Friday, January 29, 2016

Hospital Packing List

K, so remember the jean shorts after pushing a baby out instance from yesterday's post? Cool. Well, not cool, but let's talk about how to avoid such incidents in the future.

Home with the babe & feeling quite uncomfortable in my jean shorts. 
I've perused plenty of lists - some longer and some shorter - and put together what my next hospital bag will look like. I wouldn't consider it minimalist but I don't think it's over the top either. My thinking is that I'd rather be slightly over prepared than underprepared. I put the things that are more optional in italics - below & on the printable. I'll be most likely be packing everything on my printable but the italicized are those you could get away with leaving behind. I think this all fits into a carry-on size bag + a smaller tote so it works for me.

I actually suggest having a smaller bag with the stuff you'll want easy & quick access to. I kept mine right next to my bed so I could grab things from it without having Fab dig through the bag that I packed and he couldn't find anything in. ;) But also, just so it was easy to get to it myself! Like my tablet, notebook & pen, the camera, snacks & my water bottle.

I broke my list down into a few subcategories - mom & dad, mom only, dad only, baby, technology, paper & other. I like subcategories.

So here ya go - a bit of a longer version of the printable with some explanations.

Mom & Dad
  • Toiletries - especially an extra pair of contacts and your glasses, if applicable!
  • For the feet - Flip flops and/or Slippers. Both are great for walking around the room depending on the season and the flip flops will be good for showering, too. And some socks - yes, the hospital has socks but they suck and fall off and are not cozy. You want your own.
  • Bathing Suit - if you are planning to use the bath or shower during labor or delivery
  • Pillow & Blanket - I have a blankie. Much to Fab's dismay, it was at the top of my hospital packing list... It has snowflakes and reindeer on it so he thinks it's a bit ridiculous that I use it year round. :) The hospital pillows are ok but I'd much rather have my own - especially my own soft pillow case! Those things at the hospital are rough. 
Fab & his dad checking out little O & me, comfy with my blankie and pillow.
  • Entertainment - Magazines. Books or Kindle. Movies. Music. Personally, I wanted quiet and no one touching me when I was in labor! I'm pretty certain a "DON'T TOUCH ME!" escaped my lips at one point. :) But, if you're going for the epidural, you'll be up for these things while you are waiting and waiting and waiting (most likely) to fully dilate. I hear you feel nada.
  • Snacks - keeping in mind that you won't be able to eat during labor but afterwards you will and your hubs will love the snacks, I'm sure! Plus, who doesn't deserve a little treat after getting a baby out of them!? I did. Peanut M&M's to the rescue. Some people also consider bringing a treat for their nurses. That's lovely, too. I wanted to do something like that but who knows when you're going to actually go into labor and I didn't really have time. 
  • Water Bottle - They'll have a ginormous pink cup with a straw for you but sometimes it's nice to have your own stuff + my own water bottle doesn't leak so it could lay on the bed next to me. 

