor naturally or early or maybe I’m in denial that we’re about to have a third baby, but I felt like I should probably get to work on that.
To be honest, even though this is my third pregnancy, I felt like I needed to research what to bring and make sure I didn’t forget anything important. I admit I can be an over-packer, but after the birth of my second baby and the fact I only stayed in the hospital 24 hours, it finally sunk in that I really do only need the necessities – so I thought I’d share what hospital bag essentials I’m bringing this time around!
Hospital Bag Essentials for Mom + Baby
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- Comfortable pajamas to wear after baby is born – I wore a nursing nightgown with my first daughter, but purchased these button-up PJs to wear after my second daughter and felt a lot less exposed when we had people in and out of the room! I snagged a shorts version of the same PJs in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year that I’m also bringing.
- Your insurance card and paperwork – If you can pre-register at the hospital, you probably won’t have much to do on delivery day. Always bring the essential paperwork and insurance cards, plus a birth plan, if you made one.
- A nursing bra – I love this style, but there are so many different types out there! You’ll live in these for the first few months at least.
- A tube of lanolin – This is so important to have on hand, especially if this is your first baby – nursing can be a little rough at first but trust me, it gets better!
- Your phone charger – Most people suggest buying one with a long cord, which is a great idea just in case the plug is far from your bed.
- Your camera – My husband and one of our nurses took turns snapping photos with my second baby and I love having these pictures to look back on. This time, we’re going to have a birth photographer, so I am very excited about seeing these pictures!
- Slippers or cozy socks – My feet were frozen in the hospital, so it’s nice to have something to warm them up, plus you don’t want to walk on the hospital floor with bare feet.
- Flip-flops – You probably also don’t want to shower with bare feet on the hospital floor, so bring flip flops that you don’t mind getting wet…even if they’re cheap rubber ones that you throw away afterward.
- All the snacks – You may not be able to enjoy them pre-baby, but trust me, your husband will thank you for having his favorite snacks on hand so he can avoid the hospital cafeteria. And once baby is born, you’re going to be hungry and trust me, hospital food leaves a lot to be desired! This time, I’m bringing things like protein bars, trail mix and my fave Bare Snacks fruit chips (love that they are just fruit and spices – nothing else added!).
- A lightweight robe – This is especially nice if you have a nursing nightgown instead of button-up PJs! I actually didn’t wear my robe at all last time since I was wearing my button-up pajamas, but I liked having it nearby when I was wearing a nightgown in case guests stopped by.
- Lip balm – I don’t know why, but my lips always get chapped in the hospital. Maybe it’s really dry air…who knows! But definitely an essential.
- Your own toiletries – Most hospitals have super cheap soap and shampoo and I definitely prefer my own, so I like to grab travel size bottles of body wash, shaving cream, shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, etc.
- A nursing pillow – I’ve always used and loved the Boppy nursing pillow, but there are other brands I’ve heard good things about too. It’s nice for positioning baby for nursing but also nice to have on hand for family and friends to use when holding the baby.
- A swaddle for baby – The hospital will swaddle baby in a receiving blanket, but I honestly prefer using our Halo Swaddle (plus it’s easier to use!) so I like to take it with me to use.
- A few onesies – This isn’t really necessary since the hospital usually dresses baby in a white shirt and diaper, but if you wanted to put a onesie on before swaddling, you can always bring a few.
- A going-home outfit for mom – I’ve always just worn a loose dress like this one, but if you’re feeling more like leggings and a tee, go for it. Just make sure you’re comfortable!
- A going-home outfit for baby – I’ve always brought a newborn and a 0-3 month size outfit because you don’t know exactly what size baby will be! My first daughter basically skipped newborn clothing entirely but my second daughter fit nicely in newborn clothes for a few weeks.
- Blanket and pillow for husband – No, the sofa or reclining chair won’t be very comfortable for your husband…but at least you can make it a little better with your own blanket and pillow!
- Your carseat – It’s best to just leave this in the car until you’re ready to go home to avoid wasting space!
I have a feeling this could be my last blog post before baby arrives, so stay tuned to Instagram to keep up and I’ll be sure to share an announcement and eventually a birth story on the blog! <3
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