Much has been said about the hospital bag. The good news— you're packing for a few days, not backpacking Mt. Everest. We think weekend duffle bag, not a huge rolling suitcase! You should know you'll get a ton of stuff at the hospital—for you and the baby— so you won't need much more than the basics. I vividly recall a nurse suggesting to wait until you're in labor to pack it as it gives you something to focus on. Whether you're a two-months-before-the-due-date kind of packer or grab-as-you-go on your way out the door, we've rounded up the best things to bring with you. We're sharing our top recommendations of what to bring... and what to leave at home.
Pro Tip: Check with the hospital if they have wifi, confirm the visitor policy, and find out if you can tour the maternity floor in advance. Some hospitals limit how many bags you can bring in, so double check!
Things to Bring
1. A Robe. You'll want to snuggle up in something buttery soft from home. Obsessed with Lunya, the Waffle Robe from Parachute or the Brushed Terry Robe from Natori. A great investment for life at home with baby, too.
2. Phone charger (preferably with long charging cord!) + earphones. If hospital doesn't have wifi, pre-download some movies/ shows you love and we recommend the Calm App!
3. Facewipes. If labor lasts a while, you may get that not-so-fresh-feeling! This little gem in your bag will make you feel semi-human again. Try the oldies but goodies Neutrogena or Burt's Bees.
4. Hand Lotion + Chapstick. Hospitals can get really dry - and you deserve a little luxe. It's a roller coaster of events, both physically and mentally, and this will get you a quick moment of ahhhh. We love Weleda Skin Food and L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream and Olio E Osso for lip balm.
5. Flip Flops and/or Slippers - for the shower or walking around the maternity ward. Swollen feet friendly! Grippy barre socks are also great.
6. Bluetooth speaker. Trust us, you will not regret lugging this one. Unlike the movies, labor takes more than 3 minutes... you'll likely find yourself in the hospital room staring at the wall... welcoming baby into the world with some tunes is a great way to elevate the mood. And, if you're up for it, make a playlist in advance.
7. An outfit for baby to wear home. Don't forget socks and a hat if it is chilly!
8. Car seat. Make sure to have that bad boy installed so you don't freak out with newborn in arms (plenty of those moments to come).
9. Clothes for you to head home in— flowy dresses or leggings/joggers are great! And a nursing bra/ tank. Avoid anything clingy.
10. A cozy cardigan. Perfect for a chilly hospital room and to throw on for visitors. Bonus— it'll make you feel put together in pictures.
Things you don't need:
Food - Take out is easy in most places and some hospitals menus aren't too bad.
Books - Have a few downloaded on your phone but probably not the time to lug around and start Anna Karenina.
Regular underwear - welcome to the world of hospital-provided mesh underwear and diaper-like pads!
Curling Iron / Flat Iron- many women have high expectations but most do not end up using them!
Take all the freebies you can! And tell your partner to pack a small overnight bag, including a pillow and a toothbrush!