The Perfect Hospital Bag
Packing a hospital bag is one of the most exciting ways to prepare yourself for having a baby. Wether you are delivering at a hospital, birth center, or in the comfort of your home, it is nice to have a bag set aside with everything you might need. As someone who has packed 3 hospital bags before I feel confident in sharing my tips for the perfect hospital bag.
1. Ask What Your Hospital Provides
If you are anything like me, Youtube is your research center when it comes to labor and delivery. I love watching all the different hospital bag videos. Though I find Youtube to be a great resource for ideas for your hospital bag, you probably will not be delivering at the same hospital that (insert Youtuber’s name) delivered at.
If you are unable to take a hospital tour (or don’t want to take one) you can ask your doctor, friends who’ve delivered there, or call the hospital to find out exactly what they will be providing for you and baby. Knowing what the hospital will be giving you allows you to use your bag for what is actually necessary and might save you some money too.
2. Know Thyself
Who knew packing your hospital bag would be so philosophical right? But seriously, know yourself. Especially if you are watching Youtube videos and reading a bunch of blog posts for your packing list. Before running out to buy a fancy robe or packing a huge bag full of makeup, pause and ask yourself if you would use these things on a normal basis. If the answer is no, take the robe out of your online shopping cart and forego the makeup.
I have a tendency to think of myself as this chic, attractive instagram mom, when daydreaming about how I will dress postpartum and take hospital photos. I mean that’s what all these cute youtubers do! For example with my first kid I brought a decent amount of makeup, which is totally fine if you are the type of person to wear makeup daily. I am not. My makeup routine is mascara at the red lights and a lipstick if i’m feeling spicy. What I am trying to get at is having a baby won’t transform you into a totally different person. So if you don’t like makeup, don’t bring it. If you tend to like make up, bring it. Now apply this rule to all the non-essentials i.e.: fancy cameras, cute sleepwear, and laptops.
Truly think about what you like to have when you are not in your own space. Bring what will matter to you and you will have a tendency to reach for because you will have the same natural tendencies.
3. Less is More…Space in your Hospital Bag
Your hospital bag will support a stay of 3 days max. If you have a longer stay you will likely have someone go and bring you things from home anyway. So pack less, this isn’t a vacation where you will have so much to do. You will probably walk to in from the bathroom at most. After going through something like labor it is not likely you will be making multiple outfit changes either.
When packing I recommend only packing what you think you really want. Don’t throw in clothing just because maybe if the stars align it will be perfect. For most of your stay you will be lying in bed recuperating. Be kind to yourself and your support person by not overfilling your bag with unnecessary things.
What are the necessities of a Hospital Bag?
Now when I say necessities you should also consider some form of entertainment a necessity. You will likely have a lot of down time during your hospital stay. You will want to have something to do when you are not sleeping or caring for the baby. A book is a great option especially if you want to read up on some parenting books. A game for you and your spouse to play would be fun. Even a tablet with access to shows or a movie is great. My husband even got me to watch his show with him.
Some people laugh at people who bring their own pillow. But, If you are the type of person who absolutely cannot sleep without your personal pillow, pack it. You will want to put a colorful pillowcase so the hospital doesn’t accidentally take it for their own. A necessity to someone else might not be important to you and vise versa.
4. Talk to Your Support Person/Spouse
When packing your hospital bag talk with your support person about what you think would be helpful to have during your hospital stay. Figure out what they should plan to bring or who will be responsible for carrying what. Maybe you want to put all the toiletries together in one bag and the clothing in another. Talking with your support person also helps to prevent packing ridiculous items that you both know you do not actually need.
Make sure your support person has enough for himself too. They might want to shower, eat, and read a book as well. A good rule of thumb for your hospital bag is to pack clothes, snacks, and entertainment.
5. Use Resources You Trust
If you have friends who have given birth ask them what they enjoyed having at the hospital. Your friends who are higher or lower maintenance than you might not have the same “necessities” but at least you can understand what they liked.
Watching a youtube video as you pack your hospital bag can be fun too. They might have some great advice or an item you forgot about. Some of the videos and blogposts even have checklists. Word of caution: do not take anyones personal advice for law. There are so many different people and experiences. Just go with your gut.
Motherhood is survival mode. Most people can survive for a couple of days with very little. Moms can basically make do with anything. Not ideal, but we can swing it. It is not likely you will forget to pack what you absolutely need, so do not stress over packing. People live at the hospital so they have a lot of resources there if you forget something.
Being a mom means improvising. There will likely be many days where you forget wipes, run out of diapers, do not pack enough snacks, leak or spill milk all over yourself, and the list goes on. If you for some reason are missing a key item, think of it as an initiation to the mom club. Being a mom can be messy and mom brain is real so welcome to the club!
Welcome to the Mom club, I hope you will join me as I fumble my way through motherhood here are some more posts you might enjoy!
Please leave a comment below with your favorite item from your hospital bag, so other mamas can benefit.