I tend to overpack. However, I really wanted to try to only bring what I needed to the hospital. That being said, thank god I wasn’t successful with being conservative in my packing, because I ended up having a C-section. Luckily, I had everything I needed for what turned into a 4 night/5 day stay (instead of the original 1-2 nights/2-3 day stay). I’m not saying everyone needs to go as nuts as I did, but you do need all of the things I list. However, maybe choose to pack less of each item if you want. I packed multiples of many of these items, which I’m glad I did, but only because I had to stay for more nights than planned. I envisioned writing this post and saying I stupidly brought this or that, but in all honesty, I used EVERYTHING I packed. I compiled lists from friends, blogs, websites, and my own research and really felt like I was as comfortable as I could be because I came prepared. I want to give a disclaimer that when I say “things I needed” I mean in order for me to have been comfortable. Nothing is necessarily NEEDED, it just makes your stay that much more tolerable because it’s not easy feeling at home at a hospital.
1. Bed Bling- Your own pillow/soft pillowcase and blanket. I say pillow, meaning one, but I brought three. Yes, no joke, we brought three. I wanted one for me, I wanted one for my husband, and then as we were leaving the night I was being induced, I forgot I had already packed two and I grabbed a third! Like I mentioned above, I didn’t regret one thing I brought, including the third pillow. Also a blanket, they usually only have sheets at the hospital, if you’re cold, they just give you more sheets. If you’re a blanket person like I am (throw blankets are my jam) then you’ll want your own cozy blankie (for your husband too if he’s higher maintenance like mine is).
2. Towels. I brought two. My husband went home to shower so he didn’t need one, but having had to stay for 4 nights, I liked having more than one towel to shower and use when brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc.
2. Laundry bag. Used this for all of our dirty clothes, linens, etc. Was easy to pack up when we left and throw everything in it.
3. Electronics. Long chord for your phone!!! I cannot recommend something more. The outlets are not conveniently located right there because you’re on a cot, which is going to be a bit away from a wall. You’re bedridden for a lot of the time there, and during waiting times, you’ll want to use your phone and its nice to be charging up without having to reach yourself in any direction. Get the longest chord that exists, trust me. Laptop. There are TV’s in the rooms at the hospital but at moments when you want an immediate escape or distraction, it was nice to be able to choose from Netflix or amazon and watch anything I wanted. My sisters and I watched Curb Your Enthusiasm after one of the heart dropping scares during my induction process and it really allowed me to relax.
4. Waterless toiletries. Meaning anything that will make you feel “fresh and clean” without water. There’s times you may be attached to many wires, an IV, catheter, etc. If you’re at all like me, you brush your teeth multiple times a day and wash your face twice a day. I was so happy I brought a travel mouth wash, face wipes, hand sanitizer, and.dry shampoo (you will not want to wash your hair while there, it’s too strenuous and you’ll care about looking presentable, so try to enter the hospital with your hair did and just keep it tame throughout your stay with dry shampoo). There were times I couldn’t go to the bathroom and it was nice to be able to still feel somewhat clean using these products from the bed. (Pack these in addition to your regular toiletries for times when you can use an actual bathroom – toothbrush, body wash, etc).
5. Comfortable pajamas and a robe. I love eberjey for pajama sets and this robe. You’ll have visitors and you’ll want to do anything besides put on clothes, so at least these are presentable, comfortable and easy to put on. Also, I liked that both were breastfeeding accessible.
6. Baby clothes. Tess had to go to the NICU so I didn’t get to change her into comfy clothes until the third day once they removed her IV. I was basically crying of happiness once I was able to put her in a soft Kissy Kissy gown and take her out of the scratchy hospital shirt. I’d suggest bringing a gown, a footie, and a two piece outfit. It depends on time of year but if you have one of each, you can’t go wrong.
7. Baby blanket. You’ll want one to wrap your baby in for the walk out to the car. I used a muslin one for the wheelchair ride out of the hospital and then a cotton blanket for the car seat. These are my favorite muslin blankets.
8. Slippers. Any slippers will do but I love my all birds shoes and wore them back and forth to the NICU, nursery and to and from the bathroom. I also brought flip flops to wear in the shower.
9. Call me cray but I brought my own toilet paper. I was soooo happy I brought it, I actually had my sisters bring me more rolls. The toilet paper at the hospital rips off in minuscule squares and isn’t soft. Trust me, vaginal or c section birth, you want your own SOFT TOILET PAPER.
10. Snacks. I brought granola, crackers, cookies, and candy. You never know what your delivery path will be or how long you’ll be there. Once you check in, you can’t really eat (I was allowed to have a small meal in between cervidil and petocin) but the snacks are mostly for your husband. You don’t want him going anywhere and you also don’t want him to starve during times when you really don’t want him leaving your side. I was happy to have snacks on hand for my husband who literally has the munchies 24/7.
I’m sure there are other little things that you can bring that I left out, like hair clips, hair things, make up, travel mirror, going home from hospital outfit, extra sweatshirt, etc. However, the ones I listed above seemed most crucial and I can’t imagine having gone through my stay without one of them. Don’t worry about bringing too much or if the nurses will judge you. One of the doctors actually asked if we were moving in, just go with it, and make yourself at home, you deserve it for what you’re about to go through!
Also, make sure you leave the hospital with as much swag as you can (I just realized how often I use this word, but there’s no other word to use in its place.) The most coveted hospital swag by far is the gauze underwear, which will become your new best friend once you leave.