Trying our hand at putting this together again so fingers crossed it doesn’t get deleted!
To be honest I didn’t think I would need to ‘pack’ a hospital bag, just take somewhat of an overnight bag and the hospital would take care of the rest lol but as I neared my due date and kinda sorta became consumed with ‘research’ on the internet lol I reckoned there was no harm in being a little prepared and in hindsight I’m glad I did so!
Before we get into the list, yes it’s a little overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time giving birth, always always keep in mind that things might not always go to plan and that’s okay! As long as mama and baby are healthy and safe, that’s literally the end goal for everyone xxx this list is also catered to a ‘normal’ /vaginal delivery only because it’s what we prepared for and did so please keep that in mind!
Most of what’s on this list is also linked to my Amazon storefront so you can find everything easily in one place! My sister made me a gift basket with most of these for my baby shower which I was ever so grateful for, so also an idea for you to put together if you’ve got a pregnant friend! Trust me, you’d be ticking one major thing off her list!
- What bag to use?
100% recommend a small suitcase! One of those hand luggage ones because it will make yours and your support persons life a thousand times easier! I remember packing mine and Bilal was a little taken aback and joked that I wasn’t going on holiday lol but when it came time to it, rolling something with one hand as opposed to carrying weight whilst worrying about mama and baby and hospital forms etc. helps so so much! (he’s glad we used it now!)
Also have your support person pack their own bag too if they are planning to stay the night! Doesn’t have to be to the extent of a suitcase lol but whatever they might need (pajamas, toiletries etc.)
*sidenote: everyone mentioned that your hospital may or may not provide you with most of these things, but it totally varies! A friend said her hospital didn’t provide her with maxi pads post-birth and gave her folded tissue over a regular pad, whereas I got one ‘free’ one and was asked if I had brought my own lol personally I would rather have things on standby just in case because it’s one less thing to stress about as soon as a baby’s just come out of you!
I packed everything into large Ziploc bags and labelled them with a sharpie which made my life, Bilal’s life, and the nurse’s lives SO much easier lol and would highly recommend doing this! The last thing I wanted to do was describe what color pad I was looking for from my bed, and if Bilal had to step out for a call the nurse just went into the bag and found what we needed. Also once you’ve packed your bag go through it with your support person so they’re aware of what’s inside so they can better assist you when the time comes!
These were the ‘bags’ I labelled just in case it helps guide you a little:
-witch hazel, peri bottle, stool softener
-nipple cream and nipple pads
-baby diapers and wipes
-baby outfit (2-3 outfits)
- What to pack?
Adult Diapers (Depends brand) – sounds silly but these will become your best friend post-birth and into your fourth trimester! I don’t know how else to explain it other than what it sounds like; a padded pull-up diaper which you’ll use as a ‘base’ for your pad sandwich (will explain a second!)
Frida Mom frozen pads – envision a glow stick that you snap in half to activate, but this time you snap a pad in half, shake it to activate, and it becomes a super cold form of ultimate relief for your perineal region! These were so blessed and helpful, especially for the first few days! *you might also come across the word ‘padsicle’ in your research, this was something new I also learnt lol it’s essential a frozen pad you place in your underwear to provide relief post-partum – the Frida mom frozen pads do the same thing but if you want to google how to make your own, go for it!
Large maxi pads (Always brand)
Tucks Witch Hazel pads or Fridamom Witch Hazel liners – these I would highly highly recommend. Witchhazel helps soothe everything down there and also has cleansing and healing properties. It’s literally instant relief! I used the pads initially and then switched to the liners, but either/or gets the job done!
*pad sandwich: witch hazel on top of the pad, and the pad goes into the diaper which you wear. If you use the Tucks pads, they come in these circular pads similar to cotton makeup removing pads but they’re just wet from being soaked in witch hazel; lay around 3-4 onto the pad. If you use the Frida liners, they pull out as a single long pad (similar to a makeup wipe), and then lie it flat onto your pad! à I’d suggest you show your support person how to put this together prior to hospital just to make things a little easier!
Frida Mom peri bottle – This is another highly recommend item! The hospital provides you with a squeezy bottle because you can’t exactly wipe down there post-birth. Its water and then pat pat pat. The hospital one is just a standard squeezy bottle, but this one has an angled arm/spout which makes it SO much easier to wash and make you feel a little cleaner like you haven’t missed a spot. You’ll literally use this so much until everythings healed and back to normal!
Nursing Bra and tank – I packed these but didn’t use them at the hospital because I stayed in my gown until I was discharged. It just made things easier for me and easier to feed baby, but you know yourself better if you’d prefer to pull yourself together and wear real clothes lol I would still recommend investing in these though, especially a tank with a built in nursing bra; it’s a little easier at the start to just throw on a cardigan while still being covered as opposed to a bra and then clothes and then when it’s time to feed baby and you’re still getting the hand of breast feeding and baby’s crying and you’re like wait let me figure this out, its a lot!! Lol might just be me, but it helped me and still does!
