Hospital Bag Essentials You Will Actually Need
Are you excited for your labor to start but have no idea what to pack for the hospital?
Keep reading to find out about the Must-Have Essentials you should pack in your Hospital Bag!
Honestly, I wish I would have looked up a decent Hospital Bag Guide before packing my own labor bag. Not only did I spend way too much money on things I didn’t need in the end, no, I also wasted a bunch of time I could have spend preparing for the actual Labor or Postpartum part.
The worst part, I forgot to pack things that would have made everything easier!
I don’t want this to happen to you as well! You deserve better.
Today I will share the Hospital Bag Essentials you will actually need and love to have!
You are not only going to need some snacks during labor, the time you are desperately in need of some is after giving birth. Because once your baby is born and in need of all of your attention, you won’t have a lot of time left for eating. In my case, whenever the nurses brought in some food, I wasn’t able to eat right away. I was either feeding my daughter or busy taking care of my sore nipples. Hehe. Whenever I was actually ready to eat, the food was already laying around for a while and either got cold, soggy or both.
So I was really happy when my sister brought me some snacks whenever she came to visit. She is a mom herself and just knows the struggle.
Looking back, this has probably been the best gift of all. 🙂
Next time, I will make sure to pack as many snacks in my hospital bag as possible. So make sure to do the same! Even if you don’t eat all of them at the hospital, you will have some left for the good old night time snacking. (Breastfeeding will make you haaaangry)
2. Phone & Charger
Not a lot of explanation necessary for this one. Just make sure to pack both of these items in your hospital bag.
Obviously, you want to take some pictures of your newborn. But also inform family members, distract yourself during labor, or just to scroll through social media while breastfeeding are all great reasons to bring both.
I highly recommend you to pack an Extended Cable in your hospital bag to charge your phone. Sometimes the plugs are too far away from your bed. Trust me, the last thing you want to do after giving birth is standing up to grab your phone whenever you need it.
3. Comfortable Pajamas & Set Of Clothes
You don’t have to bring a lot of different things to wear. Chances are, you are going to live in your pajamas anyway. So make sure to pack a comfortable setting in a preferable darker color. Here are two options:
4. (Bath) Slippers
Make sure to not only pack some slippers for walking around the hospital, but also for showering. I was really glad I packed both in my hospital bag.
The floors can get really dirty because of all the visitors, so whenever I left my bed, I would immediately put on my slippers. My bed always stayed clean that way and I didn’t have to worry about taking any germs to my bed.
Also, the floor in your hospital bathroom can get very slippery, so make sure your bath slippers are secure enough. The last thing you want is to slip in your shower right after birth. Especially if you teared during labor. Ouch…
Here are two simple options:
5. Granny Panties
Once you gave birth, your postpartum bleeding will start right away. The hospital will actually provide you with some disposable mesh underwear. They will also have more than enough pads available, so don’t worry about packing some in your hospital bag.
However, I did not like the mesh underwear at all. They would always slide up my thighs and I had to pull them down every few minutes. Whenever the mesh panties would slide up, the pads inside got in a weird, uncomfortable position and it was really hurting my perineal.
Lucky me, I packed two of the granny panties I ordered on Amazon. I started wearing them on the second day of our hospital stay. They were tight enough so the pads wouldn’t move but still loose enough that my stitches wouldn’t get irritated. They were absolutely perfect and I still wear them whenever I get my period… Ok, to be honest guys, I wear them almost every day. Haha. I just really LOVE these panties, especially since they hide my mommy pooch and tuck everything in.
Here are two different options for you:
6. Nursing Bras
Probably as important as the granny panties. Since I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, my normal bras just wouldn’t fit me anymore. So I went ahead and ordered some nursing bras. When I first put one on, I knew I could never go back. 🙂
They are just super comfortable to wear and perfect for whenever you start breastfeeding your newborn:
7. Towel & Bathrobe
Most hospitals don’t provide big towels. They usually only offer the smaller ones you can use for your hair or as a regular hand towel.