  • Extra hair ties, headbands, clips, etc. - I can't imagine anyone wanting hair falling in their face while they are mid-contraction - just the thought makes me super annoyed. Bleh. You don't want to be without these so have them ready in a pouch so they are easily found, if needed. 
  • Sleepwear & Robe- (I definitely spelled that as "Sleepware" at first. Oy, Kem.) I bought a nightgown for laboring and for after delivery. Those hospital gowns are not awesome... you're not going to want to hang out in them. The nightgown was wonderful b/c I could easily pull it up for the nurses to check how I was healing and feel my belly. Make sure you can nurse in it! And a robe for walking around the halls or if you need some additional coverage when visitors come. 
  • Undies - Use the hospital ones. Just do it. I actually liked my hospitals! ha And they are ginormous to hold in all that extra padding you'll have down there for a bit. But, if you must use your own, get the larger, brief style, ones. 
  • Nursing Related
    • Nursing tank or top - Something you feel nice in would be good since you'll be sleep deprived and most likely not freshly showered afterwards - anything to make you feel like a whole person will be welcomed! Personally, I was fine in my nightgown the whole time but I know some would feel differently.
    • Nursing Cover - for when visitors come along. When it's just you, the hubs and the nurses, you won't care. You just pushed a baby out of you, there's no reason to care. You could also just use the receiving/swaddle blanket you brought along for baby.
    • Breast feeding pillow (like a Boppy) - I actually didn't use this much but some people swear by it and I'll most likely still bring it along for baby 2 just in case I feel differently. For O, I just used a few pillows squished up how I liked around me. They were happy to bring me additional pillows. 
    • Lanolin cream - They should have some at the hospital for you. I'd check and see what they supply just to be sure. 
  • Additional Toiletries - Your husband won't be allowed to shower there so he won't need shampoo/conditioner and body wash but if they let you shower, you'll want your own stuff! That hospital conditioner makes your hair feel like cardboard. Dry shampoo is a good thing to have just in case you don't get that shower. And make-up - I know some people may roll their eyes at this one but honestly, it was wonderful to have. My face had a lot of red splotches after delivery because of broken capillaries (I think??) from pushing so hard. Covering that up for some pictures was wonderful. Sure, it's birth and it's beautiful and blah blah blah but no, my splotchy face was not cute and I'd rather not so fondly remember it while not seeing it in pictures. ;)
  • Hard Candy - to suck on while in labor.... so they say. :)
  • Relaxation Tools - birthing ball, massager, homemade rice sock (heat it in the hospital microwave for a heating pad that conforms to your body), music playlist (if that's your thing, I wanted total silence!), etc. 
  • Going home outfit - Not jeans! Something comfortable and loose and not your pre-pregnancy clothes. You won't just go down to nothing just because that baby is out and about now. (See the first picture in this post! ha) You're going to be sore down yonder so you want something not too tight, too. If it's winter go for some warm yoga-type pants. If it's summer, go for a skirt. 
My broseph drove all the way from PA, leaving when my water
broke and arriving shortly after O was born. A++.
Clothing, that's about it. Everything else is covered in the mom & dad list.
EDIT: I added a new item on a friends recommendation!
  • Change of clothes
  • Sleepwear
  • Extra undies
  • Tylenol - One of friends recommended adding this and it's genius! The hospital can't give dad medicine and there's a chance after a long labor, little sleep and a possible screaming mama, he could get a headache. Or he could just get one without any of those things and you want him on top of his game!
Oliver taking in our view from the hospital room.
Get a folder and stick these things in it so it's all easily accessible. The folder will also come in handy when you head home with a bunch of extra papers on infant care and breastfeeding and circumcision and discharge papers and...

I'd avoid bringing a big purse with you, if possible. It's just an extra bag you have to carry. I put the basics in a small clutch. 
  • Picture ID's, health insurance info
  • Forms - Hospital registration & birth certificate. You'll likely turn these in to your OB before baby comes though.
  • Birth plan, if ya have one. I went over one that I found online and filled things in just to have an idea of what my options might be. In the end, I didn't really want to use it. It's not like I knew what would happen or how I would feel so I didn't think it helped much. The only thing I knew is that I wanted to avoid pitocin and an epidural, if possible. That was enough for me. I was prepared with other things like music and relaxation tools, just in case I wanted them, but I didn't feel like I needed them written up since I really had no clue what I'd want mid-labor. Ends up - I wanted no noise and no one touching me. :) 
  • Small notebook & Pen - great to have for jotting down babies schedule, nurses names, notes on taking care of a little human, etc. 
  • Baby Book & Ink Pad
  • Contact List - who do you need to contact with the new babe deets. I didn't do this and I most likely won't with baby 2 - we did fine at remembering who we needed to tell. 
  • Take-Out Menus or a list of places nearby that deliver - The hospital will only provide food for mama. Dad can get something at the hospital cafeteria or get some take-out. Having a list of nearby places to grab food at is nice. No one wants to be tired and hungry and having to find somewhere to get food.

