This post goes along with the POSTPARTUM MUST-HAVES post I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Some of the items overlap, but below are a list of things I just packed up for the hospital (37 weeks!!!!). I also included some recommendations from other mothers who offered suggestions when I reached out on Instagram.
The best advice I've heard is to pack like you're going to a cabin for the weekend. You don't need anything fancy, but you need the essentials for an overnight stay (toiletries, hair stuff, etc.) along with cozy attire. I included a section for what to pack for you, and what to pack for baby! Dad's should pack just for an overnight stay too.
All of your medical recovery items will be provided to you by the hospital. Remember you'll want to be as comfortable as possible. Bring any additional items that will help relax you, make you happy, or help you feel more like yourself. Also remember that you don't know how long you'll be there for! I thought I'd be in the hospital like 2 days max, but I was there for 4 days. You never know, so be prepared!
- Dry Shampoo - I so wish I'd thought to pack this with Piper!!
- Ice Pack For Face/Eyes - A lot of women get swollen from all the fluid/pushing, and this was a great suggestion to help reduce the puffiness. I'm packing a set of Honest Hazel eye gels. They're THE BEST for relaxing and refreshing under the eyes, along with reducing puffiness and dark circles. Just some something small for myself to make me feel good!
- Your Own Pillow/Blanket - I'm so glad I packed my own pillow. There's something just comforting about having something familiar with you. This time I'm bringing a little blanket too!
- Warm Socks/Slippers
- Flip Flops For Shower
- Comfy Clothes (Nursing Friendly) - Remember you'll look pregnant, and you'll be very swollen, so nothing too tight! Also, pack something that'll be comfortable even if you have to have an emergency c-section (nothing that rests on incision). I packed a Dwell + Slumber dress, a Bae the Label dress and sweats.
- Nursing Bras (1-2) - A lot of women change into one when they go into labour, so they're ready!
- Nursing Pads
- Nipple Cream
- Bobby Nursing Pillow
- Going Home Outfit - If you want something different from the comfy clothes you packed.
- Chargers - Phone, camera, laptop, etc.
- Hair Elastics
- Snacks - You'll be STARVING after delivery, especially when/if you start nursing! I packed an assortment of my favourite protein bars.
- Things To Keep You Entertained - Laptop, cards, books magazines, music, etc.
- Breast Bump - The hospital has one for you, but bring you own if you'd rather (the insurance we were on when I had Pipes didn't provide one until after she was born). All Insurances cover some type of breast bump (by law), so contact yours to get one! Medela is the top recommended brand.
The hospital will provide you with diapers and wipes (take extras home with you - they're yours!) so you don't need to pack those, unless you have a specific brand you'd like to use. The hospital also gives your baby his/her first bath. They have all the supplies there, BUT if there's a specific brand of wash you want them to use, bring that with you and let them know ahead of time (I'm bringing Bambo Nature with me). They will also put a swaddle and hat on your baby after they clean them for you, so you don't necessarily need to bring those with you, but I always like to!
- 2-3 Sleepsuits/Onsies
- Going Home Outfit
- Specific Diapers, Baby Wash/Lotion You Want To Use - again not necessary, since the hospital has this stuff for you.
- Hat or Bows
- 2-3 Burp Cloths
- Soft Blanket
- Hand Mittens - Don't forget these!! I remember Piper trying to scratch her face all the time.
- Pacifier - If you plan on using one (Piper never liked them).
- Car Seat - They won't let you leave the hospital without one.