Creating a Realistic Hospital Bag
So, you're getting closer to your date and you're getting a bit anxious about what to bring to the hospital. I'm not joking when I tell you I had my bag packed three months before I was even due. The nesting instinct is not a myth guys. It'll also make you more irrational then you ever thought you'd be. I was trying to fit our entire house in my travel pack. The whole kitten caboodle. Finally after packing an entire suitcase worth of junk, I calmed down and strategized my life into a smaller bag with less items.
Well... kind of. By the end I had a much smaller "Me" bag, and a separate diaper bag full of items I insisted I needed, and here's the honest truth... I still didn't even need half of that. Really! You won't need half of the things your "Soon to be new mom" brain will think it does.
So after three kids, here is my list for the perfect hospital bag:
1. Important documents - Get a cheap $1 binder and keep all of these things handy.
-Your birthing plan
-Your doctor's information and the information for the pediatrician you chose for your child.
-Your social security card
-Your health insurance card
-Your ID (Driver's license)
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have this ready and with you at all times as you get closer to your due date. Order some sheet protectors for your birthing plan and doctor information, and some plastic business card holders for your ID, health insurance card and Social Security card. I'll link what I used below:
2. Nursing Gowns- So hear me out on this. You are going to be sore, swollen, tired, and sleepless. If you are nursing, you're going to be feeding at least every 3 hours, but its really as many times as your little one asks to eat at the beginning. You need access to your milk generators and you need to have ample room for hospital underwear and the huge pads you'll be wearing for the first few days. Even if you're trying to look cute... you're not going to be "Pre-pregnancy cute," for quite a while. Also, go for darker colors, because you will bleed on them. Not might... will. This gown is the one I bought for my hospital bag and I still use to this day while nursing. I'm actually wearing it as I type this. It's super soft, the material is stretchy so that you can move freely when juggling baby and life, and most of all it is durable. I've worn this at least once a week and it is still just as cute as the day I got it. Order three to add to your bag, because you're practically going to live in them your first few days postpartum.
3. Slipper Socks
So here's the thing, hospitals are cold and their floors are like ice skating barefoot in Antarctica. These are the socks I purchased because they're cheap, they're super soft, and they're dark (which means you won't be able to see it when you inevitably get blood on these too). Bonus: You can wear these around the house afterwards with your pajamas! Ive had them for almost a year and they are still just as soft as when I first bought them. You'll be sent six pairs, but you only need to pack three.
So here's the thing, after pushing out a human, and drastically having your body rearranged in the process, you're going to long to feel like a person again. Here's the other thing... that's not going to happen for a while. Breathe, accept this, and then understand that you can at least pack a toiletries bag to get you partially there. Here's what you need: -Toothbrush (Buy a cheap spare in case you forget it during discharge) -Travel sized toothpaste
-Travel sized brush -Hair ties (Because even though you think you're going to straighten/curl your hair, you'll likely be too tired)
-Travel sized hair dryer like this one:
-Makeup basics (Not your entire vanity. Some coverup, eyeliner, mascara, and your favorite mini palette)
-You're favorite lip balm, because you're lips will end up like the Sahara desert. I like this one:
5. Your phone charger - Really guys, this one is super important for obvious reasons.
6. Baby stuff
So here is the thing... for the baby portion of your bag, less really is more. Keep it simple. You won't need diapers unless you are insistent on using a specific brand. Same thing for wipes, nose plungers, all of that is available from the hospital and you'll likely have so much that you'll end up bringing goodies home. Here are the few things you will likely need with you.
-3 onsies - You don't need an entire outfit for each day at the hospital. I know it sounds cute, but not it ends up being really impracticable as you'll end up spending more time having to take off layers of the dang outfit then just sitting and enjoying your baby. They'll need to perform quite a few tests over baby's first few days to make sure everything is working the way its supposed to. These were great as it provided warmth in the cold hospital with long sleeves, but was also super easy to change baby out of if they need you to dress down. Also, don't forget that baby will go through a lot of diapers in their first few days, so you want easy access to the poop shoot area! Pack three and leave the others at home.
-2 sleep sacks- Believe me when I tell you. If there is one thing you buy for your baby, let it be this. I discovered sleep sacks with my middle child and these things are a life saver. They're like swaddle blankets on steroid. Best thing ever invented, hands down. Bring two, because sometimes babies have explosive poops that go everywhere... you'll thank me when you have a backup with you. This one is the best we've used, and it comes in a ton of different colors and designs.
-1 Going home outfit - Okay, so this is the art where you get to be cute. Remember to be somewhat sensible in the fact that our child will actually have to wear this, but this will likely be the first set of "Cute baby pictures" you share with your family. This is your place to let your nesting instincts run free and buy the cutest, most expensive thing you can find. Get it embroidered with their name on it. Go wild,
And that's it! Really... that's it. That's all you need. Your hospital has pillows and blankets. Cold? Ask your nurse for another blanket! Its okay to ask your nurse for help. That is what she is there for!
Need more pads, just ask. Need a new pair of hospital underwear.... you guessed it, JUST ASK! Don't feel shy, they are there to help you!
Full Disclosure: I buy most of my things from Amazon through their prime service, so I signed up to be an affiliate. What that means is, when I add a link on my pages for things I have bought, I make a small commission if you buy from that link. All of the items I link from them are products I have actually bought and used in real life. Jeff Bezos is a trillionaire now, he can afford to share (I joke, kind of haha).