With our birth plan being very different this time around, I'm feeling much more prepared for our hospital stay. To be honest, I think I'm overthinking the entire thing because the hospital truly provides you with everything you need. For Addison's birth, we packed for a 6hr stay at the birth center that turned into a 5 night stay at the hospital. Let's just say, I am very thankful for my sister who packed what turned into my hospital bag & helped make our stay feel somewhat normal. I'm also very thankful to going into this hospital stay with my own personal things & all the knowledge that comes with already being a mama.
After reading countless blog posts, checklists & talking to so many of you, I think I have a pretty good list going for what's in my hospital bag. However, as I write this I've already put 2 more items in my Amazon cart. I'm sure I'll be ordering stuff up until Baby 2.O arrival (which could be any day now!).
Let me know of any questions you have after reading this or any tips of things I should add in!
Update: I wanted to share what I actually used at the hospital & things I could have done without. We were only there for a little over 24 hrs so some of the loungewear & baby clothing would have been worn if we stayed longer. Explanation below each item.
Nursing Bras & Sleep Bras - Huge necessity. You will wear these constantly & be sleeping in bras as long as you breastfeed (at least I did!). First time trying out these nursing bra's, but they have amazing reviews! I lived in these sleep bras with Addison & can't recommend enough! || Wore both of these! The sleep bra's are the same ones I wore postpartum with Addison & the nursing bra's are a new find.
Robe - Just snagged this barefoot dreams dupe robe & it's basically wrapping yourself in a blanket. Having easy things to put on over nightgowns or bras and shorts is a must. Especially for all my c-section mama's! Pants are not fun post surgery. (Originally bought M/L, will be exchanging for XS/S). || Super nice to have to stay bundled in my nightgowns. Can't recommend this robe enough!
Button-down pajama set - This will be great to have at the hospital & postpartum. Soft, easy to nurse in & not form fitting. || Oh yeah! Such a good set - planning on grabbing another one! It's so soft & super nice to have for nursing.
Nightgown - I basically lived in nightgowns at the hospital for as long as I could with Addison. Like I mentioned above, pants aren't fun post surgery so having this to throw on was perfect. I worn this one last pregnancy and just purchased a new style - will bring both. || I wore the new style I bought right after giving birth. Super soft. I love having the nightgown because it's overly comfy after going through all that pressure & pain. Didn't get a chance to wear the one I already had, but have a ton now at home.
Slippers - Debating on buying a cheaper pair to bring instead of my everyday pair because hospital floors gross me out a bit (even with all the sanitizing going on right now!) Either way, slippers are a must have item! Wore mine constantly especially with having to go back & forth from the speciality care unit. || Didn't need these. I preferred the gripper socks.
Gripper Socks - Bringing 2 pairs! C-section recovery is very hard. I struggled getting in & out of bed so grippers were necessary. I've heard vaginal birth can be the same way - I think it just depends! || I wasn't a fan of the ones they give at the hospital. Happy I had two pairs.
Sandals - I plan to bring my Adidas slides to shower in (size down 1). Plus, there is a ton of swelling that happens post delivery. Good to have options. || A must need! Definitely wouldn't have wanted to shower without them.
Pillow & blanket - Nothing like having your own things from home to feel cozy with baby. For sure going to bring my new Barefoot dreams blanket because it's the softest thing ever (and fully washable lol). Also snagged these super affordable silk pillowcases to bring with for added luxury! || Absolutely recommend bringing these! Super nice to have & brings a touch of home into the room.
Boppy Side Sleeper Pillow - This will be amazing to have for propping myself up on the bed. || 100% forgot to bring this & probably wouldn't have used anyway.
Nursing Tanks - Not sure how much I will wear these at the hospital (more form fitting & slimming), but plan to bring one. I wore these so much with Addison postpartum. || Didn't wear these.
Maternity joggers - I'm not one to squeeze into something post delivery (especially with all the swelling!) . I plan to bring my favorite maternity sweatpants & joggers for full on comfort. As mentioned, I will most likely live in the nightgowns & robe, but having a pair or two of loungewear pants will be nice. || Didn't wear these. Even if we would have stayed another day, I would've preferred my nightgown & robe.
