Hospital Packing List for Labor & Delivery!
I started drafting this list back when I was researching what all I wanted to take to the hospital, more as a list for myself than an actual post I intended on sharing... anyone else do that? Write notes for yourself in your blog? No? Just me? Okay.
There are tons of lists like this all over the internet, but since I have several friends who are expecting their first babies and have asked me what I took to the hospital, I thought I would go ahead and share my list! :)
I'll start off by saying I'm somewhat of an over-packer, especially when I'm doing something I've never done before and don't know what to expect. But, I also knew the hospital will provide everything needed even if you come in with nothing, so I tried to be selective about things I wasn't sure I needed. So all that being said, I kind of edited this list a bit from everything I took and tried to share just what I brought as well as things I brought that I didn't need & a few other suggestions! Here we go...
- Your own robe/nightgown - I was only in labor for about 5 hours once I got to the hospital & then ended up laboring in the bathtub, so I just wore the hospital's gown for most of that time (and delivered with just a sports bra on), but I know a lot of people like to labor in their own gown. I loved having my own for afterward delivery though, and a robe to throw on when visitors came. If you plan to deliver in your own gown though, I would bring one you don't mind getting dirty and maybe even throwing away as it will probably get dirty! And if you're going to do that, I'd probably bring an extra for your hospital stay.
- House shoes - these are the ones I wore (I LOVE them!) I did a lot of walking around the halls during labor and it was nice to have some comfy shoes that also had a grip on them.
- A Bed Buddy - this thing was a life saver during contractions! Josh would warm it up and hold it on my lower back during contractions and it helped so much.
- A birthing ball - our hospital actually ended up providing this, but if your's doesn't I would definitely recommend one!
- A bathing suit or sports bra - if you plan on laboring in the tub (which I totally recommend if you want to do it natural!)... I ended up just wearing my sports bra in the tub. I'd also suggest some trunks for dad if you may want him to get in with you.
- Snacks - technically you're "not supposed" to eat... but there's really no evidence that this is bad for you while in labor if you're low risk. By the time I was admitted to the hospital, it had been over 12 hours since I had eaten and do you know how much work it is to birth a human?! I get hangry, so I had snacks.
- Snacks/gifts for the nurses - I learned this was a thing right before Lucy was born, so I didn't have time to make a bunch of goody bags or anything fancy... so we just brought a big tub of cookies for them all to share. I know it's their job to take care of me, but it's still nice to let them know they're appreciated :)
- Camera - duh.
- iPad/entertainment - most of the time there's a lot of down time in labor when you get to the hospital... I spent most of this time at home, but if you're in the hospital, having a book to read or movies to watch or even cards to play will help pass the time. Also nice for your down time during your hospital stay the next couple days, too.
- Music - this was on my "take it or leave it" list, so I didn't have anything prepared but without me even knowing or suggesting, Josh had brought along some relaxing music to play while I was in labor. We didn't have long to play it, but it was nice while it lasted and I thought it was so thoughtful of him!
- Hospital paperwork, birth plan, your ID & insurance card.
- Yoga pants, nursing tanks, & loose tops- I wore maternity yoga pants and a nursing tank or maternity top during the day. Getting "dressed" made me feel more human and put together. I'd throw a robe or a cardigan on over it when we'd have visitors.
- Nursing bras - these the only ones I bought before Lucy was born and the only ones I wore for several weeks postpartum. The size of your boobs may fluctuate a few sizes after delivery once your milk comes in and this bra is perfect for providing good support but being flexible enough for varying sizes. Super comfy, too!
- The Boppy - a huge help with breastfeeding! Figuring out the breastfeeding positions was super awkward at first, at least for me, and this helped a ton.
- Your own blanket - some people suggested bringing your own pillow and towels too, but I wasn't too worried about that but I can see where it would be nice to have them. Having my own blanket was nice though, especially because Josh wasn't given as many linens so it was nice for him to use when he would try to sleep, too.
- Warm fuzzy socks.
