When we were going in to deliver Noah, JD and I looked like we were moving into the hospital. Seriously. We brought our own pillows, comfy blankets for JD, a bag filled just with snacks and drinks to stock our mini fridge with, and a giant rolling suitcase. Oh, and our diaper bag and car seat. You know…necessities. Thankfully, once you’ve had one, you realize what you really do and don’t need. So this time around we only showed up with a rolling suitcase, a pillow for each us, my purse, and JD’s work bag.
While everyone’s “must pack” list is a bit a different, here’s a peek at what we brought with us for baby Graham’s arrival.
- 3 Pairs of Pajamas: I actually only packed two pairs, but in between leaky milk and blowouts, I wish I would have packed a third. We also ended up staying an extra day, so I was desperate for clean pajamas. Especially when having to stay in the hospital, there is just something about putting on fresh clothes that make you feel just a little bit more like yourself. Here are a couple of my favorites: Target and Gap.
- 3 Nursing Bras: I, personally, brought two sleeping nursing bras and then an everyday nursing bra like this one from Playtex (which is crazy soft, and also adjusts in cup size). I also recently purchased this yoga nursing bra, and I absolutely love it.
- Robe: I liked having a light-weight robe to throw on when we had visitors since I stayed in pajamas the whole time. It was also great for when I was walking down to the NICU or got chilly.
- Undies: Honestly, I wore the sexy, knit hospital issued undies up until the last day, just because of the massive pads and ice packs, but when I put on a pair of my own to go home in, I felt like a new woman!
- Socks: I technically only used socks while I was in labor, because I was absolutely freezing, but they were a total life saver. You can also ask the nurse for a pair of socks if you don’t feel like keeping up with your own.
- Flip Flops: I packed my slippers and didn’t use them once. I actually wore my flip flops to and from the hospital, and that just made one less thing to pack.
- Going Home Outfit: Help yourself out and whatever you wear to the hospital, wear home. You change out of those clothes the minute you get checked in, so wear something comfortable that also makes you feel good, then wear it for your car ride home.
- Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, toothbrush, q-tips, cotton balls, eye drops, contact case, glasses, hair ties, hair brush, loofah (I just bought a cheap one that I can throw away once we left the hospital – I also do this when we travel), travel-size body wash, deodorant, chapstick.
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Dry Shampoo: Just in case you don’t feel like washing your hair.
- Hair Dryer
- Face Wash Set
- Nipple Cream
- Makeup Bag: Because Graham was down in the NICU, I was more concerned with being down there than putting on a fresh face of makeup, but I still brought all of my everyday stuff with me. The things I actually used when I was there was my concealer, face powder, blush, and mascara.
I also packed a separate pouch to keep on the table next to my bed with items that I wanted to access easily. I kept some eye drops, chapstick and lip gloss, nipple cream, lotion, gum, and glasses in mine. I recently found the company Logan + Lenora on Instagram and absolutely love their products. They make incredibly cute waterproof and washable bags in all different sizes, which are great when going places with your babes.
- Extra long phone charger or extension cord: JD and I both have 6 foot chargers, but sometimes you need to plug in other items (like your computer or camera), and it’s nice to be able to reach them from your bed.
- Laptop: Totally optional, but I used mine so that I could watch Netflix while laying in bed. I’m not crazy about daytime TV, and for some reason the sound of a familiar show is just comforting to me. So I set my laptop up on my bedside table and turned it on whenever we were just relaxing.
- Nursing Snack: I can’t speak for everyone, but when I’m recovering and nursing, I’m usually holding a baby and absolutely starving; so I want something I can easily grab but also meets my breastfeeding needs. I came across Oat Mama shortly after I had finished my nursing journey with Emmett, and was thrilled to have their lactation bars to take to the hospital with Graham. They are made by the two sweetest mamas, and are dairy free, gluten free, egg free, and soy free.
- Nursing Pillow: My Boppy is practically my best friend.
- Belly Bandit: I didn’t use this as much as I should have, but it definitely helped in those first few days in keeping things together (insert laughing emoji here – quick embarrassing story, when I took it off the first time, it felt like I had just popped open a can of biscuits…so for the rest of the hospital stay, my midsection was referred to as a “can of biscuits”).
- Childhood Journal: I have a baby book for Graham, as well as a pregnancy journal, but a few months prior to our due date I came across Promptly Journal. What I love about their journals is that it covers pregnancy all the way through age 18; so there is no reason to stop jotting down your thoughts at age three.
- Bible: Again, this is something that is totally optional, but JD and I have a very special tradition with your Bibles, which is why we pack them. During each pregnancy we both pray for a verse to speak over our babe, then when they arrive, that’s where we have the nurses stamp their footprint. So we now each have all three of our kiddo’s footprints in our Bibles.
- Wallet: You’ll need to have your ID and your insurance card when you check in.
- Three Shirts
- Three Pairs of Athletic Shorts/Pants
- Flip Flops/Tennis Shoes
- Hat: JD would much rather throw on a hat than do his hair, especially when we are cooped up in a hospital room.
- Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, shower stuff, deodorant, cologne.
- Pillow: JD prefers having his own pillow, so we both took our own.
- Phone Charger
- JD also brought his computer bag.
- Two Sets of Onesies: I brought one set in a newborn size, and another in a 0-3 month size, just because you never know how big baby will be.
- Footed Pajamas: Graham actually ended up wearing his home, because I didn’t want to put a blanket in his car seat.
- Swaddle Blanket
- Mittens: We actually didn’t use them this time around, but we did with the other two boys.
- Two Pacifiers: I like to bring two different types of pacifiers, just because every baby is different and they all have their own preference. With our first two, they both loved the MAM brand. Graham, however, really enjoys the Avent Soothie. I actually brought the MAM and a Chicco NaturalFit, but when Graham was in the NICU they gave him one of the Soothies, and now that is the only paci he will take.
- Freshly Picked Moccs: I brought these solely for pictures.
- Car seat
- Stock up on all of the diapers and wipes they bring to you. We actually didn’t have any newborn diapers at home, because we didn’t use but maybe a box with each of the other boys. We definitely weren’t expecting Graham to be so tiny, so you better believe we hoarded all of our preemie and newborn diapers. I think we ended up with four packages of diapers when we left the hospital.
- If you are planning on nursing, drink as much water as you can in recovery. You can’t make milk when you aren’t hydrated – I, unfortunately, learned this the hard way with our first.
- Things can tend to get “backed up” post-delivery, so when you get to your recovery room ask the nurse for a stool softener ASAP. Trust me, just do it.
- Chances are you’re going to have an IV, and unless you’ve chosen otherwise, an epidural. When they finally remove everything, you are going to be left with sticky tape residue. Ask your nurses for some alcohol wipes – these make it much easier to remove the residue without having to scrub your skin raw.
- Don’t worry about packing a hat or socks for your babe unless you just absolutely want to. The hospital will give you as many pairs as you ask for, and they are usually in a cute white that can go with everything.
What you decide to pack in your hospital bag is ultimately up to you. Some of the things we decided to take the hospital other people may not – the key is to pack things that make you and your spouse feel comfortable! If you’re the person you needs to pack three bags and don’t mind hauling the luggage, then go for it. If you prefer to take the minimalist approach and just use everything the hospital offers, more power to you. I simply enjoy sharing my perspective and tips, because I’ve been there before and always love reading what other mamas do. So I hope this list ends up being a great resource for you! If you have any questions or things that you would add to list, feel free to share in the comments below! XO
In Partnership with Oat Mama, Chicco, and Playtex. All opinions are my own.