When you are in the final weeks, it is usually time to pack your hospital bag. Which can be a source of excitement or what is to come and stress about under or overpacking. There are some things that you will want to pack for your comfort, others are things you will undoubtedly need – and of course items for your new bundle. The hospital bag will also be the place that you will pack what will keep you comfortable during labor too!
It is easy to pack too much, especially when nesting kicks in. You might find you are packing everything and the kitchen sink. So here is a list that should help you curb the enthusiasm a little and stick to the hospital bag must-haves that you’ll actually use.
If you are in for the long haul, then you might have time for a bath and a shower. It can be really soothing during the early stages of labor too. If not, then most of the time you will get the chance to have a shower and get clean after you have the baby. Get mini versions of what you are used to using.
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Shower gel
- Hair ties
- Face wipes or a reusable face cloth
- Hand sanitizer and hand lotion
- Eco-friendly newborn diapers and fragrance-free wipes
Slippers or socks with a non-slip bottom are great. Often women will get cold feet either during labor or after giving birth. Hospital floors can be pretty slippy, so these help on both of those fronts.
Or a multi use balm. Hospital air can be really drying, and the temperature in the rooms is typically pretty high. So pack a few lip balms that are easy to access. A multi-use balm is great if you have knuckles and elbows prone to cracking in dry air.
You probably won’t be reading and replying to emails while you are in labor, but you may have to read and sign paperwork at some point. You don’t want to accidentally consent to circumcision and have your brand new baby’s genitals mutilated! If you have spare glasses, pop them in the bag.
While this is one of the hospital bag must-haves you can’t actually fit into your hospital bag, please don’t forget your car seat! It is often the case that you cannot leave the hospital unless your baby is safely strapped into a car seat. And before the big day arrives, make sure that you know how to fit and remove the car seat – because trying to do it on the day can be a nightmare.
When you leave the hospital, your stomach will look 3-4 months pregnant and will be very soft, squishy, and unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. Most women are comfortable wearing some supportive high waist postpartum leggings and a flowing top or a floaty dress.
For baby, consider a cute take home outfit since you will likely take a lot of pictures for Facebook and Instagram! Don’t forget a hat and a blanket too, even if it’s summer! It isn’t recommended that you put a coat or a snowsuit on a baby in a car seat, read more on car seat safety to help understand that point a little better.
Hospital beds and pillows aren’t comfortable, and often bringing your own along is a huge comfort. The smell is a powerful sense, and if your pillow smells of home that can bring a lot of warm feelings. Many women have a pillow that is shaped in a V or one that supports the bump, the great thing about these is that they can help with breastfeeding positions too. I love my Boppy pillow for breastfeeding and can’t imagine life without it. It’s so versatile!
While on the subject of breastfeeding, you will get a lot of information and support from the midwives, and potentially a feeding team. But, it helps if you read up on breastfeeding tips for new mothers in advance.
Before it ramps up, you might be playing games or chatting on your phone, and the use of wifi will help to drain the battery pretty quickly. So bring a charging cable! You will be glad your phone has 100% battery when it is time to start sending messages and photos of the new arrival. If you have a smartwatch, be sure to bring that charger as well! This is one of the big hospital bag must-haves you don’t want to miss!
It can be pretty tricky to get a well-fitting nursing bra before your colostrum turns into milk and your breasts size up. So try to find a soft and stretchy bra that you can quickly get your breast out of for feeding is one of the hospital bag must-haves you don’t want to forget.
We recommend Larken X nursing bra for those first few weeks when you need something comfy, versatile, and easy to get your breast in and out of. They are super soft and stretchy. It’s one of my favorite nursing bras.
The Larken X was also recently selected by New York Magazine and Lactation Consultants as a “best pumping bra” and was featured in a digital Times Square ad for Alex and Ani!
The NEW Larken X nursing bra is exactly what new moms need because it’s easy to wear and doesn’t have any irritating snaps, zippers, clips, or tags. Just put it on over your head and breastfeed or pump, hands-free, in comfort. Being a new mom and figuring out how to care for a newborn is hard enough without irritating nursing bras. Thankfully Larken has made one aspect of becoming a mom a whole lot easier!
Bring your most comfortable underwear and some maternity pads. Higher waisted underwear is often the better choice as things can all be a little delicate and having too much pressure on your stomach from tight clothing can be very uncomfortable.
I personally recommend grabbing two packs of Warner’s No Muffin Top Brief Panties in a size larger than you would normally buy. They are soft, stretchy, comfortable, and hold maxi pads securely in place.
Plan on wearing Depend underwear for the first day or two and heavy-duty maxi pads for 1-6 weeks afterwards.
Some of the most overlooked hospital bag must-haves are snacks! You don’t want to depend on whatever they have available in the cafeteria! Labor and birth use a lot of energy, and you might find what you craved while you were pregnant becomes an aversion after you give birth, so be sure to bring plenty of options. Don’t forget the coconut water too!