You'll find a bunch of lists that say a packed diaper bag, diapers, wipes, pacifiers, baby hat, etc, etc. WHAT!? No. They give you that stuff at the hospital! Plus, all you're doing in the car is taking a drive home, you're not going on a trip. You don't need much for the little one.

EDIT: My bff commented about adding this in and I 100% agree so I had to add it in. We did exactly this! All that stuff in your hospital room they have for you & baby - diapers, cream, vaseline, pacifier, thermometer, sitz bath seat, witch hazel pads, pads, etc - you can take it home! I mean, check with your nurse to be sure, but they'll most likely be tossing it and will encourage you to stock up. 
  • Receiving Blanket (Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddles are the BEST!) or something heavier if it's winter. This is to put over them in their car seat when you head home.
  • Going Home Outfit - A sleeper is easiest. I'd bring along a newborn and a 0-3 month size since you don't know how big your babe will be. Or you could just do a 0-3 if you don't care about the fit! 
  • Installed Infant Car Seat. Numero Uno priority. Can't leave the hospital without it.
Oliver with all his necessities - going home outfit, blanket & car seat.
Plus his cute little hospital hat. :)
We also brought along a little bear that my dad had recently brought back from
a work trip to Belgium for Ollie. His first teddy! This was nice to have since he
couldn't make the trip over when Oliver was born. 
Make sure your electronics (1) are charged and (2) have plenty of room! No one wants a "10% Battery Life" or "Not Enough Space" message when they're in full blown newborn paparazzi mode!
  • Camera & Charger
  • Phones & Chargers - and once you get there, make sure your charging cable is within reach your bed, mama, or the middle of the night when dad's getting some shut eye and you're nursing while attempting to stay awake.
  • Headphones - a pair for mom & dad. I used mine at night while trying to keep my eyes while nursing but not wake Fab. Fab could use his when we I was napping.
  • iPad & Charger - play games, surf internet, maybe with a downloaded movie or two if you don't have a laptop and your hospital doesn't have wifi (or if their wifi sucks!)
  • Laptop & Charger - for watching movies on, surfing internet
  • Timer or Watch - to time contractions
  • White Noise - we didn't have this but I came across it on another list and I think we'll try it next stay, especially given that we're used to a fan running in our room as it is. It'll drown out hospital noise.
  • Speaker & Music - for laboring, if you'd like, or you could use the speaker with a white noise app.
With all that technology listed, you'd think I'd have used a lot during my stay. Nope, not really. I used my phone and our camera but that was about it. I attempted to read my Kindle (listed up top already) once and couldn't keep my eyes open. :) It certainly doesn't hurt to have these things with you to pass the time if you're laboring at the hospital though.

  • Cash/Change for Vending Machine - We didn't use this at all but you might. Can't hurt.
  • Extra Bags - Bring two reusable bags to take home hospital goodies and possible gifts from friends and family. 

No, that's not all we left with. Fab had already
taken 2 smaller bags out to the car.
I'm not a big fan of super long posts but figured splitting this kind of post into two might be a little annoying.  So there ya have it, a forever long post. Sorry, friends. I threw some pictures in there to help... maybe? ha

What would you add? Or, anything you would take away?

Hope this break down and the printable helps you in your packing! Get your list HERE! With a few extra spaces to add your own items!

(If you happen to want the excel version of this doc to edit then comment below and I'd be happy to share! I know how I am with wanting everything precise and exactly how I want it! That's why I made my own printable! ha)


  1. GO KEM!!! With your printables!!! You so profesh!!!!

  2. Great post! The only thing I would add, and this isn't something to bring, but that everyone should stock up on what is in the hospital room. Pack the diapers, wipes, cream, and all the pads and witch hazel they bring you. I'm not saying you should be like Ross from friends and steal stuff, but most of the things in the room they will get rid of due to germs, so stock up!

    1. OH YES! We brought home everything. I'll have to add a note in about that! :)