As usual, we are bringing 3 hospital bags … not one.
To some, it might be overkill. But I have brought three hospital bags the last two times, and it has worked out great. Also – as I have told you before, I’m pretty Type A. In times of stress or chaos I like things organized, I like to know where everything is, and I like to be as prepared as possible.
So… three bags it is.
Bag #1 is The Mama Bag – I just ordered this one below. The best part – the company offers hand painted monogramming and you all know I am a sucker for a good monogram. The duffel on the left is the actual bag, the navy boxes in the middle are the packing inserts that you can also monogram, and I threw in the travel box as well for my cosmetics. I am SO obsessed with all of them.
Bag #2 is the Baby Bag – I went with the Skip Hop Greenwich bag (the one in the middle) this time around. Lately all my mom friends have switched to backpacks – AND I was born in a town called Greenwich – so I was partial to it immediately. We got it in the chestnut color, but I might invest in the black for winter.
Bag #3 is the Daddy Bag. I got Joe the Barbour bag (the one on the right) as a gift – and since the men don’t need half as much – it really is the perfect size.
We keep the baby bag in the car until after the baby is born, and then Joe or our Doula goes down and gets it once the baby has arrived.
So… here we go… as promised… what to pack in your hospital bag. Or bags, in my case.
The Mama Bag:
1.) Pillow: I loved having my own pillow with me last time, and I know I will again this time. Pro Tip: bring your pillow in a patterned pillowcase so it doesn’t get confused with the hospital one!
2.) A nice, large towel from home: I do actually shower at the hospital. Many women do not, but you know me, I am a shower freak. Anyhow- the hospital towels are horrible – and I am very partial to my own towels – so The Pottery Barn Bath Sheet it is!
3.) Robes: SO – I was really wrong about this when I had William. I totally thought I could wear my robe during labor. hahahhaha – not even close. I ended up wearing the same, gross, pastel colored, hospital smock that everyone else does. But I was SO thankful that I packed a couple of cozy robes to wear after labor. I wore a black one immediately after – which was perfect for that first night of nursing. And – just being real – I bled A LOT that first night. SO I was happy to have something black on hand. Then for the next day, I had a beautiful, long, floral one which was perfect for when friends and family came to visit.
4.) A nursing bra and/or tank: You really only need one. I preferred a nursing bra last time, but this pregnancy I’m really into the nursing tanks. So I’ve linked both. See below. A word to the wise – I cannot wear an underwire bra – at all – when I am breastfeeding. This is very common. The underwire can cause clogged milk ducts – and I have had horribly painful ones in the past. So when you’re shopping for nursing bras, I would suggest starting with a non-underwire version.
5.) Flip Flops: Since I’m delivering in summer this time around, I will probably use these more than before. Bring flip flops that are cute – but also ones you can shower in.
6.) Slippers/Slip ons: Let me be clear – don’t bring any shoes that aren’t completely slip on – including your slippers. I’ve linked some ideal options below.
7.) Electronics: iPhone, Phone charger, cameras/lenses, etc – pretty self explanatory here. I had my mom and doula take photos through both of the boys’ births and I am so happy I did. Also – think about if you’d like to have a birth photographer. I didn’t feel like I needed one, and it ended up being fine. But I did have our photographer come to the hospital for photos the day after.
8.) Snacks for during/after labor: Labor is intense, and tiring, and it’s nice to have some of your favorite things for when you’re done. If your doctor/doula will allow – you can also snack during labor if you are getting tired and hungry. My labors were so long with both David and William, I had to eat a little something here and there. You do what you gotta do. This time, we’re bringing Kind bars, cheddar bunnies, Haribo gummies, waters, gatorade, etc.
9.) Toiletries: Think – makeup wipes, your favorite lip balm, shampoo/conditioner, hairdryer/straightener, makeup, comb, etc. I loved being able to pull myself together post-births, and I know I will again this time. I also made sure to pack a handheld mirror – because after giving birth – at least for me… there was NO getting out of bed for a bit.
10.) Going home outfit: Last times, I was in so much pain, that I couldn’t lift my feet to put pants on. That being said, I’ll be wearing a long black maxi and a long cardigan… and probably my flip flops. See below.
11.) The unmentionables that have to be mentioned: Pads, tucks, nursing pads, dermoplast, etc – for all those lovely side effects of giving birth! <<< You’ll get these at the hospital anyway, but having your own supply doesn’t hurt.
The Surprising & Unexpected (also in the Mama Bag):
1.) Homemade cookies/treats for the nurses: I did this the last two times – and I swear it made all the difference in the world. I think a lot of the time the nurses on staff get forgotten. But they literally do so much for you when you’re giving birth, so it is nice to give them something in return. I make the cookie dough a couple weeks in advance, freeze it in pre portioned balls, and then I just bake the cookies right when my labor starts. See >>> here. My girlfriend, Lauren, made little goodie bags for her nurses with chocolates, RX bars, and Starbucks gift cards – I also thought that was incredibly thoughtful.
2.) Thank you cards: pre written – for the doctor, our Doula, and our nurses.
The Baby Bag:
1.) 1 Swaddle & 1 Blanket: We used both of these with the boys – and I am sure we will again. I am partial to very cuddly blankets for my babies.
2.) Onesie, socks, mittens and hat: one set of newborn and one set for 0-3mos. I know that I tend to have larger babies, so I only bring 0-3month clothes.
3.) Car Seat: Installed in the car
Feel free to bring diapers and wipes if you want to – but they usually give you these at the hospital. Also, if you want to introduce your baby to a pacifier – you can bring one to the hospital. All of our kids were paci kids, and I always brought an infant one to the hospital.
The Daddy Bag:
1.) His favorite snacks: Cliff bars, spicy chips, beef jerky, water, and Gatorade – the red kind is his favorite.
2.) Ipad/Laptop/Chargers: To keep him busy in between contractions.
3.) A nice shirt & change of clean clothes: I totally failed on this with David, and I’m not going to do it again. This time around, I’ll have one of his favorite button downs ironed and ready to go – and a clean pair of jeans.
4.) Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair stuff, eye drops, etc.
2.) Birth Plan: I actually plan on writing a post on our birth plan this time around, because it is so radically different than with the boys. Eeeeeek. But until we get to that post – probably Tuesday of next week – let me just say that I think every woman should think about her birth plan, share it with her partner, and definitely write it down. This one here is a great jumping off point, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me.
3.) Our visitors list: The list of people who plan on visiting us once your baby is born, and a list of people we need to contact once he is born. We don’t want to forget anyone, and sleep deprivation can do funny things to people!
***A note about our Doula: she has been our Doula for both of the boys’ births and if you want more information on her and why we hire her – check out this post >>> here.