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Let me start off by saying this is my 3rd official time at packing a hospital bag and I honestly think maybe this 3rd time is the charm. With my first, I admittedly overpacked. How could you not? I had never staying in a hospital before, nor did I ever have a baby, so I had no idea what I really needed. I read the recommendations online, and honestly, in hindsight I don’t think any of them really gave that great of advice. (But we’re also talking 2013, so things weren’t what they are today when it comes to blogger recommendations and Pinterest.) When it came to my second, only a short 14 months after, I kind of winged it. A little jaded from just having done this and knowing I didn’t really need much, I partially relied on my husband to bring what I needed in between runs home and I packed only the essentials. This time, I have the experience and the wherewithal to make this stay as luxurious as possible. After all, with 3 kids, this is going to feel pretty similar to a mini vacation, so I’m planning to soak every peaceful second in before heading home to the chaos.
So, now that I’m a seasoned birther I guess you could say, I’m here to share with you the important things… the things that really matter to pack in your hospital bag, like everything you need to be functional, practical, and to feel as cozy as possible. (You are in a hospital after all…) Here’s everything I’ve packed so far:
1/ Hospital Bag
Let’s start with the right hospital bag because yes, it counts. When it comes to shopping for a good hospital bag, you want one that will double as a great carry-on or overnight bag for the future. (We did say we were being practical, didn’t we?) I happen to love this one from StorkSak for it’s functionality and size. It’s made from water resistant materials, has rolling wheels, a hanging organizer that can be taken out, a large mesh compartment, removable compartments for extra space, multiple pockets for small + large items, a key clip, a passport pocket and smart leather luggage tag. The lining can also be wiped clean and the design can be folded flat for storage on the go. It makes for the perfect hospital bag, but also the best carry-on for when you finally do get to travel again. 😉 We actually love them so much that we have his/hers – my husband has the black version that he’ll be bringing to the hospital, too.
2/ Le Mystere Nursing Bra
I always pack some comfortable nursing bras like these two from Le Mystere. I got the ‘Mama Mia’- Nude and ‘Sexy Mama’- Black. They’re insanely comfortable and easy to nurse in…and you can easily sleep in them. It’s important to have good support and comfort for the ta-ta’s once your milk comes in, so a good nursing bra is essential. It also helps you to feel a bit more modest and normal when nursing around the clock those first 24 hours, then letting it all hang out in your hospital gown. I didn’t mind the nurses, what I did mind was all of that exposed skin hitting the cold sterile hospital air every hour. These Le Mystere bras can be a bit more pricey, but the quality is amazing and you’ll definitely want something that will hold up to the wear and tear that comes with breast-feeding.
3/ Belabumbum Nursing Chemise and Robe
Although I love me some hospital gowns (sense the sarcasm), the first thing I like to do when I can get up and moving is freshen up and get into my own comfy clothes. These pieces from Belabumbum are not only the softest things around, but they’re also totally functional and cute. I love the black color-way for a hospital stay so you don’t have to worry about any stains or accidents, whether from baby or yourself. I’m going with layers, since I’ll be delivering in July (the height of the summer) and temps will be sure to fluctuate throughout the day/night in my room. The Moon Goddess Robe over the Nursing Chemise is perfect for making me look pulled together for guests, yet incredibly comfortable for feedings and naps.
4/ Cozy Slippers
If you haven’t caught on yet, COMFORT is the key word here. And what’s a total must-have for me in the hospital is a cozy pair of slippers with traction. The hospital provides slipper socks, which are great and all, but I like to be barefoot in bed since my feet are prone to sweating, especially after giving birth. I scooped up this super cute (and cheap!) pair off Amazon. They’re under $20 and will make the best house slippers for when you’re home, slugging your way through those first few weeks of motherhood. They also come in a few different color options!
