March 16, 2014

How To: Pack For Labor, From A Second Timer!

Sitting here at 38 weeks I finally decided it was time to pack the hospital bag. I have no idea why I haven't packed yet, since I should know from the first pregnancy that I could be rushing to the hospital at a moment's notice. Last time I wasn't packed either and when my water broke Joey and I had to pack last minute. Needless to say, I packed my whole life. I was a first timer and didn't know what I really needed or wanted with. I followed the list in one of my baby books which pretty much named everything in my house. I think Joey and I brought 3 bags. Geesh.

Now, I know what I really want with me. Here is my revised list of what I think you need to bring with you. Of course, every one is different - but this is what I'll be bringing!
  • Comfy, fluffy socks. Unless you don't like things on your feet, socks are nice. Easier and lighter than bringing slippers. I'll actually be bringing the same socks that the hospital gave me last time. They are super ugly, big, and have big grippy things on the bottom and they are just perfect for the hospital.
  • Hair binders. Do not forget these!
  • Your own toiletries. (I go and buy the little travel size stuff - less to take up space in your bag.) After you give birth the last thing you want to do is take a shower because you can barely move but man, do you feel better and more like yourself afterwards! And it's nice to have your own stuff. 
  • Super comfy, loose clothes. And bring several. And don't bring anything super nice in case you get blood on it. Realistically, even if you want to look cute in your hospital pictures, your t-shirts and yoga pants will probably feel best.
  • Large maxi pads. This is depressing but you will need them. And as icky as it is, you're not going to survive with "light" ones or liners. You are going to need the ones that are a couple notches below an adult diaper. The hospital will have tons too, so you don't NEED to get your own but you might like your own because the hospital ones are HUGE and will bulge out of your underwear.
  • Big underwear. Seriously. Either buy briefs a size larger than you normally would wear, or some larger boy shorts. You need room to wear those giant pads. The hospital gives you one pair of large and in charge boy shorts that are awesome, but one isn't going to cut it. And once they are soiled, you might just want to toss them. (It's not like you're going to wear them again anyways if they are larger than your normal size.)
  • Tucks. You don't know your first time, unless someone has (bless their heart) told you. These aren't a want, these are a need. You'll understand later.
  • Camera. Don't forget to charge the battery or bring the charger with you.
  • Cell phone chargers! We hardly ever forget our phones, but we do tend to forget that they die, especially after a day or two at the hospital.
  • Lap top and charger.
  • Nursing tops/bras if nursing. Or if you aren't nursing, bring a tight sports bra. (To help ease engorgement.)
  • Chapstick. I did not have this last time - and it's needed. My mouth and lips got so dry!
  • Journal or baby book that you want your baby's first footprints in. The nurses take their footprints anyways so it's convenient. 
  • Baby's going home outfit. You really don't need to bring the baby any clothes but one outfit to go home in. The whole time they are there they will be swaddled up anyways. I didn't know what to expect the first time and brought Noelle 3 outfits. She wore the hospital's onesie and the swaddle blanket the whole time.
  • Baby blanket.
  • Your own towel. The hospital has plenty of towels but they are usually scratchy, thin and small. 
  • Contacts and solution, if you wear them.
  • Flip flops. This sounds dumb but if you don't like public bathrooms/showers this is a must. I like to go to the Sitz Bath and I just can't go barefoot.
  • A little make up (just blush and mascara), for those pictures! This is something I did not care about the first time, and looking back, looks like I needed some, lol. 
  • Baby wipes...just in case. I've heard that some hospitals only have dry wipes that you have to wet to use. This wasn't the case for me but you want convenience. One thing you can do too is call the hospital and ask beforehand, or ask when/if you have a hospital tour. Saves you some more space in the bag.
  • Insurance info, ID. Save yourself time by pre-registering at the hospital but if you end up having to go somewhere else because your hospital is full, you'll want to have all this on you. 
I found that there are a few really common items that appear on lists, but honestly I just felt like I didn't need. For example:
  • Dressing gowns. I don't feel like you need to spend money on dressing gowns (unless you really want to or already have some - I don't) because the hospital gives you a gown anyways that usually is all you need. I didn't even wear mine because I spent most of the time laboring in my sports bra. The only time I had on the hospital gown was after the baby was born and I wanted to cover up for pictures.
  • Robe. I feel like these are just so big, take up so much room in your bag and may not even be used. It may bring comforts of home, or make you feel more comfortable if you are pacing the halls, but the hospital has a light robe that you can use.
  • Birth ball. Don't bring your own, the hospital has them.
  • Snacks and drinks. of course you can bring these, but if you are in a rush remember that the hospital has all this stuff. It's nice to pack light!
  • Diapers. The hospital has plenty for you to use! They are usually always a sensitive brand so your baby's bottom will be all good.
  • Extra pillows. Do it if you must, but I like to leave it at home. I asked for more pillows and no one objected or denied my request. Saves me the hassle of bringing it, plus sometimes they get ruined too.
  • Stopwatch. I laugh when I see this on lists. The hospital will be monitoring your contractions. Neither your companion or you will be timing your own contractions.
  • Your breast pump. This is a huge load to bring. The hospital has plenty.
  • Your nursing pillow. Just my opinion but pillows will work. It's not a little thing to bring!
Anyways, these are just my thoughts. Take or leave it as you wish. I hope I get to use my hospital bag soon!! Fingers crossed!


  1. Even though I will never have to worry about a hospital bag ever again, these are all great suggestions!! I did however, use my dressing gown and robe from home. It was definitely just more comfort but then I didn't have to worry about flashing everyone when I would be "out and about" through the hospital. My stays were a little longer than the "norm" though. :)

    Love reading your blog! Especially the Barbie Dreamhouse experience- I was super curious about it!

    1. Does Amelia like Barbie? Take her while she's free! I can't believe the cost!
      As for the hospital bag, I'm such a minimilast! I'm trying hard to only bring one bag for everything!! Plus I don't have a dressing gown! If I had my own, I'd probably bring it! :) Thanks for always reading Anna! - I read yours too! :)

    2. Just saw this..I forgot to check the "notify me" option.

      I do not believe Amelia knows who Barbie is but I could totally see her loving it and then wanting Barbies. Which, I love Barbies so it could be worse. Is she free right now? What age do they start charging?


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