The Hospital Bag

With just over 2 weeks until D-day, sitting full-term, Jackson could come at any time!! It’s crazy to think about yet so exciting. I cannot wait to meet our snuggle butt. With that said, one of the biggest things “to do” at the end of pregnancy is pack a hospital bag. You know, that bag that you grab and go when the contractions are regular and you’re wondering how on earth this baby’s going to come out of you. The one that you pray is packed with everything you could possible need because your brain isn’t there and your mind is on more important thing (breathing through contractions, staying calm, etc.) when the time comes that you actually need the bag. I spent a lot of time talking to friends who have already had kids, reading other blogs, pregnancy and parenting sites for lists of what to bring, what is optional but nice to have and what you can skip.

Here’s our bag in all it’s glory:


-Change of clothes for Bryan (sure this day is namely about baby and mama but the daddy plays a HUGE role and needs to be clothed while doing so)

-Snacks (both for me and Bry. Some doctors allow you to have some snacks during labor (clif shot bloks, propel fitness water mix, lollipops). Additionally I wanted to have snacks to eat during the night (when I’m up with baby or nursing) between breakfast and dinner when the cafeteria is closed and the only real food options are from a vending machine (not exactly nutritious)– (we packed: protein bars & trail mix)

-2 nursing sports bras + one larger regular sports bra (I didn’t want to invest in many nursing bras since it’s common for your “ladies” to grow once your milk comes in–I bought a pack of 2 nursing sports bras at Target for $22 and LOVE them. The regular sports bra I bought when the girls grew during pregnancy and I needed to double up on sports bras for runs)

Nursing camis– I have four of these because of an awesome special at Motherhood Maternity (Buy 3 get 1 free). I plan to use them on their own and as the weather gets cooler to layer them under sweaters, throws, etc. I’ve worn one (even at 9 months pregnant) and it’s incredibly comfortable AND stretchy so it can grow with me (or shrink once baby comes).

-2 pairs of comfortable yoga type pants (Most of the time I plan to be in a nursing bra or cami with my robe or in my nursing gown (easier access for the multitude of checks the nurses perform post-partum). When pants are necessary (if I walk down the hall or for discharge, I want loose, comfortable pants. I just had a baby after all!)

Nursing robe & gown (I got these early on in pregnancy and they’ve fit throughout the 9 months AND are nursing–*most of the items I bought for “maternity” were also nursing items so that I could utilize them during and after pregnancy, thus saving lots of $$ and worth the investment*)

-Flipflops (for walking the halls, to/from bed for any reason and the SHOWER)

-Toiletries (for me and Bry. The hospital supplies everything Jackson will need)

-A copy of all our OB paperwork, our insurance paperwork (so we can fill it out in the hospital and send it off ASAP), our insurance information, copy of our pediatrician’s name & phone number, a packing list (so we can bring home everything we took with us–our brains will likely be elsewhere (read: on our newest bundle of joy) and 2 copies of our birth plan

-My favorite pillow with a bright yellow striped pillowcase (as to not confuse it with hospital pillows)

-The boppy (sure I could use a regular hospital pillow for the same purpose but I plan to use it for times Jackson can just lay in it and stare at the world, as well. And it fits well in our bag without a problem)

-Large maxi pads (google if you’re unsure of the necessity of these)

-My Nalgene waterbottle (to stay hydrated and help avoid an IV)

-Diaper bag with: Jackson’s going home outfit, an extra outfit, diapers, nipple cream, 2 receiving blankets, sensitive wipes

-Hand sanitizer (for guests–babies immune systems are very weak)

-Personal wipes (for those hours post birth you aren’t able to shower but want to freshen up just a wee bit: also great for cleaning anything during our stay if needed)

Last minute things:

-Camera (fully charged) + charger

-Bry’s tablet (for music, video, anything–all labor and delivery as well as recovery rooms have wifi) + charger

-Carseat (professional installed and inspected in the car already–just grab at hospital and go)

Other things we debated but didn’t pack:

-Pump (Our hospital supplies an electric, state-of-the-art pump. We also live exactly 1.5 miles from the hospital so we really don’t need a pump of our own in the hospital or on the way home)

-Pacifier (There are mixed feelings about these and breastfeeding but the general consensus is to wait to use pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established so the baby doesn’t experience “nipple confusion”)

-Towel (The hospital provides towels and if they’re really that uncomfortable I can ask my mom to bring us one from our house but honestly you spend 48-72 hours in the hospital (if everything goes as planned) post birth and I think I can handle that without a big fluffy towel. I’ll just be glad for some water and soap!)

-List of phone numbers & people to call post birth (We’re going to inform our immediate families– parents and siblings–when we go into labor and then once we’re in recovery we will call them and update them on everything along with sending a pic of our newest member. However everyone else we’re going to wait on calling and allow a phone line to work instead–our parents will call their siblings, parents, etc. This allows us to spend our time with Jackson and each other, bonding as a new family of 3 rather than worrying about calling all 921850938501 family members and worrying about who we missed, etc. Of course, once things are settled we’ll call people ourselves but this is what works best for us and how we really want to spend our first hours as a new family)

-Magazines, books, cards (I won’t lie, I’m still tempted to sneak in a deck of Uno but I highly doubt once labor is active and I’m in the midst of it I’m going to be able to concentrate on reading or beating Bryan in a hand of Uno. This is where the tablet will come in handy for music, etc. I also doubt even after Jackson arrives we’ll be doing anything other than ooing and aahing over the peanut, nursing, eating ourselves and soaking up together time and as much sleep as a newborn will allow)

Every birth is different and every mom is different. Some of these things seem unnecessary for some mamas, some seem necessary that we’ve neglected and some things we haven’t mentioned at all. This is our first time at bringing a baby into the world so really, aside from the information we’ve gained from experienced couples and reading the Intraweb, we’re winging it! I plan to write a post after Jackson arrives about how prepared we were (in regards to the hospital bag), what we were glad we brought, what was unnecessary, what we wish we had but forgot.


2 thoughts on “The Hospital Bag

  1. The hospital will/should provide diapers, wipes, baby gowns, baby wash, brush, and maxi pads for you, and disposable underwear so you don’t ruin yours. so make sure you use theirs while you are there and if you have any leftovers you be sure to snatch them up bc they won’t use them for someone else once they are opened. So consider everything yours in that little bassinet! Also, your milk won’t fully come in for 2-3 days usually so a pump won’t be necessary since you will just be producing colostrum the majority of your hospital stay 🙂

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