So the big day is coming soon, and you are starting to wonder what you should pack to take to the hospital. There are so many lists out there from moms telling you what you need to pack. Most of them have nine hundred seventy-seven items on them.
I’m here to tell you-you don’t need all that junk.
It’s more work on your huge pregnant self to pack all that. It will sit in your bag in the hospital unused, then when you get home and are trying to recover from delivery and figure out your newborn, you won’t feel like unpacking all those items. It will sit there annoying you for days.
Can you tell I’ve done that before?
I’ve had three kids, and with my first, I took WAY too much to the hospital. I searched Pinterest and read all these blog posts and pins about what to pack, and I followed it to a tee. And then I was frustrated. I was frustrated that I had all this junk at the hospital taking up space in the tiny, little room. And I was really frustrated when I came home and had all this stuff to unpack and didn’t feel like it or have time.
So with my second two, I knew exactly what I needed and most importantly, exactly what I DIDN’T need. I’m going to start by telling you some things that you don’t need (things that most people will tell you to pack).
Things you should NOT pack:
Diapers and wipes – The hospital provides these for free (well, not free, but you know) so there’s no need to bring yours. Save those for at home!
Aspirator – The hospital provides this as well and theirs is usually better than what you can buy at the store.
Baby blankets – The hospital provides an unlimited supply of these. Now it would be helpful to maybe bring one of your own to take a cute picture because the hospital ones are not cute (why have they been the same for the last 50 years?!?).
A million outfits for baby – The hospital provides white onesies and they are swaddled in a blanket 99% of the time. The stay in the hospital is just not the time for that super cute outfit you have. I liked to have some footie pajamas and a going home outfit. That’s it.
Burp cloths, bibs, mittens – Like I said, the baby will be swaddled 99% of the time so mittens are really unnecessary. They aren’t that messy of an eater yet, so need for bibs. And if you need a burp cloth, the hospital will have you need.
Hairdryer/straightener/curling iron – If you are going to do your hair while in the hospital, more power to you, but I just let my hair dry on its own while in the hospital. Most hospitals provide you with a hairdryer though if you need one.
Pillows – The hospital has plenty of pillows and if you don’t have enough, you can request more.
Baby book – Who on this planet has time to do a baby book while you’re at the hospital?!?
Breast pump/pumping supplies – most likely you won’t need to pump while in the hospital because you are literally nursing so often with a newborn that there’s no time. But if you do need to, they have hospital grade pumps available that are probably much better than what you have anyway.
Pads – The hospital provides you with all the pads you could ever need plus some lovely mesh undies. They also have everything you need to take care of “down there” post delivery.
Snacks – The hospital usually provides some snacks for you. You also get all your meals delivered to you from the cafeteria. And your husband can go down to the cafeteria to get himself something to eat.
Things you SHOULD pack:
The obvious – Phone & phone charger
A FAN – The best thing ever for when you’re in labor and get so freakin hot. Just a little handheld one with batteries is perfect. Seriously, don’t go to the hospital without it. And instruct your husband to hold it by your face the whole time you’re pushing!!!!
Toiletries – Just the basics – Toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, a little bit of makeup, hairbrush, hair ties.
Clothes for you – Nightgowns and robes are your friend here so you don’t have anything tight around your belly. Maybe pack one or two nursing bras. But honestly, sometimes it’s easier in the beginning when you’re nursing so much to not wear a bra at all. For your going home outfit, black sweatpants or leggings and a loose fitting shirt.
Clothes for husband – Comfortable things like t-shirts and basketball shorts. Make sure they have a sweatshirt or comfortable jacket because it can be cold in hospitals and your hormones are crazy so you will most likely be hot.
Clothes for baby – Like I said, a couple footie pajamas and a going home outfit is really all you need. You have plenty of time at home to have a fashion shoot with baby. Even though the hospital provides hats, I did have a special hat for my last two babies with their name on it. That was really special to me.
WHAT I SWEAR BY – Adult diapers – No joke. Get them. And don’t look back. My aunt told me to get these before I had my first baby. I was like HA, yeah no. Then when I was in the hospital after having my baby, I made my husband go to CVS and get me some. And with my other two babies, they were purchased ahead of time and packed in my bag as the most precious cargo. Seriously, it makes so much sense. No matter how embarrassing it may seem, just do it. Even if you wear regular underwear with a pad, you could still leak and get blood on your panties and pants. If you wear adult diapers, then you won’t ruin your clothes, and you don’t have to worry about keeping the pad in place. These days they look and feel pretty much like normal underwear. And they aren’t noticeable. I even wore them under jeans, and you couldn’t tell.
Bottom line and moral of this story – don’t stress. If you forget something, or if you get there and realize you need XYZ, the hospital most likely has it and can get it for you. If it’s something they wouldn’t have, your husband or a family member can always run out and get it for you. You are not locked in that hospital room and closed off to the rest of the world. I’m telling you, DON’T OVERPACK! You will regret it. With my last baby, I took one small suitcase and the diaper bag and my purse. That’s it. And I had everything I needed. If you’re questioning if you’ll need something or not, you probably won’t need it.
If you are contemplating taking something to the hospital and aren’t sure if you should or not, email me! I would be glad to give you my opinion and point of view! But please, please don’t stress! You are about to bring life into this world in a magical, wonderful way. When you lay eyes on that child, nothing else will matter, and you won’t remember what you packed. Congratulations and good luck!