I have no clue how we’ll pay for my daughter’s college or wedding, and although we passed the “Infant Care” classes, I’m still not entirely positive what to do with regard to the umbilical cord stump. As far as feeling prepared to become a parent, my confidence is low. However, in spite all of this, I at least feel ready to make the trek to the hospital to give birth. Why? My hospital bag is now packed.
Extensive Googling of the phrase “What should I pack in my hospital bag to have a baby?” and asking my “been there, done that” mom friends what they recommend, has yielded extremely helpful suggestions and also made me realize that everyone has different ideas of what “the essentials” are when it comes to packing for the hospital. For example, some women take a change of clothes for themselves and a going home outfit for their baby and rely on the hospital to provide everything else. Others suggested bringing a deck of cards to pass the time during labor (!) and even bringing toilet paper from home. After much consideration, packing and re-packing, and a couple trips to Target, I think my bag is finally ready to go.
Here are 10 essentials I packed into (or next to) my hospital bag:
- Boppy. Multiple friends suggested bringing a Boppy (or something similar) for more comfortable nursing during the hospital. Not an essential, but I opted to pack mine.
- My own pillow. Another great suggestion I received: If you typically use a white pillowcase, swap it out for a colorful one, so it doesn’t get mixed up by hospital housekeeping.
- Snacks. Mostly for my husband during labor in case the cafeteria is closed, but some for me during the postpartum stay. (He better save me the Nutella-to-go.)
- Labor essentials. Back massager, birthing ball, birth plan and essential oils. Lavender and peppermint scents can help with pain management during labor.
- Clothes for me. I packed three nursing tank tops, one zip-up hoodie, two pairs pajama pants, a cotton robe, and my “going home outfit” — a cotton v-neck and yoga pants.
- Baby items. Since I think the hospital will have more than enough baby items (duh), all I packed for her was two sleepers, a hat, and a couple favorite blankets.
- Toiletries. The basics, with the most important items including Chapstick, body wash and lotion.
- Electronics. Camera and charger; Kindle and charger; phone charger (to grab at the last minute).
- Large manila envelope. My doula recommended this one to hold all the important papers from the hospital in one spot.
- Baby memory book. I hope that when they take her footprints, the nurse will be willing to stamp her feet into the book too.
Packing the bag for the hospital was the last item on my to-do list. Now that it’s ready to go, and the car seat is installed, I am OK with going into labor anytime! Did I miss anything? Did I over pack? Under pack? Let me know what you think!