With my second child due in a couple of months, I decided to review all the fun labor and delivery info available out there – most recently Pinterest. There are lots of different posts about “what to pack” and some of them seem a bit much, to me. People and hospitals are different, so to each her own, but this is what worked for us last time, and what I will be packing this time. I would take a tour of your labor and delivery unit and ask questions. Sometimes you have a shared room, sometimes they are small, sometimes you have a shower or a bath, sometimes you don’t. Also, sometimes your recovery room doesn’t have a lot of extra room and some hospitals don’t allow husbands to stay the night. We stayed at our hospital one night – other hospitals require two. If you have a c-section, you will probably stay 3 days. All these factors may effect your packing list.
Camera and phone (and their chargers/batteries)
Snacks and drinks for dad and mom (if your hospital allows)
Swim trunks for dad, if you have the option to labor in the shower or tub
Music or other mood setters
Exercise ball to labor with
Night gown or robe – I wore a stretchy dress that I thought looked like a night gown. It crossed over in the front, so it was easy to put baby on my chest when he was born. Definitely choose something dark, as labor can be pretty gnarly; those light colored floral gowns are pretty, but you might look like a murder victim when all is said and done.
Flip flops and slippers
Hair tie and/or bobby pins
For the babe:
Going home outfit (or two, if you can’t decide) – don’t forget socks
Hat – only if you want to dress them in something cuter, as a hat is provided by the hospital
Wipes – our hospital provided diapers, but not wipes (your hospital may be different)
Carseat – they won’t let you leave anyway, if you don’t have one. Make sure you have it properly installed ahead of time
You can bring a couple outfits and swaddling blankets, but chances are your hospital will provide those
Things our hospital provided and other things we left home:
Blankets, diapers, suction bulb, clothes, and beanie
We opt out of using baby mittens, as babies need their hands to find the nipple – plus, some sooth themselves by sucking on them.
Flip flops, socks, and slippers – slippers to wear around the room and flip flops for in the shower
Regular toiletries and makeup
Hair tie and bobby pins
Outfit to go home in – I would suggest stretchy pants, a loose shirt, and a nursing bra
Clothes to wear during your stay – honestly, I kind of liked the hospital gown with the convenient openings to breastfeed and I only changed to go home, since we were only there 30 hours. Others like to change immediately. Whatever you decide, I would suggest something dark colored and stretchy.
Pen and paper for writing down notes and details
Optional – your own pillow. I plan on leaving mine in the car until I decide I need it.
Optional – bobby or nursing pillow – I have found hospital pillows to be just as helpful, but others are die hard nursing pillow fans.
1-2 Changes of clothes
pillow and blanket
Snacks and coins for vending machine
Things the hospital gave us and we stocked up on for post-partum healing:
After two days with large hospital pads, I was fine with regular night-time pads, and the mesh underwear only lasted my hospital stay (mostly because they were such a large size, maybe they were out of smaller ones)
Dermaplast numbing spray (after having a second degree tear and an abrasion, this was heaven)
Peri-bottle (this is a MUST, I swear I used this for months after giving birth)
Tucks pads, or make your own with cotton pads and witch hazel
Many people suggest stool softeners, but I never felt like I needed it
Make sure all of the above is in easy reach where you go to the bathroom