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Hospital Bag: What I Packed, What I Used & What I Wish I Had Packed

November 12, 2021

Before I dive into what I packed in my hospital bag and what I wish I had packed, let me give you a bit of back story…

In case you didn’t know, a little over 2 months ago I gave birth! I had what they call a Precipitous Labour. Which meant baby boy came SUUUUPER fast! I’d like to say I was pretty prepared for labour by about 37 weeks, but Dev would definitely argue otherwise. Let me explain… 

I had meal prepped for weeks and our freezer was stocked. I pre-made a batch of “padsicles” (best decision ever). I spent hours reading other blogs and watching YouTube videos to get a sense of what I’d need for postpartum, and then I placed several Amazon orders. We had an entire bag dedicated to snacks. The baby’s stuff was all packed. Dev’s things were all packed. My stuff was “mostly” all packed. And here’s where I screwed up…

I fully expected to be in labour for an entire day. Twelves hours in the least, with long breaks between contractions at first (much like many women experience with their first baby). Admittedly I thought I’d have time to toss together a bag of toiletries at the last minute before heading to the hospital. 

Instead, I barely had time to breathe. I paced around my house in my birthday suit (because I still didn’t even know what to wear to the hospital) as I frantically tossed toiletries into a bag. As a result, I forgot my toothbrush and chapstick (two things I really wish I had once laying in the hospital bed).

Below is an entire list of the things we packed, including some links to specific products):

MOM:

Nursing bra *
Lansinoh Nursing Pads*
Earth Mama Organics Nipple Butter*
Sweater
Sweatpants x 2
Baggy T-Shirt x 2*
Socks*
Always Discreet Adult Diapers
Full Bum Underwear (in Black) x 3* (I wore adult diapers instead, and they were actually super comfy)
Pads
Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle
Flip Flops
Sleep shirt/dress*
Makeup*
Makeup Remover
Reusable Cotton Rounds
Headband
Hair Elastic
Deodorant
Cute “Going home outfit”*
Water bottle

BABY:

Diapers
Wipes
Newborn Onesie
0-3 Month Onesies (x3)* (Titan ended up being too small for these)
Swaddle Blankets x 2* (We used the ones the hospital provided)
Burp Cloth*
Mittens*
Hat* (The hospital gave us two!)
Soother* (Didn’t use until 2 weeks to avoid nipple confusion)
Car seat (Was installed in the car ahead of time)

MISC:

Snacks
Long charging cord

* = Anything we didn’t use

Based on the labour and hospital stay I had (28 hours), I’d say it was definitely over the top. I ended up wearing the hospital gown the entire time. The only clothing I wore was a pair of track pants and a sweater, which I tossed on quickly before heading home. It was 5AM, I was exhausted and sore, and the last thing I wanted to do was put on my cute “going home outfit”, which nobody would have seen anyways.

I opted to forgo a bra because it was annoying, and the nursing pads were pointless because I was lucky if I was able to squeeze enough colostrum for my babe.

What I was VERY happy to have packed, however, were diapers (for me and baby), wipes, and a peri bottle. I don’t know if it was because the hospital was extremely understaffed or if it was their normal practice, but we were not given any of these upon arriving at our room. A nurse brought us some baby diapers in the morning, but that was after we asked and had already gone through all the ones we had brought. 

So many people had said, “steal all the things! Pads, mesh underwear, adult diapers, baby diapers…take home what you can”. So I guess I was a little disappointed when that wasn’t an option for me. But I was very relieved that I had packed our own…specifically the Peri Bottle, which was a life vagina saver.

Some things I do wish I had brought, aside from my toothbrush and chapstick (which, by the way, my Mom was able to drop off to me at the hospital the next day) include:

SHOWER WIPES

Every hospital is different, but we ended up in a semi-private room that did not have a shower. Oh what I would have done to have been able to shower! Had I know ahead of time, I definitely would have brought some kind of body wipes.

NURSING PILLOW

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow made it for the car ride to the hospital, but it never actually made it up to our room. It may seem excessive, but I think had I had it, I definitely would have caught on to breastfeeding a little faster.

GUM 

Hospitals are so dry!!! And not having my toothbrush meant my breath got a little stanky. Anytime I needed to wear a mask meant I had to get a real good whiff of it. Not pleasant. I definitely wish I had some gum or mints.

DIAPER CREAM

A nurse was able to locate a small tin of Penatin for us, but diaper cream was definitely necessary for poor Titan’s little tushy. The first few poops are like tar and his bum definitely took a beating from all the wiping.

LAPTOP

Again, this is an item that got left behind when we frantically ran out of the house. It would have been nice to have had something to watch a show or some movies on.

HEADPHONES

We ended up watching Prime on my iPhone, but kept it suuuuuper quiet so as not to disturb the person in the room next to us. Headphones would have definitely come in handy. And seeing as we had a noisy shared room with frequent activity, I’d even go as far as saying noise cancellation headphones would have been awesome!

PILLOW

Hospital pillows suck! And when we first arrived at our room (around 3AM) there wasn’t a pillow on the bed for me. I actually ended up waiting probably an hour before they brought one. 

SPEAKER + LAVENDER OIL 

If I had been in the hospital for an induction or a long labour, I can imagine I would have also liked to have had a speaker to play some relaxing music on and lavender oil to help keep me calm through contractions.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for sticking it out as I blabbered away. I have a small suspicion you may be pregnant and wondering what to pack in your own hospital bag. If this is the case, I hope you find this post helpful.

If there’s anything I can teach you from my experience…it’s to be 100% prepared. Buy a separate toothbrush and tube of toothpaste specifically for the hospital. The same goes for chapstick, deodorant, face wipes or wash, contact solution, etc.

Don’t make the same mistake I did and expect that you’ll have time to pack your hospital bag, because you may not. You never know what could happen! But I do hope that you have a positive birth experience and a happy, healthy baby. All the best!

xxx

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