The Only Hospital Bag Checklist You'll Ever Need
So here’s the deal. I mean the REAL deal. You’ll see 100 blog posts on fancy bags you need to buy, expensive slippers and gadgets you’ll never use. Truth is: no one needs that bag with the zipper pocket that holds shoes only at the bottom. Or a roller bag for that matter. And honestly, if you walk in with a roller bag 1) You’ve already brought way too much stuff and 2) The nurses will make fun of you behind your back. It’s true, we laughed about it last time when some other girl brought her whole house with her (did she secretly reserve a suite I’m unaware of where she was going to get amazing rest and want to stay for a month?!)
As an organized, neat freak, mommy of two I keep reminding friends….PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR HUNDREDS (well really thousands, but hundreds still makes the point) OF YEARS WITH A LOT LESS. Now that being said, things have changed a lot in the last one hundred years so we do need to account for that. Here’s the real, down and dirty, nitty-gritty hospital bag list of what you’ll ACTUALLY need and use.
- Toothbrush for you and your spouse (or whomever else is guiding you through this glorious process of pushing a watermelon-sized human out of your body).
- Toothpaste: Because they go together and let’s be hygienic.
- Shampoo and Conditioner: If you plan to shower (I waited for home-I thought their showers were nasty). Did I mention I’m also a germaphobe?
- Diapers for you (Yes, ladies, I said for YOU. I prefer the Always Discreet ones). No this is not a sponsored post. They fit me well and they were way more comfortable than those giant mesh panties they hand out. There will be all kinds of things going on down there after birth. Hold it all in while being comfortable, that’s my motto.
- Cream: If you forget this, ask your nurses. They have tons of samples on hand. Slather that stuff on if you’re breastfeeding! Before AND after each session. Yes, you use it before you start hurting. Don’t wait until you’re raw and sore to begin using it. Protect yourself early on people.
- Snacks or candy you like: I brought Junior Mints (my fav, plus I had GD and couldn’t eat sugar for months so this was a blessing), goldfish or crackers of some type. Those Ritz Everything crackers are also my jam. Whatever is going to make you happy. Now is not the time to count calories!
- Snacks for your spouse: I know what you’re thinking. Snacks for him?! Yes, it’s a must. Lot’s of spouses get “hangry” just like us. You don’t know how long your labor will last, if he’ll be able to step away or if the Cafeteria will be open (I gave birth on a Sunday with my second child and it was closed! Who knew those even closed?!) Nothing smelly like beef jerky or you’ll want to punch him in the face because let’s be honest, he’ll decide he wants a snack right after the doctor says you can only snack on ice chips for the next hour.
- Hair ties: If you think of it, put this on your wrist before walking out. No one wants hair in their face while they’re pushing a tiny miracle out of their body.
- Outfits for baby (newborn and 0-3 months cause who knows how big they'll be. I also brought a premie one both times).
- Facewash/makeup wipes: This was the only thing that made me feel clean and refreshed during my stay.
- Some sort of Vitamin water (A friend recommended this to me the first time around because you just can’t depend on hospitals to have what you like. It saved me. I don’t care for juices heavy in sugar. I was able to bring a Propel or Vitamin Water flavor that I liked that I knew worked for my body. I’m not a Gatorade girl and you’ll be SOOOO thirsty after labor!)
- Slippers: The floors are gross and you’ll want to be cozy. They made me walk the floors with my first so I could go to the bathroom before leaving the hospital and it was great to have my slippers!
- Nightgown and Robe (nursing friendly).
- Stretchy pants/dress to come home in (You'll be bloody so if you go with a dress, you may want light leggings to go underneath. Nothing too tight. You'll be sore and if a C-section, very tender).
- Nursing pillow: Made my life easier.
- Hairbrush: Duh.
- 3 Favorite pieces of makeup: I say 3 because there was no way I was doing a face full of makeup. I was exhausted by the time we left. But having a little still made me feel like me. I chose mascara, bronzer, and lipstick.
- Flip flops to go home in: You may still be retaining water- our bodies are INSANE.
- Phone Charger: You’ll hate yourself if you forget this! Basically so you can overpost your new bundle of joy all over social media or if that’s not your thang then spam your friends and family with the cuteness that just entered their lives.
Bags of chocolates for the nurses (They will LOVE you if you do this)
I went to target and got giant bags of Ghirardelli miniature chocolates and left them at the nurse's station. Don't worry about thank you notes. My nurse friends say food is the way to go! And chocolate is always a winner.
Well, that’s it, ladies. Seem long? Not really once you pack it all up. Pack that bag and put it in your trunk starting at 35 weeks. You never know when you’ll suddenly go into labor or head to a doctors appointment where they tell you to go straight to the hospital. So install that car seat now, pack that bag and dump it in the trunk for safekeeping until your big day. I recommend leaving the chocolate by the front door so you don’t forget it. Chocolate and heat locked in a car in the summertime don’t mix. But for heaven's sake, if you have a dog, DON’T leave it by the front door! :)
(Organized neat freak, mommy of two)