Here it is! My completely organized hospital bag all packed and ready to go weeks before Winnie’s due date!
Just kidding. Winnie came at 39 weeks + 1 day and I hadn’t packed a single thing when I went into labor. Who doesn’t have their hospital bag packed by 39 weeks?? That would be me.
My labor started with my water breaking around 7pm while at the beach with my step-dad and Mae (thank goodness I’d slipped on jeans under the dress I was wearing right before walking out the door because when the floodgates opened it was no joke). I made a casual call to Ryan while we walked back to the car to give him the update and to tell him that I’d be home to eat a bite of food and pack my bag. No big deal, we had so much time! Ha. Haha. I had three painful contractions on our five minute drive home and it quickly progressed from there.
I’m typically a calm person in chaotic situations, but apparently if you throw in pain, hormones, and fear of delivering a baby in the car (damn viral videos) to the mix, I turn into a hot mess. I ran around the house tossing things into my hospital bag while Ryan gave my step-dad instructions to care for Mae, then we bolted out the door. Fast forward a few hours to after Winnie’s birth (which happened fairly quickly), and I discovered that I didn’t have my contact case, toothbrush, hair elastics, or face wash packed in my bag, but I did pack not just one, but two pairs of pom-pom beach shorts. Why? I haven’t a damn clue. Maybe in case I was provided with a beach front birthing suite? Who knows.
Below is my packing list for all you mamas-to-be. I’m hoping you’ll do a much better job than I did at preparing! I think it’s a good idea to pack your bag at 37 weeks and I find it helpful to include a list in your bag of anything you’ll need to grab on your way out the door (like your camera and cell phone charger).
1 | Pajamas and robe. I prefer a nightgown over traditional pajamas for the hospital and have been happy with this nursing one. Also love the robes by the same brand.
2 | Nursing bra. A super cozy one. I’m loving this one right now.
3 | Underwear. Preferably maternity underwear or boy shorts, and ones that can be thrown out. You’ll be wearing them with large maxi pads. Oh, the joys.
4 | Flip flops & slippers or socks. Use the flip flops for the shower and slippers or socks for walking the room & halls during and after labor.
5 | Going home outfit. I wore my favorite maternity leggings and a comfy tunic dress.
6 | Toiletries & make-up. Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, contact cleaner & case, etc etc etc. Dry shampoo & hair elastics are a good thing, and don’t forget the chapstick!
7 | Nursing supplies. Includes nursing pillow, nipple cream (love this one), nursing pads (love these ones), and soothing gel pads. (You may not need all of those while in the hospital depending on your length of stay and other things, but I’d bring just in case. They take no room in your bag.)
8 | Towel. Because hospital towels are no good. The ones at my hospital are closer in size to a hand towel and are so thin.
9 | Pillow. Because hospital pillows are also no good.
10 | Snacks from home & money for more vending machine snacks.
11 | Electronics. Cell phone, tablet, & camera plus chargers. For your phone, an extra-long charger or additional portable charger is a bonus since you’ll likely want to be close to your phone at all times and may not have an outlet nearby.
12 | Birth plan (if you have a written one) & any needed relaxation tools you’d like for labor. Massage oil, speakers for music, something to wear in bath while laboring, etc.
Optional items include a baby book or notebook to write down any thoughts while in the hospital and if you have older siblings, a gift to them from the baby.
Swaddles (the Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddles are my favorite for newborns – so insanely soft!), side-snap tees, hats, bows, a pacifier (if you’ll be using one), and a going home outfit. The hospital will provide everything you need to care for your baby while you’re there so there’s really no need to take along supplies. Oh, and don’t forget your car seat!
Toiletries, change of clothes, pajamas, and a pillow from home.
If you any other hospital bag necessities, I’d love to hear them below!