As a first-time mom, packing your hospital bag can feel like an exhausting task and OVERWHELMING. What do you actually need during your hospital stay?
There are hundreds of packing lists out there, and while they may be helpful to follow when packing your hospital bag, they can sometimes leave you packing too much, or even forgetting some of the most important items that you’ll wish you had later on!
Keep in mind that this is a list of essentials, and while (as a minimalist) I may keep my bag limited to these few things, you can add to it or remove from it as much as you’d like!
(Looking for a hospital bag checklist for your partner? Check out this blog!)
Is there anything worse than the feeling of your lips being chapped? When you’re in labor, dry lips are the last thing you want to be thinking about! Between dry hospital air and mouth breathing during labor, your lips are bound to get dried out. That’s why lip balm is always high on my hospital packing list. Pack your favorite one to have handy during labor (and after) to keep you comfortable and hydrated.
Your lips aren’t the only part of your body that will get dry during your hospital stay. You’ll want to bring your favorite hand/body lotion too. Your hands will get dry from the dry air, but you’ll also be doing a lot of hand washing and sanitizing as well. You will be happy you brought your lotion!
Doesn’t it always seem like your phone battery runs out at the WORST times? Don’t let your delivery and hospital stay be one of them! From keeping family and friends updated to taking pictures of your new precious little one, you’ll want your phone.
If you’ve stayed in the hospital before, you’ll know that the outlets nearest the bed are a mile away. If you don’t already have one, purchasing a phone charger with a long cord is a must. Then you’ll still be able to use your phone while it’s plugged in.
Hospitals are noisy. After you’ve given birth, you’ll be staying overnight for at least a night or two. Even with your door shut during the night, you will still be able to hear what’s going on outside your room. Using a sound machine will help drown out the unwanted noise and help you get some much-needed rest.
Hair ties are easily one of the most overlooked items to pack in your hospital bag. You’ll most likely be sweaty during labor, so being able to pull your hair back and not have it stick to your neck and face will be such a relief!
There are differing opinions on when the right time to introduce a pacifier to your newborn is, but in those desperate moments, you’ll be glad you packed one. It really can help soothe your baby and give you a little break when you need it most.
Yes, the hospital provides mesh underwear that you can layer your pads in, and some new mamas like them, but using adult diapers is so much easier! They are easy to take on and off and even help prevent leaks – especially for the trip home..
A donut pillow will easily become your new best friend after a vaginal birth. You are going to be SORE and sitting in a hospital bed for hours on end is not going to do you any favors. Using a donut pillow will help alleviate some pressure and help keep you a little more comfortable. You’ll probably even want to continue using it for a few more days once you’ve made it back home.
If you plan on breastfeeding, those first few feedings (or even few weeks) can be brutal on your nipples. Applying nipple cream in between feedings will help soothe any cracks and sores that you’ll most likely experience, while your body gets used to feeding your baby.
Whether your main reason for bringing socks or slippers is to stay cozy or to avoid bare feet on the hospital floor, definitely remember to pack one or the other! If you opt for socks, choosing ones that have grippy bottoms can be super helpful to keep you stable on the hard, slick floors.
Toiletries: Toothpaste/toothbrush, hairbrush, glasses/contacts (if you wear them), deodorant.
Going home outfit (for both you and baby!): As much as you may be ready to wear your favorite pair of jeans, choose something for yourself that is soft, comfortable, and stretchy! And for your baby, bring a couple different sizes of outfits (premie, newborn, 0-3 mo.) since you don’t know how big they’ll be until they’re here!
Also, don’t forget to bring your birth plan with you if you haven’t already given it to your hospital or medical provider.
Check out this blog post for some ideas of what to include in your birth plan, as well as how to create a postpartum plan!
While it’s true that the hospital will probably have a lot of items for you to use while you’re there (and even take home!), these items I’ve mentioned are often overlooked.
Regardless of which packing list you choose to follow, remembering to pack these 10 things can help you avoid some unnecessary stress during labor as well as during your hospital stay!
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If you are looking for additional guidance and education leading up to your birth, check out my 1-1 doula services for some personalized support! OR – download my Bump and Birth Guides for all the good info you need to feel more confident in your birth!