Since you are probably going to take at least one shower, pack a bigger towel in your hospital bag. But you can also call the hospital you are planning to give birth at and ask if they provide big towels.
You should also think about packing a bathrobe. These come in very handy whenever a nurse/doctor/visitor comes in and you quickly need to cover yourself. They are also just super comfortable to lounge in.
8. Hygiene Products
You should always pack some travel-sized hygiene articles for your hospital stay. Just don’t pack too many things, chances are you are not going to use them all.
Make sure to have some shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush & paste, deodorant, and a chopstick with you. That’s all I packed and honestly all I needed. I also packed a little makeup bag and a hairbrush. But I only used these things the day I left so the nurses would see “how great I am doing” and would actually let us leave a day earlier. 😛
9. Breastfeeding Essentials
In case you are not planning to breastfeed your newborn, the hospital will usually provide you with formula milk. Just ask your hospital in advance to double-check.
However, for all the breastfeeding moms out there, you should probably pack some of the following essentials in your hospital bag.
- Nipple Shield
Of course this one is completely optional. In my case, I couldn’t have done it without one. My nipples were hurting really bad, although my daughter latched on very well. Once I got home, my midwife recommended to get a nipple shield and it really saved my life. I used it until the very end. Just bring one to the hospital, if you don’t need it, great, if you do, you will be glad to have one in your hospital bag.
- Nipple Cream
With or without a nipple shield, your nipples will most likely get very sore. Just put on some cream after every breastfeeding session.
- Black Tea
That’s a hack one of the nurses at the hospital shared with me. Just prepare a black tea as usual, but instead of throwing away the tea bag, place it right on your nipple. The black tea improves blood circulation, thereby causing the anti-inflammatory compounds to ease the pain and aid in healing the breast tissue. Also, tea bags can cause the nipples to toughen up, thus helping you to deal with the pain. I usually let the tea bags sit on my nipple for 10-15 minutes, took them off, washed my breast with water, and applied some nipple cream.
- Nursing Pads
Once your milk starts coming in, a lot of the breastmilk is going to leak. To protect your bra, you should always put in some nursing pads. You can either use disposable pads or some washable pads.
- “Haakaa” Breast Pump
If your milk already starts coming in during your hospital stay, you can start using a “haakaa pump” to catch your letdown. You can’t save it at the hospital, but at least it won’t leak into your nursing bra. Once you are at home, you can fill your letdown in some breast milk bags and freeze it.I wrote an entire poststs dedicated to
1. Sound Machine
Since a hospital can get pretty loud, you should bring a sound machine for whenever your newborn falls asleep. There are always nurses getting in and out of your room, screaming babies in the hallway, or even a soon-to-be-mom walking around the hallway who is screaming every time she gets a contraction. A sound machine will provide your newborn to wake up because of a noise they hear.
If you are planning to use a pacifier, you should pack one in your hospital bag. I know there are split opinions about using a Pacifier in the first few weeks of your newborn’s life. There is a chance your baby can develop a nipple confusion. Just talk to your midwife or lactation consultant about your concerns. They can give you more detailed advice.
However, we brought one with us and gave it to our daughter right away. She was just fine and never developed a nipple confusion. But it for sure made her sleep longer and better since the pacifier spent her some comfort.
Swaddles are definitely a must-have! After every feeding, I would burp my daughter and put her in a swaddle. She immediately fell asleep and most importantly would stay asleep for a pretty long stretch. We continued using a swaddle until she turned four months old.
4. Going Home Outfit
The hospital will provide you with diapers, wipes, and clothes for your baby during the entire hospital stay.
Just make sure to bring a fitting going home outfit and a backup diaper as well as some wipes (for the way home) with you. Maybe even bring two outfits in different sizes with you. Just in case your baby is smaller/bigger than expected.
There you have it. These are all the things you should definitively pack in your hospital bag. If you want to bring something that is not on my list, do it. This list is just meant to be a guideline for you.
In case you want some more information about the actual labor & delivery part, check out my other blog posts:
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