The run to the hospital is real and it is going to be the most magical ride. At least, I felt like that. The only thing that you would want to grab n go will be the hospital bag which is impatiently waiting for you near the door. “Pick me, am all yours” – says the bag. ok! now here is the deal – less is more. I have heard people list out numerous items to be loaded into the hospital bag, cummon! you are not leaving for a vacation. As a first time mom, figuring out what you need to pack in a hospital bag can be really confusing. So, let me break it down to you. Also, I will mention to you what I actually ended up using.
First of all, get out of all the unrealistic expectation. Just pull it out of your mind. You are not supermodels or queen of a country to walk out brilliantly in your dreamy attires. It takes at least 4-6 months to get back to shape and people who have gained the considerable amount of weight, then it might be longer too. But it is simply okay. You need not curse your body for it, in spite embrace the new change. Your body has done an exemplary work of pushing out a human from your vagina and it means more than a world. So do not stress out and do not set up unrealistic expectations on your body.
Now that I have straightened things out, let us get back to business. So here are the list of items to pack and skip 😛 for mama, your partner and the bub.
For the bub:
- Swaddle blanket – You can just pack 1-2 swaddle blankets and that will be enough. The baby will mostly be using the hospital swaddles until the day of discharge. It is completely your choice to use your own swaddle may be to click a picture.
- Coming home outfit
- Mittens – Most babies are born with long nails. Moreover, their nails grow super fast too. I still file or cut my little one’s nails once in every week. It is heartbreaking to see them scratch themselves. So it is better to carry a pair of mittens or gloves.
- A pair of socks
Things I packed for the baby and was never used:
- Receiving blanket – You know what? I have still not used that blanket for any purpose. Mine was a c-section and it all happened in a fraction of a second. Neither me nor my husband was having a right state of mind to think about the receiving blanket. So, you do not have to worry about that. the hospital will do their job neatly. I saw my beautiful daughter in a pretty pink swaddle and pink cap. What more do i need?
- Diapers: NEVER invest on diapers for the hospital. Every hospital has a set of diapers suitable for the newborns. So I would say do not even bother to pack it. Instead take some from the hospital for trial and error at home. You will take some time to figure out which brand of diapers works best for your baby. Hence, buying a big pack from “costco” would also be foolishness. We started with huggies. But she developed diaper rash. Then we moved to the in house brand of Costco and that works well for her.
- Baby wipes: Hospital will provide them. I would suggest not to use baby wipes in the initial days. The skin around the bums are too sensitive and it is ideal to wash it or use a wet clothe to wipe the poop off.
For the mommy:
- Nightwear or pajamas – You will atleast need 2-3 button down pajamas or nightwear. I was wearing the hospital rob initially but you feel terrible in that. You would have worn it for few hours ; in my case for two days. So i wanted to change into a normal pajama to feel human like and I chose one with a front zip which made breastfeeding easier.
- Comfy slippers – This would be helpful when you are walking down the aisle of the hospital with an urge to see the baby/ push the baby out.
- Coming home outfit – I chose a long gown for me which was a maternity wear. It was easy breezy to wear. Never dream about wearing your size 26 jeans on the first day after the delivery.
- Jackets or sweatshirts – My delivery happened during winter and I needed the jacket.
- Toiletries – Your toothbursh, face cream, face wash, toner, comb etc.
- Nursing bras
- Good protein bars – I am sure the hospital will provide you with the best of food. But just in case, you are hungry while going back home or if the discharge procedures take some time, you can munch on those protein bars.
- Maternity band/ postpartum belt – this is helpful to support your belly during the pregnancy and also after. This helps you in getting back to shape too.
- A picture of God or any power that you believe in – This came super helpful for me. I had asked my hubby to stick the photograph of my favorite Goddess in front of my bed when I was pushing hard. Pushing did not work out and doctor decided to take the baby out through a C-section. I carried this photograph along with me to the operation room. My anesthesiologist was so kind enough that he stuck the photograph near the IV stand so that I could pray looking at it. haaa! that was such a big strength.
Here are the things I never used:
- Underpants – Skip packing’em. Instead the use all the mesh underwear from the hospital. The postpartum bleeding will be too much and you will thank me later for this tip. These mesh underwears are disposable and easy to use. They are going to be the life savers for initial few weeks.
- Maternity pads – The hospital provides them. They even allow you to take them home.
- Make up kit: This is a joke. I do not know how many of the new mommies even get a chance to use this. I think I was out of my mind when I packed this. Good luck with making a scrunchies all by yourself.
- Water bottle : You need not carry one. The hospital will give you a big jar of water.
- Massage tools : I got these massaging items after attending a childbirth class. I thought they all would come handy when you are in the peak of labor. But no, I think they are still lying in the front zip of my “hospital bag”. You don’t need them. You can just ask your nurse in charge for any tool ( birthing ball etc) when you are in labor. They will be happy to help you with .
- Bath towels – Again, hospital will stock it up.
Also, do not pack breast pump, nipple shield and nipple creams. These are items that hospital will provide if you find difficulty in breast feeding. The lactation specialist at the hospital helped with a nipple shield suitable for me when I found that my baby had difficulty in latching.
For the partner:
- Comfy outfits – preferably 2-3
- Comfy shoes
- Mobile chargers
I think my husband did not pack anything much other than the listed items above and he had no such items which he did not use. So, this was pretty much all that he got for himself. SMART!!!
So happy packing your hospital bag. The ideal time to think about the hospital bag would be after 33 weeks. The window is open and the baby can come anytime. Again, these are just a handful of items I felt is needed to go into the bag. Feel free to over pack but you will end up using fewer items only. It will be good if you leave some extra space in the bag so that you can pack items which hospital provides for you and baby. Let me know what all you packed in your hospital bag ? Did I miss out something? Comment below.