Friday, June 1, 2012

Hospital Bag: What I Did and Did Not Need

My wonderful friend, Jessica, is due with a baby boy at the end of June and is packing her hospital bags.  She asked me to do an update on what I did and did not use.  I definitely overpacked, but honestly, I have no regrets because I felt uber prepared, and some of my things didn't get used just because we had an induction and relatively short labor instead of a c-section.  And so, here's my updated list.  And yes, I had two separate bags for labor and postpartum, and I really liked that since it meant we had less to bring up to the labor room.  However, I wish I had the lanolin and folder for her documents in our labor bag as we could have used them both as soon as she was out.

Laptop/ charger- labor
Camera (d7000), lenses (35mm, 24-70), -postpartum
Phone/ charger- labor
Point and shoot camera- labor
Tennis ball- for counter pressure on back- labor

Pillow and pillowcase- labor
Notebook and pen- labor
Photo id and insurance card- labor
Birth plan- labor
Monopoly Deal- labor
Boppy- postpartum
Pump- postpartum
Snacks- labor
Money for vending machine- labor
Soft toilet paper- postpartum
Laundry bag- postpartum

I was SHOCKED I never used my laptop.  I thought I would use it during labor and after, but honestly before the drugs I was in too much pain to do anything but think about contractions and breathing, and once I got my epidural I actually napped a little bit and watched HGTV (we don't have cable at home).  Postpartum we used our iPhones instead of computer or point and shoot camera.  I did use my good camera to take photos at the hospital and I'm glad I had them.  I didn't open up my pump until about 3 weeks postpartum, and I had heard it is a good idea to take a pump for the lactation people to show you how to use it, but umm, mine was pretty self explanatory and there wasn't any milk at the hospital, so it would have been pointless.  The notebook and pen was great to write down everything that went on so I could write my birth story, and the soft toilet paper was very useful for afterwards.


Comfy pants- purple maternity jammies- postpartum
Nursing tank- black one from Kristina- postpartum

2 Nursing nightgowns- postpartum and labor
Black Robe- labor
Going home outfit for me- maxi dress and cardi with flats- postpartum
Cheap undies- postpartum
Nursing bra- black- labor
Slipper socks with grips on bottom- labor and postpartum
Flip flops
Bikini top- labor

If you have a vaginal birth, they do check you down there several times the first day, so I was glad I had a nightgown instead of pants.  However, after the first night and morning, they didn't really check me that much so I could have put on my comfy pants and nursing tank, but I didn't KNOW they wouldn't be checking me as often, so I never used them.  The black robe was a must have for me both at the hospital and now here at home (wearing as I type).  It's just a cheap jersey robe from Walmart, but it doesn't show anything (blood at the hospital and spit up at home), and when you get out of bed in the middle of the night to nurse and you realize you've sweat out half your body weight and are now chilling, it's great to throw on on your way to the bebe.  If I hadn't had an induction I may have used the bikini top to labor in the shower, but once you have the iv in you can't really move much beyond the bed, so no need for that, or the slipper socks for me.


Chapstick- labor
Makeup- postpartum
Facewash pads- postpartum
Deodorant- postpartum
Razor- postpartum
Chi- postpartum

Shampoo & Conditioner
Pads- postpartum
Toothbrush- postpartum
Toothpaste- postpartum
Brush- postpartum
Baby powder (if I don't want to wash my hair)- postpartum
Hair ties- labor
Nursing pads- labor
Lanolin cream- postpartum

Shower CapNail file 

Since I had an induction, I was able to go to the hospital with first day hair, haha, so I never washed my hair at the hospital and didn't need shampoo, conditioner or my chi.  The big thing on this part of the list would be the Lanolin cream, which I needed right away, and the facewash pads- really helped me feel clean without having to get up and wash my face in the bathroom that first night when I was so sore.

For Blake
Swim trunks- if he gets in shower with me during labor
Change of clothes (2)

Obviously Blake didn't need his swim trunks if I didn't need my bikini top.  The big thing on this part of the list is the hoodie, which Blake did not pack, and ended up wishing he had.  Normally he is the guy in shorts with no cover to sleep while I'm in flannels and have the comforter on me.  Not so much at the hospital.  Even my doctor commented on how cold it was in the room, but I didn't let anyone touch the thermostat because I was warm most of the time, and when I had my few bouts of nausea and lightheadedness, I REALLY wanted it cold in there.  Everyone else could just deal!  So, even if your hubs thinks there's no way you'll ever be warmer natured than him, during labor is when it will happen.  Oh, and funny story about the snacks, I specifically had it in our birth plan that no one could bring food into the room when I couldn't eat, but Blake ate some jerky while I was napping, and it woke me up because I could smell it.  He felt really bad, but thankfully I had a fairly short labor and didn't get too hungry until later in the day.  I wasn't too thrilled about being woken up, but I had made a mental pact with myself to really try to maintain a good attitude and kindness toward my hubs during labor, so I didn't say anything. 

Diaper bag- postpartumCouple of diapers

Swaddle blanket
Mineral Oil

Hand sanitizer
Nursing Cover
Folder for documents
Outfit for going home (one in newborn, one in 0-3)

We didn't need a whole lot for E, most stuff was provided by the hospital, including a swaddle blanket, but I was glad we had ours for going home with.  Also, we used her bag to bring a lot of things home (all the stuff the hospital provided like diapers for her and pads for me, plus all the pain management stuff like the sitz bath etc.)  The folder was really handy for keeping paperwork in one place.

So that's my take on what to bring, and even with all the stuff I didn't use, I'm not sure I would change anything for the next bambino, because if I'd ended up with a c-section I may have needed some of those things since we would have been in the hospital longer.  


  1. This is a helpful post for all new mommies-to-be! Good lists.

  2. Thanks friend! This made me feel a lot better about my own list, now just have to add a few things! Eeeeek! Can't believe I'm actually packing for this already :) love you!!!!

  3. Just found your blog and luvin it! I'm due in August-second child in 10 years so it's like I'm starting over. This post has been extremely helpful to me. Thx!