I started brainstorming and list-making about what to pack in my hospital bags long before my husband and I were actually pregnant. When we finally found out we were pregnant, my question became, “When can I start packing my bags?”
The general consensus seems to be that your bags should be packed and ready by 35 weeks. So naturally, I was a week early, and had both Bonnie’s and my own bag packed and ready to go by 34 weeks! For those of you who know me, you know it’s a miracle I held off this long… I myself am shocked that I wasn’t packed and ready to go by the time I was 20 weeks pregnant. I am notorious for over-planning.
Anyway, after making LOTS of lists, and reading oodles of blogs and birth stories about what to pack in your hospital bags and what to leave behind, I came up with a list that suits me, and that I feel comfortable with. Throughout the LONG process of deciding what to pack and what not to pack, I kept reminding myself that more stuff I took to the hospital, the more stuff I would have to unpack and put away when I got home. So I packed with a “less is more” mentality.
I say that so that I can give the following disclaimers:
1) I am a first-time mom, and have never actually had to pack hospital bags before.
2) There may be things you want to bring that I am not bringing.
Here is a list of some common items that I am NOT packing:
- Shampoo/conditioner (I only wash my hair once or twice a week. In between, I use leave-in conditioner, moisturizer, etc.)
- Hairdryer (I have curly hair, and bringing a hairdryer would also mean bringing a diffuser… Gotta draw the line somewhere, so I am drawing it and washing and drying my hair.)
- Pillow for myself (I would rather use theirs than get my own dirty and have to wash it later.)
- Nursing (Boppy) pillow and cover
- My own soap (I use bar soap at home, and this is impractical to pack. I know hospitals do not have the greatest soap, but it’s not like I’m moving in.)
- My own towel (Again, I’d rather use theirs than get my own dirty and have to bring it home, unpack it, and wash it.)
- My own pads (I’ve heard the ones that the hospital provides are crappy, but I’d rather save my nice ones for when I get home, and use the free ones while I can.)
- An extra outfit to wear home (I plan on wearing the same outfit home that I arrive at the hospital in.)
- Flip flops (I plan on wearing the same ones at the hospital that I wear to and from the hospital.)
- Makeup (Wearing makeup is not an every day thing for me anyway, and I think just having given birth is a great excuse not to wear any! If I change my mind about this, I can always toss my makeup bag into my purse at the last minute.)
- Cell phone charger (Andrew plans on packing his, so I will just share with him if I need to charge my phone. I only charge it every few days, so there is a chance I might not even need it at all.)
- Snacks (These will go in Andrew’s bag.)
Several weeks ago I posted a hospital packing list, which you can find here. That list has changed a little, and…
Here are the things that actually made it into my hospital bag:
- Warm, fuzzy socks
- Big, comfy undies (I am bringing 4 pair)
- Nursing tank
- Nursing bras (2 of them, each a different size)
- Disposable nursing pads
- After-delivery outfit, AKA: PAJAMAS!
- Flip flops
- Hard candies
- Pen (for paperwork.)
- Hair tie/Scrunchies/Bobby pins (whatever you use to tame your lovely locks.)
- Hand sanitizer (I carry this with me everywhere.)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Body wash
- Spray-in hair conditioner and curl booster
- Bonnies baby book (for them to stamp her hand and footprints in.)
- Cell phone
- Birth plan (with multiple copies.)
- Goodie bags for nurses
- Tucks pads
- Dermaplast spray
- Ponds facial wipes (I hate sweating, and since I’m guessing I’ll sweat a lot during labor, I thought it would be nice to have something to clean and cool my face with.)
- A notebook (to write Bonnie’s birth story down while it’s fresh on my mind.)
- An extra bag (for disposable things that the hospital gives you. They have to throw away whatever you don’t use, even if it has not been opened, so you may as well take it all with you when you leave!)
- Scripture cards for labor and delivery
- A plastic bag (for any dirty clothing or other items that need to be washed.)
A couple of “maybe” items:
- Magazines/ light reading material
I am also bringing my camera and charger, but they have their own separate bag.