I thought I would write down what to pack in my hospital bag next time (assuming there's a next time) I have a baby. Last time I definitely brought a lot of stuff that I never ended up using and then there was a lot of things that I wish I had had.
- Lotion for me. Hospitals have dry air.
- Toiletries. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste. People will claim that the hospital provides this, but mine didn't.
- Condiments for the hospital food. Especially butter. And whole fat everything because they didn't have whole fat anything and it was gross. I really, really wish that hospital food was nutritious. But it wasn't. At least not my idea of nutritious. And it didn't taste that great either. I follow a mix-up of paleo, Weston Price diet, and the Specific Carb diet and let me tell you, none of the food at the hospital was what I usually eat at all.
- Slip on shoes. Hospital floors are gross.
- Breastfeeding pillow. Everyone said not to bring it and just use the hospital pillows and it would be fine. Well maybe it was fine for them but for me I need a breastfeeding pillow to help hold my newborn in the correct position. Definitely bringing next time.
- Pillow for my head. The hospital pillows suck. Also bring a colorful pillowcase to distinguish your pillow from the hospital pillows.
- Hair ties. You want lots of hair ties to pull up your hair during labor and for postpartum. The last thing you want to be dealing with during labor is your hair.
- Robe. I ended up not using the robe last time because we never had any visitors because we weren't allowed visitors because of Covid-19 but if I did have visitors I would want a robe I could put on quickly and feel more put together and covered. Hospital gowns just aren't that flattering or modest.
- Water cup with straw and lid. Last time I brought my own big water cup with a straw and a lid and it was great. It was much larger than the cups at the hospital and having a straw and lid made it easier to drink while I was in bed.
- Birth plan and other documents. I had my birth plan and other details for the birth all written out before I went to the hospital. I also had all of my insurance information, personal history, allergies, doctors office contact info and the info for my pediatrician all written down. This was great because I could just hand it to them when they asked questions and I was too tired/ distracted to answer coherently.
- A really long phone charger cord. Sometimes the outlets aren't in the best spots and you want your phone charged.
- Clothes for going home in. Yay going home outfit. I just wore a dress with a cardigan over it. It was comfy and easy to put on. I wouldn't want to put on jeans right after delivery because your crouch is kinda sore. If you end up with a cesarean you want something that won't irritate the incision. Also keep in mind that you will have big bulky maternity pads on so don't wear something too tight that they might show through (unless you don't care).
- Clothes for your hospital stay. I thought I might want to wear these. Turns out I didn't use them. During labor I ended up tearing all my clothes off so no clothes for that. I would have liked to have worn a sports bra or something but that didn't work out. Afterwards I felt content wearing the hospital gown. It was nice that it was some laundry that I didn't have to wash.
What to Bring For the Baby
- Bring clothes for the baby to go home in. They kept the baby swaddled in a blanket most of the time in the hospital so I really didn't need anything for the baby to wear until we were going home. I also brought a little pink hat with a bow for my newborn to wear because it was so much cuter than the hospital supplied hat and was great for all the pictures we sent out to family and friends. I will definitely be doing that again if I have another little girl.
- Baby blankets. They supply blankets in the hospital but you want some blankets for the ride home too.
- Lotion and coconut oil for the baby. The hospital has really dry air. Like seriously. My poor baby's skin was cracked from all the dry air and that was with us not giving her bath instantly at birth.
- Something to handle razor sharp newborn nails. They are born with these sharp little nails that they scratch themselves ( and you! ) with. Bring socks or mittens to cover up their hands and feet to keep them from scratching themselves. Or you could tackle the nails head on and bring nail clippers/ nail file to trim those sharp tiny tallons back. I liked the electric manicure set for newborns.
There are a lot of lists that say to bring a lot more stuff. For instance they will say to bring something to entertain you. I don't understand that. Boredom was the last of my concerns when I was in the hospital having my baby. Labor was such an intense experience that I never felt like I needed something to do. This would probably be different if I had an induction and there was a lot of waiting around. And postpartum I spent every minute staring at my baby, nursing or trying to rest when someone wasn't in my room wanting something (to check on the baby/ check on me/delivering food/taking my blood/doing tests/lactation consultant/etc.)
The list certainly isn't comprehensive and I'll probably end up bringing more stuff than this as I did last time. But I definitely need these items. What items did you think you would need that you didn't end up using and then what items did you wish you would of had that you didn't?