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What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

by krismkoch

As I mentioned, I didn’t actually put together a hospital bag the first time around with James, and I totally regret it. What was I thinking, really? Honestly, I thought hospital bags were kind of BS, and I didn’t get why I would need a blowdryer or makeup, or why everyone makes such a big deal about the coming home outfit. The only thing I really understood from the list was the phone charger. LOL. How I learned! Now, I definitely know what to pack in your hospital bag, but don’t be like me and learn the hard way.

First, you definitely want to pack your bag in advance, because when you’re in labor, you really don’t care what you’ll be wearing at the hospital. But as I discovered, after you give birth, you will wish you had some cute, presentable outfits and something to brush your hair with, so you look somewhat cute for visitors and pics. Don’t be like me and not want to look at any of the pics you took at the hospital because you look terrible and are wearing gross college sweats, glasses, and sporting some crazy hair. It’s a special moment, and no matter how you feel, you’ll want to document it. Ok, and so you don’t feel like blowdrying your hair, doing your makeup, or changing out of the hospital gown? No worries. You can just not use that stuff, but if you decide you want to, you’ll be glad you have it. That’s why it’s important to think about what to pack in your hospital bag a few weeks before you approach your due date (in case you go early, like I did with both babies).

My other advice would be to have some cute outfits for baby in both newborn and 0-3 months in case you go early, a cute swaddle or two, and a cute going-home outfit for yourself. I had yoga pants and a sweatshirt to go home in because I packed at 3am when I was in the middle of intense labor, and I just threw some crap in a bag. I looked like a disaster leaving the hospital, which just made me feel really gross and again, not want to document the special moment. I was also embarrassed waiting for Andrew to pull around the car wearing gross sweats, and sweating because it was a hundred degrees outside and I was dressed for winter. A maxi dress that I had worn during my pregnancy would have been just as comfy, a lot less hot, would have hid the diaper (and wee wee pad, no joke!) I was wearing, and made me feel a lot better. But hey, that’s just me. You do you, and no judgement here. I guarantee no one looked like as big of a mess as I did, and I don’t think anyone cared but me. Still, I am a big fan of figuring out what to pack in your hospital bag in advance. I put together a hospital bag checklist with everything I wish I had (as well as recs from mom friends) to help.

So if you want to be better prepared than I was the first time around, here’s everything I recommend packing in your hospital bag (and what I’ll be packing for baby #2).

Cute Robe

A cute robe is a nice way to cover up the hospital gown if people come like five minutes after you give birth, and to cover your pajamas when you attend the mandatory classes etc. This one is sweet and lightweight enough since I’ll be given birth at the end of summer, or I might get this matching set for baby and me.

Nursing Tanks

These are nice to have because they make nursing so easy.

Cashmere Cardigan

Easy to throw over nursing tanks and pajamas because the AC in hospitals is blasting. I love this one, which I’ll wear for my entire maternity leave on repeat and probably all the time after, and it’s currently on sale.

Cute Pajamas

I’m loving these and this soft and nursing-friendly pair. This gingham pair is also adorable and would look cute with the coming-home outfits for baby. I’m also tempted to get this super cozy set from my favorite maternity brand.

Chargers

I’m bringing two phone chargers this time — one for me and one for my husband. A lot of people recommend extra long chargers because plugs are so far away from the bed, and I would agree with that.

Laptop, iPad and Book

I found during downtime, when the baby was sleeping or getting bathed or checked out, or when I couldn’t sleep from the adrenaline, I wanted something other than the hospital TV to watch./do. It was also nice to have a laptop so I could do a few last-minute work things, send an email to our friends/family announcing the news, and watch Netflix.

Blowdryer/Straightner

This is my new favorite two-in-one blowdryer. It’s also the one every blogger has and raves about — and for good reason.

Cosmetics and Makeup

Just picked up this cute monogrammed bag to house them all.

Flip Flops (for Shower)

I actually think hospitals are pretty clean, but it’s still a shower hundreds of other people have used, so I’ll be doing the shower shoes thing. These flip-flops are less than $3, making them a no-brainer.

Present for James from the New Baby

Everyone told me to do this to get James on board with his new sibling. Thinking of getting him something Cars related (he’s obsessed with the movies currently) like this set, or maybe Toy Story-related (another movie he’s currently into, like these. Of course, dinosaurs are another favorite so may do this set instead. Thoughts?

Going Home Outfit for Mom

I’m thinking about this dress and these sandals.

Going Home Outfit for Baby

I got a few — one in newborn size, one in 0-3 months, and an extra one for pics because I couldn’t help myself.

Cute Receiving Blanket for Baby

How precious is this one? Again, for pics. Also, may bring this one.

Snacks

These are totally just for my husband. You aren’t allowed to eat during labor (or at least where I gave birth), I was nauseous for hours after, and then when I was finally hungry, I wanted sushi, pizza, and a big caffeine-filled latte.

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