5/ Earth Mama Organics Nipple Cream, Herbal Perineal Spray/Balm and Natural Deodorant
The hospital comes fully stocked and will provide you with things like Dermoplast spray and nipple cream (if you request it), but I recommend just bringing your own. I’ll be using my collection of Earth Mama Organics products including their organic nipple cream, which is a lanolin-free, all natural nipple balm you can apply after feedings that doesn’t need to be wiped off before baby feeds again. They also make an herbal perineal spray and perineal balm that will help you feel human in no time. Not only are they all-natural, but they also smell SO good.
yep, I said it. Believe it or not, this was highly recommended by a lot of you on the inter-webs and I wish I caught on two babies ago! While I was uneducated on the whole matters of postpartum and living my best life in the mesh undies with bulky pads that the hospital provides (hanging on for dear life nonetheless), most of you were kickin’ it in your Always Discreet Underwear for Women. I’ve also heard that another fantastic option are the Spanx high-rise panties. They’re amazing for holding that enormous pad close, but they also do one helluva job sucking it all in which helps to speed up recovery for your hips and belly. They’re pretty much a lifesaver for giving you additional support so you don’t feel like you’re all falling out. I think I’ll plan to bring both this go ’round and see which one works better for me. I’m just happy to have options now, you know what I mean?
7/ Bamboo Washable Nursing Pads
Nursing pads are something that some people can leave or take. Personally, I like having the extra comfort and security for any leakage. I’ve tried a lot of nursing pads in my day – disposable vs. washable, all different brands, shapes and sizes. The ones I found worked best for me were the Washable Reusable Bamboo Nursing Pads. They not only prevented me from any unnecessary irritation, but they paid for themselves in just one week. These particular ones are made from organic bamboo, which is known to be softer and more absorbent than cotton or disposable pads.
8/ Phone Charger (with super long cord)
It’s inevitable that the nearest outlet in the hospital room is on the furthest wall from the bed. Can someone please tell me why they haven’t thought to include a usb port in those tray tables yet?! In the meantime, I plan to bring this 12ft lightening cable because, hi, you can never have too much and who has time for anything less than 100% battery when you just had a baby.
9/ Instax Camera
iPhones are no doubt convenient, and they’ve certainly come a long way in the past 5 years since I’ve had my first baby, but ever since my kids started playing with their new Instax cameras, I couldn’t help but think about how adorable it would be to use those to document some of the baby’s first few hours in the hospital. A little vintage and nostalgic to say the least. I can’t wait to include these super cute instant prints in his baby book as soon as we get home.
10/ Going Home Outfits
I can’t even remember what I wore home with Hudson, but with Aden I know I made the biggest mistake of my life bringing a short knit dress. I wasn’t particularly planning (or aware for that much) that I would be leaving the hospital completely swollen beyond belief. My legs and feet were bigger than a Flintstones and the dress was the only thing I packed! Imagine how silly I felt being wheeled out of L&D with all eyes on me. Yep, silly first timer! This time around, it’s all about comfort and camouflage. A good pair of black leggings like these from Hue at Nordstrom (on sale, too!) and a loose nursing friendly top like the Free People Aster will be most likely what I’ll be leaving in come July. For the baby, I like to bring my own easy swaddle so I’m not wasting time practicing the burrito with those stiff, too-short anyways hospital blankets. I’m loving the Woombie for how it mimics the feeling and security of the womb. For a coming home outfit, I’ve been loving the gender neutral summer thermal pieces from L’oved Baby. This tank romper is going to be perfect for our unbearable heat in July. They also have the cutest sleep gowns that I plan to use at night.
Now, this kind of goes without saying, but I’ll also be bringing my must-have toiletries to freshen up. I do happen to bring my make-up, because when there’s a free 10 minutes as the baby sleeps peacefully (a.k.a. those first blissful 24hrs of newborn haze), it always makes me feel 1000% better about my postpartum self and slightly normal putting my “face” on. Do you feel like I’m missing something? Let me know some of your go-to items for a hospital bag in the comments below ~