The first time I had a baby, we could hardly carry all our gear into the birthing room!
Two babies later, I’m finally wising up.
The Internet will tell you all kinds of things you should pack for your hospital bag.
Here’s what I packed in my hospital bag.
I’m going to help you simplify your stay. Here’s a short list of things NOT to pack for a hospital birth…
The Bare Necessities
You’re going to a hospital — not Siberia!
Rest assured, if there’s anything you truly need, you will be able to get it from the gift shop or a nearby store.
Focus on what’s important: your health and the baby. That’s all that matters.
It does help to interview friends who have delivered at the same hospital. Each facility offers different levels of service, provides different products, and has different procedures.
That said, you might want to reconsider packing some of these items:
#1 – Special Nightgowns, Underwear, And Pads
Here’s why you’ll need less of your own clothes and toiletries than you might think.
#2 – Nursing Pads, Creams, And Pumps
Not only that, but you’re not likely to leak anything in the first 2 days — since your body is still producing more colustrum than milk. Should you need extra nursing supplies, most hospitals have it all — including breast pumps for rent and a lactation consultant who will show you how to use them.
#3 – Baby Diapers And Baby Clothes
Included in your hospital stay are the diapers and tiny little infant wrap shirts. Use them!
You’ll only need a special going-away outfit (or 2) for photos, and enough diapers to last you on the way home.
#4 – Special Blankets
One nice baby blanket would be good for photos of the baby, but not for everyday hospital use.
Most hospital rooms include a stack of freshly laundered flannel blankets perfectly sized for newborns. They’re great for swaddling the baby like a burrito — the way that hospitals recommend.
#5 – Too Many Snacks
My hospital offered a free, fully furnished refrigerator for families — with juice, sodas, crackers, and energy bars. There was also a coffee bar downstairs and 3 fast food restaurants a block away.
On my last OB visit I noticed Quizno’s Subs in the elevator. The delivery person gave me a menu and let me know they offer free delivery for orders over $8. Wouldn’t it be easier to pack a couple of menus instead of a grocery bag?
#6 – Special Lotions And Toiletries For Mom
New babies are faced with sensory overload. It’s best for nursing if they smell you — not artificial scents.
#7 – Lots Of Books, Journals, And Magazines
I brought everything I thought I needed to keep my mind occupied. But I ended up cluttering my nightstand instead. I didn’t read even half the material I brought.
#8 – Computer Laptop And Cell Phone
Check your hospital’s Internet policy before admission — because what good is a laptop if there’s no free wifi?
You may want to let your partner tote the cell phone (and be in charge of sending pictures). After all, who wants a rude awakening from your phone just when you’ve finally dozed off to sleep?
I hope these tips — learned from my own overpacking experience — will help you!
If you packed something that you absolutely didn’t need, tell us in the comments below.
I’m a wife, mom of 4, and resident of Brentwood, Tennessee. I love finding fun new things for my family to see and do in Brentwood and the Nashville area! In addition to writing about Brentwood, I also spent a year blogging at The Fun Times Guide about my pregnancy with baby #3.