(Edit: I wrote this post before an emergency that put me in the hospital at 31.5 weeks. I’m SO happy now that I had this bag prepared when my complications put me in the hospital without the ability to go home again. Having all of these comforts from home prepared and ready in a bag have made all the difference.)
Hospital/Weekender Bag: Under $35!
You guys voted on my Instagram stories that you wanted me to share what’s in my hospital bag. While my situation definitely isn’t the norm, because of my placenta percreta, I’m sharing with you what I’M packing this go-round. With other pregnancies, some of the items may have looked a little differently, but here’s the breakdown of what’s in my bag with our third (and last) baby…
- TOILETRIES: Pack the essentials that you’d want from home, in case you have a longer stay than expected. My first child I thought I’d be in and out, but after 39 hours of a labor to have a c-section, I ended up staying there much longer than I’d originally suspected. I ended up wanting my own shampoo and conditioner and all my fav toiletries from home. This time, I just packed some of the essentials I’d want and found these great, little inexpensive toiletry bags so it’s all in there organized and ready for me.
- A BATHROBE, SLIPPERS AND COMFY (NURSING-FRIENDLY) SLEEPWEAR:
- While a typical stay for labor & delivery would be around 1-3 days, I can’t anticipate how long I’ll be in the hospital this go-round. I’d say, with any pregnancy, I’d recommend bringing your own robe, slippers (with sturdy soles) and a nightgown or two of your own. Although some people may be comfortable staying in the hospital’s gowns the duration of their stay, (I did with my first pregnancy), I learned that after I’m able to be mobile again, I just want to be in my own comfy clothes. Especially when visitors are coming in and out. The hospital gowns have exposed backs, so there’s no moving around with guests in your room without your bootie hanging out! So, again, it’s personal preference. But my bag contains my own comfy robe, slippers, a couple nursing nightgowns, and a comfy lounging around outfit. (Make sure that your gowns are nursing friendly, if you plan to try to breastfeed. Meaning… the tops are easily accessible.) Below are some of the items I’ve purchased for my hospital bag and for comfy things to wear when I get home…
- NURSING BRAS, POSTPARTUM UNDERWEAR, BELLY SHIELD:
- If this is your first child, you won’t believe how enormous your breasts can become in what feels like “out of nowhere”. When your milk comes in, you’re going to want to make sure you have the right bras. You can either pack some sports bras that feel roomie enough to accommodate the new size or invest in some nursing/sleep bras. I like to have comfortable, soft fabric bras that area easily pulled down for nursing. I don’t like underwire or lots of clasps, so I just like to have comfy bras that can be used for nursing.
- Something you also learn about when you have a baby are the BEAUTIFUL hospital post-partum underwear. Oh. My Gah! I HATE these things. Yes, they get the job done. And you don’t want to be wearing your own nice underwear bc they are likely to get ruined those first few days. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you soon will.) But this time, I purchased some post-partum underwear of my own on Amazon that were pretty affordable. I also purchased some other ones, that I like a little more, to wear in the weeks after when I get home. If you could have a c-section, or in my case, I’ll be having a c-section/hysterectomy with an incision all the way up my belly, keep in mind to look for underwear that are a soft, breathable material that won’t hurt being on your incision.
- I also linked (in the carousel below) some post-partum belly bands. I used one after my son and it really helped me get back my shape. I started it as early as leaving the hospital, so you may want to consider either packing it or having it for shortly after you get home, if you’re going to consider using one.
- If you do have a c-section, I found this great belly shield that is supposed to protect your incision from your clothing. I’ve never actually tried it, but thinking it might come in handy this go-round.
- NURSING PAD/CREAM: As you’re getting the hang of nursing, there can be a lot of bumps in the road. It’s not often discussed how difficult the journey can be, but there’s lots of help out there to encourage you through the journey. Make sure to reach out to your hospital lactation consultant while you’re there for any questions/support. You can also find local consultants who will travel to your home when you get back after baby. I’ve heard this can be especially helpful, as they can point out the best places in your home to nurse, things to help make you more comfortable, and they’re there AFTER your milk has come in. (Because a lot of times this doesn’t fully happen until after you leave the hospital.) I’ve always used disposable pads, but I won’t lie… I’m not a huge fan. I have some disposable ones in my toiletry bag for the hospital, but I’ve also heard these ones are great, so thinking of giving them a try:
- GLASSES AND EXTRA CONTACT LENSES/SOLUTION
- A COUPLE PAIRS OF NON-SLID, COZY SOCKS
- LIP BALM/CHAPSTICK
- EXTRA PONYTAIL HOLDERS/BRUSH: I like my hair up and out of the way when I’m in the hospital.
- PHONE CHARGER: I also recommend bringing an extra long phone cord, so that it reaches you from your hospital bed. Since I could be there a while, I ordered this one, in case I’m not very mobile (no pun intended).
- PACIFIERS FOR BABY
- BABY CLOTHES/SOCKS/SWADDLE BLANKETS/GOING HOME OUTFIT: Normally I would only pack a couple things, but again, because I don’t know how long I’ll be there or how long my baby will have to be there (she’s scheduled to be born at 34 weeks and 5 days), I have a little more than usual packed. I have several preemie sized onesies and footed jammies, several swaddle blankets, a “going-home” outfit and a couple things I might want to use to photograph her in while we’re at the hospital. I have this in preemie size for her to wear home. I also packed a couple cute headbands for her to wear with this and other items (for photos, of course). It’s super soft and comfy and comes in several colors. It also comes in a footed onesie version. Here are some of the items I have in my bag and some other thing I LUV:
- COMFORTABLE GOING HOME OUTFIT: Again, think comfort. I plan to wear a loose-fitting top and comfy pants (with a comfortable waistband) home from the hospital. You could also consider a maxi dress or loose dress. Whatever you choose, I’d choose something loose and comfortable.) See the carousel I posted above (for robes/slippers/sleepwear). I posted a pair of comfy pants and a couple t-shirts. I’ve packed the blouse in the first photo below with these comfy lounge pants and easy slide-on sandals.
- DON’T FORGET TO BRING BABY’S CAR SEAT: Finally, don’t forget to have baby’s car seat ready for going home. Hospitals will make sure they check the baby in the seat and make sure it covers all safety standards before they let you go home. We always have the car seat base setup and ready in the car when we know we’re close to baby’s due date. You’ll bring the actual seat in the hospital with you the day you’re ready to take baby home. Our car seat/stroller:
Everyone’s idea of what they consider necessary for a hospital stay can be different. I’ve just learned I like to have the comforts of home, and being prepared makes the experience much less stressful. This is simply what I’ve decided to pack, and I hope it helps give you a little direction when packing your own bag. Whatever you pack, my heart is with you as you prepare for the most exciting journey of your life… All my LUV…
Tell me in the comments below what else you pack and anything else you’ve learned with your hospital experiences. Feel free to ask questions, too!
For more on baby gear I have ready when me and baby come home, see this post:
*Affiliate links were used in this post. Which means I receive a commission when you purchase items at my recommendation. Thanks, as always, for your support.