I’m about as Type A as they come, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’ve been mentally packing my hospital bag for weeks. Even though I’m not due until the middle of May, I’ll probably have it ready to go by April because it seems like everyone I know these days is having babies early and I don’t want to know what kinds of crazy things I would throw together in the heat of that panic.
When I was pregnant with Landon, I spent some time Pinteresting and checking out what other momma bloggers had to say on hospital bag essentials. Even though the actual contents of everyone’s bags varied slightly, here’s the bottom line– simplicity and comfort. Yours may or may not look like mine, but I think it’s a pretty good place to start 🙂 Here goes!
1 // The Bag I love this Vera Bradley bag because it’s large and open, making it perfect for cramming all of my earthly possessions. Kidding. Please don’t take your whole house to the hospital. This particular bag is completely MIA from their web site, however, so I’m guessing it’s been discontinued. Sorry! Anything fairly large and roomy will be perfect. If your super-sweet-awesome nurses are anything like mine were the first time around, you’ll go home with way more than you brought so make sure there’s some extra room in there.
2 // The Clothes: Hospital Comfort and function are key here, ladies. As soon as you can get that frumpy hospital gown off, do it. Pack a pair or two of comfy pajama bottoms, something fun but avoid light colors for obvious reasons. You just had a baby. Slipper socks are great, especially if you are always, always, always cold like I am. If you plan on nursing, these nursing camis from Target are definite must-haves! Throw a robe or open-front cardigan over that, and you’re doing alright.
Ready for the best part? Three words– Hanes Her Way. I know you’re excited. Here’s the thing– recovery takes some time, and this is not the time or place for the little lacy things that got you into this predicament. No one’s going to see them or care, so get over it and embrace some full-coverage granny panty action for a few days. We’ve all been there. It will be alright.
3 // For the Shower Newsflash: you just had a baby. it should go without saying that you deserve to pamper yourself a little! It might not seem like a big deal, but taking a shower with a favorite body wash will make all the difference. Not pictured (but equally important) are travel-sized versions of all of your usual toiletries for that first glorious post-baby shower 🙂
4 // Chapstick I may or may not be addicted to chapstick, so I always have some within reach. Even if you aren’t, you’ll want to pack some in your hospital bag because hospitals are so dry.
5 // For the Hair Unfortunately, I was not born with the kind of hair that can air-dry and look amazing. Taming this mane requires a blow-dryer, flat iron, several hair products, and at least forty minutes of my life that I just don’t have the wherewithal to give up after umpteen hours of labor. The solution? Dry shampoo. GAME CHANGER. It’s also a good idea to have a brush, a few hair ties, and bobby pins on hand, if that’s your thing.
6 // Makeup Essentials Pictures will be taken, and you will be happy to have mascara and an even complexion. My go-to makeup essentials are pictured above, and listed below:
Almay Smart Shade Mousse foundation
Bare Minerals All-Over Color in Warmth (worn like a bronzer so you don’t look like a zombie)
NARS Illuminator in Orgasm (worn as a light, creamy alternative to blush)
Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
The bag pictured is Orla Kiely for Target. I included Ponds Cold Cream in this bunch, too, because do yourself a favor and wash your face. Your crazy postpartum hormones don’t need any help.
7 // Snacks Friends and family will, no doubt, bring you whatever you’re craving when the hospital food just doesn’t cut it. However, I liked having a few favorites within reach! Nature Valley granola bars are a favorite (and not totally bad for you), but tied for number one on my all-time favorite snacks list? Nutella-To-Go and Monster Trail Mix 🙂
8 // Pillow Obviously the hospital will have tons of pillows and blankets, but I remember it being so nice to have something of my own to cozy up with. Don’t forget to pack one for Dad if he’s staying the night! The couch/bed accommodations looked pretty brutal.
9 // The Clothes: Going Home Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but leave the skinny jeans at home. You will be flabby, and cramming yourself into anything pre-baby or fitted will only make you feel sad. Go for something that’s cute and comfy, like these gray Aerie Skinny Jogger sweatpants, paired with a scoop-neck tee and this open-front handkerchief-hem cardigan from Old Navy for a fun pop of color. This is not a fashion show, but if you ask me, it feels good to look good and that’s important in the hormonal wake of having a baby.
Chargers You’ll obviously want to have the charger for your cell phone, and any other devices you bring. I liked having my Kindle on standby for the quiet spaces when the guests were gone and my pregnant insomnia was still holding on for dear life, but don’t pack your whole home office, okay? I promise, other things will occupy your time.
You’ll probably notice that I didn’t include nursing supplies, youjusthadababy recovery supplies, or medicines of any kind, because our hospital provides all of those things (as I’m sure many do) and there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of it! If our insurance is going to foot the bill, then by all means– pass the $7 tube of Lanolin. Ask, and ye shall receive.
This list is just for mommas (a post on baby must-haves coming soon!) and not exhaustive by any means. In fact, I’m pretty sure I missed a few things, but let’s blame the baby brain while we still can. If you do forget to pack something, as you inevitably will, that’s what Target runs and husbands are for 🙂
Happy packing, mommas! What are your hospital bag must-haves?