Chasing Davies: Preparing for Baby #2: Hospital Bag Packing Tips

November 13, 2013

Preparing for Baby #2: Hospital Bag Packing Tips

Hospital packing tips for mom, dad and baby

Having done this before, I learned a lot about what you don't actually need and what is most helpful to have in the hospital during your stay.  You can't predict exactly how your labor will go, how long you might end up staying at the hospital and all the different things that can play out to pack every little thing you might need. But overall, the things you'll really need you'll have, the hospital will have or you someone will bring to you. Now that we are close, I've pretty much packed my bag (with just a few more things to add) and here is what I'm bringing for me, my husband and the baby!  

What was your must have or wish you didn't bring item?
For the mama
The basics:
Cute and comfy PJs - you spend a lot of time in bed, but there will be pictures. {I like these polka dot ones because of the button top for easy nursing access}
Slippers - Whether walking around during labor or getting up and around after baby, you'll want something comfy that's easy to slip on your feet. {these are the ones I'm bringing}
Toiletries - don't forget your toothpaste & toothbrush!  Chapstick/favorite lip soothing stuff.  Deodorant! Basic make-up products {again, pictures, though you can leave your smokey-eye kit at home}.  Face and body lotions {my favs here and here}. And extra contacts and glasses if applicable.
Hair help - Instead of hauling your curling iron/straightener that you might usually use, practice a few cute updos, so you can save your energy {and time}!  Bring bobby pins and elastic bands.
Shower stuff - you will get to take a shower, so bring your favorite hair products and don't forget your razor!  Once able to shower - it made me feel like a human again to use my normal stuff.
Underwear - and the full-on granny panty kind... trust me.
Going home outfit - nothing too fancy here... and you'll still have a belly, so stick to maternity leggings, a loose top, slip on shoes {and don't forget outwear depending on weather}.
For the nursing mama:
Bring in your pump - hospitals have pumps you can use (I used that last time), but if you already have one, it's nice to learn how to use it from the lactation specialists or make sure it's still in working condition if it's been stored away since your previous baby. {I own and love the Medela Freestyle Pump}
Nursing tanks & bras - get used to these right away! My fav styles are here, here and here
Cardigans - to wear over your nursing tanks, but stayed covered up!
Nipple Cream - It's never too early to start... also, you can use Dr. Lipp for both your lips and nipples, two in one for packing light!
Nursing Pads - I didn't need this right away last time because I was off to a slow start nursing, but hoping I will this time!  You never know.  I also tried the reusable ones, but they just did not work after my milk came in... these disposable ones were my shirt savers!
For your husband

Loose fitting clothes - He'll want to bring stuff he can sleep in and wear around the hospital room by day, like lounge pants and t-shirts
Sweatshirt - for when it gets cooler {a plain one also works best for photos}.
Slippers - if history repeats itself, he'll be bouncing and soothing that baby all around while I'm stuck in bed recovering, also changing the first diaper.  I love this slipper that looks like a shoe!
A blanket & pillow - the hospital's provided bunk mate supplies aren't the most comfy.
Casual outfit - for going home and photos {like jeans, a sweater and sneakers}.
Snacks - the mama either isn't allowed to eat or gets hospital food (though extra snacks for her is probably a good idea), but he'll need snacks to sustain him.  My husband loves this trail mix and granola bars, though something with protein is probably a good idea.
Water Bottle - Poor dad gets totally neglected at the hospital. We couldn't even find a proper cup for him to fill with water!  Bring your own water bottle!
Ear phones - for listening to music or watching something on the lap top while mama catches up on sleep!
Toiletries - his own shower stuff, toothbrush/paste, razor (if he'll want to shave), etc.

For the baby
For in the hospital:
Your own onesies and baby gowns - the hospital will have some for you to use, but it's nice to have your own that you like, especially for photos... Liam spent most of the time in a gown, so a definite must {loving this one}, but onesies are nice for keeping warmer, sans blanket.
Hat (and bow if a girl) - newborns pretty much need a hat on, no matter what season it is, the entire time, so bring a cute one you'll like for photos and a heavier one to go home in. A bow is nice to distinguish the gender clearer for photos.
Baby socks - for going home and under the gown, you'll need to keep their toes warm. {ah, these!}
Blanket - they also stay pretty wrapped up.  You can use the hospital blankets, of course, but again for photos, you might want to bring your own {plus this one is so sweet}.
Going home:
Pack newborn AND 0-3 month outfit -  You can't be for sure what size will fit the baby the best.  With Liam, we just assumed he'd be a big baby, and brought 0-3 month only.  He was a good size at 8lbs 3oz, but he was long and skinny, so still needed newborn.  He was swimming in his going home outfit.
Outerwear and/or layers - I live int he midwest where the weather is never predictable.  Make sure to bring outerwear onesie and/or layers for whatever the weather will be like once you are released from the hospital.
Car seat (and have base already installed in your car) - duh, you are thinking, but you might want to check with your hospital on what their car seat restrictions are.  They do check them before allowing you to leave with the baby, and if this is your second or more child, yours could be out of date!

The extras/optional

Camera with extra battery and/or charger - you'll want to capture lots of moments in the hospital!
Phone and charger - instantly let your friends and family know about the arrival and send sneak peek pics, also great if you store your music or can stream music through your phone (or white noise!)
Laptop and charger - you can upload your photos or use for entertainment, like watch movies if time permits
Your own pillow - Hospital pillows seem to be pretty flat and lifeless... make it feel a little more like home with your own {and bonus if it's cute, like this gold pillow case}.
Soft blanket - Keep extra cozy and feel more like home with your own blanket {not necessary, but can be nice if space permits}.
Boppy Pillow - just makes holding and nursing your baby easier, especially depending on your labor situation {like if you end up with a c-section}, plus love that you can put the in front of you to look at them better {pillowcover}!
Favorite movies - you can play on your computer to have on in the background, especially in the middle of the night when all is on is info-commercials!
Hair dryer - depending on your hair and how it air drys, you might bring a hair dryer for after your shower.  I use HANAair Professional Hair Dryer.
Nursing cover - as you are figuring it out (or re-figuring it out in my case} and want some privacy, but still your friends and family to be able to come visit, bring a cover that will stay put, like this poncho-styled one.
Gift for you other child - We plan to bring a gift from the new baby to give to Liam when he comes to meet her.
Memory Book - I like Mom's One Line a Day to jot down quick happenings/the most important from that day.  Then over the course of 5 years, you can look back and compare what happened on what days.  You can start this on day one, right in the hospital {also makes a great gift}!

Things you DON'T need

Books, magazines, much entertainment at all - I was delusional the first time and brought magazines and a book I was into. If you aren't sleeping, you are just staring at your new child or trying to figure out feeding.  You'll be surprised how little time you have just sitting around. Music and video/movies to have on in the background are great to have.
Jewelry - including your engagement ring.  Chances are you can't wear it now anyways due to swelling, and you'll likely swell during delivery.  Plus it's just stuff you'll maybe loose/leave behind.  Stick in some basic studs and wear a simple necklace that you can keep on throughout if you crave.
Too many clothing options - Keep it simple.  You'll really be wearing comfy PJs/lounge wear only and  then just need a going home outfit. 
Pain relievers/Prenatal/Vitamins - hospital will provide all of that to you!
Baby toys, stuffed animals, etc - save that for home, they certainly don't need that yet, nor will notice and just more for you to lug home later.
Baby diapers/wipes - unless you plan to use a very specific kind, take advantage of the free (or what comes along with your hospital stay) diapers at the hospital.
Check out my baby #2 gear essentials here.

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