Since I am on my third baby I have done the hospital delivery and stay twice now. I have an idea what I need and I like to go minimal. It's a pain (to me) to lug a large bag or multiple bags in and then have to remember everything when I pack up. In fact, last time around I left my robe at the hospital and my husband had to go back right after we had returned home.
There are many checklists out there, and everyone is going to find different items are important to them. Here is my list and my reasoning behind each item.
I wear the hospital gown, there is no bra needed, they say you can wear a nursing bra without metal but seriously it's not happening. Maybe a sweater or something to keep warm if you will be up walking.
Any kind of entertainment needed and laboring supplies
I am good with my phone only. You might want laboring supplies like a ball, swimsuit if laboring in water, etc. This is personal and I don't bring anything. I believe I brought more than needed with my first baby. As long as I have my phone and my husband has a camera I am happy.
Birth plan and other paperwork/insurance card and hospital registration
Most checklists recommend writing out your birth plan. I am not making one this time around but I did for my two previous births. I know what I want and need now and plan to articulate it only. I noticed last time that nobody paid much attention to what was written.
Toiletries in case it's a long labor
When my first baby was born I headed to the hospital still wearing makeup from my day at work. I realized 13 plus hours later it would be nice to wash my face. But, I couldn't.. I was tied to the bed with an epidural at that point. Now I carry these face wipes. My mom actually got them for me while I was in labor the first time.
The hospital provides a lot to get you started. I stayed in the hospital gown for awhile and they provide giant mesh panties, pads, ice packs, a pain relieving spray and witch hazel pads for down there care. This is almost all you need. And in most cases you can take the supplies home with you too.
They will also provide any pain medication needed. Diapers and wipes for your baby are provided. I have never needed to bring diapers to the hospital.
So, what do you actually need to bring?
Here's what's in my hospital bag. I am 36 weeks and I just packed it!
And of course I photographed it all because I am a blogger..
A few pairs of underwear you don't care about
The hospital provides mesh underwear but for going home normal ones probably feel better. Nothing nice, they will get messy so I picked the ones I don't care about and are comfortable.
I threw in a couple but one is probably all that is needed. I am bringing a sleep bra and another one with a bit more structure to wear home.
I had nursing pajamas the last time around and I stayed in them my entire hospital stay. They are comfortable and functional. They also provide a little more coverage than a hospital gown for when you have visitors.
Figure8 Maternity provided me with this five piece Everly Grey Cindy Nursing PJ set. It comes with a robe, top, bottoms, a matching nightgown for the baby and a bag to carry it all. So cute and so soft. I love it.
While anything you wear at the hospital may get ruined, I am much more comfortable in something like this than a gown after the first day or so.
I washed mine before packing so the pictures are a bit wrinkled, but these look great and feel great.
Clothes to wear home
You will want something that would fit you at six months pregnant. I have a tank top and sweat pant capris in my bag.
I am having my baby in May so luckily I don't need much for clothes. When my son was born it was December and I needed to bring coats, robes, and warm clothing for us both.
The hospital provides non skid socks but something else to wear around the room and bathroom is nice. I don't like touching random floors at all.. anyone else with me?
If it was winter I would bring slippers and extra socks but it's not. Yay!
Since I have done this a few times I decided to make it easy on myself and order this pre-packed travel bag with basic toiletries. I have packed all of my own supplies into little bottles in the past. Yeah, not happening for me this time. I don't care much about the brands for a couple of days and this is easy. Then I can toss it when done and not worry about packing them up.
I also will need my contacts, glasses, and any makeup I want to put on. Maybe a lotion because hospitals can be dry. And, of course my face wipes that I bring in during labor.
Baby going home outfit
My daughter picked this outfit out. How adorable!
This is definitely not a necessity. The hospital will wrap your baby in a blanket, but I like to bring one of my own soft ones. I also like it for the car ride home. My favorite brand for baby blankets by far is Aden + Anais.
I probably will not need this right away, the cracked nipples usually happen later but I threw it in just in case. You may also need nursing pads but I have never needed them while in the hospital (milk takes a couple of days to come in).
I may not need this either, the hospital provides a spray of some sort but it's nice to have my own fancy one.
Check with your hospital but mine requires a check be written for the birth certificate. I don't usually carry a checkbook so this is something I had to find and stick in my bag.
Items that will be grabbed last minute include my camera, charger, phone and phone charger (putting my husband in charge of those actually) and any last minute items I use daily like my glasses.
Okay, this does not go in your bag but please make sure it's ready to go or you will not be able to leave the hospital.
And, that's it! My list is pretty sparse. After doing this a few times I don't want to overload myself. Everyone is different though. Let me know, are there any items I missed that you must have?