THE ULTIMATE HOSPITAL BAG | Packing Guide

So, I might be a teeny bit early planning out my packing list, but it's one less thing I have to worry about when the time comes. This will be my third time packing for a hospital stay. I feel like repeat moms either downsize their packing list the next go around, or make up for what they wish they'd had and bring EVERYTHING. I could probably be classified as the later! My love might describe me as a smidgen high maintenance, but I just like to be comfortable and have everything I might need. : )

I'm planning for a c-section, so I don't have many items on here specifically for a natural delivery. So if you're planning a natural delivery, this list is mostly helpful for right after birth through going home. Additionally, if you prefer to take as little as possible, you will certainly be able to downsize this list. This is intended for fellow mamas who like to leave no stone unturned when it comes to their packing list. I'm expecting a winter baby so you'll also need to adjust if you're packing during warmer months. 

<<<UPDATE>>>
So thanks to all of you fabulous mamas, this post has gone Pinterest viral! I get 8,000 visitors a week to my website just to see this post. AMAZING! So, since it gets so much attention, I figured I better perfect it. Obviously, I've been to the hospital and back, and there were a few things on the old post that I didn't end up using. I changed the image and links to reflect everything I did take AND use. (At least I'm pretty sure I used it... I mean that stay is always a little blurry!) I hope you enjoy this update and keep those comments coming! 


WHAT TO WEAR FOR MOM

1) OVERSIZED TRAVEL BAG Something spacious to pack your belongings

2) FLIP FLOPS These come in handy for shower time and any trips to the bathroom, period. They'll keep you feeling a little cleaner! 

3) BUTTON DOWN SLEEP SHIRTS Who wants to feel like a hospital patient? As soon as I take a shower after my surgery, I know a gown of my own will make me feel a little more back to normal. You don't need to go crazy on these expense-wise; just look for something easy to put on and semi-stylish for photos. I love these because they're soft, perfect for nursing, and easy access for doctors and nurses who want to check up on you. Plus, pants are no fun post c-section. 

4) NURSING BRAS The bras in this link are by far my favorite nursing bra! They're comfortable and best for around the house and sleeping. Look for this brand with an underwire for more support to go out of the house. 

5) BOBBY PINS You just never know when you'll need a bobby, in my case - always

6) JERSEY KNIT ROBE It's nice to have this to put on when a visitor comes, or when you want to be up and about. 

7) WASHABLE, SLIP ON, RUBBER SOLE SLIPPERS Also great for when you want to be up and about! Make sure they're non-slip, slip easily on and off, and washable for when you return home. 

8) ABDOMINAL WRAP This is my first time getting one of these and I am going to be so happy to have it this time around for my c-section. I remember holding my abdominal area to sneeze, laugh, stand up, you name it. This wraps around you to help your incision feel secure, it helps with the pain, and I've heard it flattens your stomach if you wear it everyday for the weeks following, BONUS! For moms planning a natural delivery, I highly recommend getting one and bringing just in case you have to have a c-section. Even if you don't, you can still wear it and watch your tummy shrink! I bought and loved the one in the link. 

9) SOFT, GRIP SOCKS I believe the hospital will provide socks, but I'm tossing in a pair of my own just in case. 

10) HAIR ACCESSORY If you're sporting long hair like me, it's nice to have something no-fuss to do with your hair.


ESSENTIALS

1) MAKEUP BAG Tote your essentials in a catch-all bag. Keep it handy on your bed-side tray, that way everything you need is an arm's reach away. It's also perfect for freshening up before visitors come. I plan on puting basic primping items in here. BB Cream, gloss, an eyelash curler, & blush will all make the cut. I'm so pale in the winter, everyone will thank me for a little dab of somethin'! 

2) CHAPSTICK The hospital will be DRY, so chapstick is a must! 

3) TRAVEL MIRROR Keep this handy on your bedside table so you can make quick touch-ups before any inevitable photos taken.

4) DRY SHAMPOO How perfect is dry shampoo? I love that I can freshen up and cleanse my hair without actually washing it. I've tried a lot of brands and this is my favorite one. 

5 BODY LOTION Lotion will be especially needed for our winter visit - make sure to keep your hands and body moisturized

6 ZUM BODY SOAP For obvious reasons, this is my favorite soap.

7) TOOTHBRUSH & TOOTHPASTE I plan on bringing a travel brush that I can toss before going home - less germs to worry about.

8 FACIAL LOTION Your skin will thank you! 

9) FACIAL CLEANSING WIPES Facial cleansing wipes are perfect for when you don't feel like washing - like during a hospital stay!

10) SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER Travel size would be ideal. If it's almost out when you leave, just toss it.

11) MINTS For when visitors come and you didn't get a chance to brush yet! 

