I am now 7 weeks from my due date!! Anxiety is kicking in heavy, but completing a few small tasks everyday is keeping me from being overwhelmed. This past week I took the time to pack my hospital bag and wanted to share with you whats in it!
Some women say you don’t need ANYthing at all (many women end up going into labor early and don;t have it ready- and they manage JUST fine) so don’t freak out if you don’t have the time to do this! Hospitals will give you what you need and your family/friends can always run out for the things you might want! However there were just as many women who were glad they prepared ahead of time and had the things they needed to feel comfortable! Talk to other women who delivered at your hospital to get an idea of what is provided and what might not be.
Also, FULL DISCLAIMER I am obviously a first time mom to be and NO baby expert. Most of the items I’ve chosen are popular recommendations from family, friends and the tribe of amazing women followers I’m blessed to have on @thechutneylife. Scroll past the collage for descriptions of each item and click on the link to purchase. I included AS MUCH as I could- and you can pick and choose what you think you would want! There will be variations of it all- so you can use this as a rough guide and choose your own brands. Remember to KEEP RECEIPTS for everything!
Three Pieces of Advice:
#1 One piece of advice that I got from 100% of women? TAKE EVERYTHING AND MORE from the hospital, home! Do not be shy, ask for more and keep storing it away in your bag (make sure you bring an extra bag or leave enough space in yours for the things you’ll take home). Most women said the large pads, ice packs and mesh underwear from the hospital were great!
#2 Don’t forget about your husband! He doesn’t need much (sorry guys)- but a change of clothes, some pj’s, headphones, ipad etc. will be nice for him to be comfortable! Im packing an extra toothbrush for mine because he’s likely to forget toiletries- lol. Also talk to your husband about who to call, who to text and WHEN. He will be your advocate so discuss your wishes about visitors/family ahead of time and let him handle this part for you 🙂
#3 Baby Formula!! Yes hospitals will give this to you since breast milk takes a few days to come in but I’m choosing to go with a specific brand so I’ll be taking my own. I was also advised not to stress too much about nipple confusion- many of my friends supplemented with formula in the early days and their babies still took to their breasts/breastmilk after. The most important thing is a FED baby.
#1 Nail File– This is a personal preference! During our birthing class, the instructor mentioned that babies like to explore, touch and feel with their hands so she is against the baby mitts – which are pretty much put on the baby so they don’t scratch themselves. She advised us to get over the fear of cutting tiny baby nails by filing them right away and getting comfortable doing it. Hopefully we’re strong enough to do this LOL! I hear they have claws from the moment they’re born so Im packing this in my bag. I’ll pack a set of baby mitts just incase but we are going to try the filing route first!
#2 Hospitals usually give you Dermaplast to numb your lady parts but I’m opting for this natural Earth Mama Perineal Spray that a girlfriend of mine also used and recommended to me!
#3 This was the one thing people said sucked at most hospitals- and the design of this Frida Baby Fridet Mommy Washer made life so much easier! Fill it with warm water and a few drops of witch hazel to provide your lady parts some relief post partum.
#4 Personal preference but JUST incase its needed I’m packing this Avent Soothie Newborn Pacifier. I already know my hospital doesn’t provide pacifiers but I want to have it just incase! I
#5 10 Ft. Iphone Charger is necessary so you can have your phone near you and don’t need to reach far! Whether your scrolling through social media to distract yourself or playing music on your phone- its handy!
#6 Depends– The hospital does give you extra large pads and mesh underwear but many women said it was easier and more comfortable to have these depends- which resulted in less leaks! They are disposable after each wear- don’t have to worry about the pad moving around or not sticking to your underwear etc.
#8 Earth Mama Nipple butter was so so highly recommended to me! Moms loved it versus other brands and advised me to start using it couple weeks before the due date!
#9 Slippers – I am a “comfort” person and I need all my cozy favorites!! These shoes will be great for when they make you walk around the floor to get moving- better than just the grip socks the hospital gives you. If you get weird about bathroom floors barefoot- pack a pair of cheap rubber flip flops for when you use the bathroom/shower too.
#10 Medela Freestyle Breast Pump– Although it will take a while for your milk to come in- its a great idea to take your pump (whichever one you choose/whichever your insurance provides) with you to the hospital so you can get comfortable using it- and have the nurses/lactation consultants assist you! The hospital will have a hospital grade pump but its nice to take yours if youre nervous about how to use it. Remember most insurance companies also offer a certain amount of visits post partum from a lactation consultant too- so if you don’t have the pump at the hospital- they can always help you figure it out once you once you’re settled in at home.
Other items to remember:
- Dark Colored Underwear – that is loose fitting and breathable cotton- just incase.
- Baby’s Coming home outfit (hat/socks), and anything you might want for baby photos- like a cute swaddle blanket etc. Im going to pack a receiving blanket because I know Ill have visitors and everyone will want to hold the baby-and the hospital blankets are not thick and fluffy.
- Lip Balm & Lotion because hospitals can be VERY drying ( Along with toiletries you need for showering) Some women even packed their hair tools/make up-and said they felt better knowing they looked good!
- Hair Ties
- Snacks!! Hospital cafeterias might be closed in the middle of the night and I hear the hunger is INSANE after you deliver- so keep a few things in your hospital bag and some hard candies to suck on as your mouth can get very dry!
- Camera- that is charged and ready to go if you’re using one besides your phone.
- Nursing Pillow– positioning the baby can be difficult so if you bring the nursing pillow youll be using at home- your lactation consultant can help you figure it out! Also a pillow for you and your husband!
- Music– You could have a playlist prepared on your phone/ipad that helps calm you. Many moms said they played religious songs and just closed their eyes, dimmed the lights, and relaxed!
- Car Seat- Installed & Inspected- If you’re delivering in cold weather- please follow guidelines for safety and do not put your baby in anything bulky that would prevent the mechanisms of the car seat from working properly in the case of a car crash- rule of thumb is NOTHING in the car seat besides baby- not under the baby either. You can learn more about proper car seat safety here : NHTSA .