Long before I was a mother I was an over-thinker. I over think EVERYTHING. So when it came time to pack my hospital bag for the delivery of my first daughter (you guessed it) I over thought it entirely! What I soon realized was that I didn’t use half of the stuff that I packed and in fact opted for the simpler solution during our hospital stay. When my second was due I knew I wasn’t going to waste my time over packing and I chose (for the first time ever) to pack only the basics. With my sister due in a few weeks I thought it was the perfect time to share my must have items in a SIMPLE hospital bag for mom + baby.
Lets start with “the basics” for your new baby:
- Swaddle Blanket: This is something I didn’t have with me at the hospital with my first but really enjoyed having with my second. By then I knew the ones I loved and wanted to use them right away. After the baby is born they swaddle them in the classic hospital blanket and still I like using those for the first few hours after the baby is born just out of ease (and for keepsake purposes). However, after that first night or those first few hours I loved pulling out my Ollie brand swaddle and using that. Swaddling worked wonders for both my girls and although they tried to wiggle out of it a few times I was persistent and always swaddled them as infants. They slept longer and by utilizing Dr. Karp’s 5 S’s they would relax without a doubt.
- 2 One-pieces & Coming home outfit: With my first I only packed her a coming home outfit and although that worked out fine I still wanted to pack a few extras when my second came around. Again when they are first born they stay naked for a bit while you do skin-to-skin then the hospital provides a little shirt. I liked having that (again) for keepsake purposes as almost a souvenir from their birthday. But after a few hours I was eager to get my daughter into the ultra soft bamboo bodysuit I bought from Kickee Pants. The fabric is so dreamy and ultra soft. Whichever brand you choose I think having 2 little one pieces on top of your baby’s coming home outfit would be nice to have on hand.
- Baby Beanie/Hat: I know I sound like a broken record on this but I like utilizing the hospital’s baby hat for when baby is first born and for the first few hours but after you get a little more comfortable in your new roll it is nice to dress up your baby in your own gear. Again I LOVE Kickee Pants’ fabric so I definitely splurged on this one too. Whichever hat you choose it is just simply nice to have your own stuff with you on those exciting first days.
- Nursing pillow: I liked having this for breastfeeding AND for cuddling. It also comes in handy for the younger visitors who may need some assistance holding baby. I used a Boppy for both girls and it did the trick!
- Car Seat: This is a no brainer! We used a Maxi Cosi Mico AP for both girls. Comfy-ness is a trend for me and this is one car seat that just LOOKS comfy and seems to actually be for the baby as well. Whichever car-seat you choose I highly recommend making an appointment at your local fire station before baby comes to get help installing it correctly. It may seem like something that can’t be messed up but it can be! Better safe than sorry in my book. I learned a lot from our experience and I even went back for a refresher when I was due with baby number 2.
- Pillow: I was NOT picky about labor. I did not have music planned out or a special gown for giving birth in. None of that. I didn’t care what I was wearing or the lack of makeup on my face but the one thing I am glad I had was my own pillow. My own, comfy, trusty pillow (the one that probably got me into this “mess” to begin with…I kid, I kid). The familiar smells and the comfy place to rest my head just had me so at ease through the whole process. It’s honestly the only thing I HAD to have for labor. I personally love these pillowcases from OSusannah’s!
- Post-Birth Outfit: After you have the baby (generally speaking) you get brought to your room that you’ll be in until you head home. It’s at that time you’re able to take a shower and re-group from labor. After that shower the last thing I want to put back on is that hospital gown so I brought a comfy button up pajama set and wore that for the day. It was comfy, easy access for nursing and loose fitting for all your new under baggage (you know the fun aftermath of labor that leaves you in that classy mom diaper…I know, I know, I won’t go there but you get it!) I also love the idea of this night gown by Kickee Pants (listed in number 2). Size wise think of what you fit in at about 6 months pregnant and that should be the size you pack.
- Nursing Bra: Speaking of nursing make sure to pack a couple nursing bras. I love the no-underwire Bravodo nursing bras. They are comfy and really hold up well. You’ll be doing LOTS of nursing in your first few days and weeks so this will become a staple.
- One thing I loved having was my Bela Bracelets– hair tie bracelet. It is no joke when you hear that moms always have their hair thrown back and it’s true. This starts right away. I loved having an extra hair tie with me and it didn’t have to look frumpy or cut off circulation in my wrist during the process. These bracelets are super comfy and SUPER functional. Hospital or not, I don’t leave home with one of them these days.
- Socks: It’s cold in there so bring some socks! Plus you don’t want to be walking around the hospital floors without some. You can’t go wrong with Happy Socks!
- Nipple Butter: I LOVE Earth Mama Nipple butter and after much testing of other brands, this one quickly became my go-to. You don’t need to prep your boobs before breastfeeding but once you start it’s definitely a good idea to have this on hand. I swear by it!
- Toiletries: I didn’t go crazy with these. I packed the essentials (tooth brush, tooth paste, brush and some makeup) and went from there. I didn’t fuss about packing my own shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc. I used what they had there to hold me over until we all made it home. One less thing to worry about! I just got this toiletry bag from ITraveller and love it!
- Going Home Outfit: Chances are you’ll be taking pictures so a fresh outfit is nice. I never picked anything fancy. Just a comfy pair of yoga pants and tee did it for me.
I hope this simple list helped you weed out the unnecessary things and focus on the basics! Make sure to share this with a mom-to-be who may find this useful!