I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at packing. I rarely bring more than I need to and I've never left anything important behind. When it came time to figure out what I would need for my hospital bag, I started by asking an equally pregnant friend where she found her checklist. After that, I set about refining the list for my own purposes and then consulted another friend who has done this a few times.
Ultimately, this is what I ended up with after taking into consideration that my hospital is in a major city and that it's also only 15 minutes from our house. I've added some notes about what I actually used and what I could have done without.
- Maternity PJ pants for lounging around when/if there are visitors.
- I didn't use this. I could hardly get out of bed for the first two days postpartum. 2.5 hours of labor and a vacuum assist makes for one hell of a sore set of pelvic floor muscles.
- Fleecy Robe from the clearance rack at Target - capable of being sacrificed if necessary
- Extremely useful item, very glad I took it. Hospital gowns never close enough in the back and are so not warm enough.
- Two pairs of cheap sticky footed socks - also capable of being sacrificed
- Did not need to bring these! Hospital provided.
- Nursing nightgown
- I used this my last night at the hospital and it was a huge relief to be able to put on clothing that wasn't the hospital gown.
- Nursing bra and underpants
- I used the nursing bra for sure. I just don't like going without a bra so the cheap cotton ones I got from Target worked great. As far as underpants, I didn't need to pack them because the hospital provided plenty of mesh ones.
- Cheap flip-flops for showering
- Expandable bag for bringing home anything that the hospital allows me to take.
- Definitely useful!
- One gender neutral (super cute) froggy sleep'n'play with matching mittens and hat for bringing the baby home
- I bought this in a 0-3 size and it was huge on Cecilia, who was only 19" at birth.
- One swaddle blanket
- Baby's first squirrel stuffed animal (this is totally frivolous, I know, but still bringing it!)
- A tiny tube of Aquaphor to help with that first yucky diaper
- Not really necessary for us. Cecilia pooped three times before she was even handed over to us and all her meconium poops were handled by Eric. Hehehehe.
- Approved car seat already installed in the car (not pictured, duh)
- Click-in stroller for the car seat.
- Both the car seat and the click-in stroller were very handy for leaving the hospital.
- Car Seat safe cover to keep the little Peanut toasty (not pictured, because it's in the car)
- Used a hospital blanket and swaddle blanket instead.
- Chromebook and charger
- Camera, both lenses and USB cable
- Extra memory card
I didn't use a single one of these items during my stay in the hospital. I was far too exhausted to get up and take nice pictures of her after birth. I spent all of my time staring at the cute baby and attempting to sleep.
Personal Hygiene Products
- Toothpaste, disposable toothbrush and floss
- Travel sizes of all my favorite shower products
- Hair elastics
- Bag to carry it all in
I ended up using all of my basic toiletries. That first postpartum shower was the best.
- My preferred brand of heavy flow sanitary pads in case I hate the hospital maternity pads
- Didn't need these because of this! I didn't have any foam though.
- Depends for if I hate the mesh underpants that much
- The mesh underpants from the hospital were great, didn't need these.
Not Pictured for Obvious Reasons
- Marriage license - I doubt that I'll need this but in choosing not to take Eric's last name, sometimes I have to prove that we're really married.
- Didn't need, but still glad I had it in my important documents.
- Birth Preferences Sticky Note and important health facts (blood type, etc.)
- Insurance information
- Driver's license