Cardigan – hospitals get a little chilly and it’s easier to throw on top of the hospital gown a) when you’re cold or b) if you have visitors and don’t want to get dressed but still want to look decent lol
Slippers and Socks – a pair that you’re okay with throwing out just in case you get blood or hospital stuff on!
Blanket – a million percent, and add a pillow too if you’d like! This is mostly for your support person because if you’re staying overnight chances are they’ll get a hard little couch in the corner to sleep on or a lounge chair which isn’t the most comfortable. You also might get a little cold and the blankets at hospitals don’t always cut it.
Phone charger – everyone always says pack an extra looooong charger so you have access. We packed a normal one and we survived lol but yes, a charger because you don’t know how long you’ll be at hospital for and you want to update everyone at home with what’s going on
Chapstick – yes, your lips will get dry so pack this! We like the Laneige one
Stool Softener – so apparently if you don’t have any bowel movements the first few days post-birth that’s totally normal, but that first movement is an experience. From what I read and watched, everyone recommended stool softeners to help soften the blow and I’d say they helped massively. More so post-partum once we got home and less immediately post-birth, but I’m glad we had them on hand!
Water Bottle – I mean we took this and I accidentally left it in the car but the hospital had those massive cups with a straw so we survived lol but you’ll want to stay as hydrated as possible so water is key whether its from your bottle or the hospital *a straw is super helpful though!
Nipple Cream – as soon as baby is out everything is a bit of a whirlwind and then baby’s forced on your boob and you’re like what is happening lol nipple cream is a life saver to provide relief to your chapped nipples! Also completely safe for baby too xx we used Lansinoh and it was my best friend during those initial days of breast feeding!
Nipple Pads – these I found came in handy later on once my milk started coming in *your milk doesn’t magically start flowing as soon as baby is out lol (I thought it did..!)
Baby diapers and wipes – definitely pack a few newborn diapers with you and a pack of wipes. The hospital will of course put baby in one but we were also asked if we brought our own.
Baby onesies (2-zippers) – These will become your favorites in the first few weeks of baby’s life because of the easy access to change diapers and you don’t have to think twice is they’re covered and warm. Would also suggest short sleeve onesies to wear under the zipper onesie to layer bubba because they so fresh and new and to keep them warm xx
Baby outfit – I packed a cutesy hospital outfit but ended up keeping her in a onesie and saved the outfit for when everyone would visit her at home. There was a lot going on for me and as long as baby was safe and warm that’s all that mattered lol
Baby blanket – when leaving the hospital, having a blanket on baby in the car seat isn’t a bad idea. We left while it was snowing so yes, needed one lol
Swaddle – the hospital swaddles baby in the standard hospital swaddle, but if you’d prefer your own just because, or to take cutesy photos, you do you!
Baby Hat – this also speaks to the whole keep baby warm; the hospital put a hat on her which was knitted by volunteers, but if you’d prefer your own from home, go for it!
Go home outfit – pack something comfortable for you to go home in! Your body is still going to be in recovery mode and comfort will be key! Elasticated waist might just be the way to go lol
Toiletry bag – your standard toiletries so you can feel a little normal!
Towel/loofah etc. – Again, you won’t know what you’ll be like until it actually happens; I anticipated taking a shower at hospital prior to coming home, but we were discharged at 11pm while it was snowing and I was like yea, no, I’ll wait until I get home lol I’m glad I had it just case though!
Birth Plan – this is an individual thing I suppose; we had spoken about certain things we wanted for our delivery prior to just so we were on the same page and I wrote them down too and packed it just in case, but no one ever asked for it nor did we feel a need to take it out. You do what you feel most comfortable doing!
Baby Announcement/Name Card – completely optional, but I got the cutesy wooden milestone disk cards from Etsy alongside a name and announcement (Hello I’m new here) card. If you’re planning to use it at the hospital don’t forget to pack it lol
Polaroid camera – this is extra, but if you’re a ‘capture the moment on a polaroid’ person, don’t forget to pack this lol
Snacks and gum – I remember watching a video where someone said to pack gum mostly for your support person because the last thing you want is someone near your face giving you words of encouragement and all you can smell is their stale breath lolol and it made sense.
And that’s that! I know it sounds like a lot but I found being prepared and packing in advance gave me such peace of mind going into delivery. I also left out quantities because you pack what you feel is reasonable for you! Would I suggest an entire pack of pads, no lol but pack enough so you don’t run out.
Obviously this was my first baby and totally not claiming to know the world lol but I’m sharing what worked for me and what I found to be helpful in hopes of it doing the same for you!
As always, I love hearing from you! Let me know in the comments below if you found this helpful and/or if there’s anything you loved which didn’t make my list! #sharingiscaring xoxo