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Planning on Packing your Hospital Bag? Here are my go-to items!

So, you're about 30-35 weeks along, getting your nursery ready, getting your final provider appointments planned out, planning your meals for when babe comes home, keeping your birth doula updated on the last few kicks and Braxton hicks AND starting to make your list for what you want to pack in your hospital bag... right? It sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Delegate what you can!!!

There are a million and one lists out there in google land for what you should be packing. Pacifiers, diapers, birth balls, etc., etc., ETC. (psa - none of those items are my recommendations.) The lists are literally endless. What do I tell my clients? Pack for you and your partner like you're going on a staycation::

  • toiletries (like a toothbrush, face wash, hairbrush, deodorant, makeup if you wish. On of my best girlfriends wanted her hairdryer and straightener. This is all personal preference - whatever is going to make you feel comfortable is what we're going for here!)

  • pajamas

  • comfortable change of clothes

  • pillow for each of you. Hospital beds aren't fun to sleep in, but having your own pillow can be such a comfort.

  • bathing suit for your partner if you want to get in the shower or tub for laboring (nurses wont care what you have on, support peeps - so if you want to be covered, be sure to bring that suit!)

  • Tylenol or the med of choice for your partner, they can't give them anything since THEY technically aren't the patient

  • slippers; hospital socks are fine, but having your slippers can be clutch.

  • high wasted maternity leggings were my go-to, as opposed to maternity pants that fit under your belly. I really think I wore those for a few months postpartum - no shame in my game!

  • nursing bras and tops are SUPER helpful if you are planning on breastfeeding along with nursing pads

  • comfortable & accessible laboring clothes these items will get pretty dirtied up with fluids and things, so make sure they're easily washable or items you don't mind getting stained. I liked to labor in my own clothes (or nothing... TBH) versus hospital gowns, but the staff will want to make sure there's access to your arms (in case an emergency calls for an IV to be placed), your belly and choosing a skirt, dress or robe is key if a birth is happening fast, the baby wont get caught in anything in its way!

  • cell phone & chargers

  • lip balm & hair ties

  • birth plan - your doula can have one, and if you brought one to the office at your last appointment, the hospital should also have it on file!

If you haven't caught on yet - what you're packing are things that are going to be the most comforting for you. If you have a doula - ask her what's in her bag... mine has essential oils, an unscented carrier oil (like jojoba), a massage ball, honey sticks, affirmation cards, twinkle lights & my bluetooth speaker. I make a point to ask all of my clients what I can bring for them & if it's easily accessible for me, I usually buy it to have in my bag. It's one less thing for them to pack & if they are asking about it, chances are it'll benefit a future client, too! We all carry different things though, and I tend to be pretty minimal when it comes to packing for your birth. The hospital will have somethings too - they'll have birth balls, peanut balls, all sorts of pillows (which is why I don't suggest bringing your boppy for nursing - if you need help with it when you get home, you can FaceTime me or we can go over it at your postpartum checkup!), peri bottles for post-birth, postpartum pads, ice packs and underwear (we've all seen pictures of this - but honestly, they're not that bad and wouldn't you rather toss the hospital's underwear than pack up your dirties to take home to wash?), diapers for babe (and why I don't recommend bringing your own - save those for you at home!) and some hospitals will also have battery candles and other items for labor and birth ambiance!

^proof of me rocking the hospital undies (my water broke before the hospital) and my own VERY soft dress for laboring. I later ended up with the hospital gown for delivery after getting hot in that dress. This is also your reminder to bring home extra pairs of these, any icepacks and pads you can find in the drawers of your hospital room... lifesavers, I tell ya!

Okay, so we've packed things for you and your partner.. but what about the babe?! This one is simpler I think - they mostly just want you and your warm skin, calming voice & scent that they're used to. The hospital has those weirdly over-sized shirts they'll keep him or her in because it makes them easily accessible for vital checks - if you decide to change them out of that, be sure it's something that has good accessibility to their underarms and chest. Most parents want a cute going-home outfit, so pack what you wish in that department! If it's wintertime, remember that babe can't wear a winter coat or anything heavier than a sweatshirt under their carseat straps - so bring appropriate blankets and hats for the hospital exit! Also, don't forget that carseat! You can leave it in your car when you first arrive and your partner can head out to grab it at a later time after babe is born. Most lactation consultants will tell you to hold off on a pacifier if possible, but if this is something you'd like babe to have, your hospital staff will (should!) have a lactation consultant on staff that can advise you on this - bring one if you wish, but if they're anything like my kiddos they'll try out a million of them before deciding which one they want! Some parents also choose to bring swaddles with them - you can if you want, but most hospitals will have some they provide you. I also HIGHLY suggest asking the nurses to teach you a simple blanket swaddle - they're fast and so efficient, but if you can't get it right, that loose blanket can be a hazard & velcro swaddles are the way to go. Swaddles are discouraged after about 6-8weeks, but they can he helpful in the beginning with that startle reflex! I suggest the Ollie Swaddle - my ninja babes had a hard time escaping this one and it never rode up on their faces like the other brands. For example, I like the Halo brand for lots of things, but swaddles aren't one of them. If you have a hard time keeping the swaddle away from the babe's chin, you need to choose a different brand. I could make a whole other post on swaddles alone, so if you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

What did I miss, you guys? What did you pack that wasn't even taken out of the bag and what did you forget that you wish you had?!

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