Going home outfit - Found fold-over joggers that are cute, lightweight & will work with c-section incision (just in case!). Plan to pair it with a Henley top or nursing tank, and a zip-up hoodie. Weather has gone from hot to chilly (very typical for this time of year) so layers will be nice. || It happened to be 80 degrees the day we brought Philomena home (not normal for April in MN!) so the zip up wasn't needed. Love these fold-over joggers & highly recommend for postpartum.
Grab travel size shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion & dry shampoo to have for freshening up. When you're in the wave of waking up constantly, a shower is the only thing helping make you feel alive!
Towel - The hospital definitely provides this, but saw it recommended on almost every single post I read or friend I talked to. The towels provide are small and not soft, this would be an added bonus. || Forgot to bring! Would have been nice (and much softer than the ones provided), but not a necessity.
Chapstick || Million times yes. You just get so dehydrated!
Facial wipes - Huge plus for being able to freshen up quick. You just feel gross with being in a hospital & constantly being awake. Plus, sometimes you just don't have the energy to get out of bed. After surgery it's extremely hard to do everything. Having easy access to quick refreshers will save you. || Yes, yes, yes! Helped make me feel alive after giving birth lol.
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Hair brush, scrunchies & bobby pins
Postpartum Must Haves
Medela Sonata Breast Pump + Pumping Bra - The hospital will provide you with one, so if you don't want to pack it don't worry about it! As mentioned before, I was an overproducer & started pumping + breastfeeding immediately. Since I have & love my pump, I plan to bring it. Will help make me feel more comfortable & it's always nice having your own things. || With Addison, I started pumping night one because he was in speciality care. This time I waited until I need some relief - just depends on what you want to do!
Motherlove Nipple Cream - My absolute go-to for nipple cream. Again, they will provide you with some if you don't have a favorite yet, but I can't recommend this stuff enough! || A necessity! The first few days/week is brutal and this stuff was my favorite with Addison too.
Always Discreet Underwear - If I'm being honest, I will most likely live in the big ole' mesh undies the hospital provides. Mainly I plan to bring 1-2 of these in case I feel comfortable enough to wear them going home. || Didn't wear at the hospital, but wore the next day. I may have there if we stayed longer.
Always Maxi Extra Heavy Overnight Pads - These were what I used once home with Addison. That first week (even with having a c-section), these made it easiest to not worry about leaking. For packing, I'll probably only bring a couple because they provide all of this at the hospital. || Same as above!
Tucks Pads || Didn't need. Everyone is different, but they also provide there if you do end up needing some.
Frida Instant Ice Maxi Pads - For my first birth, I homemade a ton of pads. After going through a c-section, I didn't use any. So this time around I'm just taking the easy way out in case a c-seciton happens again. || Didn't use & plan to return.
Nursing Pads - When I was breastfeeding with Addison I used disposable. This time I found organic reusable pads & I'm excited to try them out. They are super soft, come in a pack of 14 and washable. Will be a huge money saver, but they also just seem way more comfortable. Sometimes I found the disposable ones irritated my nipples which was never fun. I'll bring 5-6 with me to make sure I have new ones each day + a couple extra. || Love these and have been using since day one. Super easy to wash & not as irritating as disposable ones can be.
Haakaa Breast Pump - The number 1 thing I've been told to purchase from many of you! Especially as an over producer, this $30 "pump" sits on the nipple the baby isn't feeding off of and catches all the milk the naturally leaks. I'm probably most excited to have this! || Didn't start using until day 8. Highly recommend it though!
Coming home & announcement outfits - We're packing a couple of gender neutral outfits for bringing baby home in & for the announcement photo. Like I said, I'm probably overthinking a lot of this & over preparing, but I'm excited to have more options than not. || Loved having a specific outfit for the announcement. Didn't use the cute gender neutral outfits because we weren't there long enough, but have worn them since & love.
Basic Onesies & footie pajamas - We didn't have anything with us for Addison except for his coming home outfit. The hospital did provide us with every thing we needed, but I'm beyond excited to have our own clothes for baby to wear. || She wore 2 footie pajamas - one for sleeping & one for going home.
Socks - These super soft socks were always my favorite when Addi was really little. They're super affordable & will help keep baby cozy. || Didn't need because we kept her in footie pajamas.
