A friend who is expecting her first baby recently asked on Facebook what is really necessary to take to the hospital when she goes in to have her baby, and as you can image she got lots of responses. As a woman who has packed that hospital bag more than a few times, it got me thinking about what is REALLY needed, and what can be left at home. I started chuckling when I thought back to when I had my first child and ALL the stuff I took with me, seriously I think my husband had to make two trips back to the car to get everything–and most of it I didn’t even use once we got there. I really just had no idea what to bring or what to expect. By number five? I had that bag packing down to a science!
Now, I understand that this will vary for people because we all do have our own priorities, but the basics are all still the same. This is what I consider the priorities in the maternity hospital bag.
Maternity Hospital Bag
Camera and all chargers for electronic devices–you don’t want your phone or camera to die at the wrong time.
Robe to wear during labor–I walk like crazy during labor, it helps labor progress and helps keep me calm so I loved having a robe to wear over my hospital gown.
Flip Flops–yes, and nothing fancy, just plain plastic ones that you don’t mind getting dirty and can either be rinsed off or even thrown away. Remember all that walking? Do you really want these hospital germs from the floors being brought back into your house when you come home from the hospital? Plus, if you are wearing them while you are laboring and walking they might get a bit dirty.
Outfit for baby to come home in–in reality, this isn’t even a priority for the bag as you can have your husband or other family member bring it the day you are coming home.
iPad or Kindle to read during down time
Something comfortable for you to wear once the baby is born, especially if you plan on being in the hospital for a few days. You will have visitors, have lots of pictures taken and you will feel better about yourself if you are wearing actual clothes (even if they are just nice pi’s) instead of the hospital gown.
Toiletries such as Chapstick, hand lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush, hairdryer and makeup–again, for me, it just made me feel more together and with it when I would have visitors or have pictures taken to feel like I was pulled together.
Snacks, especially if you anticipate having the baby overnight–after you give birth you will be starving but if it is the middle of the night then your food options for you and your partner might be limited so pack a few snacks such as granola bars, pretzels and fruit.
Soft nursing bras and nursing pads
Your pillow from home–now admittedly, I didn’t take my pillow (again, those hospital germs!) but a lot of friends swear by taking their own pillow and I can see why. You are going to be spending lots of time in the hospital bed, why not make it as comfortable as it can be?
So tell me, what did YOU take in your bag? Anything you wish you had brought? Anything you wish you didn’t? Leave me a comment and let me know!