There is something about having your fifth baby that makes you feel pretty relaxed about the whole hospital process. At 8.5 months pregnant I didn’t have a bag packed and I also hadn’t given much thought to what to take. But when I went to my 36 week appointment and my doctor told me I was already dilated to a four and I spent the rest of the day contracting- I promptly packed a bag! (Which of course resulted in me staying pregnant for two more weeks. 🙂
Now that I’ve been through a few hospital stays, I think I have a pretty good idea of what I need for my stay and it would be a waste not to share it with you. Just like on any overnight or mini trip away, it’s always tempting for me to over-pack, but I will try to at least keep this list down to the essentials.
- Phone charger- This one is a no-brainer. You might even want two if you think your hubby will be burning through as much phone battery as you will. And depending on how long you are in the early stages of labor, you both might be one your phones for a while before your little one actually arrives!
- Laptop- I’ve had hospital stays where I used this a lot and others where I didn’t. I actually like to get my birth story written up while I’m alone at the hospital. But this time I just used my phone.
- Camera/phone/Polaroid- Lots of photos are a must, so bring your weapon of choice. I have and love this one.
- Socks/slippers- For some reason I always have cold feet at the hospital, even though I never wear socks at home! I brought socks and slippers this time and used them both! My friend gifted me these cactus socks that I took to the hospital and these are my fave slippers.
- Flip flops- These are a must for the shower. Our hospital birth wing is super clean and amazing, but not all hospitals are.
- Chapstick- Dry lips always happen to me at the hospital.
- Makeup- Makeup is a must for me- everyday, not just at the hospital. It makes me feel put together and awake. I always feel like I have more time at the hospital than at home so I like to get ready while I’m there.
- Toiletries- There is nothing better than getting cleaned up after having a baby. Don’t leave your shampoo or your deodorant or your toothbrush at home!
- Dry Shampoo- This one deserves it’s one line item because it’s such a mom-hack lifesaver. I don’t like washing my hair so I use a lot of this on the days that I don’t. Even at the hospital.
- Other hair products- Yep, I do my hair at the hospital too. You’ll look back on pictures and be glad you did!
- Sports bra (wireless)- Bring a few of these. I wore one under my hospital robe during labor and then during the rest of my stay. This one worked great for me and it’s less than $20.
- Depends/Always Discreet Underwear– This is definitely a secret weapon that you don’t want to miss out on. After delivery you will be bleeding and dripping (gushing) stuff for a few days (weeks). The hospital will give you huge pads and mesh underwear which aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great. These adult diapers are game changers. I wore them starting a few hours after labor until um, two weeks after labor. They are so comfortable and you honestly feel dry while wearing them. Who knew diapers could be so great?
- Cute robe/lounge clothes- You may be in the hospital for one to three days so bring at least two comfy options or robes. You might get blood or milk on one and changing into clean clothes everyday is always refreshing. I like loose sweats, a cushy robe, over sized sweatshirts or tees. This is my go-to robe.
- Going home outfit- Don’t expect to go home in anything besides your maternity clothes so bring your favorites. You will still look 4-5 months pregnant post baby so don’t even try for normal clothes.
- Cute hat- My hospital didn’t allow me to put the baby in my own baby clothes except for while taking pictures. BUT they did allow me to use my own cute baby hat the whole time.
- Swaddle blanket/blankets for photos- You’ll want to take some cute baby pics at the hospital and your newborn will likely prefer to be swaddled rather than not. I always try to take pics of my baby in a cute outfit and then they just cry to be wrapped up. The most calm and cute pics worked when he was swaddled so just bring a swaddle that you like. I brought Rush’s baby blanket as well. These are our favorite.
- Photo outfit- This might be a futile effort based on what I said above, but still bring one in case you can catch your baby sleeping unswaddled in their cute clothes.
- Going home outfit- Bring something cute for your little one to go home in.
- Letter board/photo props- I always have a friend or a photographer come to the hospital to take photos. If you want a few props like a headband or baby shoes or chalkboard, bring them.
- Bottles if you will be bottle feeding/binkies- We knew we would be bottle feeding this time around because our fifth baby was born with a cleft lip and palate. Our doctor recommended bringing the bottles we were thinking of using to work with the lactation specialist with.
- Baby’s car seat- You don’t technically need to bring this until it’s time to go home, but it definitely needs to be at the hospital at some point. This is the one we have this time.