35 Weeks – Packing the Hospital Bag

My “to do” list before baby comes is slowly dwindling as the time grows closer and it seems the last few things on the list are things I have been ignoring or just weren’t looking forward to doing.  Packing that hospital bag is one of them.  I have read so many lists from other people on the internet and it was enough to make me think, nope, I’ll wait a little longer. There are a lot of people proclaiming MUST haves and NOT must haves.  Who is right and what is right for me?

When we travel, I am an over packer.  I am not a carry on person at all! My main thing for the hospital is to not over pack.  I don’t want to be hauling in a collection of crap for a (hopefully) short stay.  After looking over several lists and talking to people who have delivered at the same hospital that I will be at, here is what I have packed so far.

My bag:

  • Basic shower, bathroom, cosmetic items, all travel sized.
  • Hair brush, hair ties, hair bands.  Anything to keep the hair out of my face.
  • Large maxi pads (Just a few as most hospitals provide these)
  • Disposable breast Pads
  • Sports bras x2
  • Plain underwear that can be tossed
  • PJ Pants that can be tossed
  • Sweatpants that can be tossed
  • Zip-up hoodie
  • 2 Tanks
  • 2 T-shirts
  • Socks
  • Cheap slippers that can be tossed, with grippers on the bottom
  • Cheap flip flops that can be tossed
  • Gum
  • Phone Charger
  • Prescription Meds
  • The few papers I have filled out for a birth plan.  My ID and insurance card are always in my purse so I don’t have to worry about packing those.

The Diaper Bag:

  • Baby book
  • Formula, bottles
  • Pacifiers
  • Just a couple diapers and wipes as most hospitals provide these
  • Receiving blanket for car seat for the drive home
  • Sleeper (1) Size newborn
  • Going home outfit size newborn & preemie (since she is measuring so small).
  • Scratch mittens, socks, and hat.
  • Installed car seat and base

The Hubby’s Backpack:

  • T-Shirt (2)
  • PJ Pants
  • Flip flops
  • Boxers
  • Jeans (1 Pair)
  • Sweatshirt
  • Tablet/Charger
  • Snacks
  • Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste

A few things about our situation.  We live 40 minutes from the hospital.  While I am at work it is a 10 minute drive and my husband works all over the city so he could be 5 minutes away or an hour away.  Also, working 80/90 hour weeks right now he will likely not be with me at go time (or that is what I’m preparing myself for).  At some point I will probably just leave all the bags in my truck but for now they are just in our room.

If my husband is meeting me at the hospital directly from work, he will be covered in concrete and dirt so will require a change of clothes no matter what.  He will likely be staying in the hospital with me as well.  As far as many other people saying bring all these extra comforts (especially for the hubby) such as pillows, blankets, towels, etc. from home, I am passing on that.  One, I am not getting anything nasty on our very expensive pillows.  Two, I don’t give a shit about my husband’s comfort level while sleeping at the hospital, I’m pushing a human out of my vagina and THAT is uncomfortable.  He has spent nights/days in the desert of Iraq, sleeping under his Humvee, the man can sleep anywhere comfortably and never requires much.  We understand we are not checking into the Hilton.

We also have the luxury of my sister living with us who can grab things and bring them to us if need be.  So if I need to bite my tongue later about the pillows, she can bring them in.  There is also a 24 hour Walgreen’s and Target across the street from the hospital for any other things.  What more could you ask for?

I have debated back and forth on bringing the good camera.  For right now, I’m leaving it at home.  We have our phones and isn’t that what it always comes down to these days?

Some lovely friends suggested a wine opener as they did partake in a toast to their new baby in the hospital.  Now I’m not a big drinker….Oh, hell, who are we kidding, I always have a wine opener in my truck.  And you know, Target sells wine across the street.

Lastly, we haven’t taken our birth class yet (we will this Saturday) and that is also when we will find out more about exactly what the hospital provides.  For right now, I’m going off of what others have mentioned.

As always, there are so many factors that can go into this.  C-section, vaginal delivery, longer stays, NICU stay, weather, time of day, what your hospital provides/doesn’t provide, breastfeeding, formula feeding, other siblings and so forth.

Any other suggestions that you just couldn’t live without during your hospital stay?


8 thoughts on “35 Weeks – Packing the Hospital Bag

  1. I admire that you have “that can be tossed” on a lot of items…’cause truth is…some of those items you won’t want to take home.
    Personally, I can’t live without my chapstick. Having dry lips makes me extremely irritated. That’s one item I can’t travel without. Don’t know if you use one or not. Small, but significant for me.

  2. Snacks!! Pack some granola bars or trail mix or something easy to grab. Hospital food blows chunks and those snacks can be a life saver. Also, if you have an epidural or a c-section, they discourage eating once the meds are put in, and if you ask them to bring you something to eat before they give the meds, they likely won’t unless it’s right around meal service time. So scarfing down a granola bar can make a huge difference. I seem to remember you are planning on getting an epidural if you can, so I highly recommend bringing ipad or tablet with movies in it for yourself, or a good book. Once the epidural is inserted, you don’t feel anything at all and no longer have the contractions to distract you. I slept quite a bit once epidural was given, but also read my book. Some face wipes (like makeup remover ones) can be great too for a quick clean feeling. Again, if you end up with c-section you could potentially go a couple days where they won’t let you shower. So being able to wipe down with the wipes helps. I also brought my own soft towel as hospital towels are super rough. And believe me, as your milk starts coming in (even though you’re not breastfeeding) something rough brushing against your boobs is NOT pleasant at all. I also swear by the nightgowns I brought to wear after labour. I was there for three nights and I felt way more human putting on a nightgown instead of the awful hospital gowns. I bought some knee length, cute nighties that were lifesavers and made me feel more comfortable when visitors came. I also wish I had brought a reusable shopping bag or two. You can accumulate additional things like gifts from visitors or purchases you had to get someone to make while in hospital and will need something to carry the stuff home in. I also wish I had brought some of my own swaddle blankets (we love the Muslin ones) from home to swaddle him up in something that smelled like us and our home. Plus they are softer than the hospital blankets and towels they wrap baby up in.

    I think that’s it for my recommendations :). Good luck packing your bag!

  3. I would just add that you will likely not be wearing pants very often because they like to check you, clean you, etc. a LOT, so you may be able to skip on the pants (except for a going home outfit) and throw in a nice, comfy robe. You also might want to check with the hospital because ours provided formula in the pre-made bottles, too! Also, TAKE A BOPPY. The hospital beds are really hard to hold a baby up in, and stacking pillows under your arms doesn’t help as much as a boppy.

    1. That is smart thinking on the pants versus robe situation. I may have to change my thoughts on that along with the boppy. The hospital does provide formula but unfortunately not the brand we are using:( so I hate to start her on one and change when we get home.

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