12) COLACE Just google why you'll want this (post-baby for natural delivery and 3 days before for c-sections)

COMFORTS OF HOME
1)  PILLOW High Maintenance Alert! I really, really like my pillow and have difficulty sleeping without at least one comfy one, which can be hard to find at the hospital. Don't forget to thoroughly wash when you get home. 

2) SLEEP MASK & EAR PLUGS 
I'm going to get ALL the sleep in while I can. I have realized that the hospital is your last chance for sleep; once you're home you better kiss it good bye! I ended up using the ear plugs more than the sleep mask; the hospital is full of noises 24/7!

3) PLUSH BLANKET You're either with me or against me on this. I choose never to sleep without one. 
I'll wash it a few cycles when I return home. 

4) TOWELS Once again, this is a high maintenance thing. The hospital will provide you with some tiny, thin, rough towels. I wouldn't mind as much if it were in the summer, but being December I hate being cold getting out of the shower. I'll love this extra comfort from home. 


NOURISHMENT
1) WATER BOTTLE I am a camel when I'm not pregnant or nursing, so this will be my best buddy at the hospital! I believe hospitals provide you with water cups, but it's hit and miss how big they are.

2) PRENATALS Nursing mamas, you'll still need these! I'm using the brand linked now, I love them. 

3) 
Pistachios Enough said.

4) OatFit Instant Oatmeal I had the nurses get me oatmeal when I didn't feel up for anything on the menu. This is one the easiest brands to make and tastiest too. 

5) Dried Fruit Watch for added sugar and oils.

6) Healthy Peanut Butter I don't know about you, but when I'm hungry a spoonful of peanut butter just hits the spot. I also asked for toast from the cafe and spread this on myself. 

7) Pineapple Juice *Nursing Moms* The pineapple juice is said to assist in bringing in your milk supply. I drank one can per day, on ice, and I had my milk in on the third day! Make sure not to get the kind from concentrate. 


ELECTRONICS
1-2) PHONE & CHARGER For obvious reasons, these should make the list!

3-4) CAMERA & CHARGER For documenting! 

5) BLUETOOTH SPEAKER Music puts everyone in a happy mood; I plan on making a playlist. This is perfect for during labor pains and after baby arrives too! Don't forget to charge it before you go. 

6) POWER STRIP You'll need somewhere to charge all of those devices, so this will be handy if your room is short on outlets. 


CARING FOR BABY
1) FOAMING HAND SANITIZER It's usually on the walls of your hospital room, but having it at your bedside table will be most convenient. The gels ones tend to dry my hands more than the foam, and I love that this is alcohol-free for holding baby. Make sure your visitors have easy access to this too! 

2) MOTHER'S MILK TEA *Nursing Moms* I brought this with me and asked for hot water from the nurses. It was delicious and soothing (winter time) and it could have played a part in bringing in my milk supply on day three!

3) FEEDING PILLOW For both bottle-feeding and breast-feeding, this is so comfortable for cradling baby. I used this non-stop.

4) MITTENS You'll be so happy you brought these to keep baby's tiny fingers warm, and make sure they can't scratch themselves! These stay on securely with velcro straps. 

5) NURTURE BUTTER For nursing mamas, bring this!


GOING HOME
1) BABY HATS To keep baby's head nice and warm! 

2) SOCKS To keep baby's ten, tiny toes nice and toasty! 

3) SLEEPER Bring something warm and practical for baby to go home in. Nice outfits are unnecessary. 

4) OUTFIT FOR YOU Make sure to bring a comfortable outfit for going home in. Most likely, you will not be back down to your pre-pregnancy size, so bring some comfy maternity clothes or a nursing outfit like this. 

5) BABY COAT Since I'll be bringing home a winter baby, I want her to be as warm as possible! 

6) BLANKET In case we need this for the trip home; it's also great to cover the carseat to protect baby from outdoor elements.

7) CARSEAT You can't bring baby home without the carseat! 

8) CAR SHADE These are great to have in the back seat to block the sun from baby's eyes and skin.


ITEMS NOT PICTURED
1 BOX You can use it to take things home that you didn't bring with you, like flowers and gifts from visitors. Keep this in the car and have your partner bring it up when it's time to go home.

2 BABY CARE ITEMS We're only a few minutes drive from hospital so I'm packing light for our ride home. But if you have a long drive, you might want to include extra baby items like an outfit change, diaper bag, diapers, wipes, feeding items, etc. 

3 THANK YOU GIFTS Many parents prepare little goodie bags to give to nurses and staff as a thank you for their care. In hindsight, I wish I would have taken time to do this! 


Do you have something you'd like to add to this list, or questions or comments? Please share it in the comment section below >>> I'd love to hear from you!

Jennifer Lee Blog