a tale of a mama who didn’t have her hospital bags packed.

Once upon a time:

There was an expecting mother who’s baby decided to take matters into their own hands and have their birthday fall on the mother’s Baby Shower. Being that this occurred their mother did not have anything packed for a hospital stay. Here is their story…

After my water broke I was in full scramble mode! I appeared to be calm, but at 3am, my brain was in overdrive trying to think of what I needed to grab.These are the items I grabbed:

  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, & Mouthwash: Even the simple act of brushing your teeth will make you feel more put together, especially after giving birth because your mouth will get pretty dry from all the breathing!

  • Make up (personal preference) I knew it would help me feel human so I packed it! I also had chapstick in my bag, thank the lord! Make sure you bring chapstick, your lips will be very chapped!

  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Body wash: The hospital we were at gave us a small care package with these items, but I didn’t know that so I packed my own.

  • Socks: The hospital has non-slip socks that they supplied (probably costs a ton haha). One tip: try to find socks without tight elastic! The socks I brought along her way too tight with all the lovely swelling I had in my ankles/lower legs after giving birth.

  • Robe: I bought a dark colored robe for laboring in a couple weeks before so it just happened to be lying next to Avery’s hospital bag and I am so happy it was!I lived in that robe for a week!

  • Hair ties: The one always on my wrist came along!

  • Going home outfit: I grabbed a pair of yoga pants and a flowy top. Since we were in the hospital for ten days I ended up going home the night before Avery’s discharge and getting something different.

  • Underwear: The hospital will give you the mesh underwear, but since I had a feeling I was going to be in the hospital more than a few days I decided to grab a few pairs.

  • Hospital Gown: This one was my personal preference! The hospital will supply you with an unlimited number of gowns during your stay, but I had bought one pink polka dot hospital gown with a matching onesie and hat for Avery. Being that she was in NICU for the first couple days of her life so when she did begin to room in with us, I was in “normal clothes” (if you consider normal a robe, bra, and slippers :)).

  • Laboring Clothes: This one ties in with the item above, my point is if you want to labor in something other than what the hospital supplies you than buy it and pack it! I knew that I was going to spend the majority of my labor in the water so I made sure to pack cotton bras to wear in the tub.

  • Chargers: For your phone, laptop, and camera.

  • Camera: We had our camera bag sitting by Avery’s bag with the charger inside so that was one thing that was prepared!

  • Nursing Pillow: This was one of the only things that kept circling in my mind as I yelled to Patrick down the stairs what to pack. “Grab the boppy and a cover and stick it by the door!” We had received a boppy as a hand me down so that is the only reason we had one!

  • Car Seat/Base: We had already installed the base in my car and her car seat was close to the door.

  • Cash: Have some cash for your spouse/birthing partner. It will vary at every hospital, but a “room service” tray from the kitchen was $6.00 for Patrick and “free” for me (meaning it was billed to my room/insurance). If you do not have cash there are ATM’s within the hospital or the other option is to go to the “cafe” within the hospital that way you can pay using your credit card.

There were some things that after giving birth I realized I was going to need, so I sent Patrick home to get:

  • Nursing bra or tank: Due to Avery being premature I was pumping every 2-3 hours so a nursing tank was awesome! I would recommend bringing a tank and a bra that way you can wear the nursing bra under your hospital gown and the nursing tank after you feel up to putting on more normal clothing for visitors, but it is whatever you are comfortable with.

    Slippers: I wore the non-slip socks provided by the hospital when I was out of the bath tub, but I knew I wanted slippers for walking the halls and around my room. I had an old pair that I had not worn lately that I felt comfortable throwing away before leaving the hospital. I would not recommend purchasing a pair of expensive slippers for the hospital because well frankly hospitals are gross! Save those luxurious slippers for when you are home.

  • Coming home outfit for babe: Pack a couple sizes since you won’t be sure how big your little one will be. I had packed an outfit in newborn and 0-3 months, but neither of those options was going to fit. Before my sister came to visit she stopped to buy a preemie outfit for coming home in! Side note: if you find yourself needing preemie clothing Walmart will be your best bet. I looked at Target and JcPenny’s and didn’t find anything.

  • Blanket: While holding Avery in the hospital we always had her swaddled up and then covered with a blanket, and for coming home to protect your love bug from the elements.

  • Swaddles: This is something that I packed but more so for some photos, I quickly realized that the hospital had tons of swaddles (the AMAZING ones with velcro) that she could use while we were there. Once we got home we did end up purchasing a Halo Sleep Sac and the Snuggle cotton sleepers because we fell in love with how easy they were to use.

  • A letter board: I had a letter board with her name in her nursery that I wanted to have in the hospital for pictures. I would say this is the one unnecessary item I brought, but it was 100% needed to me. :) You may have a sign, a banner, or some sort of prop that you want for pictures with your new addition.

  • Pads: Buy the largest ones possible, you will not care that you feel like you’re sitting on a mattress. I bought some that were technically for “overnight.”

Next up, do not forget about the Dad or your birthing partner! Here is Patrick’s list of what he brought or wished he would have had:

  • “Phone Charger: Chargers in general so that you can keep people up to speed with the progress and take pictures.

  • Baseball Hat: Because who takes the time to shower after they just became a Dad?!

  • Clothes: This one is pretty self explanatory, bring a change or two of clothes and underwear.

  • An endless supply of people that want to bring you food from the “outside world.” If you are lucky enough to live in the hospital for ten days you will get sick of their menu, trust me!

  • Computer: Since we were in the hospital for 10 days, I ended up working some during our hospital stay. Luckily, I have a flexible job, that once Morgan & Avery were stable, I could go the office for half days and then work from the hospital room for the other half.

  • Book: Again, if you get to stay in the hospital for an extended period you will want something to do that makes you feel normal.

  • Own Pillow: This was the one thing that I did not bring and I really wish I would’ve. I am not picky about blankets, but the hospital pillows sucked. And at this stage of your journey, you need every ounce of sleep you can get!”

These next items were things I did not need, but I would suggest asking during your Labor and Delivery tour if your hospital supplies:

  • Diapers: No need to bring your own diapers. At least at our hospital once the package was opened we were billed for it, so you might as well use them.

  • Wipes: Same as above reason! Anything that is opened and used on your baby will then be sent home with you when you are discharged.

  • Dermaplast/Tucks Pads: OOFTA! These two things will save your life and your lady parts. The hospital supplied both of these and an awesome nurse even helped me get situated in my adult diaper!

  • A water bottle: I was supplied a large MUG and honestly I still use that thing, we shall call it a souvenir.

  • Essential oils: The hospital I gave birth at had a diffuser and a small supply of essential oils (lavender, lemon, etc) so I did not worry about buying any for my labor experience. I will say if you have not thought about using essential oils during you labor you should consider it! I highly recommend it, I used lavender oils.

  • Labor Ball: I had a labor ball at home and used it for mobility and to ease back pain. I asked during our Birthing Class if I needed to lug my ball into the birthing suite and luckily the answer was no!

Here is my list of what I brought and what I will know to bring for the next hospital stay.

What were some of your must haves?