To all the mommies & mommies-to-be, I got you!
Oh the dilemma of the hospital bag. When i was about to go into my 30 weeks of pregnancy, i went through hundreds of YouTube videos, blogs, articles... you name it, to find my perfect list. What i REALLY needed vs. what was nice to have. I really wish there was a post like this for when i was looking for one so, i'm sharing this with all of you now!
So first and foremost, you need to know who you're packing for. I know this sounds straight forward but remember, if your husband is sleeping over with you at the hospital, you'll need a list for him too! Don't worry, i've got you covered!
First, let me start with what NOT to pack...
Going home outfit: Okay, so for this one, i wore the same outfit i arrived to the hospital in. Hunny, you will NOT fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans. Bummer, i know! Your stomach will still look prego's after you deliver (5-6mo's pregnant). So wearing the same outfit is recommended as it will also minimize your packing time. Hitting two birds with one stone right there!
Nursing bra's: My reason for this is, you'll mainly need nursing tops, not bras at the hospital. You will be wearing your nursing top and that will be just about it! I recommend a nightgown that has easy access to breastfeeding, that way you wont be needing anything underneath, making feeding even easier & more accessible. Keep your nursing bra's for when you go home and later under your outing clothes.
Pyjama bottoms: I suggest you only take night gowns. You will have a lot going on down there & a lot of maternity pad changes throughout the day after delivery. You'll be leaking blood constantly so in that case you'll be needing new pants for each hour. Having pants on will be the LAST thing you'll want or need!
Breast pads: Okay so i see this one on A LOT of lists, and i can't believe its on there! First of all, your milk doesn't kick in until 2-3 days after you deliver. What do you need breast pads for?! To get to the stage where you're actually leaking, this takes up-to a week after delivery. A waste of packing space in my humble opinion.
Now, lets talk about what you actually need to pack....
Nipple cream: Oh the prayers you'll pray for me for having this! Breastfeeding is difficult ladies, you'll need all the help you can get. I recommend applying nipple cream daily 3mo's before your due date to prep your nipples in advance.
Nipple shield: Again, all the help you can get! I don't advise using these straight off the bat but if you're really struggling, having these around are always a plus!
Shaver/razor: These will always come in handy. You never know when you've forgotten a hair here or there.
Toiletries: Goes without saying, but travel sized! Don't take your full-sized shampoo along, remember you're only staying for a couple to 4 days max. Toothbrush, toothpaste... and don't forget your deodorant!
Facial wet wipes: You'll need these! It will be very difficult to get out of bed (especially if you've had a csection) so its always handy to have these around!
Make up bag: Keep it simple! Only take your essentials. A concealer, lip balm & blusher for example, just to keep yourself looking fresh & pretty for all the pictures.
Night gowns: Preferably with buttons or zippers so that you have easy access for feeding time! You don't wanna have to roll your gown up every-time your baby wants to feed. Take 3 or 4 max.
Luffa: They'll ask you for your luffa for your first bath after birth. The nurses will help you out off course but you wanna have your luffa prepared.
Granny/disposable panties: Leave your victoria secret's at home! You won't be wearing them anytime soon. Get the panties that go up to your belly button, the bigger & more comfortable the better. You'll need them to fit the HUGE maternity pads in there.
Maternity pads: The hospital already provides you with those. These are optional if you prefer to use a different/more comfortable brand then get yours with you. The hospital ones weren't too bad though. You get these from the pharmacy incase you're wondering & no these are not your average period pads. 2-3 packs will do.
Towels: I recommend getting your own towels to the hospital. You don't wanna be using hospital towels.
Snacks: You'll get hungry! Unless you like hospital food, make sure to get some of your favorite snacks with you. Energy bars & dates are also good options to have on hand.
Nightlight: This one might sound weird to you, but trust me its needed. Hospitals have these big florescent lights that give you a headache. While these will typically be on all day, when your baby wakes up at night you'll want dim lighting. A small nightlight will do just that.
Dry shampoo: Just incase your hair gets greasy & you don't have time to wash your hair, this will come in very handy. Especially with all the family & friends visits.
Eye mask: You'll be sleeping in the mornings and mid-day from exhaustion. Get them to help you get some shut-eye.
Socks & slippers: You'll need this for walking around your room/hospital corridors. Doctors will recommend you take walks throughout the day to help your body recover.
Phone/Camera/Chargers: Off course you'll need your phone. A camera is optional if you wanna take extra HD photo's. Don't forget your chargers!
Homemade soup: So, this one really made my hospital stay! My mom made me hot chicken broth soup every morning and brought it in a thermal bottle for me to drink! I LOVED it. It was so heartwarming & helped my milk flow!
Honey: Okay, so you'll need some natural sugars in your body to keep you going! Honey was a saver! 2 big table spoons in the morning will kick start your day. Healthy & delicious!
Breastfeeding pillow: This will help you in holding up your baby & positioning him/her right to help him/her feed.
Nursing tops: These are very practical, easy to wear with easy access for feeding time.
Birth ball/ Exercise ball: This is a must! You have no idea how comfortable these are to sit on when you're about to pop! Surprisingly these will be much more comfortable than your bed/couch at the hospital. It will also help kickstart your labor so that you have a quicker delivery.
Laptop: This is optional, if you want to kill some time while waiting for your baby to arrive or have some work you wanna finish, your laptop will definitely come in handy!
Notepad: This is very handy for documenting your delivery. Say you wanna document this day for yourself or for a vlog or blog post later, its always good to have a notepad on hand.
Hot-water bag: This is an essential if you're having a winter baby. It will keep you warm at night incase the hospital doesn't have a good heating system installed.
Birth partner bag:
Lounging clothes: Your birth partner will be with you at all times. They need a comfortable outfit to sit in all day. 3-4 max.
Sleepwear: Something comfortable to sleep in.
Toiletries: Off course they'll need their own set of toiletries at the hospital.
Cash/small bills: Incase you're at a hospital where tips are allowed, you'll be tipping a lot! Make sure they have enough cash on them as they will be doing this for you.
Bendy straws: This is really crucial when you need to drink. You won't be able to sit up to drink so having these straws are essential if you wanna keep yourself hydrated.
Comfortable footwear: Again, something comfortable to be in all day.
Snacks & drinks: They can carry your snacks & drinks to be accessible when you need them. They also need their own.
Camera: They'll probably be your photographer for the days spent at the hospital. So why not let them carry an extra camera just incase.
Sleep-suits: Newborn are essential off course but also have one or two 0-3mo's sleep-suits just incase you end up having a big baby! 2-3 sleep-suits are more than enough, preferable with built-in mittens to avoid scratching themselves.
Going-home-outfit: Pack a cute little outfit for your baby to go home in. This will make for some cute pictures!
Diapers: Newborn diapers, a pack will do.
Nappy rash cream: This is essential to apply after each diaper change to keep their sensitive skin from getting any rashes!
Beanie: One or two newborn sized beanies, especially if you have a winter baby!
Jacket: If you have a winter baby, you'll need one!
Car Seat: Mommies, this is an essential! Never take a newborn, or infant in a car without having them in a carseat!
Duvet blanket: 30x40 inches will be more than enough.
Muslin blankets: 2-3 to swaddle your baby in. I also used them as a mat cover inside their hospital crib.
Towel: You'll need your baby towel for when he takes a bath.
Most importantly, pack your positive attitude, flexibility & acceptance to any changes, and a whole lot of love!
That's all ladies! I hope this list is helpful to all you beautiful mommies & may you have a happy & healthy delivery.
May motherhood be the vessel to drive our family's forward.