So since baby John Fox came a little early (37 weeks), this post is coming a little late (OK, a lot late). I wanted to get it published around week 38 of pregnancy but obviously that’s not how things went down. (Read John Fox’s Birth Story and My Recovery Story).
There’s a lot of useful information for new moms in here that I still wanted to share, plus some great products that are worth mentioning, too. I’m including links to them all, plus my humble opinion on what’s really important to pack in your hospital bag.
I’d like to start this conversation off with a big word of caution for all the pregnant women out there who are searching on Pinterest for what to pack… DO NOT follow all those ridiculous lists you’re gonna come across, you don’t need much, trust me! Since this was my third go around, I knew better than to pack my entire household and silly things like baby toys and diapers. So, if you want a realistic list that won’t make you the laughing stock of the hospital, keep reading.
For The Mama:
1} This is what I call my “Bedside Bag”. All my essentials within arm’s reach such as Chap Stick, my makeup, body spray, face cream, makeup removal wipes, and so on. Don’t forget some gum or tic tacs. When your breathing through those contractions and the nurse is nose-to-nose with you while you’re getting your epidural, the last thing you want is stinky breath.
2} Hair Essentials (hair tie, headband, hair clip & brush). Bring one of each, your hair will get messy and in your way while in labor. I also brought a travel size bottle of John Frieda’s Secret Weapon, it works great!
3} 2 or 3 pairs of socks, a pair of flip flops or slippers, and a few pairs of ugly, disposable big butt undies. Don’t bring cute ones, just buy plain cheap ones so you can toss them once you get home.
4} 2 Pairs of Comfy Pajama Dresses/Jammies. Also included in my stack is a pretty cream colored labor gown from Figure 8 Maternity, This is optional but makes for great keepsake photos!
5} A short lightweight robe. Or really any robe you’re comfortable in. It just might take up your whole suitcase if you pack one of those huge, thick winter ones.
6} 2 Nursing Bras. I’m sorry guys but those clip ones are a pain in the ass, I like the ones that you can just fold down like the light pink one pictured above.
7} Your makeup. I hear you from the computer screen, “I’m not gonna care what I look like when I’m in labor!” But trust me, you will. Once the baby is born and the sun shines through the window on the next day only to land on those big bags you’ll have under your eyes, you’ll be searching for concealer faster than your baby does your boob. Expect visitors, and expect those visitors to want to take pictures. Just sayin’, momma! You’ll want to be prepared. However, if you only bring one thing, let it be this Garnier BB Cream Miracle Eye Roller. It cools too reduce the puffiness, moisturizes your dry skin, and covers those dark bags better than anything else.
8} An outfit to wear home. Something loose and comfy like a sundress or stretchy pants. Just make sure whatever top you’re wearing provides easy access to breastfeed on demand because you’ll be doing a lot of that.
9} A pretty pair of earrings. This one is optional, but sort of became a tradition for me. I always got a new pair as a gift for myself to wear when coming home. They jazz up even the most casual of outfits and make you feel pretty, and being that we need all the help we can get on discharge day, I find it to be a very good thing to pack. It made me feel like myself again, and reminded me to take care of myself even though baby is born.
For The Baby:
1} A folder to keep all your paperwork in. You’ll be signing a lot of things, getting papers for the baby’s hearing test, birth certificate, etc. etc. so have a folder to keep all those documents safe.
2} Baby’s first pair of shoes. They probably won’t fit him right away, but they make for special keepsake photos. How could I not pack these precious Freshly Picked baby moccasins? They’re way too cute!
3} A pack of onesies. This is if you plan on dressing your baby while in the hospital, however you’ll be doing so much skin-to-skin that it’s much easier to keep him swaddled in a diaper instead. They will be making lots of messy poops so don’t bring you’re best gear.
4} Baby’s coming home outfit. I always buy size Premi for this because all three of my 6lb. babies never fit into size Newborn until a couple weeks old, so if you think you’re having a small baby like mine bring a size Premi outfit for him/her just incase. Which reminds me! If you’re having a girl, bring bows. Lots and lots of bows! It’s just the right thing to do when a princess is born.
5} A nice swaddle blanket and some receiving blankets. I love this custom monogrammed one from XOVE Baby to pieces. It’s organic bamboo muslin swaddle that’s so lightweight and soft it doubled as a nursing cover for me, and the best part about this company is they give a swaddle to a baby in need for each swaddle they sell. Support them!
6} Baby caps. The hospital will provide you with some, but bring a couple nice ones because they are required to wear them for the first 48 hours of life.
7} Your HUSBAND’s bag! Hey, Mama… you have enough going on right now. Let him pack his own shit.
8} A great BAG! Last but not least, you’ll need something to pack all these items into. I am so impressed with this Babymoov Style Bag. It’s a diaper bag equipped with all the bells and whistles but is so spacious and attractive that I used it as my hospital bag as well. Everything fit, and it looks so nice!
The Babymoov Style bag comes in 6 different designs and included with the bag is an insulated bottle bag, a mini binkie holder bag, a changing pad, an additional clear plastic pouch for miscellaneous items, and a stroller strap to make traveling with it easy.
In conclusion, your hospital bag shouldn’t be that complicated. The truth is the hospital provides you with most of the items you’ll need, so take advantage of that!
-Diapers & Wipes.
-Baby toys. Come on, they are still getting used to being alive, they won’t be able to play yet. Patience, Mama!
-Pillows and Blankets. Unless that’s your thing. I, however, tend to get the heeby jeebies thinking about all the germs I would be bringing home with a pillow that’s spent a couple nights in a hospital.
-Pads. The hospital has enough to build a fortress with them.
-Diaper Rash Cream. Basically any baby essentials like this, the hospital provides. Also, take a peek in those drawers under your baby’s bassinet. They are stocked with diapers and the hospital expects you to take those home, so do so!
-Any Extra Clothing. Who wants to bring home more dirty laundry than you have to.
Good Luck to all you expecting Mamas out there!
This post was sponsored by Babymoov USA.