We always end up over packing for the hospital. To be honest, you don’t need much if you’re going to be there for a couple days.
But, if you think you might be spending more than a couple nights at the hospital, definitely get your packing done early.
Here’s what I learned from my past two pregnancies.
What the hospital usually provides:
What I didn’t find useful to pack:
Extra clothes for baby – baby will have his/her newborn swaddle. You need one or two outfits.
Sanitary pads – the hospital gives you pads, and they are not terrible. They are not great but the pads do the job the first couple days. If you really want to have comfortable sanity pads, then make your own.
Nursing nightgown – I still don’t know what that is. A comfortable robe or shirt works just fine.
What you should really pack for the hospital:
Portable fan – you never know the temperature in your room. Some rooms will let you control the temperature, others not at all. Upon admittance into the hospital, you will go from triage to the labor & delivery room and then to the maternity ward. Since you cannot open windows in a hospital room, a portable fan can keep you from feeling stifled.
Pillows – Bring 1-2 of your favorite pillows from home. Be aware though, if you use them during delivery, they just may not cleanable when it’s over.
Chapstick – dry lips. Need I say more.
iPad – to watch movies. Especially nice if your room has no tv and you have a long labor. Or you’re in the maternity ward and the only tv you have is from 1999.
Phone charger – do not forget this!
Extension cord – no joke. Outlets are in the weirdest spots in a recovery room. Get an extension cord and you won’t be stretching your arm out trying to instagram and charge at the same time.
Camera and camera stuff – Bring your camera.
Phone – duh.
Maxi or mini dresses – Pack a dress that is EASY to wear; no buttons, zippers or hard to access area for the boobs.
Zipper hoodie – if it is cold in the room. ZIPPER is key.
Robe – makes it easy to nurse and provides a layer if you become cold. Plus a robe makes you feel a little more stylish and human.
Blanket – feel cozy and bring a light blanket you love. Don’t bring your ultimate favorite because you never know what could happen.
Socks – continue the coziness with your own socks. If you get cold easily, pack 2-3 pairs.
Toothbrush and toothpaste – I was surprised my hospital provided them for me, but it’s always good to have them packed in your bag.
Disposable contacts – if you wear contacts, don’t forget to pack them!
Flip Flops – Do you really want to walk barefoot on the hospital ward?
Toiletries – Collecting hotel toiletries? Now is the time to use them! Pack a travel size shampoo, conditioner, soap. Also pack face wipes – even if you don’t time to take a full shower, a refreshing wipe will give your face life.
Makeup – Bring your absolutely must have to walk out the door on any given day. I always have eyeliner, lipstick, and mascara. Even in the chaos of new baby and learning of your newly weird body, a little makeup will give you an instant esteem boost. Not to mention, a good time to take a photo!
One nice top – Speaking of nice photos, have one nice top you can take a photo with. The top should be easy to wear, comfortable, and quick for nursing. Look for a maternity top, nursing top, or something loose fitting.
Swimming trunks – If you have a bathtub during labor and delivery, you may want a two piece bathing suit.
Snacks – have your favorite snacks for when you’re in the recovery room. If you take an epidural during labor, you will not be able to eat, at all. Keep the snacks for your spouse (when they are starving and it’s 1am) and yourself.
Going home outfit
Something cute to take a photo with – a newborn printed sign, a special gift from a family member, an outfit, a stuffed toy, something lovely.
If you leave in the hospital in a car make sure you have a CAR SEAT!