I know that an overnight bag is so personal, but by the time Marlowe was due I felt pretty confident with what was packed in my hospital bag for a few days away. I think we might fret over the packing of hospital bags too much (I’m referencing my first trip to the hospital here…) – but really besides how difficult labor is, I like to think of it as a trip out of the house without needing much, and with plenty of peace and quiet time! My biggest hospital regret is going home a day earlier than I needed to this time around :).
The funny thing is is that if you would have asked me what I had packed for Liv’s birth I would have offered a laundry list of laboring aids that started with scented oils and ended with a spiky acupressure neck thing that I thought would distract me from all of the pain. I remember fretting over a playlist for months! But labor ended up progressing so quickly that I didn’t pull a single item out of my bag of tricks (though I do know mommas who have REALLY benefited from that ole’ bag of tricks so that’s okay, too).
At the end of the day here’s what I found as really pretty valuable for those few days away with new baby:
1. A soft and cozy robe. Shedding that flappy hospital gown after everyone’s settled post labor is so nice – and a robe makes for an easy and quick coverup if friends or family stop by to visit. I purchased the Alfani robe that I linked to here for Taylor’s birth after learning the hard way with Liv. Best hospital bag purchase I’ve ever made and I still love that robe to this day! (I also bought the matching shorts.)
2. Ballet slippers with a sole would be second on my list, they are wonderful for padding to and fro the bathroom without having to worry about slipping or about sporting those disposable hospital socks 24/7. It’s sort of nice to wear your own special clothes while at the hospital instead of regulation gear, it made me feel much more comfortable. (Except for the netted underwear, I’m all about that netted underwear! Though I’ve recently read that a lot of women pack these with them instead).
3. My own pillow. Any sleep with a brand new baby is valuable sleep, for me a familiar pillow made all of the difference (but I like super soft and my hospital’s pillows were pretty firm). Place it in a brightly colored pillow cover to avoid it being swept up with other hospital laundry.
4. Another pillow that I was so happy to have for Marley’s birth was my beloved Boppy pillow. It’s great for long nursing sessions as well as propping up brand new baby for sharing googly eyes. It’s also a wonderful tool to help big siblings hold the brand new baby.
5. I bought a basic see-through travel makeup bag when we were prepping to move into our guestroom and pack up our bathroom and bedroom for the new remodel. It proved to be a great hospital bag addition as well because it was so easy to pack and to see/find all of my goodies. Feeling as normal as possible in the hospital is important, that might mean packing regular makeup, deodorant and a favorite conditioner (that’s one I did forget).
6. Chargers! Computer, camera, iPhone, iPad, whatever technology joins you in the hospital, don’t forget the chargers.
7. I rarely head anywhere without my Canon camera :) but that’s a personal preference. Too many brand new baby photo moments.
8. Several comfortable nursing tanks are right up there with a robe. Perfect for resting, sleeping and feeding in, and extra great when guests arrive (easy to snap up and to feel a little less vulnerable).
9. Parents are usually in the yes or no pacifier camp and either is great. We are overwhelmingly in the ‘for pacifiers’ camp for many sanity reasons and I think that Wubbanubs are the absolute easiest for newborns (they lay on baby’s chest instead of falling to the floor when popped out).
10. Funny story about our ‘going home’ outfits for our new babies: for our very first baby (Liv) I had purchased a carefully selected hand knitted outfit on Etsy that I was so excited about – by the third child I was putting hand-me-down boy/girl pjs together the night before. And then we forgot them on the kitchen counter on our way to the hospital! Marley came home in a hospital shirt, hospital beanie and hospital blanket. Nobody tells you that it really doesn’t matter what baby comes home in. It’s usually dark by the time your discharged and usually baby is covered in a cozy blanket in the carseat. (Here’s the striped sleeper from above!)
11. Last but not least: a line up of favorite reading material. A new book, a favorite magazine, anything that will help you rest and relax post labor or pre birth (if you go the epidural route). For the first time ever I had free time on my hands and I really enjoyed catching up on my favorite reads.
There’s my list! What do you think, was there anything that was a must for you that I’ve left off?