I know there are a million articles on the internet to tell you what you should take to the hospital when you have a baby, but for some reason, I read them all and was still unprepared. Mostly because I didn’t think some of the things were that important and thought I could make my own substitutes, and then I way overpacked. So, here’s what I think are the most important things to have with you at the hospital.
- Your own hospital gown – I ordered this one off amazon for $30. It was a little more than I wanted to spend, but I loved that the back snapped and I didn’t have to wear 2 of the standard hospital gowns in order to stay covered and there were snaps in the front for skin-to-skin contact and nursing. This won’t be as important to everyone, but I don’t regret this purchase one bit.
- Nursing bras and tanks – I made the mistake of thinking that I would just take a crossover sports bra to the hospital and wear it under a V neck and figure out the whole nursing bra thing when my milk came in once I got home. Well I was unaware of how inconvenient non nursing clothes would be when you’re feeding every 2 hours. Also conveniently my milk started coming in on day 2 while I was still in the hospital, and my sports bra no longer fit. For first time moms, I’d take a couple different sizes of comfortable nursing bras and buy 2 nursing tanks for easy access in the hospital. That and a couple pairs of leggings and I would have been set for my entire hospital stay – and freed up a lot of space in my bags.
- Toiletries – I just picked up some travel size shampoo, conditioner, body soap, make-up removing face wipes and deodorant. I put them in a ziplock bag so I wouldn’t have to dig for them and threw in my makeup bag, hair dryer and straightener and that was all I used to get ready while there. My hospital had a hair dryer in the bathroom, so check with your hospital before bringing your own.
- Your own sanitary supplies – The hospital will provide you with mesh panties and the largest pads you’ve ever seen in your life, and for a while you will be thankful for them. But at some point, especially when you walk to the car to go home, you might like to wear something a little more discreet that actually lets you walk normally. Trust me on this one, bring your own. If you don’t end up using them they don’t take up that much space in your bag.
- For baby: Scratch gloves and 2 outifts – On the first day Graham’s face was all red and scratched up because I wasn’t prepared for his little fingernails. I packed way too many outfits, and then diapers and wipes which the hospital already had. All he needed was a cute outfit for pictures the hospital provided, and a going home outfit. The rest of the time the hospital kept him in a t shirt and swaddle blanket they provided.
And as a little bonus, here’s a list of things we took and didn’t use:
- Computer – we both just used our phones.
- Too many clothes – I was wishfully thinking I might be able to wear some of my slinkier pre-pregnancy clothes and that was just depressing when I tried them on the day we went home. I should have just taken a couple tanks and then a maternity shirt for going home.
- Too many pairs of socks/slippers – I read all these warnings about being cold in the hospital but I was actually sweating most of the time. One pair of socks OR slippers would have been enough.
Moms, what would you add to the list??