Today’s post is from Penelope and new Mama Katelyn League. She is a true “preparer” by nature and did a fantastic job of being ready when her baby came. For this reason, I asked her to share with us her list of the things she packed in her hospital bag. I honestly didn’t do a great job of this when I had my little one. Katelyn’s list would have been a big help to me back in 2011, so I wanted to be sure that all pregnant Penelopes got to share in her knowledge.
Take it, Katelyn!
Being a Penelope, my pregnancy was all about making lists in preparation for the baby. Possibly neurotically so. One of the very best things I did was to make sure my bag was packed for the hospital. I’m proud to say that was done months before our baby boy came, and it was incredibly useful that it had been prepared in advance. Once labor set in, I was…ahem… not thinking clearly.
Pro tip: put this bag by your front door or in the trunk of your car. You never know where you’ll be when your water breaks or serious contractions take over. Having it easily accessible makes it simple for a loved one to bring the bag to you.
Here are the items that I found useful – I think you will, too.
Must Have Items To Pack in Your Hospital Bag:
1. PHONE/CAMERA: You’re gonna want to take lots of pictures. (Or have your sister/mom/significant other take them!) Don’t forget your charger and an extra memory card and battery for your camera if you bring one.
2. TOILETRIES: travel-sized items of the following are useful to have: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, brush, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, face wash or wipes, hair ties, Chapstick, glasses/contacts, meds,, flip flops for the shower, etc.
4. CLOTHES: Loose, comfortable clothing. You will be laid up in that hospital bed for 2-3 days straight, so comfort is key here! Make sure to pack dark clothing to hide any stains or leakage. (There will be lots of blood. Sorry, it has to be said.) Oh, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll be out of those maternity clothes by the time you leave the hospital, so go ahead and pack a couple of loose-fitting shirts and some maternity yoga pants (you’ll love having that stretchy band while your uterus contracts back to its original size).
5. BOPPY/NURSING PILLOW: You will be feeding your newborn every 2-3 hours and it will be more comfortable with the Boppy. Plus, you can practice your nursing position with the lactation consultant and then do it at home in exactly the same way.
6. DOWN TIME ITEMS: A book, magazine, iPad, deck of cards, etc. That is, if you have downtime!
7. SNACKS: Granola bars, trail mix, protein bars, Gatorade, etc. Pack enough for you and your S/O. Be sure to pack some cash and change for the vending machines.
8. HAIR DRYER: This sounds a bit vain, but when you’ve been laid up for 24+ hours in nothing but a hospital gown, you’re going to look forward to that first shower you get to take post labor! I was shocked to find out there wasn’t a hair dryer in the entire maternity ward.
9. BABY ITEMS: Onesies, baby nail clippers (best used when baby is sleeping), baby mittens, a swaddle sack (your new best friend!) and a car seat (I recommend installing this BEFORE you leave for the hospital to alleviate stress). Pack 4-5 outfits in both NB and 0-3 months.
10. S/O BAG: A gym bag for your significant other with a couple changes of clothes, a sweatshirt (those hospital rooms are chilly!), something to sleep in, toiletries, etc.
That’s my list! Any items I missed? Anything you wouldn’t want to live without in those first 48-72 hours? Let us know!