Saving Space In Your Hospital Bag: What You Actually Need

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If you’re getting closer to welcoming your little bundle of joy into this world then you’re probably starting to pack your hospital bag. The handy dandy bag that will be your home away from home savior. If you’re a new mom, you may not know exactly what you need to pack for your little one.

When I started packing my hospital bag, I really had no clue what I wanted or what I needed to bring. I started feeling a little overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done. So, I crammed what I thought I would need into a big bag and when the day came, I tossed the bag into the car and off to the hospital we went. Turns out most of what I thought I needed, I didn’t, and the things I needed? Well, those things didn’t get packed.

Thankfully I had a lot of family and friends around who were willing to run all over to get the things I actually needed so it all worked itself out. However, it was a bit frustrating to deal with and I would have much rather have spent my time focusing on my new bundle of joy than on things I needed others to grab so that I COULD do just that.

I don’t want other new moms to feel as overwhelmed as I did during that time. Labor, delivery and the following few days should be spent focusing on you and the baby. So here is a list of what you MUST put in your hospital bag so that you are comfortable and able to relax while caring for your new baby.

Hospital Bag Must Haves

  1. A Sleep Mask. This was the first thing I sent someone to get for me. Even with all the lights dimmed/off in the room I still couldn’t sleep. Plus, depending on when you give birth, you may be sleeping during the day! This thing was a life saver which is why it is number one on this list and should be on yours too!
  2. Pillow. You want to have your own pillow! It’s crazy how something so simple can make you so much more comfortable but trust me.. you want it.
  3. An outfit for when you get discharged. Depending on which season you’re in will obviously determine what you actually pack for this part. I had my child in the summer so I packed a VERY loose fitting dress and a pair of slip ons or flip-flops. No matter what time of year you’re in, just be sure that the clothes are loose fitting. Trust me, you want to be as comfortable as possible.
  4. Baby Outfit. You will want something to dress your little one in for your travel home.
  5. Tucks. If you have a vaginal birth then these are a must-have! They will help cool down and ease some of the discomforts you may encounter with your after recovery.
  6. Face wipes. You’re not going to want to do a full skin care regimen while you’re in the hospital and let’s be honest you probably won’t for a week or so after either. But face wipes are an easy and quick way to care for your skin as you’d be amazed at how clean it will make you feel.
  7. Basic toiletries. You want your brush/comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, a few hair ties, and deodorant.
  8. Phone charger. You just can’t let your phone die. You’re going to be so busy with family members, taking pictures, and if you’re a first-time parent you will probably doing a lot of google searches.
  9. Nursing bra. You’re not going to want to walk around with your goodies all over and this will provide easy access to breastfeeding.

Hospital Bag Perks

If you have room in your bag for any extras here are my recommendations:

  1. Boppy Pillow . This thing is great for breastfeeding! You’re already exhausted so having that little extra help when it comes to holding your baby in position to breastfeed is amazing!
  2. Your own hospital gown. While you do get one provided, it’s just nice to have one that you feel comfortable in.
  3. Your blanket. While the hospital provides blankets and sheets, nothing beats your own blanket!
  4. Your own hospital socks. You can get more comfortable socks than the ones the hospital will give you.
  5. Swaddle blanket. Already have your own cute swaddle blanket? If you have room in your hospital bag then pack it! It’s not a necessity but I enjoyed having my own versus the one provided.

What The Hospital Provides

I took up a lot of room in my bag with a lot of extras that the hospital actually provided for me. Here is what you don’t need to pack.

  1. Diapers. Most hospitals have a supply of diapers that they will place in your room during your stay. I recommend taking home any extras that you don’t use while you’re there as well. You’ll need them!
  2. Wipes. There will be baby wipes as well. Some hospitals do dry wipes that you just wet down. Regardless, it’s not a must-have in your hospital bag.
  3. Swaddle blanket. While it may not be the cutest, there will be a swaddle blanket provided.
  4. Baby comb. This will also be provided as well.
  5. Baby cap. Your child’s first cap will also be given but again, it’s not the cutest.
  6. Socks for yourself. The hospital will provide you with fluffy socks that have the grip on the bottom. They aren’t really the best but they aren’t the worst and hey.. the price is right (free)!
  7. Gown. Ugly, not the most comfortable, but it’s free so it works.
  8. Pads. Yes, you will be wearing hospital ‘briefs’ with pads. You don’t need to find your own, and let’s be honest, the hospital pads are the best!
  9. Lanolin. This will help the ta ta’s while your little one is learning how to survive outside of the womb by latching on to you like a sucker fish from hell.

Packing your hospital bag is just one of the many things you will have to do in preparation for your new little one coming into this world. Once he or she is here, you can kiss your time goodbye so prepare now!

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