- Flip flops - for the shower.
- Toiletries & make up - no need to go crazy but I always feel better when I have a little tinted moisturizer & mascara on. I also brought my own shampoo, toothpaste, etc. (Whatever I would normally bring when spending the night somewhere.)
- Phone charger/iPad - a couple people recommended bringing an extra long cable so you could still use your phone while it was charging if the cord wouldn't reach your bed. I never ended up buying one, but I did bring my iPad also so I would just use that if I needed to when my phone was charging... but let's be honest, most of your time will be spent either staring at your baby or trying to sleep, so I didn't feel the need to go out of my way to make sure my phone was constantly available.
- Going home outfit - you'll still look about 6-7 months pregnant when you leave the hospital, so make sure it's something comfy. I wore leggings, a nursing tank, and a giant cozy cable knit cardigan with my Ugg house shoes. If I had a baby in the fall or spring, I'd probably wear the same thing only maybe with a button up shirt over it, and in the summer I'd probably just wear a maxi dress. Whatever it is, just make sure it's loose and comfy!
This is probably where I over-packed the most. You really don't need much for baby as the hospital will literally provide everything you need - even diapers! I brought a ton of stuff I didn't need, but here's what I would bring again:
- A couple onesies - even though the hospital will provide these, I wanted to put my baby in her own clothes once we got settled. I brought a couple in each size (newborn & 0-3 months) since I didn't know how big she would be.
- Swaddle blankets - the hospital will also supply these, but mine were cuter :)
- Going home outfit - I brought one of these in each size as well. I'd go out on a limb and say most babies will be in newborn size when they're born (Lucy was in newborn until 6-7 weeks old!!), but then again my nephew came out in 0-3 months & they had to have someone stop by their house and bring a bigger outfit for him! So you never know.
- Car seat!! This is obviously a must.
Josh packed his own bag so I'm not a ton of help here other than what I've already mentioned, but the biggest things I remember about Josh's stay were the bed & food.
- I remember we were a little surprised at how no one ever offered him any food. Of course he could go buy lunch at the hospital cafeteria, but I thought it would have been nice if they offered to deliver his meals with mine... after all, he's sleep-deprived, too. We found out on the last day that we could have requested this for $4/meal or something, but no one ever told us that. So just something to be aware of. I'd also make sure he has snacks for while you're in labor too.
- A blanket & pillow - if we ever find ourselves in the hospital delivering another baby, I'll probably bring Josh his own pillow and blanket... they do provide these for him, but the tiny pull out couch he gets is much less comfy than momma's bed, so having his own pillow & blanket would at least help a little.
Things that I brought and didn't need/use (but you might!):
- A birthing ball - as mentioned above, the hospital provided one. If your hospital doesn't, I would bring it.
- Breast pump - a lot of people suggested bringing this. I didn't, and didn't end up needing it. They did have me try pumping a little in the hospital, but they supplied the pump.
- Underwear - I know that sounds weird, but it's true. I even went out and bought XL cotton undies that I was prepared to throw away afterwards (because like every packing list I read suggested this) but I personally thought the hospital mesh panties were way more comfortable! I did end up using my XL cotton undies once I got home though, so they weren't a completely wasted purchase.
- Pads - the hospital provides you with plenty of these as well! I'd almost hold off on stocking up for when you get home, too... the hospital sent me home with so much that I still have a ton of extras!
- Dry shampoo - I took a real shower and used regular shampoo. :)
- Nipple cream - most lists I read suggested (or insisted on!!) bringing this, but I didn't really use it until about a week or so into breastfeeding. It may be because the first couple days of breastfeeding were kind of awful for us & my milk didn't come in until around day 5-6... so I'd probably still suggest it just in case!
So I hope that helps someone at least a little bit! This is pretty much what I'd stick to next time I have a baby (no, not pregnant! ;)) but really you can go in with just a change of clothes and an outfit for your baby if you wanted to and be totally fine!
Did I forget anything? Any other mommies have anything to add?! Feel free to share!