Blanket - I plan to bring a soft blanket for pictures, but also for snuggle baby in. Anything that smells like home will be an added bonus when you're having the first sweet moments. || Loved having her own special blanket to snuggle in & lay on the bassinet in the room.
Boppy Nursing Pillow - I know this will be huge to have. With Addison being in speciality care, all we had to use while breastfeeding were pillows (which worked!). This will make things much easier! I also bought this new cover for ours. || Can't recommend this enough. I'm a huge fan of the boppy & loved having it there to make those first feeding moments more comfortable.
Halo Sleep Sack - The only swaddle that work for Addison. The nurses put him in this while he was in speciality care & we immediately bought some from the hospital store. || Used it & happy we had it!
Hat's & mittens - lightweight mittens so they don't scratch themselves. || Used for the coming home outfit & recommend if the clothes you bring don't have built in mittens.
MAM Pacifiers - After trying countless pacifiers with Addison MAM are they only brand that stayed in his mouth. Hospital will provide cookies (and they're not necessary), but you best believe I purchased a new pack to bring just in case. || Again, used & happy we brought!
ID & wallets (bring cash for vending machine!)
Masks - At our hospital, we test for Covid upon arrival. If both of us have negative tests, I can remove my mask for the rest of the time, Kirby has to keep his on when anyone else is in the room. If either one one of us tests positive, we would both have to wear masks the entire time (even if delivery!).
Sound machine - Both Kirby and I are used to having a sound machine after 2.5 years of sleeping with a baby monitor on so this is essential. Recently got this travel size one for our trip to Palm Springs & it's amazing. || Definitely used because I now need it to sleep.
Phone chargers - Just bought these extra long cord chargers after seeing many recommendations. || These were awesome to have & definitely used!
Camera (+ charger) tripod - Will for sure bring my camera and then my little tripod that holds my cell phone. Helps with capturing the first family picture without having to awkwardly ask a nurse. Plus, you will literally take 500+ photos in the first few days (years lol). || We used our phones for pictures the entire time and never used the tripod. We may have if we stayed a day longer (with nothing to do lol), but these could have been skipped.
Handheld or clip-on fan - Easy to pack & will be especially nice to have if I end up getting to do a VBAC! || Forgot to use this in labor, but it would have been nice prior to the epidural lol
Diffuser - Can't recommend enough! Setting the room with a smell that's calming for delivery & post delivery will be an added bonus + help make you feel more at home. We were there for 5 nights with Addison so I will definitely be bringing mine. || Loved having this with us, especially in labor! Made the room feel calm & relaxing (I diffused lavender and eucalyptus)
Water bottler with straw - Any water bottle with a straw is essential! You will be so dehydrated throughout labor & especially if you choose to breastfeeding. || They do give you one upon arrival, but I liked using my own.
Snacks & booby balls - Plan to make some booby balls this weekend which saved me throughout breastfeeding Addison. Packed with energy & help with lactation. Also plan tor bring some of our favorite snacks to save on spending with vending machines. || Highly recommend bringing some of your own favorite snacks. Forgot to bring my booby balls along, but would have loved to have them!
Diaper bag - Might as well get used to packing this! We loved using our Fawn Design bag with Addison and plan to use it with this baby too. || Didn't even bring this. They give you diapers & wipes + I had a separate bag for all of Philomena's stuff.
Nurses Baskets - Not a necessity at all, but something I had a lot of fun putting together as a little 'thank you' for all they do for us! I saved all the details of what went into mine, when to give it to the nurses and more in my Instagram 'Nurses Baskets' highlight! || Super happy I took the time to put these together. The nurses were very appreciative.
Blanket & pillow - sleeping in a chair for multiple days isn't fun for anyone. Although I know Kirby will say he can survive, I want to help make it as comfortable for him too.
Loungewear & basketball shorts - That's all he will live in. Of course, he's not breastfeeding, so Kirby didn't change half as much as I did, but having clean basketball shorts & joggers each day is essential for feeling alive..
Sandals & slippers - Kirby plans to bring his Adidas slides
+all toiletries listed above. Kirby is very simple and will use the hospital towels, won't bring sandals to shower in etc., but make sure your hubby is set up for a few days to help make him feel energized too. It's a team effort!
Kirby used everything he brought!