10 Essentials for Your Hospital Bag
You’ve been waiting for this day with anticipation! It’s almost time to meet your little one. As you plan and pack your bag, here are some helpful suggestions from new parents for essentials you won’t want to forget!
- Clothes for Mom—pajamas/robe, comfy slippers, nursing bra or tank top. All hospitals provide a gown, but they’re not made out of the most comfortable material, and can be a bit airy in the back. If you want something a little more stylish or comfortable, consider bringing your own pajamas. (If they’re pretty worn, how about treating your new momma self to a new set?) Robes are also fantastic, even if you do just wear the hospital gown. If you decide to take a stroll in the hallway, or if you have visitors, a robe will keep you nice and covered. While we all know that hospital rooms are cleaned frequently, the floors can still be questionable! This is especially true if you stay in the same room that you gave birth in. Most hospitals offer socks for you to wear when you get out of bed, but they are far from glamorous and not very soft. So, it’s always nice to have your own comfy socks or slippers to wear around your room or while you walk in the hallway. And if you are planning to breastfeed, you will want to bring a nursing bra and/or nursing tank top, as this will make the transition to breastfeeding easier. Don’t forget to pack a cute outfit to go home in! And don’t feel bad if it’s in maternity pants! Give yourself grace, as it will take time for your figure to get back to into those pre-baby jeans!
- Clothes for Dad—Unless you’re planning to go back and forth between home and the hospital, you may consider packing a couple changes of clothes, as you could be staying at the hospital for two or more days.
- Clothes for Baby—Some hospitals have clothes that you can borrow for your baby while you’re there, but you will want to bring at least one outfit to take your baby home in! Consider bringing a few outfits in different sizes, from preemie to 3 months, so you’re guaranteed to have something that will fit properly!
- Toiletries—Most hospitals can provide you with the basics, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and body wash. But let’s be honest…they aren’t the most pleasant smelling or tasting. To improve your comfort, think through some essential toiletries that would make you feel more at home during your hospital stay. One new mom was so glad she brought chapstick, as most hospitals don’t have that available.
- Prescription Medications—Make sure to pack your prescription medications. For moms, if you have any specific medications that you must take regularly, it is important to bring them with you to the hospital and let your nurses know. Most of the time the hospital will allow you to take your own medicine after it’s been verified by their pharmacy.
- Bedding—Some people don’t care about what kind of pillow they use while others are very particular! Those hospital pillows are not always the best quality, so if you are particular you might want to consider packing your own. It can help improve comfort and sleep during your stay! Also keep in mind that most hospitals offer only a recliner or small couch for “guests”, so bringing along your own pillow and blanket can provide additional comfort and much needed rest to Dad! And don’t forget a blanket for baby! Even if your baby is not born in the winter, weather patterns are unpredictable. It is nice to have something to cover and protect your baby, just in case!
- Phone charger—You know you will want to be taking a million photos of your new little one on your phone! And those pesky phone batteries don’t last forever. Hospitals do not typically provide phone chargers, so throw one in your bag before you leave the house.
- Entertainment—Dad’s often have a significant amount of downtime while at the hospital. Consider bringing along something for you to work on or read, or download shows or podcasts.
- Cash—Most hospitals provide three meals a day and some even have snacks on the unit for in between meals. But it’s never a bad idea to have some cash on hand to snag your favorite snacks or drink from a nearby vending machine for those late-night munchies!
- Car seat—You MUST bring a car seat to the hospital. The hospital will not allow you to take your baby home until you have a car seat to put him/her in. If you are not financially able to purchase a car seat, some hospitals can provide you with one but make sure to find out ahead of time!
Your bag is packed, you’ve checked everything off the list! Now it’s time to put your feet up and enjoy this moment. Your life is about to change, and in a wonderful way. You don’t have to spend another minute stressing about what to pack. Instead, you can focus on the sweet little one you will be bringing home with you!