Ok, it’s game time: the car seat is installed, the baby clothes are washed and the nursery is all set up. What’s left to do to prepare for baby? Packing a hospital bag, that’s what! I, like most people, packed WAY TOO MUCH in my hospital bag. What did I actually end up using? Let me break it down for you..
But First, A word to the Wise
Are you in the camp that thinks they’ll walk out of the hospital in full makeup and their size 26 jeans? I sure was! How can you not think this with social media telling us it’s the norm? Well, I hate to break it to you girlfriend but once the baby pops out, it’ll be a WHILE before you get back to your pre-maternity clothes. Personally ( Ms. 65 pounds gained here) I didn’t SEE a zipper or button in my pants until Chickie was about 9-10 months old and THATS OK! Your body just pulled the monumental feat of BRINGING LIFE INTO THIS WORLD! If you’re a normal human being like the rest of us non-Instagram-model-mere-mortals it’ll take more than a hot second for it to bounce back. Don’t worry.. it’ll happen! One day you’ll wake up and you’ll start feeling like yourself again.. it won’t happen all at once and it won’t happen overnight but IT. WILL. HAPPEN.
Let’s Get to Work
Ok, now that we’ve cleared our heads of unrealistic expectations and committed to not putting pressure on our already stressed out bodies, let’s get down to business. What to pack, what to skip and what to steal! Sorry Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital….
- 4 Cute Maternity PJs (my faves linked below 🤗): Make sure there are warm. When your milk comes in (around day 3) you will be FREEZING. I remember getting the chills baaadly. Anyone else?
- Comfy Robe
- Cozy sweater
- Comfy slippers
- High protein snacks: Breastfeeding makes you HAAANGRY! I did lots of peanut butter + granola.
- Makeup + blow drier if you’re into that kind of thang. Dry shampoo was also a regular of mine at the hospital. I suggest bringing makeup removing wipes so you can wash your face from bed in case you’re overly tired (you will be).
- Breastfeeding pillow: I used the Boppy but also love My Brest Friend and not only because I love a good pun.
- Pump: Take advantage of the lactation consultants in the hospital. Have them watch you feed and pump so you feel more confident once you get home and have to adult (ekkk!).
- Water bottle/thermos with a straw: Breastfeeding makes you VERY thirsty! Good water intake = good milk production.
- One MATERNITY coming home outfit
- Socks socks socks
- 2 or 3 nursing bras (my faves linked below!)
- Lanolyn or other nipple cream
- Nipple shield, just in case you need it!
- Flip flops: Because, showers.. and pee. Yup, there’s a good chance you’ll pee yourself the first time you stand up if you had a vaginal birth. Sorry! Also if you had a vaginal birth, it’ll be more comfortable to pee standing up in the shower than to try and sit/squat for about a week or two.. PS- Thanks to all my Vbirth mamas who gave me the lowdown on this- I had no clue!
NOTE: Skip packing underwear and STEAL ALL OF THE MESH UNDERWEAR FROM THE HOSPITAL. Seriously! There’s a lot of post-partum bleeding that first month and the big, supportive underwear the hospital gives you with are EVERYTHING. I brought some home with me and was happy I did! Literally wore them for a month.. they’re disposable too so just use and throw away. I’m telling you TAKE THEM ALL HOME! Not buying it? Check out this article. Another good tip for life after leaving the hospital- place an Amazon order for these guys so they are waiting for you at home. No matter what type of birth you had, these no-ice “ice packs” are AMAZING! If you had a C-section, they are amazing to put on your incision. If you had a vaginal birth, you’ll use them as a panty liner. Either way- THEY ARE LIFESAVERS!
For Mama’s Partner:
- 3 – 4 comfy loungewear outfits: to the #handsomehubbs this meant BUTTON DOWNS. I was wearing pajamas for a week while Matty wore BUTTON DOWNS, ok? So annoying.. 😂
- Comfy slippers
- Coming home outfit
- Nail file and/or gloves: Babies are born with looong nails and they scratch themselves a LOT. It’ll break your heart. Bring gloves if
you don’t want to tackle those nails just yet.
- Hat: My best friend Kree did a personalized hat and it was the cutest thing! That’s how she revealed baby’s name.
- 2-3 swaddle blankets: Don’t over do it with swaddle blankets! 2-3 are enough. Baby will mostly be wearing the hospital swaddles but I liked having my own for pictures. My absolute favorite swaddle blankets for those first days are these (pictured right).
- Optional: 3 different types of binkies. Some Mamas are worried about nipple confusion and don’t want to use binkies until the baby is used to breastfeeding. Personally, I felt that Chickie was using MY boobs as a binkie a lot of the time those first weeks so binkies were lifesavers! You don’t know which type baby will like though, so if you’re thinking of using binkies, I suggest you bring three different kinds.
- Coming home outfit with swaddle 😍
Bonus: Do it for the ‘Gram
Match Mama, Baby and Partner’s coming home outfits for a cute photo-op! Don’t go for identical, keep it interesting by wearing different shades/patterns in the same color family. We went with blues even though Chickie is a girl! Some rules are meant to be broken, right? 😜
What did you pack in your hospital bag? Did you overpack like yours truly? Any must-packs I’m missing? Let me know with a comment below and I’ll be sure to add. Don’t forget to cruise the shop section for my hospital bag favorites. Happy packing!